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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
January 13, 2020 Issue #811
* Report: Sen. Yaw: Raising Enough Money To Implement PA’s Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Plan-- Isn't Going To Happen

After the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Chesapeake Bay briefing January 8,  Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) who serves as Majority Chair of the Committee, told the PA Capital-Star-- “raising that much money [$324 million a year to implement the recommendations in PA’s Clean Water Plan to meet its Bay obligations] through new fees or taxes “isn’t going to happen.” 

* Reminder: Talk To Your State Senator Student Video Contest -- How To Support Agriculture In PA? IDEA: How About Funding Farm Conservation Measures?

On September 30, the state Senate announced the 2020 Talk To Your State Senator statewide student video competition which this year is focused on the topic-- How To Support Agriculture In Pennsylvania.

* Dean & Rebecca Jackson Of Mt-Glen Farms In Bradford County Receive PA Leopold Conservation Award

On January 10, the Sand County Foundation announced Mt-Glen Farms has been selected for the 2019 Pennsylvania Leopold Conservation Award®.

* IFO: CY 2019 Drilling Impact Fee Revenue To Drop Sharply By $53.6 Million, Triggers Lower Well Fee

On January 9, the Independent Fiscal Office issued its annual projection of revenue for the Act 13 drilling impact fee which shows a $53.6 million drop in revenue is expected for CY 2019 fee collections to $198.2 million from $251.8 million in CY 2018 fees.

* Senate Environmental Committee Puts Spotlight On Funding Needed To Implement PA Clean Water Plan At Chesapeake Bay Briefing

On January 8, the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee put a spotlight on the resources needed to implement Pennsylvania’s Clean Water Plan to meet Chesapeake Bay cleanup obligations at a special public briefing held in conjunction with the PA Farm Show in Harrisburg 

* Maryland Governor Directs Attorney General To Pursue Legal Actions Against PA, EPA On Chesapeake Bay Cleanup

On January 8, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan directed Attorney General Brian Frosh to pursue legal actions against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in order to protect Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts.

* Registration Is Now Open For 2020 Riparian Forest Buffer Summit March 11-12 In Altoona

Register now for the 2020 Riparian Forest Buffer Summit to be held on March 11-12 at the Blair County Convention Center in Altoona, supported by the Western PA Conservancy and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

* Registration Now Open For Keystone Coldwater Conference Feb. 28-29; Student Poster & Mentoring Program

Registration is now open for the PA Council of Trout Unlimited 14th Keystone Coldwater Conference on February 28-29 at the Ramada Inn Conference Center in State College.  The theme of this year’s Conference is-- Resiliency In A Changing Environment.

* DCNR Begins Accepting Riparian Forest Buffer Grant Applications January 15

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will begin accepting applications to support the installation of Riparian Forest Buffers on January 15.  The deadline for applications is April 22.

* DCNR Reminder: Community Conservation Partnership, Rivers Conservation Grants; ATV & Snowmobile Trail Project Grants Opening Shortly

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will shortly be opening grant application periods for its Conservation Partnership Grants-- January 15, and its ATV and Snowmobile Trail Project Grants-- February 3.

* First Meetings Of DEP Regional Water Resources Committees Jan. 14, 16 - Join Online; PA Clean Water Academy Presentation Available On State Water Plan Process

DEP’s Office of Water Resources Planning will host the first State Water Plan regional water advisory committee meeting on January 14 in Montgomery County.

* EQB Meets Jan. 21 To Finalize Oil & Gas Permit Fee Increase, Lower Sulfur Content Of Heating Oil

The Environmental Quality Board is scheduled to meet on January 21 to finalize regulations putting in place an increase in the oil and gas drilling permit fees and lowering the sulfur content of heating oil.

* House Environmental Committee Meets Jan. 13 On Bill Legalizing Road Dumping Of Conventional Drilling Wastewater

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to meet on January 13 to consider Senate Bill 790 (Scarnati-R-Jefferson) legalizing road dumping of conventional drilling wastewater.

