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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, July 17, 2017 Issue #681
(7/17/2017)
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* EPA Report Finds DEP Lacks The Resources To Implement Critical MS4 Stormwater Program

A June 2 report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found the Department of Environmental Protection lacks the resources and staff to implement minimum federal MS4 Stormwater Management Program requirements, the same finding EPA made in  2011.

* FY17-18 Budget Now Law, It Fails To Address ANY Environmental Funding Shortfalls

At midnight Monday, Gov. Wolf allowed the $31.996 billion General Fund budget bill--  House Bill 218 (Saylor-R-York)-- to become law without his signature and without the revenue package to pay for it.  Gov. Wolf has not signed a General Fund budget bill for three fiscal years in a row now.

* House Amends Administrative Code Bill With Environmental Riders

The House Appropriations Committee late Monday amended  Senate Bill 446 (McGarrigle-R- Delaware) in a party-line vote to add these provisions to the Administrative Code to--

* PEDF Submits Brief To Declare FY17-18 Oil & Gas Fund Transfers Unconstitutional

The PA Environmental Defense Foundation Thursday submitted its detailed brief to Commonwealth Court asking the Court to declare unconstitutional the transfer of $61 million from the Oil and Gas Lease Fund to pay, in part, to finance the general operations of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. (House Bill 218 (Saylor-R-York) page 366)

* Chronic Wasting Disease Found In Wild Deer; Elk And Deer Herds At Risk

The Game Commission Thursday announced chronic wasting disease has spread to free-ranging deer in Bell Township, Clearfield County, where it previously had been detected only in captive deer.

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

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--

* Bills On Governor's Desk

The following bills were given final approval by the Senate and House and are now on the Governor's desk for action--

* Senate/House Agenda For This Week

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

* Bill Rolling Back Protection For Streams From Mining Goes To Governor

By a vote of 28 to 21, the Senate Monday gave final approval to Senate Bill 624 (Scarnati-R- Jefferson) retroactively rolling back protections for streams from deep coal mining.  It now goes to the Governor for his action, who is likely to sign the bill. 

* Will The Senate Vote The Hellbender To Be State Amphibian?

The Senate Tabled Senate Bill 658 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) designating the eastern hellbender Pennsylvania’s state amphibian this week because the bill had been on the Senate Calendar for 10 legislative days without action.

* DEP Mass Certifies Potentially Thousands Of Nutrient Reduction Credits In Chesapeake Bay Watershed

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the July 15 PA Bulletin of a mass certification of nutrient credits under the Nutrient Credit Trading Program in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed from wastewater treatment plants.

* Paddler Does Water Testing During 100-Mile Schuylkill River Sojourn

Sarah Chudnovsky of Shillington, Pennsylvania spent a week testing water in the Schuylkill River as part of the Schuylkill River Sojourn in June.

* Feature: A Vision For The Lost Creek Watershed In Juniata County

By Jenna Mackley and Matt Royer, PSU Agriculture and Environment Center

* PSU Ag & Environment Center Events On Conservation Practices In Chiques Creek Watershed, Lancaster

The Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center and Chiques Creek Re-envisioned are partners in offering several events this summer to promote conservation practices and clean water in the Chiques Watershed in Lancaster County.

* PA Public-Private Partnership Board Approves Wetlands Mitigation Bank

The Pennsylvania’s Public-Private Partnership (P3) Board Thursday approved a project to establish a wetland mitigation bank to offset environmental impacts from construction or development projects.

* DEP July 25 Public Meeting On Coal Refuse Area Expansion In Cambria County

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced it will hold an informal public conference on July 25 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at Portage Township Municipal Building, 4109 Portage Street, Portage, Cambria County to accept feedback on Rosebud Mining Company’s application to expand the Refuse Area No. 1 (Permit No. 11040701) by 178.6 surface acres to the north and east and add a new outfall.

* Brodhead Creek Watershed Assn River Ramble Set For August 6, Monroe County

The Brodhead Creek Watershed Association will holds its annual River Ramble on August 6 and starts at the Middle Smithfield Municipal Building, 147 Municipal Drive, East Stroudsburg, Monroe County at 1:00 and will last until 4:00.

* 2 Sponsors Recognized For Adopt-A-Stream Program, Brodhead Creek Watershed Assn

The Brodhead Creek Watershed Association Thursday thanked Desaki Restaurant of Swiftwater and Strauser Nature’s Helpers of East Stroudsburg for joining the family of Adopt-A-Stream sponsors.

