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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
August 3, 2020 Issue #840
(8/3/2020)
* Bay Journal: One-Third Of Pennsylvania Waterways Have Impaired Water Quality

By Ad Crable, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* EPA Finds PA Did Not Meet Targets For Reducing Water Pollution In Chesapeake Bay Watershed Area; Must Identify Funding Sources For 2020-21

On July 29, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued its evaluations of state actions in meeting 2018-19 milestones for reducing nutrient and sediment pollution in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and an assessment for the 2020-21 milestone period.

* Ag Progress Days Moves Online Aug. 9-12 With Live Webinars, Virtual Tours, Education

The novel coronavirus pandemic will not stop Penn State's 2020 Ag Progress Days-- scheduled for August 9-12-- from providing educational activities, research tours and commercial interactions, even as the event shifts to a virtual format due to COVID-19 restrictions, according to organizers in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

* Agriculture: Apply Now For $10 Million In REAP Farm Conservation Tax Credits

On July 31, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced the availability of $10 million in tax credits to farmers for measures to improve soil and water quality.  Tax credits are considered on a first come, first served basis and are usually oversubscribed.

* Penn State Extension: Dive Deeper Distantly - Water Educators Virtual Summit Oct. 1

The Penn State Extension Dive Deeper Distantly: Water Educator Virtual Summit on October 1 is for anyone who teaches youth about water.

* DEP Works Thru Pandemic: 577 More Permits, 1,549 More Inspections Since Last Week

From March 16 to July 28, Department of Environmental Protection employees have been teleworking and using COVID-19 mitigation measures to continue to fulfill its mission.  DEP staff have--

* DEP Unconventional Drilling Well Permit Fee Increase Effective August 1

The Environmental Quality Board published the final regulation increasing the DEP permit fee for unconventional drilling permits in the August 1 PA Bulletin.  It becomes effective August 1.

* Sen. Costa Introduces Bill To Reduce Carbon Pollution From Power Plants, Protect Communities, Workers Already Affected By Changing Energy Economy

On July 30, Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, Jr. (D-Allegheny)  introduced Senate Bill 15 which, consistent with existing statutory authority, provides for the adoption of a “Cap and Invest” program to reduce carbon pollution from power plants and for the use of proceeds from the program to protect communities and workers already adversely affected by the changing energy economy, provide low-income assistance with energy bills and promotes clean energy and energy efficiency.

* 2020 Great Allegheny Passage Trail Relay Goes Greener, Reduces Carbon, Watershed Impacts

On July 29, the PA Environmental Council announced it has partnered with race organizer P3R and the Allegheny Trail Alliance to make the Virtual 2020 GAP Relay presented by UPMC Health Plan one of the most sustainable distance-running events in the U.S.

* Third 20-Person DCNR Wildfire Crew Called To Preposition In Rocky Mountain Wildfire Coordination Area

On August 2, a third 20-person wildfire crew from DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry will leave from Moshannon State Forest headquarters in Clearfield County Sunday, this time to preposition in the Rocky Mountain Wildfire Coordination Area in the Colorado region.

* PEMA/Health Urge Residents To Prepare for Hurricane Season Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

As the peak of hurricane season nears, the Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency urged Pennsylvanians to have an emergency plan in place if a hurricane or tropical storm is forecasted to impact the state during COVID-19.

* Insurance Dept. Reminds Pennsylvanians About Dangers Of Extreme Weather, Urges Flood Insurance

On July 28, Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman urged property owners to consider purchasing flood insurance to protect their homes, businesses, and possessions.

* DEP Reports 6 More Counties With Mosquitoes Testing Positive For West Nile Virus

On July 31, the Department of Environmental Protection reported six more counties had mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile Virus-- Fayette, Lancaster, Lawrence, Philadelphia, Montgomery and Northampton.

* Agriculture Reports 165 Cases Of Rabies In Domestic, Wild Animals In 49 Counties So Far This Year

As of July 21, the Department of Agriculture reports 165 cases of rabies in wild and domestic animals in 49 counties across the state.

