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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
May 25, 2020 Issue #830
* Senate Committee Meets May 27 To Consider Republican Bill To Kill Regulations By Doing Nothing

The Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee is scheduled to meet on May 27 to consider legislation that authorizes the General Assembly to kill any final regulation by doing nothing.

* Gov. Wolf Vetoes Republican Bill Blocking Environmental, Other Regulations

On May 19, as expected, Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed  Senate Bill 327 (Argall-R- Schuylkill), which contains a provision that would stop any proposed or final environmental or other state agency regulation from being finalized during the COVID-19 emergency.

* Senate, House Republicans Anticipate Action On FY 2020-21 Budget; Likely To Continue Cutting Environmental Funding

Judging from a meeting notice by the Senate Appropriations Committee, there will be action in both the House and the Senate on a General Fund and related budget bills the week of May 26.

* House Republicans Moving Bill To Reallocate Keystone Fund, Damage Vitality Of PA’s Outdoor Economy

On May 19, House Republicans are moving House Bill 2004 (Ortitay-R-Allegheny), that gives the General Assembly authority to annually reallocate monies from the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund between participating agencies, instead of having an allocation fixed in law, into position for a final vote.

* PA Land Trust Assn. Urges House Members To Oppose HB 2004 Reallocating Keystone Fund

On May 20, the PA Land Trust Association sent a letter to all House members urging them to oppose House Bill 2004 (Ortitay-R-Allegheny) that gives the General Assembly the authority to annually reallocate monies from the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund.

* Rails-To-Trails Conservancy Urges Opposition To HB 2004 Putting Funding For Trails In Jeopardy Just When People Need Them Most

The Rails-To-Trails Conservancy is urging the public to contact their House members to oppose House Bill 2004 (Ortitay-R-Allegheny)  that would put funding  for trails in jeopardy, just when the public is using them most. The text of the message follows--

* PA Supreme Court Grants PA Environmental Defense Foundation Request For Oral Argument In Challenge To State Forest Drilling Revenue Transfers

On May 19, the PA Supreme Court granted a motion by the PA Environmental Defense Foundation for oral argument in PEDF’s challenge to a July 29 Commonwealth Court ruling on the legality of the transfer of State Forest drilling revenue to balance the state budget.

* DEP Citizens Advisory Council Votes Against Moving Proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Program For Power Plants To EQB

On May 19, the DEP Citizens Advisory Council voted 9 to 4, with one abstention, against a motion to move DEP’s proposed carbon pollution reduction program covering power plants that is compatible with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to the Environmental Quality Board for consideration.

* POSTPONED: Senate Environmental Committee Meets May 21 On Resolution Calling On DEP To Cease All Work On Carbon Pollution Reduction Program For Power Plants

POSTPONED, But Expect It To Be Rescheduled: The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to meet on May 21 to consider Senate Resolution 325 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) urging DEP to cease all action on developing a Carbon Pollution Reduction Program covering power plants.

* Sen. Yaw: NY/NJ Rejection Of PA Natural Gas Pipeline Aids Foreign Producers, At Same Time Governor Wants To Join RGGI

On May 22, Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, issued the following statement in response to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection rejection of the Williams’ 400-MMcfd Transco Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) project.

* PUC Approves 2nd Order On Reporting Integrity Of Sunoco's Mariner East 1 Pipeline, Leaves $200,000 Penalty In Place

On May 21, the Public Utility Commission clarified a section of a March 2020 Tentative Order directing an independent “remaining life study” of the Mariner East 1 pipeline crossing Pennsylvania and established a 10-day period for comments by active and interested parties.

* EQB Invites Comments On Regulations Controlling VOCs/Methane From Existing Oil, Gas Operations

The Environmental Quality Board is inviting comments on a proposed regulation to control methane emissions from existing oil and gas operations by setting volatile organic compound emission standards. (May 23 PA Bulletin notice)

* Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Other States Give Notice To EPA Of Intent To Sue Over Failure To Hold PA, NY Accountable For Meeting Bay Cleanup Milestones

On May 18, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and its partners filed a notice of intent to sue the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its failure to require Pennsylvania and New York to develop implementation plans that will achieve the 2025 Bay restoration goals.

* DEP Works Thru Pandemic: 537 More Permits, 1,582 More Inspections Since Last Week

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

* DEP Invites Public, Businesses, Local Governments To Rate Their Experience With The Agency During The Pandemic Shutdown

The Department of Environmental Protection is inviting the public, businesses and local governments to rate their experience with the agency during the pandemic shutdown.

