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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
September 9, 2019 Issue #793
* Briefing: Good, Bad & Ugly Environment & Energy Bills In The PA House, Senate

First the basics: The House returns to session on September 17 and has 24 voting days scheduled between then and the end of the year.  The Senate returns September 23 and has 15 voting days scheduled.

* Chesapeake Bay Foundation Urges PA To Meet Its Water Pollution Reduction Goals

On September 5, the Chesapeake Executive Council, composed of leaders from the six Chesapeake Bay watershed states and the District of Columbia, the Chair of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, and the EPA Administrator gathered to discuss progress toward the 2025 pollution reduction goals their states must meet under the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint.

* Op-Ed: Time For Greater State, Federal Support Of Farmers' Clean Water Efforts

By David Graybill, Juniata County Dairy Farmer

* Op-Ed: Commit To Saving Chesapeake Bay - Former Gov. Dick Thornburgh

By Former Gov. Dick Thornburgh

* Pennsylvania Has Permanently Protected More Land In Chesapeake Bay Watershed Than Any Other Bay State

On September 4, the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership released Marking Milestones: Progress in Conserving Land in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Report showing Pennsylvania has permanently protected over 3.5 million acres in the Bay Watershed, more than any other single Bay state.

* Baltimore Sun: Let's Sue Pennsylvania To Get Serious About Cleaning Up Its Water Going To The Chesapeake Bay, Part II

On September 3, the Baltimore Sun had this editorial “Let’s Sue Pennsylvania, Part II” about the plan DEP submitted to clean up water in Pennsylvania going to the Chesapeake Bay. 

* Op-Ed: PA Efforts To Curb Chesapeake Bay Pollution Have Stalled, Leaving Bay At Risk

By Former EPA Administrators Gina McCarthy & William Reilly

* Finalists Selected For Pennsylvania Leopold Farm Conservation Award

On September 3, the Sand County Foundation announced three finalists have been selected for the 2019 Pennsylvania Leopold Conservation Award given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold. 

* Westmoreland Conservation District Presents 2019 Outstanding Conservation Awards

The Westmoreland County Conservation District will present two awards for outstanding conservation service on September 12 at its annual Awards Reception, which runs from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the District’s location on Donohoe Road in Greensburg.

* EPA Honors 17 Green Power Leaders, Including Northampton Community College

On September 5, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced its 19th annual Green Power Leadership Awards, recognizing 17 Green Power Partners across the country, including Northampton Community College in Bethlehem.

* DEP Common Wealth Blog: What Are Harmful Algal Blooms And What Should You Do About Them?

Tom Decker, Community Relations Coordinator, DEP Northwest Regional Office

* On Sept. 17 DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council Will Hear Update On PFAS Contamination Response In The Year Since The Governor’s Action Team Was Formed

DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council is scheduled to hear an update on the state’s response to the PFAS contamination issue in the year since the formation of the Governor’s PFAS Action Team at its September 17 meeting.

* 30 Counties Now Have Mosquitoes Or Animals Testing Positive For West Nile Virus, The Latest: Northumberland County

On September 3, the Department of Environmental Protection announced an animal in Northumberland County has tested positive for West Nile Virus bringing the total this season to 30 counties where positives were found.

* DCNR Good Natured Blog: Trail Heroes: The Critical Role Of Volunteers

Pennsylvania is home to thousands of miles of trails. Every year, hikers, bikers, paddlers, and more flock to parks, forests, and rivers to enjoy the great outdoors.

* DCNR Good Natured Pennsylvanians: Andre Weltman, Friends Of Pine Grove Furnace State Park

Andre Weltman is the Chairman of the Friends of Pine Grove Furnace State Park [Cumberland County] whose love of history and the outdoors fuels a passion for volunteering.

* DCNR Schedules Recreation & Conservation Grant Application Workshops In November

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is offering free, in-person grant workshops at six locations across Pennsylvania during November for the preparation of 2020 Community Conservation Partnership Grant applications.

* 4,350 Acres Added To Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge In Northampton, Monroe Counties

On September 3, a special event took place at the Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Northampton and Monroe counties celebrating the completion of a historic project conserving 4,350 acres of important wildlife habitat and increasing public recreational access in Eastern Pennsylvania.

* Game Commission: Piping Plovers From Presque Isle Headed Toward Wintering Grounds In Hurricane's Path

For the third consecutive year, federally endangered piping plovers have nested, hatched and fledged chicks into the wild on Presque Isle State Park’s Gull Point, on the shores of Lake Erie, near Erie.

