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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, March 20, 2017 Issue #664
* Proposed Trump Cuts To State Grants Will Cripple DEP, Cause Drastic Fee Increases

President Trump released his proposed budget blueprint Thursday which confirmed earlier reports of substantial cuts to EPA grants given to states to administer federal programs, eliminating the Chesapeake Bay and Great Lakes Restoration Programs and discretionary abandoned mine reclamation funding.

* DEP: Federal Budget Cuts Will Have Immediate, Devastating Effect In PA

StateImpact’s Marie Cusick reported Thursday Acting DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell sent a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt saying the cuts to funding proposed by the Trump administration will have an “immediate and devastating effect” in Pennsylvania.

* Sen. Yudichak: Proposed Federal Budget Cuts Will Challenge Right To Clean Air, Water

Sen. John T. Yudichak (D-Luzerne), Minority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, Friday issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s proposed cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency--

* CBF On Proposed Elimination Of Federal Funding For Chesapeake Bay Program

Chesapeake Bay Foundation President William C. Baker issued the following statement concerning President Trump’s proposed budget, which eliminates funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program.

* 50 State Environmental Agencies Group: EPA Cuts Will Adversely Affect States

The White House’s dramatic cuts proposed Thursday to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, if enacted, affect grants that support an average of 27 percent of state environmental agency budgets (EABs), according to the Environmental Council of the States.

* 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/House Bills Moving

The following bills of interest saw action this week in the House and Senate--

* Senate, House Lawmakers Announce Formation Of First Nuclear Energy Caucus

Senators Ryan Aument (R-Lancaster) and John Yudichak (D-Luzerne) along with Representatives Becky Corbin (R-Chester) and Rob Matzie (D-Allegheny) Thursday announced the formation of a bipartisan, bicameral caucus of General Assembly to focus on nuclear energy issues. 

* Op-Ed: We Need To Recognize The Many Faces Making Up The Chesapeake Bay Watershed

By Caitlyn Johnstone, Alliance For The Chesapeake Bay & Jim Edward, Chair, EPA Chesapeake Bay Program’s Diversity Workgroup

* Forests For The Chesapeake Bay March Newsletter Is Now Available

The March 13 edition of the Forests for the Chesapeake Bay Program is now available featuring articles on--

* Potter County Implementing Source Water Protection Plan

Potter County takes the protection of their public drinking water very seriously. They were the first county in Pennsylvania to have approved source water protection plans for all of the public water supplies in the county.

* March 13 Watershed Winds Newsletter Now Available From Penn State Extension

The March 13 edition of Watershed Winds newsletter is now available from Penn State Extension featuring articles on--

* Stroud Water Research Center UpStream Newsletter Now Available

The latest edition of the UpStream newsletter is now available from the Stroud Water Research Center in Chester County featuring articles on--

* PA Assn. For Sustainable Agriculture Accepting Presentation Proposals For 2018 Conference

The PA Association for Sustainable Agriculture is now accepting presentation proposals for its 2018 conference to be held in State College February 7 to 10.  The deadline for proposals is June 30.

* PUC Highlights Impact Of Safe Drinking Water During National Fix A Leak Week

The Public Utility Commission Thursday highlighted the importance of safe drinking water, along with the role of water efficiency and conservation efforts, in conjunction with National Fix a Leak Week, which runs from March 20-26.

* SBA: Final Month To Apply For Working Capital Loans From 2016 Flash Flooding In PA

The U.S. Small Business Administration Friday reminded small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in Pennsylvania of the deadline to submit disaster loan applications for economic injury caused by the flash flooding on June 17, 2016.

* Stony Creek Anglers to Kick Off Schuylkill Scrub March 25 in Norristown

Locals will kick off the three-month Schuylkill Scrub by cleaning up Norristown’s Stony Creek in Montgomery County on March 25, from 8 a.m. to noon. Volunteers are needed.