* PA Capitol & COVID-19 Weekly Report: First Day Of School Coming Up Fast; Early Late Budget?

[ Because In Politics, Everything Is Connected To Everything Else ] School district representatives told a joint hearing by the Senate Education and Republican Policy Committee July 27 they need protection from lawsuits holding them liable for spreading COVID-19 if they are to reopen successfully this fall.

* 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--

* Sen. Yaw Critical Of DEP Climate Consultant For Belonging To A Group That Endorsed DEP Carbon Pollution Reduction Program

On July 29, Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, was critical of DEP's climate consultant-- ICF International, Inc.-- for belonging to a group that supported the proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Program covering power plants.

* Republicans On Senate Environmental Committee Visit Gas Well Servicing Firm In Butler County To Support Trump's Deregulation Agenda

On July 30, Republican members of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee met in Butler County for a behind-the-scenes look at the next generation technologies associated with long lateral, high pressure and multi-natural gas well completions, during a tour of Deep Well Services (DWS).

* Joint Conservation Committee Newsletter Spotlights Pittsburgh’s Rivers Of Steel National Heritage Area

The latest newsletter from the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee highlights Pittsburgh’s Rivers Of Steel National Heritage Area--

* Nuclear Regulatory Commission Approves Exemptions For Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant Emergency Planning

On July 27, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission granted a request to change the emergency preparedness plan for the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station in Londonderry Township, Dauphin County to reflect the plant’s decommissioning status.

* Bay Journal Forum: Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Is In Jeopardy, If EPA Is Unwilling To Act, We Will

By Lisa Feldt, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

* National Fish & Wildlife Foundation Hosts 5 Webinar Series On Regional-Scale Collaborative Approaches For Chesapeake Bay Restoration

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund will host a series of five webinars on Regional-Scale Collaborative Approaches For Chesapeake Bay Restoration during August.

* Green Infrastructure Program Takes Root In City Of Lancaster

By Lydia Martin, PA Green Infrastructure Coordinator, Alliance For Chesapeake Bay

* Chesapeake Bay Foundation Bringing Silvopasture To Pennsylvania

By B.J. Small, Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA

* DEP Invites Comments On Proposed TMDL Plans For Watersheds In Adams, Bedford Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection published notices in the August 1 PA Bulletin inviting comments on the proposed Total Maximum Daily Load Plans for Mummasburg Run Watershed, Adams County (PA Bulletin, page 3955) and Imlertown Run Watershed in Bedford County (PA Bulletin, page 3954).

* PRC, Eastern Delaware County Stormwater Collaborative Complete 3 New Rain Gardens

The PA Resources Council and partners, Eastern Delaware County Stormwater Collaborative and Haverford Township’s Hav-A-Rain Garden Program, completed 3 new rain garden installations this spring.

* DEP Our Common Wealth Blog: Summer Is The Season For Stream Maintenance To Avoid Flood Of Problems

By: Megan Lehman, Community Relations Coordinator, DEP Northcentral Regional Office

* Fish & Boat Commission Proposes Update To Royalties For Sand, Gravel Dredged From Rivers In PA

The Fish and Boat Commission published notice in the August 1 PA Bulletin  of a proposed rulemaking updating the royalty rates for sand and gravel dredged from rivers in Pennsylvania.

* Delaware River Basin Commission Virtual Hearing Aug. 12, Business Meeting Sept. 10

The Delaware River Basin Commission will hold a virtual hearing on August 12 and business meeting on September 10 to consider water permits and budget-related resolutions.  (formal notice)

* Get Your Items Ready For PA Resources Council ReuseFest In Erie Sept. 12, Pittsburgh, Oct. 17

The PA Resources Council and UPMC will host a ReuseFest in two locations this fall-- September 12 in Erie and October 17 in Pittsburgh.

* Northeast Recycling Council's Fall Virtual Conference Now Accepting Registrations

The Northeast Recycling Council is now accepting registrations for its Fall Virtual Conference to be held October 20-22.

