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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, May 1, 2017 Issue #670
* Winners Of 2017 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards Honored At Dinner

Department of Environmental Protection and the PA Environmental Council Tuesday honored the  21 organizations across the Commonwealth receiving the prestigious 2017 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for 16 projects at a special dinner in Harrisburg.

* KPB Affiliates In Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry Counties Receive Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award

The Tire War, hosted annually by Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful affiliates Keep Huntingdon County Beautiful, Keep Juniata County Beautiful, PA CleanWays of Mifflin County and Keep Perry County Beautiful, received a Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in Harrisburg at a special dinner hosted by the Department of Environmental Protection and the PA Environmental Council Tuesday.

* Choose Clean Water Coalition Urges Action Now On Water Quality Cleanup Issues

House members Garth Everett (R-Lycoming) and Mike Sturla (D-Lancaster) and representatives of the Choose Clean Water Coalition Monday urged lawmakers to pass legislation to address Pennsylvania’s critical water quality and Chesapeake Bay cleanup issues.

* EARTH DAY Op-Ed: Sustainable Funding For Parks, Environmental Restoration Matters

By Tim Herd, CEO, PA Recreation and Park Society

* EARTH DAY Op-Ed: Keep Pennsylvania Growing Greener

By Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne), Minority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee

* EARTH DAY Op-Ed: How Trump’s Budget Will Hurt The Environment In PA

By Cindy Adams Dunn, Secretary, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

* 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-- 

* Federal Court Grants Trump Request To Suspend Action On EPA Clean Power Plan Case

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Friday granted a Trump Administration request to put on hold a legal challenge to EPA’s Clean Power Climate Plan by industry and a group of states, rules President Trump is moving to undo.

* Senate Environmental Committee OKs Bill Extending Recycling Fee, Other Bills

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Tuesday unanimously approved 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.

* Senate Environmental Committee OKs Resolution Creating Lead Exposure Task Force

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Tuesday amended and reported out Senate Resolution 33 (Yudichak-D-Luzerne) creating a bipartisan task force to investigate the scope of Pennsylvania’s lead exposure problem.

* PJM: States Should Create Climate Benefit Markets If They Want To Subsidize Nuclear Plants

Representatives of the PJM Interconnection made a presentation before the Senate-House Nuclear Energy Caucus Wednesday showing how electricity generation fuel sources have become more diverse and the competitive market for power run by PJM has resulted in significant benefits to  reliability and in costs for consumers.

* House Hearing: Bill Allows Utilities To Charge All Ratepayers For Gas Service Extensions

The House Consumer Affairs Committee Wednesday held a hearing on House Bill 107 (Godshall-R-Montgomery) which would authorize a new Distribution System Extension Charge on all natural gas ratepayers bills to pay for service line extensions to new customers.

* New Bills Would Require Vote On Regs Costing $1 Million Or More, But Ignore Benefits

Rep. Greg Rothman (R-Cumberland), Sen. John DiSanto (R-Dauphin) and Rep. Dawn Keefer (R-Cumberland) announced Wednesday they have each introduced different bills that would require an up or down vote by the General Assembly if a regulation has a fiscal impact of $1 million or more.

* May 22 Environmental Issues Forum Features Presentation On Pollinators

The May 22 Environmental Issues Forum hosted by the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee will feature a presentation on the decline of pollinator populations in Pennsylvania.

* Report: Upstream Pollution Reductions Could Ease Effects Of Conowingo Reservoir Infill

Reducing pollution in the Susquehanna River watershed could ease the environmental effects of an essentially full reservoir behind Conowingo Dam, according to a final report from the Lower Susquehanna River Watershed Assessment Team released in March.

* PA First Lady Outlines Waterway Protection Efforts Under Way At Earth Day Gathering

With the expansive waters of a challenged Susquehanna flowing directly behind her, First Lady Frances Wolf Monday told a gathering of students and top environmental leaders protection of the iconic waterway is an ongoing priority at the Governor’s Residence in Harrisburg.

