Scrapbook Photo 02/28/21 - 8 New Stories - What REAL Environmental & Conservation Leadership Looks Like In PA:
Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
January 18, 2021 Issue #864
* 8 New Stories - What REAL Environmental & Conservation Leadership Looks Like In PA

The first eight articles in this week’s PA Environment Digest  profile the conservation and environmental leadership demonstrated by an angler and outdoorsman, a community college, a major city, owners of a family farm, a church, trail group, a nonprofit  conservation district organization and a local government.

* Fish & Boat Commissioner Charles Charlesworth Honored As 2021 Conservationist Of The Year By Fly Fisherman Magazine

The Fish and Boat Commission is pleased to announce Commissioner Charles Charlesworth has been named "2021 Conservationist of the Year" by the editors of Fly Fisherman magazine.

* Thouron Family Partners With Brandywine Conservancy, Oxford Area Foundation To Protect 577 Acres along Octoraro Creek In Chester County

On January 11, the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art and the Oxford Area Foundation announced they have partnered with the Thouron Family to protect 577 acres of the Glenroy Farm situated along the Octoraro Creek in Chester County.

* Mountainhome United Methodist Church Partners With Brodhead Watershed Assn. To Install 2 Green Infrastructure Projects In Monroe County

Mountainhome United Methodist Church has partnered with the Brodhead Watershed Association to install two green infrastructure projects at the church in Monroe County

* Allegheny County Community College Approves Installation Of 540-Kilowatt Solar Energy Array

On January 12, the Community College of Allegheny County announced it received the green light to move forward with an extensive new solar installation that will produce more than a half a megawatt, or 540 kilowatts, of electricity annually – or enough energy to power almost 90 homes.

* Reclaiming Appalachia Coalition Highlights Projects To Restore Old Coal Sites, Including EPCAMR Solar Energy Redevelopment On Abandoned Mine Sites

On January 14, the Reclaiming Appalachia Coalition issued its third annual report highlighting innovative projects that will clean up abandoned coal mine lands and brownfields in six states and give them new life as solar energy sites, recycling centers, eco-tourism assets and other economic ventures.

* City Of Philadelphia Commits To Carbon Neutrality By 2050, Releases Climate Action Playbook, Hires First Chief Resilience Officer

On January 15, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced the City’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

* Delaware & Hudson Rail-Trail Named 2021 Pennsylvania Trail Of The Year

On January 12, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced the Delaware & Hudson Rail-Trail in Lackawanna, Susquehanna and Wayne counties has been named Pennsylvania’s 2021 Trail of the Year.

* New Paradise Discovery Nature-Play Park Now Open In Monroe County

The Brodhead Watershed Association announced the new Discovery Nature-Play Park in Paradise Valley in Monroe County is now open to provide new opportunities for outside recreation.

* Bay Journal: States Mull Legislative Action On Conservation Proposals Under Shadow Of COVID

By Timothy B. Wheeler, Jeremy Cox & Ad Crable, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* PA Senate Republican Caucus Files Lawsuit Against Delaware River Basin Commission Over Shale Gas Drilling Moratorium

On January 11, the PA Senate Republican Caucus filed a lawsuit in the federal Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania alleging the Delaware River Basin Commission's moratorium on shale gas drilling is a taking of private property without compensation and exceeds the authority given the Commission in its compact.

* Sen. Carolyn Comitta Named Democratic Chair Of Senate Environmental Committee; Priorities: Climate Change, Renewable Energy

On January 15, Sen. Carolyn Comitta (D-Chester) was named Democratic Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, a leadership position that brings new opportunities to continue and expand her long-standing record of service as an environmental champion.

* DEP Works Thru Pandemic: 663 More Permits, 1,903 More Inspections Since Last Week

From March 16 to January 12, Department of Environmental Protection employees have been teleworking and using COVID-19 mitigation measures to continue to fulfill its mission.  DEP staff have--

* Citizens Coal Council Urges DEP To Protect Communities, Streams From Longwall Coal Mining Damage

On January 14, the Citizens Coal Council issued a report-- Undermining Trust: The Collapse Of Environmental Protection In Pennsylvania-- that details what they believe are the Department of Environmental Protection’s failures to enforce longwall coal mining operations in Pennsylvania.

