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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
October 1, 2018 Issue #744
* CBF-PA Urges Passage Of Keystone Tree Fund After Legislation Is Voted Out Of House Committee

Harry Campbell, Executive Director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation  in Pennsylvania, applauded a unanimous vote by the House Transportation Committee Monday to report out House Bill 2486 (Everett-R-Lycoming) creating the Keystone Tree Fund that could lead to the planting of more trees along streams and streets in the Commonwealth.

* Lancaster Clean Water Partners To Release Draft Nutrient, Sediment Reduction Plan At Oct. 3 Meeting

Lancaster Clean Water Partners is inviting the public to attend an October 3 meeting where they will release a draft plan to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution in Lancaster County to help meet Chesapeake Bay pollution reduction commitments.

* Penn State Extension: Green Stormwater Infrastructure - What's It All About?

By: Thomas McCann, Extension Educator

* Senate Environmental Committee OKs Bill To Weaken Conventional Oil & Gas Drilling Standards

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Tuesday approved and reported out House Bill 2154 (Causer-R-Cameron) which would weaken environmental standards for conventional (not Shale) oil and gas drilling in a party line vote (Republicans supporting).

* House Environmental Committee Amends Critical Infrastructure Security Bill To Set Penalties For Intentional Vandalism

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee amended and reported out Senate Bill 652 (Regan-R-Cumberland) which deals with the security of rights-of-way for pipelines, electric power lines, railroad tracks, refineries and the property on which of any of 21 other “critical infrastructure facilities” are located.

* Nuclear Energy Caucus Hearing: No Mandatory Physical Or Cyber Security Standards Exist For Natural Gas Pipelines

The House-Senate Nuclear Energy Caucus Tuesday heard testimony from energy and security experts who said there are “no mandatory physical or cyber security standards exist for natural gas systems” in contrast to the nuclear energy industry that has to meet “demanding security requirements.”

* 19 PA Counties Now Have Confirmed 55 Human Cases Of West Nile Virus

The Department of Health said Friday in an online report there are now 55 human cases of West Nile Virus in 19 counties in Pennsylvania and as reported last Friday 2 deaths have been confirmed from West Nile Virus so far this season-- one each in Lancaster and Lebanon counties.

* Week 1 - Fall Foliage Report: Trees Starting To Change Along PA’s Northern Border

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Thursday released its first Fall Foliage Report showing some leaves are just starting to change ever so slightly along Pennsylvania’s northern border.

* 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--

* Senate Environmental Committee Hearing: Witnesses Outline What They See As Attempts By Foreign Entities To Stand In The Way Of PA’s Gas Development

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Tuesday heard from witnesses who outlined what they see as attempts by Russia and foreign entities to hinder natural gas development nationally and in Pennsylvania.

* Senate Agriculture Committee Holds Oct. 2 Hearing On Invasive, Native Species

The Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing October 2 on invasive and native species.

* Mercer Conservation District Recognizes Dr. Fred Brenner, Lexie Arkwright As Pioneers In Conservation

Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition participant and Grove City College Professor of Biology Dr. Fred Brenner and his student Lexie Arkwright were recently honored by the Mercer County Conservation District with Pioneers in Conservation awards.

* PASA: Free Soil Health Clinic: Field Sampling & Assessment Techniques Oct. 3 In Juniata County

The PA Association for Sustainable Agriculture will host a free Soil Health Clinic: Field Sampling and Assessment Techniques on October 3 in Mifflintown, Juniata County.

* Lebanon County Grazing Network Hosts Soil Pit/Soil Health Field Day Oct. 12

The Lebanon County Grazing Network invites anyone interested in learning about the “underground herd” of animals living under your field to join us for a soil pit field day at Sandy Springs Farm, 130 Sinclair Road in Newmanstown on October 12 from 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

* Call For Presenters: 2019 Watershed Congress Along The Schuylkill River

The organizing committee of the 2019 Watershed Congress Along The Schuylkill River has issued a call for presentation proposals.  The deadline for submissions is October 31.

* Delaware River Basin Commission Now Accepting Entries For Fall Photo Contest

The Delaware River Basin Commission is accepting entries for its Fall Photo Contest through November 15.

