Scrapbook Photo 07/11/20 - PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan Team Meets July 20; A Lot Has Happened: http://bit.ly/3iTwHgh
Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
January 27, 2020 Issue #813
(1/27/2020)
* Analysis: 2020 Is A Make Or Break Year For Environmental Funding

Farmers, communities, local governments, authorities, businesses and local, regional and state conservation and environmental agencies have been the target of unprecedented cuts in state funding to improve the environment over the last decade. 

* New Director Of DEP Chesapeake Bay Office Wants To Move Quickly On Implementation

Jill Whitcomb, DEP’s new Chesapeake Bay Office Director, said she is looking forward to using the high level of energy and stakeholder buy-in generated in developing Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay Phase 3 Watershed Implementation Plan to move quickly on implementation.

* NFWF Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund Accepting Applications For Innovative Nutrient & Sediment Reduction Grants

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund is now accepting applications for Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Grants.  The deadline for pre-proposals is February 28.

* CFA Starts Accepting Applications Feb. 1 For Act 13 Watershed Restoration, Mine Reclamation, Sewage, Flood Mitigation, Recreation Grants

The Commonwealth Financing Authority starts accepting applications February 1 for grants funded by Act 13 drilling impact fees for watershed restoration, abandoned mine drainage abatement, baseline water quality data, orphaned or abandoned well plugging, sewage facilities, flood mitigation programs and recreation.

* Act 13 Drilling Impact Fee Drops By $5,000/Unconventional Well For CY 2019 Saving Drillers $53.6 Million

The Public Utility Commission published notice in the January 25 PA Bulletin that the Act 13 drilling impact fee will drop by $5,000 for each horizontal unconventional well for Calendar year 2019 compared to 2018.

* 2 DEP Advisory Committees To Review Draft Chapter 105 Reg. Changes; Final Chapter 91/92A NPDES Fee Changes; Overview Of Draft 2020 Integrated Water Quality Assessment Report

DEP’s Agricultural Advisory Board is scheduled to meet on January 27 and the Water Resources Advisory Committee on January 30 to discuss several water quality fee packages and changes Chapter 105 Dam Safety and Encroachment regulations.

* EQB Approves Oil & Gas Permit Fee Increase, Lower Sulfur Content Of Heating Oil Regulations

On January 21, the Environmental Quality Board approved final regulations putting in place an increase in the oil and gas drilling permit fees and lowering the sulfur content of heating oil.

* DEP Citizens Advisory Council Recommends DEP Move Forward With Final Air Quality Permit Fee Increases

On January 21, DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council recommended DEP move forward with the final Air Quality Permit Fee Increase regulation.

* Op-Ed: Why We Support A Free State Park & Forest System - PA Parks & Forests Foundation

By Marci Mowery, PA Parks & Forests Foundation

* DCNR Now Accepting Applications For Parks, Recreation, Land Conservation, Stream Buffer Grants

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn reminded local governments and recreation and conservation organizations grant applications are now being accepted for recreation and conservation projects.  The deadline to apply is April 22.

* DCNR Seeking Public Comments On Draft ATV Trail Policy

On January 21, The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced it will outline proposed changes to its internal policy on ATV trails on state forest lands at the January 22 Conservation and Natural Resources Advisory Council meeting to begin the public comment process.

* Entries Now Being Accepted To State Parks & Forests Thru The Seasons Photo Contest

The PA Parks and Forests Foundation is now accepting entries to the Parks and Forests Thru The Seasons Photo Contest.  Submissions are due September 8.

* Good Natured Pennsylvanians: Pia van de Venne, Friends Of Murrysville Parks, Westmoreland County

Pia van de Venne is a founding member and current president of the Friends of Murrysville Parks in Westmoreland County.

* PA 4R Nutrient Stewardship Alliance: York County Farmer Selected As 2020 4R Advocate

Farmer Mike Kurek of Susquehanna Orchards in Delta, York County and his agronomist, Tim Hushon of The Mill, were selected to be part of an elite group representing 4R Nutrient Stewardship as part of The Fertilizer Institute’s 4R Advocate Program.

