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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
September 14, 2020 Issue #846
* DEP Orders Sunoco To Reroute 1+ Mile Of Mariner East Pipeline, Investigate Chester County Marsh Creek Lake Spill, Restore Impacted Resources

On September 11, the Department of Environmental Protection issued an order requiring Sunoco Pipeline, L.P. (Sunoco) to reroute a 1.01 mile section of the Mariner East II Pipeline and further assess, investigate, and restore resources impacted by pipeline installation activities in Upper Uwchlan Township, Chester County.

* How Long Must The Public Wait For Action On Bipartisan Pipeline Safety Bills?

In the last three years 22 major, bipartisan bills have been introduced to address significant natural gas and hazardous liquids pipeline safety issues in Pennsylvania and none have made it to the Governor’s desk.

* CBF, Other States To File Lawsuit Against EPA Over Failure To Hold Pennsylvania, NY Accountable For Not Meeting Clean Water Obligations

On September 10, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and its partners announced they will file a complaint suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for abdicating its responsibilities under the federal Clean Water Act.

* DEP Chesapeake Bay Office Sept. Newsletter Provides Update On PA Watershed Plan Implementation

The latest newsletter from DEP’s Chesapeake Bay Office provides an update on implementation of Pennsylvania’s Phase III Bay Watershed Implementation plan featuring articles on--

* Bay Journal: Are Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Goals Out Of Reach? Most Of The Problem, By Far, Is Pennsylvania

By Karl Blankenship, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* Bay Journal: COVID-19 Disrupts Local Efforts To Cleanup Streams And Rivers In Chesapeake Bay Watershed

By Karl Blankenship, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service/NFWF Award $8.1 Million In Grants To Improve Health Of Delaware River Watershed

On September 9, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced 37 grant awards totaling more than $8.1 million to support recreation, water quality, water management, and habitat conservation throughout the Delaware River watershed.

* DEP Expands Drought Watch To 18 Counties, Declares Drought Warning For Potter County

On September 10, after a meeting of the Commonwealth Drought Task Force, the Department of Environmental Protection moved Potter County to drought warning status and added three counties — Elk, Lycoming, and Tioga — to drought watch.

* Register Now! First Virtual PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference Oct. 28-29

Instead of you coming to the annual PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference, this October the Conference is coming to you!

* Senate Environmental Committee Hearing Pits Mining Industry Against Water Suppliers On Manganese Standard

On September 9, the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held a hearing on proposed Environmental Quality Board regulation adopting a manganese water quality toxic substances standard that is protective of public health (July 25 PA Bulletin).

* Senate Republicans Cut Off Debate, Pass Bill Taking Away DEP’s Authority To Adopt A Carbon Pollution Reduction Program For Power Plants; Bill Goes To Governor

On September 9, Senate Republicans cut off any opportunity for debate and any amendments and then, with some Democrats, passed House Bill 2025 (Struzzi-R-Indiana) taking away DEP’s authority to adopt a carbon pollution reduction program for power plants compatible with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative by a vote of 33 to 17.  [Not a veto-proof majority, like in the House.]

* PEC/EDF: The General Assembly Has Remained Silent On Climate Change

In a September 9 letter to the Senate, the PA Environmental Council and Environmental Defense Fund urged the General Assembly to break their silence and pass legislation to effectively address the issue of climate change like many other states have done in a bipartisan way.

* Sen. Yaw Wants To Load Up Solar Energy Projects With Bonds; Will Kill $2 Billion In Private Solar Investment, Hurt Family Farms, Increase Electricity Costs

On September 10, Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, announced he would be introducing legislation to impose new bonding requirements on solar electric generation and other renewable energy facilities.

* Senate Republicans Report Out Bills Killing Regulations By Doing Nothing, Shielding Violators From Penalties

On September 8, the Republicans on the Senate Appropriations Committee reported out legislation that would allow the Senate and House to kill any final regulation by doing nothing and shield violators from penalties.

* DEP Works Thru Pandemic: 576 More Permits, 1,491 More Inspections Since Last Week

From March 16 to September 8, Department of Environmental Protection employees have been teleworking and using COVID-19 mitigation measures to continue to fulfill its mission.  DEP staff have--

* Westmoreland County Conservationist Denny Hess Receives Trout Unlimited Award

Forbes Trail Chapter of Trout Unlimited recently presented Denny Hess of North Huntingdon the Chapter’s Russ Mowery Memorial Silver Trout Award for his distinguished service.  Denny serves as the chapter’s Vice President. 

