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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
June 24, 2019 Issue #782
(6/23/2019)
* Call To Action: Republican Bill Moves To Fundamentally Change Definition Of Water Pollution In Pennsylvania

PA Trout Unlimited Chapters, PennFuture and other groups have issued a call to action for Pennsylvanians to oppose Senate Bill 619 (Yaw-R- Lycoming) which makes fundamental changes to the definition of water pollution.

* County Commissioners, Professional Recyclers Oppose Raid On Recycling Fund To Pay Agency Operating Costs

The County Commissioners Association of PA and the Professional Recyclers of PA wrote a joint letter to the Senate and House urging members to oppose taking $10 million out of the Recycling Fund used to support local recycling programs and redirecting the money to pay the day-to-day operating expenses of the Department of Environmental Protection.

* Keep PA Beautiful Opposes Using Recycling Fund, Other Community Project Monies To Pay Agency Operating Expenses

On June 17, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful sent an open letter to members of the Senate, House and to Gov. Wolf urging them not to use Recycling Fund and other money set aside to support community-based environmental programs and cleanups to pay every day operating expenses for DEP and DCNR.

* PA Municipal Authorities Oppose Using Recycling Fund To Pay DEP Operating Costs

On June 14, the PA Municipal Authorities Association wrote to members of the Senate, House and Gov. Wolf opposing the use of the Recycling Fund to pay the every day operating expenses of the Department of Environmental Protection.

* Joint Committee Report On DEP’s Chapter 102 & 105 Permit Reviews Asks For Much More Data, Shows Impact Of Budget Cuts

On June 19, the Joint Legislative Budget & Finance Committee released a performance evaluation of DEP’s Chapter 102 (Erosion and Sedimentation) and 105 (Dam Safety and Encroachment) Permit Programs requested by Senate Resolution 226 (Yudichak-D-Luzerne).

* DEP To Have New Draft Under 5 Acre General Permit For Erosion Control Available In July To Begin Public Review

On June 20, Ramez Ziadeh, P.E., DEP Executive Deputy for Programs, told DEP’s Agricultural Advisory Board the new draft PAG-01 General Permit for erosion and sedimentation control for projects under 5 acres will be available about July 10 to begin the public review process.

* Republicans On House Environmental Committee Urge IRRC To Disapprove DEP Air Quality Permit Fee Increases, Threatening Integrity Of Program

On June 17, with 15 minutes notice, the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held a meeting where Republicans voted to send a letter to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission urging them to disapprove a proposed EQB regulation increasing permit review fees for DEP’s Air Quality Program.

* EPA Says PA’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed Plan Comes Up Short, Lacks Commitments To Resources To Carry It Out

On June 21, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency posted its evaluation of Pennsylvania draft Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan saying it comes up 36 percent short in achieving its nitrogen reduction goal.

* DEP Accepting Applications For EPA Section 319 Watershed Restoration, Planning Grants

The Department of Environmental Protection will be accepting applications for EPA Section 319 Watershed Restoration and Planning Grants starting June 24.  The deadline for applications is August 9.  (formal notice)

* Local Governments Ask House Committees For More Resources To Meet MS4 Stormwater Pollution Reductions

On June 19 the House Environmental Resources and Energy and Local Government Committees held a hearing on the local impacts of MS4 Stormwater Pollution Reduction Requirements.

* DEP: Federal Fee Due To Expire In 2021 That Is The Only Source Of Funds To Address $3.9 Billion In High-Priority AML Problems

On June 18, John Stefanko, DEP Deputy Secretary for Active and Abandoned Mine Operations, told the Citizens Advisory Council federal mine reclamation funds are the sole source of funding Pennsylvania has to address the over $3.9 billion high-priority abandoned mine reclamation problems remaining in the state. And, the federal fee supporting the program is due to expire in 2021.

