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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
September 17, 2018 Issue #742
(9/17/2018)
* PUC Pipeline Safety Division Working To Investigate Beaver County Pipeline Explosion

The Public Utility Commission this week said personnel from its Pipeline Safety and Electric Safety Divisions are currently working to investigate and address issues related to the Energy Transfer Partners (parent company to Sunoco Logistics) natural gas pipeline explosion in Center Township, Beaver County on Monday.

* Commonwealth Court Upholds $1.1 Million Penalty Against EQT Drilling For Wastewater Impoundment Leaks

Commonwealth Court Monday issued a decision upholding a $1.1 million penalty against EQT drilling for leaks from a 6 million gallon drilling wastewater impoundment in Tioga County in 2012 that contaminated 35 million gallons of groundwater.

* PA Chesapeake Bay Steering Committee Readies Information For 39 Counties On Water Pollution Reduction Planning Process

The PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Planning Steering Committee Monday took the initial steps in approving a letter and other materials to notify all counties in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed of their opportunity to become involved in developing County-Level Water Pollution Action Plans to meet Bay nutrient and sediment reduction targets.

* Gov. Wolf Announces Deployment Of National Guard, Fish & Boat Personnel, Aircraft To Support Florence Response

Gov. Tom Wolf Thursday announced more than 25 Pennsylvania National Guard members and six Fish and Boat Commission rescue technicians, along with two UH-60 Black Hawks and two CH-47 Chinook helicopters, left from Fort Indiantown Gap and Johnstown, Pennsylvania en route to McEntire Joint National Guard Base, near Columbia, South Carolina to assist with a response to Hurricane Florence.

* NRCS-PA Accepting Applications For Emergency Watershed Protection Assistance In PA; DEP To Pay 25% Local Share

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service-PA State Conservationist Denise Coleman Monday announced NRCS-Pennsylvania is currently taking applications for Emergency Watershed Program assistance in Berks, Bradford, Chester, Columbia, Dauphin, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Luzerne, Lycoming, Montour, Northampton, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming, and York Counties.

* Wildlife Leadership Academy Awards $2,500 In College Scholarships To 5 Teen Conservation Leaders In Honor Of Ralph Abele

This summer, the youth conservation program Wildlife Leadership Academy in Union County, awarded five teens Ralph Abele Excellence in Outreach Awards, which includes a $500 college scholarship. 

* U.S. Green Building Council Central PA Chapter To Recognize Green Building Projects Nov. 1

The U.S. Green Building Council Central PA Chapter will recognize the winners of its 2018 PA Leaders Awards on November 1 at a special Forever Green Ceremony at the Civic Club of Harrisburg.

* Penn State Affordable, Sustainable Housing Project Recognized By U.S. Green Building Council Central PA

By Stephanie Swindle Thomas, Penn State News

* Penn State’s Michael Mann Receives 2018 AGU Climate Communications Prize

Michael Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric sciences and director of Penn State's Earth System Science Center, is the 2018 recipient of the American Geophysical Union's Climate Communication Prize.

* PA Recreation & Park Society, DCNR To Hold Community Conservation Grant Workshops In Oct., Nov.

The PA Recreation and Park Society and DCNR are again partnering on a series of 6 workshops designed to help applicants develop project ideas in preparation of submitting a grant application to the Community Conservation Grant Program.

* We Remember September 11, 2001 - DEP Responds To A National Tragedy

This week as Pennsylvanians are recovering from flooding in many parts of the state, helping fight wildfires in the western states and heading to South Carolina ahead of Hurricane Florence to be there to help when it comes ashore, we need to take at least a few minutes to remember the role Pennsylvania and Pennsylvanians played on September 11, 2001.

* 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 New Air Emission Limits On Methane From Oil & Gas Operations; PA Reaction

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday proposed changes to the 2016 New Source Performance Standards for the oil and gas industry to limit methane emissions from oil and gas operations.

* U.S. House Committee Marks Up Bill Extending Life Of Federal Land & Water Conservation Fund

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee Thursday took action to amend legislation [HR 502] calling for permanent reauthorization of the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.

