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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
March 25, 2019 Issue #769
* PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Planning Steering Committee Workgroup Estimates Funding Gap Of $1.467 Billion Over Next 6 Years

The Funding Workgroup of the PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan Steering Committee estimated an annual funding gap of $244.5 million over at least the next 6 years totaling $1.467 billion to implement practices needed to meet Pennsylvania’s Bay cleanup obligations .

* Growing Greener Coalition Urges New Investment In Restoring The Environment, Preventing Flooding, No Backsliding On Existing Funding

On March 20, the Growing Greener Coalition wrote to members of the Senate, House and to Gov. Wolf urging them to make new investments in restoring the environment and preventing flooding and not to back away from funding commitments they have already made.

* Growing Greener Coalition Issues Call To Action To Make New Investments In Restoring The Environment, Oppose Backsliding

On March 22, the Growing Greener Coalition issued a call to action to the public to urge members of the Senate and House and Gov. Wolf to make new investments in restoring the environment and preventing flooding and not to back away from funding commitments they have already made.

* House Committee To Consider Bills To Compensate Landowners For Drilling Rights If DRBC Adopts Fracking Ban, Change Well Pad Permitting March 26

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to meet on March 26 to consider a bill requiring compensation to landowners for their drilling rights if the Delaware River Basin Commission adopts a ban on fracking and 2 other bills--

* House Environmental Committee Holds Info Meeting March 27 On Debunking Modern Myths Surrounding Climate Change

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee will hold an information meeting March 27 to hear a presentation on “factually debunking some of the modern myths surrounding the “climate change” discussion.”

* Op-Ed: Trout Unlimited Supports Common Sense Federal Energy Innovation & Carbon Dividend Act

By Chris Wood, President & CEO Of Trout Unlimited

* Op-Ed: Science, Panic And Politics Of Climate Change

By Dr. Richard Kaplan

* Phipps' Center For Sustainable Landscapes In Pittsburgh First Project In World To Be Awarded SITES Platinum Certification

On March 21, the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens announced the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) is the first project in the world to be certified at the Platinum level under the Sustainable SITES Initiative (SITES) v2 Rating System.

* Sustainable Pittsburgh Announces Winners Of Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge

On March 21, Sustainable Pittsburgh revealed the winners of the 2018-2019 Sustainable Pittsburgh (SP) Challenge during a celebration at PNC Park on the North Shore.

* Westmoreland Conservation District To Receive Governor's Environmental Excellence Award

The Westmoreland Conservation District has been selected as one of 18 statewide recipients of the 2019 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in Pennsylvania.

* Award-Winning Master Watershed Steward Projects Across Pennsylvania

The Penn State Extension Master Watershed Steward Program partnered with the PA Environmental Council to host the Statewide Watershed Conference in February.

* Ted Evgeniadis, Lower Susquehanna RiverKeeper, Recognized By York County Master Watershed Stewards

The Penn State Master Watershed Stewards in York County presented Ted Evgeniadis, the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, with the 2018 Outstanding Partner Award at their MWS Winter Celebration in February.

* DCNR Good Natured Pennsylvanians: Jodi Sulpizio, York County Watershed Steward

Jodi Sulpizio’s love of nature and the environment began as a child, roaming around the surrounding forests, fields, and streams of her grandparent’s farm

* Fayette County Boy Scout Peter Livengood Awarded William T. Hornaday Silver Medal For Conservation

Peter Livengood, a 12th grade student from Fayette County, was recently notified he has been awarded the Boy Scouts of America William T. Hornaday Silver Medal for Conservation for completing 4 major conservation projects in and around his community.

* Op-Ed: Will Our Dirt Roads Again Be Used As Dumping Sites For Oil & Gas Well Wastewater

By Siri Lawson, Farmington Township, Warren County

* 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

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 Committee Reports Out Bill Creating Flood Insurance Premium Assistance Task Force

On March 18, the House Insurance Committee amended and reported out House Bill 328 (Warren-D- Bucks) establishing a Flood Insurance Premium Assistance Task Force (sponsor summary).

