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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Dec. 4, 2017 Issue #701
* PA’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed Planning Committee Takes Initial Actions On Developing Pollution Reduction Plan

The Steering Committee for Phase 3 of PA’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed Plan Thursday approved a recommendation to develop nutrient and sediment reduction goals by county to help target efforts to meet Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay cleanup commitments.

* DEP Releases Draft Final General Permits For Controlling Methane Emissions From Natural Gas Operations

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday released what it called draft final language for GP-5 and new GP-5A general permits that control methane emissions for new unconventional natural gas operations.

* DRBC Proposes Rules Prohibiting Fracking Natural Gas Shales In The Delaware Watershed, Sets Hearings

The Delaware River Basin Commission late Thursday posted revised draft amendments to its regulations and comprehensive plan to prohibit high volume hydraulic fracturing in hydrocarbon bearing rock formations within the Delaware River Basin.

* 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/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--

* CANCELED:House Committee To Consider Bill To Encourage Microgrids, Energy Storage Dec. 5

The House Veterans Affairs And Emergency Preparedness Committee is scheduled to consider House Bill 1412 (Barrar-R-Delaware) proposing a regulatory framework to encourage energy storage and microgrids to improve electric grid resiliency during disaster emergencies and other circumstances on December 5.

* Republican Senators To Introduce Zero-Based Budgeting Bill

Senators Scott Wagner (R-York), Scott Martin (R-Lancaster), Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon), Guy Reschenthaler (R-Allegheny), Mike Regan (R-Cumberland), and Dan Laughlin (R-Erie) announced Monday they intend to introduce a zero-based budget reform bill that would require every state agency to build its budget from a starting point of zero dollars.

* Pittsburgh Water Authority Consultant Releases Final Recommendations

The consultant hired by the City of Pittsburgh to make recommendations on the restructuring of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority Monday issued its final report.

* EQB To Consider Revised Drinking Water Disinfection Rule Dec. 12

The Environmental Quality Board is scheduled to meet on December 12 to consider a final regulation revising the drinking water disinfection requirement.

* Western PA Conservancy Watershed Mini Grant Program Accepting Applications

The Western PA Conservancy is now accepting proposals for the Western PA Watershed Mini Grant Program which provides assistance to the region’s grassroots watershed groups and organizations.  The deadline for applications is December 29.

* Montour Run Watershed Assn Supports Local Efforts To Reduce Stormwater Pollution

The Montour Run Watershed Association board of directors in Allegheny County Tuesday adopted a proclamation supporting the efforts of local governments to reduce water pollution from stormwater runoff.

* Delaware River Alliance For Watershed Ed Art Project Proposals Due Dec. 15

The Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River seeks to commission interdisciplinary high quality original works of art for its network of 23 environmental centers.  Proposals are due December 15.

* Delaware River Basin Commission Winter Photo Contest Accepting Entries Starting Dec. 21

The Delaware River Basin Commission will begin accepting entries for its Winter Photo Contest on December 21.  The deadline for entries is February 1.

* Register Early For 2018 National Watershed & Stormwater Conference April 10

The Center for Watershed Protection will host its 2018 National Watershed and Stormwater Conference on April 10, both online and at two in-person locations in Maryland and Virginia.

* Three Susquehanna Valley Flood-Remediation Projects Receive State Funding

Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin Tuesday announced more than $6.35 million in Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funding for three major Susquehanna Valley flood-remediation projects in Bloomsburg, Columbia County; Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County; and Pine Grove, Schuylkill County.

* SRBC, Corps, Columbia County Providing Ice Jam Training In Bloomsburg Dec. 12

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission, U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers, in conjunction with the Columbia County Resiliency Office are hosting an Ice Jam Training Workshop December 12 at the Scott Township Building, 350 Tenny Street in Bloomsburg, Columbia County from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

* Keep PA Beautiful Encourages Communities To Join Adoption Programs To Keep Them Litter Free

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful invites communities, local residents, organizations, civic groups, and businesses to participate in KPB’s Adoption Program to keep municipal roads, communities, parks, neighborhood blocks, greenways, waterways and trails litter free.

