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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
June 3, 2019 Issue #779
(6/3/2019)
* Analysis: Before More State Forest Drilling, Ask What Happened To The Money The First Time

Before authorizing more drilling on DCNR’s State Forest land, let’s remember what the General Assembly did with the upfront revenues from State Forest Shale gas drilling authorized by Gov. Rendell in 2008-2009-- they immediately took the money to fill holes in the General Fund budget and it was never seen again.

* CBF: Pennsylvania Has Failed To Uphold Its Promise To Reduce Pollution Going To The Chesapeake Bay

On May 28, a new Chesapeake Bay Foundation report examining the state of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint found both good and bad news. 

* House Hearing Highlighted Need For Planned Public Safety Response To Pipelines

On May 30, the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee held a hearing in Media, Delaware County which highlighted both the regulations designed to make pipelines a safe way to transport product and the need to have an emergency response plan in the event of a leak.

* Marcellus Shale Coalition, Lycoming County Leaders: Natural Gas Impact Tax Works for Pennsylvania’s Communities

On May 30, the Marcellus Shale Coalition, Williamsport/Lycoming County Chamber of Commerce, Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, and leaders from across the region gathered in Williamsport to discuss the significant benefits this tax has delivered to communities and how additional energy taxes threaten those meaningful benefits.

* IFO: First Quarter Natural Gas Production Grew 14.7 Percent In Pennsylvania

On May 31, the Independent Fiscal Office released its quarterly report on natural gas production in Pennsylvania which found total production grew 14.7 percent during the first quarter of 2019 to over 1.653 trillion cubic feet, compared to the first quarter of 2018.

* PA Supreme Court Allows Residents Of Other Municipalities To Testify In Local Zoning Cases Involving Drilling Operations

On May 31, the PA Supreme Court issued an opinion allowing a municipality considering a local zoning permit for a gas drilling operation to take first-hand evidence and testimony of residents from another municipality with respect to the impacts to their health, quality of life and property from a similar drilling operation.

* Senate Environmental Committee To Consider Bills June 4 To Compensate Gas Rights Owners, Make Changes In Definition Of Pollution

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to meet June 4 to consider a number of significant and controversial bills in opposition to the fracking moratorium in the Delaware Watershed, nutrient reduction procurement legislation and a bill that would loosen the requirements for reporting spills and redefine what constitutes pollution under the state Clean Streams Law.

* Senate Environmental Committee Holds June 5 Hearing On Third Party Review Of DEP Permits

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on June 5 to discuss third party view of DEP’s Chapter 102 (Erosion and Sedimentation) and Chapter 105 (Dam Safety and Encroachment) permits.

* Pittsburgh 2030 District Achieves 2020 Goals Ahead Of Schedule; Members Saved $135 Million Since 2012

The Pittsburgh 2030 District has achieved its 2020 targets for energy and transportation, surpassing critical milestones in the international 2030 Challenge, according to the District’s 2018 Progress Report. The success marks the first time a 2030 District has incorporated renewable energy districtwide.

* Analysis: What If The Senate And House Had To Adopt Laws Like DEP Adopts Regulations?

There’s been lots of political rhetoric lately about the need to make agencies like the Department of Environmental Protection more “accountable” by making them more “transparent” and about how DEP “sneaks” through regulations. 

* Stories/Photos/Videos About Summer Interns Wanted! PA Environment Digest

Do you have student interns working and learning at your environmental, conservation organization or agency this summer?

* 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--

* Senate Appropriations To Consider Bills Allowing Game, Fish & Boat Commissions To Adopt Own License Fees June 3

The Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to meet on June 3 to consider bills authorizing the Game and Fish and Boat Commissions to adopt their own license fees for 3 years.  The bills include--

* House Environmental Committee Holds Info Meeting June 5 On Using Act 13 Impact Fee Monies For Stormwater Management

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to meet on June 5 to hold an informational meeting on House Bill 781 (Boback-R-Luzerne) amends Act 13 of 2012 to more specifically authorize the use of Act 13 drilling impact fees for stormwater management by counties (sponsor summary).

