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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
December 9, 2019 Issue #806
* Feature: 20 Years Of Growing Greener: A Celebration Of Leadership, Partnership, Accomplishment

On July 1, 1997, Gov. Tom Ridge signed an executive order creating the 21st Century Environment Commission.  Its job was to help Pennsylvania set environmental priorities and explore new methods of achieving its environmental goals in the next century.

* EQB To Consider Regulations Controlling Methane Emissions From Existing Oil & Gas Operations, Setting Manganese Toxic Substances Water Quality Standard Dec. 17

On December 17, the Environmental Quality Board is scheduled to consider proposed regulations to control methane emissions from existing oil and gas operations and setting a new numeric human health criterion for manganese.

* In A First, National Natural Gas Supply Assn. Supports Carbon Pricing, Including Major Natural Gas Drilling Companies In PA

On December 3, Natural Gas Supply Association announced its support for carbon pricing as a critical pathway to aggressively reducing carbon emissions.

* Chester County DA Charges Energy Transfer/Sunoco Pipeline, Security Firms With Bribery, Conspiracy Regarding Mariner East Pipeline

On December 3, the Chester County District Attorney’s Office announced the filing of criminal charges against employees of Energy Transfer/Sunoco Pipeline and contracted security firms for bribery, conspiracy, and related offenses regarding the Mariner East Pipeline.

* Governor Releases Initial PFAS Action Team Report With Recommendations; 1 Of First 96 Water Systems Sampled Exceeded [Inadequate] Action Level; 25 Contamination Sites Confirmed

On December 5, Gov. Tom Wolf released an initial report and recommendations from the Action Team on PFAS chemical contamination created a result of his 2018 Executive Order.  Also released were the results from the first round of water system sampling for PFAS.

* Stroud Water Research Center: STREAM Girls Program Empowers Today’s Girls to Become Tomorrow’s Leaders

By Mandy Nix, Watershed Education Specialist

* DEP Air Quality Advisory Committee To Review Final Fee Increase Package, 2019 Air Monitoring Results, Legacy Well Programs Dec. 12

DEP’s Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet December 12 to review the final permit fee increase package and the results from 2018-19 air monitoring.

* Celebrating 50 Years Of The PA Environmental Council In 2020

During 2020, the PA Environmental Council will celebrate their 50th anniversary.  As part of the celebration, the Council’s website will feature guest posts, commentaries, and recollections from a half-century of history-- not just PEC’s, but the larger story of Pennsylvania’s changing environment and the people who’ve worked, over the years, to protect and restore it.

* 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--

* Op-Ed: Congress Must Keep Promises On Federal Land & Water Conservation Fund

By Brenda Barrett

* Lehigh Valley Watershed Conference Attracts Over 175 Participants

The 2019 Lehigh Valley Watershed Conference held on October 15 was an amazing success, with over 175 attendees from agencies, engineering firms, municipalities, private farms and businesses, and watershed associations - an increase of over 25 from 2017.

* Pike Conservation District: Using Conservation Design To Accommodate Growth, While Protecting Land & Water Resources

Protecting the natural resources without thwarting the progress of economic growth and development is a persistent question in the world of conservation and resource management. One of the ways that can be done is through the concept of Conservation design.

* Allegheny County Conservation District Awards Over $200,000 In Grants To Reduce Erosion, Stormwater From Dirt, Gravel Roads

On December 3, the Allegheny County Conservation District announced $203,888 in grant awards for dirt and gravel road improvement projects in four municipalities to reduce stormwater impacts and erosion.

* Still Seats Available: Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional Level 1 Certification Training Set For Dec. 10-11 In Lancaster

Seats are still available for the December 10-11 Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional certification in Lancaster. CBLP is a voluntary, regional credential for professionals who design, install, and maintain sustainable landscapes in the Bay watershed

* Fill Out The Passive Abandoned Mine Drainage Treatment System Operation, Maintenance, and Rehabilitation Survey

By Donna Wagner, Water Pollution Biologist, DEP

* November Catalyst Newsletter Now Available From Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition

The November issue of The Catalyst newsletter is now available from the Butler County-based Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition featuring articles on--

* Looking For Unique, Beautiful Gift Ideas? Try Clean Creek Products Made From Materials Recovered From Mine Drainage Treatment

Looking for holiday gift ideas that will please the most discriminating taste and help the environment? Consider pottery from Clean Creek Products.

