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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
March 11, 2019 Issue #767
* Senators Question Use Of Project Funds To Pay Agency Operating Costs, Sustainability Of DCNR Funding Choices

On March 4, Senators on the Appropriations Committee from both parties expressed concerns about the proposed transfer of monies used to fund local projects from the Environmental Stewardship (Growing Greener) and Keystone Recreation, Parks and Conservation funds to pay operating expenses for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and DEP.

* House DEP Budget Hearing 2: Only 0.30% Of DEP Final Actions Were Appealed In 2018; 25 Fewer Attorney Positions

On March 4 DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell returned before the House Appropriations Committee to review the answers DEP provided to questions asked, but not answered, during the first House budget hearing on February 14.

* Department Of Agriculture Budget Testimony Highlights Conservation, Organic & Urban Farming, Invasive Species Issues

Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding appeared before the House and Senate Appropriations Committee this week and submitted this written testimony as part of his budget presentation.

* Senate’s Next Job: Consider Confirmation Of DEP, DCNR, Agriculture Secretaries

With budget hearings now out of the way, one of the Senate’s next tasks is to consider Gov. Wolf’s nominations of Patrick McDonnell as DEP Secretary, Cindy Adams Dunn as DCNR Secretary and Russell Redding as Agriculture Secretary.

* Winners Of The Women In Conservation Awards Announced By PennFuture

On March 7, PennFuture announced the winners of the Celebrating Women In Conservation Awards who will be recognized at a special awards dinner in April 25.  The winners include--

* DEP Assesses $1.5 Million Penalty Against Beta Trunk Pipeline For Unstable Slope, Construction Violations In Greene County

On March 4, Department of Environmental Protection assessed a $1.5 million penalty against Rice Midstream Holdings, LLC for violations that occurred on Rice’s Beta Trunk Pipeline located in Aleppo and Richhill townships, Greene County.

* PA Supreme Court Turns Down Conventional Gas Drillers’ Motion To Reconsider Stripper Well Impact Fee Decision

On March 7, the PA Supreme Court issued an order turning down the request of the PA Independent Oil and Gas Association to reconsider its December 28 decision in favor of the Public Utility Commission in a case involving the definition of a stripper well for the purposes of paying the Act 13 unconventional well impact fee.

* Kleinman Center For Energy Policy Estimates Bill Supporting Nuclear Power Plants Would Cost Ratepayers $500 Million A Year

Christina Simone, Director Of Policy and External Affairs at the University Of Pennsylvania Kleinman Center For Energy Policy updated her estimate of the cost of a bill to support nuclear power plant operations in the Commonwealth, putting the cost at an estimated $500 million a year to ratepayers.

* PUC Commissioner Andrew Place Circulates Paper On Nuclear Power Plant Policy Alternatives

On March 7, Andrew Place, a Commissioner on the Public Utility Commission, circulated a paper address policy alternatives for Pennsylvania's nuclear power plants.

* PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Planning Steering Committee Adopts Phased Approach To County Planning Process

On March 8, the PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan Steering Committee adopted a phased approach to implement the county-level clean water planning process to develop plans to meet Pennsylvania Bay pollution reduction goals.

* DEP Blog: Healthy Waters, Healthy Communities: York County

By: Felicia Dell, Pam Shellenberger, and John Seitz, York County Planning Commission; Mark Flaharty, York County Conservation District

* Keep PA Beautiful's Great American Cleanup Of PA Now Underway, Register Your Event, Volunteer For A Cleanup

The Great American Cleanup of PA is now officially underway and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is encouraging anyone who is planning a local event, large or small, to register with the Great American Cleanup of PA. 

* Joint Conservation Committee Celebrates 50th Anniversary With Special Report Reviewing Its History

The Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee recently celebrated its 50th anniversary by putting out a special report highlighting its history, the issues it was involved with and accomplishments.

* 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--

* Sen. Scott Martin Appointed To Chesapeake Bay Commission

Sen. Scott Martin (R-Lancaster) has been appointed to serve on Pennsylvania’s delegation to the Chesapeake Bay Commission for the 2019-20 Legislative Session.

* House Environmental, Consumer Affairs Committees Hold Separate Info Meetings March 11 On PJM Interconnection

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and the House Consumer Affairs Committee will hold information meetings on March 11 to hear from the PJM Interconnection, the multi-state electricity grid operator.

