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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
September 24, 2018 Issue #743
(9/24/2018)
* LancasterOnline.com: Health Dept. Confirms 2 Deaths In PA From West Nile Virus, 33 Human Cases Statewide

Heather Stauffer, LancasterOnline.com, Friday reported the Department of Health has confirmed 2 deaths from West Nile Virus so far this season-- one each in Lancaster and Lebanon counties.

* CFA Funds 359 Projects To Improve Water Infrastructure & Recreation, Restore Watersheds

Gov. Tom Wolf Tuesday announced the Commonwealth Financing Authority approved funding for 359 new projects-- $16.2 million to support 123 projects using funds collected from the Act 13 drilling impact fee on unconventional gas wells in the Marcellus Shale-- and nearly $50 million to support 236 Small Water and Sewer Program projects to protect and improve municipalities’ water systems.

* DCNR Announces Trail Improvement Grants At Laurel Highlands Trail Summit In Cambria County

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Tuesday joined hiking and trail enthusiasts from the Laurel Highlands region to outline major trail improvements enriching the outdoors experience in an area renowned for its wealth of natural resources.

* Wildlife For Everyone Foundation Receives Grant For Wildlife Center At Tom Ridge Wetlands Preserve In Centre County

The Wildlife For Everyone Foundation received a $250,000 grant from the Commonwealth Financing Authority Tuesday to kick off planning and construction of the Wildlife Center at the Tom Ridge Wetlands Preserve in Huston Township, Center County.

* DCNR: Pennsylvania Offers Fall Foliage Reports For Residents, Travelers Starting Sept. 27

Starting September 27, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will begin its weekly Fall Foliage Reports, updated every Thursday, to help residents and travelers experience Autumn as it unfolds across the Commonwealth.

* The Nature Conservancy-PA Conservation Easement Protects 1,620 Acres Along Kittatinny Ridge In Perry County

The Nature Conservancy-PA Tuesday secured a conservation easement protecting 1,620 acres in Perry County, near Marysville, after a vote by the Duncannon Borough Council.

* Bay Journal: Op-Ed: Flood Of 10 Million Trees Could Help Offset Impact Of Future PA Deluges

By: Harry Campbell, Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA

* Gov. Wolf Signs Executive Order Creating PFAS Action Team

Gov. Tom Wolf Friday announced he has signed Executive Order 2018-08 to establish a multi-agency PFAS Action Team and taking other executive actions to address growing national concerns surrounding per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

* DEP: $469,501 Settlement To Resolve Civil Penalties For United Refining Company Violations In Warren County

The Department of Environmental Protection Monday announced it has agreed to a $469,501 Consent Assessment of Civil Penalty with United Refining Company for violations of the Air Pollution Control Act and Title V Permit at the URC refinery in the City of Warren, Warren County. 

* DEP: Hazardous Sites Cleanup Program Faces Fiscal Cliff In FY 2020-21

DEP Deputy Secretary for Waste, Air, Radiation and Remediation George Hartenstein told the Citizens Advisory Council Tuesday the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Program faces a significant drop off in funding in FY 2020-21 that threatens to cut the pace of site cleanups and the related remediation response program in half.

* Keep PA Beautiful Encourages Pennsylvania K-12 Schools To Participate In Recycle-Bowl Competition

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is encouraging educators in Pennsylvania to get their schools involved in Keep America Beautiful’s 2018 Recycle-Bowl Competition.

* New PA Uniform Construction Code Will Save New Home Owners Up To 25 Percent Of Energy Costs

The Department of Labor and Industry Monday announced a new Uniform Construction Code for both new commercial and residential buildings will take effect on October 1, the first update since 2009.

* DEP's Driving PA Forward Offers Grants, Rebates For Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

The Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday launched new grant and rebate programs for zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) charging and fueling stations to increase options for ZEV owners and encourage more people to consider these clean vehicles for their next car.