* DEP Renews PAG-02 Stormwater General Permit For Construction Activities For 5 Years

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice it has extended the term of the basic General NPDES Permit covering Stormwater Associated With Construction Activities - PAG-02 for another 5 years. (Dec. 7 PA Bulletin)

* PUC Work Group On Lead Water Line & Damaged Wastewater Line Replacement Meets Dec. 19

On December 5, the Public Utility Commission announced its Act 120 Work Group On Lead Water Line and Damaged Wastewater Line Replacement will meet on December 19 starting at 1:00 p.m.

* CFA Accepting Applications For Drinking Water, Wastewater, Stormwater, Flood Control Infrastructure Funding

The Commonwealth Financing Authority is accepting applications for funding from the H2O Water and Sewer Program and the PA Small Water and Sewer System Program.  The deadline for applications is December 13.

* PA Resources Council Pop-Up Glass Recycling Events Collect Nearly 170 Tons; Final Event Dec. 7 In Allegheny County

Since launching the glass recycling pop-up collection events in Allegheny County in March, the PA Resources Council and its partners have collected nearly 170 tons of glass from about 9,000 participants.

* Keep PA Beautiful, PennDOT Partner With Municipalities Thru Roadside, Park Adoption Programs To Cleanup Litter

Whether intentionally put there or blown from trash cans, dumpsters, shopping carts or cars, every community has pockets of unsightly trash.

* DEP Renewing Waste General Permit Authorizing The Beneficial Use Of Regulated Fill For 1 Year To Allow Time To Review Extensive Public Comments

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice it is renewing Base General Permit WMGR096 through June 2021 to allow time for the agency to review the many and extensive comments it received on the permit during a public comment period in October.  (Dec. 7 PA Bulletin)

* PA Resources Council Accepting School Registrations For Let's Clear The Air Student Poster Challenge In Western PA

The PA Resources Council, in collaboration with the Southwest PA Air Quality Partnership, is now accepting school registrations for the Let's Clear The Air Poster Challenge in Western Pennsylvania.  The deadline for registration is January 1.

* Get A Headstart On Applying For Student Internships At DEP, DCNR

Looking for student internship opportunities in 2020?  The departments of Environmental Protection and Conservation and Natural Resources will have a variety of internship opportunities available next year.

* Penn State Campus & Community Sustainability Expo & Awards Ceremony Set For Dec. 11 In State College

The Sustainability Institute at Penn State will host its semiannual Campus and Community Sustainability Expo and Awards Ceremony from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on December 11, at the Days Inn in State College.

* The Garden Club Of America Accepting Applications For National Parks Conservation Scholarship

The Garden Club of America is now accepting applications for the Sara Shallenberger Brown Garden Club Of America National Parks Conservation Scholarship.  The deadline for applications is February 2.

* Wildlife Leadership Academy Accepting Nominations To Become Student Conservation Ambassadors By Attending Its 2020 Summer Camps

The Wildlife Leadership Academy in Lewisburg, Union County is seeking referrals of motivated students ages 14 to 17 to become Certified Conservation Ambassadors by attending one of five residential summer camps. 

* DEP Orders Westmoreland County Hemp Drying Facility To Cease Operations Due To Air Pollution Violations

On December 2, the Department of Environmental Protection issued an administrative order to Patriot Shield Pennsylvania, LLC, a hemp drying facility in Jeannette, Westmoreland County, to cease operation.

* Public Hearings Scheduled [If Needed] For DEP Ozone Air Pollution Maintenance Plans For Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre, State College, Tioga County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notices inviting public comments and scheduling public hearings [if needed] for Ozone Air Pollution Maintenance Plan State Air Pollution Implementation Plan revisions for Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre, State College and Tioga County.

* DEP Sets Hearings [If Needed] On RACT II Air Quality Plans For Facilities In Lancaster, McKean, Westmoreland Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled hearings on RACT II Air Quality Plans for facilities in Lancaster McKean and Westmoreland Counties.

* PUC PA One Call Damage Prevention Committee Imposes $83,975 In Penalties

On December 6, the Public Utility Commission announced the PA One Call Damage Prevention Committee imposed $83,975 in penalties against 67 underground utility owners, excavators and project owners for violating the PA One Call requirements.

* Grant Helps Washington County Food Bank Realize Energy Savings, Engage Community On Renewable Energy

On December 2, the Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin visited the Greater Washington County Food Bank to announce it has been approved for a $104,500 Neighborhood Assistance Program grant to enhance its energy saving efforts.

* EIA: Cold Weather Prompts Natural Gas Price Rise, Switching To Coal In PJM, MISO

On December 2, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a historic November cold snap sent temperatures below freezing in 75 percent of the Lower 48 states.

