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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Oct. 23, 2017 Issue #695
(10/23/2017)
* House Passes Tax Code Bill With NO Environmental Riders, Returns To Senate

A bipartisan vote of 70 Republicans and 32 Democrats Tuesday was enough to pass a Tax Code bill-- House Bill 542 (Thomas-D- Philadelphia)-- another attempt at putting a revenue package on the Governor’s desk to support the $31.9 billion General Fund budget the General Assembly passed in June.

* House Sends Admin Code Bill To Governor WITH Environmental Riders

The House Wednesday concurred in Senate amendments to the Administrative Code bill that is part of the Senate budget package-- House Bill 118 (Kaufer-R-Luzerne).  The action sends the bill to the Governor for his action.

* Sen. Yudichak Introduces Resolution Requiring Independent Performance Evaluation Of Chapter 102, 105 DEP Permit Programs

Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne), Minority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, Thursday introduced Senate Resolution 226 to require the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to do an independent performance evaluation of DEP’s Chapter 102 (Erosion and Sedimentation) and Chapter 105 (Water Obstruction and Encroachment) permit programs.

* 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 Bills Moving Last Week

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

* 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--

* House Passes Utility, Natural Gas Pipeline Safety PA One Call Bill, Returns To Senate

The House Wednesday gave final approval to Senate Bill 242 (Baker-R-Luzerne) adding unconventional and larger conventional natural gas gathering lines to the PA One Call utility safety program. 

* House Finance Committee Reports Out Natural Gas Severance Tax, Nothing For The Environment

The House Finance Committee Wednesday amended and voted 16 to 9 to report out House Bill 1401 (DiGirolamo-R-Bucks) which amends the Tax Code to impose a sliding scale natural gas severance tax, in addition to the Act 13 drilling impact fee, on natural gas production.

* Senate Environmental Committee Makes Chesapeake Bay Funding Bill Optional

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Tuesday amended and reported out legislation which makes a program to fund Chesapeake Bay nutrient pollution reductions optional for communities.

* Bill Allowing The General Assembly To Kill A Regulation By Doing Nothing Was Reported For Referral To Another House Committee

The House Commerce Committee reported out House Bill 1237 (Keefer-R-York) which amends the Regulatory Review Act requiring the General Assembly to specifically approve “economically significant” final regulations approved by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission.

* Agriculture Reports Nearly 1,500 Properties Infested With Spotted Lanternfly Populations In Eastern PA

The Senate and House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committees Wednesday held a joint hearing on the impact of the Spotted Lanternfly in quarantine areas in Eastern Pennsylvania reporting that 1,462 properties have infestations so far.

* Sen. Boscola Introduces Bill To Allow Large Electric Users To Opt-Out Of Act 129 Energy Efficiency Program

Sen. Lisa Boscola (D-Lehigh) Thursday introduced legislation-- Senate Bill 805-- to allow large commercial and industrial electricity users to opt-out of the Act 129 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Program.

* Senate Bill Limiting The Term Of Executive Directors Of Fish & Boat Commission To Be Considered Oct. 23

The Senate Game and Fisheries Committee has scheduled a meeting for October 23 to consider Senate Bill 935 (Scarnati-R-Jefferson) which would limit the term of the Executive Director of the Fish and Boat Commission to eight years.

* Electronics Waste Recycling Bill Subject Of Oct. 24 Senate Environmental Committee Hearing

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on Senate Bill 800 (Alloway-R-Franklin) to create a new Waste Electronic Equipment Recover Act to replace the 2010 Covered Device Recycling Act that provides for the collection and recycling of electronics waste.

* Senate Committee To Consider Bill To Fund Energy Efficiency Projects Thru Property Assessed Clean Energy Programs Oct. 24

The Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee is scheduled to meet on October 24 to consider Senate Bill 234 (Blake-D-Lackawanna) would authorize local governments to create energy improvement districts to help fund energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation projects by commercial and industrial buildings to reduce their operating costs (sponsor summary).

* Senate Consumer Affairs Committee To Consider FERC Coal/Nuclear Electric Pricing Resolution Oct. 24

The Senate Consumer Affairs & Professional Licensure Committee is scheduled to meet on October 24 to consider Senate Resolution 227 (Aument-R-Lancaster) urging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to quickly implement policies to ensure baseload electricity generation (like coal and nuclear) are compensated for all the positive attributes they provide to the electric system (sponsor summary).

* Senate Environmental Committee Holds Oct. 30 Hearing On Lead Exposure, Mitigation In Luzerne County

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on lead exposure and mitigation October 30 in Pittston, Luzerne County.

* DEP Project Provides Drinking Water To 148 Homes, Businesses In Clearfield County Affected By Abandoned Mine

Department of Environmental Protection Monday announced funding for an Abandoned Mine Land project to construct a public waterline to serve 148 homes and businesses with public drinking water.