* DEP Awards $9.6 Million To Support 145 Food Waste Reduction Projects

On May 21, the Department of Environmental Protection announced the award of more than $9.6 million to support 145 local food waste reduction projects with funding provided by the Act 101 Recycling Program.

* DCNR Announces Plans To Reopen More State Park, Forest Facilities

On May 19, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced a phased reopening of more state park and forest facilities in keeping with Gov. Wolf’s direction to ensure Pennsylvanians have opportunities to safely enjoy outdoor recreation and help maintain positive physical and mental health.

* DCNR Announces Opening Of ATV Trails In State Forests Statewide May 19

On May 18, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced the opening day statewide for all All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) trails in state forests will be Tuesday, May 19.

* DCNR Caves In Forbes State Forest Remain Closed Due To COVID-19

On May 20, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced three caves within Forbes State Forest will remain closed until further notice due COVID-19-related concerns.

* DCNR Invites Public To Rate Their Experience With The Agency During The Pandemic Shutdown

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is inviting the public to rate their experience with the agency during the pandemic shutdown.

* DCNR’s Conservation & Natural Resources Advisory Council Holds Virtual Meeting May 27

On May 27, DCNR’s Conservation and Natural Resources Advisory Council is scheduled to hold a virtual meeting to hear an update on DCNR’s operations during the COVID-19 pandemic and on the proposed ATV policy.

* Keep PA Beautiful Urgent Reminder: Proper Disposal Of Litter, Recyclables Remains Imperative As Counties Reopen

As Pennsylvania counties move forward with plans to reopen parts of their economies and more people go outdoors and seek recreation in public spaces this Memorial Day weekend, including parks and trails, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful issued an urgent reminder to residents of Pennsylvania to properly dispose of trash and litter as they venture outside.

* Northeast Environmental Partners Now Accepting Nominations For Environmental Awards

The Northeast Environmental Partners are now accepting nominations for the 2020 Environmental Awards, the Thomas P. Shelburne Award and the Emerging Environmental Leader Award. Nominations are due June 30.

* PA Capitol & COVID-19 Weekly Report: Red, Yellow, Now Green; Budget Action On Horizon

[ Because Everything Is Connected To Everything Else ] Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, Gov. Wolf Friday announced all remaining counties in the state will move to the Yellow Phase of his reopening plan and 17 counties will move to the Green Phase.

* Senate/House Bills Moving Last Week

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

* 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--

* Op-Ed: Time’s Running Out For Republicans On Redistricting

By Patrick Beaty, Fair Districts PA

* DCED Announces $3 Million+ To Support Water Infrastructure Projects In 5 Counties

On May 22, Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin announced more than $3 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to provide clean water and improve sewage for communities in Greene, Indiana, Luzerne, Mifflin, and Schuylkill counties.

* PA Organization For Watersheds & Rivers Hosts June 5 Webinar: Fundamentals Of Drinking Water For Watershed Groups

The PA Organization for Watersheds and Rivers will host a June 5 webinar on the Fundamentals of Drinking Water for Watershed Organizations starting at Noon.

* Penn State Extension Special Watershed Winds Newsletter Covers Stormwater, Stream Repair, Online Learning Opportunities, More

The latest Watershed Winds newsletter from Penn State Extension features articles on--

* Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center Held May 23 Our Wild Calling With Author Richard Louv Online Program

Penn State’s Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center in Huntingdon County hosted a program with author Richard Louv May 23 on his new book-- Our Wild Calling-- from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. as part of its Human Nature Series.

* CBF-PA Seeks Pennsylvania High School Students For Environmental Leadership Program; Online Briefing May 27

On May 19, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation is holding an online meeting for high school students interested in joining CBF’s Student Leadership Program.

* Wildlands Conservancy Brings Summer Camp To You In Camp-2-U Program

The Wildlands Conservancy summer camp team is bringing all the fun, adventure and wonder of nature right to your home through the new Camp-2-U Program!

* DRBC, Partners Hold Delaware River Sojourn Virtual Campfire Program June 20

While the Delaware River Sojourn has been canceled for 2020, the Delaware River Basin Commission and its many partners are celebrating the spirit of the event in a June 20 Sojourn Virtual Campfire program from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.

