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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Nov. 21, 2016 Issue #647
* Hearing: 60,000+ Miles Of Natural Gas Gathering Lines Should Be Regulated For Safety

The Public Utility Commission, PA One Call utility construction safety program and UGI Energy Services all recommended the 60,000 to 100,000 miles of natural gas gathering lines in 33 counties should be regulated for safety and mapped for emergency services during a hearing Wednesday by the Senate and House Emergency Preparedness and Veterans Affairs Committees.

* 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--

* IFO Projects $500 Million Deficit For Current Fiscal Year, $1.7 Billion In FY 2017-18

Independent Fiscal Office Director Matthew Knittel Tuesday said updated revenue estimates suggest policy makers could face a budget imbalance of more than $500 million in the current fiscal year.

* Not Much Change In Senate, House Leadership For New Session In January

Senate and House Republicans and Democrats this week elected members to leadership positions for the new session beginning January 3, but they made few changes.

* Senate GOP Outlines Accomplishments, No Positive Environmental Bills Listed For 2016

Once again topping the list of accomplishments for Senate Republicans is stopping the enactment of “massive, broad-based tax increases” by Gov. Wolf for the second year in a row.  Also on the list were--

* Senate, House Launch New Website About the PA State Capitol

The Senate and House of Representatives Tuesday jointly announced they have launched an interactive website highlighting the state capitol

* NRCS Now Accepting Applications For USDA Conservation Stewardship Program In PA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is now accepting applications for enrollment in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), the nation’s largest conservation program, through February 3.

* Applications Due Jan. 9 For NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Monday announced USDA is seeking new proposals for cutting-edge projects that will provide new conservation opportunities through its competitive Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program. Applications are due January 9.

* PA Farm Bureau: Survey Reveals Depth Of Farming Efforts To Improve Water Quality

The PA Farm Bureau Tuesday called on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to accept the findings of an extensive Penn State University survey measuring the scope of voluntary best management practices (BMPs) implemented by farmers to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment entering the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. 

* Capital RC&D Webinar: Nov. 28 Understanding ROI For Small Farm Marketing

On November 28 the Capital Resource Conservation and Development Council will host a  Small Farm Business Marketing: Measuring your Return-on-Investment (ROI) webinar from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

* Susquehanna River Commission Considers $97,000 In Penalties Against Natural Gas Power Plants Dec. 8

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission will meet on December 8 to consider proposed settlement agreements involving $97,000 in penalties related to three Panda Fund natural gas power plants-- the Hummel Plant, a coal to gas plant under construction in Snyder County, and the recently commissioned Patriot Plant in Lycoming County and the Liberty Plant in Bradford County.(formal notice)

* Schuylkill Center For EE Honors Carole Williams-Green For Cobbs Creek Work

On November 17 the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education in Philadelphia will present the 2016 Henry Meigs Environmental Leadership Award to Carole Williams-Green, the founder and president of the Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education Center.

* Stroud Water Research Center Celebrates Park Service’s Commitment To Fresh Water

More than 220 guests joined Stroud Water Research Center (Chester County), its board of directors and the presenting sponsor, Wilmington Trust, at the 14th annual Water's Edge gala as they honored the National Park Service and its director Jonathan Jarvis on November 3 at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.

* Presentations To The 2016 Schuylkill Action Network Annual Meeting Posted

In case you missed this year’s Schuylkill Action Network Annual Meeting on November 4, the presentations have now been posted for six workshops and for 4 speakers at this special event held at the Reading Area Community College.

* Montgomery Community College Scenes Of The Schuylkill River Art Show Thru Dec. 9

The Montgomery County Community College Pottstown Campus is hosting the 13th Annual Scenes of the Schuylkill Art Show, a juried exhibit put together by the Schuylkill River Heritage Area.

* Penn State Master Well Owner Network Issues Annual Report

The Penn State Master Well Owner Network (MWON) is a volunteer program dedicated to providing unbiased, research-based education for the millions of private water well owners in Pennsylvania.

* York County Foundation Awards Grant To Penn State Master Watershed Stewards

The Penn State Master Watershed Steward Program received a two year grant from the York County Community Foundation through the Codorus Creek Watershed Foundation to increase local capacity by training conservation minded volunteers to conduct public outreach and carry out projects in the Codorus Creek watershed.

