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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
December 16, 2019 Issue #807
* Feature: Looking Back To Improve Pennsylvania’s Environment Going Forward

Many times it’s helpful to look back in history to refresh our memories about how we got to where we are, before making plans for the future.

* 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.

* 1996 - Gov. Tom Ridge Talks About His Very Personal Connection To Lake Erie And The Need To Work Together To Restore The Great Lakes

In October of 1996, Gov. Tom Ridge, as Chair of the Great Lakes Council Of Governors, welcomed the interstate Great Lakes Commission to Erie, his home town, for its meeting. 

* 1996 - Gov. Tom Ridge: Expanding Partnerships To Clean Up The Susquehanna River And The Chesapeake Bay Beyond

In October 1996, Gov. Tom Ridge hosted the governors of Virginia and Maryland and other members of the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council to discuss expanding the partnerships and programs needed to clean up the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

* 1996 - Gov. Tom Ridge Joins With Governors Of Delaware, New Jersey, Federal Officials To Establish The Delaware Estuary Program

On September 19, 1996, Gov. Tom Ridge joined the Governors of Delaware, New Jersey and federal officials to create the Delaware Estuary Program which expresses their joint commitment and responsibility for continued water quality improvements and water supply sustainability in the Delaware Estuary and Bay. 

* 1996 - Gov. Tom Ridge Thanks First Environmental Excellence Award Winning Businesses For Eliminating 1.4 Million Tons Of Waste, Pollution

On October 28, 1996, Gov. Tom Ridge addressed the first-ever winners of the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards thanking them for showing others in the business community how reducing pollution and waste is good for the bottom line--

* 1996 - Gov. Tom Ridge Talks About Rebuilding Pennsylvania's Industrial Heritage Through Land Recycling

In April 1996, Gov. Tom Ridge participated in an event in the City of York announcing the redevelopment of a former brownfield site using the then recently passed Land Recycling Program and how it fits in the broader context of protecting the environment and encouraging economic opportunity.  Here are his remarks--

* 1996 - Gov. Tom Ridge Talks About The Vision And Actions Needed To Restore Our Environment At The PA Environmental Council’s Three Rivers Awards

In May of 1996, Gov. Tom Ridge gave the keynote address at the PA Environmental Council’s Three Rivers Environmental Awards-- now the Western Pennsylvania Environmental Awards.

* 1996 - Department Of Environmental Protection Mission Statement & Statement Of Values

In 1996, just about a year after the Department of Environmental Protection was created in the July 1995 reorganization of the Department of Environmental Resources, DEP got its own Mission Statement and Statement of Values.

* 1995-2002- DEP Secretary James M. Seif: The Assignment Was Clear - Take The Kick Me! Sign Off DER

James M. Seif served Gov. Tom Ridge as the first Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection from January 1995 to March 2001.

* 1995-2002- DEP Secretary David E. Hess: Many New Hands Now Help Protect Penn’s Woods

In January of 2003, at the end of the eight years of the administrations of Governors Tom Ridge and Mark Schweiker, DEP Secretary David E. Hess summarized some of the major accomplishments achieved by working in partnership with private industry, local governments, local watershed groups and many, many others. 

* 1995-2002 - Environmental Accomplishments Of The Ridge & Schweiker Administrations

During the eight years of Gov. Tom Ridge and Gov. Mark Schweiker, a variety of major environmental protection and conservation initiatives were developed and implemented, many of which set the standard for other states and nations to follow.

* 1995-2002: Awards And Recognition For Environmental Programs During The Ridge & Schweiker Administrations

From 1995 to 2002, the women and men who worked for the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and their many partners, won a variety of professional, national and international awards and recognition for their work, both individually and for programs and initiatives.

* Lancaster County Farmer Roger Rohrer Named A 2019 Chesapeake Bay Champion

The Chesapeake Bay Program named Lancaster County farmer Roger Rohrer one of three 2019 Chesapeake Bay Champions at the Chesapeake Watershed Forum in November.

* CBF Blog: York County Farm No-Till Pioneer On A Mission For Soil Health

By Codi Yeager, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

* DCNR Good Natured Pennsylvanians: Suzanne DeArment, Wildlife Rehabilitator, Crawford County

Suzanne DeArment is a retired purchasing agent from Meadville, who currently volunteers as a wildlife rehabilitator.

