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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
November 4, 2019 Issue #801
* DEP Starts Accepting Growing Greener Plus Watershed Restoration Grant Applications Nov. 4

The Department of Environmental Protection will begin accepting applications for Growing Greener Plus Watershed Restoration Grants on November 4.  The deadline for applications is December 20.  (formal notice)

* Proposals Now Being Accepted For Mine Reclamation Projects With Economic Or Community Revitalization Potential By DEP

On November 1, the Department of Environmental Protection announced it is now accepting proposals for mine reclamation projects focused on economic development or community revitalization in abandoned mine land areas under the Abandoned Mine Land Pilot Program.

* Western PA Conservancy Now Accepting Applications For Dominion Energy Watershed Mini Grants In Western PA

The Western PA Conservancy is now accepting applications for the Dominion Energy Watershed Mini Grant Program to support grassroots watershed groups.  Applications are due December 20.

* Maryland Governor Announces $200 Million Agreement With Exelon On Conowingo Dam To Improve Water Quality In Lower Susquehanna, Chesapeake Bay

On October 29, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced a comprehensive agreement between the Maryland Department of the Environment and Exelon Generation Company, LLC, which requires Exelon to invest more than $200 million in environmental projects and operational enhancements to improve water quality in the Lower Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay.

* Senate OKs Keystone Tree Fund Bill, Now Goes To Governor For His Action

On October 29, the Senate unanimously approved and sent to the Governor House Bill 374 (Everett-R-Lycoming) to establish the Keystone Tree Fund.  The bill allows driver and vehicle license owners to add $3.00 to those fees to support DCNR riparian buffer and tree planting programs starting in July 2020.

* Bay Journal: Rachel Carson No Stranger To The Chesapeake Bay, Its Creatures

By Tom Horton, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* 100 Groups, Companies, 1,000 Citizens To Legislators, Wolf: Oppose SB 790 Legalizing Road Dumping Of Conventional Drilling Wastewater

On October 29, Berks Gas Truth sent a letter to lawmakers and Gov. Tom Wolf signed by more than 100 organizations and businesses and 1,000 concerned citizens objecting to Senate Bill 790 (Scarnati-R-Jefferson) legalizing the road dumping of drilling waste and providing other benefits to conventional drillers, including a loosening of the requirements for reporting spills.

* DEP Reaches $650,000 Settlement With Greene County Gas Storage Field Operator For Oil & Gas Act Violations

On October 29, the Department of Environmental Protection announced it has executed a Consent Order and Agreement with Equitrans Midstream Corporation for violations regarding the operator’s Swarts gas storage reservoir located in Greene County.

* Senate Unanimously Passes Resolution Urging Reauthorization Of Federal Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund

On October 28, the Senate unanimously passed Senate Resolution 191 (Yudichak-D-Luzerne, Yaw-R-Lycoming), a concurrent Senate-House resolution urging Congress to reauthorize the federal Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fee which is the primary source of funding for Pennsylvania’s abandoned mine reclamation program

* Senate Passes Bill To Restrict Some Uses Of Firefighting Foams With PFAS; Clean Water Action Says Bill Is Meant To Protect Industry

On October 29, the Senate passed Senate Bill 919 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) by a vote of 40 to 9.  The bill establishes statewide uniform requirements restricting some uses of Class B firefighting foams containing added PFAS chemistries for training, restricting their use in testing, while also allowing for continued sale and use against fires.

* Wolf Administration Seeking Information On Local Needs To Address Lead Hazards; Senate Fails To Take Action On Lead Task Force Recommendations

On October 31, the Wolf Administration issued a Request for Information to gather information to assist in the development of a program to reduce lead exposures in Pennsylvania by expanding efforts to have children tested for lead exposure and helping communities expand their lead exposure prevention and elimination strategies.

