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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, July 31, 2017 Issue #683
(7/31/2017)
* Nothing In Senate $970 Million Revenue Package For The Environment, Code Bills Littered With Environmental Riders

By a vote of 26 to 24 the Senate Thursday passed a $970 million revenue package that includes no new money for environmental project or program funding and the related Code bills are filled with environmental riders, most wanted by industry groups.

* Senate Environmental Permitting Changes Would Emasculate DEP’s Ability To Regulate Air, Water, Mining, Waste, Radiation, Oil & Gas

The Tax Code bill passed by the Senate Thursday-- House Bill 542 (Thomas-D-Philadelphia) -- includes provisions creating a special Advisory Committee that must approve any air quality general permits for oil and gas operations before they go into effect and directs DEP to set up a third-party permit review program for all its permits.

* PEC Urges House, Senate Members, Governor To Oppose Drastic Changes To DEP Permit Reviews

The PA Environmental Council Thursday sent a letter to all members of the General Assembly  and Gov. Wolf urging them to oppose provisions in the Tax Code bill-- House Bill 542 (Thomas-D-Philadelphia)-- that make drastic and unprecedented changes to permit reviews by the Department of Environmental Protection.

* Growing Greener Coalition Urges Senate, House Members To Protect Local Environmental Restoration Project Funding

The PA Growing Greener Coalition Saturday sent a letter to all members of the Senate and House encouraging members to oppose any budget revenue plan that involves diverting monies from the Keystone and Environmental Stewardship (Growing Greener) Funds and the state’s agricultural land preservation program.

* DEP Reports 19,900 Miles Of Impaired Streams, Rivers To EPA, Lower Susquehanna Listed As Impaired For Recreation Only

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced it has submitted the 2016 Draft Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, listing the 19,900 miles of impaired waterways in Pennsylvania.

* Environmental Hearing Board Orders Halt On All Mariner East 2 Pipeline Construction Drilling

The Environmental Hearing Board Tuesday granted the petition of Clean Air Council, Mountain Watershed Association, Inc., and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network to halt all drilling operations at 55 locations associated with the construction of the Mariner East 2 natural gas liquids pipelines.

* DEP Takes More Action On Mariner East 2 Pipeline Violations, Statement On EHB Order

Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced it will enforce a Consent Order and Agreement with Sunoco Pipeline L.P. for violations associated with its Mariner East 2 project in West Whiteland and Uwchlan townships, Chester County.

* 15th Anniversary Of Quecreek Mine Rescue Celebrated In Somerset

Former Gov. Mark Schweiker, former DEP Secretary David Hess, Joe Sbaffoni, then head of Bituminous Mine Safety, several miners rescued from the Quecreek Mine and current DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell Thursday joined rescue site owner Bill Arnold and many others to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the historic Quecreek Mine Rescue.

* Op-Ed: PA High Court Addresses Scope Of The Environmental Rights Amendment

By Terry R. Bossert, Post & Schell, The Legal Intelligencer

* 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/House Bills Moving

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

* House State Government Committee Holds Aug. 2 Info Meeting On State Regulations

The House State Government Committee will hold another in its series of hearing on state government regulations and government overreach on August 2.

* House Agriculture Committee To Get Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Briefing Aug. 16

The House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee has scheduled a meeting on August 16 to hear an update on the Chesapeake Bay Phase III Watershed Implementation Planning process.

* July Environmental Synopsis Available From Joint Conservation Committee

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

* PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Phase 3 Planning Steering Committee Meets July 31

The steering committee coordinating development of Phase 3 of Pennsylvania’s plan to clean up local waters in counties in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed will hold its third meeting on  July 31 from 1:00 to 4:00.

* Feature: Hunters, Anglers, Water Quality And Forested Buffers

By Caitlyn Johnstone, Chesapeake Bay Program Outreach Coordinator

* Feature: Forests, Floodplains And Fish - They’re All Connected To Water Quality

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources manages about 2.5 million acres of public lands on behalf of all Pennsylvanians. As part of its mission, the department looks to incorporate sustainable management practices to do the right thing, and also demonstrate those practices to the public.

