Scrapbook Photo 05/31/20 - New PEC Podcast: Fmr Gov. Tom Ridge - Conservatives Are Out Of Touch On The Environment: http://bit.ly/2XgTc5S
Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
February 3, 2020 Issue #814
(2/3/2020)
* Budget Repeat: Gov. Wolf Vows To Continue His Fight For Restore PA Infrastructure, Environmental Funding Proposal

On January 28, Gov. Tom Wolf vowed to continue his fight to fund Pennsylvania’s critical infrastructure needs with Restore Pennsylvania.

* Gov. Wolf Announces $1.1 Billion Plan To Address Lead, Other Hazards In Schools, Water Systems, Day Care Centers, Homes

On January 29, Gov. Tom Wolf announced a series of proposed 2020-21 budget items totaling more than $1.1 billion to support reducing the risks to Pennsylvanians of lead and asbestos, and remediating existing toxins in schools, day care centers, homes, and public water systems.

* PA Environmental Defense Foundation Submits Brief Continuing Legal Battle To Have DCNR Drilling Revenue Returned To Benefit Conservation

On January 28, the PA Environmental Defense Foundation submitted a brief to the PA Supreme Court continuing its legal battle to have revenue from oil and gas drilling on State Forest land used for conservation purposes as required by the Environmental Rights Amendment to the state constitution.

* PA Chesapeake Bay Phase III WIP State Team Hears Implementation Off To Fast Start

On January 30, the Pennsylvania Chesapeake Bay Phase III WIP State Team heard presentations from many of the major stakeholders taking action to implement Pennsylvania’s Clean Water Plan for the Bay Watershed saying they are getting off to a fast start.

* EPA Letter To Congress: We Remain Committed To Restoring, Protecting Chesapeake Bay; Bay TMDL Does Not Bind The States

On January 28, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 3 sent a letter to Members of Congress emphasizing the agency’s commitment to protecting the Chesapeake Bay.

* Bay Journal: EPA Intends To Achieve 2025 Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Goals, But Assurances Fail To Mollify Concerns Over PA Cleanup

By Karl Blankenship, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* Chesapeake Bay Foundation Preparing To Sue EPA Over Lack Of Enforcement Over PA Progress In Cleanup Plan

On January 27, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation announced it is preparing to file a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over the lack of enforcement action over the progress Pennsylvania is making in reducing nitrogen pollution.

* DEP Provides Funding To 8 Southcentral Counties To Support Implementation Of Local Nonpoint Water Pollution Reduction Measures

On January 29, the Department of Environmental Protection announced it’s helping counties hit the ground running on water quality improvement in Pennsylvania’s part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed by supplying $789,400 in funding for local coordinators to head up county action plans and $690,000 in grant funds to get planned projects underway.

* PennVEST Invests $119 Million In 18 Water Infrastructure Projects In 15 Counties

On January 29, the PA Infrastructure Investment Authority announced the investment of $119 million for 18 drinking water, wastewater, and nonpoint source projects across 15 counties through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority.

* Lackawanna River Named PA 2020 River Of The Year

On January 29, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced the Lackawanna River, in Northeast Pennsylvania, a vibrant, cold-water “Class A” fishery in its middle and upper reaches, and a waterway that attracts more paddlers every year, has been voted the state's 2020 River Of The Year

* DCNR Releases New Report On Conservation Landscape Successes For The Economy And Environment

On January 31, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn celebrated the success of Pennsylvania’s Conservation Landscapes Program by releasing a new report on how this partnership-building approach is critical for meeting regional environmental challenges and economic challenges

* DEP To Unveil Draft Regs To Participate In RGGI, Capping Carbon Dioxide Emissions From Power Plants, Feb. 13 At Advisory Committee Meeting

On January 30, the Department of Environmental Protection announced it will unveil preliminary draft regulations to allow Pennsylvania to participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative capping greenhouse gas emissions from power plants at the February 13 meeting of the agency’s Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee.