* Senate Consumer Protection Committee Unanimously Reports Out Bill To Promote Electric, CNG, Hydrogen Vehicle Infrastructure Development

On October 30, the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee unanimously reported out Senate Bill 596 (Mensch-R-Montgomery) designed to promote the development of clean transportation infrastructure to support electric, natural gas and hydrogen vehicles.

* Armstrong Ceilings Recycling Program Recognized With Northeast Recycling Council Sustainability Leadership Award

On October 30, the Northeast Recycling Council recognized the Armstrong Ceilings Recycling Program based in Lancaster with a 2019 Environmental Sustainability Leadership Award.

* South Mountain Partnership Now Accepting Spirit Of South Mountain Award Nominations

The South Mountain Partnership is asking the public to submit nominations for the 8th Spirit of South Mountain award. The deadline for nominations is December 20.

* DCNR: Still Lots Of Good Opportunities To View Fall Foliage Over Next Week

On October 31, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources issued its sixth Fall Foliage Report with regional comments on factors influencing foliage changes.

* Senate/House Bills Moving Last Week

The following bills of interest saw action last week in the House and Senate--

* Bills On Governor's Desk

The following bills were given final approval by the Senate and House and are now on the Governor's desk for action--

* Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule[UPDATED]/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--

* House Committee Hearing Pits Climate Change Skeptics/Deniers Against Most Of The Scientific Community, Major Companies On Climate Change Impacts, Solutions

On October 28, the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held a hearing on “Pennsylvania CO2 and climate” which pit climate change skeptics and deniers against most of the scientific community and major companies who believe action needs to be taken to deal with climate change and its impacts.

* House Judiciary Committee Holds Dec. 16 Hearing On Bipartisan Anti-SLAPP-- Citizen Intimidation-- Lawsuit Legislation

The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing December 16 on Senate Bill 95 (Farnese-D-Philadelphia) and House Bill 95 (Diamond-R-Lebanon), bipartisan legislation to prevent the use of the legal system to intimidate citizens and community groups.

* CBF: U.S. Senate Passes Increase In Essential Funding For Chesapeake Bay Program

On October 31, the U.S. Senate passed a package of fiscal year 2020 appropriations bills that includes a more than $5 million increase for the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program.

* EPA Blog: Engaging Partners In Improving Chesapeake Bay Water Quality

By Tom Damm, EPA Mid-Atlantic Region

* EPA Removes Landfills In Chester, Lehigh Counties From National Superfund Site List

On October 29, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it is taking final action to remove all or part of 27 sites from the Superfund National Priority List, including the Strasburg Landfill in Newlin Township, Chester County and Novak Sanitary Landfill in South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County.

* EPA Awards Brownfields-Related Job Training Grant To Earth Conservancy, Luzerne County

On October 28, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the award of a $200,000 grant to the nonprofit organization Earth Conservancy in Luzerne County for brownfields-related job training.

* AFCO C&S, LLC In Chambersburg To Pay Over $1.4 Million In Penalties To EPA In Settlement Of Pesticide Violations

On October 31, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced AFCO C&S, LLC, a chemical manufacturer in Chambersburg, Franklin County, will pay a $1,489,000 penalty to settle alleged violations of federal pesticide regulations involving 12 products used in the cleaning and sanitizing of food and beverage processing facilities

* DEP Opportunities To Bid On Mine Reclamation Projects In Allegheny, Cambria Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of opportunities to bid on mine reclamation projects in Allegheny and Cambria counties in the November 2 PA Bulletin.

