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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Dec. 18, 2017 Issue #703
* PA’s New Chesapeake Bay Nutrient Reduction Targets For 2025 May Be Lower Than Originally Thought

Preliminary information from the modeling done for the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program shows Pennsylvania’s 2025 targets for reducing nutrients may be 7 million pounds less for nitrogen and 270,000 pounds less for phosphorus than originally thought.

* EPA: Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Approaches Record High, Conservation Practices Are Working

The Chesapeake Bay Program Thursday announced estimated water quality in the tidal Chesapeake Bay has reached a near-record high.

* EPA Awards $3.7 Million To Pennsylvania For Chesapeake Bay Restoration

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Thursday announced it is providing $3.7 million to the Department of Environmental Protection to implement best management practices (BMPs) on agricultural lands in Pennsylvania’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

* REAP Tax Credits Available To Help Farmers Add Conservation Practices, Improve Water Quality

Pennsylvania farmers who want to implement best management practices (BMPs) or purchase on-farm conservation equipment can apply for 2017-2018 Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) program tax credits.

* Funding Approved For Reclamation Of Abandoned Mines In Fayette, Jefferson, Somerset Counties

Gov. Tom Wolf Friday announced funding for projects to cleanup acid mine drainage (AMD) and contaminated land at three sites in Fayette, Jefferson and Somerset Counties.

* Op-Ed: Straight Talk: Time To Celebrate About Improved Water Quality... Or Not?

By John Arway, Executive Director, Fish & Boat Commission

* Budget Secretary: No Tax Increases Or Revenue Enhancements Needed To Balance FY 2018-19 Budget

During his mid-year budget briefing Thursday, Budget Secretary Randy Albright said they do not believe there will be a need for increasing taxes or for any major revenue enhancements to balance next year’s budget, other than the adoption of a natural gas severance tax.

* DEP Posts Advisory Committee, Board Meeting Schedules For 2018

The Department of Environmental Protection published the 2018 meeting schedules for its advisory committees and boards in the December 16 PA Bulletin.  The notice includes schedules for--

* 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

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--

* Proponents Again Come Within 1 Vote Of Considering Natural Gas Severance Tax Bill

House members Tuesday again came within one vote of considering legislation-- House Bill 1401 (DiGirolamo-R-Bucks)-- imposing a severance tax, in addition to the Act 13 drilling impact fee, on natural gas production.

* Senate Committee Hears Comments From Both Sides In Dispute Over Reversing Laurel Pipeline

The Senate Republican Policy Committee Tuesday held a hearing on the issue of whether to reverse the flow of the Laurel Pipeline now shipping products east to west and supplying the Pittsburgh area with gasoline, heating oil and jet fuel.

* Senators Yudichak, Baker To Introduce Bipartisan Bill On Testing Children For Lead Poisoning

Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne), Minority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, and Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) Tuesday circulated a memo to colleagues asking them to co-sponsor legislation providing for universal testing of children for lead exposure.

* DEP Issues Final Guidance For Chapter 105 Permit Larger Scale Project Environmental Assessments

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the December 16 PA Bulletin of final technical guidance for completing the information requirements for a Chapter 105 Water Obstruction and Encroachment Permit Environmental Assessment Form (DEP ID: 310-2137-006).

* Penn State: Citizen Scientists To Help Researchers Gauge Susquehanna River Water Quality

By Jeff Mulhollem, Penn State News

* Lycoming College's Hellbender Research Helps Advance Senate Bill For First Ever State Amphibian

The eastern hellbender is one step closer to becoming Pennsylvania’s first ever official state amphibian with the passing of Senate Bill 658, a collaborated effort of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Pennsylvania Student Leadership Council and Lycoming College’s Clean Water Institute.

* Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition: Eastern Hellbender Close To Being Named PA’s State Amphibian

The Eastern Hellbender appears to be well on its way to being officially named the state amphibian of Pennsylvania.  Legislation designating the Eastern Hellbender as “State Amphibian” was approved on November 15 by the state Senate.

* Underwater Insects Aid DEP in Water Quality Checks, Sampling Results Available Online

They’re creepy. They’re crawly. They’re also an excellent indicator of water quality– they’re the aquatic insects and animals that live in Pennsylvania’s rivers, lakes, and streams.