* Agenda Added: House Committee Hearing Feb. 5 On Bill To Take Away DEP’s Authority To Enact Any Program To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

On February 5, the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on House Bill 2025 (Struzzi-R-Indiana) which would take away the authority of DEP to adopt any program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

* Senate Hearing: DEP - No Decision Made On Joining Regional Transportation Climate Initiative Reducing Vehicle Carbon Dioxide Emissions

On January 29, DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell told a joint hearing of the Senate Transportation and Environmental Committees that although the Wolf Administration is dedicated to addressing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants through RGGI, it will not make a decision to join a similar Transportation Climate Initiative to control emissions from vehicles until the program is fully designed.

* DEP Accepting Applications For Clean Transportation Grants Under Driving PA Forward Program

The Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for clean transportation grants for the Clean Diesel, Marine and Rail Freight Movers and the Corridor Refueling Infrastructure programs under the Driving PA Forward initiative.

* Updated Agenda Now Available Showing Technical Guidance DEP Is Working On

The Department of Environmental Protection published an update to its Non-Regulatory Agenda showing the technical guidance DEP is now working on to give the public and stakeholders an opportunity to be part of the development process.  (formal notice)

* PUC Enforcement Bureau Seeks $8.8 Million Penalty Against Texas Company For Deceptive Energy Marketing

On January 31, the PUC's Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement filed a formal complaint against Texas-based Verde Energy USA (Verde).

* Keep PA Beautiful: Illegal Dumping Caught In Dauphin County; Free Surveillance Camera Loan Program Available

Cameras made available through the Keep PA Beautiful Surveillance Camera Loan Program caught illegal dumping of electronics waste as it happened at a Recycling Center in Millersburg Borough, Dauphin County.

* PA Capitol Report: Wolf Makes Nearly $6 Billion In Pre-Budget Address Announcements

Because In Politics, Everything Is Connected To Everything Else. Gov. Wolf continued to preview initiatives that will be part of his February 4 budget address last week, including taking another run at his $4.5 billion Restore PA infrastructure proposal, a new $1.1 billion program to address lead and asbestos in schools and water systems, a new workforce development strategy and much more.

* 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-- 

* Federal Office Of Surface Mining Accepting Acid Mine Drainage Watershed Grant Applications

The federal Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement is now accepting applications for Not-For-Profit Acid Mine Drainage Watershed Cooperative Agreement Grants.  Applications will be accepted through June 30.

* Congressional House Democrats Introduce Revised Bill To Fight Climate Change; Fund Infrastructure Projects

Congressional House Democrats last week introduced two proposals designed to address climate change and funding needed infrastructure repairs and upgrades

* Independent Regulatory Review Commission Approves Final Triennial Water Quality Standards, Stream Designation Regulation

On January 31, the Independent Regulatory Review Commission voted 4 to 1 to approve the final EQB Triennial Water Quality Standards and Stream Redesignation Regulation.

* PA Organization For Watersheds & Rivers Hosting 6 Regional Watershed Workshops

The PA Organization for Watersheds and Rivers will host a series of six Regional Watershed Workshops to identify needs, share resource information, learn techniques to help build capacity, and network with other groups.

* Natural Lands: 12,500 Trees Planted At Bryn Coed Preserve To Improve Water Quality In Chester County

On January 27, Natural Lands announced a massive tree-planting effort was completed recently at the organization’s Bryn Coed Preserve in Chester Springs, Chester County.

* Pike Conservation District 2019 Report On Environmental Quality Of Pike County Streams

The Pike County Conservation District has maintained a Surface Water Monitoring Program, focused on monitoring stream health, for 28 years.

* Monroe, Pike Conservation Districts Hold NPDES Water Quality Permitting Workshop Feb. 25 In Monroe

The Monroe and Pike Conservation Districts will host their 2020 NPDES Water Quality Permitting Workshop on February 25 at the Pocono Hall Gymnasium, Northampton Community College - Monroe Campus, 2411 Rte. 715 in Tannersville from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

* Stroud Water Research Center, DCNR Education For Community Resilience Workshop Feb. 11-12 In Chester County

The Stroud Water Research Center and DCNR's Bureau of State Parks are hosting an Education for Community Resilience Workshop on February 11-12 at the Center, 970 Spencer Road in Avondale, Chester County.

