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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, May 2, 2016 Issue #618
* House Environmental Committee Meets May 3 On IRRC Approval Of DEP Drilling Regs

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee announced late Friday it will meet on May 3 to consider a response to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission approval of  DEP’s final Chapter 78 (conventional) and 78a (unconventional, Marcellus Shale) drilling regulations.

* Natural Gas Pipeline Explosion In Westmoreland County

News media in Western PA reported Friday morning there was a natural gas explosion from a pipeline in Salem Township, Westmoreland County, near Murrysville along Route 22.  One person was reported injured.

* Fish & Boat Commission Board Urges DEP To Rule On Susquehanna River Impairment

A delay on a critical decision about the health of the Susquehanna River has prompted the Board of Fish and Boat Commissioners to send a letter to DEP Secretary John Quigley reiterating their call that the river is sick and urging him to issue the agency’s decision.

* OK, Election’s Over, Back To Work On Next Year’s State Budget!

The election provided an interesting diversion the last couple weeks, but the outcome was, by and large, anticipated-- Trump and Clinton for President and Shapiro for Attorney General, although that was a close call.  McGinty for U.S. Senate was a bit of a surprise, but late polls showed that race tightening.

* PA Environment Digest Google+ Circle, Blogs, Twitter Feeds

PA Environment Digest now has a Google+ Circle called Green Works In PA.  Let us join your Circle.

* Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule/Gov’s Schedule/ Bills Introduced

Here are the Senate and House Calendars and Committee meetings showing bills of interest as well as a list of new environmental bills introduced--

* GOP Amendment Uses DEP Personnel Money To Help Industry Review DEP Drilling Regs

A budget amendment filed by Rep. Cris Dush (R-Indiana) would allocate $600,000 in taxpayer money to DEP’s Marcellus Shale oil and gas advisory committee to pay for legal and consulting experts to review drilling regulation changes proposed by the Department of Environmental Protection.

* Bipartisan Clean Water Counts In PA Resolution Introduced In House

Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York) and 40 House members from both parties introduced House Resolution 825 designating the month of May as Clean Water Counts Month in Pennsylvania (sponsor summary).  The text of the resolution follows--

* April Environmental Synopsis Available From Joint Conservation Committee

The April edition of the Environmental Synopsis newsletter is now available from the Joint Legislative Air & Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee featuring stories on--

* PAEP: Carol Collier & Natural Lands Trust Win Karl Mason & Walter Lyon Awards

The PA Association of Environmental Professionals Thursday announced Carol Collier is the winner of the 2016 Karl Mason Award and the Natural Lands Trust is the winner of the Walter Lyon Award.

* Northeast Environmental Partnership Accepting Nominations For 2016 Awards

The Northeast Environmental Partners are seeking nominations for the 26th annual Northeast Environmental Partnership Awards.  Nominations are due June 25

* Rock Lititz Project Reduces Sediment, Nutrient Runoff Without Taxpayer Money

A new publication by the American Water Resources Association highlights the Rock Lititz Floodplain Restoration Project in Lancaster County that uses an innovative private-public partnership to reduce sediment and nutrient loads going to the Chesapeake Bay without taxpayer money.

* DCNR Leading Statewide Forest Buffer Planting Effort To Improve Water Quality

Close your eyes and listen for a babbling brook. In your mind’s eye, does it have trees along it, making the picture cool and green?

* Schuylkill Action Network Recognizes 3 Schools For Protecting Drinking Water

The Schuylkill Action Network will recognize students from Perkiomen High School, Montgomery County on May 3 for their efforts to protect the Schuylkill River and its drinking water; one of three schools recognized under the SAN’s Schuylkill Scholastic Drinking Water Awards

* Schuylkill Action Network Announces Winners Of Schuylkill Street Art Contest

The Schuylkill Action Network Monday announced the winners of its 2016 Schuylkill Street Art Contest by posting the winning works of art on its Flickr webpage.  Click On each entry to find out the winner.

* Berks Conservation District Hosts CREP Maintenance Field Day June 18

Learn how to establish and maintain the trees planted along your stream installed through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) by joining the Berks County Conservation District for a field walk on June 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

* PA Environmental Council Honored With Friend Of French Creek Award

The PA Environmental Council was presented with the Friend of French Creek Award at the French Creek Valley Conservancy’s  2016 awards dinner held at the Iroqouis Boating and Fishing Club in Conneaut Lake, Crawford County on April 22.

