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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, June 13, 2016 Issue #624
(6/13/2016)
* Gov. Wolf, House GOP Agree To Make DEP Start Over On Conventional Drilling Regs

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Wednesday voted 18 to 5 to amend Senate Bill 279 (Hutchinson-R-Venango), which establishes the PA Grade Crude Development Advisory Council, with language abrogating DEP’s Chapter 78 conventional drilling regulations and forcing the agency to start the rulemaking process over.

* PA Environmental Council: Much Work To Do To Modernize Conventional Drilling Regs

Davitt Woodwell, President of the PA Environmental Council, Wednesday issued this statement in reaction to House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee action on DEP’s updated drilling regulations

* Governor’s Office Reaches Agreement With Senate On Clean Power Plan Review Bill

The Senate Tuesday adopted an amendment to Senate Bill 1195 (White-R-Indiana) by a vote of 47 to 3 that represented an agreement between the Governor’s Office the Senate on how any plan DEP develops in response to EPA’s Clean Power Climate Plan will be reviewed by the General Assembly.

* Clean Power Coalition Denounces Action To Stall Climate Change, Gut DEP Drilling Regs

The Clean Power PA Coalition, representing many of Pennsylvania’s environmental, clean energy business, public health and conservation community, Wednesday denounced the Senate’s passage of Senate Bill 1195 (White-R-Indiana), which would delay much-needed and publicly-supported action to tackle climate change.

* Will Deal On Liquor, Drilling Regs, Climate Build Momentum For State Budget?

The signing into law of House Bill 1690 (Turzai-R- Allegheny), the compromise liquor and wine sales reforms agreed to by the House, Senate and Gov. Wolf, was the most high profile sign of bipartisan progress on an important issue this week at the Capitol.

* 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--

* Bills On Governor's Desk

The following bills were given final approval by the Senate and House and are now on the Governor's desk for action--

* Senate/House Bills Moving

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

* Rep. Sturla Water Use Fee Bill Would Generate $245 Million/Year For Water Programs

Rep. Mike Sturla (D-Lancaster) Monday  announced he is introducing House Bill 2114 which would enact a water resource use fee on 4.4 billion gallons of daily water withdrawals in Pennsylvania that has the potential to generate $245 million annually, based on current usage rates.

* Resolution By Sen. Brooks Would Study State Environmental Laws, Regs To Rollback

Sen. Michele Brooks (R-Crawford) Monday introduced Senate Resolution 385 directing the Joint State Government Commission to identify state environmental laws and regulations that are more stringent than federal law as a first step toward rolling back those protections.

* House Committee Likely To Meet June 13 On Senate Clean Power Plan Review Bill

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is likely to meet on June 13 to consider at least one bill-- Senate Bill 1195 (White-R-Indiana) further providing for the review of any plan developed by DEP to implement the EPA Clean Power Climate Plan. 

* Senate Environmental Committee Meets June 14 On Heritage Areas Program Bill

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to meet on June 14 to consider legislation establishing DCNR’s Heritage Areas Program in law and a bill on appointing alternates to the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin.  The bills include--

* CBF-PA: Cameron, Dauphin, Franklin, McKean, Montgomery Join Clean Water Counts

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA applauds 5 counties— Cameron, Dauphin, Franklin, McKean and Montgomery— for joining the Clean Water Counts bringing the total to 24 counties who have joined.

* LandStudies, Octoraro Native Plant Nursery Founders Of Businesses For The Bay

LandStudies, Inc. and the Octoraro Native Plant Nursery, Inc. in Lancaster County were among the 21 founding members of the Businesses for the Bay recognized by The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay Wednesday.

* Master Watershed Steward Program Looking For Stewards In Northeast, Other Areas

The Penn State Extension’s Luzerne, Wyoming and Lackawanna county offices are now accepting applications for the 2016 Master Watershed Steward Program in northeastern Pennsylvania.   Applications are due June 17.

* Chiques Watershed Expo June 22, Farming For Success June 23 In Lancaster County

The Chiques Creek Watershed Expo will be held June 22 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Lancaster Liederkranz, 722 South Chiques Creek Road, Manheim.

