Scrapbook Photo 04/22/24 - 117 New Stories - REAL Environmental & Conservation Leadership In PA:
Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
March 1, 2021 Issue #870
* 8 New Stories - What REAL Environmental & Conservation Leadership Looks Like In PA

There are eight new stories in this week’s PA Environment Digest that show the leadership of family farmers, conservation districts, volunteer naturalists, anglers, a major food company, volunteers picking up litter and a defender of Pennsylvania’s constitution.

* PA Conservation Districts Highlight Vital Services That Kept Pennsylvania Running In 2020

The state’s 66 conservation districts worked through the COVID pandemic in 2020 to provide vital functions in the Commonwealth that kept the economy going, people working, our streams clean and our communities healthy.

* PACD Building For Tomorrow 2020 Conservation District Education Video Award Winners

The PA Association of Conservation Districts Building For Tomorrow program awarded a total eleven Conservation District Video Awards to recognize excellence in conservation district-produced video content in 2020.

* Donegal Trout Unlimited Climber's Run Stream Restoration Preserves Magic Of Retreat Center In Lancaster County

This article first appeared in the Lancaster County Conservation District Spring newsletter--

* Frye Family Farm Video Wins Westmoreland County First Place In PA Assn. Of Conservation Districts Contest

The Westmoreland Conservation District has been awarded first place in a new statewide competition for the best general-information video in 2020.

* Pennsylvania Master Naturalist Program Trained 609 Volunteers, Improved 1,160 Miles Of Streams, Reached 104,000 People Over 10 Years

The Pennsylvania Master Naturalist Program, which connects people with their local ecosystems through intensive natural science training and local conservation service work, celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2020.

* House Budget Hearing Fails To Address A Single Critical Budget Issue Faced By DEP Or DCNR

The February 22 House Appropriation Committee on the FY 2021-22 budget request for the Department of Environmental Protection resulted in no discussion of critical funding issues faced by the agency.

* DEP Budget Testimony: DEP Works Through The Pandemic, Public Demands Action To Address Climate Change

This is the written testimony by Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell submitted to the House and Senate Appropriations Committee in advance of their hearings on Gov. Wolf’s FY 2021-22 budget request--

* DEP Works Thru Pandemic: 698 More Permits, 1,762 More Inspections Since Last Week

From March 16 to February 23, Department of Environmental Protection employees have been teleworking and using COVID-19 mitigation measures to continue to fulfill its mission.  DEP staff have--

* Agriculture Budget Testimony: Conservation And Stewardship Remain Hallmarks Of PA Agriculture

Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding appeared before the House Appropriations Committee February 24 to discuss his agency’s FY 2021-22 budget request. 

* PA Environmental Defense Foundation Asks PA Supreme Court To Stop Unconstitutional Diversions Of Revenue From Gas Drilling On State Forest Land That So Far Has Taken Over $829 Million

On February 22, the PA Environmental Defense Foundation filed a brief related to their appeal of a 2020 Commonwealth Court ruling which asks the PA Supreme Court to enforce its 2017 ruling and stop the unconstitutional diversion of money generated from natural gas drilling on publicly-owned State Forest land to fill holes in the state General Fund budget.

* Delaware River Basin Commission Bans Hydraulic Fracking Drilling Activities In Watershed; Will Develop Regs To Manage Drilling Wastewater

On February 25, the Delaware River Basin Commission voted to ban hydraulic fracking drilling activities in the Delaware River Watershed.

* Delaware RiverKeeper Approved To Intervene In Federal Lawsuit By PA Senate Republican Caucus Against DRBC Ban On Hydraulic Fracking Gas Drilling

On February 25, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania approved the Delaware RiverKeeper Network’s motion to intervene in the PA Senate Republican Caucus lawsuit against the Delaware River Basin Commission's ban on hydraulic fracking gas drilling.

* DEP Collects $497,000, Fish & Boat Commission Collects $25,855 In Penalties For Latest Violations Involving Mariner East 2 Pipeline Construction In Lebanon County

On February 25, the Department of Environmental Protection announced it has ordered Sunoco Pipeline L.P. (Sunoco) to pay $497,000 as a result of a consent order and agreement for violating the Clean Streams Law, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Code, and the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act.

