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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, April 24, 2017 Issue #669
* Carol Collier To Be Recognized With PEC’s Winsor Award June 14 In Philadelphia

Carol Collier, former Executive Director of the Delaware River Basin Commission, will be honored by the PA Environmental Council with the Winsor Award at the 47th Environmental Partnership Dinner June 14 in Philadelphia.

* House Congratulates PA National Guard For Army Environmental Sustainability Award

The House voted unanimously Wednesday to congratulate the Pennsylvania National Guard in winning the first Sustainability Team in the 2016 Army National Guard Environmental Awards Contest by unanimously adopting House Resolution 84 (Ryan-R-Lebanon).

* PA Growing Greener Coalition: More Work To Do To Protect Water, Natural Resources

The PA Growing Greener Coalition Friday issued the following statement from Executive Director Andrew Heath urging the Governor and Legislature to invest in the state’s Growing Greener program:

* 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--

* Bill Adding Natural Gas Gathering Pipelines To PA One Call OK’d By Senate Committee

The Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee Tuesday approved without changes Senate Bill 242 (Baker-R-Luzerne) which adds natural gas gathering lines to the PA One Call utility construction safety program so they can be identified and mapped for emergency services (sponsor summary).

* PUC: PA One Call Changes, Drilling Impact Fee Appeal, Act 129 Energy Efficiency Savings, Growth Of Natural Gas

Public Utility Commission Chairman Gladys Brown told the House Consumer Affairs Committee Tuesday updating the PA One Call Law is a legislative priority for the Commission, including eliminating all exemptions from the law, like natural gas and crude oil gathering lines.  (Click Here for her written testimony.)

* Rep. Snyder To Introduce Bill To Fix Language Jeopardizing Drilling Fee Collections

Rep. Pam Snyder (D-Fayette) Wednesday announced she plans to introduce legislation to fix language jeopardizing Act 13 drilling impact fee collections.

* House Environmental Committee OKs Storage Tank Insurance, Steel Slag Exemption Bills

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Wednesday approved and reported out two bills--

* Senate Environmental Committee Considers Extending Recycling Fee, Lead Task Force Bills April 25

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to meet on April 25 to consider bills eliminating the sunset date on the Act 101 recycling fee, creating a task force on lead exposure, exempting steel slag from the definition of waste and allowing the incorporation of alternative on-lot sewage systems in sewage plans.

* April Environmental Synopsis Newsletter Available From Joint Conservation Committee

The April edition of the Environmental Synopsis newsletter is now available from the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee featuring articles on--

* DEP Citizens Advisory Council Names Lee Ann Murray Executive Director

The DEP Citizens Advisory Council Tuesday announced the appointment of Lee Ann Murray as its new Executive Director starting May 1.  She succeeds Katie Hetherington Cunfer who has served as temporary Executive Director since October of 2015.

* Mine Drainage In NE PA Being Researched For Use In Bendable Concrete

The Eastern PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation Monday announced it is aiding in the research of conducting a more durable concrete by supplying the University of Michigan with northeastern Pennsylvania Acid Mine Drainage (AMD).

* Converde Energy, EPCAMR, SRBC Agreement On Mocanaqua Mine Drainage Tunnel Study

Converde Energy USA, Inc. Tuesday announced it has entered into a contract and partnered with the Eastern PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation to engage the Susquehanna River Basin Commission in a multi-phase study of the Mocanaqua Abandoned Mine Drainage Tunnel in Luzerne County.

* PA Coal Alliance: Mining Companies Reclaimed 240 Acres Of Abandoned Mines In PA

In honor of Earth Day this year, the PA Coal Alliance is proud to recognize mining companies for their contributions to environmental stewardship through abandoned mine land reclamation in Pennsylvania.

* DCNR, Agriculture Highlight Stream Buffers To Protect Water Quality In Snyder County

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding Thursday joined students from the Midd-West FFA Chapter planting trees along an unnamed waterway in Snyder County to protect and improve water quality.

* Reminder: NFWF Accepting Applications For Chesapeake Bay Restoration 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 of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary rivers and streams.

* PACD: Support Local Conservation, Celebrate Conservation District Week April 23-30

The Senate and the House declared April 23-30, 2017 as “Conservation District Week.” The dates coincide with Earth Day-- April 22-- events and celebrations, according to the PA Association of Conservation Districts.

* NRCS PA State Technical Committee Meets April 26 In Harrisburg

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service-PA invites the public to attend the Pennsylvania State Technical Committee meeting on April 26 at the USDA State Office in Harrisburg.

* Green Upgrades To Protect Philly Waterways In Fairmount Park’s Centennial District

The Philadelphia Water Department Thursday joined partners in kicking off major improvements coming to Fairmount Park’s Centennial District during a groundbreaking ceremony.