* Call For Papers For Joint 2019 PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation/ National Abandoned Mine Lands Program Conference

The PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference is partnering with the National Association of Abandoned Mine Lands Programs Conference to issue a call for papers to be presented at the combined 2019 conference.  The deadline for proposals is May 10.

* DEP Invitation To Submit Act 181 Mine Reclamation Proposals For A Project In Clearfield County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the September 29 PA Bulletin (page 6336) inviting proposals under Act 181 of 1984 from landowners, mine operators and reclamation contractors to reclaim an abandoned coal preparation plant in Chest Township, Clearfield County. 

* September Catalyst Newsletter Now Available From Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition

The September edition of the Catalyst newsletter is now available from the Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition in Butler County featuring articles on--

* Tree Pittsburgh, Partners To Give Away 1,000 Free Trees In Allegheny County Oct. 13, Nov. 3

Tree Pittsburgh, in partnership with Duquesne Light, the Arbor Day Foundation, TruGreen and FedEx, will be giving away 1,000 trees to residents of Allegheny County at two events--

* Applications Now Being Accepted For Next Penn State Master Well Owner Course

Interested in learning more about and educating others in the proper management of private water systems? Consider applying for the Master Well Owner online course being offered by Penn State Extension! 

* Penn State Extension Watershed Winds Newsletter Now Available

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

* How You (And Your Phone) Can Improve Philadelphia's Flood Response

The Philadelphia Water Department Wednesday announced a new program that invites Philadelphia residents to send in photos and information about flooding in their areas to improve the City's response to flooding.

* State Senators Again Seek To Intervene To Support Wayne County Landowner Lawsuit On Delaware Watershed Fracking Ban

Terrie Morgan-Besecker of the Scranton Times-Tribune Monday reported three state Senators have again filed a motion in U.S. District Court on September 17 in an attempt to intervene in a lawsuit by Wayne County landowners challenging the 2010 Delaware Watershed ban on oil and gas fracking.

* Op-Ed: How PA Leaders Can Help Prevent Another Major Gas Pipeline Explosion

By: Andrew Williams, Environmental Defense Fund

* Penn State Extension: Oct. 23 Webinar On Addressing Orphan & Abandoned Wells From DEP, Industry Perspectives

Penn State Extension will host a webinar on October 23 on Addressing Orphan And Abandoned Wells From DEP, Industry Perspectives starting at 1:00 p.m.

* Keep Blair Beautiful, Keep Philadelphia Beautiful Receive National Grants From Lowes

Keep America Beautiful and Lowe’s awarded a total of $30,000 in grants to Keep Blair Beautiful and Keep Philadelphia Beautiful as part of the national 2018 Keep America Beautiful/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant Program.

* Penn State Tailgaters Recycled 16 Tons Of Plastic, Glass Bottles, Steel, Aluminum Cans At First Home Games

The Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority Wednesday reported Penn State tailgaters at the Kent State football game recycled 6 tons of plastic and glass bottles and just over 1 ton of steel and aluminum cans.

* Clinton County CleanScapes Greater Jersey Shore Beautification Cleanup Oct. 6 In Lycoming County

Clinton County CleanScapes and its partners will hold a Greater Jersey Shore Beautification and Cleanup Event on October 6 from 9:30 to Noon in Piatt Township, Lycoming County.

* PRC Holds Hard-To-Recycle, Household Chemical, Drug Take-Back Events In Western PA During October

The PA Resources Council and its partners will hold several Hard-To-Recycle, Household Chemical and Drug Take-Back Collection events in Western Pennsylvania during October.

* DEP: Nov. 7 Meeting/Hearing On Stormwater Permit For Biosolids Facility In Northampton County

The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public meeting/hearing November 7 on a proposed NPDES Stormwater Permit a biosolids (sewage sludge) processing facility to be constructed on Pen Argyle Road in Pen Argyle, Northampton County. (PA Bulletin page 6335)

* EPA Removes Dorney Road Landfill Superfund Site From Superfund National Priorities List

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday announced the Dorney Road Landfill Superfund Site located in Berks and Lehigh Counties is being deleted from the Superfund National Priorities List.                                    

* PA's Weis Markets Receives Platinum EPA Greenchill Certification For Reducing Refrigerant Emissions

Sunbury-based Weis Markets' Randolph, NJ store has received a platinum level GreenChill certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for reducing in-store refrigerant usage.

