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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Jan. 22, 2018 Issue #708
* Ice Jams, Localized Flooding Possibilities Across State As Temperatures Rise

Pennsylvania residents should stay tuned to local media for the latest reports on ice jams along major rivers and streams and related flooding over the next few days as temperatures rise.

* PA Environmental Defense Foundation Asks PA Supreme Court To Consider Unconstitutional Oil & Gas Fund Spending Issues Commonwealth Court Won’t

On January 12, the PA Environmental Defense Foundation filed an amended petition for Extraordinary Jurisdiction with the PA Supreme Court asking that Court to take over all the issues raised by the Supreme Court’s June 20 decision declaring the use of DCNR’s Oil and Gas Fund to balance the state budget unconstitutional, since Commonwealth Court said it would not in a January 8 ruling.

* Consol, DEP, Center For Coalfield Justice Settle: No Mining Under Stream In Ryerson Station State Park

On January 5 Consol, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Center for Coalfield Justice entered into a stipulation of settlement that prohibits coal mining under Kent Run Stream in Ryerson Station State Park in Greene County as part of the Bailey Mine.

* PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Planning Committee Meets Jan. 26

The PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Planning Steering Committee is scheduled to meet on January 26 to continue its effort to develop Pennsylvania’s Phase 3 Watershed Plan for meeting Chesapeake Bay cleanup obligations.

* House Subcommittee On Fiscal Policy Hears Recommendation To Adopt Taxes On Pollution, Degradation

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Fiscal Policy Thursday held a hearing on Pennsylvania’s tax structure and heard recommendations for tax reform and tax reductions.

* 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--

* House Committee Chair Releases Regulatory Overreach Report, Endorses Bill Authorizing Repeal Of Regulations By Doing Nothing

Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), Majority Chair of the House State Government Committee, and other members of the House “Common Sense Caucus” Tuesday released a report on Regulatory Overreach that recommends supporting five pieces of legislation to reduce the regulatory burden from the state.

* House Appropriations Jan. 25 Hearing On DEP, DCNR Use Of Special Funds

The House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to hold a January 25 hearing to question representatives of the departments of Conservation and Natural Resources and Environmental Protection about the use and operation of special funds under their administration.

* House, Senate Appropriations Budget Hearing Schedule Now Set

With the publication of the House Appropriations Committee budget hearing schedule Tuesday, the dates for Senate and House hearings on agency budgets are now set.  Key environmental budget hearings will be--

* Pumped Storage Hydro Topic Of Jan. 22 Joint Conservation Committee Environmental Issues Forum

The Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee will hold an Environmental Issues Forum January 22 on the issue of pumped storage hydroelectric facilities in Pennsylvania.

* Joint Conservation Committee Feb. 5 Hearing On Nutrient Credit Trading Program

The Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation is scheduled to hold a hearing February 5 on Pennsylvania’s Nutrient Credit Trading Program.

* Jan. 23 Water Insights Seminar: Matt Royer, Penn State Agriculture And Environment Center

The January 23 Water Insights Seminar will feature a presentation by Matt Royer of Penn State’s Agriculture and Environment Center on the topic Pennsylvania and the Chesapeake Bay: Emerging Policy and Practice Innovations to Improve Water Quality.

* NRCS-PA: Apply Now For Farm Conservation Stewardship Program Assistance

The Natural Resources Conservation Service- PA is encouraging agricultural producers wanting to enhance current conservation efforts to apply for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).  The deadline for applications is March 2.

* DEP Publishes Revised NPDES General Permit For Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations For Comment

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the January 20 PA Bulletin proposing changes in the PAG-12 NPDES General Permit for the Operation Of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations.

* Op-Ed: Salt For Snow And Ice, Effects On Waterways Are Not Very Nice

By Harry Campbell, PA Executive Director, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

* After Century-Long Absence, Freshwater Mussel Found In Kiski River, Armstrong County

Mary Ann Thomas of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review recently reported a Kiski Township, Armstrong County woman's award-winning photograph is evidence that one of the most sensitive indicators of water quality-- the freshwater mussel-- is back in the Kiski River after more than a century.

* January Catalyst Newsletter Now Available From Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition

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

* DEP Reissues Draft Water Quality Permit For Brunner Island Power Plant In York County For Comment

The Department of Environmental Protection Friday announced it has reissued a revised draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for the Brunner Island Power Plant in York County for the operation of its 1,490-megawatt coal- and natural gas-fired power plant, which discharges treated industrial wastewater and cooling water to the Susquehanna River.