* Science On Tap 2020: Restoring American Shad To The Brandywine River Program Feb. 20 In Delaware County

The Chester Ridley Crum Watersheds Association will host a Science On Tap 2020 Program - Restoring American Shad to the Brandywine River on February 20 at WaR3house3, 100 Park Avenue in Swarthmore, Delaware County from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

* Bay Journal: Smallmouth Bass Woes Range From Contaminants To More Stress At Spawning Sites

By Ad Crable, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* Emerging Organic Contaminant Levels In PA At Higher Concentrations In Colder Seasons, Pesticide Concentrations Increase During High Stream Flows

By Jeff Mulhollem, Penn State News

* Feb. 28 Webinar: Carp Management And Lake Restoration For Pond, Lake, Reservoir Owners

The Crawford County Conservation District is recommending pond, lake and reservoir  owners watch the upcoming Carp Management and Lake Restoration Webinar on February 28 from the University of Minnesota from Noon to 1:00 p.m.

* Delaware River Basin Commission Hearing Feb. 12, Business Meeting March 11

The Delaware River Basin Commission will hold a public hearing February 12 on pending water project applications and a resolution to adopt the Fiscal Year 2020 Water Resources Program.  A business meeting on those applications and other issues is set for March 11. (formal notice)

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Sets Feb. 6 Hearing, March 13 Business Meeting

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.

* State Funding Provided To Help Cleanup Former Industrial Sites In Blair, Erie Counties

On January 31, Gov. Tom  Wolf announced the approval of funding to help clean up former industrial sites in Blair and Erie counties to prepare them for occupation by businesses and residential properties through the Industrial Sites Reuse Program.

* Registration Open: PA Brownfields Conference March 9-11 In State College

The Department of Environmental Protection and the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania are now accepting registrations for the 2020 Pennsylvania Brownfields Conference to be held March 9-11 in State College.

* DEP Issues Permits For Camp Hope Run Landfill In Clearfield County

On January 28, the Department of Environmental Protection announced it has issued permits to PA Waste LLC for the construction of the new Camp Hope Run Landfill-- a 5,000 tons-per-day, double-lined, municipal waste landfill in Boggs Township, Clearfield County.

* DEP Sets March 3 Hearing [If Needed] On RACT II Air Quality Plan For Facility In Blair County

The Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled a March 3 hearing [if needed] on the RACT II Air Quality Plan for the Appvion Operations, Inc. pulp and paper mill in Roaring Spring Borough, Blair County.  (Feb. 1 PA Bulletin, page 692)

* New Study: For Many PA Cities, Air Quality Was Unhealthy 1 Out Of Every 4 Days

On January 28, PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center and Frontier Group released a new report that found many Pennsylvania cities experienced unhealthy levels of air pollution one in every four days in 2018.

* PennEast Natural Gas Pipeline Seeks FERC Approval To Build PA Part First

On January 31, PennEast Pipeline Company LLC announced the filing of an amendment with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to construct the pipeline in two phases, the first being the 68 miles in Pennsylvania and then the remaining 50 miles in New Jersey.

* Dominion Energy Submits Application To Plug 3 Wells At Oakford Natural Gas Storage Complex In Westmoreland County

Dominion Energy Transmissions has filed an application for Section 401 Water Quality Certification with DEP to plug three wells it is abandoning at the Oakford Natural Gas Storage Complex in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County.  (Feb. 1 PA Bulletin, page 737)

* Twice As Much Methane Is Leaking From Oil & Gas Facilities In Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma As EPA Estimates

By David Kubarek, Penn State News

* Penn State Student, Faculty Researchers Explored Food-Energy-Water System At Franklin County Solar Farm

By Francisco Tutella, Penn State News

* The Energy Co-op Opens Renewable Natural Gas Program To All PECO, PGW Customers In Southeast

On January 28, the Energy Co-op announced it has opened its Renewable Natural Gas Program for enrollment to all PECO and PGW natural gas consumers in the Philadelphia region.