* Montour Run Watershed Assn. Receives $100K S. Kent Rockwell Foundation Maintenance Grant For Mine Drainage Treatment Projects

The Montour Run Watershed Association Monday announced it has been selected to receive a $100,000 grant by the S. Kent Rockwell Foundation which will allow the MRWA to perform necessary maintenance on its passive water treatment systems.

* Growing Greener Funds Wetland Restoration, Education Project In Columbia County

Department of Environmental Protection Executive Deputy Secretary Ramez Ziadeh and Northcentral Regional Director Marcus Kohl Thursday toured a recently completed restoration project funded through the Growing Greener program at Camp Victory, a nonprofit camp providing services to children with special needs, in Millville, Columbia County.

* Restoration Project Restores Tom's Run In Michaux State Forest, Cumberland County

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Friday joined partners in a visit to Camp Michaux in the Michaux State Forest in Cumberland County to view a project to restore Tom’s Run to its historic location.

* DCNR Awarded $750K Grant For Stream Buffers In Chesapeake Bay Watershed

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Friday announced it was awarded a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Grant for $750,000 to help plant forested buffers along streams to improve water quality.

* Stroud Water Research Center Helps Lead New Task Force To Boost Watershed Education, Stewardship

The Stroud Water Research Center in Chester County recently entered into a cooperative agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Chesapeake Bay Program Office and Pennsylvania partners to improve and expand environmental literacy and watershed education and stewardship among Pennsylvania K-12 students and educators.

* Bloomsburg U, Chesapeake Conservancy Partner On Restoring Susquehanna River Health

Bloomsburg University in Columbia County is partnering with Chesapeake Conservancy to restore the health of the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay.

* Student Journal: Summer 2017 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Education Experience

By Emma Stone, Junior, Carlisle High School, Chesapeake Bay Foundation Blog

* PEC Blog: A Day Of Discovery On The Delaware River

By Patrick Starr, Executive Vice President Southeast Region, PEC

* Westmoreland Conservation District Hosts First AmeriCorps Member: Alyssa Harden

Alyssa Harden isn’t in the military, but she is serving our nation.  In fact she’s one of more than 80,000 citizens who are volunteering their time, energy, and talents in service to America through a program called AmeriCorps at the Westmoreland County Conservation District.

* Audubon Society of Western PA Seeking Volunteers For Tree Planting Project Nov. 18 In Butler County

The Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania is seeking volunteers to support a 21-acre reforestation project in Sarver, Butler County on November 18 from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

* Presentation Call: 2018 Keystone Coldwater Conference Extended To Oct. 27

The 2018 Keystone Coldwater Conference has extended its call for presentation proposals and posters through October 27. The Conference will be held in State College on February 23-24.

* Center For Watershed Protection September Science Bulletin Now Available

The September issue of the Watershed Science Bulletin from the Center for Watershed Protection is now available featuring four perspectives on the primary drivers of stream restoration, design approaches and techniques and restoration potential.

* PennVEST Approves $90.6M In Grants/Loans For Water Infrastructure Projects In 12 Counties

The PA Infrastructure Investment Authority Wednesday approved $74.7 million in loans and $16.9  million in grants for 15 drinking water, wastewater, stormwater and nonpoint sources projects in 12 counties.

* Aqua America Offers Customers Video, Tips To Minimize Lead Exposure

Aqua America, including Aqua Pennsylvania, is encouraging customers to be mindful of potential sources of lead in drinking water during Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, October 22 – 28.

* PA Housing Agency, PennVEST Expands Loan Program To Include Sewer Connections For Homeowners

The PA Infrastructure Investment Authority and the PA Housing Finance Agency are expanding a program intended to help homeowners with repairs and connections to septic and sewer systems.

* DEP Outlines New Procedures For Handling PAG-02 Stormwater General Permits Starting In December

DEP Executive Deputy Secretary for Programs Ramez Ziadeh told the Citizens Advisory Council Tuesday the agency will have new procedures for handling applications for the PAG-02 NPDES  General Permit covering stormwater discharges from construction activities starting December 8.

* Water Resources Advisory Committee To Discuss New E&S General Permit For Small Projects, Water Permit Fee Increases Oct. 25

The DEP Water Resources Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet on October 25 to discuss a new proposed PAG-01 General Permit covering erosion and sedimentation from small projects and a proposal to increase water quality permit review fees.

* Comments Invited On Changes To DEP Triennial Review Water Quality Standard Regs

The Environmental Quality Board published notice of proposed changes to Chapter 93 Water Quality Standards under the Triennial Review of Water Quality Standards for public review in the October 21 PA Bulletin (starting on page 6609) and giving notice of three public hearings.

