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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, June 18, 2018 Issue #729
(6/18/2018)
* PUC Lifts Shutdown Order On Mariner East 1 Pipeline; Mariner East 2, 2x Pipeline Construction Remains Shut Down In Chester County

The Public Utility Commission Thursday, on a motion by Chairman Gladys Brown, voted 3 to 2 to lift the shutdown order on Sunoco’s Mariner East 1 Pipeline, but continued the shutdown of construction of the Mariner East 2 and 2x Pipelines in West Whiteland Township, Chester County.

* Senate Committee OKs Bills Requiring Compensation For DRBC Fracking Ban, To Form Pipeline Commission, But NOT Conventional Drilling Bill

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Tuesday approved and reported out legislation to require compensation if a permanent ban on fracking is adopted by the Delaware River Basin Commission, to form a pipeline safety commission, but did NOT consider a bill to weaken environmental standards for conventional oil and gas drilling.

* CANCELED: House Environmental Committee Meets June 19 On Bill To Implement Governor’s Oil & Gas Well Permitting Reforms

CANCELED: The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to meet on June 19 to consider House Bill 2304 (Fritz-R-Susquehanna) which would enact the oil and gas well permitting reforms proposed by Gov. Wolf in January.

* DCNR Outlines 123 Action Steps In Climate Change Mitigation, Adaptation Report On Public Lands

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Thursday released the department’s Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Plan outlining 123 action steps to be undertaken to make the Commonwealth more resilient to potential impacts from a changing climate.

* PA Environmental Defense Foundation Urges DCNR To Manage Drilling In State Forests Consistent With The Environmental Rights Amendment Court Decision

The PA Environmental Defense Foundation Monday sent a letter urging the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to amend its 2016 State Forest Plan to manage oil and gas drilling in state forests according to the recent Environmental Rights Amendment trustee decision of the PA Supreme Court before it proceeds with updating each of the separate District Forest Plans.

* Penn State: Bradford County Water Quality Improves, Impacts Rare Near Shale Gas Wells

By Matthew Carroll, Penn State News

* DEP Sets June 18 Mosquito Spraying In Lycoming County; West Nile Virus Found In 2 More Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection Friday announced it will conduct a mosquito control operation to reduce high populations of mosquitoes on June 18 in portions of Lycoming Township, Lycoming County to help reduce the risk of West Nile Virus.

* DEP Reminds Homeowners To Check For Mine Subsidence Risks

Pennsylvania homeowners have new tools at their disposal to identify risks and insure their property from underground mine subsidence, thanks to a newly revamped website from the Department of Environmental Protection.

* DEP Declares Code Orange Air Quality Action Days In Southwest, Southcentral, Lehigh Valley Counties June 16 to 18

The Department of Environmental Protection and its regional air quality partnerships have forecast a series of Code Orange Air Quality Action Days for ozone for the Southwest, Southcentral and the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania.

* Senate/House Bills Moving Last Week

The following bills of interest saw action last week in the House and Senate--

* 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/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 Hears Testimony On Delaware, Susquehanna River Basin Commissions

The House State Government Committee Monday held a hearing on issues related to “regulatory overreach” by the Delaware and Susquehanna River Basin Commissions.

* House Committee Approves Resolution Calling For Audit Of PennVEST Nonpoint Source Program

The House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee Monday unanimously approved and reported out House Resolution 948 (Causer-R-Cameron) requesting the Auditor General to do a financial audit of the PA Infrastructure Investment Authority nonpoint source water pollution control program.

* House Committee OKs Bill To Limit Eminent Domain Use On Land Protected By Conservation Easements

The House Local Government Committee Tuesday unanimously approved and reported out House Bill 2468 limiting the use of eminent domain by government agencies on land with conservation easements for parks and open space purposes.

* Bill On Littering Penalties Reported Out Of House Transportation Committee

The House Transportation Committee Tuesday amended and reported out Senate Bill 431 (Scavello-R-Monroe) changing the penalties for littering and illegal dumping.

* House Designates June 18 to 24 As Pollinator Week In Pennsylvania

The House Wednesday unanimously adopted a resolution-- House Resolution 971 (Matzie-D- Beaver)-- recognizing the week of June 18 to June 24 as Pollinator Week in Pennsylvania.

* Senate Committee Meets June 18 On Pipeline Eminent Domain Landowner Bill Of Rights Legislation

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to meet on June 18 to consider Senate Bill 1199 (Rafferty-R- Montgomery) providing for a landowners’ bill of rights in cases of eminent domain, including by private entities like pipeline companies.

