Scrapbook Photo 04/22/24 - 117 New Stories - REAL Environmental & Conservation Leadership In PA:
Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
June 1, 2020 Issue #831
* New PEC Podcast: Fmr Gov. Tom Ridge On Conservatives Being Out Of Touch On The Environment

On May 22, the PA Environmental Council posted a new podcast interview with former Gov. Tom Ridge discussing his recent op-ed in The Atlantic magazine-- My Fellow Conservatives Are Out Of Touch On The Environment.

* 5 Month FY 2020-21 Budget Bills Now Law, Hard Decisions Deferred

On May 28, the Senate and House passed a General Fund budget bill-- House Bill 2387 (Saylor-R-York)-- and a Fiscal Code bill--  House Bill 1083 (Sankey-R- Clearfield)-- to fund state government through November that includes cuts of between 50 and 85 percent to line items. 

* June 4 Webinar On PA State Budget: Legislators Haven't Stopped Their Attack On The Environment

Conservation Voters of PA and PennFuture will host a June 4 webinar on the state budget and how legislators haven't stopped their attack on environmental programs from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

* House Republicans Pass Bill Rolling Back Environmental Protection Requirements For Conventional Oil & Gas Drilling

On May 27, House Republicans passed Senate Bill 790 (Scarnati-R-Jefferson) that would significantly reduce requirements for protecting the environment from conventional oil and gas drilling.

* Senate Republicans Move Bill Out Of Committee To Kill Regulations By Doing Nothing

On May 27, Republicans on the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee reported out legislation-- Senate Bill 5 (DiSanto-R-Cumberland)-- that authorizes the General Assembly to kill any final regulation by doing nothing.

* Independent Regulatory Review Commission Reschedules Meeting For 4th Time Again Delaying Action On The Final Unconventional Oil & Gas Permit Fee Increase

While all sorts of state boards and commissions have held virtual and conference call meetings to conduct their business, the Independent Regulatory Review Commission has rescheduled its meeting for the fourth time since March 19.  It will now meet June 18.

* DEP Works Thru Pandemic: 484 More Permits, 1,212 More Inspections Since Last Week

From March 16 to May 27, Department of Environmental Protection employees have been teleworking and using COVID-19 mitigation measures to continue to fulfill its mission.  DEP staff have--

* DCNR Moves To Open State Park Swimming Beaches, Pools

On May 28, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced a phased opening of all state park swimming beaches and some pools 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.

* Pennsylvania’s Trail Network Strategy Unveiled; DCNR Accepting Comments

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has released a draft Land and Water Trail Network Strategic Plan 2020-2024 Recommendations for comments.

* East Goshen Twp. Parks & Recreation, Chester County Finalist For National Gold Medal Award In Parks & Recreation

On May 26, the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association, announced the finalists for the 2020 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management.

* DCNR Good Natured Pennsylvanians: Bill & Mary Marcum, Tracing The History Of The Civilian Conservation Corps In PA

Bill and Mary Marcum are a husband and wife team whose passion for history has helped establish a lasting legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps in Pennsylvania.

* Group Against Smog & Pollution: How COVID-19 Shutdown Impacted Allegheny County Air Quality

On May 28, the Group Against Smog and Pollution in Pittsburgh posted this special report on how the COVID-19 shutdowns impacted air quality in Allegheny County--

* 10,000 Friends Of Pennsylvania Seeking Nominations For 2020 Commonwealth Awards

Nominations are now being accepted by 10,000 Friends Of Pennsylvania for the 2020 Commonwealth Awards to recognize smart growth development leadership and projects in the state.  The deadline for nominations is July 31.

* PA Capitol & COVID-19 Weekly Report: 5-Month State Budget Puts Off Hard Decisions Until After Nov. 3 Election

Because Everything Is Connected To Everything Else ] The Senate and House passed and Gov. Wolf signed into law a $25.75 billion FY 2020-21 budget last week on one of the earliest dates for enacting a budget since Tom Ridge was Governor. 

* 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] /Bills Introduced

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--

* Bill Expanding Use Of Alternative On-lot Septic Systems On Governor’s Desk

Legislation-- Senate Bill 1030-- to allow for the expanded use of alternate on-lot sewage systems for planning purposes is now on the Governor desk for action.