* Senate Agriculture Committee To Meet June 5 On Farm Conservation, Noxious Weed, Other Bills

The Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee is scheduled to meet on June 5 to consider farm conservation other agriculture bills, including-- 

* House Agriculture Committee Meets June 5 To Consider Farm Conservation Bills

The House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee is scheduled to meet June 5 to consider several bipartisan farm conservation bills that are part of Gov. Wolf’s PA Farm Bill proposal.  The bills include--

* House Game & Fisheries Committee Meets June 5 On Enforcing Safety Warnings For Low-Head Dams

The House Game and Fisheries Committee is scheduled to meet on June 5 to consider House Bill 1003 (Gillespie-R-York) further providing for the enforcement of safety markings for low head or run-of-the-river dams (sponsor summary).

* Joint Budget & Finance Committee To Release Performance Evaluation Of DEP’s Chapter 102 & 105 Permit Programs June 19

The Joint Legislative Budget & Finance Committee is scheduled to meet on June 19 to release an independent performance evaluations of  DEP’s Chapter 102 and 105 Permit Programs required by Senate Resolution 226 (Yudichak-D-Luzerne).

* House Environmental, Local Government Committees To Hold Hearing June 19 On MS4 Stormwater Pollution Reduction Compliance

The House Environmental Resources and Energy and Local Government Committees are scheduled to hold a joint hearing on June 19 to hear testimony from local government associations on MS4 Stormwater Pollution Reduction compliance.

* Republican Senators To Introduce Bills To Eliminate Parts Of PA's Vehicle Emissions Testing Program

On May 30, Senators Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland), Wayne Langerholc (R-Bedford), Pat Stefano (R-Fayette), Elder Vogel (R-Beaver), and Michele Brooks (R-Crawford) announced they are introducing a package of legislation to eliminate parts of the state's Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program.

* May Newsletter Now Available From Joint Conservation Committee

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

* EPA Issues Low-RVP Gasoline Waiver For Allegheny County Due To A Failure In The Buckeye Laurel Pipeline

On May 29, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency notified the Allegheny County Health Department it has issued a waiver for enforcement of the low-Reid Vapor Pressure gasoline requirement in the Allegheny County until June 17 due to a failure in the Buckeye Laurel Pipeline.

* Southwestern PA Water Resource Center Hosts 5 Workshops On Stormwater, Flooding In June, July

The Southwestern PA Commission’s Water Resource Center and its partners will host a series of 5 workshops in June and July on a variety of critical stormwater pollution reduction and flooding topics.  The workshops include--

* UPDATED: West Branch Susquehanna Restoration Coalition To Discuss Federal AML Fund Fee Reauthorization At June 11 Meeting In Cambria County

UPDATED: For reasons outside of their control, the tour of the DEP's Cresson AMD Treatment Facility and the picnic must be postponed. The business meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. on June 11 at a new location: Clearfield County Conservation District Office, 6395 Clearfield Woodland Hwy #2, Clearfield.

* June 4 Clean Water Action Lobby Day In Harrisburg To Protect Drinking Water

On June 4 Clean Water Action will host a lobby day in Harrisburg to draw attention to the need to protect drinking water sources from lead and PFAS contamination.

* Third Annual Susquehanna River Rally Set For June 15 In Harrisburg

Help raise awareness of the threats to Pennsylvania's waterways and drinking water at the 3rd Annual Susquehanna River Rally on June 15 from 1:00 to 3:00 from City Island in Harrisburg.

* Westmoreland Conservation District Hosts Next Generation Farm Summit June 19

The Westmoreland Conservation District will host a Next Generation Farm Summit on June 19 where farmers and would-be farmers can learn about all of these things and more.