* AEC: A Busy Spring For Greening The Lower Susquehanna

Greening the Lower Susquehanna Volunteer Corps, an initiative of the Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center, has been busy this spring with many exciting volunteer events!

* Penn State Agriculture & Environment Center Quarterly Newsletter Now Available

The Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center quarterly newsletter is now available featuring stories on--

* Headwaters Trust Awarded $1.35M For Watershed Work In Elk, Jefferson Counties

Headwaters Charitable Trust Wednesday announced it will receive $1,356, 840 from the Department of Environmental Protection for 4 restoration projects in the Mill Creek and Toby Creek watersheds.

* Independence Conservancy Receives Washington County Foundation President’s Award

Independence Conservancy recently received the President’s Choice Award and a $10,000 unrestricted grant from Washington County Community Foundation to support establishing the Langeloth Valley Conservation Area near Burgettstown.

* Brodhead Watershed Assn: June 26 Master Gardener Rain Garden Workshop In Monroe

On June 26, Penn State Master Gardeners of Monroe County will hold a workshop about rain gardens, at ForEvergreen Nature Preserve, Cherry Lane Road, Analomink, Monroe County.

* Don’t Give Up The Drip Rain Barrels Encourage Erie Residents To Conserve Water

A unique art project with an environmental message can be seen around businesses and other buildings around Erie.  More than 30 local artists decorated rain barrels that are installed around the city as part of the "Don't Give Up the Drip" campaign.

* June 6 Watershed Winds Newsletter Now Available From Penn State Extension

The June 6 Watershed Winds newsletter is now available from Penn State Extension featuring articles on--

* Op-Ed: Cleaning The Chesapeake Bay Starts With Improving Water Quality In PA

By Russell Redding, Secretary Department of Agriculture, Patrick McDonnell, Acting Secretary of DEP and Cindy Adams Dunn, Secretary Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Meets June 16 On Water Withdrawals, Fees

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission will holds its quarterly business meeting  June 16 starting at 9:00 a.m., DoubleTree by Hilton Resort Lancaster, Terrace Room, 2400 Willow Street Pike, Lancaster. The meeting is open to the public.

* Delaware River Basin Commission Hearing On Water Project Review Fees July 27

The Delaware River Basin Commission published notice of proposed regulations changing its rules of practice and procedure concerning regulatory program fees, water supply charges inviting public comments in the June 11 PA Bulletin.

* Northeast Environmental Partnership Award Nominations Due July 1

The Northeast Environmental Partners are seeking nominations for the 26th annual Northeast Environmental Partnership Awards.  Nominations are now due July 1.

* Students From Dickinson, Gettysburg, Haverford, Lafayette Selected For EPA Fellowships

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week announced two students from Lafayette College in Easton, Northampton County, one student Haverford College in Delaware County, one student Gettysburg College in Adams County, and two students from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Cumberland County will receive EPA Greater Research Opportunities Fellowships to support environmental studies.

* Environmental Quality Board Meets June 21 On Final Air Quality, Coliform Regs

The Environmental Quality Board is scheduled to meet on final air quality regulations dealing with volatile organic emissions and final drinking water regulations setting revised coliform standards.  The regulations include--

* DEP Citizens Advisory Council To Get Overview Of Chesapeake Bay Watershed Sampling

DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council meets on June 21 to hear a presentation from the U.S.G.S. on its water quality sampling program in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

* Insurance Commissioner Updates Boroughs On Flood Insurance Issue

Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller Monday updated borough leaders from across Pennsylvania on the Wolf Administration's support for private market flood insurance and encouraged borough officials to take this information to their constituents to help homeowners save money and preserve property values.

* PA Insurance Commissioner: Homeowner Tips On Severe Weather Preparation

Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller Thursday offered advice to help consumers stay prepared as temperatures rise and severe destructive storms become more frequent.

* June 14 Hearing On Groundwater Contamination Remediation Plan In Franklin County

The Department of Environmental Protection will host a public hearing June 14 on the re-opening of the administrative record and revision to the statement of decision to extend a public water line to homes in Washington Township affected by groundwater contamination.