* Ohio River Basin Alliance 2016 Summit Dec. 8-9 In Cincinnati

The Ohio River Basin Alliance will hold its 2016 Summit at EPA’s Andrew W. Breidenbach Environmental Research Center, 26 West Martin Luther King Drive in Cincinnati, Ohio on December 8-9.

* Chesapeake Conservancy To Release High-Resolution Land Data, Webinars Scheduled

The Chesapeake Conservancy will release high-resolution land cover data for the entire Chesapeake Bay Watershed in December that will be available free for download. 

* Academy Of Natural Sciences November Delaware Basin Science Update

The November issue of Stream Samples, an update on Delaware River Basin science by The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, is now available featuring articles on--

* Nov. 14 Watersheds Winds Newsletter From Penn State Extension

The November 14 issue of the Watershed Winds newsletter is now available from Penn State Extension featuring articles on--

* PSU Positive Energy Student Group Spruces Up Park, Toured Drilling Company Site

More than a dozen members of Penn State’s Positive Energy student group cleaned up areas of Cross Creek Park in Avella, Washington County, in a partnership with the natural gas company Range Resources.

* The Tireless Project To Remove Sunken Boat In Monongahela River Nov. 19

The Tireless Project, a program of Allegheny CleanWays, is excited to announce they are  wrapping up their 2016 season with their 200th cleanup! So far in 2016 the Tireless Project has held 31 cleanups with over 500 volunteers, removing over 32 tons of trash (including over 200 tires).

* Volunteers Needed For Nov. 19 Illegal Dumpsite Cleanup In Wayne County

The PA Environmental Council, in coordination with the Ocean Conservancy International Coastal Cleanup, will conduct an illegal dumpsite cleanup in Scott Township, Wayne County on November 19 Noon to 2:00 p.m.

* Coca-Cola Awards 62 Public Space Recycling Bin Grants, 4 In Pennsylvania

To help celebrate America Recycles Day, Keep America Beautiful and The Coca-Cola Foundation Tuesday announced the award of 62 grants to communities in 30 states to make recycling bins more readily available and convenient in public spaces.

* EPA Celebrates America Recycles Day With Grant To West Chester U. For Composting

In recognition of America Recycles Day, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday announced a $12,060 grant to West Chester University in Chester County to support a food composting project that will help the university and West Chester Borough keep food scraps away from a landfill.

* Weis Markets, Ahold USA, PepsiCo Among EPA’s First Food Loss & Waste Champions

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy Thursday announced the inaugural class of 15 U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions, U.S. businesses and organizations pledging concrete steps to reduce food loss and waste in their operations 50 percent by 2030.

* DEP Publishes Final Land Recycling Program Vapor Intrusion Technical Guidance

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of final technical guidance on Land Recycling Program Vapor Intrusion Into Buildings From Groundwater and Soil under Act 2 in the November 19 PA Bulletin.  (DEP ID: 261-0300-101)

* DEP To Investigate PFC Contamination On Ridge Run Road, Bucks County

The Department of Environmental Protection Friday announced it is investigating perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) found in exceedance of the 2016 Health Advisory established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in parts of East Rockhill and West Rockhill townships, and Perkasie Borough known as the Ridge Run PFC Site.

* DEP Hearing Dec. 6 On Hazardous Site Cleanup Action In Montgomery County

The Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday announced it will host a public hearing on December 6 regarding the prompt interim response actions taken by DEP at the Hoff VC HSCA Site in New Hanover Township, Montgomery County.  

* PJM Proposes Changes To Seasonal Electric Capacity Auctions

The PJM Interconnection announced Thursday it has filed for approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for improvements to increase opportunities for seasonal resources to participate in the capacity auctions.

* PUC Publishes Final Alternative Energy Standards Order Implementing Net Metering

The Public Utility Commission published notice in the November 19 PA Bulletin of the final Order implementing the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards related to net metering and other purposes (PA Bulletin page 7277).