* Gov. Wolf: $39M In Green And Water Infrastructure Project Funding In 9 Counties

Gov. Tom Wolf Wednesday announced the investment of $39 million for 12 drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, and nonpoint source projects across nine counties through the PA Infrastructure Investment Authority.

* Aqua PA Will Spend $292 Million On Water, Wastewater Improvements In 2017

Aqua Pennsylvania Thursday announced the company will make $292 million in infrastructure improvements in the state throughout 2017, after completing $234 million of similar projects in 2016.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Hearing May 11 On Fees, Water Withdrawals

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission is scheduled to hold a hearing on May 11 to take comments on proposed water withdrawal requests and proposals to amend its fee structure and comprehensive plan for the river basin(formal notice)

* Clinton County CleanScapes Rail Trail Hillside Cleanup April 22

Clinton County CleanScapes, Lock Haven University students and Castanea Township still will be removing one of the last large scale active dumpsites overlooking the Rail Train extension in Castanea Township, Clinton County on April 22 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

* Celebrate Earth Day By Joining Keep PA Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup Of PA

In celebration of Earth Day - April 22, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, whose vision is a clean and beautiful Pennsylvania, encourages residents to be part of the 2017 Great American Cleanup of PA by volunteering for a cleanup or setting up your own.

* 24 Nonprofit CEOs Take A Stand Together For The Environment In Pittsburgh

Two dozen CEOs of Western Pennsylvania’s environmental nonprofit organizations Thursday stood together to proclaim the importance of environmental protection for the region’s economic resurgence, public health, and social equity.

* 79 Projects Receive DEP Environmental Education, Environmental Justice Grants

Gov. Tom Wolf Friday announced 79 projects statewide are receiving almost $1.2 million in Environmental Education Grants, including more than $500,000 in environmental justice grants, from the Department of Environmental Protection in 2017.

* High School Students To Compete In Westmoreland County Envirothon April 24

On April 24 students from nine Westmoreland County high schools will compete at Twin Lakes Park in Greensburg to see which team has the most knowledge of the natural world. 

* Winners Of Let’s Clear The Air Poster Challenge In Western PA, Vote For People’s Choice

Western Pennsylvania’s celebration of Earth Day 2017 will include a display of award-winning artwork created by local students who entered the 7th annual “Let’s Clear the Air Poster Challenge” sponsored by the Southwest Pennsylvania Air Quality Partnership and the PA Resources Council

* DEP Removes 8 Western PA Counties From Nonattainment With 2015 EPA Ozone Standard

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the April 22 PA Bulletin it was removing 8 counties in Western Pennsylvania from nonattainment area designation for EPA’s 2015 ozone pollution standard.

* First Of 29 Public-Private Partnership CNG Fueling Stations Opens In Johnstown

Gov. Tom Wolf Thursday announced the opening of the first of 29 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling stations planned as part of a Public-Private Partnership.

* Wolf Announces State Clean Diesel Grant Investment In Berks County

Gov. Tom Wolf Monday announced funding approval through the PA State Clean Energy Diesel Grant Program to assist the Berks County Intermediate Unit in replacing six older diesel-powered school buses with newer diesel-powered buses.

* EPA Accepting Applications For Clean Diesel National Grants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is now accepting applications for 2017 Clean Diesel National Grants until June 20.

* Reading-Based Penske Truck Leasing Collects 5th Straight EPA SmartWay Affiliate Challenge Award

Penske Truck Leasing has, for the fifth straight year, been given the SmartWay Affiliate Challenge Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Penske is one of nine organizations to receive this honor.

* Four Seasons Produce In Ephrata Joins KEEA To Tout Benefits Of Energy Efficiency

Four Seasons Produce, Inc. in Ephrata, Lancaster County hosted a tour of its distribution center Thursday for local elected officials and business leaders to showcase energy efficiency upgrades and retrofits which have resulted in multiple benefits for the company and the local community.

* FirstEnergy Launches You First Campaign To Help Customers Manage Energy Use

FirstEnergy Corp. Monday introduced the new "You First" campaign to build on its brand as a forward-thinking and customer-focused company that provides convenient solutions for saving energy. 

* U.S. EIA Expects Natural Gas To Be Largest Source Of Summer Electricity Generation

The U.S. Energy Information Administration Tuesday reported it expects that electricity generation fueled by natural gas this summer (June, July, and August) will be lower than last summer, but it will continue to exceed that of any other fuel, including coal-fired generation, for the third summer in a row.

* PUC’s John Coleman Co-Chairs National Task Force On Natural Gas Access, Expansion

Public Utility Commission Commissioner John F. Coleman Jr. Monday was named as co-chair of a new Natural Gas Access and Expansion Task Force, established by the President and Executive Board of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

* UGI Proposals To Replace Aging Natural Gas Service Distribution Pipelines OK’d By PUC

The Public Utility Commission Thursday approved modified proposals from UGI Central Penn Gas Inc. and UGI Penn Natural Gas Inc. for an increase in customer charges to accelerate the replacement of aging natural gas pipelines and infrastructure.