* April 25 Watershed Winds Newsletter Now Available From Penn State Extension

The April 25 edition of the Watershed Winds newsletter is now available from Penn State Extension featuring articles on--

* DEP Requires Lead Testing Of Pittsburgh Water Authority Water Supply

The Department of Environmental Protection Monday issued an order to the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority requiring testing for lead at 100 sites in Pittsburgh’s water system because the Authority made changes to its water treatment process without approval by DEP that could have resulted in an increase in lead in drinking water.

* Capital Region Water Celebrates Value of Water With Art Contest

Capital Region Water in Harrisburg is now accepting entries to its CBH20 Art Contest which asks artists to celebrate the value of water through art.  Entries are due May 13.

* Duquesne University Offers Water Management Certification Prep Program June 28-29

With more attention being given to water management, Duquesne University’s Center for Green Industries and Sustainable Business Growth will host a program June 28-29 preparing leaders for certification in the field.

* Delaware River Basin Commission Holds Hearing May 11, Business Meeting June 15

The Delaware River Basin Commission is scheduled to hold a hearing May 11 on water withdrawal requests and on adopting guidelines for certain determinations made under the Commission’s water quality regulations.   (formal notice)

* Progress Made On Construction Of Duryea Flood Control Project In Luzerne County

Staff from the Department of Environmental Protection’s  Northeast Regional Office recently got a look at the progress of work to build a levee system in the borough of Duryea, Luzerne County.

* Insurance Commissioner Commends U.S. House Passage Of Private Flood Insurance Bill

Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller Friday lauded the U.S. House of Representatives for its unanimous passage of the federal Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act, H.R. 2901, as a major step toward helping homeowners facing rising flood insurance premiums.

* DEP Staff Provide Update On Dam Safety Regulations To Dam Owners In 2 Counties

Department of Environmental Protection Dam Safety staff recently met with owners of private dams in Bradford and Wyoming counties to discuss the updates to regulations regarding dams. 

* Southmoreland High School Wins Westmoreland County Envirothon

Southmoreland High School Team One took first place Monday in the Envirothon organized by the Westmoreland County Conservation District.

* PA Envirothon Set For May 24-25 At Susquehanna University, Camp Mount Luther

More than 300 students and teacher-coaches from Pennsylvania’s 67 counties are converging on the Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove and Camp Mount Luther in Mifflinburg May 24-25 to use their year-long Envirothon experience to vie for the championship title at the Pennsylvania Envirothon.

* PSU Student Michael Cavazza Wins Society Of Petroleum Engineers Regional Contest

A paper written by Penn State University student Michael Cavazza, a Schreyer Scholar majoring in petroleum and natural gas engineering, won first place in the Eastern North America regional Society of Petroleum Engineers student paper contest, held April 9 at Louisiana State University.

* Partnership Allows Students To Learn About PA Wildlife, Earn College Credit

Teens attending deer, trout, grouse, bear and bass focused summer courses offered by the Wildlife Leadership Academy to earn college credit at Cedar Crest College in Allentown.

* PA Assn Of Environmental Educators EE Resources Newsletter Now Available

The April 28 EE Resources newsletter is now available from the PA Association of Environmental Educators featuring articles on--

* Keep PA Beautiful Welcomes New Staff To Fight Illegal Dumping Across Pennsylvania

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Wednesday announced the addition of two new members to its staff, Fred Siekkinen and Dana Rockwell, to help bolster its fight against illegal dumping across the state.

* Sewickley Creek Watershed Assn, Partners Hold Earth Day Cleanup, Beautification Days

The Sewickley Creek Watershed Association along with Boy Scout Troop 465, Youngwood Borough, Firestone Building Products, and other volunteers joined forces on April 23 to spruce up their neighborhood. 

* DEP Employees Participate In Earth Day Cleanup In Harrisburg

Employees of the Department of Environmental Protection’s  Southcentral Regional Office in Harrisburg participated in the annual cleanup of Asylum Run in Harrisburg April 20.

* Earth Day In Monroe County, A Reunion Of Environmental Pioneers

The following article was submitted by the Brodhead Watershed Association--

* Centre County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event April 29-30

Here's your once a year chance to rid your home of old or unwanted hazardous chemicals and be sure they are properly disposed of.

* PA Resources Council Launches Western PA Household Chemical Collection Events May 7

The PA Resources Council will hold the first of 6 Household Chemical Collection events in Western PA on May 7 at the swimming pool area of North Park in Allegheny County.