* Part I: Boy Scout Takes On 4 Conservation Projects To Qualify For Prestigious William T. Hornaday Silver Award - Project #1: Saving Cranberry Glade Lake

By Peter Livengood, 12th Grade Student From Ohiopyle, Fayette County

* Boy Scout Part II: Researching Raptors On Chestnut Ridge Near Uniontown

By Peter Livengood, 12th Grade Student From Ohiopyle, Fayette County

* Boy Scout Part III: Restoring The Understory At Ohiopyle State Park’s Kentuck Campground

By Peter Livengood, 12th Grade Student From Ohiopyle, Fayette County

* Boy Scout Part IV: Restoring Blooming Bioswales For A Better Youghiogheny River In Ohiopyle

By Peter Livengood, 12th Grade Student From Ohiopyle, Fayette 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--

* Gov. Wolf Urges Congress To Reauthorize Federal Land & Water Conservation Fund

Gov. Tom Wolf Thursday urged Congress to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund-- an important federal tool that communities across Pennsylvania-- rural, suburban, and urban--  have used to revitalize their neighborhoods and create outdoor recreation opportunities for all citizens.

* Waning Days Of Senate, House: Environmental Bills We’re Watching, Good And Bad

The General Assembly returns to session Monday, September 24 for 9 scheduled voting days in the Senate and 8 voting days in the House before the November 6 election.

* Bill To Weaken Conventional Oil & Gas Drilling Standards On Senate Environmental Committee Agenda For Sept. 25

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee has scheduled an off-the-floor meeting September 25 to consider House Bill 2154 (Causer-R-Cameron), which would weaken environmental standards for conventional (not Shale gas) oil and gas drilling.

* Senate Environmental Committee Holds Sept. 25 Hearing On Foreign Influence On Natural Gas Development In PA

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing September 25 to discuss foreign influence on natural gas development in Pennsylvania.

* Nuclear Energy Caucus Hearing Sept. 25 On Impacts Of Nuclear Power Plant Deactivations On Energy & National Security

The House-Senate Nuclear Energy Caucus is scheduled to hold a hearing September 25 on the impact of nuclear power plant deactivations on energy and national security.

* House Environmental Committee Meets Sept. 25 On Controversial Critical Infrastructure Trespass Bill

The  House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to meet September 25 on Senate Bill 652 (Regan-R-Cumberland), which would make it a felony to simply trespass on the right-of-way of pipelines, electric power lines, railroad tracks, refineries or on the property of any of 21 other “critical infrastructure facilities” outlined in the bill.

* House Committee Meets Sept. 24 To Consider Bill Creating Keystone Tree Fund

The House Transportation Committee is scheduled to meet on September 24 to consider House Bill 2486 (Everett-R-Lycoming) providing a voluntary check off on drivers licenses and vehicle registrations for contributions to the Keystone Tree Fund (sponsor summary).

* Environmental Issues Forum Oct. 15 By Joint Conservation Committee On Biogas, Bioenergy From Organic Waste

The Joint House-Senate Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee is scheduled to hold an Environmental Issues Forum on biogas and bioenergy from organic waste on October 15.

* NRCS-PA Now Accepting Applications For Financial, Technical Farm, Forest Conservation Assistance

The Natural Resource Conservation Service-PA is now accepting applications for technical and financial assistance to improve and enhance natural resources on their farm and forest land.

* Chesapeake Bay Land & Water Initiative Now Accepting Grant Applications

The Land Trust Alliance and Chesapeake Bay Funders Network have announced a new round of grants is now available through the Chesapeake Bay Land and Water Initiative.  The deadline for applications is November 9.

* Pike Conservation District Holds Local Road Maintenance Workshop Oct. 11

With winter just around the corner, Pike County Conservation District is hosting a free Road Maintenance Workshop on October 11 from 9:00 a.m. to Noon, at the Dingman Township Fire Hall, 680 Log Tavern Road in Milford.

* Stroud Water Research Center Premiere Of Lay Of The Land: Healthy Soils, Healthy Waters Film Oct. 11, Lancaster

On October 11 Chester County-based Stroud Water Research Center will host the premier of the documentary film "Lay Of The Land: Healthy Soils, Healthy Waters" featuring local farmers sharing their experiences of how best management practices have improved their bottom line and protected water quality.

* Pike County Conservation District Celebrates Natural Resources Nov. 1

A hike through the forest might feel very different if you imagine a network of communication happening below your boots. This year, the Pike County Conservation District Annual Dinner on November 1 will feature a live performance of TREES by NACL Streets.