* DEP: Lackawanna County Water Treatment Operator Agrees To Surrender Certifications After 130 False Water Reports

The Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday announced it has entered into a consent order and agreement with J. Robert DeSandis of Clarks Summit, Lackawanna County to surrender his operator certifications as a Water and Wastewater Systems Operator.

* PUC Approves Tentative Order Covering Oversight Of Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority

The Public Utility Commission Thursday approved and posted for public comment a Tentative Implementation Order for Act 65 of 2017, addressing Commission oversight of water, wastewater and storm water services by the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority.

* DEP Invites Comments On Draft Revised Drinking Water Total Coliform Rule Guidance

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of draft technical guidance on Revised Total Coliform Rule Guidance for public comment in the January 20 PA Bulletin.  (DEP ID: 393-2129-001)

* Registration Now Open For Schuylkill River Watershed Congress On March 10

The March 10 Schuylkill River Watershed Congress is now accepting registrations for this special annual event at the Montgomery County Community College’s West Campus in Pottstown.

* Stroud Water Research Center: Wild & Scenic Film Festival Feb. 22-23 Chester County

The Stroud Water Research Center, Trail Creek Outfitters and the Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County will host films from the Wild & Scenic Film Festival on February 22-23 at the Chester County Historical Society, 225 N. High Street in West Chester, Chester County.

* U.S. Biochar Initiatives Conference Aug. 20-23 In DE: Submit Workshop Proposals, Early Registration

The Carbon Link In Watershed Ecosystem Services is the theme of this year’s U.S. Biochar Initiatives Biochar Conference to be held August 20-23 at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington, Delaware.

* June 17-22 Rivers Conservation & Fly Fishing Youth Camp Registration Now Open

The Cumberland Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited is holding the 23nd annual Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp June 17-22, 2017, at Messiah College, Grantham, Cumberland County. The camp begins on a Sunday and ends the following Friday.

* Registration Open! PA Assn. Of Environmental Educators Conference March 12-13

Register now for the 2018 PA Association of Environmental Educators Conference March 12-13 at the Toftrees Golf Resort in State College.

* Keep PA Beautiful Encourages Colleges, Universities To Participate In RecycleMania 2018

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is encouraging colleges and universities in Pennsylvania to participate in the 2018 RecycleMania competition.

* Keep Philadelphia Beautiful Recruiting Volunteer Educators

Keep Philadelphia Beautiful is now recruiting volunteer educators to help galvanize Philadelphia’s next generation of environmental guardians.

* Deadline Extended For Western PA Zero Waste Event & Business Awards Nominations

The PA Resources Council has extended the deadline for nominations for the 3rd Annual Western PA Zero Waste Event and Business Awards.  The deadline for nominations is now January 26.

* DEP Blog: Going Green In The New Year

By Virginia Cain, Community Relations Coordinator, DEP Southeast Regional Office

* Health/DEP/ATSDR Hold Public Meeting Jan. 29 On Keystone Landfill Health Assessment Document

The Department of Health, the Department of Environmental Protection and the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Tuesday announced they will hold a public meeting January 29 to answer questions from the public regarding the Keystone Landfill Health Assessment Document that was released in December 2017. 

* Cleaned Up Brownfield Site Location Of New Senior Housing Facility In Lock Haven

The Wolf Administration Friday celebrated the opening of Lock Haven Court, a new senior housing project in Lock Haven, Clinton County, made possible by the cleanup efforts of the Department of Environmental Protection.

* EPA Releases Superfund Redevelopment Focus List That Includes 3 PA Sites

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday released its initial list of 30 Superfund National Priorities List sites with the greatest expected redevelopment and commercial potential, including 3 sites in Pennsylvania.

* Comments Invited On Proposed RACT II Air Quality Plan For Montour Power Plant

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the January 20 PA Bulletin inviting comments on a proposed RACT II Air Quality Plan for the Montour Power Plant in Derry Township, Montour County.  (PA Bulletin page 572)

* DEP Fines Energy Corp Of America $1.7 Million For Drilling Violations In Greene, Clearfield Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced it has collected a $1.7 million civil penalty prescribed in a consent order and agreement with Energy Corporation of America for violations at 17 well sites in Cumberland, Jefferson, and Whiteley Townships, Greene County and Goshen Township, Clearfield County.