* DEP Invites Comments On Water Quality Toxics Strategy Changes

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the October 21 PA Bulletin inviting comments on a revised Chapter 16 Water Quality Toxics Management Strategy and giving notice of three public hearings on the changes.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Invites Comments On Right-To-Know Policy

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission published notice in the October 21 PA Bulletin of proposed changes to its Access To Records [Right-To-Know] Policy for public comment and notice of a November 2 public hearing in Harrisburg.

* U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers: F.J. Sayers Dam & Reservoir Study Comment Response Now Available

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tuesday announced a comment response document is now available for the F.J. Sayers Dam and Reservoir Study responding to comments received during an August 30 workshop and associated comment period.

* Biogas, Food Waste Recycling, CHP & Wastewater Treatment In Philadelphia Workshop Oct. 24

The PA Biomass Energy Association and the Philadelphia Water Department will host a Biogas, Food Waste Recycling, CHP and Wastewater Treatment in Philadelphia Workshop on October 24 at the Northeast Water Pollution Control Plant with Biogas Co-gen Facility, 3899 Richmond Street in Philadelphia from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

* KPB: Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry Counties Tire War Collects Nearly 4,500 Tires

Keep PA Beautiful reported Keep Huntingdon County Beautiful, Keep Juniata County Beautiful, PA CleanWays of Mifflin County, and Keep Perry County Beautiful collected 4,326 tires as part of their annual Tire War, a friendly competition to compete for the most tires collected.

* DEP Warns Public Not To Dispose Of Tires At Luzerne County Business That Has No Permit

Department of Environmental Protection Friday issued a warning to the public not to dispose of old or recycled tires at Nationwide Tire Recycling, Inc. in Duryea, Luzerne County.

* PA's Square One Markets, Rutter's, Sheetz Stores Featured In National Recycling, Litter Reduction Guide

Keep America Beautiful and the National Association of Convenience Stores have partnered to produce the new resource, “Being a Good Neighbor: A Guide to Reducing Litter, Managing Trash and Encouraging Recycling.”

* PA Resources Council, PA American Water Host 3 Drug Take-Back Events Oct. 28 In Allegheny County

The PA Resources Council and PA American Water are hosting 3 Drug Take-Back Day Events in Allegheny County on October 28 as part of the U.S Drug Enforcement Agency National Drug Take-Back Day initiative.

* 4th Annual Centralia Clean Up Oct. 21 In Columbia County

The Eastern PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation and its partners will hold the 4th Annual Centralia Clean Up on October 21 in Centralia, Columbia County starting at 9:00 a.m.

* Last Major Pittsburgh Steel Mill Site Reborn As Hazelwood Green

With key infrastructure elements and land remediation at or near completion at the 178-acre Almono site in Hazelwood, Allegheny County elected officials, community leaders and Almono LLC Project Director Rebecca Flora gathered October 13 to announce a new name for the site - “Hazelwood Green.”

* New Radiological Health And Radon Certification Fees Now In Effect

The Environmental Quality Board published notice of final Radiological Health and Radon Certification Fee increases in the October 21 PA Bulletin.

* EQB OKs Noncoal Mining Fee Increases, Storage Tank Reg Updates For Public Comment

The Environmental Quality Board Tuesday approved for public comment proposed permit review fee increases for the Noncoal (mineral) Mining Program and updates to the Storage Tank regulations required by recent federal changes.

* PA Aggregates & Concrete Assn Issues Statement On Proposed DEP Permit Fee Increases

The PA Aggregates and Concrete Association Monday issued the following statement on proposed DEP permit fee increases to be considered at the Environmental Quality Board meeting Tuesday--

* Nov. 2 DEP Hearing On Proposed Berks County Natural Gas-Fired Power Plant

The Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday announced it will hold a public hearing November 2 on permits related to the proposed Birdsboro Power LLC natural gas power generation facility. (formal notices Oct. 21 PA Bulletin, page 6562)

* DEP Issues Water Quality Certification For Equitrans Gas Pipeline Replacement In Greene County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the October 21 PA Bulletin (page 6563) it has issued the final Section 401 State Water Quality Certification for the Equitrans Natural Gas Pipeline Replacement Project for 5 miles of 12-inch pipeline in Greene County.

* Nov. 20 DEP Hearing On RACT II Air Quality Plan For Foam Fabricators Columbia County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of a November 20 public hearing (if requested) on the proposed RACT II Air Quality Emissions Control Plan for Foam Fabricators in South Centre Township, Columbia County.  (formal notice Oct. 21 PA Bulletin page 6561)

* Lawmakers Join Southeast PA Residents In Call For Stronger Pipeline Safety Measures

Sen. Andy Dinniman (D-Chester) was joined Tuesday by fellow legislators and dozens of residents from Chester and Delaware counties in calling for stronger safety measures on pipeline routes and during pipeline construction.