* Rep. Vitali To Hold Informational Meeting March 11 On Nuclear Power's Contribution To Zero-Carbon Energy Production In PA

On March 11, Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware), Minority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, will hold a briefing on legislative proposals to recognize the contributions nuclear energy makes to Pennsylvania's zero-carbon energy production.

* House Tourism & Recreation Committee Holds March 19 Info Meeting On PA Parks & Forests Foundation Infrastructure Needs Report

The House Tourism and Recreational Development Committee is scheduled to hold an informational meeting on March 19 to hear a presentation from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation on their 2018 infrastructure repair needs report.

* Sen. Dinniman, Rep. Friel Otten, Groups Hold Pipeline Safety Rally March 19 In Harrisburg; Pipeline Safety Caucus Formed

Sen. Andy Dinniman (D-Chester) and Rep. Danielle Friel Otten (D-Chester), other lawmakers, community groups, residents, and families from across Pennsylvania will hold a Rally for Pipeline Safety and Environmental Protection on March 19 at 10:00 a.m. in the Main Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg.

* March Newsletter Now Available From Joint Conservation Committee

The March newsletter is now available from the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee featuring articles on--

* CBF-PA: Pennsylvanians-- Call Your House, Senate Member To Support Keystone Tree Fund Bills

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA is urging Pennsylvanians to show their support for restoring waterways across the state by calling your House and Senate member and telling them to support House Bill 374 (Everett-R-Lycoming) and Senate Bill 108 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) establishing the Keystone Tree Fund.

* Interns Wanted: Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA Needs 2 Summer Interns For Keystone 10 Million Trees Initiative

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA seeks 2 Keystone 10 Million Trees Restoration [paid]  Interns to be based at its Harrisburg Office.  The interns will be coordinating tree plantings, collecting data from planting sites, restoration research, and literature reviews.  Click Here for all the details.  Deadline for applications March 22.

* Livestaking For Minor Streambank Repairs Workshop March 30 In Lancaster County

Penn State Extension will hold a Livestaking For Minor Streambank Repairs Workshop March 30 at the Southeast Agricultural Research & Extension Center, 1446 Auction Road in Manheim, Lancaster County from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m.

* Sign Up Now To Volunteer For Western PA Conservancy Tree Planting, Garden Steward Programs

Sign up now with the Western PA Conservancy to help plant trees along streets and trails and in parks and restoration areas throughout Western Pennsylvania or to become a Community Garden Steward.

* Conodoguinet Creek Watershed Assn. Sets April 27 Riparian Buffer Planting, 2019 Creek Cleanup Events In Cumberland County

The Conodoguinet Creek Watershed Association updated its members this week on upcoming volunteer events, including an April 27 riparian buffer tree planting and the 2019 schedule of creek cleanups in Cumberland County.

* Farming & Conservation Opportunities For Hispanic, African American, Other Underserved Farmers April 9 In Berks County

The Capital Resource Conservation and Development Area Council and the Natural Resource Conservation Service-PA are hosting a Farming & Conservation Opportunities For Hispanic, African American, Other Underserved Farmers Workshop on April 9 in Berks County.

* Pike Conservation District: 3-Part How Your Backyard Activities Affect Your Lake Workshops

To help residents keep local lakes and ponds clean, Pike County Conservation District is hosting a free three-part workshop series titled “How your Backyard Activities Affect your Lake.”

* Southwest PA Water Resource Center Hosts Workshops On Grant Writing, Stormwater Pollution Control Implementation, Reporting

The Southwestern PA Commission's Water Resource Center is hosting 2 workshops on grant writing in March and 2 workshops on Stormwater Pollution Control Measures Implementation and Reporting in May.

* March 12 Penn State Water Insights Seminar Highlights Green Infrastructure To Reduce Stormwater Pollution

The Penn State Environment and Natural Resources Institute will host a Water Insights Seminar on March 12 on Implementation and Function of Green Infrastructure: Insight From The Site To The City.

* PA American Water Announces Sponsorship Of Expedition Chesapeake Film

On March 5, Pennsylvania American Water announced an exclusive partnership with the soon-to-be-released iMax film, “Expedition Chesapeake, A Journey of Discovery.”

* Showing Added: 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. The original 5:30 show was sold out, so an 8:00 p.m. show has been added.

* CBF Save The Bay Photo Contest Accepting Entries Starting March 11

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation 2019 Save The Bay Photo Contest will be accepting entries from March 11 to April 5.