* New DEP Air Quality Permit Fees Effective January 16

The Environmental Quality Board published notice in the January 16 PA Bulletin of final regulations increasing Air Quality Program permit fees.  The new fees become effective January 16.

* DCNR Economic Impact Spotlight: State Parks & Forests Are Economic Drivers In Rural Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s state parks and forestlands draw more than people. They draw jobs. Lots of jobs.

* Registration Now Open! WeConserve PA Virtual Conference March 24-25

WeConservePA is now accepting registrations for the WeConservePA Virtual Conference to be held from March 24-25.

* PA Capitol & COVID Weekly Report: House Moves Bills, Senate Still Organizing; Wolf Wants Aid For Businesses

[ Because In Politics Everything Is Connected To Everything Else ]  The House Republicans last week began to move key items on their legislative agenda out of committee, including six proposed amendments to the state constitution, while the Senate was still appointing committee chairs.

* 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--

* Republicans On House Committee OK Letter Urging IRRC To Disapprove Reg. Reducing Carbon Pollution From Power Plants

On January 12, Republicans and one Democrat on the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee voted to approve a letter to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission expressing its disapproval of proposed regulations reducing carbon pollution from power plants compatible with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

* House Republicans Reintroduce Bill To Kill Regulations By Doing Nothing

On January 12, House Republican Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Mifflin) made it clear in a press conference eliminating state regulations on businesses would be a key part of the House Republican agenda in the new session.

* House Republicans Want To Mandate Private Contractor Permit Application Reviews, Eliminating DEP’s Review On Behalf Of The Public

On January 12, House Republicans introduced House Bill 139 (Rothman-R-Cumberland) that requires all state agencies to establish a program to require the review of permit applications by private contractors for applications that have been “delayed,” eliminating agency review of permit applications on behalf of the public and adding more state bureaucracy and cost on taxpayers.

* House Names Members Of Standing Committees

On January 11, the House named members of standing committees for the new 2021-22 legislative session.  Follow these links for the names of environment and energy related House committee members--

* Senate Republicans, Democrats Finish Naming Standing Committee Chairs

On January 15, Senate Republicans and Democrats completed naming Majority and Minority standing committee Chairs for the 2021-22 legislative session.

* NRCS-PA Invites Proposals For 2021 Conservation Innovation Grants

On January 15, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service-PA announced it is now accepting proposals for its Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) Program. Proposals are due by March 15.

* NRCS Releases New Rule To Improve Flexibility In Regional Conservation Partnership Program

On January 13, the Natural Resources Conservation Service-PA released the final rule for its Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The rule updates USDA’s partner-driven program as directed by the 2018 Farm Bill and integrates feedback from agricultural producers and others.

* Bedford County Invites Landowners, Public, Stakeholders To Be Part Of Next Steps In Implementing Countywide Clean Water Action Plan

Bedford County is inviting landowners, the public and other local stakeholders to be part of the next steps in implementing the county’s Clean Water Action Plan.

* National Fish & Wildlife Foundation Hosts Virtual All-Bay Agriculture Network Forum In 6 Sessions Starting Feb. 3 Thru March 3

Registration is now open for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund virtual All-Bay Agriculture Network Forum in six sessions from February 3 to March 3.

* Penn State Extension Hosts Jan. 27 Installing & Maintaining Forest Buffers Webinar

Penn State Extension hosts a January 27 Water Cooler Talk: Installing and Maintaining Forest Buffers webinar from Noon to 1:00 p.m.

* Susquehanna University Freshwater Institute Study Documents Impacts Of Flooding On Aquatic Life - It's All About Timing

By John Zaktansky, Middle Susquehanna RiverKeeper

* Luzerne County Conservation District Seeks Funds To Cleanup Plainsville Borehole Mine Drainage

By John Zaktansky, Middle Susquehanna RiverKeeper

* DEP Sets Feb. 17 Virtual Hearing On New Coal Refuse Disposal Facility To Discharge Into An Already Water Quality Impaired Stream In Somerset County

The Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled a February 17 virtual hearing on a proposed new coal refuse disposal facility in Summit and Elk Lick Townships, Somerset County from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.  (PA Bulletin page 390)

* Brodhead Watershed Assn. Accepting Entries To Water In Winter Photo Contest

The Monroe County-based Brodhead Watershed Association is now accepting entries for a new Water In Winter Photo Contest.  Deadline for entries is March 15.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Hosts 3-Part Webinar Series On Groundwater Project Renewal Process

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission is hosting a three-part webinar series on Groundwater Project Renewals as part of its Public Water Supply Assistance Program starting January 28.

