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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, July 18, 2016 Issue #629
(7/18/2016)
* CBF-PA: New PA State Budget Lacks Funding To Reach Clean Water Goals

Harry Campbell, executive director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Pennsylvania, issued this statement after Gov. Tom Wolf announced that he would allow the $31.5 billion general fund budget for fiscal year 2016-17 to become law.

* PA Growing Greener Coalition: Must Invest More In Environmental Cleanup, Parks

The PA Growing Greener Coalition Thursday issued the following statement from Executive Director Andrew Heath in response to the state budget agreement--

* Reminder Of What’s In The FY 2016-17 Budget For The Environment: Nothing Much

On June 30, the last day of the FY 2015-16 Fiscal Year, the House and Senate passed a $31.52 billion General Fund budget bill--  Senate Bill 1073 (Browne-R-Lehigh)-- and Gov. Wolf allowed it to become law without his signature at midnight on July 11.

* Fiscal Code Bill Amendments Cut $39 Million From Environmental Funds

House Bill 1605 (James-R-Butler), the Fiscal Code vehicle that will help implement the FY 2016-17 state budget, was given final approval by the Senate and House Wednesday and signed into law a short time later by Gov. Wolf.

* $1.3 Billion Tax/Revenue Package Now Law

The House voted 116 to 75 and the Senate 28 to 22 Wednesday to approve the biggest part of the  $1.336 billion revenue package-- House Bill 1198 (Barrar-R-Delaware) amending the Tax Code-- and Gov. Wolf signed it into law a short time later.

* State Budget Includes New Coal Refuse Energy & Reclamation Tax Credit

The recently enacted Pennsylvania state budget includes a new Coal Refuse Energy and Reclamation Tax Credit Program to assist companies who create jobs and help restore mine scarred land by generating electricity from coal refuse, according to Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne), Minority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.

* Independent Fiscal Office: Drilling Impact Fee Revenue Projected To Decline Thru 2018

The Independent Fiscal Office Thursday released a report on Act 13 drilling impact fees projecting a continued decline in revenue from the fees in 2016 in a variety of likely scenarios of between $5.4 million to $56.5 million.

* Allegheny Institute: Shale Gas Impact Fee Collections Dip Sharply

The Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Institute for Public Policy issued a report Wednesday providing an overview and analysis of the revenue collected under the Act 13 drilling impact fees, noting the 2015 collections were down to $187.7 million from a 2013 high of $225.8 million.

* PEC: Senate Bill Weakens DEP Marcellus Shale Drilling Regs, Now In House

The PA Environmental Council released this statement in response to Senate action Monday to amend and pass Senate Bill 1229 (Vogel-R-Beaver) which now contains language offered by Sen. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Allegheny) that weakens DEP’s Chapter 78 Marcellus Shale drilling regulations with respect to waste disposal reporting, restoration of drilling sites and on-site water storage standards.

* 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[Updated]/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--

* July Environmental Synopsis Newsletter Available From Joint Conservation Committee

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

* PA Cong. Thompson Offered Amendment To Gut Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Program

U.S. Representatives Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Glenn Thompson (R-PA) offered an amendment in the U.S. House of Representatives this week to the Interior and Environment Appropriations bill that would gut the federal-state effort to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams.

* DEP Invests $2.2 Million In Stormwater Projects In Susquehanna River Watershed

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced more than $2.2 million in grants to help fund 19 projects in the Susquehanna River Watershed to improve urban stormwater management.

* CBF-PA: Susquehanna County Joins Clean Water Counts Campaign

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA Wednesday announced Susquehanna County has joined the growing list of Pennsylvania counties that have adopted a Clean Water Counts resolution calling on state officials to make clean water a top priority for the Commonwealth.

* Op-Ed: Here’s How PA Can Get Smarter About Cleaning Up Our Rivers & Streams

By Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming), Member Chesapeake Bay Commission

* CBF-PA Hosts Heroes On The Water Kayaking, Fly Fishing Event Aug. 27 Wrightsville

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA will host a Heroes on the Water kayaking and fly fishing event August 27 to celebrate veterans and the beauty of the Susquehanna River at Shank’s Mare Outfitters in Wrightsville, York County starting at 1:00 p.m.

* Stroud Center: Volunteers To Monitor Threats To Water In Delaware River Watershed

Citizen-science volunteers will soon monitor the state of threatened water sources for millions of people with the help of a $2.5 million grant from the William Penn Foundation to the Stroud Water Research Center in Chester County.

* Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture Accepting Habitat Restoration Project Applications

The Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture is now accepting applications for project proposals that restore and conserve habitat necessary to support Healthy and Productive populations of wild brook trout. Applications are due September 16.

* Wolf: $30M Pilot Abandoned Mine Reclamation, Economic Development Program

Gov. Wolf Friday formally announced the award of $30 million in federal funding for 14 projects to reclaim abandoned mine lands in 10 Pennsylvania counties.

* DEP Reclamation Advisory Board Tours Engineered Wetland At Flight 93 Site July 20

DEP’s Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board will tour an innovative mine water treatment facility at the Flight 93 Memorial in Somerset County on July 20 as part of a tour of mine drainage treatment facilities that have benefited from funds provided by state Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act.

* PEC TV: Abandoned Mines, Oil & Gas Wells Environmental Focus Program Now Online

The PA Environmental Council’s most recent Environmental Focus TV program on the challenges of reclaiming Pennsylvania’s abandoned mine lands and plugging abandoned oil and gas wells is now available online.

* DEP: Pittsburgh Water Authority Lead Results Above Action Level, More Steps Needed

The Department of Environmental Protection announced Tuesday Bureau of Safe Drinking Water staff will oversee and work with Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority following results showing an action level exceedance from the first round of lead and copper sampling from 100 Tier 1 sites in the Authority’s distribution area.

* Clinton County CleanScapes July 23 West Branch Susquehanna River Cleanup

Clinton County CleanScapes and its partners will hold the 19th Annual West Branch Susquehanna River Cleanup on July 23 starting at 9:15 a.m. at the Village of Pine Station, McElhattan, Wayne Township in Clinton County.

* Call For Proposals: Westmoreland Conservation District 2017 Engineers’ Workshop

The Westmoreland County Conservation District invites natural resource professionals to share their knowledge of and expertise in a broad range of topics at the 2017 Engineers’ Workshop, scheduled for March 23-24, 2017 at the Fred Rogers Center, a LEED Gold Certified building at St. Vincent College, Latrobe. 

* Penn State Ag Progress Days Set For August 16-18 In Centre County

The annual Penn State Ag Progress Days, Pennsylvania’s largest outdoor agricultural exposition, will be held August 16-18 in Pennsylvania Furnace, Centre County.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Aug. 4 Hearing On Water Withdrawal Requests

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission will hold a public hearing August 4 in the Pennsylvania State Capitol at 2:30 p.m. on proposed water withdrawal requests and on rescinding its Information Technology Services Fee Policy. (formal notice & agenda)

* Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan Now Available For Public Comment

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body are now accepting public comments on a draft Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan. (formal notice)

* DEP Revokes Storage Tank Certification Of Mott Tank Inspection, Inc.

The Department of Environmental Protection Friday announced it has revoked the storage tank certification of Mott Tank Inspection, Inc., of Clarks Summit, Lackawanna County.

* Cameron Conservation District Holds Composting Workshop Aug. 9 At County Fair

The Cameron County Conservation District will hold a Composting Workshop on August 9 at 6:00 p.m. at the Cameron County Fair Grounds, 1043 Rich Valley Road, Emporium. 

* EPA Recognizes Veterans Affairs Medical Center In Altoona For E-Waste Recycling

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday announced the James E. Van Zandt Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Altoona, Blair County, has been selected for a national Federal Green Challenge Award for its electronics recycling efforts.

* Montgomery County Receives $450,000 EPA Brownfields Grant

The Redevelopment Authority of Montgomery County a grant of $450,000 in supplemental brownfields redevelopment funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday; one of 33 grants awarded.

* Court Denies Landowner Appeal In Sunoco Mariner East 2 Pipeline Eminent Domain Case

Commonwealth Court Thursday concluded Cumberland County court did not err in September of 2015 when it overruled the objections of several property owners to condemnation of their property by Sunoco to build the Mariner East II pipeline.

* Dept. Of Health Now Distributing Zika Virus Prevention Kits For Pregnant Women

The Department of Health Thursday began distributing Zika Virus Prevention Kits for Pregnant Women to provide educational material about the virus and list the steps that can be taken to avoid mosquito bites, as well as prevent the insects from multiplying around homes.

* DEP: Send Asbestos Abatement, Demolition, Renovation Forms To Regional Offices

DEP published notice in the July 16 PA Bulletin it has revised the process for reviewing the Bureau of Air Quality Asbestos Abatement and Demolition/Renovation Notifications Forms (2700-FM-AQ0021).