* Penn State Ag Council Honors NFWF Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund With Leadership Award

The Penn State Ag Council, comprised of organizations, groups, and businesses that represent a strategic agricultural or related interest in Pennsylvania, recently recognized the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund with a Leadership In Action Award.

* Keep PA Beautiful Recognizes 4 As Outstanding 2019 Volunteers Of The Year

On January 21, Keep PA Beautiful honored four volunteers nominated by local affiliates for their outstanding efforts of local volunteers for their dedication, commitment and exceptional contributions to keeping Pennsylvania beautiful.

* 195 Groups Oppose SB 790 Reducing Conventional Drilling Environmental Protections, House Set For Final Vote

As the full House prepares for a final vote on Senate Bill 790 (Scarnati-R-Jefferson) reducing the environmental protections from conventional oil and gas drilling, Berks Gas Truth sent a letter to members of the General Assembly and Gov. Wolf saying 195 organizations and 1,655 individuals have expressed their opposition to the bill.

* Earthworks: Rolling Stone Article Links Oil & Gas Waste Radioactivity To Worker Cancers, Wastewater Trucks Operating Illegally

In response to a January 21 Rolling Stone article on the health and environmental effects of oil and gas drilling wastewater, Earthworks' Research and Policy Analyst Melissa Troutman issued this statement--

* PA Supreme Court Overturns Rule Of Capture Trespass Decision, But Allows Challenge Of Actual Trespass

On January 22, the PA Supreme Court issued an opinion overturning the April 2018 PA Superior Court ruling finding Southwestern Energy drilling company trespassed on the property of Susquehanna County landowners by taking natural gas from an adjacent property without permission through its unconventional drilling operations.

* Senate Transportation, Environmental Committees Hold Joint Hearing Jan. 29 On Regional Transportation Climate Initiative

On January 29, the Senate Transportation and Environmental Resources and Energy Committees are scheduled to hold a joint hearing on the impacts of the cap-and-invest program being developed by the northeast Transportation Climate Initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels.

* Bay Journal: PA Sets Lofty Goals For Climate Action, But Can It Achieve Them?

By Ad Crable, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* Bay Journal: Solar Project Proposed For Gettysburg Area Farmland Draws Pushback

By Ad Crable, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* Depts. Of Health/Education Student Art Competition - Don’t Let A Tick Make You Sick - To Raise Awareness About Ticks, Lyme Disease

On January 21, the departments of Health and Education announced a Student Lyme Disease Art Competition - Don’t Let A Tick Make You Sick - open to children in first through sixth grades to raise awareness of ticks and Lyme disease.  Entries are due by March 6.

* New Website Launched To Celebrate The 50th Anniversary Of Earth Day In Pennsylvania

A new website has been launched to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day in Pennsylvania-- Earth Day 50 PA.

* DCNR Good Natured Blog: Earth Day 50 Series: Helping The Earth One Light Bulb At A Time

We can solve problems. Even big ones.

* PA Environmental Council At 50: We Had To Do Something

This is the first in a series of articles recounting the history of the PA Environmental Council from PEC’s 50th Anniversary webpage.

* Allentown Symphony Orchestra Celebrates 50th Anniversary Of Earth Day With Family Concert Feb. 22

The Allentown Symphony Orchestra will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day with a special family concert on February 22 at Miller Symphony Hall 23, N. 6th Street in Allentown at 2:00 p.m.

* PA Capitol News Report: Biggest Retirement Yet - House Speaker Mike Turzai

Because Everything In Politics Is Connected To Everything Else: The announcement Thursday that Republican House Speaker Mike Turzai (Allegheny County) would not seek re-election caught Harrisburg by surprise last week.

* Senate/House Bills Moving Last Week

The following bills of interest saw action last week in the House and Senate--

* 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--

* PA Conservatives/Liberals Agree: SLAPP Lawsuits To Prevent Free Speech, Public Participation Are Wrong

A little-noticed House Judiciary Committee hearing in December brought together conservative and liberal lawmakers on the issue of how to prevent lawsuits that have the objective of preventing free speech and discouraging public participation-- so called SLAPP suits.

