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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Oct. 17, 2016 Issue #642
* Environmental Issues In Play During Waning Days Of Senate, House Session

The final six scheduled voting days before the election, and the end of this legislative session, will start October 17, so whatever the House and Senate want to get done will have to happen in the next two weeks. 

* Marcellus Shale Industry Sues To Block Certain Provisions Of New DEP Drilling Rules reported Thursday the Marcellus Shale Coalition filed a legal challenge in Commonwealth Court asking that DEP be blocked from enforcing certain provisions in the  Chapter 78a drilling regulations until it can be determined if DEP has the statutory authority to enact those provisions.  The regulations went into effect on October 8.

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

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 Environmental Committee Meets Oct. 17 On Prescription Drug Destruction Bill

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to meet on October 17 to consider House Bill 1737 (Maher-R-Allegheny) further providing for the safe destruction of unwanted or unused prescription and other drugs (House Fiscal Note and summary).

* Chesapeake Bay Strategy Hearing Oct. 18 By Senate Environmental & Ag Committees

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee have scheduled a joint hearing on October 18 on Pennsylvania’s strategy for meeting Chesapeake Bay Watershed cleanup requirements.

* ARRIPPA, EPCAMR Urge Senate To Continue Waste Coal Power Plant Tax Credits

ARRIPA, the Anthracite Region Independent Power Producers Association, Tuesday urged the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee to preserve a recently adopted tax credit measure that is set to increase from $7.5 million to $10 million per year in 2017 and to explore other opportunities for economic support and regulatory relief that would help to keep the plants operating.

* Campaign Starting Now To Reauthorize Federal Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fee

Pennsylvania, as well as many other States and Tribes across the Nation, are gearing up to push Congress to reauthorize the reclamation fees associated with the federal Surface Mine Control and Reclamation Act.  The fees are set to expire in 2021.

* DEP Invites Comments On Changes To Emergency Mine Reclamation Plan

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the October 15 PA Bulletin inviting comments on proposed amendments to the state’s Emergency Mine Reclamation Plan.

* Brodhead Watershed Assn. Honors Monroe Conservation District’s Craig Todd

At its 27th annual Members & Friends Celebration on September 30, Brodhead Watershed Association honored Craig Todd for for his exceptional commitment to maintaining a healthy environment for future generations.

* Ag Industry Leaders, Decision-Makers Take Penn State Water Quality Research Tour

Researchers, educators, elected officials, farmers, agribusiness professionals and agricultural and environmental agency representatives gathered for the 2016 Penn State Agricultural Research Tour in late September to learn about current water quality and soil health research relevant to the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

* Op-Ed: Meeting Water Quality Goals For PA’s Rivers, Streams And The Chesapeake Bay

By Patrick McDonnell, Acting Secretary of DEP

* Chesapeake Bay Journal Celebrates 25 Years Of Covering Bay Issues

By Rona Kobell, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* PA Growing Greener Coalition Updates Guide To Watershed, Recreation Funding

The PA Growing Greener Coalition is now offering an updated edition of the Finding The Green Guide to Watershed, Recreation and Land Conservation Funding available for download.

* Northwest PA Watershed Workshop Oct. 25 In Crawford County

The PA Environmental Council is inviting watershed groups to share resource information, learn techniques to help build membership, and network with other groups at the Northwest PA Watershed Workshop on October 25 at the Bossard Nature Center at Woodcock Lake in Saegertown, Crawford County from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.

* Penn State Berks County Master Watershed Steward Program Seeking Volunteers

The Penn State Extension Master Watershed Steward Program in Berks County is seeking volunteers to participate in training the first class in Spring of 2017.

* Landowners In Yellow Breeches, Conodoguinet Watersheds To Get Stormwater Help

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay is offering financial assistance to property owners living in the Yellow Breeches and Conodoguinet watersheds in to install Conservation Landscapes and Rain Gardens on their properties.

* Feature: James Henry, A Pennsylvania Advocate For Forested Buffers-- In 1883

By James Wilson, Parks Recreation Specialist, Northampton County Division of Parks and Recreation

* Oct. 11 Watershed Winds Newsletter Now Available From Penn State Extension

The October 11 Watershed Winds newsletter is now available from Penn State Extension featuring stories on--

* NRCS PA State Technical Committee Meeting Oct. 18

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service invites the public to attend the PA State Technical Committee meeting on October 18 at the USDA State Office,  359 East Park Drive, Harrisburg starting at 1:00 p.m.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Hearing Nov. 3 On Water Withdrawal Requests

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission holds a hearing on proposed water withdrawal requests on November 3 in Room 8E-B East Wing of the Capitol Building in Harrisburg starting at 2:00.  (formal notice)

* Keep PA Beautiful: Still Time To Participate In The International Coastal Cleanup

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful would like to remind Pennsylvania residents there is still time to organize an event or volunteer for the 2016 International Coastal Cleanup which runs through October 31.

