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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
May 11, 2020 Issue #828
(5/11/2020)
* Inquirer.com Editorial: Bad Timing For Harrisburg's Anti-Environmental Efforts

This editorial first appeared on May 8 at Inquirer.com--

* House Republicans Report Out Bill To Reallocate Keystone Fund That Threatens Vitality Of PA’s Outdoor Economy At A Critical Time For Small Businesses

On May 5, Republicans on the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee reported out legislation-- House Bill 2004-- which would reallocate monies from the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund used to support local recreation and conservation projects statewide.

* PA Parks & Forests Foundation Opposes Effort To Reallocate Keystone Recreation Fund Monies At A Time Recreation Facilities Needed Most

On May 4, the PA Parks and Forests Foundation sent a letter to lawmakers urging them to oppose House Bill 2004 (Ortitay-R-Allegheny) reallocating the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund monies.

* PA Environmental Council Opposes Bill To Reallocate Keystone Fund That Threatens Vitality Of PA’s Outdoor Economy

On May 4, the PA Environmental Council sent a letter to lawmakers urging them to oppose House Bill 2004 (Ortitay-R-Allegheny) reallocating the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund monies.

* Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership Strongly Opposes Bill Reallocating Keystone Recreation, Park & Conservation Fund

On May 4, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, a national coalition of 60 hunting, angling, conservation, and outdoor industry organizations, expressed their strong opposition to legislation-- House Bill 2004--  to reallocate monies in the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund at a time when it would disrupt a conservation program with a proven record of success.

* Learn More About $1 Billion State Parks, Forests Maintenance, Infrastructure Backlog At New Website; Then Take Action

The PA Parks and Forests Foundation, along with partners PA Forestry Association and the PA Recreation and Park Society, have launched a new website-- Protect Our Parks and Forests-- focusing on the more than $1 billion in maintenance, safety and infrastructure needs in Pennsylvania’s State Parks and Forests.

* Op-Ed: Conservation District Week, Time To Reflect On The Real Economic, Environmental Benefits Of Districts

By Len Lichvar, District Manager, Somerset Conservation District

* Gov. Wolf Announces 13 More Counties Move To Yellow Phase Of Reopening May 15; General Shutdown Order Extended To June 4

On May 8, Gov. Tom Wolf announced 13 Pennsylvania counties will move to the Yellow Phase of reopening at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, May 15.

* DEP Works Through Pandemic: 506 More Permits, 1,576 More Inspections Over Last Week

From March 16 to May 5, Department of Environmental Protection employees have been teleworking and using COVID-19 mitigation measures to continue to fulfill its mission.  DEP staff have--

* DEP, Health Provide Guidance For Flushing Water Systems In Buildings Closed During COVID-19 Pandemic

On May 8, the departments of Environmental Protection and Health encouraged owners and operators of dormant buildings to flush building water systems as businesses in counties enter the Yellow Phase of the state’s reopening plan.

* DCNR Reopening Some Facilities In Yellow Phase Areas; Canceled Events Thru June 15

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is reopening some State Park and Forest facilities in Yellow Phase areas consistent with Gov. Wolf’s COVID-19 reopening plan.

* Newport Twp. Police, DCNR Take On 40 ATV Riders Illegally Riding, Littering On Reclaimed Land, Pinchot State Forest In Luzerne County

The Newport Township Police Department and the Department of Conservation and Natural collaborate on an enforcement action involving 40 ATV riders illegally riding and littering on private land and in Pinchot State Forest in Luzerne County.

* DEP Our Common Wealth Blog: Air Quality In PA, How To Be Air Aware

By: Ashley Schalleur - Environmental Protection Compliance Specialist, Southeast Regional Office, Jillian Gallagher - Air Quality Environmental Group Manager, SERO, and John Repetz - Community Relations Coordinator, Southcentral Regional Office

* DEP Our Common Wealth Blog: Hidden Factors When Considering COVID-19-Related Air Quality Improvements

By Virginia Cain, Community Relations Coordinator, and Rob Fogel, Local Government Liaison, DEP Southeast Regional Office

* DEP Our Common Wealth Blog: Burning Household Trash Can Harm Your Family, Neighbors And The Environment

By: Megan Lehman, Community Relations Coordinator, North-central Regional Office

* DEP Our Common Wealth Blog: Recreational Fires And Air Quality

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

* New PA Poll: 72% Of Pennsylvania Voters Say It's Important Their Electricity Comes From Energy Not Creating Carbon Emissions

In the first statewide poll of its kind since the COVID-19 crisis began, likely Pennsylvania voters – Democrats, Republicans and Independents – overwhelmingly-- 89 percent-- report that environmental policies that promote clean air are important to them.

