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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
November 2, 2020 Issue #853
(11/2/2020)
* DEP Posts Accomplishments By Winners Of 2020 Governor's Award For Environmental Excellence

On October 14, the Department of Environmental Protection announced the winners of the 2020 Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence.  Now, DEP has posted more information on the accomplishments of each winner.

* Wolf Administration Recognizes Recipients Of Governor's Awards For Local Government Excellence

On October 26, Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin recognized municipalities and local government officials for their dedication and commitment to strengthen their communities and better serve their residents.

* Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership, PA Forestry Assn. Recognize 3 Women With Mira Lloyd Dock Awards

On October 30, the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership announces it awarded the first Mira Lloyd Dock Partnership Diversity Awards to Rafiyqa Muhammad of Harrisburg and Kristen Thomas of Lancaster.

* Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership Announces Watershed Milestones Award Winners

The Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership will host its 9th Annual Watershed Milestones Ceremony virtually on November 12 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.to honor this year’s award winners.

* DCNR Good Natured Pennsylvanians: David Wise, Stroud Water Research Center

David Wise works with the Stroud Water Research Center [based in Chester County] to advance watershed restoration through education and research.

* Feature: For These York County Retirees, Stewardship Is A Pastime

By Will Parson, Chesapeake Bay Program

* New Ohio River Watershed Plan To Benefit Economy, Environment, Communities In 15-State Region

The Ohio River Basin Alliance released a sweeping strategy to help the 15-state Ohio River Watershed region and its more than 25 million residents tackle urgent environmental threats and economic needs, including inadequate river infrastructure, pollution to the river and its tributaries, and increased flooding that is only expected to get worse due to climate change.

* Creating A Collaborative Water Resource Network In Southwestern PA; Water Stakeholders GIS Map

The Water Center at the University of Pennsylvania has worked for the past six months interviewing, capturing and subsequently analyzing the approaches, successes, challenges and lessons learned of eight water resource networks across the United States.

* DEP Adds One County To Drought Watch, Bringing Total To Thirty

On October 28, after a meeting of the Commonwealth Drought Task Force, the Department of Environmental Protection added Columbia County to the list of counties on drought watch, bringing the total to thirty.

* DEP Works Thru Pandemic: 737 More Permits, 2,088 More Inspections Since Last Week

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

* PA League Of Women Voters, Pitt School Of Public Health Virtual 2020 Shale Gas & Public Health Conference Nov. 17-18

The League of Women Voters of PA and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health will host a virtual 2020 Shale Gas and Public Health Conference November 17-18.

* DCNR Good Natured Blog: Bringing Recreation Close To Home By Investing In Local Parks, Trails, Rivers Projects During Pandemic

This month, communities across the Commonwealth are learning about new investments being made in their local parks, trails, and rivers that will expand close-to-home opportunities for outdoor recreation that have become so important to our mental and physical health during this pandemic.

* DCNR Now Accepting Nominations For 2021 PA Trail Of The Year

On October 26, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced Pennsylvanians can now nominate their favorite trail for the 2021 Trail of the Year.  The deadline for nominations is November 20.

* DCNR’s Last Fall Foliage Report Shows Fall Leaves Beginning To Fade

On October 29, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources issued its sixth weekly Fall Foliage Report for October 29 to November 4 which shows fall colors moving south across Pennsylvania.

* PA Parks & Forests Foundation Accepting Nominations For COVID-19 Outdoor Recreation Champions

The PA Parks and Forests Foundation is now accepting nominations to recognize COVID-19 Outdoor Recreation Champions, individuals or groups who persevered in the face of unprecedented use and difficulties to make outdoor recreation opportunities available during the pandemic.

* Fish & Boat Commission Reports Over 17,700 People Bought Voluntary Permits To Fund Fish Habitat, Conservation Projects

The following by Timothy Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Fish and Boat Commission, appears in the Nov./Dec. Angler & Boater Magazine--

* PA Capitol & COVID-19 Weekly Report: All Eyes On Pennsylvania - Please Stand By

[ Because In Politics Everything Is Connected To Everything Else ] Pennsylvania voters will be the center of attention this week as the Keystone State lives up to its nickname in the Presidential race.

* Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule

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--

* Joint Conservation Newsletter Highlights State Park, Forest Friends Groups

The October newsletter from the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee features highlights from their recent hearings on the contributions Friends Groups make to maintaining and operating State Parks and Forests.

* CBF: Federal Chesapeake Bay, Wetland Conservation, National Fish Habitat Partnership Bill Signed Into Law

On October 30, the federal America’s Conservation Enhancement Act was signed into law by President Trump. Passing both chambers of Congress unanimously, this broad conservation bill contains programs that will significantly help protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and wildlife habitat.

* EPA Awards DCNR $187,000 To Support Development Of Web-Based Wetlands Restoration Tool

On October 29, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a $186,619 grant to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to enhance its wetlands program with a web-based tool that helps restoration efforts.

* Environmental Groups File Federal Lawsuit Over Air Pollution From Industrial Flares At Petrochemical Plants, Landfills, Gas Processing & Compressor Stations

On October 29, a coalition of ten environmental organizations sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over its failure to reduce toxic air pollution from industrial flares at petrochemical plants, gas processing facilities, municipal solid waste landfills, and other large industrial sites.

* DEP Posts Final, Amended NPDES General Permit For Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the October 31 PA Bulletin of the availability of amended NPDES General Permit for Operation of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (PAG-12).

* DEP Invites Comments On Section 401 Water Quality Certification Nationwide Permit Renewal Conditions

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the October 31 PA Bulletin of the proposed conditional State Water Quality Certification under Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act for 58 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nationwide Permits for comment. 

* Independence Conservancy Walk In Penn's Woods Featured Mine Reclamation, Invasive Species Stop-And-Talk Points

On a beautiful autumn October 4 afternoon, over a dozen participants joined in a “Walk In Penn's Woods - At A Social Distance" at the Rocky Bend Nature Preserve in the Raccoon Creek Watershed in Beaver County.

* POWR Hosts Webinars: Nov. 12 Linking River Histories To Conservation Efforts, Nov. 23 DEP Integrated Water Quality Report, Mapping Application

The PA Organization for Watersheds and Rivers will host two more informative webinars in November starting at Noon--

* Penn State Extension Water Cooler Talk: Chesapeake Bay Lawsuits, Engagement, More Nov. 18

Penn State Extension will host another in its Water Cooler Talk Series on November 18 on Chesapeake Bay Lawsuits, Engagement and More from Noon to 1:00 p.m.

* Lancaster Clean Water Partners Scholar Spotlight: Heath Edelman, Thaddeus Stevens College Of Technology

The following profile was originally published on the Lancaster Clean Water Partners website--

* Nov. 9 DEP Virtual Meeting/Hearing On Biosolids Amendment To Surface Mining Permit In Fulton, Huntingdon Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled a virtual meeting and hearing November 9 on a proposed permit revision to add beneficial use of biosolids to the Firetowner surface coal mining permit located in Wells and Wood Townships, Fulton and Huntingdon counties.

* Delaware River Basin Commission Holds Nov. 12 Hearing, Dec. 9 Business Meeting

The Delaware River Basin Commission will hold a public hearing November 12 and business meeting on December 9, both to be held remotely.

* NOAA Now Accepting Entries For K-8 Student Marine Debris Program Art Contest

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is now accepting entries for the 2021 Student Marine Debris Program Art Contest.  The deadline for online entries is December 15.

* Columbia Conservation District Produces Virtual Nature Mini Camp Videos

When Columbia County Conservation District had to cancel their Nature Mini Camp this summer due to COVID-19, Watershed Specialist Brittney Hartzell created a virtual alternative.

* PA Conservation District Assn. Creates PSAs On Responsibly Disposing Of Leaf Waste

The PA Association of Conservation Districts is now distributing public service announcements to encourage citizens to responsibly dispose of their leaf waste.

* PA Resources Council Announces November Schedule Of Traveling Glass Recycling Program Events

On October 29, the PA Resources Council announced the November schedule for its Traveling Glass Recycling Program events which provides a free recycling service to residents that rotates through a variety of locations in western Pennsylvania.

* Historic Roundhouse At Hazelwood Green Brownfield Site In Allegheny County Undergoing Renovations For OneValley’s Pittsburgh Innovation Center

On October 26, press and foundation leaders toured the Roundhouse at Hazelwood Green to see the progress of renovation efforts at the 1887 structure in Allegheny County.