* House Environmental Committee Reports Out Bill Allowing Cross Unit Drilling Under Several Properties, Voluntary Pooling

On March 19, the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee amended and reported out House Bill 247 (Oberlander-R-Clarion) to allow cross unit unconventional drilling.

* PA Parks & Forests Foundation Tells House Committee: State Parks & Forests Are The Golden Egg, But We’re Starving The Goose

On March 19, PA Parks and Forests Foundation President Marci Mowery reviewed the details of the Foundation’s new report on the more than $1 billion in infrastructure maintenance needs at state parks and forests at a meeting of the House Tourism and Recreational Development Committee.

* Presenters Urge House Committee To Support Bill Compensating Landowners For Drilling Rights If DRBC Adopts A Fracking Ban

On March 20, the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee heard from witnesses in support of legislation to allow for the compensation of landowners for drilling rights they are prevented from exercising by the proposed fracking ban being considered by the Delaware River Basin Commission.

* Joint Conservation Committee Meeting Highlights Initiatives To Boost Bicycle Tourism Along PA Route 6

On March 19, the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee hosted an informational meeting to provide updates on projects along the PA Route 6 corridor which aim to enhance bicycle tourism across the state.

* UPDATED: Bill Authorizing Fish & Boat Commission To Set Own Fees To Be Considered By House Committee On March 26

The House Game and Fisheries Committee is scheduled to meet on March 26 to consider House Bill 808 (Mehaffie-R-Dauphin) authorizing the Fish and Boat Commission to set its own fees for 3 years (sponsor summary).

* Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership: Call Your House Member To Support Bill To Allow Fish & Boat Commission To Adopt Its Own Fees

On March 22, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership issued a call to the public to contact their House member to support House Bill 808 (Mehaffie-R- Dauphin) authorizing the Fish and Boat Commission to set its own fees.

* Senate Agriculture Committee Holds Hearing On Redding As Secretary Of Agriculture April 9

The Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee is scheduled to meet on April 9 to consider the re-confirmation of Russell Redding as Secretary of Agriculture.

* Conservation District Leader From PA Presses Case For Strong Federal Conservation Funding In DC

On March 13, conservation district officials from across the nation descended upon the nation’s capital as part of the National Association of Conservation District’s 2019 Spring Fly-In, including Kelly Stagen, PA Association of Conservation Districts Secretary and North East Region Director and Pike County Conservation District board member.

* PA Receives $53.8 Million In 2019 Federal Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Funds, Reclamation Fee Due To Expire

On March 19, the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement announced Pennsylvania will receive $53,846,935 in Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation funding.

* PA Projects Receive Over $1.7 Million In Federal Delaware River Watershed Restoration Grants

On March 22, the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed announced the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation jointly awarded the first round of 25 Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund grants totaling $4,140,000 in federal funds.

* Susquehanna National Heritage Area Officially Designated By Congress

The Susquehanna Heritage Area in Lancaster and York counties received official designation as a National Heritage Area with the passage and signing of the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act this month.

* Updated Agency-By-Agency Regulatory Agenda Published By Governor’s Office

On March 23, the Governor’s Office published an updated agency-by-agency Regulatory Agenda listing regulations agencies are in the process of developing and adopting. (March 23 PA Bulletin, page 1461)

* DCNR Good Natured Blog: Making Progress Toward A Goal Of Planting More Trees Along Streams

One sure sign that spring is arriving in Pennsylvania is the appearance of people planting trees along streams.

* CBF-PA: Media Invited To Paddle Along As Students Explore Local PA Waterways

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA invites media representatives to join local students, grades 6 through 12, for a day of watershed exploration with the Susquehanna Watershed Environmental Education Program (SWEEP).