* PSU: Farmers, Homeowners Can Learn To Protect Water Quality At Ag Progress Days Aug. 15-17

Pennsylvania has 86,000 miles of rivers and streams, which flow through farms and backyards, cities and towns, forests and fields. This means that no matter where Pennsylvanians live, virtually all citizens have a role to play in protecting the state's critical water resources.

* Bipartisan Bills Introduced In Congress To Create Susquehanna River National Heritage Area

Congressman Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster), along with Congressmen Scott Perry (R-Cumberland) and Pat Meehan (R-Lancaster/ Philadelphia), and U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced legislation in Congress in June to create the Susquehanna River National Heritage Area.

* Comments Invited On Kishacoquillas, Mifflin County; Whiteley Creek Watershed, Greene County TMDL-Related Plans

The Department of Environmental Protection is inviting comments on the proposed Alternative Restoration Plans (ARPs) developed for subwatersheds within the Kishacoquillas Creek Watershed in Mifflin County. (formal notice PA Bulletin page 4216)

* 3 Rivers Wet Weather Sewer Conference Oct. 11-12 In Allegheny County

3 Rivers Wet Weather will hold its annual Sewer Conference October 11-12 at the Monroeville Convention Center in Allegheny County.

* Water Wiser Kids Program Debuts Aug. 19 At Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge Monroe County

The Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge near Stroudsburg in Monroe County will host a Water Wiser Kids Program on August 19 starting at 10:30 a.m.

* PennVEST, PA Housing Finance Agency Offer Septic System Repair, Sewer Hookup Loans

The PA Infrastructure Investment Authority and the PA Housing Finance Agency Wednesday reminded homeowners they offer an affordable loan for on-lot septic system repair or replacement, or first-time sewer connection.

* PA Resources Council: Pennsylvania’s Act 101 Recycling Law Turns 29!

On July 28, 1988 Gov. Bob Casey signed into law the most innovative recycling legislation in the nation, setting the standard for state recycling laws across the country.

* DEP OKs Vertical Expansion Of Frey Farm Landfill In Lancaster County

The Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority Wednesday announced it received final approval from the Department of Environmental Protection on its application for a major permit modification to vertically expand the Frey Farm Landfill.

* Gov. Wolf Celebrates Opening Of Shipley Energy CNG Station In York County

Gov. Tom Wolf Friday helped celebrate the opening of a new compressed natural gas (CNG) station at a Shipley Energy fleet fueling facility in Spring Garden Township, York County.

* DEP Holds Aug. 3 Hearing On Warren Nonattainment Area Air Plan Revision

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced it will hold a public hearing on August 2 at 10:00 a.m. to receive comments on changes to the proposed State Implementation Plan designed to bring the Warren area into compliance with federal air emissions standards.

* RACT II Air Quality Plan Hearing Sept. 6 For Truck Accessories Group, Northumberland County

The Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled a hearing on September 6 on the RACT II Plan and amendment to the State Air Quality Implementation Plan for the Milton Plant of the Truck Accessories Group in Milton Borough, Northumberland County.

* DEP Issues Water Quality Certification For Equitrans Pipeline Project In Western PA

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the July 29 PA Bulletin announcing it has issued the final Water Quality Certification for the Equitrans Pipeline Project in Allegheny, Greene and Washington counties.  (formal notice, PA Bulletin page 4214)

* DEP Invites Comments On Draft Guidance For Pipeline Water Quality Certification

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the July 29 PA Bulletin inviting public comments on a draft policy for state water quality certification for interstate natural gas pipelines regulated by FERC.

* DEP Publishes Revised Chapter 105 Environmental Assessment Form, Instructions

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the July 29 PA Bulletin that an updated Environmental Assessment Form and Instruction for Chapter 105 Water Obstruction and Encroachment Applications is now available on DEP’s website.

* Groups Deliver Petitions To Gov. Wolf Asking To Continue Delaware Watershed Fracking Ban

On Thursday several organizations delivered petitions to Gov. Tom Wolf signed by 63,674 people calling for a permanent ban on fracking in the Delaware River Watershed.

* PUC Publishes Staff Report On Effectiveness Of Energy Conservation, Assistance Programs

The Public Utility Commission published its staff report on the PUC’s Review Of Universal Service and Energy Conservation Programs in the July 29 PA Bulletin (page 4238).