* Voting Begins June 13 For Your Favorite Great American Cleanup Of PA Video

Your help is needed to choose the winners of the 4nd Annual Great American Cleanup of PA Video Contest.  From June 13 to June 23 “Like” your favorites on the  Keep PA Beautiful’s Facebook page.

* PA Recycling Markets Center Survey: 6.8 Million Tube TVs, CRTs In PA To Be Recycled

The PA Recycling Markets Center Friday released the results of a survey showing there are about 6.8 million tube TVs and CRT monitors with an estimated weight of 396 million pounds remaining in Pennsylvania that will at some point need to be recycled through an electronics waste recycling program.

* Time Running Out To Register For PROP’s Recycling & Organics Conference July 27-29

Time is running out, there is only 6 weeks remaining until the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania’s 26th Annual Recycling and Organics Conference, being held July 27th – 29th at the Best Western Premier, Harrisburg.

* PA Resources Council June Newsletter Now Available

The June edition of the PA Resources Council newsletter is now available featuring stories on--

* Shell To Build Ethane Plant In Beaver, Could Qualify For $1.8 Billion State Tax Credit

Royal Dutch Shell announced Tuesday it will build an ethane cracker petrochemical plant in Beaver County, potentially qualifying for a $1.8 billion state tax credit over 28 years.

* Penn State: Website Explores Rural Impacts Of Marcellus Gas Development

A new website is giving people in rural Pennsylvania — and beyond — high-tech tools to learn about Marcellus Shale gas development in their backyards.

* Shale Insight Conference Supported By New Regional Oil & Gas Partnership

The Marcellus Shale Coalition, the Ohio Oil and Gas Association and the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association, are pleased to announce a joint partnership to host the sixth annual SHALE INSIGHT Conference

* Talen Energy To Co-Fire Montour Power Plant With Natural Gas, Coal

Talen Energy Corporation Tuesday announced it has completed a feasibility assessment related to bringing natural gas to the Montour plant in Montour County and installing boiler modifications to enable a dual-fuel, also known as co-firing, capability to operate on coal, natural gas or in combination.

* PUC OKs Accelerated Replacement Of PGW Natural Gas Pipelines In Philadelphia

The Public Utility Commission Thursday approved a modified infrastructure improvement plan, along with a one-time adjustment to a related customer charge, intended to dramatically accelerate the replacement of aging natural gas pipelines in Philadelphia.

* Distribution System Improvement Charges OK’d For FirstEnergy Electric Utilities

The Public Utility Commission Thursday approved the petitions of Pennsylvania Power Company (Penn Power), Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec), Metropolitan Edison Company (Met-Ed) and West Penn Power Company (West Penn Power), collectively referred to as the FirstEnergy Pennsylvania Companies, to implement distribution system improvement charges (DSICs).

* Penn State Helps Kick Off University Coalition For Fossil Energy Research

Representatives of nine universities and the National Energy Technology Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy met at Penn State to kick off the University Coalition for Fossil Energy Research, a six-year program funded by NETL for $20 million that will explore a broad range of research in coal, natural gas and oil including carbon dioxide capture, storage and use.

* Exelon Announces Plans To Extend Peach Bottom Nuclear Power Plant Another 20 Years

Exelon Corporation Tuesday announced it was submitting an application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to extend the operating license for the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station in York County another 20 years.

* PUC Revises, Resubmits Final Net-Metering Rule To IRRC For Review

Public Utility Commission Thursday voted to modify its previously approved regulations related to the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act  of 2004, addressing objections recently raised by the state’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission.

* FirstEnergy Issues 2016 Sustainability Report On Environmental Achievements

FirstEnergy Corp. Thursday announced it has issued its 2016 Sustainability Report, detailing how the company is making a switch to a cleaner energy future as it continues to provide safe and reliable electric service to customers.

* PA Environmental Council: Is Deep Decarbonization Right For PA’s Electricity Future?

Climate change impacts every facet of environmental protection and exacerbates challenges we already face, ranging from air quality to stormwater management to invasive species.

