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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
May 13, 2019 Issue #776
* CBF: Draft PA Water Quality Cleanup Plan Only Makes Two-Thirds Of Required Reductions, Resources Do Not Exist Yet To Implement It

By Harry Campbell, PA Office Executive Director, Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA

* May 22 DEP Citizens Advisory Council Meeting Focuses On Draft PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan

DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council is scheduled to meet on May 22 to hear a presentation on Pennsylvania’s draft Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan by Veronica Kasi, Director of DEP”s Chesapeake Bay Program Office.

* New Laurel Highlands Study Documents $3.7 Billion In Annual Economic, Environmental Benefits From Ecosystem Services; Public Meetings May 14, 15, 16

The Steering Committee of the Laurel Highlands Conservation Landscape will host public meetings on May 14, 15 and 16 to present the results of the Value of Clean Water study examining the costs and benefits of land use choices in the Laurel Highlands Region.

* Senate Environmental Committee Reports Out Renomination Of McDonnell As DEP Secretary With Favorable Recommendation

On May 8, the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee reported out the renomination of Patrick McDonnell as DEP Secretary with a favorable recommendation to the full Senate.

* DEP Secretary McDonnell’s Statement Before Senate Environmental Committee

On May 8, DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell offered this opening statement to members of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee during consideration of his renomination to be Secretary of DEP during Gov. Wolf’s second term.

* Senate Confirms Dunn For DCNR Secretary, Redding As Agriculture Secretary

On April 30, the Senate voted to reconfirm Cindy Adams Dunn as Secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Russell Redding as Secretary of Agriculture.

* Exelon Announces Three Mile Island Will Be Shut Down By Sept. 30, 2019

On May 8, Exelon Generation announced the Three Mile Island Generating Station Unit 1 (TMI) will shut down by Sept. 30, 2019, as previously announced in May 2017.

* House Hearing: Nuclear Bill Worst Of All Worlds For Ratepayers; Won’t Do Anything To Save TMI

At its fourth and so far final hearing on legislation to aid nuclear power plants-- House Bill 11 (Mehaffie-R- Lancaster)-- the House Consumer Affairs Committee heard advocates for residential and small business ratepayers say the bill represents the “worst of all worlds” for ratepayers and “windfall profits” for nuclear power plant owners.

* Senate/House Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Bills To Transition State To 100% Renewable Energy By 2050

On May 7, 88 Republican and Democratic legislators announced the re-introduction of legislation in the General Assembly that would require the Commonwealth to get 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2050.

* Senate Task Force On Lead Announces 5 Bill Package To Require Lead Testing, Reduce Lead Exposure Of Children

On May 7, Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne) and legislative members of the Senate Task Force on Lead Exposure held a press conference to discuss the legislative recommendations that were part of Lead Exposure Risks and Response in Pennsylvania: Report of the Advisory Committee and Task Force on Lead Exposure.

* PA Chapter National Assn. Of Water Companies Honors Sen. Tomlinson With James McGirr Kelly Award For Excellence

On May 7, the PA Chapter of the National Association of Water Companies recognized Sen. Robert M. “Tommy” Tomlinson (R-Bucks) with its James McGirr Kelly Award for Excellence. 

* Northeast Environmental Partners Now Accepting Award Nominations

The Northeast Environmental Partners are now accepting nominations for the Northeastern PA Environmental Partnership Awards; the Thomas P. Shelburne Award and the Emerging Environmental Leader Award.  Nominations must be postmarked no later than June 30.

* 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/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. Yaw To Introduce Bill To Regulate Application Of Lawn Fertilizer, Certify Applicators

On May 7, Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) announced his intent to introduce legislation to regulate the application of lawn fertilizer and to certify fertilizer applicators as a way to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus nutrient pollution in Pennsylvania’s rivers and streams.

* Senate Committee Advances Bill To Increase Coal Refuse Energy & Reclamation Tax Credit To $45 Million/Year

On May 8, the Senate Finance Committee reported out Senate Bill 618 (Argall-R-Schuylkill, Yudichak-D-Luzerne) to increase the Coal Refuse Energy and Reclamation Tax from $10 to $45 million a year.