* CBF-PA To Help Educate Communities On Causes, Cures Of Polluted Stormwater Runoff

Residents in Harrisburg, Lancaster and York will be able to learn about the problems caused by polluted runoff and have a say in how it is addressed, thanks to a state Environmental Education Grant to be administered by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA.

* Chesapeake Conservancy Releases Vision Document For Susquehanna River Conservation

The Chesapeake Conservancy recently released Envision the Susquehanna: A Vision for the Susquehanna Watershed in partnership with the National Park Service, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Susquehanna River Heartland Coalition for Environmental Studies, the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership, and the Wildlife Management Institute.

* Dominion, Western PA Conservancy Award 20 Local Watershed Grants

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and the Dominion Foundation recently awarded $30,000 to 20 environmental organizations in 13 counties across the Commonwealth as part of their 2017 Watershed Mini Grant Program.

* Apply Now For ARIPPA Mine Reclamation Mini-Grants

The Anthracite Region Independent Power Producers’ Association is again partnering with the Eastern and Western PA Coalitions for Abandoned Mine Reclamation to offer Mini-Grants totaling $5,000 for local watershed reclamation projects.

* Stroud Water Research Center: Volunteers Plant 1,140 Trees Along Read Clay Creek

Stroud Water Research Center in Chester County celebrated National Volunteer Week Thursday by restoring 3.8 acres (approximately 165,528 square feet) along two first-order, headwater tributaries of Red Clay Creek in Chester County, which is a major tributary of Brandywine Creek and then the Christina River.

* DCNR, PA Outdoor Corps Plant Trees Along Creek In Laurel Hill State Park For Arbor Day

To celebrate Arbor Day-- April 28-- Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Friday joined young adults participating in the PA Outdoor Corps planting trees along Laurel Hill Creek in Laurel Hill State Park, Somerset County, to protect and improve water quality.

* April 24 Watershed Winds Newsletter Now Available From Penn State Extension

The April 24 edition of the Watershed Winds newsletter is now available from Penn State Extension featuring articles on--

* Sewickley Creek, Firestone And Scouts Join Forces On Earth Day Cleanup

Sewickley Creek Watershed Association in Westmoreland County teamed up again this year with Firestone Building Products and Boy Scout Troop 465 on April 22 to celebrate Earth Day by cleaning up litter and trash from four miles of roadway and a mile of stream banks around Youngwood Borough and Hempfield and Unity Townships. 

* ClearWater Conservancy: Volunteer Turnout For Watershed Cleanup Breaks Records

ClearWater Conservancy celebrated Earth Day on April 22 alongside 552 community volunteers at its 21st annual Watershed Cleanup Day. This one day event is aimed at combating littering and illegal dumping in our local watersheds.

* Scranton Community Foundation Supports Lacawac Watershed Education Program

Lacawac Sanctuary in Wayne County received a $4,000 grant from the Scranton Area Community Foundation which will allow the organization to develop a water resource program for elementary school classes in Lackawanna County schools to educate students on the importance of watersheds and how to protect water sources. 

* Southmoreland High School Wins Westmoreland County Envirothon

Southmoreland High School Team 1 took first place Monday in the Westmoreland County Envirothon – an academic competition in which students test their knowledge of the natural world.

* Watch The Banding Of Peregrine Falcon Nestlings Live From Harrisburg May 10

Game Commission staff will band the peregrine falcon nestlings living on the Rachel Carson Building Harrisburg from 11:00 a.m. to noon on May 10.   And you can watch it live online!

* Agriculture: Grants For Succession/Transition Planning Available To Farmers

The Department of Agriculture reminds farmers it is still accepting applications for succession and transition planning under the Agricultural Land Conservation Assistance Grant Program.  (formal notice)

* DEP Aggregate Advisory Board Committee To Discuss Sinkhole Issues Paper May 5

The Regulatory, Legislative and Technical Committee of DEP’s Aggregate Advisory Board will discuss a background policy paper DEP staff prepared entitled Resolving Sinkhole Issues: A State Government Perspective at its meeting on May 5. (formal notice)

* DEP: May 3 Meeting On Waste Transfer Station Permit In Erie

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday invited interested members of the public to a public information meeting on May 3 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at McKinley Elementary School (gym/cafeteria) located at 933 East 22nd Street, Erie, PA 16503.

