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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
June 10, 2019 Issue #780
(6/10/2019)
* Restore PA Infrastructure Initiative Introduced With Enough Co-Sponsors To Nearly Pass House, Senate

On June 5, the $4.5 billion Restore Pennsylvania Infrastructure Plan legislation was introduced with strong bipartisan support as House Bill 1585, sponsored by Rep. Jake Wheatley (D-Allegheny) and Rep. Thomas Murt (R-Montgomery), with 99 cosponsors [83 Democrats, 16 Republicans] and Senate Bill 725, sponsored by Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne) and Sen. Tom Killion (R-Delaware) with 25 cosponsors (22 Democrats, 3 Republicans).

* Republican Senators Introduce Restore PA-Lite Proposal Funded By More Drilling On State Forest Land

On June 5, Senators Camera Bartolotta (R-Washington) and Patrick Stefano (R-Fayette) introduced Senate Bill 716 and Senate Bill 717 establishing a Restore PA-lite infrastructure program funded by lifting the moratorium on natural gas drilling on DCNR’s State Forest lands.

* Bay Journal: 40 Percent Of All Pennsylvania Rivers, Streams Violate Water Quality Standards

By Ad Crable, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* Senate Environmental Committee Reports Out Bills Making Fundamental Changes To The Definition Of Water Pollution, Setting Up Costly Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Program

On June 4, the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee approved and reported out bills allowing a company who causes pollution or a spill to surface or groundwater to determine if it is pollution and whether it should be reported to DEP and a nutrient reduction procurement bill that guarantees taxpayers will pay the highest price per pound for pollution reductions to meet Chesapeake Bay cleanup obligations.

* Costly Taxpayer Funded Chesapeake Bay Nutrient Reduction Procurement Bill To Be Considered June 10 In Senate Appropriations

On June 10, the Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to consider the costly Senate Bill 575 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) would establish a taxpayer funded procurement program for nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment reductions needed to comply with the Chesapeake Bay Watershed pollution reduction goals.

* Senate Environmental Committee Hears Ideas On 3rd Party DEP Permit Reviews, Including A Special Licensing Program For Consultants

On June 5, the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee heard testimony on how DEP is making fundamental changes to its Chapter 102 (Erosion and Sedimentation) and Chapter 105 (Dam Safety and Encroachment) permit to speed permit reviews, cautions about constructing third party permit review programs and a suggestion for developing a special licensing program for third party reviewers.

* Analysis: Is Attacking DEP’s Staff The Right Way To Improve Permit Review Times?

On June 5, the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held a lively, but generally thoughtful hearing on the concept of allowing third parties to review DEP permit applications as a way of getting faster turnaround times.

* Environmental Quality Board To Hear Update On Climate Cap-And-Trade, PFOA Petitions + 2 New Rulemaking Petitions June 18

The Environmental Quality Board is scheduled to meet on June 18 to hear an update on its review of the climate cap-and-trade and PFOA rulemaking petitions.

* DEP Citizens Advisory Council To Hear Presentations On DEP Climate Plan, Cap-And-Trade Petition, Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fee June 18

The DEP Citizens Advisory Council is scheduled to meet on June 18 to hear presentations on DEP’s Climate Action Plan and the climate cap-and-trade rulemaking petition pending with the Environmental Quality Board.

* Senate Confirms Patrick McDonnell As Secretary Of DEP

On June 4, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to confirm Patrick McDonnell as Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection.

* 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-- 

* New Senate Bill Would Require End Of Life Pipeline Studies To Spot Corrosion, Damage Issues To Prevent Catastrophic Failures

On June 5, Senate Bill 677 was introduced by Sen. Andy Dinniman (D-Chester) which would require pipeline operators transporting natural gas and natural gas liquids to conduct an end of life study on all pipelines over 50 years of age.

* Sen. Costa To Introduce Bill Cutting Carbon Pollution From Power Plants By 90% By 2040 Thru Cap-And-Invest Program

On June 6, Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) circulated a co-sponsor memo announcing he is introducing legislation to require the Environmental Quality Board to enact a limit on carbon pollution from the power sector.

