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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Nov. 14, 2016 Issue #646
(11/14/2016)
* Commonwealth Court Judge Puts Hold On Some Sections Of DEP Shale Drilling Regulations

Late Tuesday a Commonwealth Court judge put a temporary stay on several provisions of new rules for Marcellus Shale drilling operations until the court can consider the merits of an industry group’s challenge to the month-old regulations.

* DCNR, POWR: Voting To Begin Nov. 14 For Pennsylvania’s 2017 River Of The Year

The public is invited to again vote online for the 2017 Pennsylvania River of the Year, choosing from among four waterways nominated across the state, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced Thursday.

* Republicans Gain Veto-Proof State Senate, House GOP Adds 3 More Members

The results of the November 8 election gave Senate Republicans three new members from Cambria, Dauphin and Erie counties and a veto-proof majority.  The 34 to 16 Republican majority is the largest GOP majority in 70 years.

* Analysis: No, An Asteroid Named Trump Didn’t Just Destroy The Planet, Yet

First, let’s stipulate the 2016 Presidential election did not give voters the opportunity to choose between candidates of the same caliber as John Adams and Thomas Jefferson and the campaign was the most nasty and fact-free of any ever held, at least in the United States.

* House, Senate Return To Harrisburg To Reorganize, Hold Hearings On Kane, Pipelines

Fresh from the November 8 election, the House and Senate return to Harrisburg next week to get acquainted with their new members and reorganize for the coming session.

* 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

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 Committees Hold Joint Hearing Nov. 16 On Pipeline Emergency Response

The Senate and House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committees will hold a joint hearing in Harrisburg November 16 on natural gas and petroleum pipeline emergency preparedness and response.

* DEP Citizens Advisory Council, Environmental Justice Board Meeting Moved To Dec. 14

The annual joint meeting of the DEP Citizens Advisory Council and DEP Environmental Justice Advisory Board has been moved from November 15 to December 14.

* PA Institute Of Architects Honors Philadelphia Green City, Clean Waters Program

The PA Chapter of the American Institute of Architects Thursday honored the City of Philadelphia’s multi-decade Green City, Clean Waters Plan to reduce pollution from stormwater runoff and combined sewer overflows by 85 percent with its 2016 Architectural Excellence Design Awards Gala.

* NFWF Urban Waters Restoration Grants + Delaware River Basin Focus Area

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Wildlife Habitat Council, in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, USDA Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, FedEx, Southern Company and Alcoa Foundation are now accepting applications for the 2017 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program.

* Pennsylvania’s Lagging Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Gets Fiscal Transfusion, But Needs More

By Timothy B. Wheeler, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* Herbert, Rowland & Grubic Added To Help With Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Grants

Harrisburg-based consulting firm Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, Inc. announced Monday it has been approved to provide technical assistance to groups interested in applying for Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund Grants.

* Businesses For The Bay Forum Dec. 7 In Lancaster County

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay’s Businesses For The Bay and the Lancaster Chamber Of Commerce will hold a Chesapeake Business Forum on December 7 at the Lancaster County Conservancy’s Susquehanna Riverlands Research and Education Center at Climbers Run Preserve, 226 Frogtown Road in Pequea 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

* Bernie McGurl: Overview Of Lackawanna River Watershed Conservation Corps Nov. 14

The Archbald Historic Society will host Bernie McGurl, Executive Director of the Lackawanna River Conservation Association at its meeting on November 14 to give a presentation on the Lackawanna River Watershed Conservation Corps.

* DEP Awards Emergency Contract For Pump For Abandoned Schuylkill Mine Complex

To maintain water levels in the abandoned Gilberton mine complex in Schuylkill County and minimize potential flooding, the Department of Environmental Protection received quotes for an emergency project to drill a new borehole and construct a new pump station.

* EPA Nov. 14 Webinar On Passive Treatment Of Mine Drainage Featuring PA Presenters

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will host a webinar on the Passive Treatment of Mine Drainage on November 14 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. featuring Pennsylvania’s own Bob Hedin, of Hedin Environmental, and Amy Wolfe, of Trout Unlimited,

* Volunteer Opportunity: Adopt-A Passive Mine Drainage Treatment System Program

The Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition in Butler County is looking for volunteers for our Adopt-A-Passive Treatment System Program.

* October Catalyst Newsletter Now Available From Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition

The October issue of The Catalyst newsletter is now available from the Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition in Butler County featuring articles on--

* Study Will Determine Amount Of Rare Earth Elements In Coal Mining Waste

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory recently awarded West Virginia University a project to survey acid mine drainage solids in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio to identify the concentration and amount of rare earth elements available in AMD solids.

