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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, May 9, 2016 Issue #619
* House Committee Takes First Step To Block DEP’s Entire Final Drilling Regulations

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Tuesday voted 19 to 8 largely along party lines (Republicans supporting) to report out a House/Senate concurrent resolution disapproving DEP’s entire final Chapter 78 (conventional) and 78a (unconventional, Marcellus Shale) drilling regulations.

* PA Environmental Council Urges Committee Not To Oppose DEP Final Drilling Regs

The PA Environmental Council Monday wrote to members of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee urging them to oppose efforts to disapprove DEP’s final Chapter 78 (conventional) and 78a (unconventional, Marcellus Shale) drilling regulations.

* PA Trout Unlimited: Tell Your Legislators To Let DEP Drilling Regs Move Forward

PA Council of Trout Unlimited is urging members of the public who care about clean water and the environment to contact their state House and state Senate member to support DEP’s Chapter 78 and 78a drilling regulations and vote against efforts to kill them.

* Analysis: Will The Confrontation Over Drilling Regs Kill The Entire Package?

It’s the political equivalent of the tail wagging the dog.  Will opposition to DEP’s final drilling rules by conventional oil and gas drillers sink the entire comprehensive update to DEP’s drilling regulations in Chapters 78 (conventional) & 78a (unconventional)?

* Changing DEP’s Drilling Regs May Be At Heart Of Budget Compromises In Harrisburg

The Wolf Administration this week let it be known the Governor’s Chief Of Staff Mary Isenhour would be the one negotiating the budget this year to avoid last year’s problem of “too many cooks in the kitchen,” according to

* IFO: Wolf’s Severance Tax Has Highest Rate In Nation, Nothing For The Environment

An Independent Fiscal Office evaluation of Gov. Wolf’s proposed natural gas severance tax found it to have the highest effective lifetime tax rate of any severance tax in the country-- 7.4 percent at the wellhead, after the deduction of the existing Act 13 impact fees.

* 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--

* Senate/House Bills Moving

The following bills of interest saw action this week in the House and Senate--

* Rep. Ross Introduces Potential Fixes To Electronics Waste Recycling Law

Rep. Chris Ross (R-Chester) Wednesday announced the introduction of his suggestions for fixing Pennsylvania electronics waste recycling law in House Bill 1900 (text available here).

* Growing Greener Coalition Thanks House For Making May Clean Water Counts Month

The PA Growing Greener Coalition Monday thanked members of the House for designating the month of May as Clean Water Counts Month by unanimously passing House Resolution 825 (Saylor-R-York).

* Senate Democratic Policy Committee Held Hearing On Gas Drilling In Lake Erie Watershed

The Senate Democratic Policy Committee Thursday held a hearing in Erie on environmental and recreational impacts related to developing gas drilling, with a focus on concerns in the Lake Erie watershed and Northwestern region of Pennsylvania.

* House Bill Would Change Make-Up Of Environmental Quality Board

Rep. Cris Dush (R-Indiana) circulated a co-sponsor memo to his colleagues this week asking them to co-sponsor his bill to expand the Environmental Quality Board to 23 members, remove the DEP Secretary as Chair of the Board and double the number of members from or appointed by the House and Senate.

* May 16 Environmental Issues Forum: Chronic Wasting Disease In PA Deer

The May 16 Environmental Issues Forum hosted by the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee will feature a presentation on chronic waste disease in Pennsylvania deer.

* Registration Open For 2016 PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference

The 2016 PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference will be held June 22-23 at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex in Indiana, PA.

* DEP Hosting MS4 Stormwater Workshops Across The State In June, July

The Department of Environmental Protection is hosting a series of more than a dozen Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) 1-day workshops for communities required to submit stormwater water quality plans.

* Award Winner: Crawford County Riparian Restoration Program

The Crawford County Riparian Restoration Program in Meadville is one of 5 winners of the 2016 Dominion, PA Environmental Council Western PA Environmental Awards

* More Than 60 Watershed Groups Attend PEC Watershed Workshops

Through a series of regional watershed workshops across the state, the PA Environmental Council has had the opportunity to meet representatives from more than 60 Pennsylvania watershed organizations in March and April.