* IFO PA Natural Gas Production 3rd Quarter Report: 9.1% Increase This Quarter Over Last Year, Projected 11.2% Increase In 2019

On December 3, the Independent Fiscal Office issued its third quarter Pennsylvania natural gas production report which shows a 9.1 percent increase from the third quarter of last year to 1,714.7 billion cubic feet, the lowest such growth rate in 2 years.  Calendar year production is up 12.7 percent compared to the same period in 2018.

* DCNR Submerged Lands Lease For Oil & Gas Development In Fayette, Greene Counties Yields $943,600

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published notice it has signed an amended lease with Chevron Appalachia, LLC covering 235.6 additional acres of submerged lands for oil and gas development under streambeds in Luzerne and Nicholson townships in Fayette County and Cumberland and Monongahela townships, Greene County. (Dec. 7 PA Bulletin)

* Agriculture, Military & Veterans Affairs Kick Off Trees For Troops Donation Weekend

On December 4, Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Maj. Gen. Anthony Carrelli, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general and head of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, helped kick off the 2019 Trees for Troops weekend with an event in York County, encouraging Pennsylvanians to donate Christmas trees to active-duty military and their families.

* PA Recreation & Park Society Now Accepting Nominations For 2020 Achievement Awards

The PA Recreation and Park Society is now accepting nominations for its 2020 Achievement Awards recognizing agencies, boards, commissions and individuals for park and recreation programs and initiatives.  The deadline for nominations is January 17.

* Nominations For 2020 Appalachian Trail Hall Of Fame Recognition Now Being Accepted

The Appalachian Trail Museum located at Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Cumberland County is now accepting nominations for the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Class of 2020. The deadline for nominations is January 31.

* Delaware Highlands Conservancy, Partners Protect 3,683 Acres In Pike County

On December 3, the Delaware Highlands Conservancy announced 3,683 acres of forestland have now been permanently protected in Pike County.

* PA Land Trust Assn., PennTrails Looking For 2 Sites To Hold Workshops On Building Trails In Wet Areas

In 2020, the PA Land Trust Association and PennTrails will host two workshops about building trails in wet areas and are looking for sites for the workshops.

* New Guide To Solar Energy Development & Land Conservation Available From PA Land Trust Assn

The PA Land Trust Association has a new Guide To Solar Energy Development and Land Conservation available.

* Dec. 6 Take Five Fridays With Pam, PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The December 6 Take Five Fridays With Pam is now available from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation featuring articles on--

* Call For Presentations: American Fisheries Society-PA Chapter Spring Technical Meeting - Aquatic Resource Restoration, Feb. 6-7 At Juniata College

The American Fisheries Society-PA Chapter Spring Technical Meeting will be held February 6-7 at Juniata College in Huntingdon County.  The theme of the meeting is Aquatic Resource Restoration.

* Just In Time For Holidays: 2020 PA Fishing Licenses, Permits, Gift Vouchers Now On Sale

Just in time for the holiday season, the Fish and Boat Commission is excited to announce 2020 fishing licenses, permits and gift vouchers are now on sale!

* Help Wanted: Chesapeake Bay Foundation - PA Grassroots Specialist

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA is seeking qualified individuals to fill the Pennsylvania Grassroots Specialist position which plays a core role in developing an engaged and informed network of community residents, businesses, and organizations along with CBF’s members and volunteers who are positioned to advocate for CBF priorities at the local, county, state, and federal levels.

* Help Wanted: Alliance For The Chesapeake Bay PA Agricultural Program Manager

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay is seeking qualified candidates to fill the position of PA Agricultural Program Manager.  The deadline for applications is December 16.

* Help Wanted: Middle Susquehanna RiverKeeper

The Middle Susquehanna RiverKeeper Association, Inc. is seeking qualified individuals to fill the position of Middle Susquehanna River Keeper/Executive Director. Applications due December 15.

* Help Wanted: Penn State Coastal Climate Extension Specialist For Chesapeake Bay Region

The Earth and Environmental Systems Institute at Penn State University, in partnership with the Mid-Atlantic RISA program and the Center for Coastal Resources Management at the Virginia Institute for Marine Sciences, invites applications for a full-time Coastal Climate Extension Specialist for the Chesapeake Bay region.

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

The PA Environment Digest is a proud sponsor of the 2020 Keystone Coldwater Conference February 28-29 in State College.  Click Here if you are interested in being a sponsor too.  Registration opening soon.

* 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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