* DCNR Good Natured Blog: Another Successful PA Outdoor Corps Season, Sign-Ups Underway For 2020

After a year of learning new skills and completing hard work, the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps program has wrapped up its fourth season.

* Voting Now Open For Pennsylvania's 2020 River Of The Year

DCNR and the PA Organization for Watersheds and Rivers invite the public to vote for one of 5 nominees for Pennsylvania 2020 River of the Year Honors.  Voting closes January 17.

* Citizen Science: Audubon Christmas Bird Count Began December 14

The National Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count citizen science opportunity begins this weekend!

* NFWF Announces $1.5 Million In Central Appalachia Habitat Stewardship Grants, Including Over $965,000 In PA

On December 10, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced more than $1.5 million in Central Appalachia Habitat Stewardship Program grants to restore forest and freshwater habitat in central Appalachia, including Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

* Audubon PA Receives NFWF Grant To Partner With Forest Landowners On Habitat Conservation, Family Forest Carbon Program

On December 14, Audubon Pennsylvania announced it has received over $183,000 in grant funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation that will be used to partner with private landowners in order to create and maintain healthy forest habitats for birds in the Appalachian mountains of Pennsylvania.

* DEP Finalizes Policy On Public Participation In Development Of Regulations

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the December 14 PA Bulletin a final version of its Policy for the Development and Review of Regulations (DEP ID: 012-0820-001) is now available.

* 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--

* House Environmental Committee Meets Dec. 18 On Bills Exempting Industry From Waste Regulations, DCNR Land Swap

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to hold a meeting December 18 to consider bills providing an industry an exemption from waste regulations and a DCNR land conveyance involving Ohiopyle State Park.  The bills include--

* Rep. Parke Wentling Elected Chair Of Joint Conservation Committee

Rep. Parke Wentling (R-Mercer) was unanimously elected to serve as Chair of the bipartisan, bicameral Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee (JLCC).

* December Newsletter Now Available From Joint Conservation Committee

The December newsletter is now available from the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee featuring articles on--

* EPA Completes Review Of DEP’s Updated PAG-02, New PAG-01 Stormwater General Permits, PA Builders Assn. Endorses Action

On December 11, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency it has completed its review of two general permits for construction projects in Pennsylvania that outline management of stormwater at construction sites.

* Gov. Wolf: Erie, Neighboring Counties Eligible For Federal Disaster Recovery Loans

On December 12, Gov. Tom Wolf announced the U.S. Small Business Administration approved his request to declare a disaster in Erie County after severe storms and high winds damaged dozens of businesses and properties from October 31 through November 1.

* Bay Journal Forum: Conowingo Dam Deal Barely Addresses PA Farm Runoff, Imperiling Cleanup

By Lisa Feldt, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

* The Nature Conservancy Receives $1 Million Grant For Chesapeake Bay Wetland Restoration, Including PA

On December 10, The Nature Conservancy announced it has been awarded a grant of nearly $1 million through the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund to accelerate wetland restoration efforts across the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

* Dept. Of Agriculture: PA Has 1,000+ Certified Organic Farms, 93,000 Acres Of Organic Land

On December 9, Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding joined with more than 30 members of Pennsylvania’s organic industry to update them on the department’s progress towards developing the PA Preferred® Organic program.

* DEP Our Common Wealth Blog: Catching And Sampling Lake Trout On Lake Erie

By: Tom Decker, Community Relations Coordinator, Northwest Regional Office

* Earth Conservancy Recruiting For Environmental Workforce Training Program In Northeast PA; Public Info Session Dec. 17

The Earth Conservancy is now recruiting for its Environmental Workforce Training Program to provide unemployed, underemployed and dislocated workers in Northeastern Pennsylvania with workforce training.

* Final Guidance On Aboveground, Underground Tank Modification, Operator Training, Containment Structures Now Available

The Department of Environmental Protection published notices in the December 14 PA Bulletin of final technical guidance related to aboveground and underground storage tanks--

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission OKs 2020 Fees With No Increases

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission met December 5 and adopted changes to its 2020 fee schedule which eliminates and consolidates certain fees, and contains no fee increases.

* Delaware River Basin Commission Establishes Advisory Committee On Climate Change; Accepting Applications For Membership

On December 12, the Delaware River Basin Commission unanimously approved a resolution establishing the Advisory Committee on Climate Change.

