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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
September 2, 2019 Issue #792
(9/2/2019)
* Alliance For The Chesapeake Bay Honors Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership Founder John Cox, Other Award Winners Sept. 26

By Kate Fritz, Chesapeake Bay Journal (mostly)

* DEP, Agriculture, DCNR Layout Their Hopes For Final Chesapeake Bay Healthy Waters, Healthy Communities Watershed Plan

On August 27, the departments of Environmental Protection, Agriculture and Conservation and Natural Resources outlined their hopes for the Final Chesapeake Bay Healthy Waters, Healthy Communities Watershed Plan.

* Maryland Governor Calls For Action, Accountability On PA's Plan To Reduce Water Pollution Going To Chesapeake Bay

On August 29, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, chairman of the Chesapeake Executive Council, sent a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler calling for action on Pennsylvania’s lack of progress on clean water goals.

* Harrisburg Sewage System Released Nearly 1.4 Billion Gallons Of Inadequately Treated Wastewater Into Susquehanna In 2018, An Increase Since 2016

Sewage overflows from Harrisburg wastewater treatment system have increased since a 2015 consent decree meant to address the problem, with the amount of human waste mixed with stormwater released to the Susquehanna River growing from 789 million gallons in 2016 to nearly 1.4 billion in 2018, water authority records show.

* PUC Extends Comment Period On Enhancements To Pipeline Safety Regulations To Sept. 11

On August 28, the Public Utility Commission announced it is extending the comment period until September 11 on two separate rulemaking proposals related to pipeline operations in Pennsylvania addressing both pipeline safety regulations and periodic financial reporting by pipeline public utilities.

* DEP Issues Sunoco $319,461 In Penalties For Mariner East 2 Pipeline Construction Violations In 2017, 2018; Fines Now Total $13 Million+

On August 29, the Department of Environmental Protection announced it has issued two penalties to Sunoco Pipeline, LP totaling $319,461 for violations resulting from construction activities on the Mariner East 2 pipeline project.

* PUC Approves Settlement Allowing Bi-Directional Operation Of Laurel Pipeline

On August 29, the Public Utility Commission approved a Joint Petition for Approval of Settlement authorizing the initiation of bi-directional service of petroleum products along the Laurel Pipeline, while preserving the existing east-to-west capacity that enables transportation service from points of origin near Philadelphia to delivery points in western Pennsylvania.

* PUC Expects Natural Gas-Fired Electric Generation To Increase From 30 To 45% Of Capacity By End Of 2022 In PA

The Public Utility Commission released its annual assessment of generation, transmission and distribution capacity in Pennsylvania last week which projected a significant increase in natural gas-fired electric generation capacity from 30 percent to as much as 45 percent of capacity by the end of 2022.

* 71% Increase In Very Heavy Precipitation Events In Last 54 Years In PA: Learn How To Prepare For Emergencies - 30 Days/30 Ways

A report issued by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania found the number of “very heavy precipitation” events has increased by 71 percent over the last 54 years in the Northeast and Pennsylvania putting the 831,000 people living on floodplains in the state at even more risk of flooding.

* Consol Longwall Coal Mining Damage Settlement Funds New Swimming Pool Complex At Ryerson Station State Park, Greene County

On August 29, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Deputy Secretary John Norbeck and other state officials broke ground for a new swimming pool complex at Ryerson Station State Park in Greene County funded by $9.6 million in settlement funds from Consol Energy for longwall coal mining damage to the park.

* Scenic Pittsburgh: Connellsville, Fayette County Earns Inaugural Community Scenic Achievement Award

Years of planning and labor by area leaders to leverage their scenic resources and make good on a new vision of the former “coal and coke capital of the U.S.” have brought big changes to Connellsville, Fayette County and a first-of-its-kind award by local environmental and civic advocacy group Scenic Pittsburgh.

* Gov. Wolf Calls For Legislative Action On Lead Testing For Children, Lead Abatement

On August 28, Tom Wolf unveiled his initiative to create a lead-free Pennsylvania by calling on the legislature to increase access to blood testing for children in alignment with federal guidelines, increasing local response efforts, and planning for training of more certified lead abatement professionals.

* 29 Counties Now Have Mosquitoes Testing Positive For West Nile Virus, The Latest: Montour County

On August 27, the Department of Environmental Protection announced mosquitoes in Mahoning Township, Montour County have tested positive for West Nile Virus bringing the total this season to 29.