* Gov. Wolf Announces Drug Take-Back Day To Be Held April 29

Gov. Tom Wolf Tuesday announced that April 29 is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in Pennsylvania.

* PRC Celebrates 15 Years Of Household Chemical Collection Events In Western PA

The PA Resources Council celebrates its 15th year of holding household chemical collection events by setting 2017 collection dates for household chemicals.

* 17 DEP Alternative Fuel Incentive Grants Awarded To Schools, Businesses, Municipalities

Department of Environmental Protection Thursday awarded grants to 17 alternative fuel projects that will save an estimated 650 million gallons of fuel in Pennsylvania.

* Seneca Resources Assessed $375K Penalty For Multiple Violations At Drilling Operations

The Department of Environmental Protection Monday announced Seneca Resources Corporation, part of the National Fuel Gas Company, has agreed to a $375,000 civil penalty for oil and gas violations of the Clean Stream Law, Dam Safety and Encroachment Act, the Oil and Gas Act, and the Solid Waste Management Act.

* Center for Responsible Shale Development Recertifies Shell, CONSOL Drilling Operations

The Center for Responsible Shale Development Tuesday announced both Shell’s and CONSOL Energy’s Appalachian operations have been recertified to the Center’s 15 Performance Standards focused on responsible stewardship of air and water resources.

* Drilling Company, Environmental Group Appeal Indiana County Drilling Waste Injection Well Permit

Two appeals were filed with the Environmental Hearing Board over drilling waste injection well permits issued by the Department of Environmental Protection in Grant Township, Indiana County this week.  The EHB combined the appeals into one case for action before the Board.

* EARTH DAY Op-Ed: Why Yes, Natural Gas Drilling Can Be Done Responsibly

By David Spigelmyer, Marcellus Shale Coalition

* DEP Opens New Our Common Wealth Blog

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday opened a new Our Common Wealth Blog to, as its description says, “provide citizen initiative tips, stories that foster a better understanding of how PA’s environmental regulations affect the daily lives of PA citizens, stories by and about our dedicated employees across the state and more.”

* Pittsburgh 2030 District Saves Nearly $53 Million In Energy, $4 Million In Water Costs

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Wednesday the Pittsburgh 2030 District released its 2016 annual report documenting cumulative energy savings of nearly $53 million and $4.6 million in savings from water use reduction toward its goal of reducing energy and water use by 50 percent by 2040 in downtown Pittsburgh buildings.

* EARTH DAY Op-Ed: Student To Instructor-Andre Carpenter-Energy Coordinating Agency

Some people become environmentalists; others like Training Center grad and new instructor, Andre Carpenter, are born. A young man with a well-honed sense of what he wants to see in the world, like the best teachers, he leads by example.

* PennTAP Developing An Energy Baseline For Complex Facilities Webinar May 18

The PA Technical Assistance Program is hosting a webinar Mary 18 on Developing An Energy Baseline For Complex Facilities from Noon to 1:00 p.m.

* WPSU’s Managing Risk In A Changing Climate Screened For Climate Caucus

Peter Buckland from Penn State’s Sustainability Institute screened the WPSU documentary Managing Risk In A Changing Climate at a meeting of the Climate Caucus hosted by Rep. Steve McCarter (D-Montgomery) on Wednesday in Montgomery County.

* Air & Waste Management Assn. Annual Conference In Pittsburgh June 5-8

The 110th Annual Conference and Exhibition of the Air and Waste Management Association will be held in Pittsburgh at the LEED-certified David L. Lawrence Convention Center on June 5-8.  The theme this year is Bridging Environment, Energy and Health.

* DEP Begins Spraying To Control Black Flies; Only DEP Line-Item Not Cut But Increased By House GOP

The Department of Environmental Protection Monday announced it has begun aerial spraying on more than 1,600 stream miles in 37 Pennsylvania counties to control black flies, also referred to as gnats.

