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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
March 2, 2020 Issue #818
(3/2/2020)
* DEP Budget Hearing: Republicans Propose Funding Hazardous Sites Cleanup By Taking Funds Away From Recycling; Oppose Wolf Climate Initiatives

At the House hearing on DEP’s budget request February 24, Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York), Majority Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, said he is opposed to increasing the fee on municipal waste to pay for the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Program and suggested taking funding away from Recycling to support the Program.

* DEP Budget Testimony: Gov. Wolf’s Budget Request Means Cleaner Water, Healthier Air, Remediated Land

DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell submitted this written testimony on Gov. Wolf’s DEP 2020-21 budget request to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees--

* DCNR Budget Hearing: DCNR’s Continuing Use Of Oil & Gas Fund Monies For Admin. Costs Questioned, After Court Ruling Prohibited The Practice

At the February 24 House hearing on DCNR’s budget request, Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware), Minority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, questioned DCNR’s continuing practice of using Oil and Gas Fund monies to pay for administrative costs.

* DCNR Budget Testimony: DCNR Welcomes Millions Of Visitors, Enhances Communities, Engages Young People, Conserves Our Natural Resources, Outdoor Heritage

DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn submitted this written testimony on Gov. Wolf’s DCNR 2020-21 budget request to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees--

* Should Senate, House Members Return Their $172 Million Surplus To Taxpayers And Fund Needed Programs?

On February 4, the Associated Press reported the Senate and House Legislative Audit Advisory Commission released their annual report showing a $172 million surplus in their operating accounts as of July 1, 2019.

* DEP Previews New Climate Impact Assessment: More Extreme Precipitation, More Livestock, More Manure, Less Effective BMPs; And SE Coastal Impact Assessment

On February 25, DEP’s Climate Change Advisory Committee was given a preview of the next Climate Impact Assessment report done by Penn State focused on extreme precipitation events, impacts on achieving water quality cleanup goals and infrastructure vulnerability through 2050.

* BP America Op-Ed: PA Can Transform America’s Energy Landscape - Again By Joining RGGI

By Susan Dio, Chairman & President Of BP America 

* Op-Ed: Climate Change Is Both A Spiritual And A Moral Issue

By: The Rev. Sandy Strauss

* Rep. Metcalfe Calls Out DEP Secretary For Evasive RGGI Non-Answers During Budget Hearing

On February 24, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), Majority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, issued this statement following the House budget hearing on DEP's budget request--

* Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens Center For Sustainable Landscapes Achieves BREEAM USA Green Building Standard

On February 28, Pittsburgh’s Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and BRE Global announced that the Center for Sustainable Landscapes has been certified using the BREEAM USA green building standard for existing buildings.

* PUC Requires Remaining Life Study, Public Reporting On Integrity Of Sunoco's Mariner East I Pipeline; Issues $200,000 Penalty

On February 27, the Public Utility Commission announced it is directing an independent “remaining life study” of the Mariner East 1 (ME1) pipeline crossing Pennsylvania, along with enhanced public reporting of pipeline integrity activities, in the wake of a pipeline leak near Morgantown, Berks County.

* Pesticide Advisory Board Now Accepting Public Comments On Banning “Deadly” Pesticide Chlorpyrifos At March 3 Meeting

The Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Advisory Board will now be accepting public comments on whether or not to ban the pesticide Chlorpyrifos at its March 3 meeting, even though it did not advertised it was accepting public comments.

* Farmers In Lancaster, York, Franklin, Adams Asked To Document Conservation Practices In New Penn State Survey

By Chuck Gill, Penn State News

* PennDOT Announces District 3, District 8 Winners Of Student Innovations Litter Challenge From Snyder & Dauphin County

On February 26, the Department of Transportation announced a team of students from the Midd-West School District, Snyder County has been selected as the PennDOT District 3 winner for its third Innovations Challenge, this one focused on litter control.

* Keep PA Beautiful: 2.5 Million Volunteers, Partners Removed Over 147 Million Pounds Of Trash From PA Landscape Over Last 30 Years

On February 27, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful reported more than 2.5 million volunteers have engaged in community improvement events that have resulted in the removal of over 147 million pounds of trash, 11 million pounds of electronics and 999,959 tires from the beautiful Pennsylvania landscape in the 30 years since it was founded.

