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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
February 25, 2019 Issue #765
* PUC Seeks To At Least Double Pipeline Safety Inspectors Over Next 5 Years

On February 19, Public Utility Commission Chairman Gladys Brown told the Senate Appropriations Committee at the Commission’s budget hearing it recognizes it does not have enough staff to deal with pipeline safety issues and will be asking to at least double or possibly triple the number of pipeline inspectors over the next 5 years.

* Bill Introduced Again To Require Drilling Rights Compensation If DRBC Adopts Fracking Ban

On February 19, Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) reintroduced legislation-- Senate Bill 305-- declaring an action to ban fracking in the Delaware River Watershed by the Delaware River Basin Commission an act of eminent domain requiring compensation for property owners for drilling rights.

* DEP Citizens Advisory Council Urges Senate, House To Adopt Funding Source For Hazardous Sites Cleanup Program Before It Becomes Insolvent

On February 21, DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council sent letters to members of the House and Senate urging them to act now to find a funding source for DEP’s Hazardous Sites Cleanup Program before it becomes insolvent.

* PEMA: Over $101.5 Million In Flood Damage Not Covered By Feds In 2018; Intense Flooding Events Increasing In PA

On February 21, Randy Padfield, Acting Director of the PA Emergency Management Agency, told the Senate Appropriations Committee the Commonwealth had over $101.5 million in public infrastructure flood damages that were not covered by federal disaster assistance in 2018.

* DEP Outlines Flood Prevention Benefits Of Restore PA For Luzerne County

On February 22, Department of Environmental Protection Regional Director Mike Bedrin joined Rep. Mike Carroll (D-Luzerne) and local leaders to discuss Avoca Borough’s challenges with flood control and how the bipartisan Restore Pennsylvania infrastructure proposal will help prevent future flooding.

* PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan Steering Committee Meets March 8

The PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan Steering Committee is now scheduled to meet on March 8 to hear presentations from Adams and Franklin counties on the plans they developed to meet their nutrient pollution reduction targets.

* Keystone Tree Fund Bills In Senate, House Gain DEP Citizens Advisory Council Support

On February 21, DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council sent letters to members of the House and Senate urging them to support legislation creating a Keystone Tree Fund to support DCNR programs to plant riparian stream buffers.

* Partnership For Delaware Estuary Launches 10-Year Comprehensive Conservation & Management Plan, Including Mussel Hatchery

On February 19, The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary kicked-off the implementation of a revised Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan.  Implementation of the plan to include a mussel hatchery at Bartram’s Garden in Philadelphia.

* PA Resources Council Honors 23 Organizations With Zero Waste Awards In Western PA

On February 21, the PA Resources Council presented its fourth annual Zero Waste Awards to 23 environmental leaders in recognition of their commitment to adopting sustainable environmental practices and diverting waste through recycling, composting and reuse.

* PA Resources Council Launches Glass Recycling Pop-Up Collection Events In Allegheny County

On February 22, the PA Resources Council announced it will hold a series of 8 “pop-up” glass recycling collection events in Allegheny County in response to the sudden removal of glass from many of the region’s residential curbside recycling programs.

* Pittsburgh's U.S. Steel Tower Becomes 2nd Largest Building In The World To Achieve LEED Silver Certification For O+M

Winthrop Management and evolve environment :: architecture recently announced the iconic U.S. Steel Tower, in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh, has earned a LEED for Building Operations and Maintenance (O+M): Existing Buildings Silver Certification, making it the second largest building in the world to achieve such a distinction.

* 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--

* House Environmental Committee Meeting On DEP Budget Covers Climate Change, Permit Fees, Fund Transfers

On February 19, the  House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held an informational meeting on the Department of Environmental Protection’s budget that covered lots of ground from whether climate change was real, proposed Oil and Gas Program fee increases, whether public hearings on pipeline permits were necessary and more.

