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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, June 5, 2017 Issue #675
(6/5/2017)
* Budget Challenges Part I: Will General Assembly Continue Systematic Dismantling Of DEP’s Core Programs?

June 5 is the opening day of this year’s sprint to a final state budget for next fiscal year beginning July 1.  Legislators are facing a combined $2.8 billion state budget deficit for this year and next just to continue most current programs.

* Budget Challenges Part II: PA Environmental Restoration, Park, Land Conservation Project Funding Cut 75 Percent

Funding for watershed restoration, mine reclamation, recreation, farmland and open space conservation, oil and gas well plugging project grants has been cut 75 percent since the mid-2000s from an average of $200 million a year to just $57 million last year, according to the PA Growing Greener Coalition.

* Budget Challenges Part III: Federal Govt Pays More To Fund DEP Than PA Does, Will They Cut Too?

The Trump Administration is proposing 30 to 40 percent cuts in FY 2018 grants to states that pay for administering federal programs, to zero out the Chesapeake Bay and Great lakes restoration programs and provide no funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, among other reductions.

* EPA Letter Tells PA To Increase Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Effort Or It Will Act

By Karl Blankenship, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* Chesapeake Bay Implementation Plan Listening Session June 5, Formal Comment Period Now Open

Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Planning Steering Committee is hosting a Chesapeake Bay Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan Kickoff and Listening Session June 5 at the Radisson Hotel in Camp Hill, across the river from Harrisburg, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

* EHB Issues $1.1 Million Penalty Against EQT Drilling In Controversial Penalty Case

On May 26 the Environmental Hearing Board assessed a penalty of $1,137,295.76 against EQT Drilling for the pollution it caused after a significant amount of waste was released from a leaking 6 million gallon wastewater impoundment in 2012 at the company’s Phoenix Pad S located in Duncan Township, Tioga County.

* Natural Gas Industry Spent $1.4 Million To Lobby General Assembly In First 3 Months Of 2017

The natural gas industry spent $1.4 million lobbying the General Assembly during the first quarter this year, said Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware) Friday.  Chesapeake Energy led in lobbying expenditures with $211,602.

* Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule [Updated] /Gov’s Schedule/ Bills Introduced

Here are the Senate and House Calendars for the next voting session day and Committees scheduling action on bills of interest as well as a list of new environmental bills introduced--

* Senate Appropriations Meets June 5 On Bills Changing Stream Protections From Mining, Recycling Fee Sunset, Voting On Regs

The agenda for the June 5 Senate Appropriations Committee meeting includes legislation retroactively changing the protection streams receive from underground coal mining, eliminating the sunset on the recycling fee and legislation requiring the General Assembly to vote to approve regulations.

* House Committee Holds June 6 Hearing On Regulatory Burdens, Abuses, Oversight

The House State Government Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on state government regulations-- burdens, abuses and legislative oversight on June 6 in Harrisburg.

* Resolution Urging Repeal Of MS4 Stormwater Program On House Committee Agenda June 6

The House State Government Committee is scheduled to meet on June 6 to consider House Resolution 284 (Moul-R-Adams) urging Congress to repeal the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s MS4 Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program (sponsor summary). 

* Joint Conservation Committee Hearing On Act 101 Recycling Programs June 13

The Joint Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on June 13 to review the Act 101 Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act Programs.

* Delaware River Basin States, NY City Agree On Contingency Water Management Plan

The states of Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and New York City late Thursday announced an agreement on a plan to continue sustainable water management for the Delaware River.

* Academy Of Natural Sciences Accepting Delaware River Watershed Research Proposals

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is now accepting research proposals for $1 million in funding from the Delaware River Watershed Initiative supported by the William Penn Foundation.

* Stormwater Pollutant Reduction Plans New Requirement For Many MS4 Communities

Stormwater Pollutant Reduction Plans are a new requirement for 2018 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permits/Notice of Intents. PRPs show how the municipality will reduce the pollutant loads going into a waterway.

* Controlling Invasive Plants In Floodplain Restoration, Riparian Buffer Areas

Hundreds of riparian buffer and a variety of different floodplain restoration projects have been installed over the years in Pennsylvania and countless hours are spent making sure the site looks and functions as close to pre-European settlement conditions as possible.

* Case Study: Long-Term Management Of Green Infrastructure At Butterfly Acres Development

Butterfly Acres is a housing development located in Lititz Borough, Lancaster County. In years past, a stormwater drainage swale ran through the development that was not well-maintained. The swale experienced significant erosion, was not properly filtering run-off, and was dominated by invasive plants.