* June 9 DEP News Is Now Available

The June 9 edition of the DEP News is now available from the Department of Environmental Protection featuring articles on--

* Senate Democratic Policy Committee Hearing On Zika Virus, PA Has 19 Confirmed Cases

At the request of Sen. Judy Schwank (D-Berks), the Senate Democratic Policy Committee held a roundtable discussion Thursday on Pennsylvania's Zika Virus response plan that focused on measures available for state, local and health officials to educate the public about potential health impacts.

* PA Environmental Council In Case You Missed It In May

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

* PA Adds 26 Farms, Nearly 2,000 Acres To Farmland Preservation Program

The state Agricultural Land Preservation Board Thursday added an additional 1,926 acres on 26 farms in 16 counties to the state’s nation-leading Farmland Preservation Program during its June board meeting.

* PA Parks & Forests Foundation Through The Seasons Photo Contest Now Open

The PA Parks and Forests Foundation is now accepting entries for its 2016 State Parks and Forests Through the Seasons Photo Contest through September 13. 

* Summer Penn’s Stewards Newsletter Available From PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The Summer edition of Penn’s Stewards, the newsletter from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation is now available featuring articles on--

* June 8 DCNR Resource Newsletter Now Available

The June 8 Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* July 8 Prescribe-A-Trail Events In Delaware County

Join Jefferson’s Integrative Medicine’s Dr. Rashna Staid for Prescribe-A-Trail walk on the Radnor Trail on July 8 in Delaware County starting at 9:00 a.m.

* Hardwoods Development Council Opens PA Forest Industry Careers Website

The PA Hardwoods Development Council Tuesday announced the opening of a PA Forestry Industry Careers website to help individuals find jobs in the industry, educational programs and much more.  Click Here to find out more.

* Pike-Monroe Woodland Owners Group Forestry Project Tour July 9 In Monroe

The Pike-Monroe Woodland Owners Group is hosting a Natural Resource Conservation Service project tour at Resica Falls Boy Scout Camp in Monroe County on July 9 from 9 a.m. - Noon.

* PA Horticultural Society Now Accepting Entries For Gardening & Greening Contest

The PA Horticultural Society is now accepting entries for the Gardening and Greening Contest through June 20.

* Philadelphia’s Neighborhood Gardens Trust Community Gardens Day June 18

The Neighborhood Gardens Trust, Philadelphia’s largest land trust, will host the third annual Community Gardens Day, a celebration of the shared growing spaces that bring so many benefits to the city, on June 18, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Rain date is June 19.)

* Fort Indiantown Gap Hosts Tours Of Regal Fritillary Butterfly Habitat In Lebanon

This July, visitors are invited to see the only population of rare regal fritillary butterflies in Pennsylvania at Fort Indiantown Gap, near Annville, Lebanon County.

* Brodhead Watershed Assn. Hosts Cherry Valley Festival June 11 In Stroudsburg

The Brodhead Watershed Association will celebrate the beauty of Cherry Valley on June 11, at the sixth annual Cherry Valley Festival.

* Mumford, Good Named To PUC Office Of Competitive Market Oversight

The Public Utility Commission Thursday appointed Daniel J. Mumford as Director of its Office of Competitive Market Oversight  and Megan G. Good as Deputy Director.

* Governor’s Advisory Council Seeks Candidates For Game Commission Board

The Governor’s Advisory Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation Friday announced it is seeking a qualified candidate to represent District 6 on the Game Commission’s board of directors.  Applications will be accepted until September 9

* Help Wanted: Chester Conservation District Watershed Coordinator

The Chester County Conservation District is seeking candidates to fill the position of Watershed Coordinator.  Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.  Click Here for all the details.

* 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

The Environmental Quality Board published notice of proposed stream redesignations in Berks, Chester, Monroe, Northampton and Susquehanna counties for public comment in the June 11 PA Bulletin.

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Send your stories, photos and links to videos about your project, environmental issues or programs for publication in the PA Environment Digest to:  DHess@CrisciAssociates.com.

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