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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
November 18, 2019 Issue #803
* Governor’s Office Announces Transfer Of $45 Million To Augment DEP, DCNR Budgets - Not New Money

On November 16, the Governor’s Office of the Budget published notice in the PA Bulletin announcing the transfer of $45 million from 5 non-environmental special funds to “augment” the budgets for the departments of Environmental Protection and Conservation and Natural Resources.

* U.S. House Subcommittee Hears About Urgent Need For Reauthorization Of Federal Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fee/Program

On November 14 the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a hearing on bipartisan legislation-- HR 4248-- to reauthorize the fee supporting the federal Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program.

* Briefing: Positive, Bipartisan Environmental, Energy Bills The House & Senate Can Pass Before The End Of 2019

The Senate has only 7 voting days left in 2019 and the House has 10.  But, that’s plenty of time to pass the more than a dozen positive, bipartisan environmental and energy bills now pending in the General Assembly and take action on much-needed environmental infrastructure funding before the end of the year..

* Court: Republican Senators Lack Standing To Sue Environmental Quality Board Over Missed Deadline On Adopting Less Protective Manganese Standard

On November 12, Commonwealth Court ruled Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) and Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, lacked standing to file a petition for mandamus relief to compel DEP and the Environmental Quality Board to set a less protective water quality standard for manganese as required by an October 2017 rider to an Administrative Code budget bill.

* You Are Looking At A Map Of Future Dumpsites For Conventional Oil & Gas Drilling Wastewater If Road Dumping Is Approved By General Assembly

The Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment recently released a map showing unpaved roads in Pennsylvania, each of which could become  new dumpsites, if the General Assembly passes pending legislation legalizing the road dumping of conventional oil and gas drilling wastewater.

* AP: FBI Opens Corruption Investigation Into How Wolf Administration Approved Mariner East Pipelines

On November 12, Marc Levy of the Associated Press reported the FBI has begun a corruption investigation into how Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration came to issue permits for construction of the Mariner East Pipelines carrying highly volatile natural gas liquids across Pennsylvania.

* Commonwealth Court Upholds Westmoreland County Township’s Ordinance Allowing Natural Gas Drilling

On November 14, Commonwealth Court issued a decision upholding the zoning ordinance of Penn Township in Westmoreland County allowing natural gas drilling in a designated rural resource district with a mineral extraction overlay.

* Auditor General DePasquale: State’s Unfocused Efforts On Climate Change Crisis Risks Lives, Cost Taxpayers $261 Million In 2018 Alone

On November 13, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said Pennsylvania must proactively plan for the changing climate, a problem that already threatens public safety and drives significant new costs for taxpayers during his announcement of a special report-- Climate Crisis: The Rising Cost Of Inaction.

* Nearly $1.3 Million In Agriculture Research Funding Awarded For Building Soil Health, Dealing With Invasive Plants, Spotted Lanternfly, Promoting Pollinator Habitat, Climate Change Impacts

On November 13, the Department of Agriculture announced the award of nearly $1.3 million to seven organizations for research on issues critical to sustaining and growing Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry.

* DCNR Conservation & Natural Resources Council Meets Nov. 20 On State Forest Strategic Plan, Penn’s State Parks For All, PA Outdoor Recreation Plan

DCNR’s Conservation & Natural Resources Council is scheduled to meet on November 20 to hear a presentation on the State Forest Strategic Plan and have a discussion of the Penn’s State Parks For All and PA Outdoor Recreation planning efforts.

* DCNR Announces $24.5 Million In Community Conservation Partnership Grants Investing In 169 Local Recreation Projects Statewide

On November 14, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced the investment of $24.5 million in 169 local recreation and land trust construction, planning, rehabilitation and outreach projects across the state.

* DCNR Announces $11.2 Million Investment In 37 Trail Development Projects Across The State

On November 12, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced the investment of $11.2 million in 37 trail development projects across Pennsylvania.

