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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
November 25, 2019 Issue #804
* Senate, House Members Announce Bills To Take Away DEP’s Authority To Adopt Any Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program; Offer No Alternative To Reduce Emissions

On November 19, Senate and House Republicans and a Democratic member announced the introduction of legislation to protect coal-fired power plants by requiring the approval of the General Assembly to join the interstate Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative or similar programs.

* Citizens Advisory Council Hears Overview Of DEP’s Process To Develop A Market-Based Program To Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions To Address Climate Change Compatible With RGGI

On November 19, DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council heard a presentation providing an overview of DEP’s process for developing a carbon dioxide cap-and-trade program covering power plants that is compatible with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to address climate change.

* EDF: 2 New Analyses Show Significant Benefits For Pennsylvania By Adopting RGGI-Compatible Greenhouse Gas Reduction Regulation For Power Plants

By Rama Zakaria & Mandy Warner, Environmental Defense Foundation

* DEP Invests $1.89 Million For 12 Clean Energy Vehicle Projects Across The State; Next Applications Due Dec. 13

On November 20, the Department of Environmental Protection announced it has invested $1,891,000 in 12 clean energy vehicle projects through the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grants Program.

* Senate Passes Clean Vehicle Infrastructure Bill, Now Moves To House

On November 19, the Senate voted 43 to 6 to pass Senate Bill 596 (Mensch-R-Montgomery) encouraging the development of clean transportation infrastructure to support electric, natural gas and hydrogen vehicles.

* The Nature Conservancy-PA: Fort Indiantown Gap Doubled Training For Pennsylvania’s Warriors And Cut Energy Consumption 37%

The Nature Conservancy-PA released a new video this week profiling the steps taken by Pennsylvania’s Natural Guard to increase energy efficiency and implement clean energy technologies at its Fort Indiantown Gap training facility in Lebanon County.

* December 6 Youth #ClimateStrike - Show Up At The Doorsteps Of Elected Officials - What Is Your Plan?

On December 6th, as world leaders gather at the United Nation’s annual climate conference, young people across America will join a national #ClimateStrike to take the momentum from September Climate Strike to the doorsteps of elected officials.

* PennFuture Now Accepting Nominations For Women In Conservation Awards From Southwest PA

PennFuture is now accepting nominations for its 6th Annual Women In Conservation Awards, this year focused on Southwest Pennsylvania.  Nominations are due February 28.

* Op-Ed: Those Who Farm Pennsylvania & The Chesapeake Bay Deserve Our Thanks And Support

By Bill Chain, Senior Agriculture Program Manager, CBF-PA

* Environmental Defense Fund: New Study Shows Conservation Delivers Real Financial Benefits For Dairy Farmers In Pennsylvania

On November 18, the Environmental Defense Fund, K-Coe Isom and TeamAg, Inc. released a new study that shows farm conservation provides real financial benefits to Pennsylvania's dairy farmers who have been experiencing significant economic pressures.

* Chesapeake Bay Foundation Names Harry Campbell Director Of Science Policy & Advocacy

On November 20, Chesapeake Bay Foundation announced a new position has been created that combines science and advocacy and has tapped a familiar face to be its first director.

* DCNR Announces Investments Of $14.3 Million In 41 Land Acquisition Projects To Protect 10,051 Acres Of Open Space, Natural Areas

On November 19, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced the investment of $14.3 million in 41 land acquisition projects that will protect 10,051 acres of open space and natural areas through the Community Conservation Partnership Grants Program.

* DCNR Now Accepting Applications For Young Adult PA Outdoor Corps Crews Around PA

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is now accepting applications for the  Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps young adult work and conservation learning program.  Applications are due January 1.

* Penn State Extension: Risk Of Spotted Lanternfly On Christmas Trees Is Minimal

By Amy Duke, Penn State News

* Senate Sends Bill Allowing 3 Days Of Sunday Hunting To Governor

On November 18, the Senate voted 38 to 11 to send Senate Bill 147 (Laughlin-R-Erie) allowing hunting on 3 Sundays a year to the Governor for his action. 

* DCNR Good Natured Blog: Hunters - A Reminder To Be Prepared; One Of The Busiest Times Of The Year For DCNR’s Search & Rescue Teams

It’s that time of year again for hunters to make their list and check it twice in anticipation of the opening day of rifle deer season.

* 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--

* Senate Environmental Committee Reports Out Stream Cleaning, HHW, Violations Notice Bills

On November 19, the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee reported out legislation on stream cleaning, household hazardous waste and notifying municipalities of waste violations.

* House Agriculture Committee Holds Info Meeting With County Conservation Districts

On November 20, representatives from the PA Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. met with the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee during an informational meeting to discuss the operations, activities and challenges of the county conservation districts.