* Majority Chair Of House Environmental Committee Asks DEP To Make Climate Petitioners Resubmit Cap-And-Trade Petition

On February 19, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), Majority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, wrote to DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell asking him to request petitioners to resubmit their greenhouse gas cap-and-trade petition to the Environmental Quality Board.

* House Environmental Committee Meeting On Forge The Future Energy/Development Plan Turns Into Climate Change Debate

On February 20, the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee information meeting on the Forge The Future energy and economic development plan proposed by state business groups turned into a classic debate over climate change.

* Keystone Tree Fund Bill Reported From House Transportation Committee

On February 19, the House Transportation Committee approved and reported out House Bill 374 (Everett-R- Lycoming) establishing the Keystone Tree Fund to support tree planting programs by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources on February 19.

* Bipartisan Group Of House Members Unveil Bill Authorizing Community Solar Projects

On February 19, a bipartisan group of House members announced the introduction of House Bill 531 to authorized community solar projects in Pennsylvania.

* Senate Appropriations Holds Hearings On DEP’s Budget Feb. 28, DCNR’s Budget March 4

The Senate Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on the Department of Environmental Protection’s budget request on February 28 starting at 3:00.

* Federal Judge Dismisses Clean Air Council Lawsuit Challenging Federal Actions On Climate Change, Rollback Of Regulations

On February 19, Eastern Federal District Court Judge Paul S. Diamond granted a U.S. Department of Justice request to dismiss a lawsuit on procedural grounds brought by the Clean Air Council and two Pennsylvania children alleging harm from recent efforts to rollback federal environmental regulations.

* Chesapeake Bay Program Looks Upstream For Its New Director, Dana Aunkst

By Rachel Felver, Chesapeake Bay Program

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission March 15 Meeting Agenda Includes Adopting Recommendations In Auditor General’s Report

The agenda for the March 15 Susquehanna River Basin Commission includes a resolution adopting recommendations made in the Auditor General’s 2018 Performance Audit of the Commission.  (formal notice)

* Recap Of 2019 PA In The Balance Farm Stakeholder Meeting To Help Shape PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Cleanup Plan

By Heidi Reed, Penn State Extension Educator

* Certification Of Professional Manure Handlers Can Influence Water Quality

While direct water quality impacts from education and certification of professional manure handlers is hard to measure, a recent survey of the Pennsylvania industry by demonstrates that program participants gain knowledge on key competencies.

* Manure Management For Youth Projects Curriculum Available From Penn State Extension

Animals at a farm operation are enclosed in pastures, meadows, barnyards, and barn areas. This leads to concentrated areas of manure where piles add up. Even when a just a few animals, or a single animal, are being raised for a couple months before summer fair season that manure can add up fast.

* Farmers Invited To Complete Survey On Making Farm Conservation Easier

Are you a farmer in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York or New Jersey?  Rodale Institute and the Stroud Water Research Center want to hear from you to help make it easier for farmers to adopt conservation and “water-friendly” practices while protecting their bottom line.

* PRPS: Parks & Green Infrastructure Workshop April 2, Managing Water For Multiple Community Benefits

On April 2, the PA Recreation and Park Society will hold a Parks and Green Infrastructure Workshop - Managing Water For Multiple Community Benefits at the Penn Stater Conference Center in State College from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

* PEC, DCNR: Volunteers Needed For Tree Plantings At State Forests In Columbia, Clearfield Counties In April, May

The PA Environmental Council and DCNR are seeking volunteers for 2 tree planting events coming up April 20 in Weiser State Forest, Columbia County and May 4 in Moshannon State Forest, Clearfield County.

* Expedition Chesapeake iMax Film Premieres March 20 At The Whitaker Center For Science & The Arts In Harrisburg

On March 20 the Expedition Chesapeake iMax film will premiere at the Whitaker Center For Science & The Arts in Harrisburg at 5:30.

* Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center Hosts 3rd Annual NatureWorks March 2 In Johnstown

Get connected with the outdoors during the Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center’s 3rd Annual NatureWorks on March 2, a free one-day nature and conservation interactive educational experience for all ages in Johnstown, Cambria County.