* June Watershed Restoration Newsletter Now Available From LandStudies

The June edition of the newsletter from LandStudies in Lancaster County is now available featuring stories on--

* Penn State Extension July Community Tree Management Workshops In Bucks, Lehigh Counties

Penn State Extension will hold two Community Tree Management Workshops on July 14 in Bucks County and on July 15 in Lehigh County.

* PRC, Philadelphia Sustainable Business Network Host Future Of Recycling & Act 101 Round Table In PA June 29

Join the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Resources Council on June 29 for a Round Table On The Future of Recycling in Pennsylvania.

* Voting On Entries In The Great American Cleanup Of PA Video Contest Begins June 12

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Thursday announced voting on entries for the Great American Cleanup of PA Video Contest begins June 12 and concludes on June 22 at 3:00 p.m.

* 2nd Deficiency Letter Issued By DEP On Keystone Landfill Permit In Lackawanna County

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday issued its second environmental assessment letter to Keystone Sanitary Landfill regarding the facility’s permit application for expansion in the boroughs of Dunmore and Throop in Lackawanna County.

* DEP Returns Bucks County Hazardous Waste Facility Phase II Application As Incomplete

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced it has determined the Phase II portion of Elcon Recycling Services, LLC’s application for a commercial hazardous waste treatment and storage facility in Falls Township, Bucks County is administratively incomplete.

* EPA Announces Brownfields Revitalization Grants, Including 8 In PA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday announced 172 communities across the country will receive funding for brownfields site revitalization to help local governments redevelop vacant and unused properties, transforming communities and local economies.

* Hearing July 5 On RACT II Air Pollution Controls For Facility In Northumberland County

The Department of Environmental Protection is scheduled to hold a hearing July 5 on a proposed State Air Quality Implementation Plan amendments for RACT II controls for Resilite Sports Products, Inc. in Northumberland Borough, Northumberland County relating to nitrogen oxide and volatile organic compound emissions. (formal notice, PA Bulletin beginning on page 3152)

* DEP Approves Permit For Drilling Waste Injection Well In Clearfield County

Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday approved an underground injection control well permit for the disposal of wastewater associated with oil and natural gas production. Sammy-Mar, LLC’s Povlik #1 is located in Huston Township, Clearfield County.

* June News & Views Newsletter Now Available From DEP

The June issue of News and Views from the Department of Environmental Protection is now available featuring articles on--

* PUC Alerts Consumers Of June 1 Price Changes For Electric, Urges Customers To Shop For Better Rates

Public Utility Commission Wednesday alerted consumers that on June 1 most electric utilities will adjust electric generation prices charged to non-shopping, or default service, customers.

* Exelon To Retire Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant In 2019

Exelon Tuesday announced it will prematurely retire its Three Mile Island Generating Station on or about September 30, 2019, absent needed policy reforms.

* Kleinman Energy Center: Natural Gas Driving More Baseload Generation Retirements In PJM

By Christina Someone, Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, University of Pennsylvania

* Northeast Greenhouse Gas Initiative Holds Next Auction June 7, Prices Lowest Since 2014

The U.S. Energy Information Administration Wednesday reported the northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) will hold its 36th auction for carbon dioxide (CO2) emission allowances on June 7.

* Trump Announcement Withdrawing From Paris Accord Anti-Climatic

President Donald J. Trump Thursday announced the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, and begin negotiations to either re-enter or negotiate an entirely new agreement with more favorable terms for the United States.

* Pittsburgh’s Commitment To Sustainability Driving Solutions To Stormwater, Energy Use, Shale Challenges

Pittsburgh’s commitment to a sustainable future is driving the development of innovative solutions and new, green technologies that address the challenges of reducing energy usage, addressing stormwater issues caused by aging and inadequate infrastructure, and reducing the environmental impacts of shale gas development.

* Green Building Groups Demonstrate Performance Of Above-Code Buildings June 6 In Harrisburg

The Delaware Valley Green Building Council, Green Building Alliance in Pittsburgh and USGBC Central Pennsylvania will demonstrate the energy efficiency benefits of above-building code construction by building two icehouses on the Capitol steps on June 6 in Harrisburg starting with a press conference at 9:00 a.m. (12:30 in the East Wing Rotunda in the event of rain).

* FracTracker Susquehanna River Basin Impacts Project Forums June 6, 14, 15

The FracTracker Susquehanna River Basin Impacts Project will hold a series of three workshops  in Lancaster, Lycoming and Schuylkill counties to hold a public discussion on the impacts of Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling has on the Susquehanna River Watershed in Pennsylvania.

* Understanding The Urban Watershed Student Summit June 6-8 At Audubon Center, Montgomery County

The University City Review reported Wednesday that on June 6 through 8, students from participating schools will join together for Understanding the Urban Watershed Student Summit held at the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove in Audubon, Montgomery County where they will enjoy a nature scavenger hunt, hiking and canoeing, connecting what they have been learning all year in the watershed.