* Sen. Yudichak Switches From Democrat To Independent; Senate Democrats To Name New Senate Environmental Committee Chair

On November 19, Sen. John Yudichak (I-Luzerne) announced he will become a registered Independent and "work to change the political conversation from one of divisiveness to one that empowers the voice of every citizen who wants government to work for people, all people."

* Wildlife Biologist Kristen Schnepp-Giger Confirmed By Senate As A Member Of Game Commission Board

On November 19, the Senate confirmed Kristen Schnepp-Giger of Warren County as a member of the Game Commission’s Board of Commissioners after being nominated by Gov. Tom Wolf.

* PA U.S. Senator Casey Calls On USDA To Target Unspent Funds To Help Farmers In The Chesapeake Bay Watershed

On November 21, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), and Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) have written to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue urging him to use his authority to transfer unspent funds to conservation programs that will help agricultural producers and landowners voluntarily improve their farms and private forests by reducing runoff pollution.

* Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Other Groups Sue EPA Over Attempt To Restrict State Clean Air Efforts

On November 22, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation joined a coalition of NGOs filing suit in Federal Circuit Court in Washington, D.C. to overturn the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to withdraw the Clean Air Act waiver previously granted to California’s Clean Cars program.

* Coldwater Heritage Partnership Now Accepting Applications For Coldwater Conservation Grants

The Coldwater Heritage Partnership is now accepting applications for its 2020 Coldwater Conservation Grants Program.  The deadline to apply is January 17.

* Penn State Master Watershed Stewards Now Holding Info Meetings For Prospective Volunteers in 5 Counties

Interested in volunteering to become a Master Watershed Steward?  Learn more by attending one of the upcoming information meetings in Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon or York counties.

* Dec. 10 Workshop On Overcoming Risk From Extreme Weather Through Green Infrastructure In Community Redevelopment, Lancaster; Submit Your Site

The Water Environment Federation Stormwater Institute will host a December 10 Workshop On Strategies For Overcoming Risk From Extreme Weather Through Green Infrastructure In Community Redevelopment at the Farm & Home Center, 1383 Arcadia Road in Lancaster from 8:30 to Noon.

* National Weather Service Recognizes Pennsylvania After All 67 Counties Achieve StormReady® Status

On November 20, PA Emergency Management Agency officials from the National Weather Service recognized Pennsylvania as one of only six states in the nation to have all counties achieve StormReady® status.

* Registration For PA Sustainable Agriculture Conference Feb. 5-8 Now Open

The PA Association for Sustainable Agriculture is now accepting registrations for its February 5-8 PA Sustainable Agriculture Conference in Lancaster.

* DEP Increases Coal Mining Reclamation Fee To $100/Acre In 2020

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the November 23 PA Bulletin the per acre Reclamation Fee for 2020 will be $100 per acre to cover costs incurred by the Reclamation Fee O&M Trust Account (PA Bulletin, page 7033). 

* Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority Releases Water Future Plan Update - PGH20 2030 & Beyond

On November 22, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority released a 2019 summary recap of milestones and achievements. The 2019 update builds on the report released last year by the Authority, Pittsburgh’s Water Future: PGH2O 2030 and Beyond.

* DEP Our Common Wealth Blog: Take Care Of Heating Oil Tank That Takes Care Of You

By: Virginia Cain, Community Relations Coordinator, DEP Southeast Regional Office

* Environmental Quality Board Approves Land Recycling, Coal Mining, Water Standards, Toxics Strategy Changes

On November 19, the Environmental Quality Board voted to approve four agenda items--

* Penn State: New, Slippery Coating Could Reduce Toilet Water Consumption By Half

By Erin Cassidy Hendrick, Penn State News

* PA State Seismic Network Has Detected Only 1 Fracking-Inducted Seismic Event, So Far

By Francisco Tutella, Penn State News

* DEP Notice Of Chapter 102/105 Permit Revisions Submitted For Mariner East 2 Pipeline In Chester, Delaware Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection published notices in the November 22 PA Bulletin Chapter 102 (Erosion & Sedimentation) and Chapter 105 (Water Obstruction & Encroachment) permit revisions have been submitted for the Mariner East 2 Pipeline in Chester and Delaware counties (PA Bulletin, starting on page 7032).

* Law Firm Files Shareholder Lawsuit Against Energy Transfer/Sunoco Saying They Allegedly Misled Investors About Possible Misconduct Involving Mariner East Pipelines

On November 21, the Thornton law firm announced it has filed a lawsuit on behalf of shareholders of Energy Transfer LP [Sunoco] alleging the company and certain executives violated the federal securities laws by misleading its investors about its business, operational and compliance policies.