* Senate Passes Bill To Control Overuse Of Fertilizer On Turf, Certify Applicators; Now Goes To House Where It Died Last Session

On May 27, the Senate passed  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.

* IFO Estimates Show FY 2019-20 Revenue Down $1.6 Billion Below Estimates Due To COVID-19 Mitigation Measures

On May 26, the Independent Fiscal Office released its latest revenue projections showing the FY 2019-20 General Fund revenue estimate is now $31.8 billion or $3.7 billion below the IFO's estimate in June of last year of $35.518 billion.

* Bay Journal: PA To Get Biggest Share Of $6 Million EPA Giving Chesapeake Bay States To Cut Farm Runoff

By Karl Blankenship, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* Pennsylvania, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Partners File Lawsuits Against EPA For Rolling Back Clean Car Standards

On May 27, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and 11 partner organizations and a separate coalition, including five of the six watershed states-- Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia and the District of Columbia-- filed parallel lawsuits against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for rolling back clean car fuel economy standards.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Adopts New Consumptive Water Use Policy To Expand Options, Reduce Costs

On May 26, the  Susquehanna  River  Basin  Commission  announced  it  has adopted Resolution No. 2020‐02, enhancing its consumptive water use mitigation practices and providing flexibility for facilities paying its water usage fee. 

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Meets June 19 By Conference Call

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission is scheduled to hold its next business meeting on June 19 starting at 9:00 a.m.  (formal notice)

* Delaware River Basin Commission Holds Virtual Business Meeting June 10

The Delaware River Basin Commission is scheduled to hold a virtual business meeting on June 10 starting at 10:30 a.m.

* Fish & Boat Commission: Funding Available To Improve Watersheds In York, Lancaster Counties

On May 29, the Fish and Boat Commission announced they are accepting applications for funding to address habitat improvement and sediment reduction projects in York and Lancaster counties.  The deadline for applications is July 31.

* Wildlands Conservancy Presents State Of The Lehigh River Watershed June 5; More Online Programs Coming Up

The Wildlands Conservancy will host a special online presentation June 5 on the State Of The Lehigh River Watershed starting at Noon.

* PA Assn. Of Environmental Professionals Awards Scholarship Grants To Livengood Brothers

On May 27, the PA Association of Environmental Professionals announced the award of college scholarships to brothers Peter Livengood and Calvin Livengood attending California University of Pennsylvania who will each receive a $1,000 scholarship.

* Alliance For Watershed Education In Delaware River Online, Virtual Education Resources

The Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River Watershed has put together links to a wide variety of online and virtual educational programming students-- from Pre-K to High School-- and adults can enjoy from anywhere.

* Natural Lands Outdoors Online Continues To Connect Students, Adults To Nature

Since launching in April, Outdoors Online has attracted hundreds of participants for a real-time exploration of Natural Lands’ nature preserves and public garden.

* Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Offers New Virtual Education Programs, Prior Programs Available On Demand

The Hawk Mountain Sanctuary has added new programs to its series of virtual environmental education programs.  Previous programs are also now available on demand on the Sanctuary’s YouTube Channel.

* Rodale Institute: Power Of The Plate: Case For Regenerative Organic Agriculture In Improving Human Health; Live Discussion June 2

On May 28, Rodale Institute in Berks County and The Plantrician Project released a new white paper recommending  ways regenerative organic agriculture and lifestyle medicine can come together to improve quality of life.

* Penn State Creates New Institute To Address Complex Food-Energy-Water-Land Challenges

The seed for Penn State’s Institute for Sustainable Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Science was planted well before the COVID-19 outbreak. The concept had been growing in the College of Agricultural Sciences for about two years when the pandemic emerged.

* Keep PA Beautiful Offers Litter, Illegal Dumping Cleanup Tools And Resources To Help Groups, Communities

Keep PA Beautiful has a variety of litter cleanup tools and resources available to help groups and communities deal with litter and illegal dumping.

* FirstEnergy's Appliance Recycling Program Set To Return In Pennsylvania

FirstEnergy Corp.'s Pennsylvania utilities Metropolitan Edison (Met-Ed), Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec) and West Penn Power can receive $50 by recycling an old, working refrigerator or freezer when the utilities' appliance recycling program resumes on June 1.