* Pittsburgh Hosts National Forum On Low/Zero Energy Buildings April 17-19

Rocky Mountain Institute and New Buildings Institute are once again joining forces to bring you the premier global event dedicated to defining the future of low energy and zero energy buildings, the Getting To Zero National Forum in Pittsburgh April 17-19, 2018 at the Wyndam Grand Hotel.

* NRDC: U.S. Judge Upholds New York’s Zero Emission Credits For Nuclear Power Plants

U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni issued a ruling Tuesday saying the New York program awarding zero emission credits to certain nuclear generators for their zero-emissions electricity production is constitutional and does not intrude on federal jurisdiction of wholesale electricity markets and dismissed the case against the program, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

* Penn State: Allowable Carbon Budget In Climate Programs Likely Overestimated

While most climate scientists, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, implicitly define "pre-industrial" to be in the late 1800's, a true non-industrially influenced baseline is probably further in the past, according to an international team of researchers who are concerned because it affects the available carbon budget for meeting the 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) warming limit agreed to in the Paris Conference of 2015.

* West Nile Virus Program Announces Positive Mosquito Results In Greene County

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced positive mosquito results for West Nile Virus have been found in Rices Landing Borough, Greene County.

* DEP Employees Paddle With A Purpose, Joining The Fight Against Invasive Water Chestnut

By Sarah Anderson, DEP Intern, Clean Water

* DCNR Recognizes Employees Going Above And Beyond To Support Agency Mission

This year, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources employees once again have gone above and beyond to further the goals of the agency, and they were recognized by their peers and supervisors for efforts.

* PEC: Meet Pennsylvania’s Newest Water Trail - Oil Creek In Crawford & Venango County

Along its 47-mile journey to the Allegheny River, Oil Creek winds through the heart of Pennsylvania’s historic Oil Region, birthplace of the commercial oil industry.

* Brodhead Watershed Assn: Aug. 19 Cherry Valley Refuge Hike; $50K Matching Gift To Support Programs

The Brodhead Watershed Association will host another in its series of Get Outdoors Poconos hikes on August 19 at the Cherry Valley Wildlife Refuge near Stroudsburg, Monroe County starting at 10:00..

* 2018 Pennsylvania State Parks Calendars Now Available

The 2018 Pennsylvania State Parks Calendar is back again with award winning photography from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation photo contest.

* July 26 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The July 26 issue of the Resource newsletter from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is now available featuring articles on--

* Wildlands Conservancy Highlights August Educational Programs In Lehigh Valley

The Lehigh Valley-based Wildlands Conservancy Monday highlight educational programs and other events happening in August, including--

* Ned Smith Center For Nature And Arts Festival July 29 In Dauphin County

The Ned Smith Center for Nature and Arts will holds its annual Nature and Arts Festival on July 29 featuring more than 70 programs and performances from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Millerburg’s MYO Park in Dauphin County.

* Premiere: Ned Smith Gone For The Day WITF Documentary Aug. 11 At Ned Smith Center, Dauphin County

Join WITF and the PA Conservation Heritage Project for the premiere screening the the Ned Smith Gone For The Day documentary at the Ned Smith Center For Nature and Art in Millersburg, Dauphin County.

* Game Commission Creates New Position To Fight Chronic Wasting Disease In Deer, Elk

The Game Commission Wednesday announced it has created a new executive-level position to direct its ongoing and intensifying efforts to limit the spread of chronic wasting disease in wild white-tailed deer and neutralize its threat to wild elk.

* Endangered Piping Plovers Returned To Presque Isle State Park In Erie

Absent as a Pennsylvania breeding bird since the mid-1950s, two pairs of federally endangered Great Lakes piping plovers returned this year to nest in the Gull Point Natural Area at Presque Isle State Park in Erie County.

* Hawk Mountain Autumn Migration Hawk Watch Off To Flying Start Aug. 12

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Berks County invites visitors to watch and monitor the annual passage of raptor migrants as they move south during the Autumn Hawk Watch, held daily August 15 through December 15, at the Sanctuary’s famous North Lookout.

* 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 July 29 PA Bulletin of a final regulation making changes to Environmental Laboratory Accreditation regulations, including increases in permit fees. (PA Bulletin page 4085)

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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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PA Environment Digest is a supporting member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association, Pennsylvania Council Trout Unlimited and the Doc Fritchey Chapter Trout Unlimited.

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