* Over $13.3 Million In Recycling Grants Awarded To 84 Municipalities Across The State

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the December 14 PA Bulletin it had awarded over $13.3 million in Act 101 Section 902 Recycling Grants to 84 municipalities across the state.

* DEP Opens New Section 902 Recycling Implementation Grant Round

The Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for Section 902 Recycling Implementation Grants.  The deadline to apply is March 20. (formal notice)

* DEP Invites Comments On Proposed Policy On Radiation Protection Compliance & Enforcement

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the December 14 PA Bulletin of draft technical guidance for comment on Radiation Protection Compliance & Enforcement (DEP ID: 290-4100-001). Comments are due January 13.

* DEP Sets Hearings [If Needed] On RACT II Air Quality Plans For NLMK PA Farrell Plant, Mercer County; Carpenter Metals, Westmoreland County Jan. 22

The Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled hearings [if needed] on RACT II Air Quality Plans for the NLMK Farrell Plant in Farrell, Mercer County and the Carpenter Latrobe Specialty Metals Company in Latrobe, Westmoreland County. (Dec. 14 PA Bulletin page 7357 & 7358)

* Public Hearings Scheduled [If Needed] For DEP Ozone Air Pollution Maintenance Plans For York/Adams Counties, Youngstown - Warren - Sharon OH-PA Interstate Areas

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 York/Adams Counties and the Youngstown - Warren - Sharon OH-PA Interstate nonattainment areas.

* Protect PT Appeals Court Ruling Upholding Westmoreland County Township's Ordinance Allowing Natural Gas Drilling

On December 13, Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services, on behalf of Protect PT, filed an appeal with the PA Supreme Court of a November 14 Commonwealth Court 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.

* DEP Invites Comments On Mariner East Pipeline Chapter 102/105 Permit Revisions For Construction In Chester, Delaware Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the December 14 PA Bulletin that Energy Transfer/Sunoco submitted complete Chapter 102 (Erosion & Sedimentation) and Chapter 105 (Water Obstruction & Encroachment) proposed permit revisions for portions of the pipeline route in Chester and Delaware counties (PA Bulletin page 7361).

* Penn State Main Campus Holiday Heat Reduction To Save $225,000, Contribute To Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Penn State University main campus in State College will begin its holiday energy reduction program on December 21 through the morning of December 31.  The official holiday break starts December 23 and lasts through December 30.

* In Case You Missed It In November Now Available From PA Environmental Council

The In Case You Missed It In November newsletter is now available from the PA Environmental Council featuring articles on--

* Dept. Of Agriculture Adds 29 Farms, 2,450 Acres To Farmland Preservation Program

On December 12, Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Land Preservation Board safeguarded 2,450 additional acres on 29 farms in 16 counties through the state’s nation-leading farmland preservation program.

* Wildlands Conservancy Permanently Protects 9.2 Acres Of Lehigh River Front Property

In early December, Wildlands Conservancy announced the permanent protection of  9.2 acres of Lehigh Riverfront property in the Lehigh Valley.

* PA Land Trust Assn. Requests Comments On Model Amendment Of Conservation Easement & Declaration Of Covenants

The PA Land Trust Association is developing a Model Amendment of Grant of Conservation Easement and Declaration of Covenants and welcomes suggestions for improvements to the first public drafts of the model and commentary (the sooner the better).

* DCNR Dedicates New Office/Environmental Learning Center At Bald Eagle State Park In Centre County

On December 10, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn joined Bureau of State Parks officials and others in dedicating a new office and environmental learning center at Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County.

* Dec. 11 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The December 11 Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* Dec. 13 Take Five Fridays With Pam, PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The December 13 Take Five Fridays With Pam is now available from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation featuring articles on--

* PA Sea Grant Releases New Aquatic Invasive Species Identification, Reporting Smart Phone App

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) pose a significant threat to Pennsylvania’s economy, freshwater resources, and native aquatic species. Pennsylvania Sea Grant can now say, ‘there’s an app for that’ with the launch of “PA AIS,” a new, easy-to-use smart phone application.

* Penn State Dept. Of Kinesiology Names George Daniel Lead Instructor Of Fly Fishing Program

The Department of Kinesiology at Penn State has announced that George Daniel has been named lead instructor and director of its fly fishing program.

* 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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