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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, April 23, 2018 Issue #721
* 23 Companies, Groups, Individuals Honored With Governor's Award For Environmental Excellence

Gov. Tom Wolf Wednesday announced the 23 companies, groups and individuals honored with the 2108 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence.

* Centre County Honors 58 Green Businesses, Schools And Organizations

The Centre County Recycling & Refuse Authority held an awards luncheon Tuesday to honor 58 of our area’s best green businesses, schools and organizations.

* DCNR Good Natured Blog: Conservation In A Changing Climate

As we approach the annual Earth Day celebration this weekend, one of our biggest challenges is how to respond and adapt to a changing climate. We need to act.

* Celebrate Earth Day By Joining Keep PA Beautiful's Great American Cleanup Of PA

In celebration of Earth Day - April 22, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, whose vision is a clean and beautiful Pennsylvania, encourages residents to organize their own cleanups or volunteer for one near them as part of the 2018 Great American Cleanup of PA.

* EQB Approves Final Drinking Water Fee Increases, Now Moves Through Final Review

The Environmental Quality Board Tuesday approved the final regulation increasing Safe Drinking Water Program fees to address major staff deficiencies caused by a decade of General Fund budget cuts at DEP.

* DEP Establishes New Water Quality Project Grant Program With $12.6 Million Mariner East 2 Pipeline Penalty

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced it has created a new water quality project grant program with the $12.6 million penalty assessed against the Mariner East 2 Pipeline(formal notice)

* Gov. Wolf: $60 Million In PennVEST Funding For Water Infrastructure Projects In 12 Counties

Gov. Tom Wolf Wednesday announced the investment of $60 million for 12 drinking water, wastewater, and nonpoint source projects across 12 counties through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority.

* Joint State Govt. Commission Concludes PA Environmental Laws Adhere To Federal Standards, Or Are Justified By A Compelling Interest

The Joint State Government Commission Thursday released a report on whether Pennsylvania’s environmental laws and regulations are more stringent than federal requirements as required by the Senate Resolution 385 (Brooks-R-Crawford).

* Op-Ed: In Praise Of Rachel Carson And Public Service

By James M. Seif, Former Secretary Of The Department of Environmental Protection

* 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/ 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--

* Nuclear Energy Caucus Hearing: The Federal Government Is Not Going To Act In Time To Save Nuclear Power Plants

The operators of Pennsylvania’s nuclear power plants told the bipartisan House-Senate Nuclear Energy Caucus Tuesday the federal government will likely not act in time to prevent the closure of up to one quarter of the nuclear power plants in the state.

* House Committee Holds Hearing On Bipartisan Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing Program

The House Commerce Committee Wednesday held a hearing on Senate Bill 234 (Blake-D, Reschenthaler-R) that authorizes local governments to create energy improvement districts to help fund energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation projects for commercial, agricultural and industrial buildings to reduce their operating costs (Senate Fiscal Note and summary).

* Bipartisan Senate/House Bills Would Transition Pennsylvania To 100% Renewable Power By 2050

Democratic and Republican members of the House and Senate Wednesday announced legislation to transition Pennsylvania to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 in order to help fight climate change.

* PUC Chairman Gladys Brown Unanimously Confirmed By Senate For Second Term

The Public Utility Commission Wednesday thanked members of the Senate for unanimously confirming the nomination of Chairman Gladys M. Brown to her second five-year term as a PUC Commissioner.

* House Republicans List House Conventional Oil & Gas Bill On Voting Schedule For May 1

House Republicans Thursday listed House Bill 2154 (Causer-R-Forest), the Conventional Oil and Gas Act to regulate conventional drilling operations on the House Voting Schedule for May 1.

* Senate Committee Meets April 24 To Consider Pipeline Safety, Construction Bills

The Senate Consumer Affairs and Professional Licensure Committee is scheduled to meet on April 24 to consider several bills related to pipeline safety and construction.  They include--

* Senate Committees Hold Hearing On Flooding, Emergency Response April 25

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy and Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committees will hold a joint hearing April 25 on flooding and emergency response.

* FERC Seeks Public Comments On Natural Gas Pipeline Evaluations

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Friday issued a Notice of Inquiry inviting comments on its process determining the need for and evaluating the environmental impacts of natural gas pipelines.

* High School Students Participate In Westmoreland County's Envirothon April 30

It’s extracurricular.  It’s outside.  And it’s fun!  It’s the Westmoreland County Envirothon – a yearly academic competition that pits teams of high school students to see which has the most knowledge of the natural world.

* Pennsylvania Statewide Envirothon Provides Spring Update

The statewide PA Envirothon organization provided a Spring Update on activities featuring stories on--

* Root Mass Farm In Berks County Receives Small Farm Environmental Sustainability Grant

The FruitGuys Community Wednesday announced the award of $47,534 in Small Farms Environmental Sustainability Grants to 13 recipients, including the Root Mass Farm in Oley, Berks County.