* NEW: FERC Approves PA-NJ PennEast Natural Gas Pipeline Late Friday

The EnviroPolitics Blog late Friday reported The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Friday approved the construction of the Pennsylvania-New Jersey PennEast Pipeline saying the project will provide benefits to shippers, will not harm existing customers or other pipelines.

* Shell Proposes Nearly 60 Mile Ethane Pipeline In Allegheny, Beaver, Washington Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice inviting comments on proposed Water Obstruction and Encroachment permits for a 59.6 mile ethane pipeline by the Shell Pipeline Company in Allegheny, Beaver and Washington counties (January 20 PA Bulletin pages 550-551).

* DEP Advisory Committee To Discuss Reducing Heating Oil Sulfur Limits, RACT For Some Existing Oil & Gas Facility Air Emissions

The agenda for the January 24 DEP Small Business Compliance Advisory Committee meeting includes a presentation and discussion of reducing heating oil sulfur limits from 500 ppm to 15 ppm and concepts for Reasonably Available Control Technology standards for reducing methane emissions from existing oil and gas operations.

* PUC Initiates Study Of Consolidated Billing By Electric Suppliers

Public Utility Commission Thursday initiated further study of customer billing practices by competitive electric generations suppliers (EGSs) - directing an en banc hearing be conducted before the Commission to explore, among other things, the legality, merits and potential implementation of supplier consolidated billing (SCB).

* Central PA Green Building Council Green Building Conference March 14 In Carlisle

The Central PA USGBC Green Building Council will hold the 2018 Green Building Conference and Expo at Dickinson College on March 14.

* PA Chamber Annual Environmental Conference & Trade Show April 5 In Lancaster

The PA Chamber of Business and Industry 2018 Environmental Conference and Trade Show will be held on April 5 at the Eden Resort Inn & Suites, Lancaster from 8:00 a.m to 3:15 p.m.

* 2nd Annual PA Wilds Made Buyer's Market March 3 At Clarion University

The second annual PA Wilds Buyer’s Market will be held on March 3 at the Gemmell Student Complex, Multi-Purpose Room, Clarion University in Clarion.

* DCNR Proposes Changes To Snowmobile/ATV Grant Regulations

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published notice of proposed changes in snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle grant regulations in the January 20 PA Bulletin for comment.

* DCNR, Local Official Celebrate Investments To Expand Delaware River Access In Southeast

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Tuesday joined other state officials and City of Philadelphia representatives at an event celebrating the Commonwealth’s recent investments in improvements at Bartram’s Garden, along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.

* DCNR Blog: Will A Harsh Winter Kill Ticks?

Given the recent stretch of abnormally frigid weather, a common question posed to DCNR has been, “How will this affect ticks?”

* Nature Conservancy-PA Reviews 2018 Conservation To-Do List For Pennsylvania

By Bill Kunze, PA State Director, The Nature Conservancy

* Countryside Conservancy Acquires 82-Acre Gardner Spencer Preserve, Lackawanna County

Countryside Conservancy recently announced the acquisition of its single largest property to date: the Gardner Spencer Preserve in Lackawanna County.

* Apply Now To TreeVitalize Pittsburgh For Free Trees For Fall Planting In Allegheny County

TreeVitalize Pittsburgh is now accepting applications for free trees to support street, park and riverfront tree plantings in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.  Applications are due March 16.

* Berks County Conservation District Tree Seedling Sale, Education Programs April 20

Everyone is welcome to join the Berks County Conservation District at its annual Tree Seedling Sale on April 20 from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Berks County Agricultural Center, 1238 County Welfare Road Leesport (look for signs on County Welfare Road).  The deadline for orders is February 23.

* Delaware Highlands Conservancy Eagle Photo Workshop Bus Tour Feb. 3

Learn to take photos of eagles and their habitat! Join the Delaware Highlands Conservancy on February 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for a special bus tour and workshop with eagle watching, sightseeing, and photography instruction.

* Help Wanted: PA Environmental Council Trails & Outdoor Recreation Program Manager

The PA Environmental Council is seeking qualified candidates to fill the position of Trails and Outdoor Recreation Program Manager based in its Philadelphia Office.

* 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 of proposed changes in snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle grant regulations in the January 20 PA Bulletin for comment.

* CLICK HERE To View Or Print Entire PA Environment Digest

CLICK HERE to Print The Entire PA Environment Digest.  This Digest is 70 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:

* Registration Open - 2018 Keystone Coldwater Conference Feb. 23-24

Register Now! For the 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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