* DEP, Partners Celebrate First North American Use Of PA-Manufactured Recycled Glass Construction Foam

Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell joined officials from Pennsylvania-based company AeroAggregates, the City of Philadelphia, the PA Recycling Markets Center, and the Philadelphia Navy Yard Monday at an event to celebrate the first North American use of a construction material the company manufactures out of glass collected and recycled in state.

* DEP Issues $600,000 Penalty To Greentree Landfill, Elk County For Waste Slope Failure Involving Employee Death

The Department of Environmental Protection Friday announced Advanced Disposal Services Greentree Landfill, LLC has agreed to a $600,000 civil penalty in a Consent Order and Agreement addressing a waste slope failure that resulted in the death of its employee at the Greentree Landfill in Kersey, Elk County.

* Abington Twp. Environmental Advisory Council Receives Montgomery County Award

By Susan Myerov, PA Environmental Council

* Springside Chestnut Hill Academy In Philadelphia Receives NWF Green Flag Award

The Springside Chestnut Hill Academy in Philadelphia was awarded the Green Flag by the National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA Program due to the successful greening of different aspects of campus life.

* FirstEnergy Companies Award $36,000 In STEM Education Grants To 38 PA Teachers

FirstEnergy Corp companies Penn Power, West Penn Power, Penelec and Met-Ed awarded a total of $36,000 in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) grants to 38 teachers in their service territories.

* PA Funds 3 Industrial Site Remediation Projects In Allegheny, Luzerne, Montgomery Counties

Gov. Tom Wolf Tuesday announced the approval of funding for the clean up former industrial sites in Montgomery, Luzerne, and Allegheny counties to prepare them for occupation by businesses and residential properties.

* Request For Qualifications To Design Public Plaza At Hazelwood Green Redevelopment Site In Pittsburgh

Hazelwood Green, a former steel mill site that is the City of Pittsburgh’s largest riverfront redevelopment project and last urban brownfield, has issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for design of the first public plaza to be built at the 178-acre site.

* PA Housing Finance Agency Proposed 2018 Housing Fund Plan For Drilling Impact Fee, Other Revenue

The PA House Finance Agency published a notice in the December 2 PA Bulletin inviting comments on a proposed state and federal funds distribution plan for 2018 Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund supported in part by Act 13 drilling impact fee revenue.

* DEP Invites Comments On Report Of PA Air Quality Impacts From The Fort McMurray, Canada Wildfires

The Department of Environmental Protection invites public comments on a report it prepared on the Air Quality Impacts Of The 2016 Fort McMurray Fires In Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada on Pennsylvania air quality.  (formal notice)

* DEP Sets Hearings On RACT 2 Air Quality Plans For NRG Energy In Dauphin, Lehigh Cement In Berks

The Department of Environmental Protection has proposed to issue RACT 2 Air Quality Plan approvals for NRG Energy Center Paxton in Dauphin County and Lehigh Cement Company in Berks County.  Public hearings have been scheduled for--

* 5 Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Awards Announced, Applications Still Being Accepted

Gov. Tom Wolf Monday announced the approval of funding through the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grants Program to support five alternative fuel projects that will save hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel and reduce air pollution in Pennsylvania.

* PA Environmental Council Applauds Pittsburgh’s Climate Vision, Presses For Action

The PA Environmental Council's Lindsay Baxter, Program Manager for Energy and Climate, presented these comments to the Pittsburgh City Council on Thursday on how the City can move forward on plans to fight climate change--

* Green Building Alliance: Pittsburgh Living Future Collaborative Launch Dec. 5

The Green Building Alliance and its partners will host the Pittsburgh Living Future Collaborative on December 5 at the Frick Environmental Center, 2005 Beechwood Boulevard in Pittsburgh from 8:00 to 10:30 a.m.

* North American Passive House Network 2018 Conference Receives West Penn Sustainable Energy Fund Grant

Passive House Western Pennsylvania received a $25,000 grant from the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund to secure space in Pittsburgh’s LEED certified David L. Lawrence Convention Center for the 2018 North American Passive House Network national conference October 17-21.

