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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, April 9, 2018 Issue #719
(4/9/2018)
* William Penn Foundation Announces $42 Million In New Funding For Delaware River Watershed Initiative

The William Penn Foundation Wednesday announced $42 million in new funding over the next 3 years for the Delaware River Watershed Initiative, which stands among the country’s largest non-regulatory conservation efforts to protect and restore clean water.

* Delaware River Watershed Initiative: Suburban Philadelphia Partners Build On Conservation Success

The William Penn Foundation Wednesday announced $42 million in new funding over the next 3 years for the second phase of the Delaware River Watershed Initiative.

* Delaware River Watershed Initiative: Middle & Upper Delaware Partners Build On Conservation Success

The William Penn Foundation Wednesday announced $42 million in new funding over the next 3 years for the second phase of the Delaware River Watershed Initiative.

* Delaware River Watershed Initiative: Brandywine-Christina Watershed Partners Build On Conservation Success

The William Penn Foundation Wednesday announced $42 million in new funding over the next 3 years for the second phase of the Delaware River Watershed Initiative.

* Delaware River Watershed Initiative: Natural Lands Highlights Past, Future Work

Natural Lands, based in Delaware County, is leading a major project to protect clean water in the region as a member of the Delaware River Watershed Initiative lead by the William Penn Foundation.

* DRBC: No Timetable For Finalizing Fracking Ban, Makes Comments Available

The Delaware River Basin Commission Wednesday issued a statement saying it has no set schedule for finalizing its proposed ban on fracking in the watershed.  It also made available the comments submitted as part of its public comment period on the proposed moratorium.

* EQB To Consider Final Drinking Water Fee Increases, Review Report On Oil & Gas Drilling Fees April 17

The Environmental Quality Board meets April 17 to consider final regulations increasing Safe Drinking Water Program fees and to hear a report on the adequacy of current Oil and Gas Program fees.

* PA Superior Court: Taking Natural Gas Without Permission From Neighboring Property Is Trespass, Overturning Rule Of Capture For Unconventional Gas Wells

The PA Superior Court Monday issued an opinion saying Southwestern Energy drilling company trespassed on the property of Susquehanna County landowners by taking natural gas from an adjacent property without permission through its unconventional drilling operations.

* Gov. Wolf Proclaims Everyone Plays A Part In Keeping Pennsylvania Clean Earth Day Theme

Gov. Tom Wolf Thursday published a proclamation setting the 2018 Earth Day theme as “Everyone Plays A Part In Keeping Pennsylvania Clean” to encourage all citizens to become engaged in their local communities and join efforts to help maintain and improve Pennsylvania’s urban and rural environments.

* 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/UPDATED: 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 Resolution Introduced To Designate April 16-22 Clean Streams Week In PA

A resolution was introduced by Rep. Stephen McCarter (D-Montgomery) Tuesday to designate the week of April 16 to 22 as Clean Streams Week in Pennsylvania.

* Bill Would Require DEP To Replace Delaware, Susquehanna River Basin Commissions In Regulating Groundwater

Rep. Dan Moul (R-Adams) Thursday reserved House Bill 2222 for the purpose of introducing legislation to have the Department of Environmental Protection replace the interstate Delaware and Susquehanna River Basin Commissions in the regulation of groundwater and extend that authority statewide.

* House Committee Meets April 11 On Alternative Ratemaking Bill To Encourage Conservation, Renewable Energy

The House Consumer Affairs Committee is scheduled to meet April 11 to consider House Bill 1782 (Delozier-R-Cumberland) authorizing alternative ratemaking for electric and natural distribution companies to encourage energy efficiency improvements, distributed and renewable energy projects (sponsor summary).

* EPA Directly Soliciting Applications For Water Infrastructure Project Loans

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week announced it is now accepting applications for an estimated $5.5 billion in loan funding for water and wastewater infrastructure projects, including green infrastructure projects, under the federal Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act.  The deadline for letters of interest is July 6.

* GAO Report: Pennsylvania Better Positioned To Guarantee Active Mines Are Reclaimed Due To Bonding Changes

A federal GAO report released Thursday reported a 2010 federal review of the Department of Environmental Protection’s coal mining reclamation bonding program found it did not result in requiring enough bonding from current mining companies to guarantee their sites could be reclaimed if the operator walked away.

* PA Attorney General Joins Other States In Suing EPA Over Controlling Methane Pollution

Attorney General Josh Shapiro Thursday joined other states in filing a lawsuit against the Trump Administration for ignoring its legal duty to control emissions of methane – an extremely potent greenhouse gas – from existing oil and gas operations.