* DEP Received Good Samaritan Abandoned Oil & Gas Well Plugging Proposal In Tioga County

The Department of Environmental Protection received a proposal from SWN Production Company to plug an abandoned oil and gas well in Liberty Township, Tioga County (Nov. 2 PA Bulletin, page 6583)

* DEP Invites Individuals, Groups To Submit Data To Help Review Water Quality Standards For Tohickon Creek Tributary In Bucks County

The Department of Environmental Protection invites individuals and groups to submit technical data that would be helpful in its review of the water quality standards for a tributary to the Tohickon Creek in Bucks County (formal notice)

* Master Watershed Stewards In York County Introduce 150 Urban Youth, Adults To Fishing, Conservation

By Jodi Sulpizio, Master Watershed Steward Coordinator York County

* Forests For The Chesapeake Bay: Riparian Forest Buffers For Bats

By Ryan Davis, PA Office, Chesapeake Bay Forests Program Manager

* Nearly 700 Attend Workshops To Help Private Water Well, Septic System Owners Across PA

By Bryan Swistock, Penn State Extension Water Resources Coordinator

* Pike Conservation District Watershed Specialist Monitors Groundwater Levels In PA's Fastest Growing County

Over the course of two days at the beginning of each month, Rachel Posavetz visits 21 wells in Pike County to test their water levels. Rachel is Pike Conservation District’s Watershed Specialist, and her job is to coordinate our efforts in watershed stewardship.

* Partnership For The Delaware Estuary Accepting Entries For Philadelphia and Schuylkill Student Art Contests

The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary is now accepting entries to the Philadelphia Green City, Clean Waters Student Art Contest and the Schuylkill Street Art Contest.  Both have a December 20 deadline for entries.

* Registration Now Open For 2020 Rivers Conservation & Fly Fishing Youth Camp

Students age 14 to 17 can now register for the 2020 Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp to be held June 21-26 at Messiah College in Cumberland County.  The deadline for registrations is December 31.

* DEP Hosts Nov. 18 Webinar On How To Apply For An Environmental Education Grant

The Department of Environmental Protection will host a November 18 webinar staring at 1:00 p.m. on how formal and informal environmental educators can apply for DEP Environmental Education Grants.

* Delaware River Basin Commission Hearing Nov. 13, Business Meeting Dec. 11

The Delaware River Basin Commission will hold a public hearing on November 13 and a business meeting the following month on December 11.

* PA Environmental Council, EPCAMR, Partners Hold Illegal Dumpsite Cleanup In Luzerne County Nov. 9

The PA Environmental Council, in partnership with Hanover Township, Eastern PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation and the Luzerne Conservation District will conduct a Community Illegal Dumpsite Cleanup November 9 in Luzerne County.

* KPB: Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry County Groups Collect Over 4,000 Waste Tires In Tire War Competition

On October 31, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful congratulates local affiliates Keep Huntingdon County Beautiful, Keep Juniata County Beautiful, PA CleanWays of Mifflin County, and Keep Perry County Beautiful on a successful 14th Annual Tire War, a friendly competition to compete for the most tires collected at their perspective special collections event.

* Professional Recyclers Of PA Now Accepting Presentation Proposals For 2020 Recycling & Organics Conference July 29-31 In Gettysburg

The Professional Recyclers of PA are now accepting presentation proposals for the 2020 Recycling and Organics Conference on July 29-31 in Gettysburg.  The deadline for submissions is December 6.

* Lackawanna County Company Pays DEP $75,000 Penalty For Environmental Violations

On November 1, the Department of Environmental Protection announced it has reached a Consent Order and Agreement with Walter Stocki, Jr., regarding an appeal filed with the Environmental Hearing Board related to a civil penalty for violations on his property in Lackawanna County.

* DEP Publishes Final Management Of Fill Technical Guidance

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of the final technical guidance on Management of Fill Policy (DEP ID: 258-2182-773) in the November 2 PA Bulletin

* State Funding To Help Luzerne County Turn Old Industrial Site Into Recreational Area

On November 1, Gov. Tom Wolf announced the approval of new funding through the Industrial Sites Reuse Program (ISRP) for Pittston to assess a former industrial site in Luzerne County.

* DEP Sets Dec. 6 Hearing [If Needed] On Altoona Air Quality Maintenance Plan For Ozone

The Department of Environmental Protection invites comments on a proposed State Implementation Plan revision of the Altoona Air Quality Maintenance Plan for ozone.  (formal notice)

* DEP Sets Dec. 17 Hearing [If Needed] On RACT II Air Quality Plan For General Carbide Corp In Westmoreland County

The Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled a hearing on December 17 [if needed] for the RACT II Air Quality Plan for General Carbide Corporation in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County.