* Republican House Members Sign Letter Urging Governor To Halt Efforts To Join Regional Carbon Pollution Reduction Program

Forty-eight Republicans and ten Democratic members of the 203-member House signed a letter to Gov. Wolf urging him to suspend his efforts to adopt a regional carbon pollution reduction program covering power plants known as RGGI.

* DEP Air Quality Advisory Committee Takes No Position On Proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Program For Power Plants

On May 7, DEP Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee took no position on DEP's proposed carbon pollution reduction regulation covering power plants.

* AG Shapiro: Inflection Energy to Pay $40,000 To Conservation Groups For Polluting Lycoming County Water

On May 4, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Inflection Energy, a natural gas company, has entered a plea for its role in the 2017 wastewater spill in Loyalsock Creek located in Lycoming County, and will pay $40,000 to conservation groups in the area.

* Bay Journal: State Pollution Goal Aims To Put The 'Sylvan' Back In Pennsylvania

By Ad Crable, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* PA Organization For Watersheds & Rivers Invites Groups Involved In Watershed Restoration To Fill Out Online Needs Survey

The PA Organization for Watersheds and Rivers invites watershed associations and other groups involved in watershed restoration efforts to fill out a survey to better understand your needs.

* PEC Blog: Watershed Conservation And Landscape Painting En Plein Air

By Tali MacArthur, Watersheds Program Manager, PA Environmental Council

* Governor’s Office Updates List Of Regulations In Development By State Agencies

The Governor’s Office posted an update to the Regulatory Agenda which includes an agency-by-agency listing of regulations in development by state agencies in the May 9 PA Bulletin (PA Bulletin page 2481).

* PA Capitol & COVID-19 Report: 13 More Counties Move To Yellow Phase; Conflicts Escalate Between Republicans, Governor

Just after Gov. Wolf announced 13 more counties would be moving to the Yellow Phase of reopening on Friday and releasing the related business guidance, lawmakers and county officials were showing signs of what one media outlet called a “mutiny” against his shutdown order.

* 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 [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-- 

* May Newsletter Available From Joint Conservation Committee

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

* NRCS Now Accepting Applications For $5 Million In Wetland Mitigation Banking Grants

On May 6, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service-PA announced the availability of up to $5 million for wetland mitigation banks. Applications are due July 6.

* NRCS-PA Hosts PA Conservation Innovation Grant Virtual Information Meeting May 21

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service-PA office will host a virtual information session on the PA Conservation Innovation Grant program May 21 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

* National Organic Coalition & Organic Farmers Association Ask Congress To Protect Organic Food, Agriculture In Next Relief Package

On May 8, the National Organic Coalition and Organic Farmers Association [sponsored by the Rodale Institute in Berks County] called on Congress on May 7 to include provisions in the next coronavirus relief package to help organic farmers, farmworkers, retailers, certifiers, and other businesses weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

* EPA Selects 8 PA Projects To Receive $3.7 Million For Brownfields Cleanup, Assessment

On May 6, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced eight Pennsylvania communities have been selected to receive a total of $3.7 million to assess and clean up contaminated properties under the agency’s Brownfields program.

* EPA Recognizes Peace Dining Corp. Of Philadelphia In WasteWise Large Business Category

On May 7, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the 2019 winners of the National WasteWise Awards. Peace Dining Corporation of Philadelphia received an honorable mention in the Large Business Category.

* Agriculture Now Accepting Research Grant Proposals For Spotted Lanternfly, Pollinator Protection, Organic Farming, Climate Resiliency, Water Quality Protection

The Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for Agricultural Research Project proposal grants on a variety of priority topics including the spotted lanternfly, pollinator protection, climate resilience, water quality program, renewable energy, and others.

* DEP Finalizes Alternative Onlot Sewage Pretreatment Technology Verification Policy

The Department published notice in the May 9 PA Bulletin announcing it has finalized the Alternate Onlot Sewage Pretreatment Technology Verification Policy (TVP) [DEP ID: 385-2208-003].

* Revised Examination Schedule For Local Sewage Enforcement Officers Now Available

DEP’s State Board for Certification of Sewage Enforcement Officers has published a revised certification examination schedule for local sewage enforcement officers in the May 9 PA Bulletin.

* PA Sustainable Agriculture Assn.: Weekly Online Farmer Forum May 14 On COVID-19 Challenges & Opportunities

The Weekly Farmer Forums hosted by the PA Sustainable Agriculture Association continue on May 14 with a discussion of how farmers and markets can work together to adapt to the challenges of COVID-19 from Noon to 1:00 p.m.

