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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
July 4 & 11, 2005
(7/8/2005)
* Special Double Issue – Next Digest July 18 - PDF of This Issue
Because of the unusually long session week, this is a special double issue of the PA Environment Digest. The next issue will be July 18. PA Environment Digest – July 4 & 11, 2005 - PDF
* Environmental Bond Bill Passes, Some Budget Cuts Restored
A little after 2:15 a.m. Thursday, the General Assembly passed a $24.2 billion state budget, along with legislation implementing the $625 million environmental bond issue and reallocating funding now going to the existing Growing Greener Program. (see separate article in this Digest)
* Bills on Governor’s Desk
A variety of bills passed the General Assembly in the last week that have been or will be considered by the Governor, including: local government contributions to watershed associations, freezing storage tank fees, providing for security improvement loans from PennVEST and designating another scenic byway.
* Senate and House Bills Passed/Moving
Here’s a quick rundown on a variety of environmental bills moving in the Senate and House.
* Environmental Bond Bill Passes, Existing Environmental Funding Reallocated
The General Assembly not only passed legislation directing how the $625 million bond passed by voters in May will be spent, but they also made major changes in how funds now going to the existing Growing Greener Program are used.
* Senate Bill Authorizes Public/Private Partnerships to Preserve Farmland
The Senate this week approved Senate Bill 723 by Sen. Wenger (R-Lancaster) that would enable authorized private non-profit organizations to partner with governments in the purchase of agricultural conservation easements.
* House Bill to Encourage Waste Tire Recycling Passes House
House Bill 1114, sponsored by Rep. Yudichak (D-Luzerne), that would tighten regulations for the cleanup of waste tire piles and promote tire recycling efforts unanimously passed the House.
* Some Counties Experiencing Drop in Ground, Surface Water Levels
If you thought it was starting to get dry in parts of the state, you were right. A number of counties in Pennsylvania are beginning to experience low levels of ground and surface water due to decreasing levels of precipitation over the last 90 days, some to emergency levels.
* PUC Offers Summer Heat Wave Tips to Help Consumers
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission reminded consumers to conserve energy during days with extreme heat and humidity.
* Applications Due January 6 for Small Business Advantage Grant Program
The Department of Environmental Protection this week announced it was accepting applications for the Small Business Advantage Grant Program through January 6.
* Gautier Steel, Johnstown, Cut Energy Costs by $290,000+
Gautier Steel Ltd in Johnstown, Cambria County, is one of the nation’s leading steel producers of hot rolled carbon, alloy flats, sharp cornered squares and special sections. Thanks to a loan from the Small Business Pollution Prevention Assistance Account Program, they not only cut energy use, the improved their bottom line.
* Energy Efficient, Affordable House Topic of August Conference
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is sponsoring a "Towards Truly Affordable Housing," conference on August 9 in Pittsburgh that will focus on valuable cost-saving energy conservation strategies to make housing truly affordable, comfortable, and healthy to live in, while protecting the environment and saving natural resources.
* Revised Great Lakes Water Withdrawal Policy Proposed for Comment
The Department of Environmental Protection this week announced the release of a revised draft of the Great Lakes Annex 2001 water withdrawal agreement along with a 60 day public comment period.
* Comments Requested on Little Mill Creek TMDL, Clarion County
The Department of Environmental Protection and the Mill Creek Coalition are holding a meeting August 10 at Clarion University to gather comments on a proposed Total Maximum Daily Load plan for Mill Creek Watershed, Clarion County. (PaB 3851)
* July is Lake Awareness Month in Pennsylvania
Lake Awareness or Lake Appreciation Month is being celebrated in many states during July and Pennsylvania's lakes, reservoirs and ponds have been publicly recognized as valuable resources in an official Proclamation by Gov. Rendell.
* RecycleBank Helps Make Philadelphia Live 8 Concert Environmentally Friendly
RecycleBank was the Official Recycling Provider for Philadelphia’s Live 8 Concert on July 2, providing large, clearly marked recycling containers for the more than one million concertgoers, as well as arranging for collection and processing of recyclable materials.
* PRC Sponsors “Hard to Recycle” Collection July 16 in Pittsburgh
The Pennsylvania Resources Council is sponsoring another “Hard to Recycle” collection event at its Construction Junction building materials recycling center in Pittsburgh on July 16.
* Get Outdoors PA Highlights Summer Recreation Programs in State Parks, Forests
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources this week encouraged Pennsylvanians to experience their state parks and forests through "Get Outdoors PA"-outdoor recreation programs being offered throughout the commonwealth this summer.
* 2005 Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp Completed
The eleventh annual Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp was completed on June 24. The six day residence camp was held at Allenberry Resort in Boiling Springs. The thirty-one students who attended the camp were from across Pennsylvania as well as Maine, Virginia and Ohio.
* PA Environmental Professionals Support Environmental Heritage Project
Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission announced the Pennsylvania Heritage Society received a check for $5,000 from the Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Professionals for use in researching the life and work of the late environmentalist Karl Mason.
* Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Ross Announces Retirement
Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Vernon R. Ross this week announced he will retire effective December 31, to spend more time with his wife and famil, and in the Great Outdoors with his grandchildren.
* DCNR Accepting Nominations for Trails Advisory Board
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is seeking nominations for four new appointments to the Pennsylvania Recreational Trails Advisory Board. Appointees will serve a consecutive three-year term.
* Projects, Environmental Centers Discover Natural Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council announced the winners of the Western Pennsylvania Environmental Awards Program which were included in the May 30 Digest. But, the finalists selected in that program also deserve recognition for their good work. Here are the last three finalists for your consideration.
* Opinion - Protecting Your Schuylkill River

By Donald S. Welsh, EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator

* Quick Clips
A selection of NewsClips from across Pennsylvania on environmental topics-
* Watershed NewsClips
A sampling of NewsClips on watershed topics-
* Regulations
The Environmental Quality Board published notice that it has accepted a rulemaking petition for redesignation of the Tobyhanna Creek Watershed in Monroe County. The Public Utility Commission published its tentative order covering the implementation of the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act.
* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Department of Environmental Protectionpublished one guidance document related to the drinking water program.
* Calendar of Events
Upcoming conferences, meetings, workshops, plus links to other online calendars. Go To: PA Environment Digest Calendar Page
* Stories Invited
Send your stories about environmental issues, programs and positive actions to PA Environment Digest - DHess@crisciassociates.com or go to www.PaEnvironmentDigest.com .

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