* 26th Annual Recycling & Organics Conference July 27-29 In Harrisburg

The Professional Recyclers of PA will hold their annual Recycling and Organics Conference July 27-29 at the Best Western Premier in Harrisburg.  The early bird registration deadline is May 15.

* Reminder: Presentation Proposals For PA Brownfields Conference Due April 30

Presentation proposals for the 2016 Pennsylvania Brownfields Conference are due April 30.  The Conference will be held October 26-28 at the Lancaster County Convention Center.

* Harrisburg International Airport Unveils New Electric Vehicle Charging Station

The Harrisburg International Airport Tuesday unveiled a new Direct Current Fast Charging Station, located in the Cell Phone parking lot that allows passengers and visitors to charge their electric vehicles.

* PA State Government, 3 Universities, 1 PA Bank On EPA’s Top 100 Green Power List

Gov. Tom Wolf Monday announced the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is the highest-ranking state government user of green power on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Top 100 list of the largest green power users from the Green Power Partnership.  

* DEP Begins Study Of Abandoned & Orphan Wells To Determine Climate Impact

Staff from the Department of Environmental Protection’s  Oil and Gas and Air Quality programs this week kicked off a study to evaluate the integrity of plugged, abandoned, and orphan oil and gas wells across Pennsylvania, as well as provide insight into potential greenhouse gas implications associated with methane emissions from these wells.

* Constitution Pipeline Committed To Building Pipeline In Spite Of NY Disapproval

Constitution Pipeline Company announced Monday it remains “steadfastly” committed to pursuing the federally-approved energy infrastructure project, despite the recent decision by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation to deny the Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the Constitution Pipeline Project.

* Delaware River Basin Commission To Hold Own Hearings On Proposed PennEast Pipeline

The Delaware River Basin Commission Monday announced it has withdrawn its request to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for joint hearings on the proposed PennEast Pipeline Project and will conduct separate hearings on its own.

* Penn State Webinar May 19 On Monitoring Seismic Activity In PA

Penn State Professor of Geosciences Dr. Andrew Nyblade will hold a webinar May 19 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. on “Seismicity in Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania State Seismic Network.” 

* DEP Expands Particulate Matter Air Monitoring Network

The Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday announced it has launched an unprecedented expansion of the state’s fine particulate matter (PM2.5) ambient air monitoring network to ensure human health is protected in rural Pennsylvania.

* Meetings Of DEP Oil & Gas Advisory Committees Rescheduled To Joint Meeting June 23

At the request of the Conventional Oil and Gas Advisory Committee and the Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board, the Department of Environmental Protection has rescheduled the May and August meetings of the two oil and gas advisory committees to a joint June 23 meeting.  (formal notice)

* April 28 DEP News Now Available

The April 28 DEP News is now available from the Department of Environmental Protection featuring articles on--

* UGI Natural Gas Utilities Request Increase In Distribution System Improvement Charges

The Public Utility Commission published notice in the April 30 PA Bulletin of requests by UGI Central Penn Gas, UGI Penn Natural Gas and UGI Utilities to increase the Distribution System Improvement Charge cap from 5 percent to 10 percent.

* PA Horticultural Society Gardening & Greening Contest Starts May 1

The PA Horticultural Society  celebrates the accomplishments of gardeners in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware with the PHS Gardening and Greening Contest.   Entries are due June 15.

* Wildlands Conservancy May Programs, Lehigh River Sojourn June 24-29

The Wildlands Conservancy offers a wide variety of education and recreation programs for students and adults in May, including registration for the upcoming Lehigh River Sojourn, a bicycle tour on the Lehigh River Water Trails, summer camps and much more.  Click Here for more details.

* DCNR: Pocono Fire Contained, Wildfire Season Still A Concern In PA

If the situation does not change, a fire that impacted more than 8,000 acres in the Poconos— referred to as the Sixteen Mile Fire—is contained and crews will begin the process of going after hot spots, eliminating fuels and cleaning up.

* Chesapeake Bay Foundation Wins 2016 Arbor Day Foundation Recognition

Seventeen individuals and organizations are the recipients of a 2016 Arbor Day Award in honor of their outstanding contribution to tree planting, conservation and stewardship from the Arbor Day Foundation Wednesday.

* Enter The Tree Of The Year Contest, Tell Your Story About Your Favorite Tree

The PA Horticultural Society is highlighting the impact of trees on individual lives and communities in a new Tree of the Year Contest that begins April 30, the national celebration of Arbor Day.  Entries are due June 1.