* Northeast Recycling Council Accepting Applications For 2020 Environmental Sustainability Leadership Awards

The Northeast Recycling Council is now accepting applications for its 2020 Environmental Sustainability Leadership Award program.   The deadline for applications is August 14.

* State Fire Commissioner Accepting Applications For Act 13 Fire Company, EMS Grants

On May 29, State Fire Commissioner Bruce Trego announced today the application period for 2020 Act 13 Unconventional Gas Well Fund Grants will open June 1.  The deadline for applications is July 31.

* PUC Reminds Consumers Of June 1 Utility Electric Energy Price Changes; Highlights Online Power Shopping

On May 27, the Public Utility Commission reminded consumers that most electric distribution companies (EDCs) across the state will be adjusting electric generation prices on June 1 for non-shopping customers.

* Report: PA Could Leverage 350 Company Electric Vehicle Supply Chain As Part Of COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan

On May 28, Advanced Energy Economy, a national business association, released a new report concluding more than 350 Pennsylvania firms, many of them in industries and geographies that have seen declines in recent years, could easily transition to serving the supply chain for electric vehicles, which is expected to grow at a rapid rate in the coming years.

* 10 Entrepreneurs Complete Inaugural PA Wilds Professional Development Course

On May 26, Pennsylvania Wilds announced entrepreneurs representing 10 different businesses from across the Pennsylvania Wilds have completed the inaugural PA Wilds PACE Program, a 10-week professional development course to help scale rural businesses.

* Delaware Highlands Conservancy Receives Major Gift To Establish Van Scott Nature Reserve In Wayne County

On May 26, the Delaware Highlands Conservancy announced the Van Scott family has donated a 140-acre property in Berlin Township, Beach Lake, Wayne County to the Delaware Highlands Conservancy to develop as an environmental learning center, Conservancy headquarters, and for use as a nature reserve.

* Reminder: DCNR Accepting Comments On PA’s Outdoor Recreation Plan Thru June 25

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is reminding the public comments are due on the draft Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan through June 25.

* Virtual Resources For Bike Riding Available; Take Survey On Biking In Northwest PA

PennDOT and the departments of Environmental Protection, Health and Conservation and Natural Resources have come together to share biking resources and encourage you to ride responsibly:

* May 27 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The May 27 Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* May 29 Take Five Fridays With Pam Now Available, PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The May 29 Take Five Fridays With Pam is now available from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation featuring articles on--

* Gov. Pinchot's Grey Towers National Historic Site Moving Under Yellow Phase Of Reopening Plan In Pike County

With Gov. Wolf easing some COVID-19 restrictions and moving Pike County into the Yellow Phase of reopening on Friday, May 29, Grey Towers National Historic Site will begin to adjust and align its activities.

* Fish & Boat Commission Invites Public Comments On New Strategic Plan For Trout Fisheries Management

On May 26, the Fish and Boat Commission invited the public to comment on a new Strategic Plan for Management of Trout Fisheries in Pennsylvania.

* Fish & Boat Commission Accepting Applications For Education Grants To Increase Number Of Anglers, Boaters

On May 28, the Fish and Boat Commission announced applications are now being accepted for a new educational grant program to increase the number of anglers and boaters in Pennsylvania.  The deadline to apply is June 30.

* June 11 Connecting Wildlife, Connecting Communities: Wildlife Corridors In PA Online Event

On June 11, the Endangered Species Coalition in Pennsylvania will host an online panel discussion-- Connecting Wildlife, Connecting Communities: Wildlife Corridors In PA-- from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

* Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Holds Virtual Benefit For The Birds Gala In June

The Hawk Mountain Sanctuary's annual fundraiser-- the Benefit for the Birds Gala-- has been transformed into a month-long, online-only silent auction with a live-streamed event.

* In Memoriam: George J. Miller, Former Chairman, Chief Judge Of The Environmental Hearing Board

George J. Miller, former Chairman and Chief Judge of the Environmental Hearing Board, passed away on May 26 at the age of 89.

* 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. 

* CLICK HERE To View Or Print Entire PA Environment Digest

CLICK HERE to View or Print the 77 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:

* 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.

Previous PA Environment Digests