* PA Council Of Trout Unlimited Urges PA Congressional Delegation To Reauthorize Federal Mine Reclamation Fee, Program

The PA Council of Trout Unlimited recently wrote to all members of Pennsylvania's Congressional Delegation urging them to reauthorize the federal Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fee and Program.  The text of the letter follows--

* Sen. Yudichak, Rep. Frankel To Introduce Resolutions Supporting Reauthorization Of Federal Mine Reclamation Fee

On June 19, Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne), Minority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny) asked their colleagues in the House and Senate to co-sponsor resolutions urging Congress to reauthorize the federal Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program and the fees supporting it.

* Senate Committee Reports Out Bills To Improve Pipeline Emergency Response

On June 19, the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee amended and reported out Senate Bill 258 (Dinniman-D-Chester, Killion-R-Delaware), a bipartisan initiative to improve emergency response to pipeline incidents (sponsor summary) and Senate Bill 284 (Killion-R- Delaware, Dinniman-D-Chester) require pipeline companies to provide current emergency response plans to PUC (sponsor summary).

* DEP Expects To Present EQB With A Consultant Report On Costs/Benefits Of Climate Cap-And-Trade Petition Early Next Year; Update On PFOS Petition

On June 18, the Department of Environmental Protection told the Environmental Quality Board it expects to present the Board with a consultant’s evaluation of the cost and benefits of the  climate cap-and-trade petition early next year.

* Hundreds Rally At PA Capitol For Passage Of Bipartisan, 100% Renewable Energy Legislation

On June 19, hundreds of Pennsylvanians from Erie to Philadelphia and everywhere in between converged on the Capitol Building in Harrisburg for the state’s largest annual citizen environmental lobby day.

* New Report: Clean Energy Jobs Grew To 90,772 In Pennsylvania In 2018

On June 18, the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance, Green Building Alliance, Sustainable Business Network and E2-Enviro Entrepreneurs released their 2019 annual report on clean energy jobs in Pennsylvania which topped 90,000 jobs for the first time in 2018.

* Community Energy, Inc. Study Finds Replacing 10% Of PA's Electric Generation With Solar Would Save $300 Million Annually, Create 65,000 Jobs

On June 17, a new report commissioned by Community Energy, Inc. finds transitioning 10 percent of Pennsylvania’s electric generation to solar would decrease the state’s wholesale electric costs by $619 million annually, while costing less than half that amount to make the transition, and would lower wholesale electric prices across the multi-state utility power grid, PJM Interconnection, by $3 billion annually.

* Philadelphia City Council Passes Legislation Creating Solar Incentive Program

On June 20, Philadelphia City Council passed legislation introduced by Councilwoman Reynolds Brown (At-Large) to establish a Solar Rebate Program for Philadelphia commercial and residential properties.

* Dept. Of Health Reminds Pennsylvanians To Protect Themselves From Ticks, Mosquitoes When Outdoors

On June 19, the Department of Health officials reminded Pennsylvanians that ticks and mosquitoes can transmit dangerous diseases in their bites and encouraged residents to learn the proper ways to protect against them when outside this summer.

* June 24 Mosquito Spraying In Westmoreland County To Help Control West Nile Virus

On June 21, the Department of Environmental Protection announced it will conduct a mosquito control operation to decrease populations of mosquitoes and reduce the risk of West Nile virus transmission on Monday, June 24 in Scottdale Borough and East Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County.

* Pollinator Week: Penn State Extension: Planting Pollinator-Friendly Gardens

By Constance Schmotzer, Penn State Extension

* Pollinator Week: Bay Journal-Crable: PennDOT Hopes Plantings Will Put Pollinators On Road To Recovery

By Ad Crable, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* Pollinator Week: DCNR Good Natured Blog: Invasive Plant Species Can Hurt Both Pollinators And Native Plant Communities

By now, we know that pollinators are important for our food sources… but what about the role native pollinators play in native plant communities?