* DCED Announces $1.042 Million To Clean Up Fmr Industrial Sites In Berks, Bucks, Montgomery Counties

On July 31, the Department of Community and Economic Development announced the award of $1,042,794 in Industrial Sites Reuse Program grants to clean up former industrial sites in Berks, Bucks and Montgomery counties.

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

The Public Utility Commission published notice in the August 1 PA Bulletin of final regulations intended to increase consumer protections and ensure greater price transparency in the competitive retail electricity market.

* Wolf Administration Nationally Recognized For Excellence In Sustainable Electronics Purchasing

On July 29, the Department of General Services, Bureau of Procurement announced it has been honored for its excellence in purchasing sustainable electronics with the 2020 EPEAT Purchaser Award, according to Secretary Curt Topper.

* Clean Air Council, Partners Host Virtual GreenFest Philly Celebration Sept. 12-27

The Clean Air Council is proud to host the 15th annual Greenfest Philly from September 12-27, an entirely free event presented by Toyota Hybrids.

* PennFuture Releases A Green Stimulus & Recovery Platform For Pennsylvania Report

By PennFuture

* 4 State Coalition Unveils Blueprint To 'Reimagine Appalachia' Economy For Workers, Communities, Environment

A broad and diverse coalition of thought leaders and organizations from West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Ohio recently released a Reimagine Appalachia blueprint to expand economic opportunity in the region while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

* DCNR Could Be Changing Shuttle Token Fee At Ohiopyle State Park

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published a notice in the August 1 PA Bulletin it could be changing the present $4 per person fee for a shuttle token at Ohiopyle State Park to a fee that could range from $4 to $24 per reservation or registration.

* New Friends Of South Mountain Partnership Launched To Support South Mountain Landscape Initiative

On July 28, the South Mountain Partnership announced the launch of the Friends Of South Mountain Partnership to allow for membership and tax deductible financial support for South Mountain Landscape Initiatives, in collaboration with The Foundation for Enhancing Communities.

* Brandywine Conservancy Accepting Applications July 30 For Brandywine Creek Greenway Mini Grant Program

On July 27, the Brandywine Conservancy will begin accepting applications for the Brandywine Creek Greenway Mini Grant Program in Chester and Delaware counties on July 30.  Applications are due September 15.

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

The July 31 Take Five Fridays With Pam is now available from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation featuring these articles--

* Natural Lands Permanently Protects Farm That’s Home To 400-Year-Old Penn Oak In Chester County

On July 27, Natural Lands announced the preservation of Great Oak Farm, a 10-acre property in North Coventry Township, Chester County.

* Allegheny Land Trust Awarded Grants To Help Preserve Defunct Churchill Valley Country Club In Allegheny County

On July 28, the Allegheny Land Trust announced it has received two grants totaling $150,000 to permanently preserve the meadows, woodlands and paved trails of the defunct Churchill Valley Country Club as a 148-acre greenway for public recreation and environmental education.

* The Nature Conservancy TNC Coffee Webinar Series Returns In August

The Nature Conservancy-PA TNC Coffee Series returns in August with a variety of programs--

* Wildlands Conservancy Offers Afternoon Adventures For K-6 Children In August

The Lehigh Valley-based Wildlands Conservancy will offer Afternoon Adventures outdoor experiences for children K-6 in August.

* Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Previews On-Site Programs In August

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Berks County provided a preview of on-site programs in August.  They include--

* DCNR Begins Accepting Wild Resource Conservation Grant Applications Aug. 3

On July 28, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced the Wild Resource Conservation Grant Program will begin accepting applications for grants to protect the state’s native biodiversity on August 3.

* Game Commission Unveils Chronic Wasting Disease Response Plan

The Game Commission released a new plan for battling what many consider the biggest wildlife-management challenge of the 21st century-- chronic wasting disease.  And it’s counting on hunters to help put it into action.

* 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 79 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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