* Dept. Of General Services Signs 3-Year Wind Energy Contract With WGL Energy Services

WGL Energy Services Tuesday announced the Department of General Services has signed a three-year contract for Green-e® Energy certified wind renewable energy certificates (RECs) sourced from wind farms throughout the United States.

* IRRC Disapproval Order On Net-Metering Regs Now Goes To PUC, Senate, House

The Independent Regulatory Review Commission Tuesday submitted its second disapproval order on the Public Utility Commission’s net metering regulations the IRRC unanimously disapproved on June 30.

* Report: Clean Energy Employs 66,000 Pennsylvanians

More than 66,000 Pennsylvanians work in the clean energy industry at 5,900 companies and business establishments across all 67 counties, according to a comprehensive new analysis unveiled Thursday by the national nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) and Philadelphia-based Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance (KEEA).

* Gov. Wolf Directs State Planning Board To Tackle 3 Issues

Gov. Wolf Saturday announced he has tasked the State Planning Board to tackle three issues he has identified as important to the future needs of Pennsylvania-- funding transportation, addressing fragmentation in local government and how that affects school funding, and supporting Pennsylvania’s struggling older cities and towns.

* DCNR, Labor & Industry Launch PA Outdoor Corps Employment Program

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Wednesday joined Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Kathy Manderino, other state officials, and representatives of the Student Conservation Association in launching the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps at Gifford Pinchot State Park, near Lewisberry, York County.

* Conservation & Natural Resources Council To Hear About Seismic Monitoring July 27

DCNR’s Conservation and Natural Resources Advisory Council will hear a presentation on Pennsylvania’s Seismic Monitoring Program at its meeting on July 27. 

* Vote Before July 20 In PA Horticultural Society Tree Of The Year Contest

The PA Horticultural Society is again sponsoring the Tree of the Year Contest where the public has the opportunity to vote, not for the biggest or most beautiful tree, but for trees that have touched hearts and supported us in important ways.

* Friends Of Allegheny Wilderness Hickory Creek Trail Stewardship Weekend July 16-17

The Friends of Allegheny Wilderness will hold their annual Hickory Creek Wilderness Trail Stewardship Weekend on July 16-17 in the Allegheny National Forest, in Warren County.

* Op-Ed: A Busman’s Holiday On Pennsylvania Trails

By Davitt Woodwell, President, PA Environmental Council

* Quecreek Mine Rescue Celebration July 23, New Display Added To Visitor’s Center

The Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation will host the annual celebration of the 2002 Quecreek Mine Rescue on July 23 at the rescue site on the Arnold Farm, 151 Haupt Road, Somerset, PA starting at 10:00 a.m.

* Fish & Boat Commission Delists Timber Rattlesnake As Candidate Threatened Species

The Fish and Boat Commission Board Tuesday delisted the timber rattlesnake as a candidate threatened species and approved a $121,050 grant to the Cameron County Conservation District to create a mine drainage treatment system for Finley Run.

* Scott Weidensaul Nature Matters At The State Museum Aug. 7 In Harrisburg

Scott Weidensaul, the renowned Pennsylvania naturalist and author of Mountains of the Heart: A Natural History of the Appalachians, will give a presentation August 7 at The State Museum in Harrisburg entitled, Nature Matters at The State Museum starting at 2:00 p.m.

* July/August Currents Newsletter Now Available From Fish & Boat Commission

The July/August Currents newsletter is now available from the Fish and Boat Commission featuring articles on--

* Opportunity To Bid On DEP Mine Reclamation Project In Elk County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of an opportunity to bid on a mine reclamation project in Elk County.

* Help Wanted: Chesapeake Bay Journal Seeking Candidates For Reporting Positions

The Chesapeake Bay Journal, a monthly newspaper specializing in Chesapeake Bay issues, is looking to expand its coverage, especially of Bay issues as they relate to local government and community involvement in Chesapeake cleanup and restoration efforts. We are especially interested in candidates from Pennsylvania and Virginia.

* Help Wanted: Susquehanna Greenway Partnership Business Manager Assistant

The Susquehanna Greenway Partnership is seeking qualified candidates for a Business Administration Assistant position based in Lewisburg, Union County.  The deadline for applications is July 22.

* 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 - July 16, 2016

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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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PA Environment Digest is a supporting member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association, Pennsylvania Council Trout Unlimited and the Doc Fritchey Chapter Trout Unlimited.

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