* Republicans On House Environmental Committee Vote To Recommend IRRC Disapprove Triennial Water Quality Standards/ Stream Designation Regulation

On January 22, Republicans on the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee voted to send a letter to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission recommending they disapprove the final EQB Triennial Water Quality Standards/ Stream Redesignation Regulation.

* Sen. Santarsiero Announces Appointment As Minority Chair Of Senate Environmental Committee

Sen. Steve Santarsiero (D-Bucks) announced his appointment as Minority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.

* Senate Agriculture Committee Meets Feb. 4 On Bill To Control Overuse Of Fertilizer On Turf, Certify Applicators

On February 4, the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee is scheduled to consider Senate Bill 915 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) which sets standards for the application of fertilizer to turf, provides for the certification of professional fertilizer applicators and for labeling and an education program (sponsor summary).

* Op-Ed: Fertilizer Bill A Good Start, But Science-Based Changes Are Needed To Be Effective

By John R. Lake, Agronomist

* Bipartisan Call For Continued Federal Funding For Abandoned Mine Clean-Up By Cong. Cartwright, Meuser, State, Local Officials

On January 23, Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-PA), U.S. Rep. Dan Meuser (R-PA), and state and local elected officials welcomed recent progress on legislation in the U.S. House to provide Northeastern Pennsylvania with long-term federal funding for the clean-up of the more than 100 remaining unreclaimed abandoned mine land (AML) sites in the region.

* AG Shapiro Joins Other Attorneys General In Filing Brief Supporting Lancaster County Landowners In Challenge Of FERC Pipeline Tolling Order Process

On January 22, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced he was joining 10 other Attorneys General and plaintiffs from Lancaster County, in filing an amicus brief supporting a challenge to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission practice that routinely allows construction to proceed on FERC-approved pipelines by the use of “tolling orders” before challengers can appeal these decisions in court.

* PA, National Environmental Groups File Brief In Federal Court Challenging FERC Use Of Tolling Orders To Put Citizen Challenges To Actions In Legal Limbo

On January 17, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, PennFuture and other environmental organizations, represented by Earthjustice, filed an amicus brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to challenge the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s use of tolling orders.

* AG Shapiro Joins 3 Other States In Opposing Rollback Of Federal Regulations On Coal Ash Disposal

On January 21, Attorney General Josh Shapiro joined Attorneys General from three other states to oppose the rollback of EPA regulations on the disposal of ash from coal-fired power plants.

* EPA, Army Corps Announce Final Waters Of The U.S. Rule

On January 23, at an event at the US Army Corp of Engineers’ Pittsburgh District Office, EPA Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio, USACE Deputy Commander Jon Klink, and Congressman Glenn Thompson (R-PA) celebrated the release of the final rule defining Waters of the U.S.

* PA American Water Now Accepting Applications For 2020 Environmental Grants

PA American Water is now accepting applications for its 2020 Environmental Grant Program.  Applications are due March 31.

* Registration Now Open For March 14 Watershed Congress Along The Schuylkill

Registration is now open for the 2020 Watershed Congress Along The Schuylkill to be held March 14 at the Pottstown Campus of Montgomery County Community College.

* January Catalyst Newsletter Reviews 2019 Accomplishments By Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition, Volunteers And Partners

The January issue of the Catalyst Newsletter is now available from the Butler County-based Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition featuring the 2019 accomplishments of the Coalition, its partners and volunteers. Among the accomplishments are--

* Our Pocono Waters Coalition Leads Monroe County Regional Officials On Stream Education Tour

Elected officials from the Pocono region and their staff gathered January 17 for a Monroe County stream tour spearheaded by PennFuture, Sierra Club Pennsylvania, Brodhead Watershed Association and the Brodhead Chapter of Trout Unlimited on behalf of the Our Pocono Waters Campaign.

* Call For Presentations/Exhibits: Dive Deeper Water Education Summit Oct. 1 In Harrisburg

Penn State Extension is seeking proposals for presentations at the October 1 Dive Deeper Water Education Summit in Harrisburg.  February 28 is the deadline for submissions

* Penn State Master Well Owners Now Accepting Applications For New Volunteers

If you are interested in learning more about the proper management of private water wells, springs and cisterns and you are willing to share what you learn with others, the Penn State Master Well Owner Program may be for you! 