* Pollinator Week: DCNR Good Natured Blog: Hand Pollination Used For Rare Orchid When There's A Lack Of Pollinators

By Kristi Allen, PA Plant Conservation Network Program Coordinator

* 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--

* Senate Environmental Committee Meets June 25 To Consider Bill To Make Report On Impacts Of Deep Coal Mining Optional, Other Bills

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to meet June 25 to consider--

* Sen. Scarnati Introduces Bill To Regulate Conventional Oil & Gas Wells Different From House Version

On June 21, Sen. Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) introduced Senate Bill 790 to regulate conventional oil and gas wells using different environmental standards from regulation of unconventional (shale) gas wells.

* June Newsletter From Joint Conservation Committee - PA Audubon/ Outward Bound Discovery Center In Philadelphia

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

* NRCS-PA, CBF-PA Offering Farm Conservation Assistance In Centre, Clinton, Lycoming Counties; Applications Due June 28

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service PA is accepting applications to help producers improve water and air quality, build healthier soil, and achieve other environmental benefits from Pennsylvania farmers and landowners in Centre, Clinton and Lycoming Counties.

* NRCS-PA Provides $9 Million In Grants To Conservation Districts To Help Implement Federal Farm Bill Programs

Through a cooperative agreement, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service-PA and National Association of Conservation Districts, have made available $9 million in technical assistance grants to six Pennsylvania conservation districts to help implement federal Farm Bill Programs.

* NRCS-PA, Mid-Atlantic 4R Nutrient Stewardship Assn. Form Partnership To Assist Farmers

On June 17, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service-PA announced it has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Mid-Atlantic 4R Nutrient Stewardship Association, a nonprofit organization whose members include the Delaware-Maryland 4R Alliance and the Pennsylvania 4R Alliance.

* EPA, USDA Host June 26 Webinar On Private Sector Financing Solutions For Nutrient Reductions

The EPA Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center and the U.S. Department of Agriculture will host a June 26 webinar on Private Sector Financing Solutions For Nutrient Reductions from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

* PA-Based National Organic Farmers Association Outlines 2019 Federal Policy Priorities

On June 18, the Organic Farmers Association, a national policy association committed to providing a strong and unified voice for domestic certified organic farmers, recently announced their 2019 policy platform.

* Federal Office Of Surface Mining Reclamation Offering Acid Mine Drainage Treatment Grants To Not-For Profit Groups

The federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement is now offering grants for acid mine drainage treatment through the Watershed Cooperative Agreement Program to not-for-profit 501(c)3 entities as determined by the Internal Revenue Service.

* Register Now! Rodale Institute Hosts Organic Farming Field Day July 19 In Kutztown, Berks County

The Rodale Institute will host an Organic Field Day July 19 at their research facility at 611 Siegfriedale Road in Kutztown, Berks County from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

* PEC Blog: Dirtying The Dibble Bars - Nearly 65,000 Native Tree Seedlings Planted This Season

By Laura England, PA Environmental Council Program Manager

* Turtle Creek Watershed Restoration, Union County-- Everyone Does A Little, So No One Has To Do It All

A partnership led by the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy and state agencies, county conservation districts, nonprofit organizations, and willing landowners have joined forces to tackle the challenge of bringing Turtle Creek Watershed in Union County back to health while maintaining a working agricultural landscape.

* York County's Newest Master Watershed Stewards Complete Training

By Jodi Sulpizio, Penn State Extension

* Private Drinking Water Wells-- What & Where To Test, How Much Will It Cost?

By Andy Yencha, Penn State Extension

* Penn State Extension: Repairing My Stream - Do I Need A Permit?