* House Committee Hears Concerns About Regional Consistency, Timeframes In Permit Reviews; DEP Taking Steps To Address Issues

On May 8, the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held an informational meeting to hear from the regulated community on their experiences with DEP’s permit review processes.

* Senate Committee Approves Bill To Authorize Game Commission To Set Its Own Fees

On May 7, the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee amended and reported out Senate Bill 552 (Stefano-R-Fayette) to authorize the Game Commission to set its own license fees.

* Agenda - House Environmental Committee To Hold Info Meeting May 14 On Demand Response Industry In PA

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to hold an informational meeting May 14 on the demand response industry in Pennsylvania.

* Coldwater Heritage Partnership Distributes $75,000 In Grants; New Grant Round Opens In Sept.

The Coldwater Heritage Partnership has announced more than $75,000 in grants have been awarded to local organizations to protect and conserve Pennsylvania’s coldwater streams.

* PA American Water Awards $40,000 In Local Watershed Grants To 8 Organizations

On May 9, Pennsylvania American Water announced 8 watershed-related projects in its service territory will receive a total of $40,000 in financial support through the company’s 2019 Environmental Grant Program for their community-based projects that improve, restore or protect watersheds.

* NRCS-PA Now Accepting Applications For Conservation Innovation Grants

On May 10, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service-PA announced up to $250,000 of funding available in Pennsylvania for Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG).  The deadline for applications is July 7.

* Perseverance Pays Off In The Potts Run Watershed, Clearfield County

By Rachel Kester, Trout Unlimited Project Coordinator

* Opportunity To Rehabilitate DEP’s Antrim Mine Drainage Treatment Plant In Tioga County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the May 11 PA Bulletin soliciting interest/cost proposals to carry out the rehabilitation of the Antrim Mine Drainage Treatment Plant in Duncan Township, Tioga County. (PA Bulletin, page 2401)

* Volunteers Plant 400 Trees To Help Improve Water Quality, Habitat For Native Trout In Lackawanna County

The weather cooperated and helped 20 North Pocono CARE volunteers plant about 400 low-height shrubs along Choke Creek in Thornhurst Township in Lackawanna County on MY 4.

* Pike Conservation District Homeowner Tips To Protect Clean Water Workshop June 20

The Pike County Conservation District will host a free Homeowner Tips to Protect Clean Water Workshop on June 20, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., at the Dingman Township Fire Hall, 680 Log Tavern Road in Milford.

* PA Land Trust Assn.: New Guide To Working With Nature To Manage Stormwater

The PA Land Trust Association has just published a new Working With Nature To Manage Stormwater Guide to help communities use green infrastructure to reduce pollution and flooding caused by stormwater runoff.

* DEP Extends Comment Period On Draft Tohickon Creek Stream Evaluation, Bucks County

The Department of Environmental Protection is extending the public comment period on a draft Tohickon Creek Stream Evaluation Report to July 11. The comment period was originally scheduled to end on May 13.  (formal notice)

* Celebrate Drinking Water Week In Pennsylvania May 5-11

On April 30, the Senate unanimously passed Senate Resolution 92 recognizing the importance of safe and clean drinking water by declaring May 5 through the 11 Drinking Water Week in Pennsylvania.

* Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Water Partnership Education Van Gets Makeover For Drinking Water Week

The Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership tackles projects that improve local water quality and provides environmental education to communities in Northeast Philadelphia and Montgomery County.

* PUC Recognizes Drinking Water Week In Pennsylvania

On May 9, the Public Utility Commission highlighted May 5 through May 11 as “Drinking Water Week” in the Commonwealth as part of an ongoing effort to increase awareness about the importance of water and water conservation.

* Insurance Commissioner Highlights Importance Of Flood Insurance

On May 7, Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman joined state agencies and hurricane experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on an East Coast tour at Harrisburg International Airport to raise awareness of the impacts from tropical cyclone threats and the danger of being caught without a natural disaster preparedness plan.