* DCNR To Begin Spraying Forests To Combat Gypsy Moth Damage

DCNR Bureau of Forestry staff are preparing for an aerial spraying effort to combat gypsy moth populations poised for spring outbreaks in the eastern and central portions of Pennsylvania, DCNR officials are announcing.

* Game Commission To Spray 32,000 Acres Of Game Lands For Gypsy Moths

The Game Commission Monday announced it will spray for gypsy moths on more than 32,000 acres of state game lands this spring, the largest spraying effort to protect wildlife habitat since 2008.

* Agencies Announce Plans To Improve Bicycle Access, Revitalization Of PA Wilds Region

Officials from the state departments of Transportation, Conservation and Natural Resources and Community and Economic Development Thursday discussed the state’s transportation and economic development, as well as outdoor recreation, heritage and tourism opportunities at the annual PA Wilds dinner and awards banquet in St. Marys, Elk County.

* PBS: Fairmount Park Philadelphia, 1 Of 10 Parks That Changed America

Fairmount Park in Philadelphia is one of the parks highlighted in the new PBS series 10 Parks That Changed America.

* Brodhead Watershed Assn. May 21 Thunder Swamp Hike In Pike County

The Brodhead Watershed Association is hosting a May 21 Thunder Swamp Hike in the Delaware State Forest in Pike County as part of its Get Outdoors Poconos series.

* Cyclists: Take The River & Wind Challenge June 4 On The Great Allegheny Passage Trail

On June 4, bicycling enthusiasts will converge on Confluence, Somerset County to take part in the 15th Annual "River and Wind Challenge" on the Great Allegheny Passage Trail.

* DCNR Encourages Residents To Try Cycling As A Way To Get Outdoors In May

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Thursday encouraged people to dust off their bikes and find a trail as a way to get outdoors during May, which is National Bike Month and includes Bike to Work Week starting May 16.

* April 27 Resource Newsletter Available From DCNR

The April 27 edition of the Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* Pinchot’s Grey Towers Heritage Walk In Milford, Pike County May 14

Pinchot’s Grey Towers Heritage Association is hosting a walking tour of Milford in Pike County on May 14 to highlight the buildings and places in the community with a connection to the Pinchot family.

* Agreement With Exelon Uses Science To Drive Return Of Fish To Susquehanna River

Exelon Generation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Monday announced an agreement to restore American shad and river herring to the East Coast’s largest river over the next 50 years.

* Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Hosts Arts Tour & Sale June 4

All roads lead to local artists and their wares during the 11th annual Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Arts Tour and Sale in Berks County on June 4 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* Penn State: Deer Seem To Be Helping Invasive Plants Spread

Selective browsing by white-tailed deer likely is promoting the spread of some invasive plant species in northeastern U.S. forests, as deer avoid eating vegetation they find unpalatable.

* June 3-4 Brodhead Watershed Assn. Native Plant Sale In Monroe County

The Brodhead Watershed Association will again host its popular Annual Native Plant Sale, where every plant is a non-invasive species. Responsible gardeners seek out these plants that do not harm the local environment.

* DEP Makes Changes To Meadville, Harrisburg Regional Office Directors

The Department of Environmental Protection Friday announced new Regional Directors for its Meadville and Harrisburg Regional Offices

* In Memoriam: Albert F. Moran, Co-Founder Independence Conservancy

Independence Conservancy’s Chairman, Albert F. Moran, passed away on April 2 after a long struggle with heart failure.  He was 80 years old.

* Help Wanted: Agricultural Resource Conservationist, Chester Conservation District

The Chester County Conservation District is seeking qualified candidates to fill an Agricultural Resource Conservationist provides technical and financial assistance to local landowners in order to conserve soil, and to protect and enhance Chester County's natural resources.

* Public Participation Opportunities/Calendar Of Events

This section lists House and Senate Committee meetings, DEP and other public hearings and meetings and other interesting environmental events.

* Grants & Awards

This section gives you a heads up on upcoming deadlines for awards and grants and other recognition programs.  NEW means new from last week.

* Environmental NewsClips - All Topics

Here are NewsClips from around the state on all environmental topics, including General Environment, Budget, Marcellus Shale, Watershed Protection and much more.

* Regulations, Technical Guidance & Permits

No new regulations were published this week.  Pennsylvania Bulletin - April 30, 2016

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