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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Jan. 9, 2017 Issue #654
(1/9/2017)
* Green Infrastructure In PA, Chesapeake Bay Blueprint Drive Improved Bay Health

The health of the Chesapeake Bay improved two points-- six percent-- this year to 34, equivalent to a C-, according to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s bi-annual 2016 State of the Bay Report.

* Rep. Garth Everett Elected Chair Of The Interstate Chesapeake Bay Commission

Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming) Friday was elected chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Commission at the group’s meeting in Annapolis, Md. Everett succeeds Maryland State Sen. Thomas McLain “Mac” Middleton.

* Jan. 13 Deadline For Next Round Of Growing Greener Plus Green Infrastructure Grants

January 13 is the deadline for applying to the Department of Environmental Protection for the next round of Growing Greener Plus Grants for watershed restoration, mine reclamation set aside and EPA Section 319 water quality restoration projects.  (formal notice)

* DCNR: Jan. 11 How To Apply For Riparian Buffer, Recreation Grants, Other Webinars

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is beginning a new series of webinars offering training and technical assistance on its grants programs and other conservation-related topics.

* PA Farm Show Butter Sculpture Features Farm Conservation Practices, Ag Stewardship

A sculpture paying tribute to the history of environmental stewardship by dairy farmers, and crafted from more than 1,000 pounds of butter, was unveiled Thursday at the 101st Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg.

* Visit DEP’s PA Farm Show Exhibit And Be A Detective! Help Find Emojis To Go Green!

Visit the Department of Environmental Protection’s exhibit at the PA Farm Show in Harrisburg between January 7 - 13 and be a detective!  Help find emojis to learn that Going Green Is No Mystery!

* Western PA Environmental Lifetime Achievement Awards: John Dawes, John Schombert

This year’s Western PA Environmental Lifetime Achievement Awards will be presented to R. John Dawes, Executive Director of the Foundation for Pennsylvania’s Watersheds; and John W. Schombert, former Executive Director of 3 Rivers Wet Weather.

* DEP’s Craig Burda Receives ECHO Award From Federal Office Of Surface Mining

The federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Tuesday recognized DEP mining engineer Craig Burda with the 2017 ECHO Award.

* Nominations Now Being Accepted For Western PA Environmental Awards

Dominion and the PA Environmental Council are now accepting nominations for the 2017 Western PA Environmental Awards for excellence in advancing the environmental quality of Western Pennsylvania.

* Nominations Due For Green Stormwater Infrastructure Awards In Southeast

The Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia and GSI Partners are now accepting applications for the Green Stormwater Infrastructure Awards in Southeast Pennsylvania.  Nominations are due January 27.

* Senate, House Open New Legislative Session, Wolf Takes More Steps To Save Money

The Senate and House convened Tuesday to formally open the 2017-18 legislative session, to swear-in new members, name standing committee chairs and outline, in broad terms, their priorities for the new year.

* 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--

* Senate Republicans, Democrats Outline Priorities For New Session

In his characteristically short remarks opening the new session, President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) did something out of character, he extended a specific invitation to Senators to introduce their ideas “today” on ways to solve the state’s budget issues.

* House Republicans, Democrats Outline Challenges, Priorities For New Legislative Session

The 2017-18 Session of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives opened Tuesday with the election of Rep. Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) as speaker after 200 of the 203 members of the General Assembly took their oaths of office.

* PLS Reporter: What Does The New General Assembly Look Like?

By Jason Gottesman, PLS Reporter

* House Speaker Turzai Names Republican, Democrat Committee Chairs For New Session

Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) Thursday announced the appointments of both Republican and Democratic committee chairs for the 2017-18 legislative session.

* December State Revenue Collections $105.2M Below Estimates, $367M For Fiscal Year

Pennsylvania collected $2.6 billion in General Fund revenue in December, which was $105.2 million, or 3.9 percent, less than anticipated, Secretary of Revenue Eileen McNulty reported Tuesday.

* Joint Conservation Committee Issues Green Paper On Food Waste

The Joint Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee Thursday issued another in its series of Green Paper monographs, this time on food waste.

* Citizens Advisory Council To Hear About DEP Information Technology Upgrades Jan. 17

The DEP Citizens Advisory Council is scheduled to meet on January 17 to hear an overview of information technology upgrades made by DEP in the areas of mobile inspections, eGrants and ePermitting.

* RCAP Capital Budget Project Application Period Now Open Thru Feb. 3

The application period for Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program projects is now open through February 3.