* Brandywine Conservancy Hosts Take Care of Your Woods Workshop May 18

The Brandywine Conservancy is hosting a Take Care Of Your Woods For The Future Workshop on May 18 at the Brandywine Museum, 1 Hoffman’s Mill Road in Chadds Ford, Delaware County from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

* DCNR, Partners Celebrate New Boat Launch On Juniata River In Mifflin County

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Tuesday helped celebrate a new boat launch and riverfront access on the Juniata River in McVeytown, Mifflin County.

* Philadelphia Schools Green Initiatives Focus On Improved Outdoors Spaces For Students

School officials presented a summary of more than a decade of investment in schoolyard improvements across The School District of Philadelphia on Thursday, culminating in almost 100 completed and new projects under the Office of Capital Programs.

* Get Outdoors Poconos: May 20 Hike To Lacawac Lake, Wayne County

The Brodhead Creek Watershed Association will host another in a series of Get Outdoors Poconos hikes on May 20 to Lake Lacawac in Wayne County.

* PA Horticultural Society Accepting Entries To Southeast Gardening & Greening Contest

The PA Horticultural Society celebrates the accomplishments of gardeners of all interests in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware with the PHS Gardening and Greening Contest.  The deadline for entries is June 10.

* Apply Now For Community Garden Sustainability Fund Support In Allegheny County

The Grow Pittsburgh Community Garden Sustainability Fund is now accepting applications for two types of support for members of community food gardens.  The deadline for applications is June 1.

* Wildlands Conservancy Highlights May Education Programs

The Wildlands Conservancy Thursday highlighted its upcoming educational programs in May featuring--

* 99 Streams Added To List Of Wild Trout Streams By Fish & Boat Commission

The Fish and Boat Commission added 99 streams and stream segments to the list of Wild Trout Streams and removed one stream from the list at its Board meeting Tuesday.  Click Here for a list of the streams.

* Fish & Boat Commission: 2017 Family Fishing Festivals Set For May And June

The Fish and Boat Commission Monday announced it has scheduled several opportunities in May and June for families to learn fishing skills and enjoy fishing.

* Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Hosts Lecture May 13 By Birds Of Prey Author Pete Dunne

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Berks County will host author Pete Dunne on May 13 at 2 p.m. as he presents a look into his new book, Birds of Prey: Hawks, Eagles, Falcons, and Vultures. His lecture will be immediately followed by an exclusive book signing.

* Shrivastava Penn State’s New Chief Sustainability Officer, Head Of Sustainability Institute

Paul Shrivastava, recently the executive director of Future Earth, a global environmental change research program, as well as a prominent researcher in the fields of sustainability, risk and crisis management, has been named Penn State University’s chief sustainability officer and director of the Penn State Sustainability Institute.

* National Mining Hall Of Fame & Museum To Induct PA’s Tom Falkie

The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum will induct three honorees in 2017, including Tom Falkie, retired President and CEO of Berwind Natural Resources Corp from Mt. Carmel, Northumberland County, at a banquet on September 23 at the Museum in Colorado.

* Penn State Geologist Terry Engelder Who Calculated Marcellus Gas Reserves To Retire

Penn State University Geologist Terry Engelder, who is credited with calculating some of the first estimates of natural gas contained in the Marcellus Shale fields covering the six northeast U.S. states in 2007-- 489 trillion cubic feet, about 18 years’ worth of total U.S. gas consumption, is retiring.

* Help Wanted: Brandywine Conservancy Associate Director For Land Stewardship

The Brandywine Conservancy is seeking qualified candidates to fill an Associate Director for Land Stewardship.  The deadline for applications is May 31.

* DEP Opportunity To Bid On Underground Tank Removal Project In Clearfield County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the April 29 PA Bulletin of an opportunity to bid on an underground storage tank removal project in Clearfield 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

The Environmental Quality Board published notice in the April 29 PA Bulletin it has accepted a rulemaking petition for study relating to the redesignation of Marsh Creek in Chester County.

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