* DEP Oil & Gas Advisory Board To Discuss Draft Horizontal Drilling Pipeline Construction Guidance Document, Stakeholder Report

The DEP Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board is scheduled to meet on January 15 to hear a presentation on DEP’s draft Horizontal Drilling Pipeline Construction Guidance and stakeholder report.

* PA Supreme Court Accepts PA Environmental Defense Foundation Appeal Of Ruling On Gas Drilling Revenue Transfers To Pay DCNR, General Fund Expenses

The PA Supreme Court recently accepted a PA Environmental Defense Foundation appeal of a July 29 Commonwealth Court ruling the Foundation said ignored a 2017 opinion of the PA Supreme Court saying revenue from natural gas drilling on State Forest had to be held in trust under the Environmental Rights Amendment to the Constitution and only used for conservation purposes.

* PA Environmental Defense Foundation Files Amended Lawsuit Saying DCNR’s Adopted Forest Plan Mission To Sell Gas Resources Is Not Consistent With Environmental Rights Amendment

On January 6, the PA Environmental Defense Foundation filed an amended lawsuit in Commonwealth Court asking the Court to direct the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to manage State Forests consistent with its trustee responsibilities under the state constitution's Environmental Rights Amendment.

* DCNR Secretary Outlines Accomplishments In 2019 By Her Agency And Its Many Partners

What better way to mark the start of a new decade of a promising future than to reflect upon our past year?

* Game Commission: Deer Abuse Charges Filed Against 2 In Jefferson County

On January 10, the Game Commission announced charges have been filed against two Brookville, Jefferson County  teenagers who recorded social-media videos of themselves holding down and repeatedly kicking an immobile white-tailed deer.

* Students Encourage Pennsylvanians To Start Year Off Radon Safe With Simple Home Test

Students at Dingman-Delaware Middle School in Pike County are helping to encourage Pennsylvanians to do a simple home test for radon in January, National Radon Action Month.

* Just 15 Local Keep PA Beautiful Affiliates Recycled Over 2 Million Pounds Of Electronics, 21,000 Waste Tires In 2019

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful local affiliate groups in just 15 counties collected a total of over 2,168,530 pounds of electronics, 21,018 tires, 6,011 appliances and 61,122 pounds of household hazardous waste from local residents, emphasizing the continued need for disposal options for hard to dispose items.

* Gov. Wolf's Green Government Initiatives Boost Energy Efficiency By 3%, Saving $6.8 Million In First Year

On January 9,  Gov. Tom Wolf announced a 3 percent reduction in state government electricity, natural gas and steam use for Commonwealth facilities on the first anniversary of his executive order setting a statewide goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

* Feb. 3 Joint Conservation Committee Hearing On Impact Of Cap-And-Trade Programs On Coal Waste, Co-Generation Power Generators

The Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on February 3 on the impact of greenhouse gas cap-and-trade programs on coal waste and co-generation power generators.

* Northeast Regional Transportation & Climate Initiative Invites Comments On Draft Program To Cap Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Vehicle Fuels

The Transportation and Climate Initiative is now accepting comments on a draft Memorandum of Understanding between states in the Northeast to establish a cap-and-invest greenhouse gas pollution reduction program for transportation fuels.  Comments are due February 28.

* ECOS Environmental Research Institute Of The States Launches Website

The Environmental Research Institute of the States, the science and education subsidiary of the Environmental Council of the States, recently launched its first website--

* Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule/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--

* PA Capitol Report: Senate, House Kick Off 2nd Half Of 2019-20 Legislative Session

The Senate and House were in ceremonial session for one day last week to formally start the second half of the 2019-2020 legislative session.  All the bills start off where they were left last year.  Here are a few highlights from last week’s activities--

* Sen. Yaw Elected Chair Of Tri-State Chesapeake Bay Commission; Focus Will Be On Susquehanna River, South Of Harrisburg

On January 3, Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) became the new Chair of the tri-state Chesapeake Bay Commission for the 2020 calendar year.  Sen. Yaw is the first member and chairman of the CBC to have a legislative district that covers the northernmost part of the watershed to the New York border.

