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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
May 1, 2023 - Issue #980
(5/1/2023)
* 92 New Stories - REAL Environmental & Conservation Leadership In PA

Here are 92 new stories in the PA Environment Digest about individuals, groups, local governments, farmers, businesses, watershed groups and many more working all across Pennsylvania to restore and protect the environment and show others the beauty that surrounds us.

* This Week’s Examples Of Going The WRONG WAY On Environmental, Energy Issues

Below are examples of going the WRONG WAY on environmental and energy issues from last week’s articles and NewsClips--

* Weekly List Of PA Environment & Energy Articles & NewsClips By Topic

PA Environment Digest Put Links To The Best Environment & Energy Articles and NewsClips From Last Week Here By Topic.

* DEP, DCNR, Guests Honored Franklin Kury, Author Of PA Environmental Rights Amendment, With Dedication In Rachel Carson Building

On April 12, DEP, DCNR and many guests dedicated the Law Library Conference Room in the Rachel Carson Building in Harrisburg to Franklin Kury, the legislative author of Pennsylvania's Environmental Rights Amendment to the Constitution.

* County Conservation District Week Observed April 23-29

Recognized by both the Pennsylvania State House and Senate, April 23-29, 2023 has been declared “Conservation District Week.” During this week, district offices across the state held events and met with legislators in their home county.

* CBF Blog: Student In CBF's Student Leadership Program Worked To Rename Stream After Kitty Payne, An Emancipated Slave Who Lived Near Biglerville, Adams County

By B.J. Small, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

* Dickinson College To Recognize Environmental & Indigenous Rights Advocate Tara Houska With Rose-Walters Prize For Environmental Activism

On April 26, Dickinson College announced Tara Houska, a citizen of Couchiching First Nation and a devoted environmental and Indigenous rights advocate, will be presented with The Sam Rose ’58 and Julie Walters Prize for Global Environmental Activism at Dickinson College.

* House Hearing: Let’s Work Together To Make Conventional Oil & Gas Industry Practices Cleaner, Respect Property Rights, Protect Taxpayers And Prevent New Abandoned Wells

The following testimony by David Hess, former Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, was delivered at the April 24 House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee hearing on abandoned conventional oil and gas wells.

* EDF: Pennsylvania Has 55,000 Oil/Gas Wells At High Risk Of Being Abandoned; 51,000 Wells At Risk Of Being Transferred To Low Solvency Owners; Current Conventional Well Owners Abandon 561 Wells A Year, On Average

On April 24, the Environmental Defense Fund announced the results of a new study that found 55,000 oil and gas wells owned by operators in Pennsylvania are at high risk of becoming abandoned leaving state taxpayers holding the bag for $3.7 billion in well plugging and cleanup costs.

* Guest Essay: Conventional vs Unconventional Oil & Gas Wells - Not As Different As You Might Think

By Laurie Barr, Save Our Streams PA

* House Committee Meets May 2 On Bill To Restore Authority To Review Conventional Oil/Gas Well Plugging Bonding Amounts; Help Prevent Routine Abandonment Of An Average Of 561 Wells A Year

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to meet May 2 on House Bill 962 (Vitali-D-Delaware), legislation that would restore DEP’s authority to review conventional oil and gas well plugging bonding amounts every two years.

* Republican Herald Editorial: Implement Reforms For Natural Gas Drilling, Fracking

This editorial first appeared in the Republican Herald on April 30, 2023--

* Delaware River Basin Commission Clarifies New Regulations On Oil/Gas Fracking Wastewater Bans Road Spreading, Disposal From Conventional Wells

The Delaware River Basin Commission has clarified regulations it adopted in December to regulate wastewater to make clear they ban the road spreading and disposal of fracking wastewater from conventional as well as unconventional shale gas drilling operations.

* DEP Tentatively Sets May 18 Online Public Conference On Proposed Roulette Oil & Gas Waste Injection Well In Clara Twp., Potter County; Opponents Again Call For Robust Public Participation Process

On April 27, the Department of Environmental Protection announced it has tentatively scheduled an online "public conference" May 18 on the proposed Roulette Oil & Gas waste injection well in Clara Township, Potter County from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

* Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Weekly Compliance Dashboard - April 22 - 28; Conventional Wells Venting Gas; Shale Gas Well Pad Spills

From April 22 to 28, DEP’s Oil and Gas Compliance Database shows oil and gas inspectors filed 729 inspection entries that resulted in reporting 48 violations of environmental regulations-- 32 violations by the conventional oil and gas industry and 16 violations by the unconventional shale natural gas industry.

* Citizen Complaint Results In Finding 2 Abandoned Conventional Wells Owned By Prosperity Oil Co. Continuing To Vent Natural Gas In Washington County

On April 24, DEP inspectors, responding to a citizen complaint, found two conventional wells continuing to vent natural gas in Hanover Township, Washington County.