* We Remember September 11, 2001 - DEP Responds To A National Tragedy

We all remember where we were and what we were doing on September 11, 2001, but the employees of the Department of Environmental Protection remember better than most because they played a key role in responding to the Somerset County crash site of Flight 93.

* 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--

* Agenda: Senate Environmental Committee Sets Sept. 11 Hearing On MS4 Stormwater Program; Communities Need Help Funding Local Projects

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the federal MS4 Stormwater Water Pollution Reduction Program September 11 in Chambersburg, Franklin County.

* House Environmental Committee Tours Susquehanna River Basin Commission Headquarters

This summary of the July 22 House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee tour of the Susquehanna River Basin Commission headquarters in Harrisburg was published by Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), Majority Chair of the Committee--

* Democratic Senators, Clean Power PA Coalition Announce Bill Requiring Power Sector 90% Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions By 2040

On September 4, members of the Clean Power PA Coalition, Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) and Senators Steven Santarsiero (D-Bucks) and Art Haywood (D-Montgomery) announced the introduction of the Climate Change Mitigation and Energy Transition Act that would require the power generation sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at least 90 percent by 2040.

* Agriculture: Farmers In 7 Northeast Counties Eligible For Disaster Relief Funding Due To Excessive Rainfall

On September 4, state Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding notified farmland owners in Lackawanna and Wayne counties that they are eligible to receive disaster relief funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

* U.S. Dept. Of Energy Moves To Eliminate Cost-Saving Lighting Efficiency Standards

On September 5, the Energy Efficiency Alliance, working in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, announced the U.S. Department of Energy took two major actions jeopardizing the savings achieved through energy-efficient lighting. The actions together represent a major step backward in lighting energy efficiency standards and could cost US consumers up to $14 billion annually.

* DEP Enters Agreement With Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority For Critical Upgrades To Highland 2 Reservoir

On September 6, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority announced they have entered into a Consent Order and Agreement that will result in infrastructure upgrades to the PWSA distribution system.

* Keystone Coldwater Conference Set For Feb. 28-29 In State College

Planning has begun for the biennial Keystone Coldwater Conference, to be held on February 28-29 at the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center in State College.  Circle those dates on your calendar! 

* Call For Abstracts: Bucknell University Susquehanna River Symposium Oct. 18-19 Lewisburg

The Bucknell University Center for Sustainability and the Environment is now accepting abstract proposals for presentations at the 14th Susquehanna River Symposium on October 18-19 at Bucknell’s Elaine Langone Center in Lewisburg, Union County.

* POWR Webinar Sept. 12 On Integrated Water Quality Report, Mapping Application

The PA Organization for Watersheds and Rivers is hosting a September 12 webinar on DEP's Integrated Water Quality Report and associated mapping application from Noon to 1:00 p.m.

* Watershed Alliance Of Adams County Annual Picnic Sept. 15 In Cashtown

The Watershed Alliance of Adams County will hold its annual picnic September 15 at the Cashtown Community Lions Club Park from 1:30 to 4:30.  Members of the public are welcome.  The picnic is free.

* PA Township News: Public & Private Water Supplies Face Threats From Emerging Contaminants

The September issue of PA Township News has a series of articles outlining the threats public and private water supplies face from emerging contaminants.

* CleanScapes Held Sept. 7 Bald Eagle Creek Cleanup Day In Clinton County

CleanScapes held a cleanup in Bald Eagle Creek in Castanea Township, Clinton County on September 7.

* Help Keep Litter Out Of Our Waterways, Register Now For Keep PA Beautiful's Pick Up Pennsylvania

Registration is open for the 2019 Pick Up Pennsylvania, a fall cleanup program supporting the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup.

* Westmoreland Green Gathering Sept. 22: Changes In Curbside Recycling In Westmoreland County

Natalie Reese, Program Director of Westmoreland Cleanways and Recycling, will help demystify the “do’s” and “don’ts” of recycling at the next Green Gathering, on September 22, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Major Stokes restaurant, 108 West Pittsburgh Street in Greensburg.

* Group Against Smog And Pollution To Celebrate 50th Anniversary Oct. 12 In Pittsburgh

The Group Against Smog And Pollution (GASP) will celebrate its 50th Anniversary on October 12 at the historic Rodef Shalom Congregation in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m.