* Conventional Drillers Have 5 Times The Violations, 3.5 Times The Enforcement Actions

A year-end workload report for 2016 by the Department of Environmental Protection shows conventional oil and gas drilling sites have 5 times the number of violations as Marcellus Shale drilling operations and 3.5 times the number of enforcement actions.

* Author Of Bill Killing Conventional Drilling Regs Wants To Rewrite Oil & Gas Act

On Wednesday, Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-Venango), the author of the bill that turned into Act 52 killing DEP’s conventional drilling regulations, circulated a co-sponsor memo to his colleagues saying he plans to introduce legislation to re-write the 1984 Oil and Gas Act and Act 13 of 2012 to “make it reflective of today’s conventional oil and gas industry.”

* DEP Review Of Drilling Erosion Permits Finds 60% Of Applications Deficient

The Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday announced it has begun revising eligibility standards for expedited review of Erosion and Sediment permit applications related to oil and gas drilling because a program audit found 60 percent of the applications submitted to the program were incomplete or had technical deficiencies.

* Delaware River Basin Commission Staff Working On Draft Oil & Gas Regs With States

The Department of Environmental Protection reported Wednesday staff from its Oil and Gas Management and Water Resources Planning offices attended a special meeting of the Delaware  River Basin Commission November 29 to discuss draft regulations covering oil and gas development activities in the watershed.

* Drought Declaration Remains Unchanged In PA After Task Force Meeting

Following a meeting Thursday of the Commonwealth Drought Task Force, the Department of Environmental Protection made no changes in county drought declarations: 8 counties remain in drought warning status and 26 remain on drought watch.

* DEP To Receive $33.6 Million In Federal Mine Reclamation Funds In FY 2017

The federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Friday announced Pennsylvania will receive a mandatory minimum of $33.6 million Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Fund grant for FY 2017.

* Schuylkill River Restoration Fund Now Accepting Grant Applications

The Schuylkill River Restoration Fund is now accepting applications for grants to support projects focusing on three sources of pollution: abandoned mine drainage, agricultural runoff and stormwater runoff.  The deadline for letters of intent is February 16.

* Sign Up Now For PRC Allegheny County Rain Barrel Workshops In March, April, June

The PA Resources Council is hosting a series of 9 Rain Barrel Watershops in Allegheny County during March, April and June.

* Residents In 2 Chester, Delaware, Montgomery Watersheds: PRC Stormwater House Calls

To address significant water quality issues on a residential scale, the PA Resources Council is partnering with the Lower Merion Conservancy, the Eastern Delaware County Stormwater Collaborative and the Darby Creek Valley Association on the Stream Smart Stormwater House Call Project.

* Penn State Extension: Jan. 25 Green Parking Lot Zoning & Design Webinar

The Penn State Extension Water Quality Team will host a webinar on January 25 on Green Parking Lot Zoning And Design from Noon to 1:00 p.m.

* Westmoreland District: 5 Manure Management Manual Workshops In March

The Westmoreland County Conservation District will host five free Manure Management Manual Workshops in March to provide one-on-one assistance to farmers to prepare a Manure Management Plan for their farm.

* Lake Erie Coastal Zone Advisory Committee Seeks Members

DEP’s Coastal Resources Management Program and Erie County are seeking nominations of individuals interested in serving on the Lake Erie Coastal Zone Advisory Committee.  Nominations are due January 30.

* Jan. 3 Watershed Winds Newsletter Now Available From Penn State Extension

The January 3 edition of the Watershed Winds newsletter is now available from Penn State Extension featuring articles on--

* Northeast PA Audubon Society Accepting Applications For $4,000 College Scholarship

The Northeast PA Audubon Society is accepting applications for its annual $4,000 college scholarship available to students who wish to pursue a career in an environmental field.  Applications are due April 30.

* Feature: My Experience at Goddard Leadership Legacy Student Institute 2016

by Mia Mattingly

* Op-Ed: StraightTALK: Science, Technology, Engineering And Math Education

By John A. Arway, Executive Director, Fish & Boat Commission

* International Coastal Cleanup: 14,000 PA Volunteers Clean Up 860,000 Pounds Of Trash

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Wednesday announced nearly 14,000 volunteers cleaned up over 860,000 pounds of trash in Pennsylvania during the 2016 International Coastal Cleanup in September and October.