By Jennifer R. Fetter, Penn State Extension

* PA Environmental Council Responds To Concerns About New Ohio River Standards Adopted By ORSANCO

On June 21, the PA Environmental Council posted this response to concerns about water quality standards recently adopted for the Ohio River by the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission and an editorial published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette--

* June Catalyst Newsletter Now Available From Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition

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

* Interns: Bloomsburg Student Intern Justin Groshek With Natural Resources Conservation Service On Path To Success

By Maggie Jelliff, Natural Resources Conservation Service

* Penn State High School-College EnvironMentors Team Wins First Place In National Competition

A team of Penn State faculty, students and local high schoolers took first place at the 2019 EnvironMentors National Science Fair held last week in Washington, D.C.

* DEP Our Common Wealth Blog: Falcon Watch Wrap-Up: 4 Young Peregrines Take To The Sky, With A Little Help From Volunteers, Interns

By: Deborah Klenotic, Deputy DEP Communications Director

* Vote Now For The Best Great American Cleanup Of PA Videos Thru June 26

Keep PA Beautiful invites you to vote for the winners of the 2019 Great American Cleanup of PA Video Contest on Facebook now through June 26 at 3:00 p.m.

* Applications Being Accepted For Driving PA Forward Electric Cargo Handling Grants

The Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for Driving PA Forward Electric Cargo Handling Grants.  The deadline for applications is July 19.  (formal notice)

* DEP Accepting Applications For Alternative Fuel Vehicle Rebates

The Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for Alternative Fuel Vehicle Rebates.  The deadline for applications is December 31. (formal notice)

* Wilds Cooperative Of PA Launches New Website, Expands Membership To Grow Nature, Heritage Tourism In PA Wilds

On June  20, the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. announced three updates to its flagship program, the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania: a new website was launched, the membership program was expanded to include new organization types, and the program no longer requires annual membership dues.

* Registration Now Open For PA Greenways & Trails Summit Sept. 22-24 Shippensburg

Registration is now open for the PA Greenways and Trails Summit presented by the PA Land Trust Association and its partners on September 22-24 at the Shippensburg University Conference Center.

* French Creek Valley Conservancy Completes Boat Launch On Conserved Land In Crawford County

The French Creek Valley Conservancy recently completed the installation of a new boat launch along French Creek on Wadsworth Avenue in Meadville.

* Land Conservancy Of Adams County Preserves 142-Acre Farm Near Gettysburg Battlefield

The Land Conservancy of Adams County recently partnered with Phil and Barb Wolf to preserve their 142-acre farm just a short distance from the Gettysburg National Battlefield Park boundary.

* Great Lakes State Governors, Canadian Premiers Support Law Enforcement Efforts To Hold Invasive Species Offenders Accountable

On June 14 at their Leadership Summit in Milwaukee, the members of the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers announced broadened membership to a powerful instrument that can help investigations of violators of aquatic invasive species laws.

* Call For Presentations: 3rd Annual PA Sportsmen's Forum Sept. 20-21 At Middle Creek Wildlife Area, Lebanon County

The organizers of the 3rd Annual Pennsylvania Sportsmen's Forum have issued a call for presentation proposals.  The Forum will be held September 20-21 at the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in Lebanon County.

* Bat Research At Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Inspires Bat Day On July 20

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Berks County is dedicating an entire day-- July 20-- to bring awareness to misunderstood friends of the night: bats.  It will consist of three separate events throughout the day full of bat education and activities.

* Natural Lands Names Kelly Herrenkohl VP Of Communications & Engagement

On June 21, Natural Lands in Delaware County announced it has named Kelly Herrenkohl as its new Vice President of Communications and Engagement.

* Help Wanted: Brandywine Conservancy – Operations Manager

Delaware County-based Brandywine Conservancy is seeking qualified candidates to fill an Operations Manager Position.

* Help Wanted: Ernst Conservation Seeds

Crawford County-based Ernst Conservation Seeds, whose mission is to make available key native and naturalized species of plants for restoration, reclamation, conservation, wildlife and pollinator habitat enhancement, renewable biomass energy and beautification, is seeking qualified candidates to fill an inside sales/customer service representative.

* 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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* Register Now! 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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