* DEP Joins 9 Other States, DC In Opposing EPA Rollback Of EPA Vehicle Fuel Standards

Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell joined environmental agency leaders in 9 other states and the District of Columbia Monday in opposing the rollback of EPA's vehicle emission standards.

* Bay Journal: States Lagging Badly In Planting Streamside Trees In Chesapeake Bay Watershed

By Timothy B. Wheeler, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* CBF-PA: Sign Up Today For One Of 17+ Tree Planting Events In Pennsylvania

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA is urging Pennsylvanians to help plant trees at one of the many tree planting events groups are scheduling in the PA portion of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed April 13 to May 5.

* PEC: Volunteers Needed To Plant Trees In Clearfield, Luzerne, Northumberland And Somerset County At The Flight 93 Memorial

The PA Environmental Council, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the National Park Service are inviting volunteers to help plant trees in Pinchot State Forest in Luzerne County April 20, Weiser State Forest in Northumberland County April 20, in Moshannon State Forest in Clearfield County on April 20 and 21 and at the Flight 93 Memorial in Somerset County April 27 and 28.

* PA Horticultural Society, Penn State Extension, Tree Pittsburgh Offer Tree Tender Classes

The PA Horticultural Society, Penn State Extension and Tree Pittsburgh will hold Tree Tender classes between now and the end of the year.  Here’s a rundown.

* Landstudies: Why Runoff Controls Are An Essential Component Of MS4 Stormwater Plans

A Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Stormwater Plan is made up of a series of stormwater management facilities, inlets, pipes, swales, and outfalls that collect and convey stormwater.

* Bay Journal: Brunner Island Power Plant To Convert From Coal To Natural Gas, Will Reduce Water, Air Pollution

By Donna Morelli, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* Penn State Law Students To Facilitate Forum On Water Quality, Quantity Issues April 18 In Centre County

The Spring Creek Watershed Commission will hold a Forum on Understanding and Stewarding Water Quantity and Quality in the Spring Creek Watershed at 6:30 p.m. on April 18 at the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science, 540 North Harrison Road, Pleasant Gap, Centre County.

* Susquehanna U. Research Finds Brook Trout Populations Down In Upper Susquehanna Watershed Due To Natural Gas Development

New research from Susquehanna University's Freshwater Research Initiative finds that brook trout populations suffered most as a result of natural gas development if their habitats were already made fragile by other land uses.

* Stroud Water Research Center: How Does Climate Change Affect Your Watershed April 12

The Stroud Water Research Center will host a How Does Climate Change Affect Your Watershed program on April 12 at the Stroud Water Research Center Meetinghouse at 970 Spencer Road in Avondale, Chester County starting at 6:00 p.m.

* Winning Entry In What The Delaware River Means Contest Captures The Beauty Of The River, New Contest Opens

The Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed Friday announced the winner of the What The Delaware River Means Beauty Contest-- Karen Harmon for her photo of the Frenchtown- Uhlerstown Bridge.

* DEP Invites Comments On TMDL Plans For Streams In Fulton, Juniata Counties

The Department of Environmental is inviting comments on a proposed Total Maximum Daily Load Plans for Spring Run in Fulton County and Warble Run in Juniata County (April 7 PA Bulletin page 2009).

* DEP Extends Deadline For Comments On Guidance On Alternative Onlot Septic Systems To May 8

The Department of Environmental Protection Saturday extended the comment period on two proposed technical guidance documents to implement Act 26 related to considering alternative onlot septic systems in Act 537 sewage planning to May 8.  (formal notice)

* NRCS-PA State Technical Committee Meeting In Harrisburg April 18

The U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service-PA invites the public to attend the Pennsylvania State Technical Committee meeting on April 18 at the USDA State Office in Harrisburg.

* Gov. Wolf Announces $25 Million In Funding For 12 Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Projects

Gov. Tom Wolf Friday announced the approval of $25 million in funding for environmental cleanup and revitalization projects at 12 abandoned mine land (AML) locations in fourteen municipalities across Pennsylvania.

* Latest Blacklick Creek Watershed Assn Newsletter Tells History Of The Group In Indiana, Cambria Counties

The April issue of the Blacklick Creek Watershed Association in Indiana and Cambria counties tells the story of how the group started with a local trail project and moved on to develop some of the most sophisticated mine drainage treatment systems in Pennsylvania, building lots of partnerships along the way.

* Keep PA Beautiful Convenient, Affordable Trash Disposal & Recycling Featured In April PA Boroughs News

An article by Keep PA Beautiful President Shannon Reiter on Convenient, Affordable Trash Disposal and Recycling is featured in the April PA Boroughs Association news magazine.

