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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Nov. 27, 2017 Issue #700
(11/27/2017)
* House Appropriations Sets Dec. 14 Hearing On DEP, DCNR Use Of Special Funds

The House Appropriations Committee has scheduled three new hearings to continue its review of how state agencies use special funds to pay for grants and programs.  On December 14 the Committee is scheduled to question representatives of the departments of Conservation and Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.

* House Leaves Town Without Finishing Debate On Natural Gas Severance Tax Bill

After two days of debate and considering 20 or so amendments to House Bill 1401 (DiGirolamo-R-Bucks) imposing a natural gas severance tax, the House abruptly adjourned Tuesday night without finishing work on the bill.

* Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks $200 Million JUA Transfer Needed To Balance State Budget

The Associated Press reported Friday a federal court judge temporarily blocked the transfer of $200 Million from the Professional Liability Joint Underwriting Association until a trial can be held on the issue.

* Vote Now Thru Dec. 22 For Pennsylvania's 2018 River Of The Year

The public is invited to again vote online for the 2018 Pennsylvania River of the Year, choosing from among five waterways nominated across the state, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced Tuesday.

* 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/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--

* Legislation Requiring PUC Oversight Of Pittsburgh Water Authority Headed To Governor’s Desk

Legislation-- House Bill 1490-- to place the Pittsburgh Water Authority under the oversight of the Public Utility Commission is on its way to the governor’s desk after being passed in the House Monday for the final time, said House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) and Rep. Harry Readshaw (D-Allegheny).

* House Committee Hears Conflicting Views On Alternative Natural Gas, Electric Ratemaking To Encourage Conservation, Renewable Energy

The House Consumer Affairs Committee Monday held a hearing on House Bill 1782 (Delozier-R-Cumberland) providing for alternative ratemaking for natural gas and electric distribution companies designed to encourage energy efficiency improvements and distributed energy resources such as renewable energy projects (sponsor summary).

* November Synopsis Newsletter Available From Joint Conservation Committee

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

* Mountain View Vineyard Supports Brodhead Watershed Assn. Adopt-A-Stream Program In Monroe County

Mountain View Vineyard, a sustainable winery located in Neola, Monroe County has joined the Brodhead Watershed Association family as an Adopt-A-Stream sponsor.

* CHEMSWEEP Program To Provide 19 Counties With Safe Pesticide Disposal In 2018

Agricultural businesses and pesticide applicators in 19 counties across the state can dispose of unwanted pesticides safely and easily next year through the Department of Agriculture’s CHEMSWEEP Program.

* DEP Updating Probable Maximum Precipitation Events To Better Define High-Hazard Dams

When residents of Smethport, PA, awoke to a rainy day on July 7, 1942, they probably did not expect to be witnessing history, or setting dam safety policy decades later.

* Researchers: New Fish Passage On Susquehanna River Dam Will Help Restore Fish Populations

By Jennifer Matthews, Penn State News

* DEP To Help Increase K-12 Students’ Watershed Knowledge And Stewardship

More Pennsylvania students will know the watershed they live in and take action to protect freshwater resources. This is the goal of a new statewide K-12 environmental education task force in which the Department of Environmental Protection plays a lead role.

* PUC Encourages Shopping For Electric, Natural Gas Service

The Public Utility Commission Tuesday encouraged consumers to add electric and natural gas shopping to their Black Friday “To Do” lists, and offered its “Top Five” list of tips for energy savings and shopping.

* PPL Favors Bill To Encourage Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy Thru Alternative Ratemaking

To keep the electric grid strong and secure, and to provide the most support for customers who use energy efficiently and adopt new energy technologies like solar panels, utilities should have the option to propose new ways to structure their rates, a PPL Electric Utilities executive said today.

* Bridge To 2030: Grid To Green Energy Purchasing Nov. 29 In Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh 2030 District will host another in its series of Bridge To 2030 workshops, this one on Grid To Green Energy Purchasing on November 29 at the Gateway Center, 603 Stanwix Street in Pittsburgh from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.

* CFA Now Accepting Applications For Solar Energy Grants, Loans

Gov. Tom Wolf Tuesday announced the Solar Energy Program guidelines have been updated to include grants in addition to loans.

* November News & Views Now Available From DEP

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

* ExtremeTerrain’s Clean Trail Program Funds Nearly $10,000 In Trail Projects, Accepting New Applications

Chester County-based ExtremeTerrain’s Clean Trail Initiative Program is looking to improve the trails near you and is now accepting applications for $250 trail improvement grants from groups anywhere in the United States.

* Pocono Heritage Trust Upcoming Winter Hikes, Adventures In Monroe County

The Pocono Heritage Trust is hosting several outdoor adventures and hikes over the next few months, including--

* DCNR Proposes To Add, Delete, Change Native Wild Plant Classifications

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published notice in the November 25 PA Bulletin asking for comments on proposed changes to Chapter 45 regulations and the list of Native Wild Plants that are endangered, threatened or rare regulated under the Wild Resource Conservation Act.

* Penn State Extension Master Gardener Manual Available

Whether you're new to gardening or an expert looking to sharpen your skills, the Penn State Extension Master Gardener Manual may be just what you need.  Gain horticultural knowledge in a variety of topics, including:

* 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 Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published notice in the November 25 PA Bulletin asking for comments on proposed changes to Chapter 45 regulations and the list of Native Wild Plants that are endangered, threatened or rare regulated under the Wild Resource Conservation Act.  Click Here for more.

* 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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