* Green Stormwater Infrastructure Partners Now Accepting Excellence Award Nominations To Honor Triple Benefits Of Green Infrastructure

Green Stormwater Infrastructure Partners in the Philadelphia region are now accepting nominations for their 2018 Excellence Awards to celebrate and elevate green stormwater infrastructure projects and innovations, and the triple bottom line (TBL) benefits that a nature-based approach to stormwater management brings.

* Clean, Green And Safe: Creating Healthy Communities Program Dec. 18 In Reading

10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania and Alvernia University will hold a Clean, Green And Safe: Creating Healthy Communities Program on December 18 at the McGlinn Conference Center at Alvernia in Reading, Berks County.

* Farm At Doe Run, Éclat Chocolate Partner With Stroud Water Research Center To Raise Funds To Protect Clean Water

The Stroud Water Research Center in Chester County is partnering with The Farm at Doe Run and Éclat Chocolate to raise funds for research and conservation efforts of the Center through the sale of special Stroud products.

* December Catalyst Newsletter Now Available From Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition

The December edition of the Catalyst newsletter is now available from the Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition in Butler County featuring stories on--

* DEP Invites Comments On Draft General Permit NPDES Permit For Aquatic Animal Production Facilities

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the December 16 PA Bulletin of a proposed PAG-11 NPDES General Permit for Discharges from Concentrated Aquatic Animal Production Facilities (3800-PM-BCW0006d).  Comments are due January 16.

* EQB OKs Drinking Water Disinfection Rule, Eliminates Low-RVP Gasoline In Pittsburgh

The Environmental Quality Board Tuesday took final action to adopt a revised regulation setting a more stringent drinking water disinfection requirement and a regulation eliminating the low-RVP gasoline requirement in the Pittsburgh region as unneeded.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Hosts Susquehanna Greenway Photo Gallery

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission Friday began hosting the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership’s Traveling Photo Gallery that showcases the winning images from the 6th Annual Susquehanna Greenway Photo Contest.

* Keep PA Beautiful: Nearly 133,000 Volunteers Participated In 2017 Great American Cleanup Of PA

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Wednesday announced 132,695 volunteers participated in 7,280 events focused on community greening, beautification and cleanups across the state as part of the 2017 Great American Cleanup of PA.

* Students Shine In Annual Westminster College Student Symposium On The Environment

The 10th Annual Student Symposium on the Environment was held on December 7th at Westminster College in Wilmington, Lawrence County.

* Lacawac Sanctuary To Receive DCNR Grant For Environmental Education Center In Wayne County

Lacawac Sanctuary and Biological Field Station Saturday announced it has received a $111,450 grant from DCNR to purchase 0.8 acres of land to develop a new Environmental STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) Education Center.

* PPL Foundation Supports Science, Technology, Engineering, Math Education Programs

The PPL Foundation Tuesday announced the latest recipients of funds from its grant program, awarding nearly $600,000 to support 16 organizations working to empower the communities they serve.

* PA Assn Of Environmental Educators Invites Conference Presentation Proposals

The PA Association of Environmental Educators is now inviting proposals for presentations and workshops at the 2018 PAEE Conference March 12-13 in State College.  January 15 is the deadline for submissions.

* Allegheny County Lead Task Force Releases Recommendations, Final Report

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and members of the Lead Task Force Tuesday released the recommendations of the task force and its final report to the public. The 58-page document includes 24 recommendations in seven categories based on the best, currently-available science to best protect the public’s health.

* Gov. Wolf Announces Industrial Site Remediation, Assessment Grants In Northampton, York Counties

Gov. Tom Wolf Tuesday announced two new grants through the DCED Industrial Sites Reuse Program that will clean up a former industrial site in York County and assess the environmental condition of a former Northampton County site to prepare them for occupation by businesses and residential properties.

* Changes Proposed To DEP Land Recycling Program Technical Guidance Manual

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the December 16 PA Bulletin of proposed changes to the Land Recycling Program Technical Guidance Manual (DEP ID: 261-0300-101).  Comments are due March 16.

* Attorney General Files Charges Against Company President For Illegally Storing, Disposing Of Hazardous Waste

Attorney General Josh Shapiro Monday announced felony charges against the president of a Chester County environmental company for illegally storing and disposing of hazardous wastes for decades.

* DEP On Track To Complete More Oil & Gas Drilling Site Inspections In 2017 Than 2016

The Department of Environmental Protection will announce December 18 it is on track to complete more oil and gas drilling site inspections in 2017 than in 2016 as a result of an initiative that replaced paper forms with a mobile app.