* Stroud Water Research Center: Dr. Ruth Patrick, Pioneer In Science: The Conestoga River Study June 3

The Stroud Water Research Center will host a special program June 3 on Dr. Ruth Patrick, A Pioneer In Science and the Woman Behind the Conestoga River Study at the Ware Center in Lancaster starting at 6:00 p.m.

* Make Plans To Go To Lancaster County’s Water Week Events June 1-8

The Lancaster Conservancy and many partners will hold their annual Lancaster Water Week education and action events from June 1 to 8.

* Students, Experience Your Environment Through Conservation (EYE Con) Institute June 17-20, June 26-28

EYE Con provides a fun, hands-on STEM opportunity for high school students grades 9 to 12 (as well as graduating seniors) to experience conservation science while earning college credit.

* DCNR Good Natured Pennsylvanians: Elisa Sarantschin, NaturePHL

Elisa Sarantschin, director of NaturePHL, is helping Philadelphia’s children and families achieve better health through activity in local parks, trails, and green spaces.

* June 22 5th Annual Great Outdoor Picnic In Centre County To Introduce Kids To Outdoor Sports

The Wildlife For Everyone Foundation and the PA Federation of Sportsmen and Conservationists will are hosting the 5th Annual Great Outdoor Picnic at Penn's Cave & Wildlife Park in Centre Hall, Centre County from 11:00 to 4:00 p.m.

* Erie Times-News Connect With Your Environment: Children’s Water Festival

The latest issue of Connect With Your Environment in the Erie Times-News features an overview of the Children’s Water Festival at the Penn State Behrend campus in Erie.

* President’s Environmental Youth Award Program Now Accepting Nominations

Nominations are now being accepted by the President’s Environmental Youth Award Program to recognize outstanding environmental projects by K-12 youth. The deadline for nominations is December 15.

* DEP To Hold July 17 Hearing [If Requested] On Lord Corp. RACT II Air Quality Plan In Crawford County

The Department of Environmental Protection is inviting comments and will hold a hearing on the RACT II Air Quality Plan for the Lord Corporation facility in Saegertown Borough, Crawford County on July 17, if a hearing is requested. (June 1 PA Bulletin, page 2785)

* DEP Proposes To Issue Water Quality Certification, Chapter 102, 105 Permits For West Loop Natural Gas Pipeline In Beaver, Lawrence Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection published notices in the June 1 PA Bulletin (page 2786) proposing to issue the Section 401 Water Quality Certification and the Chapter 102 (Erosion and Sedimentation) and Chapter 105 (Encroachments) permits for the proposed West Loop Natural Gas Pipeline by Dominion Energy Transmission.

* PUC Investigation Of Natural Gas Explosion In Clarion County Includes Nearby Pipelines

On May 31, the Public Utility Commission's Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement announced it is continuing to investigate a reported natural gas explosion in Clarion County involving a home and adjacent greenhouse.

* DEP Opportunity To Bid On Gas Well Plugging Project In Clarion County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the June 1 PA Bulletin of the opportunity to bid on a gas well plugging project in Clarion County.

* PUC Underground Utility Damage Prevention Committee Imposes $78,700 In Penalties For Violations

On May 30, the Public Utility Commission announced the PA One Call Damage Prevention Committee imposed a total of 97 disciplinary actions, including $78,700 in administrative penalties against 48 underground facility owners, excavators and project owners who violated pipeline and utility line protection requirements.

* Northeast Recycling Council Accepting Nominations For Environmental Sustainability Leadership Awards

The interstate Northeast Recycling Council is now accepting nominations for Environmental Sustainability Leadership Awards to recognize an individual or organization for their contribution to growing an environmentally sustainable economy within the NERC 11-state region.

* Save The Date: March 9-11 Pennsylvania Brownfields Conference In State College

On May 28, the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania announced the 2020 Pennsylvania Brownfields Conference will be held March 9-11 at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center in State College.