* House Committee Meets June 20 On Bills Extending Natural Gas Service, Replacing Lead, Broken Service Lines

The House Consumer Affairs Committee is scheduled to meet on June 20 to consider legislation encouraging the extension of natural gas distribution systems and on replacing lead water service line and damaged sewer laterals.  The bills include--

* Bay Journal: Chesapeake Bay Earns Another C On Its Annual Report Card

By Timothy B. Wheeler, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* Southcentral Regional Watershed Workshop Set For June 20 In Carlisle

The PA Environmental Council and PA Organization for Watersheds and Rivers will host another in their series of Regional Watershed Workshops June 20 at Dickinson College, Stern Great Room, 208 West Louther Street in Carlisle, Cumberland County from 9:45 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

* DCNR Blog: Fire & Rain - Using Biochar To Improve Rain Gardens, Control Stormwater

Spring this year in Pennsylvania has been wet, complete with high water in rivers and streams; flooding in some communities; and conversations about the weather impacting outdoor fun and what’s growing.

* Independence Conservancy, Local Partners Cleanup Flood Debris From Raccoon Creek In Beaver County

On May 15th an ambitious crew of about 30 people spent a day cleaning up flood debris from the Raccoon Creek Greenway in Potter Township, Beaver County.

* Stroud Water Research Center: Car Enthusiasts Explored Chester County Watersheds

The rain did not stop car enthusiasts from hitting the road in support of clean fresh water at the Stroud Water Research Center’s second annual Road Rally on June 10 in Chester County.

* Valley Creek Restoration Partnership Green Infrastructure Tour June 20 In Chester County

Join the Valley Creek Restoration Partnership for a tour of four infiltration trench projects completed in the Upper Crabby Creek Watershed on June 20 from 10:00 a.m. to Noon starting from the Tredyffrin Township Building, 1100 DuPortail Road in Berwyn, Chester County.

* Next Generation Farm Summit In Westmoreland County June 29

The Westmoreland County Conservation District and many partners are hosting a Next Generation Farm Summit on June 29 at the Donohoe Center, 218 Donohoe Road in Greensburg from Noon until 3:30.

* DEP Accepting Comments On Assessment Methodologies For 2018 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring Report

The Department of Environmental Protection is inviting comments on the water quality assessment methods it will use to do stream evaluations for the 2018 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report required by the federal Clean Water Act.  (formal notice)

* DEP Invites Groups To Submit Data For Stream Standard Reviews For 63 Class A Wild Trout Streams

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the June 16 PA Bulletin inviting groups and individuals to submit water quality and other information to help its review of water quality standards for 63 streams classified by the Fish and Boat Commission as Class A Wild Trout Streams.

* July 17 DEP Hearing On Renewal Of Water Quality Permit For Fmr Embreeville State Hospital Grounds, Chester County

The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a meeting and hearing on July 17 on the renewal of the NPDES discharge permit for the wastewater treatment plant serving the former Embreeville State Hospital grounds in Newlin Township, Chester County. (PA Bulletin, page 3640)

* Keep PA Beautiful Welcomes Rob Dubas To Coordinate Illegal Dump Free PA Initiative

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Wednesday announced Rob Dubas has joined KPB as the Illegal Dump Free Program Coordinator. 

* River Sweep Volunteers Needed June 16 To Cleanup Waterways In Western PA

Volunteers are needed for the 28th Annual River Sweep Saturday, June 16, from 8 a.m. to noon to help clean up stream and riverbanks in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver and Westmoreland Counties.

* Hazelwood Green, Pittsburgh Selects Gustafson Guthrie Nichol As Public Plaza Designer

Hazelwood Green, a former steel mill site that is the City of Pittsburgh’s largest riverfront redevelopment project, Monday announced the design firm Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN) has been selected to create the first public plaza at the 178-acre site.

* Proposed State Air Quality Implementation Plan Changes For Meeting Ozone Standard, New Source Review Open For Comment, 3 Hearings

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the June 16 PA Bulletin it is inviting comments on proposed changes to the State Air Quality Implementation Plan to implement regulations under the 2008 national ozone pollution and new source review standards.

* PA’s Proposed 2018 Ambient Air Monitoring Network Plan Available For Comment

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the June 16 PA Bulletin it is now accepting comments on the proposed 2018 Ambient Air Monitoring Network Plan for criteria pollutants.

* PUC Now Accepting Comments On Proposed Policy For Third-Party Electric Vehicle Charging

The Public Utility Commission is now accepting comments on a proposed policy on third-party electric vehicle (EV) charging stations that seeks to provide greater clarity and consistency throughout the state. (June 16 PA Bulletin, page 3584)

* DEP Issues Water Quality Certification For Transcontinental Northeast Supply Pipeline In Lancaster, Chester Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the June 16 PA Bulletin it has issued the Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company’s Northeast Supply Enhancement Expansion Pipeline Project in Lancaster and Chester counties.  (PA Bulletin, page 3640)

* Gasoline Suppliers, Refiners Object To Bi-Directional Flow Proposal For Laurel Pipeline

A coalition of Pennsylvania businesses that provide fuel to consumers across the Commonwealth, filed a formal protest with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in response to a proposed plan by Buckeye Partners to convert a portion of the Laurel Pipeline system into a federally regulated bi-directional pipeline.