* Southwest PA Water Network Sets Stakeholder Meetings For April 20, May 4 & 18 To Discuss Issues In The PA Ohio River Watershed

The Southwest PA Water Network has scheduled a series of virtual stakeholder engagement meetings for the Pennsylvania portion of the Ohio River Watershed Headwaters on April 20 and May 4 and 18.  They are being organized by the The Water Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

* FEMA Working To Set New Premiums For Flood Insurance; Premiums Could Increase 4.5 Times; Over 25,100 More Properties At Risk Of Flooding In PA

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is now working to better price flood risk at the individual property level to more accurately reflect the risk of today’s climate

* Keep PA Beautiful Kicks Off Pick Up Pennsylvania Litter Cleanup, Beautification Program March 1

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful kicks off the Pick Up Pennsylvania litter cleanup and beautification program March 1.

* PUC Urges Consumers, Businesses To Contact Utilities Serving Them To Explore Assistance Options, Address Overdue Balances

On February 22, the Public Utility Commission urged consumers or businesses that may be struggling with larger winter utility bills or overdue balances to call their public utilities today to explore all available assistance options – and to take advantage of enhanced winter options before those programs may change or end.

* Calling All Musicians! Celebrate The 50th Anniversary Of PA's Environmental Rights Amendment With Your Original Song!

The PA Parks and Forests Foundation is now accepting entries to a unique contest to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Environmental Rights Amendment to Pennsylvania’s constitution.

* PA Parks & Forests Foundation Invites Entries To 2021 Thru The Seasons Photo Contest

The PA Parks and Forests Foundation is now accepting entries to the 2021 Thru the Seasons Photo Contest.  This year the categories pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Environmental Rights Amendment to Pennsylvania's constitution.

* Invasive Species Awareness Week: 5 Articles Outlining Invasive Plant, Insect, Aquatic Issues In PA And How You Can Help

February 22-28 is Invasive Species Awareness Week and it provided an opportunity to discuss a variety of invasive species issues affecting Pennsylvania.  Here’s a sampling of articles on that topic and some ideas of how you can help.

* Feature: Snow Tells Tales Of Life, Death And Our Changing Climate In Monroe County

By Carol Hillestand, Brodhead Watershed Association

* PA Parks & Forests Foundation: African-Americans In The Civilian Conservation Corps In PA

By Paul T. Fagley, Environmental Education Specialist, Greenwood Furnace State Park

* Friends Of Allegheny Wilderness Celebrates 115th Birthday Of Nationally Recognized PA Wilderness Advocate Howard Zahniser

On February 25, the Friends of Allegheny Wilderness celebrated the 115th birthday of nationally recognized wilderness advocate Howard Zahniser from Tionesta, Forest County, by sharing a presentation by his son Edward Zahniser on the American Wilderness Imagination.

* PA Capitol & COVID Weekly Report: Re-living Pandemic, New Districts Later, Questions On Ballot Questions

[ Because In Politics Everything Is Connected To Everything Else ] Members of the House Appropriations Committee continued budget hearings last week re-living the early days of the COVID pandemic with the departments of Health and Community and Economic Development and telling PennDOT what a bad idea it was to put tolls on bridges to fund major construction projects.

* Senate/House Bills Moving Last Week

The following bills of interest saw action last week in the House and Senate--

* 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 Disapproving Of Proposed EQB Changes To Chapter 105 Regulations

On February 24, Republicans on the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee voted to send a letter to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission expressing their disapproval of proposed changes by the Environmental Quality Board to the Chapter 105 Waterways Management regulations.

* Sen. Yaw Introduces Bill To Preempt Local Governments From Requiring New Buildings Use Climate-Friendly Energy Sources

On February 24, Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, introduced Senate Bill 275 which would prohibit local governments from adopting requirements that new buildings use climate-friendly energy sources.

* Sen. Yaw Bill Would Load Up Renewable Energy Projects, Makers Of Energy Efficiency Products, Biomass, Coal Waste Plants, Alternative Fuels, Even High-Efficiency Locomotives With Bonds To Make Them Less Competitive

On February 26, Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, introduced Senate Bill 284 that imposes new bonding requirements on solar electric generation, biomass, coal waste and other renewable energy projects of any type included in the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards.

* Sen. Yaw Introduces Bill To Control Overuse Of Fertilizer On Turf; 11th Year For Consideration

On February 26, Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, introduced Senate Bill 251 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 (sponsor summary).