* Bill Proposing Change In Standard For Reviewing DEP Permit Decisions On Appeal Will Add Time, Cost To Permit Reviews, Narrow Grounds For Citizen Appeal

On June 6, Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-Washington) introduced Senate Bill 726 (Bartolotta-R- Washington) which would create a new standard for the review for appeals of DEP permit actions before the Environmental Hearing Board by limiting parties appealing permit decisions-- a company or a citizens group-- to issues raised in and information contained in a record of decision of a permit prepared by DEP.

* Senate, House Legislation Coming To Create New Law To Regulate Conventional Oil & Gas Well Drilling

Legislation will soon be introduced in the Senate and House to regulate conventional oil and gas drilling separately from Act 13 of 2012 that now sets environmental protection standards for both conventional and unconventional drilling.

* Senate, House Resolutions Designate June 2-8 Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week In PA

Resolutions were recently introduced in the Senate and House designating the week of June 2 through June 8 as “Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week” in Pennsylvania

* Sen. Yaw Receives Public Official Of Year Award From PA Water Environment Association

On June 3, Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) was honored with the 2019 “Public Official of the Year” Award by the PA Water Environment Association during its annual award ceremony in State College. 

* Senate Agriculture Committee Reports Out Farm Conservation, Noxious Weed, Other Bills

On June 4, the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee approved and reported out legislation on farm conservation other agriculture bills, including-- 

* House Agriculture Committee Reports Out Farm Conservation Bills

On June 5, the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee reported out several bipartisan farm conservation bills that are part of Gov. Wolf’s PA Farm Bill proposal.  The bills include--

* House Committee Sends Bill On Enforcing Safety Warnings For Low-Head Dams To Full House

On June 5, the House Game and Fisheries Committee reported out 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).

* House Committee Meets June 11 To Consider Bills Limiting Plastic Straw Use, Require Bisphenol A-Free Containers

The House Commerce Committee is scheduled to meet on June 11 to consider legislation to limit the use of plastic straws and require bisphenol A-free containers.  The bills include--

* House Environmental Committee Meets June 11 On Temporary Cessation Of Coal Refuse Disposal Site Operations

The House Environmental Resources and  Energy Committee is scheduled to meet June 11 to consider House Bill 1557 (Gabler-R-Clearfield) that eliminates the ability of coal refuse disposal site operators to temporarily cease operations for 21 year and still retain their permit.

* House Finance Committee Meets June 11 On 2 Energize PA Natural Gas Use Subsidy Bills

The House Finance Committee is scheduled to meet on June 11 to consider 2 of the 8 bills making up the House Republican Energize PA natural gas use subsidy bills.  The bills include--

* House Committee Holds Info Meeting June 12 On Bill Exempting Religious Facilities, Schools, Camps From Need To Meet Safe Drinking Water Standards

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to hold an information meeting on June 12 on House Bill 707 (Zimmerman-R-Lancaster) that would exempt any facility owned by a church or an association of churches, including schools and camps, which rely on a privately-owned water well for their drinking water supplies from the need to meet Safe Drinking Water Act clean water standards.

* EPA Issues New Guidance On State Use Of Section 401 Water Quality Certifications For Pipelines, Energy Projects

On June 7, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued new guidance on the use of the state Section 401 Water Quality Certification process as it relates to pipelines and other energy infrastructure projects saying state certification should be limited to water quality issues and standards as described in the federal Clean Water Act.

* EPA Awards 9 Brownfields Grants Totaling $3.9 Million To PA Communities

On June 5, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $3.9 million in funding for 9 Brownfields grants in Pennsylvania. 

* USDA NRCS Now Accepting National Conservation Innovation Grant Applications

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is now accepting applications for the national Conservation Innovation Grants.  The deadline for applications is July 29.

* EPA, USDA Host June 12 Webinar On Grants, Funding Options To Support Nutrient Reduction Projects

EPA's Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center and the U.S. Department of Agriculture will host a webinar on June 12 from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. on federal grants and innovative financing options for reducing nutrient pollution.

