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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, March 6, 2017 Issue #662
* House DEP Budget Hearing: Safe Drinking Water, Permitting, Pipelines, Chesapeake Bay

Acting DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell answered questions before the House Appropriations Committee for 2 hours and 30 minutes Monday on DEP’s budget request touching on deficiencies EPA pointed out in the state’s Safe Drinking Water Program because of budget cuts, permit reviews, the regulation of pipelines, penalty assessments, going beyond federal requirements and meeting Pennsylvania’s obligations under the Chesapeake Bay Program.

* DEP Budget Testimony Acknowledges Staff Deficiencies, Steps To Improve Permit Reviews

The written testimony Acting DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell presented to the House Appropriations Committee Monday acknowledged staff deficiencies, particularly in the Safe Drinking Water Program and steps the agency is taking to speed permit reviews in several programs despite the deficiencies.

* Senate Hearing On DEP’s Budget March 9 At 10:00

The Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on the Department of Environmental Protection’s budget is March 9 at 10:00 a.m. Click Here to watch the Senate hearing live.

* Sen. Yaw Asks For Plan On How PA Will Meet Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Obligations

In comments at the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing Monday on the Department of Agriculture’s budget, Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, expressed concerns about whether the state was doing enough to meets its obligations to cleanup the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

* Op-Ed: Budget Season Is Time For Residents, Legislators To Step Up For Clean Water

By Harry Campbell, Pennsylvania Director, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

* CBF: Cut To EPA Chesapeake Bay Funding Not Consistent With President’s Statements

Following reports in the Washington Post Thursday of the federal Office of Management and Budget proposal to cut U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funding in support of the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint, Chesapeake Bay Foundation President William C. Baker issued the following statement.

* DCNR Budget Hearings: Drilling On DCNR Lands, Privatization, Oil & Gas Lease Fund

DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn this week appeared before the House and Senate Appropriations Committees on the proposed FY 2017-18 budget requested for DCNR.

* DCNR Budget Testimony Outlines Economic Benefits Of Recreation, Accomplishments

The written testimony DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn presented to the House Appropriations Committee Monday highlights the economic contributions Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests and recreation in general make to Pennsylvania as well as her agency’s recent accomplishments.

* Nominations Now Being Accepted For Northeast PA Environmental Partnership Awards

The Northeast Environmental Partners are now accepting nominations for the Northeastern PA Environmental Partnership Awards; the Thomas P. Shelburne Award and the Emerging Environmental Leader Award.

* 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--

* Trump Considering 30% Cut In State EPA Grants, 20% Cut To EPA Staff

The Washington Post and the Oregonian reported Thursday the Trump Administration is considering a 30 percent cut in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grants to states to administer federal environmental programs and a 20 percent cut to EPA staff.

* Trump Signs Order Directing Review Of Waters Of U.S. Rule, No Impact In PA

President Trump Tuesday signed an executive order directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to review the Waters of the U.S. Rule for consistency with the Trump Administration’s new regulatory policy and rescind or revise the rule based on that review.

* Ryan Zinke Sworn In As U.S. Secretary Of The Interior

Ryan Zinke was confirmed and sworn in Wednesday as the 52nd Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

* Sen. Yudichak Calls For Task Force To Investigate Threat Of Lead Exposure In PA

Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne), Minority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, Tuesday announced he and other lawmakers will soon reintroduce a resolution-- Senate Resolution 33-- that creates a bipartisan task force to investigate the scope of Pennsylvania’s lead exposure problem

* March 20 Environmental Issues Forum Focuses On Waste Coal-Fired Power Plants

The Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee will host its first Environmental Issues Forum of this year on March 20 to hear a presentation by the Anthracite Region Independent Power Plant Association on waste coal-fired power plants in Pennsylvania.

* Joint Conservation Committee Releases 2016 Annual Report, Looks Ahead To 2017

The Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee Wednesday released its 2016 Annual Report on its activities.

* DEP Sends Plan To EPA, Clearing Safe Drinking Water Deficiencies Could Take Until 2020

In a letter dated February 24, the Department of Environmental Protection submitted a plan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on how it will address concerns EPA raised about staffing inadequacies in Pennsylvania’s Safe Drinking Water Program.

* PUC Settlement Allows York Water To Replace Lead Service Lines

The Public Utility Commission Thursday expedited approval of a joint settlement with York Water Company for the immediate replacement of both company-owned and customer-owned lead service lines, with the total line replacement done at the same time and solely at the company’s cost.

* Aqua PA’s Roaring Creek Drinking Water Treatment Plant Receives National Honors

Aqua Pennsylvania Friday announced its Roaring Creek Division water treatment plant in Elysburg, Northumberland County recently received the Partnership for Safe Water’s Phase IV President’s Award, one of the highest honors given by the organization.

