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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, March 26, 2018 Issue #717
(3/26/2018)
* Senate Hearing On Pipeline Safety Points To Need To Hold Pipeline Companies Accountable For Impacts, Better Communication

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy and Consumer Affairs and Professional Licensure Committees Tuesday held a joint hearing on pipeline safety reviewing the state’s authority to regulate pipelines and the steps and missteps taken to deal with a variety of issues related to the Sunoco Mariner East 1 and 2 Pipelines in Chester County and other areas.

* UPDATED: Senate Committee Takes Conventional Drilling Regulation Bill Off March 27 Agenda, Recreation Bill To Be Considered

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee was scheduled to meet March 27 to consider Senate Bill 1088 (Hutchinson-R-Venango) re-enacting the 1984 Oil and Gas Act to regulate conventional oil and gas drilling, but it was removed from the agenda Monday.

* Celebrating Women In Conservation Award Winners Announced

PennFuture Thursday announced the winners of the 4th Annual Celebrating Women In Conservation Awards.  The winners will be celebrated at an April 19 awards event at the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia.

* DCNR Blog: To Clean Up The Chesapeake Bay, Focus On The Land

By Cindy Adams Dunn, Secretary of DCNR

* PA Environmental Council To Host Dinner April 24 To Honor Recipients Of Governor’s Award For Environmental Excellence

The PA Environmental Council will host a dinner on April 24 in Harrisburg to honor the winners of the 2018 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence.

* 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--

* Congress Passes $5 Million For Delaware River Basin Restoration Program For FY 2018

On March 23, the Delaware River Basin Restoration Program received $5 million in funding as part of the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus spending bill approved by Congress and signed into law by President Trump Friday.

* CBF: Congressional Budget Agreement Fully Funds EPA Chesapeake Bay Program

Chesapeake Bay Foundation President William C. Baker issued the following statement Thursday concerning the Congressional spending bill released Wednesday and signed into law by President Trump on Friday--

* Federal Spending Bill Increases Funding For Low-Income Energy Help, Weatherization

The federal spending bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump Friday includes these other important funding provisions--

* Senate, House Re-Write Of Oil & Gas Act For Conventional Drillers Turns Back The Clock To 1984

Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-Venango) and Rep. Martin Causer (R-Forest) Monday introduced House Bill 2154 (Causer-R-Forest) and Senate Bill 1088 (Hutchinson-R-Venango) establishing the Conventional Oil and Gas Act to re-write drilling requirements to specifically apply only to conventional oil and gas drillers, turns back the clock on regulating these facilities to the Oil and Gas Act passed in 1984.

* Senate Passes Lawn Fertilizer Application Bill, Now Goes To The House

The Senate Tuesday voted 47 to 3 to pass Senate Bill 792 (Alloway-R-Adams) that would regulate the application of lawn fertilizer.

* Majority Chair Of Senate Committee Still Supporting Efforts To Remove Executive Director of Fish & Boat Commission

The Senate Game and Fisheries Committee Wednesday had an informational meeting on the annual reports of the Game and Fish and Commissions.

* The Nature Conservancy-PA: Unleashing The Power Of Nature To Reduce Stormwater Pollution

Last year, during an especially severe summer storm, torrential rains moved through Philadelphia, flooding streets and clogging stormwater drains. With nowhere to go, the dirty water rushed into the Schuylkill River, and ultimately, the Delaware Bay.

* Bay Journal: Removing Legacy Sediment Reduces Runoff Pollution, Restores Habitat

By Donna Morelli, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* Water Insights Seminar March 27: Profiting More By Farming Less? A New Paradigm For Chesapeake Watershed Water Quality

The next Penn State Water Insights Seminar will be held March 27 featuring Dr. Tom Richard Director of Penn State’s Institutes for Energy and the Environment on the topic, “Profiting More By Farming Less? A New Paradigm For Chesapeake Bay Watershed Water Quality.”

* PRC: Request A Stream Smart Stormwater House Call In 2 Southeast Watersheds In 4 Counties

The PA Resources Council is inviting any property owner in the Darby and Cobbs Creek Watersheds to participate in the Stream Smart Stormwater House Call Program!

* School Nominations Now Being Accepted For Schuylkill Action Network Protecting Our Water Award

The Schuylkill Action Network is now accepting nominations from schools for the Protecting Our Water Award to recognize schools within the watershed that help protect sources of drinking water.  Nominations are due April 5.

* Schuylkill River Network Student Street Art Contest Now Accepting Entries

The Schuylkill Action Network and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary are now accepting entries for the 2018 Schuylkill Student Street Art Contest.  The deadline for entries is March 30.

* CBF-PA Helps Students Explore Local Waterways In 11 PA Counties In Chesapeake Bay Watershed

From April 3 to May 30, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA will hold take students on a day-long watershed exploration trip as part of the Susquehanna Watershed Environmental Education Program in 11 counties in grades 5 through 12.