* PA Sea Grant Looking For PA Educators To Participate In Great Lakes Educator Program

The Center for Great Lakes Literacy Educator Program for formal and informal educators of students in grades 4-12 is looking for more Pennsylvania teachers to participate in the program.  The deadline to apply is May 15.

* Erie Times-News Connect With Your Environment: Benefits Of Trees Are Tree-mendous

The latest issue of Connect With Your Environment in the Erie Times-News features an In Life and in the environment -- “Benefits Of Trees Are Tree-mendous” edition.

* DEP’s Latest Teaching Green Environmental Ed Newsletter Now Available

The Teaching Green Environmental Education newsletter from the Department of Environmental Protection is now available featuring stories about--

* Deadline For Submitting Great American Cleanup Of PA Video Contest Entries June 7; Public Helps Choose Winners

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is reminding participants in the Great American Cleanup of PA the deadline for submissions to this year's Video Contest is June 7.

* Volunteers Needed For Schuylkill Action Network Scrub & Pub Cleanup Event May 16 In Montgomery County

The Schuylkill Action Network is seeking volunteers for the Scrub and Pub Cleanup Event in Upper Merion Township, Montgomery County on May 16 (rain date May 23).

* New Report Finds Mon Valley Near Pittsburgh Has Worst Air Quality In PA

On May 2, Clean Water Action released a new report concluding the Mon Valley near Pittsburgh has the worst air quality in Pennsylvania based on the history of federal Clean Air Act violations over the last 12 years.

* DEP Cites Erie (Coal) Coke For Numerous Unresolved Air Quality Violations

On May 10, the Department of Environmental Protection sent a letter notifying Erie Coke Corporation that its numerous unresolved air quality violations and its lack of intention or ability to comply have been placed on DEP’s Air Compliance Docket.

* DEP Collected $330,775 In Penalties For Violations At EQT Drilling Sites In Allegheny County

On May 6, the Department of Environmental Protection announced it has collected $330,775 in civil penalties from EQT Production Company for violations at its Prentice and Fetchen well sites in Forward Township, Allegheny County.

* PUC Formally Publishes Procedure For Approving Alternative Utility Rate Proposals

The Public Utility Commission formally published its Implementation Order for Act 58 of 2018, putting in place procedures through which utilities may seek Commission approval of applications establishing alternative rates and rate mechanisms in future base rate proceedings in the May 11 PA Bulletin.

* DEP Awards Nearly $1 Million In Pollution, Energy Use Reduction Grants To 201 Small Businesses

On May 8, the Department of Environmental Protection announced the award of nearly $1 million in Small Business Advantage Grants to 201 small businesses to help them reduce energy use and pollution.

* Pittsburgh 2030 District 2018 Progress Report Reception May 23

Join the Green Building Alliance on May 23 as they unveil Pittsburgh 2030 District’s annual progress towards 50 percent reductions in water, energy, and transportation emissions from participating buildings.

* Health, DCNR, DEP: Watch Out For Ticks, Lyme Disease As Weather Warms

On May 9, officials from the departments of Health, Environmental Protection and Conservation and Natural Resources highlighted the state’s tick surveillance program and offered tips on how residents can protect themselves from tick bites.

* Pike County Commissioners Recognize Mikki Weiss For Her Work On Tick Borne Diseases Task Force

On May 10, the Pike County Commissioners announced they presented volunteer Mikki Weiss with an award in recognition of her work, time and effort devoted to establishing the Pike County Tick Borne Diseases Task Force.

* Agriculture, USDA, Penn State Tour Lancaster County Highlighting Efforts To Battle Spotted Lanternfly

On the heels of the first Spotted Lanternfly hatch of the season, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding was joined by representatives from USDA and Penn State to talk about efforts to contain this destructive pest in Lancaster on May 8.