* DEP Invites Comments On Proposed Cranberry Creek Redesignation In Monroe County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the September 22 PA Bulletin inviting comments and information on a proposed redesignation of Cranberry Creek Watershed in Monroe County.

* DEP Blog: The Ins And Outs Of Septic Systems In Pennsylvania

By Janice Vollero, DEP Bureau Of Clean Water

* Comments Invited On PUC Procedures For Acquisition Of Publicly-Owned Water, Sewage Systems

The Public Utility Commission Thursday adopted a Tentative Supplemental Implementation Order that puts forth proposals to further improve procedures for how the PUC examines the acquisition and valuation of municipal and authority-owned water and wastewater systems under Section 1329 of the Public Utility Code.

* EPCAMR Pairs With Groasis To Provide Food Growboxxes For Youth In Coalfield Communities

Luzerne County-based Eastern PA Coalition For Abandoned Mine Reclamation recently received a $50,000, two year grant from Inquiring Systems, Inc. for a Groasis Growboxx© project.

* Independence Conservancy To Hold 3 Community Tire Collection Events This Fall In Beaver County

The Independence Conservancy will hold 3 Community Tire Collection Events in Beaver County this Fall from 9:00 a.m. to Noon--

* ORSANCO: Ohio River Sweep Student Poster Contest Now Accepting Entries

The interstate Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission is now accepting entries for the 2019 Ohio River Sweep Student Poster Contest through December 21.
            The contest is open to students in grades K through 12 who live or attend school in a county along the Ohio River or students whose county participates in the River Sweep, which includes counties along the Allegheny, Beaver, Monongahela, and Kentucky Rivers.
            There will be 1 Grand Prize of $500 awarded, along with 13 Grade Level Winners of $50 each.  The school of the Grand Prize Winner will also receive $100 for their art department.

* DEP To Hold Oct. 1 Hearing On Drilling Waste Injection Well In Allegheny County

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced it will hold a public hearing on an application from Penneco Environmental Solutions to authorize oil and gas waste disposal at the Sedat #3A oil and gas well in Plum Borough, Allegheny County.

* Report By Kleinman Center For Energy Policy Raises Concerns Over Philadelphia Refinery Site

The Kleinman Center for Energy Policy Thursday released a report raising concerns about contamination at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery site and highlights the utter lack of public participation in the remediation planning process.

* EPA Removes Recticon/Allied Steel Corp. Superfund Site In Chester County From Priorities List

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday announced the Recticon/Allied Steel Corp. Superfund Site in East Coventry Township, Chester County is being deleted from the Superfund National Priorities List.

* PUC Approves Resolution Of Mariner East 2 Pipeline Valve Dispute In Chester County

The Public Utility Commission Thursday approved a motion to resolve a complaint concerning construction or location of a pipeline valve station for Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 Pipeline project filed by West Goshen Township, Chester County.

* DEP: Nov. 7 Hearing (If Needed) On RACT II Air Quality Plan For Pipeline Compressor Station In Forest County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the September 22 PA Bulletin it will hold a hearing November 7 on a proposed RACT II Air Quality Plan for a Tennessee Gas Pipeline compressor station in Howe Township, Forest County (PA Bulletin, page 5922).

* CFA Awards $850,000 Grant To Valley Energy, Inc. To Extend Natural Gas Pipeline In Bradford County

The Commonwealth Financing Authority Tuesday awarded an $850,000 state grant to Valley Energy, Inc. for a pipeline project located in Bradford County, according to Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.

* Businesses Showcase Cutting-Edge Tech Solutions For Reducing Oil & Gas Methane Emissions In PA

The Center for Methane Emissions Solutions Thursday brought together members of the business and environmental communities, along with representatives of Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration, in Pittsburgh to discuss opportunities for reducing emissions from natural gas development in Pennsylvania.

* Royal Dutch Shell Raises Ambition To Drive Down Methane Emissions To Near Zero By 2025

International oil and gas major Royal Dutch Shell Monday announced a strong, quantifiable target to limit methane emissions to near-zero levels by 2025 from managed assets globally.

* Gov. Wolf Issues Proclamation To Declare Sept. 24-28 Clean Energy Week

Gov. Tom Wolf Friday issued a formal proclamation declaring the week of September 24 to 28 Clean Energy Week to highlight the advances made in the Commonwealth on clean energy to deal with issues like climate change and to create job opportunities.