* Dec. 4 Webinar On Solar Energy Initiatives In Economically Disadvantaged Communities

The Finding Pennsylvania’s Solar Future planning project group, led by the Department of Environmental Protection, invites the public to learn about solar energy initiatives in economically disadvantaged communities in Pennsylvania and across the country in a free webinar from Noon to 1:00 p.m. on December 4.

* West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund, PA Wilds Center Funding Opportunities For Clean Energy Dec. 15

West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund and the PA Wilds Center will host a “Breakfast with the Fund” seminar December 15 in Kane, McKean County to present funding opportunities for clean energy projects for both private sector entities and non-profits.

* DEP Public Meeting Dec. 12 On Keyser Deep Coal Mining Permit In Somerset County

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced it will hold an informal public conference on December 12 at the Jenner Township Municipal Building, 2058 Lincoln Highway, Boswell, Somerset County from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

* Report On Expanding Access To Natural Gas Service Released By National Task Force

A national Task Force on Natural Gas Access and Expansion, co-chaired by Public Utility Commission Commissioner John F. Coleman Jr., Wednesday issued a new report detailing best practices and recommendations regarding natural gas service for underserved and unserved areas of the country.

* PJM Interconnect Ready For Winter Electricity Demand With Ample Resources

PJM Interconnection and its members are ready with sufficient resources to meet forecasted demand for electricity this winter.

* Agriculture Secretary, PA National Guard Kick Off Trees For Troops Donation Weekend In Carbon County

Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Lt. Col. Michael Siriani of the PA National Guard Friday helped kick off the state’s 2017 Trees for Troops weekend, encouraging Pennsylvanians to donate real Christmas trees for distribution to active-duty military and their families.

* DCNR Announces TreeVitalize Grants To 24 Communities, 4 Organizations

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn, in partnership with the PA Urban and Community Forestry Council, Monday announced grant funding for 28 TreeVitalize tree planting, community forestry and urban riparian buffer projects throughout the state in 2018.

* Susquehanna Riverlands Conservation Landscape Focus Of Visit By DCNR, Local Officials In Lancaster County

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Thursday joined Lancaster County Conservancy and other regional officials at the Pinnacle Overlook in Martic Township to highlight the Wolf Administration’s continued focus on conservation landscapes.

* Trails, Land, Water Protection In Schuylkill Highlands Focus Of Visit By Local, State Officials In Montgomery County

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Friday addressed land and water protection, and community revitalization, at the annual partnership meeting of the Schuylkill Highlands Conservation Landscape in Pottstown, Montgomery County.

* Get Outdoors Poconos Dec. 17 West End Regional Park Hike In Monroe County

The Brodhead Watershed Association will host another in its series of Get Outdoors Poconos hikes on December 17 with a hike through the West End Regional Park in Chestnuthill Township, Monroe County starting at 10:00 a.m.

* Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count, Other DCNR Citizen Science Opportunities

Volunteers have always been important to conservation. If you participate as a citizen scientist in Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count from December 14 to January 5, you’ll be adding to data collected for more than a century!

* PA Wilds Signage Mini-Grant, Route 6 Facade Grant Applications Due Dec. 22

The PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship is encouraging brick-and-mortar businesses that serve the traveling public to apply for the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania Signage Mini-Grant and PA Route 6 and PA Wilds Regional Facade Grant Programs by December 22.

* Nov. 29 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The November 29 issue of the Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* DEP Names Tim Schaeffer Deputy For Water Programs

DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell Wednesday announced the appointment of Tim Schaeffer to the position of Deputy Secretary for Water Programs starting December 18.

* Pocono Heritage Land Trust Names New Executive Director, 4 New Board Members

The Pocono Heritage Land Trust in Monroe County Thursday named Cindy Miano its new Executive Director and announced four new members of its Board.

* Help Wanted: PennFuture Filling 6 Positions

Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future is seeking qualified candidates to fill six positions, including a Green In 18 campaign manager, press secretary, Clean Energy PA program manager and three field organizer positions.  Click Here for all the details.

* 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 Public Utility Commission published notice in the December 2 PA Bulletin of final regulations covering Steam Heat Distribution System Safety.

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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:

* 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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