* Penn State: $1.1 Million Grant Aimed At Preventing Coal Mine Collapses

No one can predict exactly when a coal mine will collapse, but a $1.1 million grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health aims to change that, according to a Penn State mineral engineer.

* Society For Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Now Accepting Photo Contest Entries

The Coal and Energy Division of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration is now accepting entries to its 2017 Photo Contest.  Entries are due January 13.

* PA Small Business Development Centers To Target Coal Community Businesses

The PA Small Business Development Centers Monday announced a statewide effort aimed to help small businesses in coal impacted regions across Pennsylvania.

* DEP Awards $700,000 To 17 Projects in Delaware Estuary, Lake Erie Coastal Zones

Green stormwater infrastructure, greenway planning, and harmful algal bloom research are just a few of 17 projects that have been awarded over $700,000 in grants from the Department of Environmental Protection to protect and restore the state’s two coastal zones along Lake Erie and the Delaware Estuary.

* DEP Small Water Systems Board To Discuss $7.5M Permit Fee Proposal Nov. 14

DEP’s Small Water Systems Technical Assistance Center Board is scheduled to meet on November 14 to discuss a proposed $7.5 million drinking water permit fee increase, including the imposition of an annual administration fee for the first time.

* Weis Markets: 12 Centre County 5th Grade Students Win Recycling Poster Contest

The Centre County Recycling & Refuse Authority and Weis Markets Monday announced the twelve 5th grade students and schools who won the “How My Buddies & I Recycle” poster contest.

* Keep America Beautiful/Lowe’s Awards $55,000 In Grants To 4 PA Community Projects

Keep America Beautiful and Lowe’s awarded Keep Blair Beautiful, Keep Northeastern PA Beautiful, Allegheny CleanWays and Keep Lancaster County Beautiful a total of $55,000 for high impact community improvement projects.

* LRCA: Volunteers Needed For Tire Pile Cleanup In Scranton On Nov. 12

The Lackawanna River Conservation Association and its partners are seeking volunteers to help clean up 500 to 800 tires at the Parker House property on Parker Street in Scranton on November 12 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

* Centre County Recycling Authority: Recycle That Campaign Sign!

Don’t trash that campaign sign!  Bring it to the Centre County Recycling & Refuse Authority and have it recycled at 253 Transfer Road in Bellefonte.

* November 10 DEP News Now Available

The November 10 edition of DEP News is now available featuring articles on--

* DEP Suspends Enforcement Of Stage II In Southeast Due To Diminishing Benefits

The Department of Environmental Protection published a notice in the November 12 PA Bulletin that it is suspending enforcement of the requirement to install new Stage II vapor recovery systems at gasoline service stations.

* Applications For Pennsylvania Clean Diesel Grants Now Being Accepted By DEP

The Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for State Clean Diesel Grants to replace, repower or retrofit fleet diesel-powered highway and nonroad vehicles, engines and equipment. (formal notice)

* Nov. 16 Hearing On Emission Credits For Perdue Soybean Plant In Lancaster County

The Department of Environmental Protection will host a public hearing on November 16 on Perdue AgriBusiness LLC’s application to use Emission Reduction Credits at the proposed soybean processing facility currently under construction in Conoy Township, Lancaster County.

* Dec. 15 Hearing On NPDES Permit For Shell Ethane Cracker Plant In Beaver

The Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled a hearing for December 15 on the proposed NPDES wastewater and stormwater permit for the Shell Ethane cracker plant in Beaver County.  (formal notice, Nov. 12 PA Bulletin pages 7184 & 7187)

* National Critical Infrastructure Security & Resilience Month Recognized By PUC

The Public Utility Commission Wednesday emphasized the importance of both cyber and physical security planning in safeguarding Pennsylvania’s critical utility systems in conjunction with National Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month.

* PUC Approves UGI’s Distribution System Improvement Charge

The Public Utility Commission Wednesday approved the Distribution System Improvement Charge (DSIC) for UGI Utilities, Inc. – Gas Division (UGI).

* Pilot Programs By Peoples Natural Gas To Increase Access To Gas OK’d By PUC

The Public Utility Commission Wednesday approved a settlement for a new five-year pilot program that changes the method of payment for customers of Peoples Natural Gas Company LLC and Peoples Natural Gas Company LLC – Equitable Division seeking gas line extension projects.