* Bay Journal: Federal Judge To Fine Lebanon County Poultry Plant As 'Deterrent To Others' For Polluting Streams

By Ad Crable, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* PA Lake Erie Virtual Environmental Forum Set For March 23

The PA Sea Grant and the Department of Environmental Protection will host a virtual PA Lake Erie Environmental Forum March 23 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

* PA Assn. Of Conservation Districts Awards 38 Pollution Prevention Mini-Grants To Conservation Districts

The PA Association of Conservation Districts recently awarded 38 Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Mini-Grants totaling $60,000 to conservation districts across the state.

* Lancaster Clean Water Partners Clean Water Grant Round Opens March 3; Webinar March 3

Lancaster Clean Water Partners will begin to accept applications for 2021 Clean Water Fund Grants on March 3 to help fund municipalities and nonprofits working on stream restoration, farm conservation and stormwater management projects.

* Rodale Institute, Organic Farmers Assn. Small-Scale Organic Micro-Grants For Farmers Who Are Black, Indigenous, Or People Of Color

Berks County-based Rodale Institute, in partnership with Organic Farmers Association, offers a micro-grant program specifically targeted to support small-scale farmers who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color, whether they are organic, transitioning to organic, or an aspiring organic farmer.

* Giant Food Company, Rodale Institute Announce New Partnership On Regenerative Organic Farming

To support ecologically safe farming, sustainable retailing, and efforts to eliminate hunger, The GIANT Company February 25 announced a new partnership with Rodale Institute, the leading voice in developing solutions for the regenerative organic movement.

* Agriculture Now Accepting Applications For Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grants

The Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grants.  The deadline for applications is April 16.  (formal notice)

* DEP Invites Comments On Proposed TMDL For Cove Run Watershed In Fulton County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the February 27 PA Bulletin inviting comments on a proposed total Maximum Daily Load Plan for Cove Run Watershed in Fulton County. (PA Bulletin, page 1082)

* PA Resources Council To Hold 6 Backyard Composting, Rain Barrel & Recycling, Waste Reduction Webinars In March

The PA Resources Council will hold four Backyard Composting, one Rain Barrel and one Recycling and Waste Reduction online conservation workshops during March.

* DEP/U.S. Dept. Of Justice Invite Comments On Proposed American Zinc Consent Decree For Facility In Palmerton, Carbon County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the February 27 PA Bulletin inviting comments on a proposed U.S. Department of Justice consent decree with American Zinc Recycling covering their facility in Palmerton, Carbon County. (PA Bulletin page 1082)

* PennTAP Hosts March 23 Northcentral PA Energy Efficiency Roundtable; March 18 Improving Food Processing Industry Energy, Water, Waste Efficiencies Webinars

The Penn State PA Technical Assistance Program will host two programs in March to reduce operating costs for businesses of different types.

* Philadelphia Energy Co-Op: Swarthmore Combats Climate Change By Switching To Renewable Natural Gas

On February 22, Swarthmore Borough in Delaware County announced its next step in helping to combat climate change by switching to renewable natural gas (RNG) supplied by The Energy Co-op to heat their buildings.

* PA Solar Center: Recruitment Under Way For Solar Ambassadors To Tout Benefits Of Solar Energy

On February 23, the PA Solar Center announced it is recruiting “Solar Ambassadors” to help spread the word throughout Pennsylvania about the benefits of solar energy.

* Register Now! For PA Recreation & Park Society 2021 Virtual Conference March 9, 11, 16, 18

The PA Recreation and Park Society is now accepting registrations for its 2021 Virtual Conference to be held March 9, 11, 16 and 18.  The theme of this year’s conference is “The Roaring New 20’s.”

* Feb. 26 Take Five Fridays With Pam, PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The February 26 Take Five Fridays With Pam is now available from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation featuring these articles--

* Penn State Extension Hosts 3-Part Deer Impact Assessment And Mitigation Summit March 25, 30, April 1

Penn State Extension will host a three-part Deer Impact Assessment and Mitigation Summit March 25 and 30 and on April 1 from Noon to 2:00 p.m. on each day.

* PA/NJ Chapter The American Chestnut Foundation Highlights Upcoming Growers Meeting April 10; Educational Webinars

The PA/NJ Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation's latest newsletter highlights upcoming activities and educational opportunities.

* Interns Wanted: Penn State/The American Chestnut Foundation

Penn State and The American Chestnut Foundation are now accepting applications for spring and summer interns.  Applications are due March 5.

* 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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