* Penn State Agriculture And Environment Center Quarterly Newsletter Now Available

The July quarterly newsletter from the Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center is now available featuring stories on--

* Students Serve As Stream Stewards In Delaware County, Your School May Be Eligible

This spring, more than 1,200 students living in eastern Pennsylvania learned about the importance of protecting local waterways by participating in the PA Resources Council's Stream Stewards Program in Delaware County.

* Chesapeake Bay Foundation Offering 2 Teacher Workshops in PA August 7-11

Time is short to register for two Chesapeake Bay Foundation teacher workshops for  Pennsylvania educators to be held from August 7 to 11—

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Aug. 3 Hearing On Water Withdrawal Requests

The  Susquehanna River Basin Commission will hold a hearing August 3 on water withdrawal requests scheduled for action at the September 7 meeting.  (formal notice and list of projects)

* PA American Water Unveils Interactive 2017 Upgrade Project Map

PA American Water customers have a new tool at their disposal to see where their water bill dollars are flowing. The company Monday announced the launch of an interactive web-based map of its 2017 Infrastructure Upgrade Projects.

* Keep PA Beautiful Invites Pennsylvanians To Participate In International Coastal Cleanup

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful invites Pennsylvania residents and businesses to coordinate a cleanup as part of the 2017 International Coastal Cleanup held from September 1 through October 31.

* PA Resources Council Hosts July 29 Hard-To-Recycle Collection In Allegheny County

The PA Resources Council will host a Hard-To-Recycle collection on July 29, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at LaRoche College in Allegheny County to enable area residents to conveniently dispose of numerous items not suitable for curbside recycling.

* Clinton County CleanScapes Holds July 22 Bald Eagle Creek Cleanup

Clinton County CleanScapes and Sunken Treasure Scuba Center will hold a cleanup on Bald Eagle Creek on July 22 in Bald Eagle Township from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

* Reminder: Summer Is A Good Time To Take Photos For PRC’s Lens On Litter Photo Contest

Throughout your summer travels-- and time spent closer to home-- keep an eye out for litter.

* July Newsletter Now Available From The PA Resources Council

The July edition of the PA Resources Council newsletter is now available featuring articles on--

* West Nile Virus Program Announces Positive Mosquito Results In 13 New Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection this week announced positive mosquito results for West Nile Virus have been found in Cumberland Township, Adams County; Johnstown City, Cambria County; Palmerton Borough, Carbon County; Bloomsburg, Columbia County; City of Harrisburg, Lykens Borough, Swatara and Wiconisco Townships, Dauphin County; Brookhaven, Lansdowne and Morton Boroughs, Delaware County; North Lebanon and West Cornwall Townships, Lebanon County; Montoursville Borough, Lycoming County; Plains Township, Luzerne County; Philadelphia County; Mifflinburg Borough, Union County; Latrobe Borough, Westmoreland County; and Springettsbury Township, York County.

* Delaware RiverKeeper Files Appeal Of Legal Challenge To Mariner East 2 Pipeline In Chester County

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network Tuesday appealed the decision of the Chester County Court of Common Pleas to dismiss its legal challenge to the Sunoco Mariner East II pipeline project.

* DEP Meeting/Hearing Aug. 3 On Homer City Power Plant Air Quality Permit

Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced it will hold a public meeting and hearing August 3 on an air quality plan approval application for Homer City Generating Station located in Black Lick and Center Townships, Indiana County.

* FirstEnergy Launches Grid Modernization Program In Pennsylvania

FirstEnergy Corp. Thursday announced it is undertaking more than $600 million in transmission projects through 2018 in the company's Pennsylvania Electric Company and Metropolitan Edison service areas. 

* Sustainable Pittsburgh Straight Talk: All Sustainability Is Local

In a resource-constrained world, consumerism is the elephant in the room.  The good news is that when we do make purchases, the choices in where we shop and what we purchase can have a sustainable impact. 

* Shop 100 Sustainable Small Businesses Thru July 15 In The Pittsburgh Region And Win Prizes!

Prepare your shopping lists! The campaign is on to raise awareness of the 100 participating small businesses in the Pittsburgh Region that have earned “Sustainable” designation through Sustainable Pittsburgh’s formal sustainability performance program for small businesses.

* July 6, July 14 Sustainable Pittsburgh INSIDER Newsletters Now Available

The July 6 edition of the INSIDER from Sustainable Pittsburgh is now available featuring articles on--

* Federal Facilities In Altoona, Wilkes-Barre Recognized For EPA Federal Green Challenge Achievements

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday recognized the James E. Van Zandt Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Altoona, Blair County for reducing the facility’s environmental impact by increasing its hybrid vehicle fleet by 125 percent.