* Stroud Water Research Center/Exelon Tree Planting In Chester County April 20

The Stroud Water Research Center is organizing a tree planting in Coatesville, Chester County on April 20 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Issues 2017 Annual Report

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission Friday issued its 2017 Annual Report highlighting SRBCs initiatives in help municipalities better manage water, promoting water conservation, building flood resiliency and other accomplishments.

* Fayette County Receives DCED Municipal Grant For Stormwater Manager

The Department of Community and Economic Development Thursday announced a series of Municipal Assistance Program grants including a grant to Fayette County for an MS4 Stormwater Manager position.

* Penn State Water Research Showcase To Be Held March 29 In State College

On March 29 the Penn State Water Research and Education Initiative of the Institutes of Energy and the Environment will be hosting a showcase and networking event for researchers focused on water starting at 3:00 p.m. at the 110 Henderson Building at University Park in State College.  Click Here to join the program online (register with your name and email.)

* Master Watershed Stewards In York County Present Outstanding Partner Award

The Penn State Master Watershed Stewards in York County recently presented Kipp Allison, Zoning Officer for Windsor Township, with the 2017 Outstanding Partner Award.

* Penn State Extension Watershed Winds Newsletter Now Available

The latest edition of Watershed Winds newsletter from Penn State Extension featuring stories on -- Montour County Residents Learn how To Protect Their Drinking Water

* State Of The Kiski-Conemaugh River Watershed Report Shows Significant Water Quality Improvement

The Conemaugh Valley Conservancy recently released a State Of the Kiski-Conemaugh River Watershed which documents a complete shift in the aquatic community in the watershed caused by significant water quality improvements.

* DEP To Issue Emergency Contract To Repair Road Damaged By Flow Of Mine Drainage In Cambria County

The Department of Environmental Protection Friday announced it has authorized an emergency contract to stabilize and repair River Drive in Patton Borough, Cambria County, which was damaged by a large unforeseen flow of mine drainage on February 21.

* DEP, PA Sea Grant March 27 PA Lake Erie Environmental Forum

The Department of Environmental Protection and PA Sea Grant invite interested members of the public to attend a meeting of the PA Lake Erie Environmental Forum (PA-LEEF) on March 27.

* PennVEST Loans Available To Help Hollidaysburg, Other Homeowners Pay For Sewer Laterals

As work continues to replace sewer lines in Hollidaysburg, the PA Infrastructure Investment Authority reminds homeowners that it offers a low-interest loan to help with the expense of connecting to the municipal sewer system.

* Montour County Residents Learn How To Protect Their Drinking Water At Workshop

Fifty-three homeowners recently attended a Penn State Extension workshop in Montour County where they received water test reports and assistance in interpreting the testing results.

* Penn State Extension Private Water Well Owners Drinking Water Clinics April 11 In Bucks County

Penn State Extension will host two Drinking Water Clinics for owners of private water wells on April 11 in Doylestown, Bucks County.  The same Clinic will be presented at 1:00 and 6:00 p.m.

* DEP Completes Surveillance Effort To Keep Lead Solder Products Off Shelves, Away From Water Lines

The Department of Environmental Protection Monday announced it has completed routine surveillance of hardware stores and other retail facilities in 13 counties to verify that leaded solder is not being sold for plumbing purposes.

* No-Cost Rates & Finance Workshop For Small Water Systems Sept. 13 In State College

The PA Section of the American Water Works Association will host a no-cost Workshop on Rates and Finance on September 13 at the State College Borough Water Authority office, 1201 West Branch Road in State College, Centre County.

* Fix A Leak Week: PA American Water Reminds Customers Saving Water Saves Money

PA American Water Monday announced its partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to promote Fix a Leak Week, which runs from March 19-25.

* Insurance Dept Urges Homeowners To Consider Flood Insurance Regardless Of Flood Hazard Area Designation

Insurance Department Consumer Liaison David Buono Thursday urged homeowners in Moosic Borough, Lackawanna County, as well as homeowners throughout Pennsylvania, to consider purchasing flood insurance, regardless of whether they live in a federally designated special flood hazard area, where this insurance is required for most mortgages.

* PA Resources Council 2017 Lens On Litter Photo Contest Winners Now On Display

The winners of the PA Resources Council 2017 Lens On Litter Photo Contest are now on display on the PRC website.

* Keep PA Beautiful Invites 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.

* Westmoreland Cleanways, Conservation District Hold Tire Recycling Event April 14 In Latrobe

Westmoreland Cleanways and Recycling and the Westmoreland County Conservation District West Nile Virus Program will hold a waste tire recycling event April 14 in Latrobe.

* Spring 2018 Newsletter Now Available From The PA Resources Council

The Spring 2018 newsletter is now available from the PA Resources Council featuring stories about--

* DEP To Host March 28 Meeting/Hearing On Remacor Radiological, Chemical Waste Site Cleanup In Lawrence County

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced it will hold a public meeting March 28 to describe DEP’s Proposed Interim Cleanup for the 45 acre Remacor Site containing radiological and other chemical contaminants near the Beaver River to answer questions from the public.