* Central PA Green Building Chapter Names Winners Of Forever Green Awards

The U.S. Green Building Council Central Pennsylvania last week announced the winners of the Forever Green Awards, an annual recognition of companies, individuals and institutions that demonstrate exemplary commitment and achievements in creating a more sustainable future.

* Central PA Green Building Chapter Names Penn State Sustainable Leader Of The Year

The U.S. Green Building Council Central Pennsylvania honored the Penn State Office of Physical Plant with its Sustainable Leader of the Year award on November 6.

* CFA: Apply Now For Loans To Install Solar Energy Generation Equipment

The Commonwealth Financing Authority is now accepting applications for loans for the installation of solar energy generation equipment and the manufacture or assembly of solar energy equipment in Pennsylvania.

* Pittsburgh 2030 District Reaches 100th Property Partner— YWCA Greater Pittsburgh

By Quinn Zeagler, Pittsburgh Green Building Alliance

* DEP Submits Comments In Support Of EPA’s Proposed Clean Energy Incentive Program

On November 1 the Department of Environmental Protection submitted comments to EPA on its proposed Clean Energy Incentive Program designed to help states meet their obligations under the Clean Power Climate Plan.

* PEC, Philadelphia Bar: Attorneys Tackle Climate Change In Philadelphia Nov. 16

With the evidence now overwhelming that carbon pollution is driving climate change, leading experts are coming together with the Philadelphia area legal community on November 16 at the law firm of Drinker Biddle to focus on this important question: How can the legal community serve as a catalyst for action to address climate change?

* DCNR Conservation & Natural Resources Advisory Council Meets Nov. 16

DCNR’s Conservation and Natural Resources Advisory Council is scheduled to meet on November 16 to hear updates on the ATV Program, the Green Ribbon Forest Task Force Report, the PA Outdoor Corps Program  (photo) and more.

* Renovo, South Renovo, Noyes Twp. Designated As Susquehanna Greenway River Town

The Boroughs of Renovo and South Renovo, and Noyes Township in Clinton County received official designation as a Susquehanna Greenway River Town in recognition of Renovo’s importance as a center for economic activity, community life, and recreational opportunities connected to the West Branch Susquehanna River.

* Natural Lands Trust Adds 153 Acres To Bear Creek Preserve In Luzerne County

The Natural Lands Trust’s already expansive Bear Creek Preserve in Luzerne County has grown by 153 with the acquisition of adjacent land located along the Francis E. Walter Dam Reservoir.

* State Forests, State Parks Roll Out Welcome Mat To Hunters

You have mastered the safety drills; obtained the proper licensing; and scouted out potential new stomping grounds. You’re all set to pursue hunting and furtaking interests here in Pennsylvania. Right?

* Presque Isle State Park Receives Erie’s Choice Award As Best Local Attraction

Presque Isle State Park received the 2016 Erie’s Choice Award for the Best Local Attraction.  Park Operations Manager Matthew Greene attributes the receipt of the award to the outstanding performance and efforts of the staff and partners at Presque Isle State Park.

* November 9 DCNR Resource Newsletter Now Available

The November 9 DCNR Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* Wildlife Leadership Academy Seeks Students For Youth Conservation Ambassadors

The Wildlife Leadership Academy in Lewisburg, Union County, has opened its exclusive Youth Conservation Ambassador nomination process to the public and is currently seeking referrals of motivated students ages 14 to 17 to become Certified Conservation Ambassadors.

* Brandywine River Museum Of Art Annual Critter Sale December 2, 3 and 4

The Brandywine River Museum of Art will hold its Annual Critter Sale December 2, 3 and 4 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Museum on Route 1, Chadds Ford, Delaware County.

* Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Kicks Off The Holidays With Open House Nov. 26

After the Thanksgiving and Black Friday madness settles down, celebrate Small Business Saturday at the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Holiday Open House November 26 in the Sanctuary Visitor Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

* DCNR: Tom Ford Director Of Recreation, Lauren Imgrund Conservation Services Deputy

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn has named Lauren Imgrund, Deputy Secretary for Conservation and Technical Services and Tom Ford as Director of the Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.

* PA Environmental Council Names Josh Raulerson Director Of Communications

The PA Environmental Council Monday named Josh Raulerson its new Director of Communications.

* 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 - November 12, 2016

* CLICK HERE To Print Entire PA Environment Digest

CLICK HERE to Print The Entire PA Environment Digest.

* Stories Invited

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.

* Supporting Member PA Outdoor Writers Assn./PA Trout Unlimited

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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