* Presentation Proposals Wanted For 2021 PA Assn. For Sustainable Agriculture Annual Conference

The PA Association for Sustainable Agriculture is now accepting presentation proposals for its 30th Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference to be held February 3-6 in Lancaster.  The deadline for submissions is June 15.

* Delaware Highlands Conservancy Hosts Virtual Stream Study In Pike County

The Delaware Highlands Conservancy is hosting a virtual stream study on its Facebook and Instagram pages.

* PUC Recognizes Drinking Water Week In Pennsylvania; Offers Water Conservation Tips

On May 4, the Public Utility Commission  highlighted May 3 through May 9 as “Drinking Water Week” in the Commonwealth as part of an ongoing effort to increase awareness about the importance of water and water conservation.

* Delaware River Basin Commission Announces Members Of Climate Change Advisory Committee

On May 7, the Delaware River Basin Commission announced the members of its Advisory Committee on Climate Change, which was established by the Commission in December 2019.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission YouTube Channel Features Video On Billmeyer Quarry Water Storage Project

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission YouTube Channel is now featuring the first of a three part series on the Billmeyer Quarry Water Storage Project in Lancaster County.

* EQB Considers Proposed Rule Eliminating Stage II Vapor Controls At Gasoline Stations May 19

The Environmental Quality Board holds a virtual meeting May 19 to consider a proposed regulation to remove Stage II vapor controls at gasoline and add vapor leak monitoring requirements for small gasoline storage tanks.

* PA One Call Damage Prevention Committee Holds May 12 Telephonic Meeting

The PUC’s PA One Call Damage Prevention Committee is scheduled to hold a telephonic meeting on May 12 beginning at 9:00 a.m.

* PUC Reminds Consumers Of Resources & Utility Assistance Programs During COVID-19 Pandemic & Recovery

On May 7, utilizing the latest technology and coordinating with front-line community partners, the Public Utility Commission continues to educate utility customers about their rights and responsibilities, assistance programs, and available resources – during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as during the recovery period that will follow.

* Westmoreland Cleanways & Recycling Opens New Recycling Center In Greensburg May 11

On May 8, Westmoreland Cleanways and Recycling announced  its new recycling drop-off center at 355 Pleasant Unity Mutual Road in Greensburg will open to the public on May 11 at Noon.

* DEP Accepting Comments On Kwiatkowski Landfill Hazardous Cleanup Site, Lawrence County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the May 9 PA Bulletin it is reopening the administrative record to document the response costs at the Kwiatkowski Landfill site in Hickory Township, Lawrence County. (PA Bulletin page 2469)

* PA Environmental Council In Case You Missed It In April

The PA Environmental Council’s In Case You Missed It In April is now available featuring articles on--

* South Mountain Partnership Holds Virtual Spring Meeting June 5

The South Mountain Partnership will hold its 2020 Spring Partnership meeting on June 5 via webinar from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.

* Discover The Brandywine Conservancy & Museum Of Art At Home

If you’re going stir-crazy or just need a smile to brighten your day, the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum Of Art in Chester County has you covered on engaging virtual content to keep you entertained and feeling inspired during this trying time of quarantine.

* Manada Conservancy: Ecological Gardening - Reap What You Sow! Program Now Available Online

Dauphin County-based Manada Conservancy is now making available the Ecological Gardening Reap What You Sow! online program on native plants available for viewing at any time. 

* Wildwood Park/Olewine Nature Center Host Online Kids Discover: Pollinators Program May 30

Wildwood Park and the Olewine Nature Center in Dauphin County will host a Kids Discover: Pollinators Program on the county Facebook page May 30.

* Invasive Poison Hemlock Is Aggressively Spreading Across Pennsylvania

By Jeffrey S. Graybill, Penn State Extension Educator, Agronomy

* May 8 Take Five Fridays With Pam Now Available From PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The May 8  Take Five Fridays With Pam is now available from the PA Parks & Forests Foundation featuring articles on-

* Environment & Energy NewsClips

Click Here: Week’s Worth Of PA Environment & Energy NewsClips - Support Local Journalism

* Public Participation Opportunities/Calendar Of Events

Click Here for a list of public participation opportunities and a calendar of events.

* Grants & Awards

Click Here for grants, awards, recognition programs and contest deadlines.

* 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 87 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.

* PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference Oct. 28-29 In State College

The PA Environment Digest is a proud sponsor of the 2020 PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference will now be held on October 28-29 in State College.

* 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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