* PUC Creates New Office of Cybersecurity Compliance and Oversight, Appoints Michael C. Holko Director

The Public Utility Commission Thursday announced the appointment of Michael C. Holko, of Dauphin County, as the Director of a new Office of Cybersecurity Compliance and Oversight (OCCO)

* DCNR Blog: Wealth Of Pennsylvania Trails Means Brighter Future For Trail Towns

Trails are valued for the connection they offer between home, school, and work; the opportunity for healthy exercise; and the chance for family togetherness. Trails also open the door to the outdoors!

* Western PA Trail Volunteer Fund Seeking Project Grant Applications

The Western PA Trail Volunteer Fund of the Pittsburgh Foundation is now seeking grant applications to purchase tools, materials, and supplies to be used by volunteer trail projects that create, maintain, or enhance the network of trails suitable for bicycle touring in Western Pennsylvania and interconnected trails in nearby areas.

* DCNR Blog: A New Visit To An Old Logger's Path In Lycoming County

The eerie morning mist was still lifting from the forest floor while sunray fingers broke through the Allegheny trees above and touched the lush vegetation and sea-green rock faces that guided the brook below.

* PA Trails Advisory Committee Seeking Applications For 7 Positions

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is accepting letters of interest for seven Pennsylvania Trails Advisory Committee appointments representing the following user groups: bicycling, hiking, cross-country skiing, water trails users, and three members at large.

* Manada Conservancy: A Walk In Penn's Woods Oct. 7 In Dauphin County At DeHart Dam

Join Manada Conservancy, Dauphin County Woodland Owner's Association and Capitol Region Water on October 7 at 1:00 for a A Walk In Penn's Woods at the DeHart Dam Reservoir in Clark's Valley.

* Brandywine Museum Natural Wonders Exhibit Explores Nature In Contemporary Art, Chester County

On view through October 21 at the Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chester County is a landmark exhibition, Natural Wonders: The Sublime in Contemporary Art, featuring 13 major American artists whose work examines our relationship with nature—exploring both its beauty and its capacity to inspire awe and fear.

* International Ocean Film Tour Features Adventure Films & Environmental Documentaries Sept. 27 In Philadelphia

The International Ocean Film Tour sails into Philadelphia on September 27 with an exciting lineup of high seas adventures and inspiring environmental documentaries.

* Wildlands Conservancy Highlights October Educational Programs, Activities

The Lehigh Valley-based Wildlands Conservancy highlighted upcoming educational programs and activities in October, including--

* DCNR, Central PA Conservancy Dedicate Letort Spring Garden Preserve In Cumberland County

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn joined Central Pennsylvania Conservancy officials Saturday in the dedication of the state-supported Letort Spring Garden Preserve in South Middleton Township, Cumberland County.

* Brandywine Conservancy & Museum Of Art, Chester County, Seeks Renewal Of Accreditation Thru Land Trust Alliance

The Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art in Chester County Thursday announced it is applying for renewal of its land trust accreditation.

* Sept. 19 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The September 19 Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* Governor's Hunting, Fishing, Conservation Advisory Council Opposes Hawn’s Bridge Peninsula Development At Raystown Lake

The Governor’s Advisory Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation sent a four-page letter to the US Army Corps of Engineers on August 31 expressing opposition to the private development of Hawn’s Bridge Peninsula at Raystown Lake in Huntingdon County by a developer from Texas.

* Fort Indiantown Gap Announces 2nd Mountain Hawk Watch Now Open Thru Dec. 15 In Lebanon County

Fort Indiantown Gap, a PA National Guard training facility in Lebanon County, Thursday announced the 2nd Mountain Hawk Watch observation area will be open now through December 15 to coincide with the official migratory bird watching season.

* Bay Journal: Invasive Northern Snakeheads Found In Octoraro Creek, Lancaster County

By: Donna Morelli, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* Penn State: Few Hatchery Brook Trout Genes Present In PA Watershed Wild Fish

By: Jeff Mulhollem, Penn State News

* In Memoriam: Steve MacNett, 51st Senator For Pennsylvania

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) and Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre) issued the following statement Wednesday on the passing of Steve MacNett--

* 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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* 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: 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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