* Penn State Energy & Environmental Sustainability Labs To Host Open House Aug. 31

The Penn State Energy and Environmental Sustainability Laboratories will host a Cheese and Wine Open House on August 31 in the Nittany Lion Inn Alumni Lounge in State College, Centre County from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

* Treasurer Torsella Joins Effort To Stay In Paris Climate Accord, Touts PennSEF Program

Treasurer Joe Torsella Monday signed an open letter to the international community and parties to the Paris climate accord, sending a clear message that despite the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the agreement, a growing number of state and local officials remain committed to fighting climate change.

* Auditor General DePasquale Joins Effort To Stay In Paris Climate Accord

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale Wednesday released the following statement after he joined elected officials, higher education officials and business leaders in signing the We Are Still In petition in support of the Paris Climate Change Accord:

* June In Case You Missed It Now Available From PA Environmental Council

The June edition of In Case You Missed It is now available from the PA Environmental Council featuring articles on--

* Former Susquehanna County Railyard To Be Converted To Community Park

Wolf Administration officials Thursday announced state investments will assist with the remediation and redevelopment of a portion of the former Erie Railyard in Susquehanna County into a community park.

* Registration Open For 2017 PA Greenways & Trails Summit Sept. 24-26 In Reading

The PA Recreation and Parks Society is now accepting registrations for the 2017 PA Greenways and Trails Summit on September 24-26 at the DoubleTree Hilton in Reading, Berks County.

* 3rd Annual Lehigh Valley Get Outdoors PA Festival July 22 In Allentown

Lehigh Valley Greenways Conservation Landscape Partners will hold the 3rd Annual Lehigh Valley Get Outdoors PA Festival on July 22 from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. at South Whitehall Township’s Covered Bridge Park at the Athletic Fields near 4060 River Road in Allentown. 

* Cherry Springs State Park Nationally Recognized As Stargazing Site

Cherry Springs State Park in Potter County was recognized by the MSN Travel page as possibly the best spot for stargazing in all of the United States.  On any given night, 10,000 stars are visible to the naked eye.  Click Here for more on stargazing at the park.

* DCNR Finalizes Survey Results From ATV Enthusiasts

At the end of last year, DCNR conducted an online public survey to better gauge ATV use across Pennsylvania and plan for future riding opportunities in the state.

* Learn About Life In A PA CCC Camp July 23 At Poe Valley State Park, Centre County

Bring your family and friends to participate in a fun, educational, day-long program about the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in Pennsylvania at Poe Valley State Park in Centre County on July 23.

* Friends Of The Allegheny Wilderness Stewardship, Cleanup Weekend July 28-30

The Friends of Allegheny Wilderness will hold its next major stewardship and cleanup day of the 13-mile Hickory Creek Wilderness Trail over the weekend of July 28-30 in Warren County.

* Pocono Heritage Land Trust Hosts ForEvergreen 5K Run Aug. 12 In Monroe County

The Pocono Heritage Land Trust, Brodhead Creek Watershed Association and Stroud Township will host the ForEvergreen 5K Run on August 12 at the ForEvergreen Nature Preserve, Cherry Lane Road in Stroudsburg, Monroe County.  Registration closes August 1.

* July 12 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The July 12 edition of the Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* PA Urban & Community Forestry Council Webinar Series On TreeVitalize Grants

Applications will be accepted for 2018 TreeVitalize Grants until August 15.  Not sure which grant opportunity fits best with your community? Need help with a planting plan? Want to learn more about how we review applications? 

* Cook Forest Film Benefit Premiere July 28-29 At Sawmill Center For The Arts In Clarion County

Wild Excellence Films Monday announced their film--  Cathedral: The Fight to Save the Ancient Hemlocks of Cook Forest-- will premiere at Sawmill Center for the Arts in Cooksburg, Clarion County on July 28, and 29, at 8:00 p.m.

* Foundation For Sustainable Forests Summer Newsletter Now Available

The Summer newsletter of the Foundation for Sustainable Forests is now available featuring articles on--

* Gov. Pinchot’s Grey Towers 13th Annual Festival Of Wood August 5-6

"Goods from the Woods” is the focus of the 13th Annual Festival of Wood at Gov. Pinchot’s Grey Towers National Historic Site in Milford, Pike County on August 5 - 6.

* Fish & Boat Commission Keeps Closed Season On Bass In Susquehanna, Juniata Rivers

Fish and Boat Commission Board Tuesday voted to keep in place for at least one more year a closed season on bass fishing in the middle and lower Susquehanna and lower Juniata rivers during the traditional spawning period from May 1 through mid-June.

* Help Wanted: Susquehanna Greenway Partnership AmeriCorps Positions

The Susquehanna Greenway Partnership is seeking applications for paid AmeriCorps positions for-

* 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 - July 15, 2017

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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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