* Op-Ed: As Earth Week Approaches, We Celebrate Our Vibrant, Growing PA Sustainable Agriculture Community

By Melissa Cipollone, PA Association For Sustainable Agriculture

* Anthracite Heritage Museum Celebrating Our Anthracite Legacy Program By Robert Hughes EPCAMR April 21

The Anthracite Heritage Museum will host Robert Hughes, Executive Director of the Eastern PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation for a presentation on the topic of The Sustainability Factor of Coalfield Community Groups in Anthracite and Bituminous Region and EPCAMR's Role," one in the new Anthracite Legacy Lecture Series.

* West Norriton Twp, Montgomery County: Stormwater In Your Backyard, Everyone Has A Story To Tell

West Norriton Township in Montgomery County recently posted a story map online to educate its residents about stormwater called: Stormwater In Your Backyard, Everyone Has A Story To Tell.

* Learn To Green Your Property For Clean Water At April 24 Workshop In Centre County

Interns with the Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center and other partners will hold a workshop for homeowners to learn how to green their property for clean water on April 24 at the American Philatelic Society, 100 Match Factory Place in Bellefonte, Center County near Big Spring Spirits from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

* Volunteers Plant Nearly 1,000 Trees Along Tributaries To Brandywine River In Southeast

Stroud Water Research Center in Chester County celebrated National Volunteer Week on a chilly but sunny Friday afternoon by restoring 2.75 acres (approximately 119,790 square feet) along two swales that transport rainwater into Buck and Doe Run. Buck and Doe Run is a major tributary of the Brandywine River, which eventually flows downstream to provide drinking water for the city of Wilmington, Delaware.

* Penn State Extension Watershed Winds Newsletter Now Available

The latest issue of the Watershed Winds newsletter is now available from Penn State Extension featuring articles on--

* Protecting One Of Pennsylvania's Prized Waters: Spring Creek In Centre County

By Joan Smedinghoff, Chesapeake Bay Program

* Vote Now In Chesapeake Bay Foundation Save The Bay Photo Contest, 2 Entries From PA

Voting is now open for the Viewers’ Choice Award in the 2018 Chesapeake Bay Foundation Save The Bay Photo Contest.  The last day to vote is April 27.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Hearing On Proposed Fee Changes, Water Projects May 10

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing May 10 to on water withdrawal requests, changes to fee schedule, proposed records retention policy and changes to the Susquehanna River Watershed Comprehensive Plan.  (formal notice)

* DEP Suspends Accreditation Of Analytical Laboratory Services, Inc. For Violations

The Department of Environmental Protection Friday suspended the laboratory accreditation of Analytical Laboratory Services, Inc.’s Middletown facility (ALS-Middletown) in Dauphin County for continued violations relating to the handling and reporting of Safe Drinking Water compliance samples.

* Schuylkill Action Network 15th Annual Schuylkill Scrub Cleanup May 19

The Schuylkill Action Network and its partners will hold the 15th Anniversary Schuylkill Scrub Cleanup on May 19 at the Upper Merion Boathouse Park, Water Street in Bridgeport, Montgomery County from 10:00 to 12:30.

* ClearWater Conservancy Watershed Cleanup Day April 21 In Centre County

Join the ClearWater Conservancy and its partners for the 22nd Annual Watershed Cleanup Day on April 21 from 8:00 a.m. to Noon at multiple sites followed by a volunteer picnic at Circleville Park with games and live music.

* DEP, PennDOT, Local Officials, KPB Participate In Park Beautification Event In Chester, Delaware County

The secretaries of the Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Transportation joined City of Chester (Delaware County) officials, residents, and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful at Sun Village Park for beautification activities to celebrate the community’s cleanup of the park and the positive impact of state partnership and investment.

* PA Resources Council, PA American Water, Partners Host 3 Drug Take-Back Day Collection Events In Allegheny County

The PA Resources Council, PA American Water and other partners are holding 3 National Drug Take-Back Day collection events in Allegheny County on April 28.

* PA Resources Council Distributing Residential Recycling Bins In Pittsburgh

The PA Resources Council is working to distribute 4,000 recycling bins to residents of the City of Pittsburgh.

* Applications For Calendar 2017 Recycling Performance Grants Due Sept. 28

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the April 21 PA Bulletin it is now accepting applications for Section 904 Recycling Performance Grants covering calendar year 2017.  The deadline for applications is September 28.

* DEP Invites Comments On Revised General Permit On Processing Grubing Waste

The Department of Environmental Protection is inviting public comments on proposed modifications to the WRGR 103 Residual Waste General Permit which authorizes processing by grinding, mixing, screening and biological decomposition of tree stumps, roots, leaf waste, stump grindings and grubbing material for beneficial use as mulch.  (April 21 PA Bulletin, page 2339)

* DEP Suspends Enforcement Of Low-RVP Gasoline Requirement In Pittsburgh After Final Regulation Repealing The Requirement Published

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the April 21 PA Bulletin it is suspending the enforcement of the low-RVP summertime gasoline requirement in the Pittsburgh Region starting May 1 since a final regulation repealing the requirement was published in the April 7 PA Bulletin.