* Vote Now In Chesapeake Bay Foundation Photo Contest

Voting is now open for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Photo Contest and one entry from Pennsylvania— Kayaking Past The Capitol— is in the competition with 9 others for the Viewers’ Choice Winner.

* Call For Presentations: 2016 Chesapeake Watershed Forum Sept. 30-Oct. 2

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay is now accepting presentation proposals for the 2016 Chesapeake Watershed Forum to be held September 30-October 2 at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV.

* Berks County Students Paint The Rain (Barrels) Competition For Earth Day

On April 22 nine high schools with eighteen painted rain barrels participated in the Berks County Conservation District’s Paint the Rain School Competition

* Video: Nine Mile Run Watershed Assn Rosedale Runoff Reduction Project

The Nine Mile Run Watershed Association in Allegheny County has set out on the ambitious Rosedale Runoff Reduction Project to reduce stormwater overflow into the Nine Mile Run stream.

* USDA Seeks Landowner Proposals To Protect Critical Wetlands In Pennsylvania

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking proposals from eligible landowner partners to protect and improve wetlands.  Proposals are due May 16.

* CBF-PA: Dealing Dirt On Farm And Home Soil Health

By Harry Campbell, PA Office Director Chesapeake Bay Foundation

* PA Assn For Sustainable Agriculture Request For 2017 Conference Presentation Proposals

The PA Association for Sustainable Agriculture is now accepting presentations proposals for its Conference in February 1-4, 2017 in State College.  Proposals are due June 15.

* Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA Earns Arbor Day Foundation’s Good Steward Award

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Pennsylvania was honored with the Good Steward Award from the Arbor Day Foundation’s 2016 National Awards Competition, for planting trees, adding forested buffers along stream banks, and improving water quality in the Commonwealth.

* Volunteers Plant 4,000 Trees At Weiser State Forest Columbia County

The PA Environmental Council organized a tree planting event at Weiser State Forest in Columbia County April 30 that resulted in more than a dozen volunteers planting 4,000 trees to help improve water quality and restore forest habitat.

* PA Chapter National Assn. Of Water Companies Honors Rep. Maher

The National Association of Water Companies- PA Chapter Tuesday recognized Rep. John A. Maher (R-Allegheny), Majority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, with its James McGirr Kelly Award for Excellence.

* Partnership For Delaware Estuary Accepting Abstracts For 2017 Estuary Science Summit

The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary is now accepting abstracts for its 2017 Estuary Science and Environmental Summit to be held January 22-25, 2017 in Cape May, New Jersey.  Abstracts are due July 29.

* EPA Awards CMU $10M For New Center For Air, Climate & Energy Solutions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Monday announced the award of $30 million to three universities to be used to investigate regional differences in air pollution and the effects of global climate change, technology, and societal choices on local air quality and health.

* DEP Issues Air Permit For Perdue Soybean Oil Extraction Facility In Lancaster

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday issued an Air Plan Approval to Perdue AgriBusiness, LLC, for the construction and operation of a soybean oil extraction facility in Conoy Township, Lancaster County.

* DEP Begins 2016 Ozone Forecasting, Get Email Alerts Of Bad Air Days

This week Pennsylvania will begin ozone forecasting for 27 counties in Pennsylvania for the 2016 season. DEP monitors ambient ozone concentrations year-round and makes air quality forecasts for ground-level ozone during the spring and summer months.

* Clean Diesel Delivers Clean Air Benefits To The Mid-Atlantic Region

Government, environmental and private sector members of a Mid-Atlantic clean air coalition met Wednesday in Pennsylvania to discuss strategies for continuing air quality improvements for the region.

* PJM Regional Electricity Grid Operator Ready To Meet Summer Demand

PJM Interconnection, operator of the nation's largest electric grid, said Tuesday it is ready to meet the expected power demand of 61 million consumers this summer. Electricity demand is forecasted to reach 152,131 megawatts at its peak.

* Gov. Wolf Nominates David Sweet To Public Utility Commission

Gov. Tom Wolf Wednesday nominated David Sweet to serve as commissioner on the Public Utility Commission.