* DEP, PennDOT, Keep PA Beautiful Announce Statewide Initiative To Reduce Littering, High Cleanup Costs

On November 14, the departments of Environmental Protection and Transportation, in partnership with Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, announced an initiative to reduce littering and presented results of the first statewide litter study in over 20 years at the 2019 Litter Summit attended by more than 125 local government, legislative, business, and community organization partners.

* DEP Identifies Source Of PFAS Contamination At Ridge Run Hazardous Waste Site In Bucks County

On November 12, the Department of Environmental Protection announced it has identified property owned by Bergey’s Realty Co. and/or Bergey’s Retread Technologies, as the source for PFAS contamination at the Ridge Run PFAS Site in East and West Rockhill townships, Bucks County.

* 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--

* Senate Appropriations Meets Nov. 18 To Consider Clean Vehicle Infrastructure Bill

The Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to meet November 18 to consider Senate Bill 596 (Mensch-R-Montgomery) encouraging the development of clean transportation infrastructure to support electric, natural gas and hydrogen vehicles.

* Senate Environmental Committee Meets Nov. 19 On Stream Cleaning, HHW, Violations Bills

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to meet on November 19 to consider legislation on stream cleaning, household hazardous waste and notifying municipalities of waste violations.

* National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Report: Climate Change Is No Longer A Distant Threat For Farmers, It’s Here

For American farmers, the writing is on the wall: climate crisis is no longer a distant threat, it is here.

* CBF-PA: Planting Trees Is Part Of Treating The Land Right At Drager Farms In Lancaster County

By Codi Yeager, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

* South Mountain Partnership Announces 3 Water Related Workshops For Residents Of Adams, Cumberland, Franklin & York Counties

The South Mountain Partnership network is coming together to host a series of water-related workshops for the annual South Mountain Speakers Series.  The three Water Workshops are unique events that serve different audiences.

* Penn State Extension Launches Master Watershed Steward Program In Cumberland County; Info Meetings Jan. 14 & 28

The Cumberland County Penn State Extension is launching its Master Watershed Steward Program and will hold information sessions on January 14 and 28 for volunteers interested in joining the program.

* DEP Invites Comments On Draft Stream Evaluation Reports In Adams, Berks, Blair, Huntingdon Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the November 16 PA Bulletin inviting comments on draft Stream Evaluation Reports for streams in Adams, Blair and Huntingdon Counties.  The streams include--

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Meets December 5 To Consider Fee Changes

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission is scheduled to hold a business meeting on December 5 to consider, among other items, the proposed FY 2020 fee changes. (formal notice)

* DCNR Good Natured Pennsylvanians: Sarah Presongna, Environmental Ed Specialist

Sarah Presogna is the Environmental Education Specialist Supervisor at Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center in Berks County. Her love for the outdoors allows her to enjoy her job and be passionate in teaching others about the natural world.

* Appalachian Chapter Audubon Society Offers 3 Full Scholarships To Hog Island Teen Seabird Conservation Summer Camp

The Appalachian Chapter of the Audubon Society is offering 3 full student scholarships to Audubon's seabird conservation field research station at Hog Island in Maine.  The deadline for applications is January 24.

* Centre County Recycling & Refuse Authority, Weis Markets Announce Student Poster Contest Winners

On November 12, the Centre County Recycling & Refuse Authority and Weis Markets announced the winners of the 5th grade student "Feeding Our Friends" poster contest.

* State Agencies Generate Nearly $1.1 Million Thru Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Programs

On November 15-- America Recycles Day-- Department of General Services Secretary Cut Topper encouraged the public to “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle,” noting this approach has helped the Commonwealth turn waste into reusable materials and generate nearly $1.1 million in revenue for the Commonwealth.

* DEP Sets Dec. 20 Hearing [If Needed] On Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle Ozone Attainment Maintenance Plan

The Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled a public hearing for December 20 [if needed] on the proposed Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle Area Ozone Maintenance Plan.  (formal notice)

* Public Hearing Set For Jan. 8 [If Needed] On RACT II Air Quality Plan For Truck Accessories Group, Northumberland County

The Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled a public hearing for January 8 [if needed] on the RACT II Air Quality Plan for the Truck Accessories Group facility located in Milton Borough, Northumberland County (Nov. 16 PA Bulletin page 6916).