* DEP Our Common Wealth Blog: How Restoring The Health Of PA's Waters Helps The Hellbender And The Chesapeake Bay!

By: Hayley Pisciotti, Former Communications Intern, and Megan Lehman, Community Relations Coordinator, DEP Northcentral Regional Office

* AG Shapiro Makes Arrest In Case Of Falsified Water Sample Lab Results In Berks, Lancaster Counties

On June 7, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the arrest of the owner of a Berks County construction company for falsifying lab reports for water samples following the installation of new water mains in Berks and Lancaster Counties.

* Pike Conservation District: Benefits Of Riparian Buffers, Trapping 300,000 Pounds Of Sediment Per Buffer Acre, Per Year

By Rachel Posavetz, Pike County Watershed Specialist

* Call For Proposals: PA Assn. For Sustainable Agriculture 2020 Conference Feb. 5-8 In Lancaster

The PA Association for Sustainable Agriculture will be accepting presentation proposals until June 14 for their 2020 Sustainable Agriculture Conference on February 5-8 in Lancaster.

* Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Blog: A Trout Triumph! Cheltenham Elementary Students Release Trout They Raised In Their Classroom

By Bill Steinberg, Abington Friends School Senior

* Interns: Introducing Pike Conservation District Summer Intern Anton Adams

Anton Adams joined the Pike Conservation District team in May as a summer intern through the Pike County Workforce Development office State Local Internship Program (SLIP) administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry.

* Interns: Sarah Sharp - From Intern To Brandywine Conservancy’s New Assistant Planner

By Nicole Kindbeiter, Brandywine Conservancy

* Interns Wanted: PA Forestry Assn. Forest Heritage Discovery Center Franklin County

The PA Forestry Association’s Forest Heritage Discovery Center located in the Caledonia State Park near Fayetteville, Franklin county is seeking interns to help staff the Discovery Center.

* Wildlife Leadership Academy NEXTGEN Blog - Find Out What Student Alumni Are Saying About Conservation Issues

The Wildlife Leadership Academy in Union County offers a variety of youth conservation education programs, including its Youth Conservation Ambassador Program and series of Field Schools on Brookies, Bass, Bucktails, Drummers and Gobblers.

* Flock To Hawk Mountain Sanctuary This Summer To Enjoy Great Summer Events

During the summertime, the outdoors are warm, bright, and just waiting to be explored, and Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Berks County is no exception. In addition to the lush, green trails that are always offered, this summer is bursting with events for everyone to enjoy.

* Erie Times-News Connect With Your Environment: Students Tag Cigarette Litter

The latest issue of Connect With Your Environment in the Erie Times-News features a story about how students from Fort LeBoeuf High School tackled the problem of cigarette butt litter, going beyond just cleaning up the trash.

* Construction Junction Hosts June 12 Residential, Business Better Recycling Workshops By City Of Pittsburgh

On June 12, Construction Junction will host 2 workshops on Better Recycling for Pittsburgh, one for businesses from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. and another for residents from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

* PA Resources Council Schedules 9 More Pop Up Glass Recycling Collection Events In Allegheny County

The PA Resources Council has scheduled 9 more Pop Up Glass Recycling Collection Events in Allegheny building on the success of

* June 15 & 29 Hard-To-Recycle Collection Events In Allegheny County Hosted By PA Resources Council

The PA Resources Council will hold Hard-To-Recycle Collection Events in June in Allegheny County.  The events will be held from 9:00 to 1:00--

* PA Resources Council Holds June 22 Household Chemical Collection Event In Fayette County

The PA Resources Council will hold a Household Chemical Collection Event at the Fayette County Fairgrounds on June 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to help residents safely and cost effectively dispose of common household chemicals.

* Volunteers Needed For June 15 River Sweep Cleanup In Western PA

Volunteers are needed for 30th Annual River Sweep June 15, from 8 a.m. to noon to help clean up stream and riverbanks in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Fayette and Westmoreland Counties.

* KPB: Voting Begins June 17 On Facebook For Great American Cleanup Of PA Video Contest Winners

Keep PA Beautiful announced public voting will begin on June 17 to pick the winning entries in the Great American Cleanup of PA Video Contest.  Voting will take place through the KPB Facebook page.