* Penn State Master Well Owner Course Accepting Volunteer Applications

Interested in learning more about the proper management of private water wells, springs and cisterns and sharing what you learn with others? Check out the Master Well Owner online course being offered by Penn State Extension!

* Newly Updated Watershed Decisions Activity Kit Now Available From Penn State Extension

Penn State Extension has available a updated Watershed Decisions Activity Kids, a hands-on, inquiry based activity kit that helps older youth and adults learn about water quality issues in small watersheds and the decision making processes that go into improving those water quality issues.

* Wetlands Will Play A Key Role In Addressing Climate Change In Pennsylvania

Swamp, marsh, and bog. These are a few words that are used to describe wetlands; but what is a wetland and why do they matter?

* Keep PA Beautiful Invites Communities, Groups To Adopt Local Roads, Waterways, Other Areas To Keep Them Litter Free

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is inviting communities and groups to adopt local roads, waterways, parks and other areas to help keep them litter free as part of the KPB Adoption Program.

* PRC Sets 2019 Schedule For Backyard Composting, Rain Barrel, Healthy Home Workshops In Allegheny County

On February 21, the PA Resources Council announced its schedule of 2019 Backyard Composting, Rain Barrel and Healthy Body & Health Home Workshops in Allegheny County.

* Save The Date: PA Hazardous Materials Technicians Conference August 22-25 At Seven Springs

he PA Association Of Hazardous Materials Technicians will hold its 27th Annual Hazmat Training and Education Conference on August 22-25 in Seven Springs, Somerset County. 

* Group Against Smog & Pollution Joins Pittsburgh Mayor For Kickoff Of First Clean Construction Project To Reduce Diesel Pollution

On February 21, the Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) executive director Rachel Filippini joined Mayor Bill Peduto and other local officials Thursday in the Duck Hollow section of Pittsburgh for the kickoff of the city’s first “Clean Construction” project.

* GASP: Registration Now Open For Air Adventures Summer Camp In Pittsburgh

The Group Against Smog and Pollution is now accepting registrations for its student summer camp Air Adventures in Pittsburgh to be held from June 17 to 21.

* DEP Issues Water Quality Certification For UGI LNG Truck Loading Facility In Berks

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the February 23 PA Bulletin it has issued the Section 401 Water Quality Certification for a proposed UGI liquefied natural gas truck loading facility at 5665 Leesport Avenue, Reading, Ontelaunee Township, Berks County (PA Bulletin, page 893).

* Firefly-Inspired Surfaces Improve Efficiency Of LED Lightbulbs

By Asher Jones, Penn State News

* Call For Abstracts: Bucknell 7th Annual Sustainability Symposium April 26-27

The Bucknell University's Center for Sustainability and the Environment will hold its 7th annual Sustainability Symposium "Young People’s World: Making Your Future Energy, Climate & Human Rights" on April 26-27 at various locations on the Bucknell University campus in  Lewisburg.

* Penn State Extension Webinar On How Colorado Prioritizes Oil & Gas Well Inspections

On February 21, Penn State Extension held a webinar on How Colorado Prioritizes Oil and Gas Well Inspections Using a Risk-Based Approach.

* Penn State Extension March 14 Webinar On Methane Migration & Changes In Aquifer Properties

Penn State Extension will host a webinar on March 14 starting at 1:00 on a case study of methane migration and changes in aquifer properties.

* Agriculture: 3,333 Acres In 19 Counties Added To Farmland Preservation Program

On February 21, the state Farmland Land Preservation Board took action to preserve 35 farms covering 3,333 acres across 19 counties.

* Natural Lands Transfers 57 Acres Of Preserved Land To Marsh Creek State Park

On February 19, Natural Lands announced 57-acres of land the organization purchased has been transferred to Marsh Creek State Park in Wallace Township, Chester County.  The land was slated to be developed.