* Wolf Signs Bill Authorizing New Local Funding Option For Energy Efficiency, Clean Energy Projects

Gov. Tom Wolf Tuesday signed Senate Bill 234 (Blake-D-Lackawanna), establishing Pennsylvania’s Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (PACE), a financing mechanism that enables low-cost, long-term funding for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation upgrades to commercial or industrial properties.

* Hundreds Rally For Passage Of PA Bipartisan, 100 Percent Renewable Energy Bill

On Tuesday, hundreds of Pennsylvanians gathered under murals depicting Pennsylvania’s industrial history in the Capitol to rally for a new vision for the Commonwealth powered by 100 percent renewable energy.

* Greater Carlisle Heart & Soul Project, Partners Host June 20 Workshop To Connect Citizens To Community Planning In Carlisle

The Greater Carlisle Heart & Soul Project, the Cumberland County Historical Society, and the Cumberland Conservation Collaborative will host a June 20 workshop on Breaking The Complaint Cycle: Municipal Planning and Community Engagement from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m.

* State, Local Officials Dedicate Enola Low Grade Rail Trail Bridge In Lancaster County

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Saturday joined other state officials and Providence Township representatives in the dedication of an Enola Low Grade Rail Trail bridge over Route 222 in Providence Township, Lancaster County.

* Legendary Delaware & Lehigh Trail Home Of 2018 National Rails-To-Trails Conservancy Sojourn

From June 10-14, participants of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's 2018 Pennsylvania Sojourn set off on a world-class biking adventure along the Delaware & Lehigh Trail in Eastern Pennsylvania, exploring the region's vibrant towns and attractions while riding more than 160 miles on this scenic and historic treasure.

* Wildlife For Everyone: Over 160,000 Students Received Trees Under Seedlings For Schools Program

The Seedlings for Schools Program marked its 10th year anniversary with record number participation.  A total of 160,276 students across Pennsylvania were presented with a seedling from the Game Commission’s Howard Nursery in central Pennsylvania to plant and watch it grow.

* Domtar, American Forest Foundation Announce Partnership To Improve Private Forest Conservation, Bird Habitat In PA, NY

The American Forest Foundation and Domtar Wednesday announced a new partnership to help family and private woodland owners in northwest Pennsylvania and southwest New York improve habitat for at-risk bird and wildlife species.

* Western PA Conservancy Protects More Forested Ridges, Headwaters In Laurel Highlands In Fayette County

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Tuesday announced the protection of two properties totaling 205 acres in Dunbar Township, Fayette County that conserve forested ridges and headwater streams and expand both State Game Lands 51 and Ohiopyle State Park.

* PA Water Trails Partnership Mini Grants Available, Apply By July 6

Mini grants are available for Pennsylvania’s water trail network, which includes 26 designated water trails that span more 2,100 miles of recreation opportunity.  Applications are due July 6.

* Keystone Trails Assn. Prowl The Sproul Weekend Highlights Northcentral PA Trails July 27-29

The Keystone Trails Association’s annual Prowl the Sproul hiking weekend July 27-29 will provide Pennsylvania hikers with opportunities to experience the beauty of northcentral Pennsylvania in Sproul State Forest.

* June 13 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The June 13 issue of the Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring stories of--

* 78 Free-Ranging Deer Tested Positive For Chronic Wasting Disease In 2017, More Than 3x Number In 2016

The Game Commission Thursday reported 78 free-ranging deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease in 2017, more than three times the number in 2016 when 25 were detected.

* DCNR Expands Online Interactive Map To Offer More Services To Hunters, Other Forest Visitors

Working in cooperation with the Game Commission, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is rolling out an expanded interactive map that adds state game lands to a website already increasingly popular with hunters and other visitors to state woodlands.

* FirstEnergy Uses Drones To Inspect Protected Bird Nests On Utility Poles, Equipment

FirstEnergy's electric utilities are using aerial drones to inspect the nests of protected birds of prey in a fast and safe way.

* Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Receives Grant From The Philadelphia Foundation For Raptor Care, Conservation

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Berks County Monday announced it has received a grant in the amount of $7,422.60  from the Gloria M. Young Ornithological Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation to support the care, maintenance, and rehabilitation of the Sanctuary's on-site education birds and other raptor conservation programs.

* 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.

* 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.

* Regulations, Technical Guidance & Permits

Here are highlights of actions taken by agencies on environmental regulations, technical guidance and permits.

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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.

* About PA Environment Digest

PA Environment Digest is edited by David E. Hess, former Secretary Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

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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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