* SRBC, DEP Partner On Water Loss Management Training For Water Systems

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission Public Water Supply Assistance Program and DEP are partnering to present a series of 3 workshops on Water Loss Management for Drinking Water Systems in April, July and August.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Holds Meeting March 9 In Scranton

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission is conducting its quarterly business meeting March 9 starting at 9 a.m., at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel Scranton, Platform Lounge Room, 700 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton, Pa. 18503.

* National Fish & Wildlife Foundation Accepting Applications For Chesapeake Bay Grants

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the federal-state Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership, is soliciting proposals to restore water quality and habitats in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

* NRCS Accepting Conservation Innovation Grant Applications In PA

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is now accepting proposals for up to $75,000 in funding through the Conservation Innovation Grants Program to promote the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies in Pennsylvania.

* Chesapeake Bay - PA In The Balance Conference Report Now Available From Penn State

Because of a new narrative of stewardship, Pennsylvania farmers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed will be persuaded to look at conservation not as something they have to do but rather something they want to do.

* Registration Now Open For May 3 Pennsylvania Groundwater Symposium

In celebration of National Drinking Water Week, Penn State Extension and the Department of Environmental Protection along with numerous other sponsors invite you to attend the May 3 Pennsylvania Groundwater Symposium at the Ramada Inn Conference Center in State College, PA.

* Pollutant Reduction Plan Helps Cocalico Creek Clean Up Its Act In Lebanon, Lancaster

Although you might not know it just by looking at it, the Cocalico Creek Watershed has water quality issues.

* Real Public-Private Partnerships Can Solve Stormwater Problems

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and others are coming to the realization that public-private partnerships, or P3s, are one solution to regional problems like stormwater pollution.

* March 1 Newsletter Now Available From LandStudies

The March 1 edition of the LandStudies newsletter is now available featuring articles on--

* Stroud Water Research Center: Watershed Webinar, Leaf Pack Training, Much More

The Stroud Water Research Center in Chester County Friday highlighted a series of upcoming events featuring the Center with articles on--

* Feb. 27 Watersheds Winds Newsletter Now Available From Penn State Extension

The February 27 issue of the Watershed Winds newsletter is now available from Penn State Extension featuring stories on-

* National Watershed & Stormwater Conference April 4, Hubs At Temple, In Baltimore

The Center for Watershed Protection will host the 2017 National Watershed & Stormwater Conference on April 4. 

* U.S.G.S. Installs Flood Monitoring Streamgages In Additional Philadelphia Neighborhoods

Philadelphia communities along the Schuylkill River and Darby Creek now have new tools to help inform residents of impending flooding.

* WPX Energy Assessed $1.2 Million Civil Penalty For Groundwater, Water Supply Impacts

The Department of Environmental Protection Monday announced WPX Energy Appalachia has agreed to a $1.2 million civil penalty for oil and gas violations that affected groundwater and private water supplies in Westmoreland County.

* Delaware RiverKeeper Challenges DEP’s PennEast Pipeline Certification In Federal Court

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network Tuesday filed a challenge in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to DEP’s Section 401 Water Quality Certification of the PennEast Pipeline Project.

* PG PowerSource: DEP Defends Authority For Oil & Gas Industry Methane Rules

Laura Legere, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Power Source, reported Friday that Acting DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell responded to a letter from three Senate leaders questioning DEP’s authority to adopt methane emission controls on the oil and gas industry.

* Ohio Finalized General Permits For VOC/Methane Control For Oil & Gas Operations

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Director Craig Butler finalized new general permits that will reduce air pollution from natural gas compressor stations.

* New iPad App Makes DEP Oil And Gas Site Inspections More Efficient

The Department of Environmental Protection Friday announced another GO-TIME success with the launch of an iPad app for electronic field inspections at oil and gas production sites.

* Great American Cleanup Of PA Began March 1, Registration Still Open, Video Contest

The 2017 Great American Cleanup of PA began March 1 and ends on May 31, but Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Wednesday reminded Pennsylvanians there is still time to register events and get free trash bags, gloves, and safety vests from PennDOT district offices, as supplies last.

* Jim Clark, McKean County, Receives Keep PA Beautiful President’s Award

Jim Clark, a former Penn State Extension educator, was given the 2017 President’s Award from Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.

* DEP Receives Phase II Application For Elcon Hazardous Waste Facility In Bucks County

The Department of Environmental Protection announced Thursday it has received the Phase II portion of Elcon Recycling Services, LLC’s application for a commercial hazardous waste treatment and storage facility proposed for Falls Township, Bucks County.