* PA Resources Council, PA American Water Drug Take-Back Events Oct. 22 In Pittsburgh

The PA Resources Council, PA American Water and other organizations will host three Drug Take-Back Day drop-off collection events in Allegheny County on October 22 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

* October 13 DEP News Now Available

The October 13 edition of DEP News is now available featuring articles on--

* Sponsorships Available: 2017 Environmental Professionals Conference April 5-7

The PA Association of Environmental Professionals will hold its 2017 Annual Conference April 5 to 7 at the Toftrees Golf Resort in State College.

* PA Housing Finance Agency Awards $6.2 Million In Housing Grants From Drilling Fees

The PA Housing Finance Agency Thursday announced its board approved $6.2 million for 40 housing projects to improve the availability and affordability of housing in 29 counties.

* DEP Northwest Regional Office Building Receives Energy Star Label Certification

The Department of Environmental Protection and the Meadville Redevelopment Authority Friday announced they have received Energy Star Label Certification for the Victor C. Leap office building at 230 Chestnut Street in Meadville.

* Public Invited To Nobel Prize Winner’s Climate Change Address Oct. 26 In Harrisburg

The departments of Environmental Protection and Conservation and Natural Resources are hosting Nobel Prize winner Dr. Richard Alley in an upcoming public appearance where he will address the effects of climate change on Pennsylvania.

* Central PA Conservancy 2016 Goddard Student Leadership Legacy Institute A Success

Central PA Conservancy’s July 2016 Goddard Student Leadership Legacy Institute was a great success this year giving students a range of perspectives and experiences through leadership training and team-building, volunteer service projects, and hands-on learning about the environment and our region's role within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

* 4th DCNR Foliage Report: Southwest, Central, Northeast Areas To Peak Over Next Week

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Friday posted its fourth Fall foliage report showing forest colors are expected to peak in the Southwest, Central and Northeast areas of Pennsylvania over the next week.

* Lackawanna State Forest District Dedicated In Honor Of Gifford Pinchot

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Wednesday joined Bureau of Forestry officials and others in formally dedicating the Pinchot State Forest District, renamed in honor of Gifford Pinchot, conservation pioneer and creator of forestry practices that continue to shape and benefit Pennsylvania's state forests to this day.

* Penn Nursery In Centre County Renamed In Honor Of Mira Lloyd Dock

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Thursday joined Bureau of Forestry officials and others in renaming the bureau’s Penn Nursery and Wood Shop the Mira Lloyd Dock Resource Conservation Center in honor of the late woman environmentalist, botanist and civic activist who championed reforestation and anti-pollution measures.

* $3 Million In State Funding Announced For Schuylkill River Trail In Philadelphia

Gov. Tom Wolf Monday joined Sen. Anthony Williams (D-Philadelphia), Rep. Jordan Harris (D-Philadelphia), Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Dunn (photo), and others to announce a $3 million state grant to aid in the development of a 2.25 mile section of the Schuylkill River Trail in Philadelphia.

* Riding, Parking Improvements Announced To Bloody Skillet ATV Trail In Centre County

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Thursday joined Rep. Mike Hanna (D-Centre) in announcing riding and parking improvements to heighten ATV enthusiasts’ enjoyment of the Bloody Skillet ATV Trail near Snow Shoe, Centre County.

* Gov. Wolf Announces Multimodal Transportation Grants, Including Trail, Bike Projects

Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary Leslie S. Richards Friday announced  37 highway, bridge, bike and pedestrian projects will receive $40 million in Multimodal Transportation Fund grants from the Department of Transportation.

* Dedication Of Historical Marker To Honor Firefighters Who Died in 1938 Wildfire Oct. 19

The public is invited to join DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry, Historical and Museum Commission officials, and local firefighters in the dedication of a State Historical Marker commemorating the Pepperhill Fire of 1938, in which eight young firefighters died.

* Get Outdoors PA Webinar: Learn How to Develop a Successful Birding Program Oct. 17

Get Outdoors PA is offering a free webinar October 17 from 2 p.m.–3 p.m., where you can learn how to develop a successful birding program.

* October 12 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The October 12 Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* Natural Lands Trust: 1,505 Acre Bryn Coed Farms Closer To Preservation In Chester County

The Natural Lands Trust Friday announced a major milestone in the non-profit land conservation organization’s effort to preserve 1,505 acres in northern Chester County known as Bryn Coed Farms.

* Gifford Pinchot Grey Towers: Cemetery Tour Oct. 22, A Night With Poe Oct. 29

Cemeteries can tell stories of people and communities and a Laurel Hill Cemetery Walk at Grey Towers National Historic Site, Milford, Pike County on October 22, will do just that. The 1-hour program begins at 11 a.m.

* Game Commission Seeks Comments On Removing Osprey From Threatened Species List

The Game Commission Thursday announced the opening of a 30-day public comment period during which the public can comment on the proposal to remove the osprey from the state’s list of threatened species list.

* 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 - October 15, 2016

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