* PUC Urges Consumers To Evaluate Energy Options As December Brings Increases Of 1 to 24 Percent In Electricity Prices, Some Decreases

On November 21, the Public Utility Commission urged consumers to evaluate energy options with competitive suppliers as most electric utilities will adjust electric generation prices on December 1 for non-shopping, or default service customers.

* The Energy Co-op, Energy Coordinating Agency Partner To Offer Energy Efficiency Audits To Members In Southeast PA

Starting December 1, the Philadelphia-based Energy Co-op will begin offering its members comprehensive energy efficiency audits performed by certified technicians trained by the Energy Coordinating Agency, another Philadelphia nonprofit that shares with it a focus on advancing sustainable energy practices.

* Philadelphia Council Passes Bill Requiring Larger Commercial Building Owners To Tune-Up Energy, Water Systems

On November 21, the Building Energy Performance Policy (bill number 190600), passed out of Philadelphia City Council with a vote of 15 - 0.  It now goes to the Mayor for his action.

* Society For Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Salutes Miners For National Miners Day Dec. 6

December 6 is National Miners Day, a day designated by Congress to honor the contributions and sacrifices of the miners who have helped make America strong.

* Appalachian Regional Commission Dec. 11 Workshop In Somerset County On POWER Grants To Diversify The Economy Of Coal Mining Areas

The Appalachian Regional Commission will host a December 11 workshop for those communities and agencies interested in applying for POWER Grants to help diversify the economies of areas in Appalachia impacted by the downturn in the coal mining industry.

* Dec. 12 Symposium At Penn State To Explore The Future Of Solar Energy

A December 12 symposium on the future of solar energy will feature experts from Penn State as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California Merced, and Princeton University.

* Master Gardener 2020 Calendar Available Now At Your County Penn State Extension Office

The Penn State Master Gardener program has produced its second statewide calendar. The 2020 wall calendar features stunning photography and, new this year, IPM (integrated pest management) tips.

* Dept. Of Health WalkWorks Program Awards 10 Community Grants To Improve Access To Walking, Biking Recreation Facilities

On November 22, the WalkWorks Program, a collaboration between the Department of Health and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, has selected 10 communities and agencies to receive grants that will assist with the development of active transportation plans and policies.

* South Mountain Partnership 9th Annual Power Of The Partnership Celebration Jan. 31 In Adams County; Spirit Of South Mountain Awards

The Annual Power of the Partnership Celebration is the South Mountain Partnership’s yearly event to celebrate what makes the South Mountain region so special.

* Brandywine Conservancy Receives DCNR Grant For Work On Brandywine Creek Greenway, Micro-Grant Program

On November 18, the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art announced it has received an $80,000 grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to conduct outreach and technical assistance within the Brandywine Creek Greenway; and coordinate and fund the 2020 Brandywine Creek Greenway mini-grant program.

* PA Parks & Forests Foundation Now Offering 2020 State Parks Calendar

Brighten up any wall in your office or home with a 2020 State Parks Calendar from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation.

* Wildlands Conservancy Highlights December Education Programs, Activities

The Lehigh Valley-based Wildlands Conservancy recently highlighted its educational programs and activities coming up in December--

* Wildlife For Everyone Foundation Receives DCNR Grant For Education Project At Tom Ridge Wetlands In Centre County

The Wildlife for Everyone Foundation tom ridge wetlands recently  received a $250,000 Recreation and Conservation grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for the continued development of the education elements of the Tom Ridge Wetlands & Wildlife Center in Huston Township, Centre County.

* Wildlife For Everyone Foundation Now Accepting Applications For Student Scholarships

The Wildlife For Everyone Foundation is now accepting scholarship applications for students enrolled in a 2-year, 4-year or graduate program with an interest or academic major in wildlife resources or who actively participates in natural resource conservation activities.

* Wildlife For Everyone Foundation 2020 Pennsylvania Wildlife Gala April 3

The Wildlife For Everyone Foundation will hold the 2020 Pennsylvania Wildlife Gala on April 3 at the Nittany Lion Inn in State College, Centre County.

* Nov. 22 Take Five Fridays With Pam From PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The November 22 Take Five Fridays With Pam is now available from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation featuring articles on--

* U.S. Forest Service National Wilderness Program Staff Make Pilgrimage To Howard Zahniser Sites In Tionesta, PA

Leaders from the U.S. Forest Service's Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers staff are visiting the Allegheny National Forest this week for a team retreat. They came from as far away as Washington, D.C.; West Virginia; Missoula, Montana; and the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area in Minnesota.

* Fall PA Council Of Trout Unlimited Newsletter Now Available

The Fall newsletter from the PA Council of Trout Unlimited is now available 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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* 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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