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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, August 27, 2018 Issue #739
(8/27/2018)
* Students Push For House Action To Designate Eastern Hellbender Official Symbol Of Clean Water; Become A Hellbender Defender!

A group of inspiring young people on the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Student Leadership Council are working to restore Pennsylvania's waters with a one-of-a-kind critter-- the Eastern Hellbender.

* Lenape Nation Completes 2018 Rising Nation River Journey Down The Lenape Sipu (Delaware River)

From August 4 to the 19th, members and friends of the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania traveled down the Delaware River from Hancock, New York to Cape May, New Jersey for the quadrennial Rising Nation River Journey.

* DEP Will Come Back To EQB With Proposal To Raise Water Quality Permit Fees By $8 Million Annually

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday told the Environmental Quality Board it needs $8 million a year in new revenue to provide sustainable funding to support Pennsylvania’s water quality protection and permit programs and will be coming back to the Board with a specific fee increase proposal in the near future.

* Lack Of State Toxicologist Delays Evaluation Of Petition To Set PFOA Drinking Water Standard

The departments of Environmental Protection and Health told members of the Environmental Quality Board Tuesday the lack of a state toxicologist has delayed the evaluation of a rulemaking petition asking the Board to set a maximum contaminant level for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in drinking water.

* Commonwealth Court Strikes Down Protection Of Common Areas Of School Property, Playgrounds, Species of Special Concern In DEP Drilling Permit Review Process

The Commonwealth Court Thursday struck down provisions in DEP’s Chapter 78a(f) and (g) unconventional drilling regulations defining “common areas of a school’s property and playgrounds,” and “species of special concern” as public resources under Act 13 of 2012 based on legal challenges by the Marcellus Shale Coalition.

* Senate, House Republicans Want Taxpayers, Not Drilling Industry, To Pay Additional Costs For DEP Oil & Gas Regulatory Program

Senate and House Republicans have asked the Department of Environmental Protection to use General Fund (general taxpayer money) to, for the first time, pay the additional cost of operating its oil and gas drilling regulatory program, rather than increase fees on drilling permits.

* Auditor General DePasquale To Review Progress On 2014 Oil & Gas Water Protection Audit Recommendations

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale Thursday said he will evaluating how well agencies were implementing recommendations his office made on improving 9 different programs, including in a 2014 audit of DEP's Oil and Gas Program regulations on protecting drinking water and responding to citizen complaints.

* Flood Insurance Roundtable Of Public, Private Partners On Closing The Insurance Gap In PA Aug. 27 In Williamsport

The Federal Emergency Management Agency Region III, in partnership with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, will host a day-long roundtable event: “Living With Water: The Future Of Flood Insurance” on August 27 in Williamsport, Lycoming County.

* 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-- 

* EPA Proposes Affordable Clean Energy Rule To Replace Clean Power Plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday proposed a new rule to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing coal-fired electric utility generating units and power plants across the country.

* Game, Fish & Boat Commissions Push For Dedicated Federal Fish, Wildlife Conservation Funding; Ask PA Hunters, Anglers To Weigh In

The Game Commission and Fish and Boat Commission Monday said they see last month’s introduction of the federal Recovering America’s Wildlife Act in the U.S. Senate as legislation that could provide more care for Pennsylvania’s and the nation’s fish and wildlife with the greatest conservation needs.

* 15th Anniversary Schuylkill Action Network Bus Tour Sept. 21

The Schuylkill Action Network 15th Anniversary Bus Tour through Schuylkill and Berks counties will be held on September 21 from 8:30 to 4:30 p.m.

* Call For Abstracts: 2019 Delaware Estuary Science & Environmental Summit Jan. 27-30

The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary is now accepting proposals for presentations at its 2019 Delaware Estuary Science and Environmental Summit to be held January 27-30 in Cape May, New Jersey.  The deadline for proposals is August 31.

* Nov. 29 Academy Of Natural Sciences Delaware Watershed Research Conference Call For Abstracts

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is now accepting abstracts for presentations at the second annual Delaware Watershed Research Conference on November 29 in Philadelphia. The deadline for proposals is October 15.