* Penn State Brook Trout Researchers Featured In New Expedition Chesapeake Film

By Jeff Mulhollem, Penn State News

* Bay Journal: Exelon, Maryland Spar Over Who Is Responsible For Nutrients Passing Over Conowingo Dam

By Karl Blankenship, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* NFWF Accepting Applications For Delaware Watershed Restoration Grants

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is accepting proposals for 2 Delaware River Watershed Restoration Grant Programs.  The deadline for applications is April 11.

* Penn State Water Insights Seminar March 26: Seeking Opportunities To Reduce The Impact Of Flood Events

The Penn State Environment and Natural Resources Institute will host another in its series of Water Insights Seminars on March 26 on Seeking Opportunities to Reduce the Impact Of Flood Events In Urban Areas.

* Penn State Extension: Spring’s A Good Time To Do Pond Inspections

If you are a pond owner, early spring is a good time to take a walk around your pond and check to see if any maintenance is needed.

* PA Rural Water Assn. Will Hold Annual Conference March 26-29 In State College, Including Seminar On Zebra Mussels, Algal Blooms

The PA Rural Water Association will hold its 2019 Annual Conference March 26-29 at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center in State College.

* EQB Invites Comments On Changes To Class A Stream Redesignations, April 26 Hearing Set

The Environmental Quality Board published notice in the March 23 PA Bulletin of proposed changes to Class A Stream Redesignations in 19 counties. (PA Bulletin, page 1367)

* PA Green Colleges Hold Conference On Sustainable Development Goals And Higher Education April 9 In State College

The PA Environmental Resources Consortium-- PA's Green Colleges-- hold a Conference on Sustainable Development and Higher Education on April 9 in the HUB Center on Penn State's University Park campus.

* Pennsylvania Seeks Volunteers For Statewide Spring Cleanup, Beautification Effort

On March 19, Department of Transportation and Department of Environmental Protection are seeking volunteers for this year's Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania, a campaign of statewide community cleanup activities that runs through May 31.

* Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy Stream Cleanup Set For April 6 In Montgomery County

The Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy’s 2019 Steam Cleanup is now the largest single day stream clean-up in the state of Pennsylvania!

* PA Resources Council, Partners Hold Reuse Fest As Part Of FutureFest April 20 In Allegheny County

The PA Resources Council and its partners will hold the Reuse Fest on April 20 at Buhl Park in Pittsburgh from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

* May 14 DEP Hearing On Proposed RACT II Air Quality Plan For Specialty Tires Plant, Indiana County

The Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled a public hearing on the proposed RACT II Air Quality Plan for the Speciality Tires Plant in Indiana for May 14. (PA Bulletin, page 1420)

* Hearing May 14 On Proposed DEP RACT II Air Quality Plan For Texas Eastern Compressor Plant In Cambria County

The Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled a public hearing on the proposed RACT II Air Quality Plan for the Texas Eastern Compressor Plant in Cambria County for May 14. (PA Bulletin, page 1421)

* March 27 DEP Meeting On Proposed Drilling Permits At U.S. Steel's Edgar Thomson Plant, Allegheny County

On March 21, Department of Environmental Protection announced it will hold a public meeting March 27 to present information and answer questions on the applications for permits for natural gas drilling on U.S. Steel Corporation’s Edgar Thomson Plant.

* PUC Pipeline Safety Investigation Underway Involving Possible Sunoco Gasoline Pipeline Leak In Berks County On March 17

In response to reports of a possible gasoline pipeline leak in Berks County on March 17, a safety investigation is underway involving the Bureau of Investigation & Enforcement (I&E) – the independent investigation and enforcement bureau of the Public Utility Commission.

* Dueling Press Conferences Pit Opponents Of Mariner East Pipeline Against Those Supporting Pipeline Development

On March 19, the Capitol in Harrisburg was the scene of dueling press conferences between opponents of the Mariner East Pipelines and those supporting pipeline development.