* Construction Of Public Plaza At Hazelwood Green Brownfield Redevelopment Site Underway In Pittsburgh

Construction of the $5.7 million Plaza at Hazelwood Green, the site’s first outdoor public space and civic heart of the 178-acre riverfront development, is now underway. This first phase of construction comprising the Lower Lawn is due for completion in late 2019.

* University Of Pittsburgh: Using Nature To Protect Cities From Extreme Weather

As the planet warms, communities will continue to face the sometimes crippling aftermath of flooding and increasingly common extreme weather events. The U.S.’ failing infrastructure exacerbates the problem, leaving engineers in search of solutions that are both sustainable and future-proof.

* Mid-Atlantic Bioenergy Conference & Expo Set For Sept. 17-18 In Baltimore

The Mid-Atlantic Bioenergy Conference and Expo will be held at the Maritime Conference Center in Baltimore September 17-18.

* Sustainable Energy Education & Development Support (SEEDS) To Reveal New Initiatives, Show Electric Vehicles At Annual Meeting Sept. 17 In Wayne County

SEEDS (Sustainable Energy Education and Development Support) will present “Sowing SEEDS for Future Growth” at its annual membership meeting on September 17 at The Cooperage, 1030 Main Street in Honesdale, Wayne County.  Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

* Penn State University Breaks Ground For 70-Megawatt, 500 Acre Solar Energy Facility In Franklin County

On September 6, Gov. Tom Wolf joined Penn State President Eric Barron and leaders from Lightsource BP in Franklin County for a groundbreaking ceremony for one the largest solar projects in Pennsylvania.

* In Case You Missed It In August Now Available From PA Environmental Council

The In Case You Missed It In August newsletter is now available from the PA Environmental Council featuring articles on--

* Agriculture Dept. Invites Pennsylvania Students To Help Fight Spotted Lanternfly By Entering Calendar Contest

On September 3, the Department of Agriculture invited first- through eighth-grade students to help spread the message about the threat of the invasive Spotted Lanternfly by entering the 2019 Spotted Lanternfly Student Calendar Contest.

* Wildlands Conservancy Protects 60 More Acres In Lehigh County Starting New Nature Preserve, Adding To Another

On September 5, the Wildlands Conservancy announced the protection of 60 acres of land-- 43 acres will become a new nature preserve in Lower Macungie Township adjacent to the Reimert Memorial Bird Haven and 18 acres will expand the existing South Mountain Preserve near Emmaus.

* Municipal Land Preservation Forum Sept. 10 In Cumberland County

The Cumberland Conservation Collaborative is inviting municipal representatives and conservation advocates to be part of the conversation at the Municipal Land Preservation Forum on September 10 in Cumberland County.

* DCNR, DCED Highlight Connection Between Trails, Small Business During Lehigh Valley Visit

On September 3, Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and Community and Economic Development Deputy Secretary Carrie Fischer Lepore visited Saucon Valley Bikes in Hellertown to learn about the positive impacts of the nearby Saucon Rail Trail on the community, and launch a partnership with Lehigh Valley retailers to support local parks and trails.

* 2019 River Valley Ride Set For Sept. 28 In Williamsport, Lycoming County

Ever had a question about how to access the River Walk in Williamsport? Do you know the parks and resources along the corridor? Did you know that the River Walk connects to an additional 5+ miles of trail?

* September 4 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The September 4 issue of the Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* Gifford Pinchot's Grey Towers Historic Site Free Ice Cream Social/Open House Sept. 28

A fun, fee-free day on Saturday, September  28 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Grey Towers National Historic Site, Milford, Pike County, will feature an Open House of the historic mansion, a special historic exhibit and a re-creation of Gov. Gifford Pinchot’s annual ice cream social with free ice cream from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

* Game Commission: Chronic Wasting Disease Rules Also Apply To Hunters Bringing Deer, Elk, Moose From Out-Of-State

On September 6, the Game Commission reminded Pennsylvanians who harvest deer, elk, mule deer or moose out-of-state likely can’t bring them home without first removing the carcass parts with the highest risk of transmitting chronic wasting disease (CWD).

* Game Commission Online Elk Cam Now Live, Public Can See And Hear The Wonder Of Bugling Season

The Game Commission is again making available the live online Elk Cam so people from around the world can see and hear the wonder of the bugling season in Elk County.

* Fish & Boat Commission: Drawdown Underway In Advance Of Dam Rehab Project At Lake Somerset

On August 30, the Fish and Boat Commission announced a long-awaited dam rehabilitation project at Lake Somerset located in Somerset Township, Somerset County is now underway with a drawdown of the lake’s remaining water.

* Environment & Energy NewsClips

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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