* Penn State Extension Sets 4 More Public Meetings On Spotted Lanternfly

Penn State Extension Service will host 4  additional public meetings on the spotted lanternfly, the invasive insect that has spread throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and surrounding states and presents a significant threat to Pennsylvania agriculture, including the grape, tree-fruit, hardwood and nursery industries.

* DCNR Bureau Of Forestry Offers Reward For Suspicious Wildfires In Luzerne County

Officials from the DCNR Bureau Of Forestry are seeking the public's help in their investigation of suspicious wildfires that scorched dozens of acres in Luzerne County in early April.

* Capital Area Greenbelt Hosts May 18 Forest Restoration Tour & Discussion In Harrisburg

On May 18 the Capital Area Greenbelt will host a Forest Restoration Tour and Discussion on invasive species and native woodland plants.

* Penn State Extension: Diversity In Urban Tree Plantings May 21 Webinar

The Penn State Extension Community Forestry Management Program will host a Thinking Beyond The Backyard: Diversity In Urban Tree Plantings webinar on May 21 from Noon to 1:00 p.m.

* Penn State Extension: Managing Invasive Plant Species Workshop July 24 In Allentown

Penn State Extension will host a Managing Invasive Plant Species Workshop on July 24 at Upper Macungie Station 56, 6510 Schantz Road in Allentown from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

* PennDOT Launches New Pollinator Habitat Plan; Adopt And Beautify For Pollinators Program For Citizens Who Want To Help

PennDOT has expanded its popular Adopt A Highway Program to now include an Adopt And Beautify For Pollinators Program to provide volunteers with the opportunity to support pollinator conservation by adopting, planting and maintaining Pollinator Habitat sites.

* PA Horticultural Society Accepting 2019 Gardening Contest Nominations

The PA Horticultural Society encourages non-professional gardeners from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware to enter their beloved green spaces in the 2019 PHS Gardening Contest. The deadline for entries is June 7.

* Chamber Of Commerce Hosts Hike Cameron County June 1

The Cameron County Chamber Of Commerce will again host Hike Cameron County on June 1 to celebrate National Trails Day.

* Manada Conservancy Highmark Walk For A Healthy Community May 18 In Harrisburg

The Manada Conservancy is participating in the Highmark Walk For A Healthy Community one mile and 5K walk on May 18 starting at the Harrisburg Area Community College Campus in Harrisburg.  You can--

* Still Time To Register For June 9 French Creek Iron Tour Cycling For Open Space In Chester County

Over 1,000 riders are expected to ride in the French Creek Iron Tour “Cycling for Open Space” event on June 9, starting at the Kimberton Fire Company Fairgrounds, 762 Pike Springs Road, Phoenixville, Chester County.

* PA Environmental Council In Case You Missed It In April

The PA Environmental Council’s In Case You Missed It In April is now available featuring stories about--

* PA Resources Council, Allegheny CleanWays Host Wild & Scenic Film Festival In Pittsburgh June 1

The PA Resources Council is partnering with Allegheny CleanWays to again host the 5th Annual Pittsburgh Wild & Scenic Film Festival presented by SYRCL (South Yuba River Citizens League) in Pittsburgh on June 1 at the PNC Theatre At Pittsburgh Playhouse.

* Hawk Mountain Sanctuary 14th Annual Arts Tour & Sale June 1, Berks County

All roads lead to local artists on the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Arts Tour and Sale on June 1 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Now in its 14th year, the tour includes more than 40 artists and businesses with the satellite location hosted by the Hamburg Arts Alliance.

* Songbird-Body Changes Allowing Migration May Have Human Health Implications

By Jeff Mulhollem, Penn State News

* Help Wanted: Berks Conservation District Administrative Assistant

The Berks County Conservation District is seeking an Administrative Assistant who will be responsible for all the secretarial and receptionist duties.

* 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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* Sponsor: 2019 PA/National Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference

PA Environment Digest is proud to be a sponsor of the 2019 PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation and National Abandoned Mine Lands Program Conference to be held in Pittsburgh on September 8-11.

* Supporting Member PA Outdoor Writers Assn./PA Trout Unlimited

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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