* Sen. McGarrigle Introduces Update To Act 129 Energy Conservation Plan Program For Electric Utilities

Sen. Thomas McGarrigle (R-Delaware) Monday introduced bipartisan legislation-- Senate Bill 1236--  updating the Act 129 Energy Conservation Program requirements for electric utilities.

* Joint Conservation Committee Members Discover The Delaware River Aboard The Schooner AJ Meerwald

On September 7, members of the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee, staff and local officials took part in an educational sail aboard the historic schooner AJ Meerwald to learn more about the Delaware River Basin Commission and its programs. 

* September Joint Conservation Committee Newsletter Now Available

The September newsletter of the Joint House-Senate Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee is now available featuring articles on--

* DEP Citizens Advisory Council Sept. 18 Meeting To Focus On Environmental Remediation, Governor’s Transition Report

The DEP Citizens Advisory Council is scheduled to meet on September 18 and on the agenda is a presentation by DEP Deputy Secretary George Hartenstein on the agency’s environmental remediation and brownfields program.

* Academy Town Square Hosts Voting For The Environment Program Oct. 24 In Philadelphia

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University will host a Voting for the Environment Program on October 24 at the Academy, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

* Op-Ed: Of Pennsylvania Floods And Our Future

By Larry J. Schweiger, President Emeritus, PennFuture

* Study Of Spring Creek Watershed, Centre County Finds Conservation Dairy Farming Could Help PA Meet Water Quality Targets

By Jeff Mulhollem, Penn State News

* PA Grazing Lands Coalition Releases New Grapevine Grazing & Soil Health Podcast Series

The PA Grazing Lands Coalition, with support from the National Wildlife Federation’s Cover Crop Champions Program, is producing The Graziers Grapevine podcasts covering topics related to grazing and soil health.

* 2 Protect Your Springs, Wells & Cisterns Workshops Nov. 5 In Lancaster County

Penn State Extension will host two workshops on How To Protect Your Springs, Wells And Cisterns on November 5 at the Terre Hill Community Center, 131 West Main Street in Terre Hill, Lancaster County at 2:00 to 4:00  and 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

* Penn State Extension Holds 3 Rain Barrel Workshops In Bethlehem Sept. 29

Penn State Extension will hold three Rain Barrel Workshops in Bethlehem on September 29 to help participants learn how to make your own rain barrel and take it home.

* DEP Reminds Pool Owners To Drain Pools Responsibly To Protect Water Quality

In an effort to help protect stream health and aquatic life, the Department of Environmental Protection would like to remind private and public pool owners, as well as pool management companies, how to properly close their swimming pools for the season.

* Opportunity To Bid On DEP Abandoned Mine Reclamation Project In Allegheny County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the September 15 PA Bulletin of an opportunity to bid on an abandoned mine reclamation project in Allegheny County.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Acts On Water Withdrawal Applications, Other Issues

On September 7, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission held its quarterly business meeting in Binghamton, N.Y. Among its actions, the Commission:

* Fish & Boat Commission: Logs Used To Control Outflow Of High Point Lake Dam In Somerset May Have Ruptured

The Fish and Boat Commission Friday issued an update on the partial failure of the High Point Lake Dam in Somerset County saying its engineering staff has evaluated the design and construction of the control tower and conducted underwater testing and reported with a  high degree of certainty that one or more wooden stop logs used to control outflow, have ruptured, resulting in a heavier than normal discharge.

* Report: Blood Lead Levels In Allegheny County Children Going Down

The Allegheny County Health Department Wednesday released its inaugural report on lead levels in children.

* Trash Travels: Register A New Cleanup, Volunteer To Help With An Existing International Coastal Cleanup In PA

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful invites Pennsylvania residents, civic organizations and businesses to coordinate a cleanup or join an existing cleanup, as part of the 2018 International Coastal Cleanup

* Tailgating Penn State Fans Recycle Over 6 Tons Of Plastic, Glass Bottles, 2.5 Tons Of Steel, Aluminum Cans

The Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority Tuesday reported fans at Penn State's first home game of the season recycled over 6 tons of plastic and glass bottles and 2.5 tons of steel and aluminum cans in tailgating areas near the stadium.