* Stroud Water Research Center: New Canoe Fleet Helps Foster On-The-Water Education, Citizen Science, Earth Day 50 PA Webinar, More

The latest UpStream newsletter from the Stroud Water Research Center in Chester County describes how a new canoe fleet helps foster meaningful on-the-water educational experiences for students from the Octoraro High School.

* PA iMapInvasives Citizen Science Initiative To Map Specific Invasive Species Challenges Coming Up

The Pennsylvania iMapInvasives program has two citizen science challenges coming up in July and August that will help identify and map invasive species in Pennsylvania.

* Mid-Atlantic Climate Change Education Conference June 29-30 Going Virtual

The Mid-Atlantic Climate Change Education Conference on June 29-30 will be moving to a new virtual format.

* PA Resources Council Launches Western PA Traveling Glass Recycling Bin Program In June

In June, the PA Resources Council will launch a Traveling Glass Recycling Bin Program to serve residents living in municipalities no longer accepting glass in curbside recycling collection.

* EQB Approves Proposed Rule Eliminating Stage II Vapor Controls At Gasoline Stations

On May 19, the Environmental Quality Board voted to approve a proposed regulation for public comment to remove Stage II vapor controls at gasoline and add vapor leak monitoring requirements for small gasoline storage tanks.

* PUC PA One Call Damage Prevention Committee Assesses $39,250 In Penalties

On May 22, the Public Utility Commission's PA One Call Damage Prevention Committee announced it approved 47 disciplinary actions, including $39,250 in penalties at its May 12 meeting.

* IFO: Natural Gas Production Increased 6.8% In First Quarter Over Last Year

On May 21, the Independent Fiscal Office reported natural gas production in Pennsylvania increased 6.8 percent during the first quarter over the same period in 2019, the lowest growth rate in over two years.

* PJM Electric Grid Operator Prepared To Meet Summer Demand, Maintain Reliability; COVID-19 Has Reduced Demand By 10%

On May 21, the PJM Interconnection announced it has the resources available and is prepared to meet summer demand for customers in 13 states and the District of Columbia.

* PPL Electric Utilities Ready For Predicted Busy Hurricane Season; Customers Should Be Ready As Well

On May 22, PPL Electric Utilities said weather scientists are predicting a more active than average hurricane season this year and PPL's grid and workforce will be ready if any of those storms affect central and eastern Pennsylvania.

* Land Conservancy Of Adams County Preserves 87 Acres In Mt. Pleasant Twp.

“We want to keep the face of the farm the same: No houses,” said Mt. Pleasant farmer Doug Clabaugh,  explaining why he and his wife Christine decided to preserve their 87-acre farm in partnership with the Land Conservancy of Adams County, who announced the preservation of the farm in May 2020.

* Western PA Conservancy: Saving Fallingwater, 20 Years of Preserving Frank Lloyd Wright's Masterwork May 28 Online Event

The Western PA Conservancy will host a May 28 online program with John Matteo describing the innovative approaches used to preserve Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater home in Fayette County

* Delaware Highlands Conservancy Spring 2020 Highlands Journal Now Available

The Spring 2020 Highlands Journal is now available from the Delaware Highlands Conservancy featuring articles on--

* May 22 Take Five Fridays With Pam, PA Parks & Forests Foundation; Celebrating Parks & Forests Week With Special Events

The May 22 Take Five Fridays With Pam is now available from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation featuring articles on--

* Game Commission: Public Asked To Report Northern Goshawk Sightings

With declining populations and a contracted range, northern goshawks have become rarer sights in Pennsylvania.

* Fish & Boat Commission: Anglers Urged To Report, Dispose Of Invasive Northern Snakeheads In Lower Susquehanna River; Fish Lifts Cease Operation

On May 22, the Fish and Boat Commission urged anglers to report and dispose of any invasive Northern Snakehead fish that may be caught in the lower Susquehanna River.

* Audubon Pennsylvania, Local Chapters Hosting Virtual Field Trips; Join May 20 Trout Run Preserve Trip; View Other Programs

Audubon Pennsylvania and local Audubon Chapters in Pennsylvania are hosting a series of virtual field trips every Wednesday at noon to highlight conservation work done by members around the state.

* Environment & Energy NewsClips

Click Here: Week’s Worth Of PA Environment & Energy NewsClips

* 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.

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* 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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