* Pennsylvania Prepares For Spread Of Coronavirus, Or COVID-19

On February 26, Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine outlined the Wolf Administration’s steps to prepare for community spread of the coronavirus known as COVID-19, as well as what Pennsylvanians can do now.

* PA Capitol Report: PennDOT Plans To Shift Local Road Money To Interstates

[ Because In Politics, Everything Is Connected To Everything Else ] PennDOT told the House Appropriations Committee last week, as it has before, over the next nine years it will move more than $3 billion away from local and rural road work to spend on interstate highways as a result of a federal mandate. 

* Bills On Governor's Desk

The following bills were given final approval by the Senate and House and are now on the Governor's desk for action--

* Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule [Updated]

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--

* NRCS-PA: Application Dates For Conservation Assistance Programs Extended

On February 26, the Pennsylvania Office of the Natural Resources Conservation Service announced agricultural producers and landowners now have additional time to apply for technical and financial assistance to improve and enhance natural resources on their farm and forest land, and for conservation easements to protect agricultural land from development and restore and protect wetlands.

* NSAC Blog: Comprehensive Climate And Agriculture Legislation Introduced In U.S. House

By: National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

* No System To Make Sure Required Flood Insurance Is In Place For Homes In 100-Year Floodplain

By Victoria M. Indivero, Penn State News

* CBF Penn’s Waters: Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership To Shine With Innovation In Its Third Year

The February Penn’s Waters newsletter from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA Office featured the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership--

* Call For Presentations: Delaware River Watershed Forum Sept. 17-18 In Philadelphia; Sponsorships Available

The organizers of the 8th Annual Delaware River Watershed Forum have issued a call for presentations for this special event to be held September 17-18 at the Logan Hotel in Philadelphia.  The deadline for proposals is March 13.

* First Responders, Volunteers, Others Who Worked At Flight 93 Crash Site Encouraged To Attend World Trade Center Health Program/Victims Fund Meeting March 25, 26, 27 In Somerset

The 9/11 Outreach and Education arm of the World Trade Center Health Program and the Sept. 11, 2001 Victim Compensation Fund will hold meetings in Somerset March 25, 26 and 27 to answer questions about and accept registrations for enrollment of eligible individuals.

* DEP Sets April 2 Hearing On Revaluation Of All Sources Of Air Pollution; The Installation Of Ethane Storage Tanks At Sunoco’s Natural Gas Liquids Facility In Delaware County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of an April 2 hearing on two issues related to Sunoco’s natural gas liquids processing, storage and distribution operations facility in Marcus Hook Borough, Delaware County.

* PUC Adopts Regs. Increasing Consumer Protections, Price Transparency In Competitive Electric Market

On February 27, the Public Utility Commission approved a final rulemaking intended to increase consumer protections and ensure greater price transparency in the competitive retail electricity market.

* IFO Reports Natural Gas Production Increased 11.4% In 2019; Increases In Production, Number Of Producing Wells Down Significantly

On February 26, the Independent Fiscal Office issued its quarterly report on natural gas production in Pennsylvania showing an 11.4 percent increase in 2019, which is below the average annual increase of 18.9 percent from 2012 to 2019.

* Feed Supplement For Dairy Cows Cuts Their Methane Emissions From Belching By About A Quarter

By Jeff Mulhollem, Penn State News

* Student Finds Bright Future In Solar Energy; Seeks To Enroll Solar Farm In CREP

By Steph Krane, Penn State News

* UPDATED: CFA Accepting Applications For Alternative & Clean Energy, Geothermal, Wind And Solar Energy Projects

The Commonwealth Financing Authority is now accepting applications for several of its renewable and clean energy project funding programs.  The deadline for applications is March 14, May 14 and July 15-- 60 days before the CFA board meeting.

* Funding For Renewable Energy, Energy Conservation Projects Available From Sustainable Energy Funds

The four sustainable energy funds created as a result of electric competition have a wide assortment of funding available to support the development of sustainable and renewable energy and clean air technologies on both a regional and statewide basis.