* Get Involved In Plogging Week April 9 to 15 In Philadelphia To Make You, Your Neighborhood Healthier

The PA Resources Council and Litter? Not in Philly are partnering with the Clean Air Council and Philadelphia’s running community for Plogging Week April 9 to 15.   

* Keep Philadelphia Beautiful Offers Cigarette Litter Prevention Micro-Grants

Keep Philadelphia Beautiful is now accepting applications for Cigarette Litter Micro-Grants from community-based nonprofit organizations in Philadelphia working on litter abatement and prevention.  The deadline for applications is April 20.

* PA Resources Council 2018 Reuse Fest April 21 In Allegheny County

The PA Resources Council and its partners will hold the 2018 Reuse Fest on April 21 at the UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh employee parking lot at 55th and Harrison Streets in Lawrenceville, Allegheny County.

* Chester County To Hold Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events April 7, 21

The Chester County Solid Waste Authority Tuesday announced there will be two household hazardous waste collection events in the County on April 7 in Phoenixville and on April 21 in Atglen.

* PEC, Partners: Volunteers Needed At Illegal Dump Cleanup In Susquehanna County April 28-29

The PA Environmental Council and its partners are inviting volunteers to be part of the cleanup of illegal dump sites in Harmony Township, Susquehanna County on April 28 and 29.

* Construction Junction In Pittsburgh Hosts Special Earth Month Events In April

Construction Junction in Pittsburgh will host more than a dozen special Earth Month events during April in celebration of Earth Day.  Just a few of the special events include-

* Keep Centre County Beautiful Becomes Newest Keep America Beautiful Affiliate in Pennsylvania

Keep Centre County Beautiful became the 13th Keep America Beautiful affiliate in Pennsylvania on January 24. The certification of this new affiliate marked the culmination of a public-private-civic partnership process that began in early 2017.

* Clean Air Council Kicks Off Southwest PA Neighbors For Clean Air Initiative April 12 In Pittsburgh

The Clean Air Council will kick off a new Southwest PA Neighbors for Clean Air Initiative April 12 at the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 419 S. Dithridge Street in Pittsburgh from 6:00 to 9:00.

* PUC Adopts Policy Statement, Creates Working Group On Combined Heat, Power Technology

The Public Utility Commission Thursday adopted a policy statement geared toward helping advance the development of combined heat and power (CHP) technology.

* EPA Honors 4 Pennsylvania Energy Star Partners Of The Year

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy Monday announced they will honor four Pennsylvania Energy Star Partners of the Year including: Air King America LLC of West Chester; Bimbo Bakeries of Hazelton; PECO Energy of Philadelphia; and Ricoh USA Inc. of Malvern.  

* FirstEnergy Generation Files For Bankruptcy Just Before Midnight

FirstEnergy Solutions, the competitive subsidiary of FirstEnergy, along with all FES subsidiaries and FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company, made a voluntary filing under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in order to facilitate an orderly financial restructuring just before midnight on Saturday, March 31. 

* PUC Changes Date For York County Hearing On Transource Power Line To May 14

The Public Utility Commission Tuesday announced it has changed the date of one of the York County hearings on the Transource power line project to May 14.  The original date was May 15.

* PUC Holds June 14 En Banc Hearing On Supplier Consolidated Billing By Electricity Suppliers

The Public Utility Commission Monday announced it will hold an en banc hearing on June 14 to hear testimony and gather additional information on customer billing practices by competitive electric generation suppliers, specifically on the legality, merits and potential implementation of supplier consolidated billing.

* Buckeye Now Proposing Bi-Directional Laurel Pipeline Service

Buckeye Partners, L.P. Friday announced it is actively undertaking the steps necessary to provide bi-directional service along the Altoona to Pittsburgh section of the refined fuels pipeline system operated by its operating subsidiary, Laurel Pipe Line Company, L.P..

* Third Annual Energy Days At Penn State Set For May 30-31 In State College

Penn State will be hosting the third annual Energy Days Conference May 30 and 31 at the Penn Stater Conference Center in State College, Centre County.

* New Bus Stop At Penn State Powered By Solar Panel Array

On Monday, the culmination of plans for Penn State’s 2015 class gift came to fruition as Penn State President Eric Barron led the dedication of the Solar Panel Array, installed at a unique bus stop near Beaver Stadium in State College, Centre County.

* Penn State Underground Carbon Sequestration Research Receives $2.5 Million DOE Grant

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded a $2.5 million grant to researchers at Penn State, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, and the University of Texas at Austin to study what happens when carbon dioxide (CO2) is stored underground by using a real-time seismic monitoring system to track CO2 movement.