* House Environmental Committee To Hold Info Meeting Jan. 15 On Triennial Review Of Water Quality Reg, Stream Redesignations

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to hold a January 15  information meeting on “concerns” with the final Triennial Review Of Water Quality regulation.

* House Recreation Committee Holds Jan. 15 Info. Meeting On State Parks Strategic Plan

The House Tourism and Recreation Development Committee is scheduled to hold an informational meeting on January 15 on DCNR’s Penn’s Parks For All, a strategic plan now in the final stages of development to address the challenges faced by State Parks to keep them relevant to the recreational needs of Pennsylvanians for the next 25 years.

* NRCS PA Invites Public To Comment On Agricultural Conservation Easement Program Rule Changes

The U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Conservation Service is inviting public comments on its interim rule for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program.

* Pittsburgh Water Authority Reports On 2019 Community Lead Response Program

On January 7, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority reported its Community Lead Response Program again surpassed the number of lead line replacements required by the Department of Environmental Protection.

* CBF Blog: Flood & Fees: How A Pennsylvania Town Found A Fix For Stormwater

By Codi Yeager, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

* Audubon Society Of Western PA Hosts First Buffalo Creek Watershed Coalition Meeting Jan. 23 In Armstrong County

The Audubon Society of Western PA will host the first meeting of the Buffalo Creek Watershed Coalition on January 23 at the Worthington-West Franklin Community Library, 214 E. Main Street, Suite 1, Civic Center, Building B in Worthington, Armstrong County from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

* Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional Level 1 Certification Training Set For Jan. 27-28 In Lancaster

Registration is now open for Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional certification training, a voluntary, regional credential for professionals who design, install, and maintain sustainable landscapes in the Bay watershed. 

* Wild & Scenic Film Festival Set For Feb. 27-28 In Chester County To Benefit Stroud, Land Conservation

The Wild and Scenic Film Festival will visit Chester County on February 27-28 with all proceeds benefiting the Stroud Water Research Center and the Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County.  The program is hosted by Trail Creek Outfitters.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Sets Feb. 6 Hearing On Groundwater Monitoring Plan Guidance For Project Sponsors; Proposed Water Projects

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission is scheduled to hold a February 6  hearing on a proposed policy to provide guidance and assistance to project sponsors in meeting the existing requirements for metering or monitoring of withdrawals, consumptive uses, or diversions of water.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission: A Proven Guardian Of The Susquehanna For Five Decades

On January 23, 1971, the Susquehanna River Basin Compact went into effect, launching a partnership between the federal government and the states of New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland to wisely manage the water resources of the Susquehanna basin.

* Delaware River Basin Commission Seeking Members For Water Management Advisory Committee

The Delaware River Basin Commission is now accepting applications for non-reserved positions on its Water Management Advisory Committee.

* The Green Mission, Inc. Partnered With Construction Junction, PRC & Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney's Pittsburgh Office To Donate Office Furniture

The Green Mission, Inc. recently partnered with the Construction Junction and the PA Resources Council to coordinate clean-out and donation of office furniture and other items following Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney's Pittsburgh office move from One Oxford Centre to the Union Trust Building.

* DEP Approves Chrin Landfill’s Application For Expansion In Northampton County

On January 9, the Department of Environmental Protection announced it has approved Chrin Landfill’s application for a permit renewal and an expansion at its facility in Williams Township, Northampton County.

* DEP Sets Hearings [If Needed] On RACT II Air Quality Plans For Facilities In Beaver, Berks, Greene, Lancaster, Washington, Westmoreland, York Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled public hearings [if needed] on RACT II Air Quality Plans for the Nova Chemicals facility in Beaver County, Carpenter Technology Corp facility in Berks County, Consol PA Coal Company facility in Greene County, two Dart Container Corporation facilities in Lancaster County, the Jessop Steel LLC facility in Washington County, the Vandergrift Facility, ATI Flat Rolled Products Holdings, LLC in Westmoreland County and the York Group, Inc casket manufacturing facility in York County.