* PA One Call Damage Prevention Committee Imposes $120,000 In Penalties For Violations

On October 30, the Public Utility Commission announced 44 disciplinary actions, including $120,000 in administrative penalties, have been taken against 55 underground facility owners, excavators and project owners in the latest enforcement actions by the Damage Prevention Committee

* PUC Launches Annual Prepare Now For Cold Weather Campaign

On October 29, the Public Utility Commission launched its annual “Prepare Now” winter heating campaign, underscoring the importance of consumers, businesses and utilities working together during this unprecedented time for Pennsylvania.

* EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal Program Honors PPL Electric Utilities

On October 28, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced award recipients at its first annual Responsible Appliance Disposal Program Leadership Awards Ceremony. 

* PennDOT Announces Opening Of Hermitage CNG Transit Fueling Station In Mercer County

On October 28, PennDOT announced the formal start of service at one of the 24 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling stations planned as part of a Public Private Partnership (P3).

* New Report Shows PA Lags Behind In Renewable Energy Development, Despite National Growth

On October 27, PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center issued a new report saying Pennsylvania ranks 35th in the nation for percentage of solar and wind in the state’s electricity mix and 22nd for growth in solar energy production since 2010.

* Next Penn State Energy Law & Policy Webinar Nov. 6 Focuses On Legal Environment Surrounding DEP’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Proposal

By Penn State News

* Polar Geologist Discusses Climate Change At Dickinson College Livestream Event Nov. 18

Polar geologist and Northwestern University Professor Yarrow Axford will discuss climate change in arctic and alpine environments during a livestream lecture from Dickinson College in Cumberland County on November 18 starting at 7:00 p.m.

* CEOs For Sustainability Host Nov. 18 Leading Forward 2020 C-Suite Virtual Summit

Join the Pittsburgh-based CEOs for Sustainability for the November 18 Leading Forward 2020 C-Suite Virtual Summit from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m.

* Bay Journal: Forests Growing Over Shale Bedrock Help Fight Climate Change

By Ad Crable, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* South Maintain Partnership Celebrates 15th Year Of Conservation, Recreation, Preservation Work Thanks To Environmental Stewardship, Keystone Fund

Thanks to an Environmental Stewardship Fund grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the South Mountain Partnership will continue into its fifteenth year the conservation, recreation, and preservation work that helps to keep the region beautiful, property values and quality of life high, and cost of living low.

* PA Trails Advisory Committee, DCNR Release 2019 Trails Annual Report

The PA Trails Advisory Committee and DCNR have released the 2019 Trails Annual Report (PDF). The report highlights key trail accomplishments of 2019 and showcases Pennsylvania as a premier trail destination.

* WalkWorks Program Awards 10 Community Grants To Increase Physical Activity Options for Communities

On October 30, the departments of Health and Conservation and Natural Resources and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Healthannounced 10 communities and agencies will receive grants totaling $155,000 to assist with the development of plans and policies to increase physical activity options in their communities through the WalkWorks Program.

* DCNR: Stay Safe While Recreating Outdoors During Hunting Season

Hunting season is open, and people who are enjoying the outdoors this fall are reminded they should take steps to be visible.

* Increase In Human Caused Wildfires Sparks Concern For Allegheny National Forest

The USDA Forest Service has noticed an increase in wildfires across the Allegheny National Forest in Warren County due to recreational activities.

* Oct. 30 Take Five Fridays With Pam, PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The October 30 Take Five Fridays With Pam is now available from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation featuring articles on--

* Natural Lands Protects Part Of Brandywine Battlefield In Chester County

On October 26, Natural Lands announced the permanent protection of nearly 10 acres of land along the fast-developing Route 202 corridor in Westtown Township, Chester County.

* Game Commission: Deer On The Move, Motorists Urged To Use Caution

On October 30, the Game Commission advised motorists to slow down and stay alert with deer becoming increasingly active, and daylight-saving time soon to put more vehicles on the road during the hours when deer move most.

* Help Wanted: Berks Conservation District Agriculture Resource Conservationist

The Berks County Conservation District is seeking qualified applicants for the position of Agricultural Resource Conservation to assist landowners with needs determination, design, layout and installation of agricultural best management practices (BMPs).

* 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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