* Reminder: Sept. 22 PRC Household Chemical Collection Event In Allegheny County

The PA Resources Council will hold a Household Chemical Collection Event at the South Park Wave Pool in Allegheny County from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

* Wildlife Leadership Academy Youth Conservation Ambassador Program Now Accepting 2019 Nominations

The Wildlife Leadership Academy in Union County is seeking nominations of motivated students ages 14 to 17 to become Certified Conservation Ambassadors.

* PA Housing Finance Agency Issues RFP For Local Housing Initiatives Funded In Part By Act 13 Drilling Impact Fees

The PA Housing Finance Agency Monday issued a Request for Proposals soliciting applications from organizations for projects to improve the availability and affordability of housing across the Commonwealth. Proposals are due November 16.

* Philadelphia Housing Authority Breaks Ground On Norris Apartments Phase III, Will Seek LEED Certification

The Philadelphia Housing Authority and the City of Philadelphia Monday celebrated the start of construction for Norris Apartments Phase III at a groundbreaking in the city’s North Central neighborhood.

* NRC To Hold Sept. 25 Meeting In York County On Extending Life Of Peach Bottom Nuclear Power Plant 20 Years

Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff will meet in Delta, York County, on September 25, to hear the public’s views on environmental issues the agency should consider in review of the Exelon Generation application for an additional 20 years of operation for Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station Units 2 and 3.

* Philadelphia Joins Global Climate Action Summit In Fight Against Climate Change

The City of Philadelphia furthered its commitments to fighting climate change this week during the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.

* Bike The Brandywine In Chester County Sept. 22 To Benefit Brandywine Conservancy Clean Water Programs

Explore the scenery, glimpse the history and discover the lure of the Brandywine River during the third annual Bike the Brandywine on September 22 to benefit the Brandywine Conservancy’s clean water programs.

* Western PA Conservancy: Affordable Farmland Protection Strategies Workshop Oct. 10 In Pittsburgh

Land trust professionals, farmland preservation boards and other conservation professionals are invited to a one-day training session on Affordable Farmland Protection Strategies October 10 in Pittsburgh hosted by the Western PA Conservancy.

* Brandywine Conservancy Commemorates Preservation Of Key Brandywine Battle Site On Anniversary Of Revolutionary War Battle

On September 11, 2018-- the 241st anniversary of the legendary American Revolutionary War Battle of Brandywine in Chester County-- the Brandywine Conservancy commemorated its acquisition of a key piece of land within the heart of the historic battlefield.

* Updated Schedule Of DCNR State Forest District Management Plan Meetings Coming Up

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has scheduled 3 more public meetings across the state to help the agency chart the future course of Pennsylvania’s state forest districts.

* EPA: Pittsburgh Group Wins Contest For Developing Air Monitors In Wildland Fire Sensors Challenge

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its federal partners Thursday announced a Pittsburgh-based group has taken first place in the Wildland Fire Sensors Challenge, a competition that encourages the development of innovative monitoring technologies to measure air pollutants from smoke during wildland fires.

* Final 3 South Mountain Partnership Speakers Series Events Coming Up In Southcentral PA; Ideas For 2019 Invited

The South Mountain Partnership has three special Speakers Series events left for this season in Southcentral Pennsylvania. They include--

* Penn State Extension Sets Spotted Lanternfly Meetings In Lebanon, Wayne Counties

Penn State Extension will host additional public meetings on the spotted lanternfly in Lebanon and Wayne counties in October.  They will be held--

* Sept. 15 Showing Of Cathedral, A Film About Cook Forest To Benefit Fund For Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Treatment

Wild Excellence Films Sunday announced their film Cathedral: The Fight to Save the Ancient Hemlocks of Cook Forest will be shown at a benefit film event September 15 at the Sawmill Center for the Arts in Cooksburg, Clarion County starting at 7:00 p.m.

* Game Commission: Elk Cam Goes Live To The World From Elk County

The Game Commission is again making available the live online Elk Cam so people from around the world can see and hear the wonder of the bugling season in Elk County.

* 10,000 Friends Of PA Names Stacie Reidenbaugh New President, CEO

10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, the state’s leading voice for smart growth, Tuesday announced Stacie Reidenbaugh as its new President and CEO following an exhaustive search process that began in April 2018. 

* 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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