* Football, Sports Visitors To Penn State & Other Areas: Help Stop Spread Of Spotted Lanternfly To, From, In Quarantine Areas

This is the time of year when thousands of students, families and football fans are coming to University Park [and many other football and sports venues around the state], and Penn State officials want to make sure those visitors are not transporting the spotted lanternfly, an invasive insect that is threatening the northeastern U.S., especially southeastern Pennsylvania.

* Senate/House Agenda/Session 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--

* August Newsletter Now Available From Joint House, Senate Conservation Committee

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

* EPA Proposes Changes To Methane Emission Control Regulations For Oil & Gas Industry; PA Reaction

On August 29, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed changes to Obama-era methane emission reduction regulations it said would "remove regulatory duplication and save the industry millions of dollars in compliance costs each year while maintaining health and environmental regulations on oil and gas sources that the agency considers appropriate."

* Call For Presentation Proposals: 2020 Riparian Forest Buffer Summit March 11-12

The organizers of the 2020 Riparian Forest Buffer Summit on March 11-12 have issued a call for presentation proposals on a variety of subjects, including  funding, partnerships, implementation, planning, research, policy, and more.

* Bay Journal: Cruel World Awaits Newly Planted Forested Stream Buffers Without Maintenance

By Ad Crable, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* Bay Journal: Neighborly Approach To Stream Buffers Has Ripple Effect Among Amish In Lancaster County

By Ad Crable, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* State Conservation Commission Begins Accepting Applications For REAP Farm Conservation Tax Credit Program Sept. 3, Increased Funding Available

The State Conservation Commission is tentatively scheduled to begin accepting applications for FY 2019 Resource Enhancement and Protection Farm Conservation Tax Credit Program on September 3.

* Delaware RiverKeeper/Local Groups: DEP Agrees To Additional Evaluation Of Tohickon Creek, Bucks County

On August 29, the Delaware Riverkeeper and local groups announced the Department of Environmental Protection said it would agree to additional evaluations before taking any action to downgrade the protection classification of Tohickon Creek in Bucks County.

* Brodhead Watershed Assn. Hosts Sept. 21 Hike To Goose Pond Dry Flood Control Dam In Monroe County

The Brodhead Watershed Association will host a September 21 hike to the Goose Pond Dry Flood Control Dam in Barrett Township, Monroe County with the Monroe County Conservation District from 10:00 a.m. to Noon.

* West Branch Susquehanna Restoration Coalition Meets Sept. 17 At Bald Eagle State Park, Centre County

The September 17 quarterly meeting and picnic of the West Branch Susquehanna Restoration Coalition will be held in Bald Eagle State Park at  Pavilion #5 on Skyline Drive, Howard, Centre County starting at 5:30.

* Friends Of Allegheny Wilderness Invite Volunteers To Be Part Of Allegheny River Cleanup Sept. 9 & 10

It’s that time of the year again! For the eleventh year in a row-- ever since the very first year of the event-- Friends of Allegheny Wilderness is inviting volunteers to participate in the Allegheny River Cleanup to help remove unwanted refuse from the National Wild & Scenic Allegheny River and environs.

* Keep PA Beautiful: Local Fall Collection Events For Waste Tires, Other Items Set For Cambria, Fayette, Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry Counties

Nearly 6,000 tires were collected for recycling in Cambria, Cumberland, McKean and Washington counties during special collection events this spring by local affiliates of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and now more events are scheduled for this fall in Cambria, Fayette, Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin and Perry counties.

* EPCAMR Seeking Volunteers For Annual Centralia Trash/Litter Cleanup Day Oct. 19, Columbia County

The Eastern PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation is seeking volunteers for the annual Centralia Trash/Litter Cleanup Day on October 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Columbia County.

* PA Resources Council Fall Schedule Of 12 Backyard Composting, Recycling, Rain Barrel, Vermicomposting Workshops In Allegheny County

The PA Resources Council has released its fall schedule of 12 backyard composting, recycling, rain barrel and vermicomposting workshops in Allegheny County.

* GASP: EHB Judge Allows Erie Coke (Coal) Plant To Operate During Permit Appeal, With Conditions

On August 28, the Group Against Smog and Pollution reported Environmental Hearing Board Judge Steven C. Beckman on Wednesday ruled Erie Coke Corp. can continue operating-- subject to certain limitations-- pending its appeal of DEP’s decision to deny the company’s Title V operating permit.

* DEP Invites Comments On Regional Haze Revision To State Air Quality Implementation Plan

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the August 31 PA Bulletin of a proposed State Air Quality Implementation revision to implement EPA’s regional haze requirements and update DEP’s best available retrofit technology determinations for public comment.