* PA Municipal League, Sustainable Pittsburgh Hold Spring Sustainability Conference June 11 In State College

The PA Municipal League and Sustainable Pittsburgh will host a Spring Sustainability Conference June 11 at the Toftrees Resort and Conference Center in State College.  The Conference sessions will include--

* PennEnvironment: 100% Renewable Energy PA Lobby Day Set For June 19

On June 19 join hundreds of Pennsylvanians at the Capitol in Harrisburg to lobby for bipartisan legislation to put Pennsylvania on a path toward 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.

* PJM Interconnection Announces CEO Andrew Ott To Retire June 30

On May 28, PJM Interconnection announced Andrew L. Ott, president and chief executive officer, is retiring from the organization on June 30, 2019.

* Controlled Plant & Noxious Weed Committee Adds Tree Of Heaven, Invasive Species To Noxious Weed List

The Department of Agriculture’s Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Committee published notice in the June 1 PA Bulletin it has added the tree of heaven, a haven for the spotted lanternfly, to the Class B Noxious Weed list.

* Penn State Extension: Why Use Native Plants?

By Pamela Hubbard, Master Gardener, Monroe County

* PA Chapter-The American Chestnut Foundation: Planting Chestnut Trees At The Flight 93 Memorial

Sara Fitzsimmons, Director of Restoration for The American Chestnut Foundation transported bare-root Chestnut seedlings to the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County for planting on April 26 and oversaw the planting.

* Pennsylvania Firefly Festival June 22 In Forest County, June 14-15 Firefly Programs In Allegheny National Forest

The 7th Annual Pennsylvania Firefly Festival will take place June 22 at the Black Caddis Ranch in Kellettville, Forest County between Tionesta and Marienville on Route 666 in the heart of the Allegheny National Forest.

* Expanded 2019 Ice Cream Trail Unveiled At Chester Springs Creamery, Chester County

Pennsylvania travelers can “pursue their scoops” on the newly expanded Pennsylvania Ice Cream Trail. After a popular inaugural season, the Pennsylvania Ice Cream Trail expanded from 12 creameries in Eastern and South Central PA, into three trails including a Western PA Trail, with a total of 32 stops in these regions for 2019.

* PA Outdoor Corps Improvement Projects Underway In Laurel Ridge State Park, Other Locations

On May 22, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and other DCNR officials visited a project underway by the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps at Laurel Ridge State Park, Somerset County, where the secretary hailed the young adults for their strong work ethic.

* DCNR Good Natured Blog: Green Might Be What's Needed The Next Time You Are Feeling Blue

In John Muir’s published collection of sketches and descriptions of national parks in 1901, he wrote that, “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”

* Natural Lands Gwynedd Preserve Field Jam June 22 In Montgomery County

Natural Lands invites visitors to get their groove on at Field Jam, the annual summer concert in the meadows at Gwynedd Preserve in North Wales, Montgomery County from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. There will be--

* Gifford Pinchot's Grey Towers In Pike County Highlights June Programs

As its beautiful annuals and perennials awaken from their winter slumber, Gifford Pinchot’s Grey Towers National Historic Site in Milford, Pike County, opens for its 2019 visitor season.

* Summer Penn’s Stewards Newsletter Now Available From PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The Summer 2019 Penn’s Stewards newsletter is now available from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation featuring articles on--

* May 29 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The May 29 Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* DCNR Seeking Engineering Firms For Bridge Inspections, Underwater Diving Consultants

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published notices in the June 1 PA Bulletin seeking engineering firms to conduct bridge inspections in State Parks and Forests and underwater diving consultants.

* Auditor General DePasquale Urges Game Commission To Fix Its Finances, Better Monitor Gas & Oil Lease Revenues

On May 30, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said his new performance audit shows the Game Commission should strengthen its financial oversight and hold gas and oil companies accountable for lease royalty payments.

* 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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Send your stories, photos and links to videos about your project, environmental issues or programs for publication in the PA Environment Digest to: PaEnviroDigest@gmail.com.

* 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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