* Schuylkill River Network Student Street Art Contest Now Accepting Entries Thru March 29

The Schuylkill Action Network and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary are now accepting entries for the Schuylkill Student Street Art Contest through March 29. (Extension Notice)

* DRBC Announces Delaware Watershed Winter Photo Contest Winner; Spring Contest Begins March 20

On March 5, the Delaware River Basin Commission announced that Bridget Davis’ photograph, titled Polar Vortex Beauty, was chosen as the winner of the Commission’s Winter 2018-2019 Photo Contest.  Forty photographs were submitted by 14 individuals for the contest.

* EPA Exhibit At 2019 Philadelphia Flower Show Highlights Ecological Power Of Flowers Now Through March 10

This year’s Philadelphia Flower Show, which runs through March 10, showcases the Power of Flowers, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s exhibit “E=mc2: Eco-Power” hits the mark.

* West Branch Susquehanna River Restoration Coalition Meeting March 12

The West Branch Susquehanna River Restoration Coalition will hold its next meeting on March 12 at the Clinton County Conservation District Environmental Learning Center, 45 Cooperation Lane in Mill Hall starting at 6:30.

* March Catalyst Newsletter Now Available From Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition

The March issue of The Catalyst newsletter is now available from the Butler County-based Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition featuring articles on--

* Erie Times-News Connect With Your Environment - Lake Erie Water Diversions

The latest issue of Connect With Your Environment in the Erie Times-News is now available.   This edition focuses on Great Lakes water diversions and how they are evaluated by the Great Lakes Compact.

* Student Environmental Career Day & Job Fair Elk Country Visitor Center March 29

The Keystone Elk Country Alliance will host an Environmental Career Day & Job Fair on March 29 at the Elk Country Visitor Center, 134 Homestead Drive in Benezette from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

* Jacobs Creek Watershed Assn. Tired Of Tires Campaign Paying Rewards To Bring In Illegally Dumped Tires In Westmoreland March 23

The Jacobs Creek Watershed Association’s Tired Of Tires campaign is now underway to pay a reward for collecting illegally dumped tires in Westmoreland County and dropping them at a special collection event on March 23.

* DEP Accepting Applications For 2018 Recycling Performance Grants; Grants To Increase By 20%

The Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for the calendar year 2018 Recycling Performance Grants.  The deadline for applications is September 30.  (formal notice)

* DEP: Benefits Outweigh Harms From Chrin Landfill Expansion In Northampton County; Technical Review Comments Being Accepted

On March 5, the Department of Environmental Protection issued its environmental assessment review letter to Chrin Landfill regarding the facility’s permit application for expansion in Williams Township, Northampton County.

* IFO: Natural Gas Production Increased 14.2% In 2018, Largest Increase Since 2014

On March 5, the Independent Fiscal Office released its latest update on natural gas production in Pennsylvania reporting a 14.2 percent increase in 2018 over 2017, the largest year-over-year increase in production since 2014.

* Brodhead Watershed Assn. Reschedules Reflections On A Changing Climate Program For March 31 In Monroe County

What’s the difference between weather and climate? And if the planet is warming, why is it so cold?  Get the answers to these and many more questions during “Reflections on a Changing Climate,” a free event rescheduled for March 31, hosted by Brodhead Watershed Association in Monroe County.

* Op-Ed: Public Health Imperiled To Aid Dying Coal Industry

By Ed Perry, National Wildlife Federation Global Warming Campaign

* Op-Ed: We Really Do Need To Worry About Climate Change - And Act

By: Lehigh University's Dept. Of Earth And Environmental Sciences Staff

* Penn State Extension: Everybody Walk Across PA And Tour The Natural Wonders Of Pennsylvania

Join Penn State Extension’s Everybody Walk Across PA in a virtual walking program and virtually tour of some of Pennsylvania’s Most Spectacular Natural Wonders! Each week we will feature an exciting location to virtually explore.

* PA Wilds Cooperative Traveling Public Art Show To Be At Capitol In Harrisburg Thru March 28

On March 5, the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. and Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania announced the Creative Makers of the Pennsylvania Wilds – A Traveling Public Art Show will be at the Capitol Building East Wing Gallery in Harrisburg through March 28.