* Grammy Winner Mary Chapin Carpenter Holds Benefit For Pocono Environmental Ed Center Oct. 24

Harmony Presents will produce a benefit concert for the Pocono Environmental Education Center on October 24 in Scranton staring 5-time Grammy winning performer Mary Chapin Carpenter in concert at the Lackawanna College Theater.

* Brodhead Watershed Assn Mount Nebo Get Outdoors Poconos Hike June 24 Monroe County

The Brodhead Watershed Association will host another in its series of Get Outdoors Poconos hikes June 24 at the 159-acre Mount Nebo Regional Park in Smithfield Township, Monroe County starting at 10:00 a.m.

* Celebrate And Enjoy PA Rivers: Participate In An Annual Sojourn

They have shaped and nurtured Pennsylvania's economic growth, enhanced its natural beauty, and offered limitless recreational opportunities. They are Pennsylvania's rivers.

* Registration Open For June 22-24 Wilderness Sojourn On PA’s River Of The Year: The Allegheny River

The Penn Soil Resource Conservation and Development Council is now accepting registrations for the June 22-24 Allegheny River Wilderness Sojourn, just one of the events planned to celebrate the designation of the Allegheny River as the 2017 PA River of the Year.

* Local Partners, DCNR, DCED Celebrate Montour Trail As PA Trail Of The Year

To celebrate the Montour Trail in Allegheny and Washington counties as the state's 2017 Trail of the Year, Wolf Administration officials Thursday joined members of the Montour Trail Council to cut a ribbon and break ground for new trail segments.

* National Road Heritage Corridor Receives Doppelt Family Trail Development Grant

The national Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Thursday announced the recipients of its 2017 Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund grants, a fund to support small, regional projects that are vital to trail systems but often fall through the cracks of traditional funding streams.

* Mark Your Calendar: PRPS PA Greenways And Trail Summit Sept. 24-26 In Reading

The PA Recreation and Parks Society will hold the 2017 PA Greenways and Trails Summit on September 24-26 at the DoubleTree Hilton in Reading, Berks County.

* D&L National Heritage Corridor Earns Smithsonian Institution Partnership

The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor is America’s first National Heritage Area to receive an important partnership designation from the Smithsonian Institution.

* Centred Outdoors Connects Conservation, Good Health In Centre County

The Clearwater Conservancy, along with many partnering organizations, this week launched Centred Outdoors, an open invitation to free guided adventures at nine outdoor destinations around Centre County during the summer of 2017.

* Children Provide Design Ideas For New Lebanon Playground

Children provided their input for a new playspace in the City of Lebanon by drawing pictures of their dream playgrounds. These drawings will inspire elements of a new playground that will be built on September 16 at Southwest Park by municipal, organization, and business officials, as well as many community volunteers.

* May 31 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The May 31 edition of the Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring stories on--

* Agriculture: Pennsylvanians Urged To Vaccinate Pets, Take Precautions Against Rabies

As Pennsylvanians enjoy outdoor activities across the Keystone State, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding Friday offered a series of tips to reduce the threat of rabies, such as vaccinating pets and staying clear of wild animals.

* 2017 Save Our Susquehanna Buttons Available June 1 From Fish Commission

The new 2017 “S.O.S. – Save Our Susquehanna” button will be available for purchase beginning June 1. A fishing license is required to purchase the $10 button and all profits from the button sales will go to fund the campaign.

* May/June Currents Newsletter Now Available From Fish & Boat Commission

The May/June edition of the Currents newsletter is now available from the Fish and Boat Commission featuring articles on--

* Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Receives Highest Charity Navigator Rating For 3rd Year

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Berks County recently earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America's largest independent charity monitor. This is the third consecutive year that the organization holds the highest possible rating.

* Opportunity To Bid On DEP Water Supply Distribution System Project In Lancaster County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the June 3 PA Bulletin of the opportunity to bid on a hazardous site cleanup water supply distribution system in Lancaster County.

* Interns Wanted: Allegheny Land Trust Conservation, Other Internship Openings

The Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Land Trust has openings for three summer intern positions for conservation, marketing and special projects.  Applications are due June 12.  Click Here for all the details.

* Help Wanted: DEP Blasting & Explosives Inspector, Schuylkill County

Department of Environmental Protection is now recruiting to fill one vacancy for a Blasting and Explosives Inspector in Schuylkill 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

 

* Regulations, Technical Guidance & Permits

No new regulations were published this week.  Pennsylvania Bulletin - June 3, 2017 

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* 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.

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