* DEP Sets Hearing May 22 On Sunoco Marcus Hook Terminals Air Permit In Delaware County

The Department of Environmental Protection is scheduled to hold a May 22 public hearing on a proposed air quality permit for the Sunoco Marcus Hook Terminals in Delaware County. (April 21 PA Bulletin, page 2305)

* Pittsburgh 2030 District Reports $26.7M Energy, $3.9M Water Savings In 5th Annual Progress Report

The Green Building Alliance and its partners issued their 5th annual report on accomplishments of their Pittsburgh 2030 District initiative showing through 2017 participating buildings reduced energy costs by $26.7 million and water use by 164 million gallons resulting in $3.9 million in savings.

* Weis Markets Continues To Reduce Environmental Impact

In honor of Earth Day, Sunbury-based Weis Markets Friday announced its sustainability program has decreased its carbon emissions by more than 20 percent since 2008 according to its new report, Weis Sustainability 2017: Together we make a difference.

* PSECU Reaffirms Commitment To Environmental Sustainability In Recognition Of Earth Day

In recognition of Earth Day, April 22, Pennsylvania’s largest credit union, PSECU, Friday reaffirmed its commitment to sustainability through an environmentally friendly business model, green headquarters facility, and support of conservation-focused community initiatives.

* Public Utility Commission Acts To Remove Barriers To Solar Energy Growth In PA

The Public Utility Commission Thursday approved a Final Implementation Order for Act 40 of 2017 (Act 40), formally establishing new qualifications for systems that qualify for the solar photovoltaic (solar PV) requirements under the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS) Act. 

* First Meeting Of PUC Combined Heat & Power Working Group May 30

The first meeting of the Public Utility Commission’s Combined Heat and Power Working Group meeting will be May 30 in Harrisburg.  (formal notice)

* PUC Chairman Brown To Lead National Committee On Critical Infrastructure

Public Utility Commission Chairman Gladys M. Brown has been appointed to lead the Committee on Critical Infrastructure for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

* DEP Keystone Energy Education Workshops For Teachers Coming Up In May

The Department of Environmental Protection is again hosting a series of Keystone Energy Education Workshops for teachers in May.

* April 24 DEP Climate Change Committee: PA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Drop 11.37% From 2000 to 2014, Mostly Due To Replacing Coal-Fired Power Plants

The DEP Climate Change Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet on April 24 to hear presentations on DCNR’s Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Plan and the final 2017 PA Greenhouse Gas Inventory.

* DEP Hearing On Mariner East II Pipeline Permit Changes April 30 In Chester County, Extends Comment Period

The Department of Environmental Protection Monday announced it will hold a public hearing on April 30 in Chester County to receive comments on two permit modification applications submitted by Sunoco, LP requesting construction modifications for its Mariner East II pipeline(April 21 PA Bulletin, page 2340)

* PennFuture: Senate Bill 1088 Would Roll Back Conventional Drilling Rules To 1984 Levels

PennFuture Tuesday issued a statement opposed to Senate Bill 1088 (Hutchinson-R-Venango) they said would roll back fundamental rules for conventional oil and gas drilling to 1984 levels.

* Nearly 2,800 Acres, 27 Farms Added To PA's Agricultural Land Preservation Program

The PA Agricultural Land Preservation Program Monday added 2,793 more acres on 27 farms in 15 counties, according to Russell Redding, Secretary of the Department of Agricultural.

* Penn State Extension, Agriculture Officials Look To Slow Spread Of Spotted Lanternfly

With spring and the accompanying emergence of insects upon us, grape growers, orchardists, nursery operators, homeowners and others in southeastern Pennsylvania are bracing for infestations of Spotted Lanternfly, an invasive pest from Asia that appeared for the first time in the United States in Berks County nearly four years ago.

* Registration Now Open For Juniata River Sojourn June 14-17

Do you enjoy paddling down lazy rivers and want to join a fantastic paddling trip this year? Registration is now open for the Juniata River Sojourn from June 14 to 17. 

* DCNR Video: PA Outdoor Corps: Creating The Next Generations Of Conservationists

The PA Outdoor Corps is a partnership to create the next generation of conservationists. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn shares how the program offers young people life-changing experiences in the outdoors.

* April 18 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The April 18 edition of the Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring stories on--

* Brodhead Watershed Assn May 5 Hike In Search Of Imperiled Golden-Winged Warbler In Monroe County

The Brodhead Watershed Association will host a "Walk and Talk" hike on May 5 in search of the golden-winged warbler as part of the Get Outdoors Poconos hiking series.

* Lacawac Sanctuary Field Station & EE Center Spring Newsletter Now Available

The Spring newsletter is now available from the Lacawac Sanctuary Field Station and Environmental Education Center in Wayne County featuring articles on--

* 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 notice in the April 21 PA Bulletin it is suspending the enforcement of the low-RVP summertime gasoline requirement in the Pittsburgh Region starting May 1 since a final regulation repealing the requirement was published in the April 7 PA Bulletin.

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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:

* 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.

* Register Now For 20th PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference

Registration is now open for the 20th Anniversary PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference to be held June 20-21 at the Ramada Inn & Conference Center in State College.  Join PA Environment Digest as a sponsor of this terrific Conference.

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