* Westmoreland County Pipeline Explosion Still Being Investigated

The investigation of the May 6 Spectra Energy Corp natural gas pipeline explosion in Westmoreland County is still ongoing by the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

* EPA Recognizes PA Small Business Development Center Environmental Help Program

On Thursday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency  presented its Fiscal Year 2015 EPA Administrator's Award for Outstanding Accomplishments by a Small Business Trade or State Small Business Environmental Assistance Provider Award to the PA Small Business Development Center Environmental Management Assistance Program

* AE Works Of Pittsburgh Recognized By Duquesne’s Center For Green Industries

Duquesne University’s Center for Green Industries and Sustainable Business Growth awarded AE Works, an architecture and engineering firm, with the 2016 Pennsylvania Sustainable Small Business Award at the Sustainability Business Breakfast held on Earth Day, April 22.

* Reminder: Last Chance To Enter Great American Cleanup Of PA Video Contest

Keep PA Beautiful is reminding participates in the 2016 Great American Cleanup of PA they have until June 3 to enter their 2-minute videos of people making their communities clean and beautiful in this year’s Video Contest.

* PA Resources Council May Newsletter Now Available

The May newsletter from the PA Resources Council is now available featuring articles on--

* DOJ, EPA, DEP: $6.8 Million Penalty Against Schneider Electric USA For Superfund Site

The U.S. Justice Department, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced Schneider Electric USA will pay a $6,868,975 penalty for allegedly violating the terms of a 2002 court-approved Superfund consent decree during its cleanup at the Rodale Manufacturing Superfund Site located in Emmaus, Lehigh County. 

* DEP Reaches Settlement With Talen Generation Over 2005 Martins Creek Ash Spill

The Department of Environmental Protection and the Fish and Boat Commission have entered into an agreement with Talen Generation, LLC, for the company to pay a total of $952,150.00 for natural resource damages associated with the August 2005 ash spill at the Martins Creek Steam Electric Station in Lower Mount Bethel Township, Northampton County.

* State Environmental Officials Band, Inspect Harrisburg’s Newest Young Peregrine Falcons

Officials from the Department of Environmental Protection and the Game Commission Tuesday banded and inspected the three young peregrine falcons nesting on the 15th Floor of the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg to ensure they are healthy and disease free before they enter their next stage of development -- learning to fly.

* PA Environmental Council In Case You Missed It In April Now Available

The April edition of In Case You Missed It is now available from the PA Environmental Council featuring articles on--

* Discover 100s Of Miles Of Happy On Philadelphia Region Trails

On April 15, a wide group of advocates unveiled the new website and branding for The Circuit Trails. Formerly known just as the “Circuit,” the new name, logo, and collateral materials reflect an effort to promote the regional trail network to a broad group of trail users and supporters.

* Stoneleigh, The Haas 42-Acre Estate, Donated To Natural Lands Trust

On April 20, the children of the late John and Chara Haas donated the family’s 42-acre Stoneleigh estate in Villanova, Montgomery County, to the Natural Lands Trust, the region’s oldest and largest land conservation organization.

* Lacawac Sanctuary To Celebrate 50th Anniversary With Farm To Plate Dinner Aug. 13

Dust off your summer whites and prepare for a spectacular evening at Lacawac Sanctuary in Wayne County on August 13 to celebrate its 50th anniversary providing research, education and preservation programs and initiatives.

* PA Horticultural Society Meadowbrook Farm May 14 Open House, Plant Sale

Celebrate the season and enjoy a day of family fun and learning at the PA Horticultural Society Meadowbrook Farm Spring Open House on May 14, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine.

* Delaware Highlands Conservancy Lemons Brook Farm: Lens, Pen & Place May 21

The Delaware Highlands Conservancy will present the digital and spoken word event, Lemons Brook Farm: Lens, Pen and Place, on May 21, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., at the farmhouse where its New York office is based, at 120 Segar and Rosenberg Road, Kauneonga Lake, New York.

* DCNR, DEP Construction Contracts Now Open For Bid

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has a current list of bid proposals for construction projects in State Parks and State Forests available online.  Click Here for the list.

* Opportunity To Bid On DEP Non-Coal Mine Reclamation Project In McKean County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of an opportunity to bid on a non-coal mine reclamation project in McKean County in the May 7 PA Bulletin.  For more information, visit DEP’s Construction Contracts webpage.

* 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 - May 7, 2016

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