* EQB Invites Comments On Proposed Surface Coal Mining Water Supply Replacement Regulation Changes

The Environmental Quality Board published notice in the November 2 PA Bulletin inviting comments on proposed changes to regulations on water supply replacement related to surface coal mining operations.

* Dept. Of Human Services Now Accepting Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Applications

On October 30, Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller announced the start of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) application process for the 2019-20 season.

* DEP Sets Dec. 4 Hearing On Broad Mountain Wind Power Water Quality Permit In Carbon County

The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a hearing on the NPDES Water Quality Permit for the Broad Mountain Wind Power Project in Nesquehoning Borough and Packer Township, Carbon County on December 4. (PA Bulletin, page 6620)

* Pollinator Project Will Complement Penn State Solar Power Project In Franklin County

By Amy Duke, Penn State News

* PUC Recaps Recent Blue Flame Exercise Involving Large-Scale Utility Outage

On November 1, the Public Utility Commission recognized National Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month, noting the importance of Pennsylvania’s critical utility systems and the need for collaborative planning and testing to ensure that utilities, agencies and the public are safeguarded.

* PUC Commissioner Andrew Place Elected Vice President Of Organization Of PJM States

On October 31, the Public Utility Commission announced Commissioner Andrew G. Place has been elected as vice president of the Organization of PJM States, the inter-governmental organization comprised of the utility regulatory agencies of 13 states and the District of Columbia that are wholly or partly in the service area of PJM, one of the world’s largest regional electric transmission operators.

* Arboretum At Penn State Breaks Ground On The Pollinator And Bird Garden

By Harland Patch, Penn State Center for Pollinator Research

* DCNR Good Natured Blog: It’s Not Just Faith That Moves Mountains

By Jim Hyland, District Forester, Tioga State Forest

* DCNR Good Natured Pennsylvanians: Lindsay Hughes, North Penn Water Authority

Lindsay Hughes, a Bucks County native, works as the Community Relations Coordinator for North Penn Water Authority in Lansdale, Montgomery County.

* Friends Of Allegheny Wilderness Executive Director Attends National Wilderness Workshop In Oregon

Kirk Johnson, executive director for the Warren-based Friends of Allegheny Wilderness, recently attended the annual National Wilderness Workshop, hosted by the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance and Society for Wilderness Stewardship, for the first time since 2012.

* Oct. 30 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The October 30 Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* Nov. 1 Take Five Fridays With Pam, PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The November 1 Take Five Fridays With Pam is now available from the PA Parks & Forests Foundation featuring articles on--

* Brodhead Watershed Association Hosts Nov. 16 Glen Run Nature Preserve Hike In Monroe County

The Brodhead Watershed Association will host another in its series of Get Outdoors Poconos hikes on November 16 at the Glen Run Nature Preserve in Monroe County.

* Gifford Pinchot's Grey Towers Hosting Annual Dickens’ Christmas Carol Program Dec. 7-8 Kicking Off Holiday Tour Season

Tickets for the 39th annual dramatization of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at Grey Towers National Historic Site, Milford, Pike County, are now on sale.

* Dept. Of Agriculture Accepting Chronic Wasting Disease Research Project Grant Applications

The Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for chronic wasting disease research grants.  The deadline for applications is November 30.  (formal notice)

* Disney Conservation Fund Helps Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Support Wildlife, The Environment

On October 29, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Berks County announced it has been awarded a grant by the Disney Conservation Fund for the work to protect two species of critically endangered vultures, the white-backed and hooded, in South Africa through the Sanctuary’s “Safe Spaces” project.

* Help Wanted: Berks Conservation District Urban Resource Conservationist

The Berks County Conservation District is seeking qualified candidates to fill the position of Urban Resource Conservationist.

* 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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