* Group Against Smog & Pollution Summer Air Quality Camp For Students In Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh-based Group Against Smog and Pollution will hold a Summer Air Quality Camp for students age 10 to 13 on June 26-30 at the Environmental Charter School in Regent Square Pittsburgh.

* Run For Clean Air Earth Day Celebration April 9 In Philadelphia

The Clean Air Council will hold its annual Run For Clean Air Earth Day Celebration on April 9 in Philadelphia.

* PennTAP Facility Operations Workshop On Energy Efficiency Rescheduled To March 27

The PA Technical Assistance Program (PennTAP) and the Department of Environmental Protection have rescheduled the Facility Operations Workshop on Energy Efficiency for March 27 at the Penn Stater Hotel & Conference Center in State College.

* DEP Makes Changes To Alternative Fuel Vehicle Rebates For Electric Vehicles

The Department of Environmental Protection announced Saturday it has revised the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Rebates available for battery and plug-in electric vehicles.  (formal notice)

* DEP Acting Secretary To Speak At Globalcon Energy Conference In Philadelphia March 23

Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell will be a featured speaker on the New Challenges and Opportunities: What’s Happening In Energy Policy At The Federal and State Levels panel at the Globalcon Energy, Power & Facility Management Strategies and Technologies Conference in Philadelphia.

* Act 129 Energy Efficiency Law Fueling PA’s Energy Economy: 62,000+ Jobs And Counting

A recent U.S. Department of Energy report shows a significant increase in energy jobs in Pennsylvania spurred by Act 129, the state’s energy efficiency policy. According to the DOE report, Pennsylvania is home to 62,431 people employed in energy efficiency.

* PennEast Pipeline Awards Nearly $130,000 In STEM Education Grants In PA, NJ

PennEast Pipeline Company Wednesday announced its first class of PennEast Powering STEM Grant recipients, who will receive nearly $130,000 to advance the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in their local communities and within the footprint of the proposed PennEast Pipeline.

* 183 Groups From 4 States Tell Delaware River Basin Commission To Enact Fracking Ban

Wednesday 183 organizations representing hundreds of thousands of members and the four states whose waters flow to the Delaware River submitted a letter to the Delaware River Basin Commission voting members – the Governors of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware and the federal representative, the Army Corps of Engineers - calling for a permanent ban on fracking in the Watershed.

* DCNR Accepting Applications For Volunteer Fire Company Wildfire Fighting Grants

Gov. Tom Wolf Monday announced applications are being accepted for federal grants to help Pennsylvania’s rural communities better guard against the threat of fires in forested, undeveloped, and unprotected areas.  Applications are due May 18.

* Manada Conservancy’s Spring Native Plant Sale April 29 In Dauphin County

The Manada Conservancy will hold its 17th Annual Spring Native Plant Sale on April 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Boro Park, Poplar Avenue and Water Street in Hummelstown, Dauphin County.

* Game Commission: Hunters Harvested Over 333,250 Deer In The 2016-17 Season

The Game Commission reported Monday Pennsylvania’s buck harvest increased 9 percent, and the overall deer harvest was up 6 percent, in the 2016-17 seasons, which closed in January.

* Hanover Eagles, Rachel’s Falcons Hunker Down Against Snowstorm To Protect Eggs

Wildlife watchers this week had a ringside seat to the determination of nature during Tuesday’s Winter Storm Stella.

* Help Wanted: 23 Groups Seek Delaware River Watershed Fellows 18-24 Years Old

The William Penn Foundation has provided financial support to hire 23 young people for a 12-week summer Delaware River Watershed Fellowship at environmental centers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

* DEP Invitation To Bid On Mine Reclamation Project In Clearfield County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the March 19 PA Bulletin of an invitation to bid on a 24 acre mine reclamation project in Clearfield County.  A pre-proposal meeting is scheduled for March 30.  Only proposals from those in attendance will be considered for this contract.  (PA Bulletin, page 1695)

* 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 DEP Board of coal Mine Safety published notice in the March 18 PA Bulletin of proposed regulation changes relating to sensitive ground fault protection for public comment.

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