* Nature Conservancy Announces Planned 1,058 Acre Expansion Of Cove Mountain Preserve In Perry County

On September 8, the PA and DE Chapter of the Nature Conservancy announced it is preparing a 1,058 acre expansion of the Cove Mountain Preserve in Perry County, which will create a 14-mile stretch of protected land along the Kittatinny Ridge

* Globally Rare Butterfly Found At New Site In Huntingdon County; PennDOT Partners With Fish & Wildlife Service To Save Habitat

By Natalie DiDomenico, U.S. Fish & Wildlife

* Penn State Insect Biodiversity Center To Promote Insect Conservation, Healthy Ecosystems

By Penn State News

* Agriculture, Partners Urge Pennsylvanians To Squash Spotted Lanternflies For Future Food Security

On September 10, following months of hyper-focus on the availability of food, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding was joined by Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Dean Richard Roush and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Executive Director for Field Operations Carlos Martinez at Cherry Hill Orchards, where they urged Pennsylvanians to act now against the Spotted Lanternfly for the sake of food security.

* PA Capitol & COVID-19 Weekly Report: Republican Challenges To Governor On The Way To His Desk

Senate and House Republicans fired two more shots-- bills-- at the Governor in the continuing tussle over who gets to decide major issues.  Those shots will land on Gov. Wolf’s desk this week.

* 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/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--

* USDA Seeks Input On Ready-To-Go Technologies To Increase Production, Cut Environmental Footprint & Greenhouse Gases, Enhance Carbon Sequestration

On September 10, the U.S. Department of Agriculture  announced it is seeking public- and private-sector input on the most innovative technologies and practices that can be readily deployed across U.S. agriculture as part of its Agriculture Innovation Agenda.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Receives $2 Million DEP Grant For Cleanup Of Mine Drainage Going Into Tioga River In Tioga County

In the next three to four years, clean water will once again flow from Blossburg to Mansfield, along the Tioga River in Tioga County, thanks in part to a $2 million grant from the Department of Environmental Protection to the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC).

* DEP Environmental Justice Champion Of Community Involvement: Bobby Hughes, EPCAMR

DEP’s Office of Environmental Justice put the spotlight on another Champion of Community Involvement in their latest newsletter by profiling Bobby Hughes, Executive Director of the Eastern PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation--

* Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition Receives Colcom Foundation Grant For New Data Loggers; Volunteers Needed!

The Butler County-based Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition announced it has received a grant from the Colcom Foundation which will allow the Coalition to refurbish and purchase new conductivity data loggers.

* September Catalyst Newsletter Now Available From Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition

The September Catalyst newsletter is now available from the Butler County-based  Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition featuring articles on--

* Center For Watershed Protection Hires New Program Director And Expands Work in Pennsylvania

The Maryland-based Center for Watershed Protection, a national leader in stormwater management and watershed planning, has announced a new program director in Pennsylvania to get clean water projects in the ground based in Lancaster County.

* Bay Journal Local Leadership Profile: Joanne Tosti-Vasey Of Bellefonte, Centre County

Joanne Tosti-Vasey, a local government leader in Centre County, lives in the borough of Bellefonte (population 6,200) and has served on its council since 2016.

* Wetlands Work: Matthew & Megan Kirchner Big Spring Run Restoration In Lancaster County

By Chesapeake Bay Program

* DEP Common Wealth Blog: Deep Dive Into How To Drain Swimming Pool Water Responsibly

By: Virginia Cain, Community Relations Coordinator, DEP Southeast Regional Office

* 2020 Delaware River Festival Virtual And On-Water Experiences Sept. 26 to Oct. 4

The 2020 Delaware River Festival will combine the best of virtual and small in-person water experiences to celebrate the Delaware River September 16 to October 4 in the Philadelphia- Camden area.

* Brodhead Watershed Assn. Brings Annual Auction Fundraiser Online Sept. 16-26

Monroe County-based Brodhead Watershed Association is bringing the outdoors online for its annual auction fundraiser, to be held virtually Sept. 16-26, 2020.

* USGS PA Water Science Center: Fall Pennsylvania Waters Newsletter Now Available

The Fall Pennsylvania Waters newsletter is now available from the USGS Pennsylvania Water Science Center featuring articles on--

* DEP Invites Comments On Changes To Guidance Under Great Lakes - St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact & Sustainable Water Resources Agreement

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the September 12 PA Bulletin inviting comments on proposed changes to the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact and Sustainable Water Resources Agreement.