* DEP Teaching Green: Benscreek Canoe Club, Partners Provide Johnstown Area Youth With Outdoor Experiences

The latest Teaching Green newsletter from the Department of Environmental Protection features the Benscreek Canoe Club and its partner First Waves who provide underserved youth from the Greater Johnstown Area with three outdoor educational experiences, helping them to connect human actions with a clean environment. 

* PA Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences Virtual Learning Workshop Series For Classroom Teachers

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences Program in Pennsylvania will host a series of three virtual workshops to help certified teachers use the MWEE framework to create meaningful local outdoor learning experiences-- virtual and in-person-- for their students.

* Agriculture, DEP Panel Discussion On Reducing Food Waste, Food Security And Its Environmental Impacts

On January 15, the departments of Environmental Protection and Agriculture hosted a “Feeding Pennsylvanians, Reducing Waste” panel discussion on reducing food waste to protect the environment, the security of the food supply chain, and help the charitable food system.

* Keep PA Beautiful Adoption Program Helps Reduce Local Litter Cleanup Costs

While littering and illegal dumping are often discussed as social or environmental problems, rarely do we think about their economic impact-- but the cost of litter is very real.

* DEP Publishes Final Management Of Fill Technical Guidance

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the January 16 PA Bulletin announcing the availability of the final technical guidance on the Management of Fill (DEP ID: 258-2182-773).

* Penn State Extension, DEP To Host 8-Part Farm Energy Day Webinars; Offer New Farm Utility Bill Analysis Service

Penn State Extension is partnering with the Department of Environmental Protection to host an 8-part series of Farm Energy Day Webinars and are offering a new farm utility bill analysis service.

* DEP Renews General Permits For 27 Facilities In 11 Counties To Process/Reuse Oil & Gas Drilling Waste

The Department of Environmental Protection published notices in the January 16 PA Bulletin renewing General Permits for the processing and/or reuse of oil and gas well drilling waste at 27 facilities in 11 counties under General Permit WMGR123. (starting on PA Bulletin page 378)

* PA Conservative Energy Forum: 68% Of Voters Support Candidates Who Back Clean Energy

On January 12, the Conservative Energy Network-- a coalition of 21 state-based conservative clean energy organizations, including the PA Conservative Energy Forum in Pennsylvania-- released results of a national survey that examines likely voters’ attitudes towards clean energy following the 2020 U.S. election.

* PUC Extends Deadline For Comments On Electric Storage Policies To Increase Reliability And Resiliency Related To Increasingly Frequent Weather-Related Threats

The Public Utility Commission published notice in the January 16 PA Bulletin extending the comment deadline on policy changes needed to increase the reliability and resiliency of electric distribution systems from weather-related threats, including thunderstorms, floods, hurricanes, derechos and ice storms until February 18.

* Climate Change Reduces Abundance, Diversity Of Wild Bees, Study Finds

By Sara LaJeunesse, Penn State News

* PA Parks & Forests Foundation Program On DCNR's PA Outdoors Corps Youth Program Now On Demand

On January 13, the PA Parks and Forests Foundation hosted a free virtual program on DCNR's PA Conservation Corps Program.

* January 15 Take Five Fridays With Pam, PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The January 15 Take Five Fridays With Pam is now available from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation featuring articles on--

* Help Wanted: PA Technical Assistance Program Industrial Relations Coordinator

The Penn State PA Technical Assistance Program is seeking qualified candidates for an Industrial Relations Coordinator to be trained on PennTAP energy services and assist with audits at small to mid-sized manufacturers.  Click Here for all the details.

* 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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