* PUC OKs Duquesne Light Plans To Repair, Improve Electric Distribution System

The Public Utility Commission Thursday approved the petitions of Duquesne Light Co., to accelerate the repair, improvement and replacement of aging electrical infrastructure and to implement distribution system improvement charges (DSICs).

* Wolf Urges PA Congressional Delegation To Secure Coal Miner Healthcare, Pension Benefits

Gov. Tom Wolf Tuesday urged members of the Pennsylvania congressional delegation to support the proposed federal Miners Protection Act in order to secure healthcare and pension benefits for tens of thousands of retired coal miners nationwide, including at least 13,000 in Pennsylvania.

* DEP Urges Homeowners To Check For Mine Subsidence, Over 1 Million Homes At Risk

Department of Environmental Protection Monday urged homeowners to check updated mine maps to determine if their home or other buildings are at risk of mine subsidence. Over 1 million homes in Pennsylvania sit atop abandoned mines.

* EPA Awards Brownfields Grant To Harrisburg To Revitalize Allison Hill

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday announced a $200,000 Brownfields area-wide planning grant to the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Harrisburg to help plan for health, environmental and economic improvements for the city’s Allison Hill section.

* PA Horticultural Society Pop Up Gardens To Open In Philadelphia

Two PA Horticultural Society Pop Up Gardens will transform the city landscape in May and through October, with delicious new food and drink menus and inspirational programs and events that connect people with plants and each other in lush urban oases.

* PA Acts To Protect Over 2,400 Acres Of Farmland, 31 Farms

Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Land Preservation Board safeguarded 2,432 more acres on 31 farms in 19 counties throughout the state during its April meeting April 13.

* Community Forum On Preserving Cumberland County’s Rural Character May 11

The Cumberland Conservation Collaborative will host a community forum on May 11 at the Penn Township Volunteer Fire Department Social Hall, 1750 Pine Road, Newville. The title of the forum is, "Preserving Cumberland County's Rural Landscape & Natural Resources." 

* Western PA Conservancy Adds 18 Acres To Natural Area In Crawford County

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Wednesday announced the protection and addition of 18 acres of land in Sadsbury Township, Crawford County, to one of the most ecologically important forested areas in the region.

* DCNR, Partners Discuss West Branch Susquehanna River Access Plans In Renovo

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Friday visited Renovo in Clinton County and part of the Pennsylvania Wilds to learn about plans to improve river access and other revitalization efforts being advanced by borough officials, volunteers and community leaders involved in the Greater Renovo Heritage Park.

* Registration Now Open For 2017 Delaware River Sojourn June 17-23

Interested paddlers are invited to register for the 23rd Annual Delaware River Sojourn taking place June 17-23.

* Schuylkill River Sojourn Seeking 2017 Sojourn Steward June 3-9

The Schuylkill Action Network is seeking an enthusiastic individual with paddling, photography, and social media experience to serve as the Sojourn Steward for the June 3-9 Schuylkill River Sojourn.

* South Mountain Mini-Grants Now Available To Promote, Conserve Natural Resources

Mini-grants are now available from the South Mountain Partnership, from funding through the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, to help local communities promote and protect their natural and cultural resources.    The deadline for applications is June 1.

* April 20 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The April 20 edition of the Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* Volunteer To Plant American Chestnut Trees In Allegheny National Forest April 22

The Allegheny National Forest and the American Chestnut Foundation are hosting an Earth Day event on April 22 to plant 300 American Chestnut seeds and seedlings on two harvest sites in the Allegheny National Forest near Tionesta in Forest County.

* PA-Based Kitchen Magic Partners With National Forest Foundation To Plant Trees

Northampton County-based Kitchen Magic is partnering with the National Forest Foundation  in a tree planting reforestation mission.  Together they pledge to do what is right for our planet.

* Pinchot Institute May 2 Virtual Meeting On U.S. Forest Service Stewardship Contracting

The Pinchot Institute for Conservation and its partners will hold a May 2 virtual meeting on Stewardship Contracting Projects at the U.S. Forest Service from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.

* Dept. Of Health Seeks 2 Who May Have Been Exposed To Rabid Ferret In Fulton County

The Department of Health Monday warned Fulton County residents of a potentially rabid black and white ferret that bit one individual and may have bitten two others since April 12.

* Governor’s Hunting, Fishing Council Seeks Candidates For Game Commission Board

The Governor’s Advisory Council for Hunting, Fishing, and Conservation is seeking a qualified candidate to represent District 3 on the Game Commission’s board of directors. Applications will be accepted until May 5, 2017.

* 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 - April 22, 2017

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