* Report: Investment Case For Energy Efficiency In PA, EE Already Employs 66,000 People

AJW, Inc. Thursday released a report titled,“The Investment Case for Energy Efficiency,” which highlights energy efficiency’s economic benefits in Pennsylvania.  The report finds--

* Philadelphia Housing Authority Opens Energy Efficient Neighborhood Housing

The Philadelphia Housing Authority Wednesday celebrated the completion of the first phase of the agency’s Sharswood/Blumberg Transformation, PHA’s initiative to create sustainable, energy efficient and affordable housing.

* Panda Funds Commissions Patriot 829 MW Natural Gas Power Plant In Lycoming County

Officials from across Pennsylvania joined Panda Power Funds Wednesday to commission the company’s 829-megawatt combined-cycle “Patriot” generating station located in Lycoming County.

* Google, Environmental Defense Fund Use New Tech To Find Methane Leaks In Pittsburgh

The Environmental Defense Fund and Google Earth Outreach Tuesday released online maps showing the location and size of methane leaks discovered beneath Pittsburgh city streets using specially-equipped Google Street View mapping cars.

* Pittsburgh Joins Other Cities In Project To Cut Climate Pollution From Buildings

The City of Pittsburgh Wednesday joined 9 other cities in the United States in becoming parity of the City Energy Project a united effort to address their largest source of energy use and climate pollution: buildings.

* Op-Ed: Coal: Untapped American Potential

By Rachel Gleason, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Coal Alliance

* PA Assn Of Environmental Professionals Accepting Student Scholarship Applications

The PA Association of Environmental Professionals is now accepting applications for its 2017 College Scholarship Programs.  Applications are due January 13.

* DEP Finds Record Radon Level In Lehigh County Home, Urges Residents To Test

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced it has detected a new record-high level of radon in a home in Lehigh County and is once again encouraging state residents to test their homes for this radioactive gas, a leading cause of lung cancer.

* Gov. Wolf Requests Federal Disaster Assistance For Flooding In 4 Midstate Counties

Gov. Tom Wolf Wednesday announced he has requested disaster declarations through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to the President for Bradford, Centre, Lycoming and Sullivan counties and through the U.S. Small Business Administration for Lycoming and Centre counties.

* Insurance Commissioner Discusses Benefits Of Private Flood Insurance

Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller Monday told a statewide gathering of affordable housing advocates private market flood insurance is an increasingly available option to help lower costs for homeowners who must buy this product, and in many cases may be much more affordable than coverage through the federal government program.

* PEMA Accepting Entries For Weather Safety Student Poster, PSA Contests

The PA Emergency Management Agency is now accepting submissions from students in grades 1 through 12 for a poster and video public service announcement contest featuring weather safety messages.

* PA Horticultural Society, Phillies, PGW To Plant 961 Trees In 5 Southeast Counties

The PA Horticultural Society and its Tree Tenders volunteer corps of community residents will plant 961 trees in the Greater Philadelphia region this weekend.

* Delaware & Lehigh Heritage Corridor Completes Carbon County Connectivity Project

The Carbon County Commissioners and the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor held a ribbon cutting for the Carbon County Connectivity Project on Friday.

* Gifford Pinchot’s Grey Towers National Historic Site To Host Holiday Programs, Tours

Gifford Pinchot’s Grey Towers National Historic Site in Milford, Pike County, will offer guided holiday tours of all three floors of the decorated mansion from  December 5 through 17 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

* PUC’s Powelson Elected President, National Assn Of Regulatory Utility Commissioners

Public Utility Commission Commissioner Robert F. Powelson Tuesday was elected as the next president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). He will serve a one-year term.

* Brodhead Watershed Assn. Names Robert Heil Executive Director

The Brodhead Watershed Association has named Robert Heil Jr. of Hamilton Township, Monroe County as Executive Director.  He will start this full-time position on January 2.

* Governor’s Council Seeks New Fish & Boat Commission At-Large Boating Member

The Governor’s Advisory Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation is seeking qualified candidates to fill an expired At-Large Boating seat on the board of the Fish and Boat Commission.  Applications are due December 15.

* Help Wanted: Chesapeake Bay Foundation PA Restoration Program Manager

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA is seeking a qualified individual to fill the position of PA Restoration Program Manager.  The deadline for applications is December 5.

* 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 Public Utility Commission published notice in the November 19 PA Bulletin of the final Order implementing the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards related to net metering and other purposes (PA Bulletin page 7277).

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