* Environmental Advocates Urge Gov. Wolf To Advance Methane Pollution Standards For Natural Gas Sector

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday presented the draft-final general permits to control methane pollution from new and modified natural gas operations to the Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee.

* DEP Publishes Interim Final Guidance On Drilling Marcellus Wells In Areas With Longwall Coal Mining

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the December 16 PA Bulletin of interim final technical guidance on drilling Marcellus Shale natural gas wells in areas with longwall coal mining (DEP ID: 800-0810-0040).  Comments due January 31.

* Westmoreland County Transit Opens CNG Fueling Station

Department of Transportation representatives joined officials from Trillium CNG, Westmoreland County Transit Agency to mark the start of fueling at the facility at 1823 Business Route 66 in Greensburg.

* Covanta Releases New Global Sustainability Report

Covanta, a world leader in sustainable waste and energy solutions, Friday released its latest Sustainability Report, detailing its sustainability performance and progress against goals.

* Exelon Recognized For Sustainability Leadership In Newsweek’s 2017 Green Rankings

Exelon Corporation was recognized for its excellence in corporate sustainability and environmental performance, coming in 12th place on Newsweek Magazine’s annual Green Rankings.

* Guaranteed Energy Savings Projects Cutting Energy Use, Cost At State, Other Buildings

 Lower energy costs in state buildings will generate $4.2 million in annual savings Department of General Services Secretary Curt Topper announced Thursday.

* Dec. 15 News & Views Newsletter Now Available From DEP

The December 15 edition of the News & Views newsletter is now available from the Department of Environmental Protection featuring articles on--

* DCNR Offers Hotline, Training Opportunities For Snowmobiling, ATV Enthusiasts

With the arrival of winter weather across the state, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn is reminding snowmobiling enthusiasts that updated trail conditions for snowmobile and ATV riding enthusiasts are available by calling the department.

* Order Your 2018 Pennsylvania State Parks Calendar Today!

DCNR, in partnership with the PA Parks and Forests Foundation, is pleased to offer the new, 2018 Pennsylvania State Parks calendar featuring beautiful photography from state parks!

* Start The New Year Off On The Right Foot With First Day Hike Jan. 1

Have a resolution for 2018? Is it to get healthier? Spend more time with family? Enjoy the outdoors more? Whatever your goal, start the new year off on the right foot with a First Day Hike!

* Dec. 13 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The December 13 edition of the Resource newsletter from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* PA’s Private Forestlands Are Imperiled As Their Aging Owners Divide And Sell

By Jason Nark,

* Western PA Conservancy Protects Loyalhanna Creek Property With Conservation Easement In Westmoreland

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy recently announced the sale of a 115-acre property in Ligonier Valley, Westmoreland County and its permanent protection through a conservation easement.

* Settlers Hospitality Group Guests Raise $10K For Delaware Highlands Conservancy Programs

Settlers Hospitality Group staff presented the Delaware Highlands Conservancy with a check for $10,132, for funds collected in 2017 through the Green Lodging Partnership program at Settlers Inn, Ledges Hotel, and Silver Birches Resort, in Hawley, Wayne County.

* AG Shapiro Calls On Army Corps Of Engineers To Protect Great Lakes From Asian Carp

Attorney General Josh Shapiro and the Attorneys General of Michigan and Minnesota Tuesday called on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to change plans for an expensive lock redesign and instead close a major lock now to keep the invasive Asian carp species from entering the Great Lakes, including Lake Erie, potentially causing widespread harm to its ecosystem and economy.

* Delaware Highlands Conservancy Winter Eagle-Watching Events In Jan., Feb.

Join the Delaware Highlands Conservancy and our partners for a series of eagle-watching events all winter long, including guided bus tours starting at Upper Delaware Visitor Center in Lackawaxen, Pike County and Eagle Day at the Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center, 126 PPL Drive, Hawley, Wayne County.

* Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Receives Grant From Tompkins VIST Bank

Visiting school groups at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Berks County will continue to enjoy guided field trips, thanks in part to support from Tompkins VIST Bank, which recently awarded $5,000 in Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) funding to the Sanctuary.

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

The Governor’s Advisory Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation Friday announced it has extended the deadline for applications for 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.

* 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 Environmental Protection published the 2018 meeting schedules for its advisory committees and boards in the December 16 PA Bulletin.

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* 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

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