* Gov. Wolf: First Round Of Grants Awarded From EPA Volkswagen Settlement To Reduce Diesel Pollution

Gov. Tom Wolf Friday announced the first round of grant approvals through his Driving PA Forward initiative, funded by Pennsylvania’s share of the settlement with Volkswagen Group of America for cheating on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emissions tests.

* DEP Now Accepting Applications For Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charging Station Rebates; Webinars Set On All Charging Station Grant Programs

The Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charging Rebate Program Grants as part of the Driving PA Forward Initiative. (formal notice)

* DEP Blog: With Solar Panels, Barbour Family Farm Is Shining Example Of Conservation

By: Megan Lehman, DEP Northcentral Regional Office

* Next Wave Of Green Jobs: Business Opportunities In Philly's Green Energy Sector Oct. 4

The Philadelphia Energy Authority, Clean Air Council and the American Association of Blacks In Energy-Philadelphia Chapter will hold a Next Wave Of Green Jobs: Business Opportunities In Philly's Green Energy Sector Workshop in Philadelphia On October 4.

* PUC Launches Utility Careers Campaign, Encourages Young People To Consider Opportunities With Utilities

Public Utility Commission Chairman Gladys M. Brown and Commissioner David W. Sweet Tuesday joined with leaders from state agencies and utilities from across the Commonwealth to encourage more skilled candidates to consider career opportunities in the utility sector.

* Pittsburgh Hosts SHALE INSIGHT 2018 Conference Oct. 23 - 25

This year’s SHALE INSIGHT Conference, with the theme “Natural Gas: America’s Pipeline to Power Generation and Emerging Opportunities,” will be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh October 23 -25.

* DCNR Blog: My Path To Fighting Wildlands Fires: A DCNR Firefighter's Journey

By: Todd Breininger, Forest Fire Protection Program Specialist, DCNR's Bureau of Forestry

* Vote Now Through Oct. 1 In PA Parks & Forests Foundation Photo Contest

Voting is now open through Noon on October 1 for the PA Parks and Forests Foundation Facebook page for the 2018 Photo Contest.  Vote now in each of the 6 categories-

* DCNR Blog: Producing The Show: Pennsylvania Fall Foliage Factors

With the fall season comes several favorites for Pennsylvanians, including some of the best hiking due to the arrival of crisp air and stunning fall foliage!

* DCNR: Additional State Forest Roads Opening For Hunting Seasons, Other Outdoor Activities

Hunters and other outdoors enthusiasts heading into Pennsylvania’s state-owned woodlands this autumn will find additional roads open in 18 of the 20 state forest districts, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced Thursday.

* Brandywine Conservancy: 3rd Annual Bike The Brandywine A Sunny Success

Greeted with sunny skies and crisp fall weather, nearly 500 cyclists joined the Brandywine Conservancy’s third annual Bike the Brandywine event on September 22 in Chester County.

* Bay Journal: PA Officials Delay Plan To Shut Largest Shad Hatchery In Chesapeake Bay Watershed

By Karl Blankenship, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* Game Commission Proposes To Reclassify 3 Bat Species As Endangered, Make Other Changes To Threatened, Endangered List

The Board of Game Commissioners Tuesday took preliminary action to update the state’s list of threatened and endangered species, which includes downgrading three protected cave bat species and reclassifying them as state endangered species.

* U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Supports PA Project To Track Species In Decline

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has agreed to support a proposal for further expansion of the Motus Wildlife Tracking System in Pennsylvania and four other states to monitor eight migratory species of greatest conservation and other wildlife.

* Partnership To Protect Ospreys From Power Lines Expands In Pennsylvania

Rep. Parke Wentling (R-Crawford), a member of the Joint Legislative Conservation Committee, recently attended the Great Lakes Legislative Caucus meeting held in Erie to discuss environmental issues impacting the region.

* Help Wanted: 3 Positions: Jacobs Creek Watershed Assn.; Chester County; Audubon

The Jacobs Creek Watershed Association in Westmoreland County is looking for an AmeriCorps Program Manager, Chester County is looking for a Director of Open Space Preservation and National and PA Audubon are looking for a Delaware River Watershed Program Director.

* 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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