* PJM: Reliability, Fuel Supply Strong In PJM During 2018-19 Winter

On March 18, the PJM electrical grid came through the 2018–2019 winter reliably in the face of extreme temperatures and high electricity demand.

* Community Solar Legislative Forum April 3 In Wilkes-Barre

On April 3 there will be a Community Solar Legislative Forum at the Arnaud C. Marts Center, Room 214 at Wilkes University, 292 S. Franklin Street in Wilkes-Barre starting at 7:00 p.m.

* Greater Philadelphia Society Of Women Environmental Professionals Accepting Applications For Scholarships

The Greater Philadelphia Society Of Women Environmental Professionals is now accepting applications for two $3,000 college scholarships for outstanding women studying to pursue environmental careers.  The deadline for applications is May 15.

* Capital Chapter Society Of Women Environmental Professionals Annual Conference April 25

The Capital Chapter Society of Women Environmental Professionals will hold their Annual Conference on April 25 at Central Penn College, 600 College Hill Road in Summerdale, Cumberland County.

* The Energy Co-op’s Alexandra Kroger Appointed Philadelphia WRISE Chapter President

The Energy Co-op’s Energy Program Manager Alexandra Kroger was recently appointed president of the Philadelphia Chapter of Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE).

* DCNR Conservation & Natural Resources Advisory Council Meets March 27 To Discuss Update To PA Outdoor Recreation Plan

DCNR’s Conservation and Natural Resources Advisory Council is scheduled to meet on March 27 to discuss the update to the 2014-19 PA Outdoor Recreation Plan.

* William Penn Foundation Announced Creative Communities Grant Awards Totaling $2.6 Million

On March 18, the William Penn Foundation announced the award of $2.6 million Creative Community Grants to support equitable access to great public spaces.

* Pike County Outdoors Guide For Sportsmen, Outdoor Enthusiasts Now Available

On March 20, the Pike County Commissioners announce publication of Pike Outdoors, a Public Lands Guide for Sportsmen and Outdoor Enthusiasts.

* Wildlands Conservancy Highlights Educational Programs, Activities Coming Up In April

The Lehigh Valley-based Wildlands Conservancy highlighted education programs and activities coming up in April, including--

* Fort Indiantown Gap Begins Spring 2019 Prescribed Burn Season In Lebanon County

Fort Indiantown Gap has begun its spring prescribed burn season to reduce the risk of wildfires at Fort Indiantown Gap, Lebanon County.

* DCNR Good Natured Blog: Native Plant Conservation Gets Renewed Focus In PA, Meeting April 26

Recall a time that you were out in nature. Perhaps walking along a wooded trail, or even enjoying an urban greenspace. You probably noticed the animals that inhabit that space; an American robin singing above in the tree canopy; squirrels gathering acorns for the not-so-long winter.

* March 20 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The March 20 Resource newsletter from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is now available featuring articles on--

* Game Commission: 2018-19 Deer Harvest At 374,690 Largest Since 2004-05

On March 19, the Game Commission reported Pennsylvania hunters posted their highest overall deer harvest in 14 years when they took 374,690 deer during the state’s 2018-19 hunting seasons, which closed in January.

* Wildlife Honors Students Get Hands-On Experience In Pennsylvania’s Elk Range

By Steve Harmic, Penn State News

* Peregrine Falcon Nests: Pittsburgh - 4 Eggs, Harrisburg- 3 Eggs; Egg Watch On For PPL Building In Allentown

The peregrine falcons nesting on buildings in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Allentown are in different stages of nesting and laying eggs this season.

* Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Kicks Off Spring Migration Season With Raptorthon March 30

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Berks County will launch this upcoming spring migration season by participating in the 2019 Raptorthon on March 30 hosted by Hawk Migration Association of North America (HMANA).

* PA Environmental Council Welcomes Trails Program Manager Brett Hollern

On March 20, the PA Environmental Council named veteran trail developer Brett Hollern as the newest member of its Trails and Recreation team.

* 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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