* PEC Cleanup Program Ends 2016 With Cleanup Events In Susquehanna County

The PA Environmental Council’s Illegal Dumpsite Cleanup Program ended 2016 with a pair of cleanup events in Susquehanna County.

* January Newsletter Now Available From PA Resources Council

The January newsletter from the PA Resources Council is now available featuring articles on--

* City Of Harrisburg Receives $200,000 EPA Brownfields Planning Grant

The City of Harrisburg was among 19 communities receiving a total of $3.8 million in Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Grants announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Thursday.

* EPA Awards 3 Cleaner School Bus Grants Totaling $305,000 In PA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Thursday awarded more than $7.7 million to replace or retrofit 401 older diesel school buses. Three

* PA Environmental Council December In Case You Missed It

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

* 10,000 Friends To Recognize Drexel University, SEPTA, Philadelphia Water Dept. Jan. 24

The Commonwealth’s leading voice for smart growth, 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, has tapped Drexel University to be the inaugural recipient of the Joanne Denworth Founders Award, the highest award given by the statewide nonprofit.

* Township News: PSATS, Widener Law School Partner On Sustainability Ordinance Project

Sixteen Widener Commonwealth Law School students recently presented the results of their research on new and emerging sustainable development-related topics to several dozen municipal officials, solicitors, and others. 

* UGI Gas Division Launches Energy Efficiency/Conservation, Rebate Program

UGI’s Gas Division Tuesday announced the formal launch of the company’s comprehensive Energy Efficiency and Conservation (EE&C) Program. The UGI program provides financial incentives and information that encourage consumers to reduce energy consumption and costs.

* PUC Invites Comments On Rules For Changing Natural Gas Suppliers

The Public Utility Commission published notice in the January 7 PA Bulletin seeking comments on  proposed regulations setting standards for changing a customer’s natural gas supplier.

* PennTAP Pollution Prevention, Lean Manufacturing In Food Industry Webinar Jan. 19

The PA Technical Assistance Program (PennTAP) will host a free webinar on January 19 on Pollution Prevention and Lean Manufacturing in the Food Industry from Noon to 1:00 p.m.

* Help Protect Your Family From Lung Cancer-- Test Your Home For Radon

January is National Radon Action Month, and the Department of Environmental Protection encourages all Pennsylvanians to test their homes for this radioactive gas.

* January 5 DEP News Now Available

The January 5 edition of DEP News is now available from the Department of Environmental Protection featuring stories on--

* Western PA Conservancy Protects 156 Acres In Bedford County To Add To State Forest

The Western PA Conservancy Thursday announced it has protected more than 156 acres along the Evitts Mountain ridgeline in Bedford County.

* January Land, Water, Life Newsletter Now Available From Western PA Conservancy

The January edition of Water, Land, Life, the monthly newsletter from the Western PA Conservancy, is now available featuring stories on--

* Natural Lands Trust: Jan. 28 Hike With REI In Stroud Preserve, Chester County

The Natural Lands Trust and REI outdoor recreational equipment are teaming up for an All Out 2017 hike at the NLT’s Stroud Preserve in West Chester, Chester County on January 28 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

* Fish Commission Sponsors Gone Fishing PA! Cabin Fever Kayak Package Giveaway

The Fish and Boat Commission has partnered with Bass Pro Shops in Harrisburg to sponsor a kayak package giveaway during the winter months when many anglers are either getting ready for the upcoming fishing seasons or visiting sports and outdoors shows and making plans to get out and enjoy the outdoors more in the New Year.

* Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay Announces New Board Members

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay Wednesday announced the election of five new members to its Board of Directors. The newly elected Board members are Joe Carnahan, Kelly Gutshall, Sally Hornor, Jan Jarrett, and Tara Scully.

* Geri E. Unger Named New Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association President

Following an extensive national search, Geri E. Unger has been named the new president of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association, a position she assumed on January 3.

* Help Wanted: Susquehanna River Basin Commission Water Resources Modeler

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission is seeking qualified candidates for a Water Resources modeler based in its Harrisburg Office to directly support the Chesapeake Bay Program offices for both Pennsylvania and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  The deadline for applications is January 31.  Click Here for all the details and how to apply.

* Opportunity To Bid On DEP Tank, Lake Dam Breach Projects In Erie, Delaware Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of an underground storage tank cleanup project in Erie County and a lake dam breach project in Delaware County in the January 7 PA Bulletin.

* 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 of proposed regulations setting standards for changing a customer’s natural gas supplier in the January 7 PA Bulletin.

* 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.

* 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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