* Environmental Groups Back Bucks County Township's Appeal Of Pipeline Compressor Station Air Permit

On January 27, Clean Air Council, PennFuture, Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services, and Mountain Watershed Association filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Commonwealth Court in support of the appeal of West Rockhill Township, Bucks County, seeking to reverse the dismissal of its case before the Environmental Hearing Board challenging a DEP pipeline compressor station’s air pollution permit.

* PA Sea Grant, Partners Finalize Conservation Of 179.8 Acres In Elk Creek Watershed Erie County

On January 27, the Pennsylvania Sea Grant,; Lake Erie Region Conservancy, Western PA Conservancy and the Fish and Boat Commission announced the collaborative efforts to acquire a portion of the Gilmore Farm in Girard Township, Erie County, have been finalized.

* Western PA Conservancy Preserves Forested Area, Scenic Views In Ligonier Valley, Westmoreland County

On January 28, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy announced the permanent protection of a 22-acre property in Cook Township, Westmoreland County through a donated conservation easement from property owners Michael Blehar and Beth Evans.

* Colcom Revolving Fund For Local Land Trusts By Western PA Conservancy

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy’s Colcom Revolving Fund for Local Land Trusts provides grants in the form of short-term loans to land trusts and other nonprofit organizations seeking to preserve open space and conserve high priority properties.

* Brodhead Watershed Assn. Hosts Feb. 15 Talking Turtles Program At Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Monroe County

The Brodhead Watershed Association will host a Talking Turtles Program February 15 at the Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Monroe County as part of its Get Outdoors Poconos series.

* Registration Open: Capital Area Greenbelt Assn. Tour de Belt June 7 In Harrisburg

The Capital Area Greenbelt Association is now accepting registrations for the 20th Annual Tour de Belt bike ride on June 7 in Harrisburg.

* Register Now: June 14 French Creek Iron Tour - Cycling For Open Space & Trails In Chester County

The French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust is now accepting registrations for the 18th Annual French Creek Iron Tour will be held on June 14 beginning at the Kimberton Fire Company Fairgrounds in Phoenixville, Chester County. 

* Jan. 31 Take Five Fridays With Pam, PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The January 31 Take Five Fridays With Pam is now available from the PA Parks and Forest Foundation featuring articles on--

* Game Commission Accepting Comments On Draft Elk Management Plan

On January 29, the Game Commission released a draft of its new Elk Management Plan, a document that, when adopted, will guide the agency’s elk management program through 2025.

* Game Commission: Purple Paint Means No Trespassing

The Game Commission reminded landowners who post their properties now have the option of using purple paint rather than signs to alert others that lands are private and trespassing isn’t permitted.

* Fmr. Sen. Mike Brubaker Joins Board Of Chesapeake Conservancy

On January 30, the Chesapeake Conservancy announced four new members have been added to its Board of Directors, including former Sen. Mike Brubaker (R-Lancaster).

* Interns Wanted: Western PA Conservancy - Last Call To Apply For Summer Internship Positions

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy offers short and long-term summer internship opportunities for college and graduate students interested in careers related to the Conservancy’s many departments.

* Interns Wanted: Gov. Pinchot's Grey Towers National Historic Site Internships In Pike County

Applications are currently being accepted for a number of unpaid college and post-graduate internships at Gov. Pinchot's Grey Towers National Historic Site in Milford, Pike County.

* Help Wanted: 4 Positions With SRBC, Northumberland Conservation District, PEC, PRC

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission, Northumberland County Conservation District, PA Environmental Council and the PA Resources Council are seeking qualified candidates to fill these four positions--

* 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.

* CLICK HERE To View Or Print Entire PA Environment Digest

CLICK HERE to View or Print the 137 page PA Environment Digest.

* Stories Invited - About PA Environment Digest

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.

Previous PA Environment Digests