* PA Energy Development Authority Issues Energy Plan Setting Financial, Technical Priorities

On November 16, the PA Energy Development Authority invites comments on an updated Energy Development Plan which sets energy policy goals and allocations for financial and technical assistance to achieve the Authority’s mission.  (formal notice)

* Dec. 3 Workshop On Performance Excellence In Electricity Rating Program For Green Buildings In Harrisburg

DEP’s Energy Programs Office, in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council and Green Business Certification, Inc., will hold a workshop on December 3 in Harrisburg on the Performance Excellence in Electricity rating program for green buildings.

* PA Conservative Energy Forum Clean & Renewable Energy Symposium Dec. 9-10 In Harrisburg

The PA Conservative Energy Forum will host a Clean and Renewable Energy Symposium on December 9-10 at the Harrisburg Hilton to discuss the state and future of energy in Pennsylvania.

* Pike Conservation District Hosts Workshop On Spotted Lanternfly Permits For Businesses Dec. 4

The Pike County Conservation District will host a Workshop on Spotted Lanternfly Permits For Business on December 4 from 9:30 to 10.30 a.m. at the Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center, 126 PPL Drive in Hawley.

* TreeVitalize Now Accepting Applications For Bare Root Tree Program

The PA Urban & Community Forestry Council’s new TreeVitalize Bare Root Tree Program aims to assist communities in Pennsylvania with increasing the tree canopy and commitment to urban and community forests.  The deadline for applications is December 10.

* Tree Tender Training Being Offered In Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Online

Tree Pittsburgh, PA Horticultural Society and Penn State Extension are offering volunteers interested in restoring and caring for the tree canopy in their communities training as Tree Tenders.

* Penn State Extension Woods In Your Backyard Webinar Series January 29 To March 25

Small woodland owners are encouraged to participate in Penn State Extension's The Woods in Your Backyard Webinar Series which will be held every Wednesday from January 29 to March 25 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

* Natural Lands, Tyler Arboretum Form Local Seed Collection & Propagation Partnership For Rare, Local Plants

On a sunny autumn afternoon in late October, more than a dozen volunteers from nonprofits Natural Lands and Tyler Arboretum joined forces to collect native plant seeds at Willisbrook Preserve, owned and managed by Natural Lands.

* Friends Of Rothrock State Forest Hold Deer, Forest Health & Hunting Program Nov. 21 In Centre County

Join the Friends of Rothrock State Forest for an educational and social event November 21 on Deer, Forest Health and Hunting at the Boalsburg Fire Hall, 113 E Pine Street in Centre County from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

* Western PA Conservancy Acquires Easement On 309 Acres In Venango County

On November 13, the Western PA Conservancy announced more forestland along the Allegheny River in President Township, Venango County is now permanently protected, thanks to a donation of a conservation easement on 309 acres.

* Willistown Conservation Trust Protects Harris Property In Chester County

The map of permanently conserved land in the Willistown area in Chester County just got a little greener, thanks to Lawrie Harris. Harris donated a legacy conservation easement to the Willistown Conservation Trust on November 11, protecting her 12.7 acres on Twinbrook Road from development forever.

* ClearWater Conservancy Preserves Smith Trust Property In Scotia Barrens, Centre County

The ClearWater Conservancy has finalized the sale of the 18.7 acre Smith Trust property in Halfmoon Township, Centre County to the Game Commission.

* PA Land Trust Assn. Offering Regional Trail Workshop Grants

The PA Land Trust Association is offering grants for regional trail workshops and outreach events that deliver educational programming and training related to trails and greenways. Applications are due January 15.

* DCNR Good Natured Blog: Citizens Continue To Shape Pennsylvania State Parks

From one state park in 1893, to 121 state parks in 2015, DCNR’s Bureau of State Parks has blossomed into one of the largest state park systems in the eastern United States-- comprising nearly 300,000 acres statewide.

* Nov. 15 Take Five Fridays With Pam, PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The November 15 Take Five Fridays With Pam is now available from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation featuring articles on--

* Nov. 13 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The November 13 Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* 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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