* Penn State Extension: Microplastics In Our Waters, An Unquestionable Concern

By Jodi Sulpizio, Master Watershed Steward Coordinator York County

* Penn State: Persistent PFOS Contamination Exposure Changes Gut Microbiome Of Mice, Could Have Implications For Human Health

By Sara LaJeunesse, Penn State News

* Registration Now Open For PA Environmental Professional's Annual Conference May 6-8 In State College

The PA Association of Environmental Professionals is now accepting registrations for its 2020 Annual Conference -- 35 Years Of Connecting The Keystone-- at the Wyndham Garden Hotel in State College.

* Northeast Recycling Council Spring Conference Set For April 20-21 In Connecticut

The Northeast Recycling Council will hold its Spring Conference - Rebooting Recycling -- on April 20-21 in Rocky Hill, Connecticut.

* DEP Sets Hearings [If Needed] On RACT II Air Quality Plans For Facilities In Butler County, Philadelphia

The Department of Environmental Protection and Philadelphia Air Management Services will hold hearings [if needed] on RACT II Air Quality Plans for facilities in Butler County and Philadelphia.

* CFA Awards 4 Natural Gas Pipeline Service Extension Grants Totalling $2.3 Million In Chester, Monroe, Northampton Counties

On January 22, the Commonwealth Financing Authority announced the approval of four Pipeline Investment Program (PIPE) grants totalling $2.3 million to support the extension of natural gas pipeline service to households and businesses in Chester, Monroe, and Northampton counties.

* PennTAP Building Energy Re-Tuning & Operations Conference March 3 In State College

Join the Penn State PA Technical Assistance Program for a Building Energy Re-Tuning and Operations Conference on March 3 for managers and employees overseeing the success of school and municipality building energy performance.

* On Feb. 27 Help Celebrate The Launch Of The Erie 2030 District To Reduce Energy, Water Use By 50%

Join the Green Building Alliance, Erie County, City of Erie and 14 member property owners on February 27 to celebrate the formal launch of the Erie 2030 District.

* Penn State: Insecticides Becoming 120-Fold More Toxic To Honey Bees

By Sara LaJeunesse, Penn State News

* The Nature Conservancy-PA Reviews 2019 Accomplishments With Its Many Partners, Volunteers

The PA Chapter of The Nature Conservancy recently issued its report on Pennsylvania Accomplishments in 2019 highlighting its work to preserve land, restore the environment, work with landowners and educate the public with the help of its many partners and volunteers.

* Wildlands Conservancy Highlights Upcoming Programs In February

The Lehigh Valley-based Wildlands Conservancy recently highlighted programs and activities coming up in February, including--

* Jan. 24 Take Five Fridays With Pam Now Available From PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The January 24 Take Five Fridays With Pam is now available from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation featuring articles on--

* Jan. 22 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The January 22 Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* Wildlife For Everyone 3rd Annual Wildlife Gala April 3 In State College

The Wildlife for Everyone Foundation will hold its 3rd Annual Wildlife Gala on April 3 at The Nittany Lion Inn, 200 West Park Avenue in State College starting at 5:00 p.m.

* More Than 7,800 Birds Fledged Through DCNR’s Cavity Nesting Trails Program

DCNR’s Bureau of State Parks released its annual Cavity-Nesting Trails Summary Report, which shows that 50 state parks monitored 2,041 boxes and fledged a total of 7,848 birds through the dedicated work of volunteers and staff in 2019.

* Intern Wanted: Brandywine Conservancy Easement Stewardship Internship

The Delaware County-based Brandywine Conservancy is seeking candidates for an internship with its Easement Management 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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Send your stories, photos and links to videos about your project, environmental issues or programs for publication in the PA Environment Digest to: PaEnviroDigest@gmail.com.

* 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.

* PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference June 24-25 In State College

The PA Environment Digest is a proud sponsor of the 2020 PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference June 24-25 in State College.  Click Here for more - Call For Presentations.

* 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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