* DEP Holds Hearing [If Needed] Oct. 16 On RACT II Air Quality Plan For Truck Accessories Group, Northumberland County

The Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled an October 16 hearing [if needed] on the RACT II Air Quality Plan for the Truck Accessories plant in Northumberland County.  (August 31 PA Bulletin page 5063)

* DEP Provides Update On Pool Doctor Hazardous Site Cleanup In Beaver County, Hearing Set For Sept. 4

On August 28, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell provided an update on the department’s response to the Pool Doctor/Beaver Alkali Products Hazardous Waste Site and also highlighted a September 4 hearing on the site.

* PUC PA One Call Compliance Committee Imposes $47,250 In Penalties For Violating Excavation Rules Near Pipelines, Other Underground Utilities

On August 28, the Public Utility Commission announced the PA One Call Damage Prevention Committee took a total of 70 disciplinary actions, including $47,250 in administrative penalties, against 33 underground facility owners, excavators and project owners for violating excavation safety requirements.

* Penn State Schuylkill: Sept. 26 Centralia Mine Fire: Social Conflict, Death Of A Pennsylvania Community Program

The Penn State Schuylkill campus in Schuylkill Haven will host a September 26 program on the Centralia Mine Fire - Social Conflict and the Death Of A Pennsylvania Community starting at 7:00 p.m. in the Morgan Auditorium.

* Penn State Researchers Develop Affordable, Less-Intensive Methane Detection Protocol For Water

By Francisco Tutella, Penn State News

* StateImpact PA Hosts Climate Change Adaptation, Resilience, Social Equity Forum In Philadelphia Sept. 12

On September 12, StateImpact PA will host a Climate Change Adaptation, Resilience and Social Equity Forum featuring a panel discussion on the affects of climate change, including frequent extreme weather events and threats to human health through air pollution, diminished water quality, and heat stress.

* Penn State Environmental Resource Management Program Rated Among Best In Nation

Penn State’s Environmental Resource Management Program was ranked fifth in the top 20 environmental science programs in the nation, according to successfulstudent.org, a student resource website that evaluates colleges and degrees from a student’s point of view.

* Applications Now Being Accepted For PECO Green Region Open Space Grants

Municipalities and recreation authorities could receive grants of up to $10,000 as part of PECO’s Green Region Open Space Program administered by Natural Lands.  The deadline for applications is October 31.

* Natural Lands ChesLen Chase Race For Open Space Oct. 19 In Chester County

There is still time to register for Natural LandsChesLen Chase Race For Open Space to be held on October 19 at the ChesLen Preserve in Coatesville, Chester County starting at 11:00 a.m..

* PA Wilds Creative Makers Exhibits In Lock Haven Opening Sept. 3; Awards Program Nov. 7 In DuBois

The PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. has helped organize two special upcoming events: Creative Makers Exhibits in Lock Haven opening September 3 and the Annual Awards Program and Dinner on November 7 in DuBois.

* Gifford Pinchot's Grey Towers: Tickets Now On Sale For Popular October Programs

Tickets for two popular October theatrical programs-- the annual dramatic readings of selected works of Edgar Allan Poe and for the popular theatrical historical presentation in the Laurel Hill Cemetery-- at Gifford Pinchot’s Grey Towers National Historic Site in Milford, Pike County, are now available for sale to the public.

* 640 Fish Structures Built As Part Of Minsi Lake Cooperative Habitat Project In Northampton County

By Jim Wilson, Northampton County Parks & Recreation Division

* American Eels Reintroduced To Pickering Creek In Chester County, Delaware Watershed

On August 29, more than 1,000 American eels were released into Pickering Creek near Yellow Springs in Chester County in the hope they will help control populations of an invasive species of crayfish, known as the virile crayfish.

* Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Exhibit Features Decades Of Work By Acclaimed Wildlife Artist Fred Wetzel

As part of its 85th anniversary celebration, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Berks County will exhibit a collection of 30 pieces of art by acclaimed wildlife artist Fred Wetzel of Albany Township.

* Register Now For Sept. 28 Frontiers In Ornithology: A Symposium For Youth

Registration is still open for students ages 12-22 to attend the Frontiers in Ornithology: A Symposium For Youth September 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., to be held at the Ashland Nature Center in Hockessin, Delaware, a program recommended by Hawk Mountain Sanctuary.

* Help Wanted: PA Land Trust Association Director Of Advocacy

The PA Land Trust Association is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Director of Advocacy.

* 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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CLICK HERE to View or Print the 104  page PA Environment Digest.

* Stories Invited - About PA Environment Digest

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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