* DEP Invites Comments On Water Quality Permit For APV Renaissance Natural Gas Power Plant, Greene County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the March 24 PA Bulletin inviting comments on a proposed NPDES Water Quality permit for the 1,000 MW natural gas-fired APV Renaissance Energy Center power plant in Monongahela Township, Greene County.  (PA Bulletin, page 1728)

* April 25 DEP Hearing On Water Quality Permit For Cheswick Power Station, Allegheny County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the March 24 PA Bulletin of an April 25 public hearing on the proposed NPDES Water Quality permit for the 565 MW coal-fired NRG Cheswick Generating Station in Springdale, Allegheny County.  (PA Bulletin, page 1780).

* DEP Holds April 25 Hearing On Water Quality Permit For Brunner Island Power Plant, York County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the March 24 PA Bulletin of an April 25 public hearing on the proposed NPDES permit for the 1,490 MW Brunner Island Power Station that is switching from coal to natural gas in East Manchester Township, York County. (PA Bulletin page 1779)

* PUC Invites Comments On Proposal To Enhance Consumer Information About Electricity Shopping

The Public Utility Commission published notice in the March 24 PA Bulletin seeking public comment on proposed amendments to regulations for retail electricity service.

* DEP Approves Permit For Underground Drilling Waste Injection Well in Clearfield County

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced it has approved an underground injection control (UIC) well for disposal of wastewater associated with oil and natural gas production. Windfall Oil & Gas Inc.’s Frank & Susan Zelman #1 is located in Brady Township, Clearfield County.

* IFO Estimates PA Landowners Received Over $5.325 Billion In Natural Gas Royalties From 2012 To 2016

The Independent Fiscal Office Thursday issued a report in response to a request by Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) which estimated Pennsylvania landowners received $5.325 billion in natural gas royalties between 2012 and 2016.

* Gov. Wolf Announces Extension Of Tri-State Shale Coalition To Maximize Benefits Of Natural Gas Resources

Gov. Tom Wolf Wednesday announced the extension of a three-state agreement with Gov. Jim Justice of West Virginia and Gov. John Kasich of Ohio to collaborate on efforts to maximize the use of the shared natural gas resources in the Appalachian Basin.

* Pittsburgh Park Will Create Walkable Space, Reconnect Historic Neighborhood With Downtown

Plans are moving forward for a new, urban three-acre green space that will reconnect Pittsburgh’s historic Hill District with the city’s Downtown business and cultural center.

* Columbia County Takes Ownership Of Rishel Grove Conservation Area Along The Susquehanna River

Columbia County is now the proud owner of over 130 acres along the Susquehanna River. The Montour Township property was donated to the County by the Estate of Vera Grove Rishel.

* EQT Drilling Pays DCNR $1.568 Million For Additional Submerged Land Leased Under Monongahela River

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published notice in the March 24 PA Bulletin of a September 2017 lease with the EQT gas drilling company covering an additional 392 acres of submerged lands under the Monongahela River in Allegheny, Greene, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

* DCNR State Forester Dan Devlin Retiring After Nearly 40 Years Of State Service

On March 30, 2018, State Forester and Bureau of Forestry Director Daniel A. Devlin will bid farewell to a labor of love, and turn his attention to the other things he loves doing, like casting a fly on trout streams protected by the state forest lands he oversaw.

* March 22 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The March 22 edition of the Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring stories on--

* Delaware Highlands Conservancy: Winners Of Sharing Place: Eagles & Their Environs Photo Contest

The Delaware Highlands Conservancy Wednesday announced the winners of its Sharing Place: Eagles and Their Environs Photo Contest.  The winners are--

* PA Trout Unlimited: Women’s Initiative Leadership Retreat April 20-22 In Centre County

The PA Council of Trout Unlimited is hosting a Women’s Initiative Leadership Retreat April 20-22 at the GodSpeed Hostel, 7897 South Eagle Valley Road, Port Matilda in Centre County.

* PA Hunters Harvested An Estimated 367,159 Deer In 2017-18, Up 10 Percent

Pennsylvania’s buck harvest increased 10 percent, and the overall deer harvest also was up 10 percent, in the state’s 2017-18 hunting seasons, which closed in January, the Game Commission reported Tuesday.

* Natural Lands President Molly Morrison To Retire, National Search For Replacement

Molly Morrison, president of Natural Lands, has announced plans to retire after 14 years as leader of the region’s largest conservation organization. Morrison said that she expects to step down by the end of 2018.

* Alissa Burger Joins PA Environmental Council As Senior Policy Advisor For Energy & Climate

The PA Environmental Council Friday announced Alissa Burger has joined the organization as Senior Policy Advisor for Energy and Climate.

* 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 March 24 PA Bulletin seeking public comment on proposed amendments to regulations for retail electricity service.

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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.

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