* SEEDS Hosts Resilient Regional Economies Program With Sustainable Business Entrepreneur Judy Wicks March 21 In Wayne County

SEEDS (Sustainable Energy and Education Development Support) will host a presentation on “Resilient Regional Economies” by renowned entrepreneur, author, and acclaimed speaker, Judy Wicks on March 21, from 10:00 a.m. to Noon, at The Cooperage Project, 1030 Main Street, Honesdale, PA.

* PA Wilds: Rural Entrepreneurs Kick Off Inaugural PA Wilds PACE Business Sustainability, Growth Program

On February 17, the first ever rural entrepreneurship cohort offered to small businesses in the Pennsylvania Wilds kicked off when individuals representing ten businesses came together to begin the inaugural PA Wilds PACE Program - Plan, Accelerate, Commit, Expand.

* Leap Year Take Five Fridays With Pam, PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The Leap Year Take Five Friday With Pam from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation featuring articles on--

* Berks Nature Preserves 80-Acre Robeson Township Farm With Conservation Easement

Berks Nature has closed on a conservation easement project in southern Berks with the Love family to protect about 80 acres of their family farm, located in Robeson Township along a tributary to Beaver Run, in the Hay Creek Watershed.

* Appalachian Land & Conservation Permanently Protects 94-Acre Property In Clinton County

On February 26, the Appalachian Land & Conservation Services Co., LLC announced it has permanently protected a 94-acre inholding inside Kettle Creek State Park and Sproul State Forest, in Leidy Township, Clinton County.

* Efforts To Stop Spotted Lanternfly Are Ongoing For Penn State, Agencies

By Amy Duke, Penn State News

* DCNR Good Natured Blog: When Bad Attracts Worse! - Barberry To Ticks To Lyme Disease

By: Emily Domoto, Ecological Services Section Chief, DCNR Bureau of Forestry

* DCNR Good Natured Blog: Lookout For These Emerging Invasive Plants

By: Rebecca Bowen, Conservation Science and Ecological Resources Division Chief, DCNR's Bureau of Forestry

* DCNR Good Natured Blog: Weevils To The Rescue, Helping To Reduce Spread Of Mile-A-Minute Invasive Plant

By: Andrew Rohrbaugh, Botanist, Ecological Services Section, Bureau of Forestry

* DCNR Good Natured Blog: Responding To Invasive Species In Pennsylvania's State Forests

Invasive plants can significantly alter our forested landscapes, negatively impacting plants, animals, their habitats, and the natural processes of which they are a part.

* Pocono Heritage Land Trust Seeking Volunteers For Invasive Species Removal Work Days In Monroe County

The Pocono Heritage Land Trust is seeking volunteers for invasive species removal work days in April and May in Monroe County.

* Penn State App Aids UN Efforts To Respond To Crop Destroying Locust Swarms In Africa

By Sara LaJeunesse, Penn State News

* Agriculture Announces $1 Million In Research Grants To Combat Chronic Wasting Disease In PA Deer

On February 25, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced $1 million in grants awarded to three innovative research projects to help detect and better understand Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in order to stop its spread among Pennsylvania deer.

* Fish & Boat Commission Awards More Than $500,000 In Boating Facility Grants

On February 28, the Fish and Boat Commission announced the award of more than $500,000 in Boating Facility Grants to assist with twelve projects in eleven counties.

* WILD About Falcons Educator Workshop April 9, Middle Creek Wildlife Area, Lebanon County

Pennsylvania educators are invited to attend "WILD About Falcons," a free peregrine falcon workshop April 9 from 9 :00 a.m. to 3:00  p.m., at the Game Commission's Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in Kleinfeltersville in Lebanon County.

* Help Wanted: Centre County Conservation District Manager

The Centre County Conservation District is seeking a qualified individual to serve as District Manager.  The deadline for applications is March 6.

* Help Wanted: Willistown Conservation Trust Director Of Rushton Conservation Center

The Willistown Conservation Trust is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Director of the Rushton Conservation Center in Chester County.

* 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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* Stories Invited - About PA Environment Digest

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* 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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