* Global Warming: The Science & Impacts On PA Fish & Wildlife April 12, Scranton

Lackawanna State Park will host a special Global Warming: The Science and Impacts on Pennsylvania Fish and Wildlife Program on April 12 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Park’s Environmental Learning Center Classroom, 1839 Abington Road, North Abington Township, Lackawanna County.

* March In Case You Missed It Now Available From PA Environmental Council

The PA Environmental Council’s In Case You Missed It In March is now available featuring stories on--

* PEC: Pocono Forests & Waters Conservation Mini-Grant Applications Due May 1

The PA Environmental Council is now accepting applications for its 2018 Pocono Forests and Waters Conservation Mini-Grants Program.  Applications are due May 1.

* South Mountain Partnership Now Accepting Applications For Mini-Grant Program

The South Mountain Partnership is now accepting applications its 2018 South Mountain Mini-Grant Program.  Applications are due June 1.

* Forbes State Forest To Participate In Bayer Feed A Bee Local Pollinator Project

The PA Parks and Forests Foundation recently received a $2,500 grant from Bayer’s Feed A Bee Program on behalf of Forbes State Forest to create a new pollinator field, established specifically to offer increased habitat and nutrition sources for local pollinators.

* Departments Of Health, DCNR Urge Residents To Learn About Lyme Disease

With longer days and warmer spring weather on the way, the Wolf Administration wants all Pennsylvanians to know what Lyme disease is, how they can get it, and the steps to take to prevent the virus.

* Waterfall Wanderlust: Explore Pennsylvania’s Falling Waters

Waterfalls are beautiful, natural sights that can be the pinnacle of any trip or hike. Pennsylvania’s mountains and flowing streams and rivers have created many scenic waterfalls across the state.

* Registrations Now Being Accepted For June 15-23 Delaware River Sojourn

Interested paddlers are invited to register for the 24th Annual Delaware River Sojourn taking place June 15-23 and help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

* Volunteers Needed For Minister Valley Wilderness Stewardship Days April 21-22, Allegheny National Forest

Friends of Allegheny Wilderness will host Stewardship Days on April 21-22 in the proposed Minister Valley Wilderness in the Allegheny National Forest in Warren County.

* April 4 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The April 4 edition of the Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* Wildlife Technology Student Sean Lauer From York Receives Wildlife Society Scholarship

By Steve Harmic, Penn State News

* Game Commission: Bluebird Boxes Available To Help Connect With Wildlife

The Game Commission’s Howard Nursery wants to help you “spring” into the season and connect with wildlife in your backyard.

* Pocono Arts Council Announces Earth Speaks IV Awards Artists’ Reception April 21; Exhibit Runs Thru April 28

The Pocono Arts Council is pleased to announce the award recipients for “The Earth Speaks IV: A Juried Exhibition on the Environmental Crisis,” featured in the ARTSPACE Gallery at the Pocono Arts Council, April 6-28, 18 N. Seventh Street in Stroudsburg, Monroe County..

* DCNR Seeking Proposals For Engineering, Environmental, Civil, Geological Services

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published notice in the April 7 PA Bulletin it is seeking proposals for engineering services for various environmental, civil and site engineering services as well as geological services.

* Richard H. Friedman To Receive PA Bar Assn Environmental & Energy Law Section Lifetime Achievement Award

Richard H. Friedman, recently retired environmental law partner at McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC of Harrisburg, will be honored with the 2018 PA Bar Association Environmental and Energy Law Section Lifetime Achievement Award during the section’s Environmental Law Forum, April 11 and 12 at the Harrisburg Hilton & Towers.

* 6 New Members Join Natural Lands Board Of Trustees

Natural Lands, based in Delaware County, Tuesday announced the addition of Lloyd H. Brown, Jason Duckworth, Gail Harrity, Jeffrey Idler, Stephan K. Pahides, and David W. Weaver to its Board of Trustees.

* Help Wanted: Schuylkill River Sojourn Seeking 2018 Sojourn Steward June 2-8

The Schuylkill Action Network is seeking an enthusiastic individual with paddling, photography, and social media experience to serve as the Sojourn Steward for the June 2-8 Schuylkill River Sojourn.

* Help Wanted: Pike Conservation District Resource Conservationist Position

The Pike County Conservation District is how accepting applications for a full-time Resource Conservationist. The deadline for applications is April 20.

* 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 Environmental Quality Board published notice in the April 7 PA Bulletin of the final regulation eliminating the low-RVP gasoline requirement for the Pittsburgh Region.

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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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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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