* DEP Oil & Gas Advisory Board To Discuss Area Of Review Policy, Water Supply Replacement Nov. 1

The DEP Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board is scheduled to meet on November 1 to discuss the Area of Review, Water Supply Replacement and Deep Coal Mining/Gas Drilling technical guidance needed to implement the Chapter 78a regulations.

* State Agencies Announce City Of Harrisburg Sinkhole Buyouts Project Moving Forward

The PA Emergency Management Agency and Department of Community and Economic Development Tuesday announced the first round of buyouts for residents impacted by sinkholes along 14th Street in the City of Harrisburg are underway.

* Phipps Conservatory In Pittsburgh Creates Green Walls To Showcase Vertical Gardening

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh has created a display of LiveWall green walls to showcase vertical gardening as an option for growing local produce in urban areas.

* 44 Farms, More Than 3,600 Acres Added To PA Farmland Preservation Program

On October 12, the PA Agricultural Land Preservation Board voted to permanently preserve 3,620 acres on 44 farms for agricultural production.

* DCNR Continues To Aid Other States In Wildfire Fighting, Hurricane Relief

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources reported Tuesday Pennsylvania has mobilized eight 20-person crews so far this year to fight wildfires in California, Montana and other states, marking it as one of the busiest in the history of the Wildland Fire Crew Program.

* Time To View Fall Foliage In PA Slipping Away, Here A Some Trip Tips

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Thursday issued its latest Fall Foliage Report showing the time to see fall foliage in many areas of the state at its peak is slipping away.

* Still Time To Fill Out Survey On The Future Of PA State Parks!

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Tuesday reminded Pennsylvanians that the online survey about planning for the future of state parks will close at the end of this month.

* DCNR Reschedules Public Meetings On ATV Trail Study In Clinton County To Dec. 12, 19

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Thursday announced it is rescheduling public meetings planned to review a study under way in Sproul State Forest to address feasibility of closing a trail gap and determining the best way to connect the Bloody Skillet and Whiskey Springs ATV trail systems, near Renovo, Clinton County.

* Western PA Conservancy Accepting Applications For Canoe, Kayak Access Grants

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is now accepting applications for 2018 Canoe Access Development Fund Grants, which supports projects that will improve canoe and kayak access to the region’s waterways.

* Register Now For Get Outdoors PA Regional Summits In Lehigh, Montour Counties

The PA Recreation and Park Society and DCNR are hosting two Get Outdoors PA Regional Summits on November 2 in Lehigh County and November 13 in Montour County.

* Volunteer Now For Philadelphia Love Your Park Fall Service Day Nov. 4

Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, Fairmount Park Conservancy and other partners are hosting a Love Your Park Fall Service Day on November 4 in Philadelphia.

* Oct. 18 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The October 18 edition of the Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* Hawk Mountain Contributes To Major Advance In Global Raptor Monitoring From Space

On October 16 an unmanned Russian supply ship successfully docked at the International Space Station. Along with supplies for the astronauts aboard, the ship delivered the new antenna that will help reduce the cost of tracking raptors globally from more than $4000 a unit to less than $600.

* Trout Unlimited: Volunteers Needed For Allegheny National Forest Trout Spawning Sites Survey Nov. 12

Trout Unlimited is seeking volunteers to conduct a trout spawning site survey on several streams in the Allegheny National Forest in Warren County on November 12 starting at 9:30 a.m.

* Governor's Office Seeks Candidates To Fill Vacancy On Fish & Boat Commission Board

The Governor’s Advisory Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation Wednesday announced it is seeking qualified candidates to fill an upcoming vacancy on the board of the Fish and Boat Commission from the Fourth District, which includes Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin and Somerset counties.

* Opportunity To Bid On DEP Mine Reclamation Projects In Fayette, Schuylkill Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the October 21 PA Bulletin of the opportunity to bid on mine reclamation projects in Fayette County and Schuylkill County.

* Help Wanted: PennTAP Energy Team Technical Advisor

The PA Technical Assistance Program, housed within Penn State’s Outreach and Online Education organization, is seeking an experienced Technical Adviser that brings the combination of technical training and business development skills to the organization.

* 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 of final Radiological Health and Radon Certification Fee increases in the October 21 PA Bulletin.

* CLICK HERE To View Or Print Entire PA Environment Digest

CLICK HERE to Print The Entire PA Environment Digest.  This Digest is 88 pages long.

* 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:  PaEnviroDigest@gmail.com.

* 2018 Keystone Coldwater Conference Feb. 23-24 - Sponsorships Available

2018 Keystone Coldwater Conference February 23-24 in State College.  Join PA Environment Digest in sponsoring this worthwhile Conference.

* Supporting Member PA Outdoor Writers Assn./PA Trout Unlimited

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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