* DCNR: Pennsylvanians Urged To Exercise Caution To Prevent Wildfires

On March 4, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn called upon Pennsylvania residents to exercise wildfire prevention vigilance throughout a three-month period when major fires are most likely across the state’s forests and brush lands.

* DCNR Good Natured Pennsylvanians: Matt Keefer, Assistant State Forester, Named Chesapeake Bay Forest Champion

Matt Keefer, an Assistant State Forester for DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry, who oversees community and private forest stewardship, recently was named a Chesapeake Forest Champion for 2018 by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the U.S. Forest Service for his outstanding efforts to conserve and restore forests within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

* Become A PA Master Naturalist Volunteer In Westmoreland County By Attending Upcoming Workshops

You can become a certified Pennsylvania Master Naturalist volunteer in Westmoreland County and join the growing team of volunteers working locally for nature conservation by attending upcoming training workshops. 

* Volunteers Needed For Western PA Audubon's Earth Day Of Service To The Planet April 20 At 3 Locations

The Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania will hold an Earth Day Of Service To The Planet at 3 locations on April 20 from 9:00 a.m. to Noon.

* Penn State Extension March 22 Rights-Of-Way And Integrated Vegetation Management Workshop In Mercer County

Penn State Extension will host a Rights-Of-Way And Integrated Vegetation Management Workshop on March 22 at the Extension Office in Mercer County at 463 N. Perry Highway in Mercer from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

* March 6 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The March 6 issue of the Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* Landowners, Land Managers, Researchers, Students Encouraged To Participate In New South Mountain Research Corps Survey, April Science Summit

The South Mountain Partnership, the Center for Land Use and Sustainability at Shippensburg University, and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources are launching new South Mountain Research Corps initiative that supports student research on land management projects within the South Mountain Landscape in portions of Adams, Franklin, Cumberland, and York counties.

* Manada Conservancy Protects 44 Acres On Blue Mountain In Dauphin County

Manada Conservancy has protected a 44-acre, fully wooded property along Blue Mountain in Lower Paxton Township in Dauphin County that will be open to the public for hiking and passive enjoyment.

* Brandywine Conservancy Hosts April 3 Land Trusts & Farmland Roundtable In Chester County

Join land trust staff, board members, and volunteers on April 3 at the Brandywine Conservancy for a roundtable discussion about farmland preservation and other farm-related work by land trusts in Chester County.  Discussion topics include--

* PA Environmental Council In Case You Missed It In February Now Available

The In Case You Missed It In February is now available from the PA Environmental Council is now available featuring articles on--

* Love Is In The Air As The Peregrine Falcon Egg Watch Begins In Harrisburg

The Egg Watch is on for the Peregrine Falcons nesting on the Rachel Carson Building in Harrisburg and you can watch everything happen live online.

* Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Spring Hawk Watch Launches April 1

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Berks County invites visitors to look for returning raptors and other migrants during its annual Spring Hawk Watch, held daily April 1 through May 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sanctuary’s famous North Lookout.

* Ice Anglers Urged To Use Caution As Season Comes To Close

As the ice fishing season winds down across many parts of the Commonwealth, the Fish and Boat Commission reminds anglers to use caution when venturing out onto frozen lakes and ponds.

* Game Commission Launches 3rd Online Livestream - Black Bear Den

On March 5, the Game Commission launched its third livestream of the season – video and audio captured at a Monroe County black-bear den and streamed in real time to viewers.

* Annual Game Commission Waterfowl Briefing To Be Held March 15 In Luzerne County

Representatives of waterfowl organizations, interested hunters and the public are invited by the Game Commission to attend a briefing on March 15 on the status of Atlantic Flyway waterfowl populations and proposed federal frameworks for the 2019-20 waterfowl hunting seasons.

* Learn How To Resolve Deer Problems In Your Backyard, Neighborhood At March 25 Seminar In Harrisburg

The Botstiber Institute for Wildlife Fertility Control will host the Pennsylvania Deer Conflict Management Seminar on March 25 at the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg

* DEP Deputy Secretary George Hartenstein To Retire After 37 Years Of Public Service

DEP Deputy Secretary for Waste, Air, Radiation and Remediation George Hartenstein will retire at the end of March after 37 years of public service at the Department of Environmental Protection.

* Help Wanted: PennFuture Director Of Communications

PennFuture is seeking qualified candidates to fill the position of Director of Communications to oversee and manage all public communications, media relations, and communication campaigns.  Click Here for all the details.

* 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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