* DEP Extends Comment Period On Delaware County Stream Evaluation Report

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the August 25 PA Bulletin extending the comment period on the draft stream evaluation report for a tributary to Whetstone Run in Delaware County to October 15.

* Penn State Extension: After The Flood - Riparian Buffers Need Maintenance

By: Ryan Hill - Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center Intern 2018

* Master Well Owners To Participate In Water Testing, Interpretation Project

Starting this year and continuing into early 2019, a new project will provide active Penn State Extension Master Well Owners Network volunteers with an exciting opportunity.

* Master Watershed Stewards Tackle Japanese Knotweed At Jacobsburg Environmental Center In Northampton County

By Didi Yunginger, Penn State Extension Master Watershed Steward Class of 2018

* Dept. Of Agriculture Seeking Research Proposals To Address Spotted Lanternfly, Conservation Practices, More

Research institutions, businesses, farmers and other organizations seeking funding support for innovative research that will advance the diversity, productivity and profitability of agriculture in Pennsylvania may apply for grants through the Department of Agriculture’s research program. (formal notice)

* Farm Conservation Field Day At Misty Mountain Farm Aug. 29 In Lycoming County

The Lycoming County Conservation District and its partners are hosting a free Farm Conservation Field Day at the Misty Mountain Farm, 1590 Calvert Road in Trout Run from 8:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

* Op-Ed: Pennsylvania Setting An Example For The Nation In Organic Agriculture

By Hanna Smith-Brubaker, PA Association For Sustainable Agriculture

* Op-Ed: Don't Blame The Conowingo Dam For Chesapeake Bay Pollution

By Linda Church Ciocci, National Hydropower Association

* Alliance For Chesapeake Bay 2nd Annual Sportsmen's Forum Oct. 5 At Middle Creek Wildlife Area, Lebanon County

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay will hold its 2nd Annual Sportsmen's Forum on October 5 at the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in Lebanon County from 8:00 a.m. to  6:00 p.m.

* Pittsburgh Collaboratory For Water Research Hosts Let’s Talk About Water - Steel to Sustainable Sept. 6

The Pittsburgh Collaboratory for Water Research, Education and Outreach will hold a Let’s Talk About Water - Steel to Sustainable Program on September 6 at the Frick Fine Arts Building at the University of Pittsburgh from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

* Request For Abstracts: Center For Watershed Protection National Watershed & Stormwater Conference In April 2019

The Center for Watershed Protection has issued a request for abstracts for the 2019 National Watershed and Stormwater Conference to be held April 29 to May 2 in South Carolina.  Abstracts are due November 19.

* PA CleanWays, Vector Control Of Cumberland County Hold Tire Collection Sept. 29

PA CleanWays of Cumberland County, in partnership with Cumberland County Vector Control, will host a tire collection for county residents September 29 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the East Pennsboro Township Public Works, 645 Tower Road in Enola.

* Allegheny County Health Dept. Accepting Proposals For Air Pollution Prevention Projects

The Allegheny County Health Department is accepting proposals from businesses and eligible organizations for air pollution prevention activities to be funded by the County Clean Air Fund.  The deadline for proposals is September 12.

* DEP Issues Modified Permits For Mariner East 2 Pipeline In Chester County; PUC Lifts Construction Ban At 2 Locations

The Department of Environmental Protection published formal notice in the August 25 PA Bulletin that it has issued modified Chapter 102 and 105 permits for the Mariner East 2 Pipeline in Chester County.  (PA Bulletin, page 5415).

* Gov. Wolf Announces Funding For New Water, Gas, Electric, Sewer Utility Installation Training Facility In Armstrong County

Gov. Tom Wolf Monday announced state support for the construction of a 20-acre simulation city in Armstrong County where students learning trades can get hands-on practice installing water, gas, electrical, and sewer lines.

* PUC To Seek Comment On Alternative Ratemaking Tentative Implementation Order

The Public Utility Commission Thursday approved a Tentative Implementation Order for Act 58 of 2018, which provides for alternative ratemaking for natural gas distribution, electric distribution and water/wastewater companies.