* PA Land Trust Assn. Updates 2 Model Conservation, Stewardship Easements

The PA Land Trust Association recently finalized the text of two easements-- a conservation easement and a model environmental stewardship easement.

* 2019 PA Mountain Bike Summit Set For May 10 At Raystown Lake Visitors Center

The PA Environmental Council and DCNR are hosting the 2019 PA Mountain Bike Summit on May 10 at the Raystown Lake Visitors Center in Huntingdon County from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

* DCNR Blog: Connecting Diverse Communities To Experience And Appreciate Our Natural Places

Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.”

* DCNR Good Natured Pennsylvanians: Ron Beach, Lycoming County

Ron Beach, a former PennDOT traffic technician supervisor of 30 years and former Game Commission Deputy Game Protector of 20 years, has continued his passion for wildlife into his retirement.

* Dauphin County Woodland Owners To Hold Annual Conference March 9

Private woodland owners are encouraged to attend the Dauphin County Woodland Owners Association’s  9th Annual Woodland Owner’s Conference on March 9  at the Dauphin County Agricultural & Natural Resources Center, 1451 Peters Mountain Road in Dauphin from 8:30 to 3:15.

* DCNR: Wildfires Increase In 2018 Over 2017, But Nowhere Near 2016

On February 21, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources reported there were a total of 690 wildfires in 2018 which burned 1,843 acres.

* Feb. 21 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The February 21 Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* Wildlands Conservancy Highlights Education Programs Coming In March

The Lehigh Valley-based Wildlands Conservancy highlighted educational and other programs coming up in March for students and adults, including--

* PA Council Of Trout Unlimited Adopts Policy Strongly Favoring Preserving, Enhancing Populations Of Wild Trout

Periodically, the PA Council of Trout Unlimited reviews its various policies to incorporate updates that reflect current views on these guiding principles. The following Policy on Trout Management prepared by the Trout Management Committee was approved and adopted by Council’s Executive Committee on Feb. 9, 2019.

* Registration Now Open For Keystone/TU Teens Conservation Camp June 23-29

Registrations are now being accepted for the Keystone/Trout Unlimited Teens Conservation Camp to be held from June 23 to 29 at Keystone College in Dickson City, Lackawanna County.

* PA Sea Grant Program Holds Aquatic Invasive Species Lunch n’ Learn Webinars March 1, 8

The Pennsylvania Sea Grant Program will hold 2 webinars for professionals and anyone else interested in aquatic invasive species on March 1 and 8.  Here are the webinar topics--

* Register Now For Youth Appalachian Adventure Camp At Hawk Mountain In Berks County

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is now accepting registrations for its Youth Appalachian Adventure Camp on July 8-12 and August 12-16 at the Sanctuary.

* Winter PA Trout Newsletter Now Available From PA Council Of Trout Unlimited

The Winter issue of the PA Trout newsletter is now available from the PA Council of Trout Unlimited featuring articles on--

* Agriculture: Fulton, Clearfield County Deer Test Positive For Chronic Wasting Disease

On February 20, the Department of Agriculture announced a doe on a Bethel Township, Fulton County breeding farm, and a buck on a Bloom Township, Clearfield County hunting preserve have tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease.

* National Wild Turkey Federation Honors Game Commission Forester Brent McNeal

On February 22, the Game Commission announced forester Brent McNeal has been presented with the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Joe Kurz Wildlife Manager of the Year Award for his dedication to wild turkeys and wildlife habitat management.

* Wildlife For Everyone Foundation Names Susan Hawthorne New Executive Director

On February 21, the Wildlife for Everyone Foundation announced it has named Susan Hawthorne as its new Executive Director.

* Interns Wanted: Summer Internship Opportunities Available At DCNR

Know a college student interested in learning more about the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources  and being a part of our mission to conserve and sustain Pennsylvania’s natural resources for present and future generations?

* 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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The PA Environment Digest is proud to be one of sponsors of these 4 awards and educational events--

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