* DEP To Hold July 15 Hearing [If Requested] On RACT II Air Quality Plan For Haysite Reinforced Plastics, Erie County

The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a hearing July 15, if requested, on the RACT II Air Quality Plan for the Haysite Reinforced Plastics facility in Millcreek Township, Erie County. (PA Bulletin page 3017)

* July 17 DEP Hearing Set On Bailey Central Mine Complex Coal Refuse Disposal Area NPDES Permit, Greene County

The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a hearing July 17 on the NPDES Water Quality Permit for the Bailey Central Mine Complex Coal Refuse Disposal Area in Morris Township, Greene County. (PA Bulletin page 3019)

* Conservation Consultants, Inc. Presents Achieving Green & Healthy Homes Program June 20 At Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh

The nonprofit Conservation Consultants, Inc. will present another in the series of Stepping Up Speakers Series Events on June 20 on Achieving Green and Health Homes: Housing As A Key Social Determinant Of Health - How To Fix It! in Pittsburgh at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens from 3:30 to 5:50 p.m.

* Construction Code Review & Advisory Council Invites Comments On Latest International Building Codes; Seeks Stakeholders

The Department of Labor and Industry Uniform Construction Code Review and Advisory Council is seeking public comments on the 2018 International Code Council Building Codes from June 13 to October 10. (formal notice)

* Nuclear Regulatory Commission Hosts June 12 Webinar On PA Nuclear Power Plants' 2018 Safety Performance

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff will hold a public webinar on June 12 starting at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the agency’s annual assessment of safety performance at the nuclear power plants located in Pennsylvania.

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

The PA Environmental Council now has available the In Case You Missed It In May featuring stories on--

* EXTENDED: PA Horticultural Society 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 now June 13.

* Updated List Of Penn State Extension Public Meetings On Spotted Lanternfly

Penn State Extension Service will host 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.

* PA Chapter-The American Chestnut Foundation Seeks Citizen Science Volunteers To Work with Chestnut Seedlings June 20-21 At Penn State Arboretum

The PA Chapter - The American Chestnut Foundation is seeking citizen scientist volunteers to help conduct Small Stem Assays (SSA) with American chestnut seedlings June 20-21 at the Chestnut Orchard, Arboretum at Penn State in University Park, Centre County.

* Fort Indiantown Gap To Offer Guided Tours Of Rare Regal Fritillary Butterfly Habitat In July, Lebanon County

On July 5, 6, 12, and 13, visitors are invited to see the only population of regal fritillary butterflies in the eastern United States at Fort Indiantown Gap National Guard Training Center, Annville, Lebanon County.

* Living Landscape Observer Offers Resources In The Emerging Field Of Large Landscape Conservation, Sustainable Communities

The Living Landscape Observer is a website and monthly newsletter offering commentary and information on the emerging field of large landscape conservation.

* Registration Now Open For 2019 National Natural Areas Conference Oct. 8-10 In Pittsburgh; PA Practitioner Scholarships Available

Registration is now open for the 2019 National Natural Areas Conference to be held this year in Pittsburgh October 8-10. The Conference theme is-- At The Water's Edge: Managing Our Land And Water In A Changing Landscape.

* Friends Of Allegheny Wilderness Asking Public To Submit Comments To Permanently Protect Land Around Kinzua Dam/Allegheny Reservoir As Wilderness

The Friends of Allegheny Wilderness are asking the public to submit comments urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to protect wilderness areas around the Kinzua Dam and Allegheny Reservoir as part of the Corps' 25-year Master Plan for the area in Warren County.

* PRPS Celebrates First Ever Park & Recreation Professionals Day July 19 Across Pennsylvania

The PA Recreation and Park Society will celebrate Park and Recreation Professionals Day in Pennsylvania on July 19.

* DCNR Seeks Proposals For Engineering Services Related To Dams, Other Projects

The Department of Conservation and Natural resources published notices in the June 8 PA Bulletin--

* 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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