* Philadelphia Sustainable Business Network Hosts Forum On Clean Energy Sept. 6 In Montgomery County

The Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia will host a Best Practice Forum September 6 on Clean Energy Business Pioneers at the West Laurel Hill Cemetery, 225 Belmont Avenue, Bala Cynwyd, in Montgomery County from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

* Legislators Highlight Need For Clean Energy Solutions In Philadelphia

PennEnvironment Tuesday was joined by Philadelphia-area House and Senate members for a forum promoting clean energy solutions and calling on Pennsylvania to transition to 100 percent renewable energy as quickly as possible.

* Environmental Defense Fund Webinar: Mars, Inc., Our Sustainability Journey Sept. 5

The Environmental Defense Fund will host a webinar on September 5 on Mars, Incorporated - Our Sustainability Journey from 2:30 to 3:00 p.m.

* DCNR, PennDOT, Local Officials Dedicate Redbank Valley Trail Climax Tunnel In Clarion County

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Saturday joined the Department of Transportation, local officials, and hiking and biking enthusiasts in the dedication of the recently renovated Climax Tunnel on the Redbank Valley Trail, near New Bethlehem, Clarion County.

* Laurel Highlands Trail Summit Sept. 18 In Cambria County

The Laurel Highlands Conservation Landscape will host the 2018 Laurel Highlands Trail Summit on September 18 at the Pour on Center and Amici’s Ristorante in Ebensburg, Cambria County from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

* Save The Date: Eastern PA Greenways & Trails Summit Oct. 1-2 In Bethlehem

The 2018 Eastern PA Greenways & Trails Summit will be held October 1-2 at the SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way in Bethlehem.

* DCNR Blog: PA Outdoor Corps’ Successful 2018 Summer Youth Program

After seven weeks of learning new skills and completing hard work (and dealing with a lot of rain), the third Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps summer program has wrapped up this month.

* Register Now For Get Outdoors PA Education Events For Recreation, Conservation Professionals Sept. 12, 18

Get Outdoors PA (GOPA) exchanges are free, educational events designed for recreation and conservation professionals, environmental educators, and outdoor advocates. The two upcoming exchanges are scheduled for--

* Aug. 22 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The August 22 edition of the Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resource featuring articles on--

* PA Horticultural Society GROW Magazine Wins Top Garden Writers Award

GROW, the quarterly magazine of the PA Horticultural Society, won the 2018 Gold Award for Best Periodical, the top prize presented by the Garden Writers Association at its annual conference in Chicago on August 16.

* Westmoreland Land Trust Celebrates 10th Anniversary With Wide Open Spaces Party Sept. 22

The Westmoreland Land Trust is celebrating 10 years of conserving open space in Westmoreland County with a “Wide Open Spaces” Party on September 22 and the public is invited to join in the fun.

* Sept. 29 Free Ice Cream, Magic & Open House At Gifford Pinchot's Grey Towers In Pike County

A fun, fee-free day on September 29 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Grey Towers National Historic Site, Milford, Pike, will feature an Open House of the historic mansion, presentation of “Trees” by stilt walkers, a magic show, a special historic exhibit, and balloon art for the kids.

* Fish & Boat Commission Offers Special Fishing Opportunities On Labor Day

The Fish and Boat Commission is offering two special fishing opportunities to entice adults and kids to fish on Labor Day, September 3.

* Hawk Mountain Sanctuary To Hold Fall Native Plant Sale Sept. 15

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Berks County will host its annual Autumn Native Plant Sale on September 15 outside of the Visitor Center from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., featuring a wide variety of native trees, grasses, vines, shrubs, and flowering plants.

* Help Wanted: Fish & Boat Commission Executive Director

The Fish and Boat Commission Friday began a nationwide search for a new Executive Director. The deadline for applications is September 17.

* Help Wanted: CBF-PA Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership Manager

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA is seeking qualified candidates to fill the position of Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership Manager based in Harrisburg.  The deadline for applications is August 31.

* Help Wanted: Tioga County Planning Commission Buffer, Conservation Technician

The Tioga County Planning Commission is seeking qualified candidates for a Planning Technician position.  The deadline for applications is August 31.

* 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.  He can be contacted by sending email 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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