* PUC To Continue Look At Alternative Rate Design To Encourage Energy Efficiency

The Public Utility Commission Thursday took steps to encourage additional comment from key stakeholders to further explore potential benefits or shortcomings of alternative rate methodologies, along with issues or concerns that may be unique to particular utility sectors.

* Statewide PA Solar Energy Development Planning Begins With First Meeting

State and local government leaders, consumer advocates, utility and business leaders, academics, solar industry experts, and others interested in solar energy attended the first stakeholders meeting on Pennsylvania solar energy planning Thursday at the Department of Environmental Protection headquarters in Harrisburg.

* DEP Partnering On Discounted Building Operator Certification To Save Energy

The Department of Environmental Protection is partnering with the National Sustainable Structures Center, the Centre Region Council of Governments and UGI to offer a discounted certification program for Building Operators starting April 6 in State College.

* Shares Stories On Sustainability, Green Innovation

Pittsburgh's ongoing physical, economic, and environmental transformation has propelled a surge in sustainable development, green innovation, and collaboration across multiple sectors – from municipal government, private business, nonprofit agencies, and university-based initiatives to major infrastructure projects, technology manufacturing, and equitable development.

* In Case You Missed It In February From PA Environmental Council

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

* Agriculture Expands Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine Area In Lehigh County

Department of Agriculture officials published notice in the March 4 PA Bulletin announcing the Spotted Lanternfly quarantine has been expanded to two new municipalities in Lehigh County. (formal notice)

* Winners Of 11th Annual PA Parks & Forests Foundation Awards Announced

The winners of the 11th annual PA Parks & Forests Foundation Awards were announced Monday in the Spring issue of Penn’s Stewards.

* PA Parks & Forests Foundation Through The Seasons Photo Contest Accepting Entries

The PA Parks and Forests Foundation is now accepting entries for its 2017 Through The Seasons Photo Contest.  The deadline for entries is September 7.

* Spring Penn’s Stewards Available From PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The Spring issue of Penn’s Stewards is now available from the PA Parks & Forests Foundation featuring articles on--

* Fill Out The Get Outdoors PA Close-To-Home Outdoor Recreation Survey!

Get Outdoors PA, a statewide partnership including the Department of Conservation & Natural Resources and PA Recreation & Park Society, would love to hear your thoughts or feedback on your outdoor recreation activities and habits. 

* William Penn Foundation Commits $15M To Philly’s Delaware RiverFront Park Over I-95

The William Penn Foundation Friday announced a commitment of up to $15 million to support the Penn’s Landing Park project, which will cap I-95 and re-connect two key areas of the city, the historic district with the Delaware riverfront.

* Get Outdoors Poconos March 18 Bruce Lake Natural Area Hike In Wayne County

The Brodhead Watershed Association is hosting a Get Outdoors Poconos hike to the Bruce Lake Natural Area in Palmyra Township, Wayne County just north of Promised Land State Park on March 18 from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

* Friends Of Allegheny Wilderness Hickory Creek Trail Stewardship Days April 22, 23

The Friends of Allegheny Wilderness will hold its Hickory Creek Wilderness Trail stewardship days on April 22 and 23 in Warren County.

* Wildlands Conservancy Highlights March Education Programs

The Wildlands Conservancy in the Lehigh Valley Wednesday highlighted the education programs coming up in March including--

* NBT Bank Supports Lacawac Sanctuary In Wayne County

NBT Bank donated $4,000 to Lacawac Sanctuary and Biological Field Station in Wayne County through DCED’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit program.

* Delaware RiverKeeper Submits Petition To EQB To Protect Spawning Fish Species

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network Tuesday petitioned the Environmental Quality Board, the rulemaking arm of the Department of Environmental Protection, to upgrade the existing and designated uses of Zones 3 and 4 of the Delaware River, River Miles 78.8-108.4, to recognize that fish propagation is occurring in these reaches.

* U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Approves PA’s New Wildlife Action Plan

An updated Pennsylvania Wildlife Action Plan for continued management and protection of Pennsylvania’s fish and wildlife species of greatest conservation need has been approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

* Interns Wanted: Trout Unlimited Paid Biological Field Interns

Trout Unlimited is seeking individuals to fill Biological Field Intern positions from mid-May to August to be based out of the TU field office in Lock Haven, Clinton County.  The deadline for applications is March 22.

* Help Wanted: Alliance For The Chesapeake Bay: PA State Director

The Alliance for The Chesapeake Bay is now seeking candidates to serve as the Director of our Pennsylvania office and provide leadership for Alliance programs and projects in Pennsylvania.

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

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the March 4 PA Bulletin of an opportunity to bid on a mine reclamation project in Wyoming County.

* 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 - March 4, 2017

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