* Register Now! 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 Now Accepting Applications For Environmental Education Grants

The Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for the 2021 Environmental Education Grants Program.  The deadline for applications is December 11.  (notice)

* Scholarship Program Seeking Pennsylvania's Top Youth Volunteers

Prudential Financial and the National Association of Secondary School Principals are calling on Pennsylvania youth volunteers to apply for scholarships and national recognition through The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.

* PA-Anthracite Section Of Society of Mining Engineers/AIME Reopening Application Period For Student Scholarship

The PA-Anthracite Section of Society of Mining Engineers/AIME is now accepting applications for the 2019-2020 John Kaminski Memorial Scholarships for mining-related engineering or science majors for Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  Applications are due October 15.

* Keep PA Beautiful Offers Online Learning Materials For Kids In Open Your Eyes To Litter Book Series

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is offering supplemental learning tools for in-class, virtual or homeschoolers through their Open Your Eyes to Litter series of five books. The books provide hands-on learning and are appropriate for grades K through six.

* Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Transportation & Climate Initiative To Share Updates, Opportunity For Input Sept. 16 & 29

The bipartisan group of Northeast and Mid-Atlantic jurisdictions that make up the Transportation & Climate Initiative announced they will host two public webinars on September 16 and 29 to share updates and invite public input.

* PA Conservative Energy Forum Hosts Town Hall Meetings Sept. 24 & Sept. 29 On Renewable Energy For PA

The PA Conservative Energy Forum will host two hall meetings September 24 and 29 featuring former Secretary of the Navy Dr. John Lehman and pollster Glen Bolger from Public Opinion Strategies on the importance of clean and renewable energy in Pennsylvania.

* DEP Awards $608,216 In Grants For 5 Electric Vehicle Fast-Charging Locations In Allegheny, Butler, Luzerne Counties

On September 9, the Department of Environmental Protection announced $608,216 in FAST Act Corridor Infrastructure Grants funding for projects that will add five electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging locations in Allegheny, Butler and Luzerne counties helping to expand drivers’ route options for these zero emission vehicles.

* DEP EJ News: Addressing Racial Justice & Inclusion At DEP

The latest Environmental Justice newsletter from the Department of Environmental Protection includes a statement by DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell on addressing racial justice and inclusion at DEP--

* Prof. Mohammad Rezaee Named Outstanding Young Engineer By Society For Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration

By Penn State News

* DCNR Good Natured Blog: Try Some Less Traveled Trails During September Trails Month

By DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn

* PennDOT Accepting Applications For Multimodal Transportation Projects, Including for Trail, Bike And Pedestrian

On September 8, the Department of Transportation announced applications will be accepted to fund new transportation improvement projects under the Multimodal Transportation Fund through November 6, 2020.

* Allegheny Land Trust Protects Historic Log Home In Allegheny County

On September 10, the Allegheny Land Trust announced it has assumed ownership of the historic Walker-Ewing Log House and surrounding grounds in Collier Township, Allegheny County.

* Fallingwater Offers Weekly Livestream Webinars Providing A Closer Look At This Iconic Home

The Western PA Conservancy is offering weekly livestream webinars providing online visitors with a "Closer Look" at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater in Fayette County during September and October.

* Sept. 11 Take Five Fridays With Pam Now Available, PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The September 11 Take Five Fridays With Pam is now available from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation featuring articles on--

* DEP Our Common Wealth Blog: DEP Employees Join Effort To Fight Invasive Water Chestnut

By: Virginia Cain, DEP Community Relations Coordinator and Rob Fogel, DEP Local Government Liaison; Meghan Rogalus, Watershed Specialist, Bucks County Conservation District

* Help Wanted: Northumberland Conservation District Erosion & Sedimentation Technician

The Northumberland County Conservation District is seeking qualified candidates to fill the position of Erosion and Sedimentation Technician II.

* Help Wanted: River Network Director Of Finance

The River Network based in Boulder, Colorado is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Director of Finance.

* 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 106 page PA Environment Digest.

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* Registration Open! PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference Oct. 28-29

The PA Environment Digest is a proud sponsor of the virtual 2020 PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference to be held on October 28-29.   Registration is now open!

* 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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