* PUC: 18,350 Households Starting Winter Without Heat, Down Slightly From Last Year

On January 7, the Public Utility Commission released the results of its annual Cold Weather Survey, which showed more than 18,350 households across the state entered the winter season without heat-related utility service or using unsafe heating sources. 

* PUC Releases Winter Reliability Overview Reports From Natural Gas Distribution Companies

On January 8, the Public Utility Commission released the 2019 Winter Reliability Overview Reports from the state’s major natural gas distribution companies, along with a related Readiness Report from the Energy Association of Pennsylvania.

* DEP Reminds Pennsylvanians To Take A Commonsense Approach To Home Heating Oil , Propane Supply For A Safe Winter

On January 8, the Department of Environmental Protection reminds the more than 2.5 million Pennsylvania households that heat with oil or propane to take a commonsense approach to maintaining their fuel supply for a safe winter.

* Improving Community Resilience With Energy Efficient Buildings Webinar Series Scheduled

The PA Construction Codes Academy, in partnership with DEP, the U.S. Department of Energy and Performance Systems Development, will be offering three Improving Community Resilience With Energy Efficient Buildings Webinars.

* Mount Joy Twp, Adams County To Hold Hearing Jan. 15 On A 532 Acre Commercial Solar Farm

The Board of Supervisors of Mount Joy Township in Adams County will hold a hearing on January 15 at 7:00 p.m. in the Alpha Fire Company #1, 40 East King Street in Littlestown, Adams County to receive comments on a proposed 75 WM, 532-acre solar energy project by Brookview Solar I, LLC.

* Zero-Energy Ready, Mixed-Income Homes Slated For City of Pittsburgh’s Garfield Neighborhood

Pittsburgh-based housing start-up Module, which creates urban homes that can be expanded as the owner’s needs, family or lifestyle changes, has closed on land and financing for its latest four-unit, Zero Energy Ready, mixed-income development in Pittsburgh’s Garfield neighborhood.

* Green Building Alliance: Inspiring Stories At The Intersections Of Climate, Equity, Health Event Jan. 30 In Pittsburgh

The Green Building Alliance will hold the first of its 2020 Inspire Speakers Series on January 30 with a Moth-style event featuring inspiring stories at the intersections of climate, equity and health.  The speakers will be--

* Jan. 10 Take Five Fridays With Pam, PA Parks & Forests Foundation; 3,783 First Day Hikers!

The January 10 Take Five Fridays With Pam is now available from the PA Parks & Forests Foundation featuring articles on--

* Penn-Del ISA 55th Annual Shade Tree Symposium Feb. 10-11 In Lancaster

The Penn-Del Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture will hold its 55th Annual Shade Tree Symposium February 10-11 at the Lancaster Marriott and Convention Center.

* Delaware Highlands Conservancy Accepting Student Scholarship Applications

The Delaware Highlands Conservancy is accepting applications from eligible high school seniors for the Delaware Highlands Conservancy/Yeaman Scholarship and the Vanessa Van Gorder Memorial Scholarship, both for $1,000.

* Organic Farmers Association Names Patty Lovera As Policy Director

On January 9, Organic Farmers Association, the nation’s unified voice for certified organic farmers sponsored by Berks County-based Rodale Institute, has named Patty Lovera as its new Policy Director.

* 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.

* Help Wanted: PA Parks & Forests Foundation Bookkeeper

The Cumberland County-based PA Parks and Forests Foundation is seeking qualified candidate to fill a Bookkeeper position.

* 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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* 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.  Registration is now openClick Here for more.

* Riparian Forest Buffer Summit March 11 & 12 In Altoona

The PA Environment Digest is a proud sponsor of the 2020 Riparian Forest Buffer Summit March 11 & 12 in Altoona.  Registration is now openClick Here for more.

* 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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