* Chesapeake Appalachia: DEP Inspections Find Violations For Spills, Releases, Continuing Defective Casing/Cementing At Shale Gas Well Pads In Bradford, Susquehanna Counties

Last week DEP inspectors again found continuing violations of spills and releases creating  new brownfield sites as well as defective well casing and cementing at three shale gas well pads in two counties.

* PA Oil & Gas Industrial Facilities: Permit Notices/Opportunities To Comment - April 29

The following DEP notices were published in the April 29 PA Bulletin related to oil and gas industry facilities.  Many of the notices offer the opportunity for public comments.

* NRDC: U.S. Dept. Of Transportation Denies Special Permit For Shipping LNG Natural Gas By Rail From A Proposed Bradford County LNG Plant; Shipping By Truck Still Allowed

On April 25, the Natural Resources Defense Council said a Federal Register notice from the U.S. Department of Transportation announced the agency has denied Energy Transfer Partners a special permit to transport liquefied natural gas (LNG) by rail from Wyalusing, PA to Gibbstown, NJ across the river from Philadelphia.

* Eyes On Shell Reports Shell Petrochemical Plant Fenceline Monitors Found Benzene Emissions Above Toxic Substances Limits; No Timeline For Restarting Plant; DEP Issued Another NOV For Air Violations

On April 25, the Eyes On Shell citizens initiative  reported fenceline air pollution monitoring data at Shell's Petrochemical Plant in Beaver County reported benzene levels of over 185 µg/m3 and 89 µg/m3 they said was above the 29 µg/m3 minimum risk level established by the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

* Senate Environmental Committee Holds May 1 Hearing On Electric Grid Reliability Looking At Natural Gas, Other Generation Failures During Winter Storm Elliot In December

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee will hold its second hearing May 1 on electric grid reliability and the failure of natural gas and other generation to provide power when called on by PJM during Winter Storm Elliot in December.

* House Environmental Committee Sets May 1 Hearing On Cryptocurrency And Climate Change; Background Brief

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing May 1 on cryptocurrency and climate change.

* Register Now! 9th Annual Renewables Summit Set For May 22-23 Harrisburg

Join the Renewables Work for PA Coalition, PA Solar & Storage Industries Association and the PA Solar Center for the 9th Annual Renewables Summit on May 22-23 at the Penn Harris Hotel in Camp Hill, Cumberland County across the river from Harrisburg.

* Protecting Clean Water Together Series: Community Solar Saves Water - Keeps it Clean - Saves Money, Too!

By Carol Hillestad for Brodhead Watershed Association, Monroe County

* Reimagine Appalachia: New Report Outlines Job Impacts Of Green Locomotives From The Wabtec Manufacturing Facility In Erie

On April 25, the Keystone Research Center, together with United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), and U.S. Senator Bob Casey's office, released the findings of a new research report on the job-creation potential of green locomotive production in Erie Pennsylvania.

* DEP Posts Soil, Water Sampling Results Related To Monitoring PA For Impacts From Norfolk Southern Train Derailment

On April 24, the Department of Environmental Protection released a new interactive mapping tool that shows final sample results from soil and water testing conducted by DEP in the wake of the East Palestine train derailment on February 3, 2023.

* DEP To Hold May 17 Meeting/Hearing On Rausch Creek Mining Project In Schuylkill County

On April 25, the Department of Environmental Protection announced it will host a public meeting and hearing to answer questions and take testimony from residents regarding revisions to two active mining permits and the transfer of a third permit for work located in three Schuylkill County townships. 

* Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership Plans To Plant 500,000 More Trees Across PA During 2023

The 2023 planting seasons will be the most ambitious yet for the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership, to directly fund and plant over 300,000 new trees for Pennsylvania this spring and add another 200,000 in the fall.

* Coldwater Heritage Partnership Awards 11 Grants Totaling $120,000

The Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited is pleased to announce eleven grants totaling $120,000 have been awarded to conservation organizations across Pennsylvania through the Coldwater Heritage Partnership’s Coldwater Conservation Grant Program.

* Western PA Conservancy To Hold Public Meetings, Invites Public Suggestions On Future Use, Improvements To Juniata River Watershed

Residents of the Juniata River Watershed are invited to provide input and suggestions via public meetings and a community survey to help inform the Juniata Watershed Management Plan, a project of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy with multiple partners.

* Julia Krall Named PA Executive Director Of Chesapeake Bay Foundation

On April 25, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation announced Julia Krall was named the new Executive Director in Pennsylvania. She succeeds CBF Staff Attorney Trisha Salvia, who had been serving as Interim Director.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Awards $6 Million+ For Consumptive Water Use Mitigation Projects

On April 27, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission announced more than $6 million in grant funding for 23 projects that will improve the sustainability of streamflows and groundwater during times of drought.

* Delaware River Basin Commission Hearing May 10 On Water Withdrawal Requests, June 7 Business Meeting

The Delaware River Basin Commission is scheduled to hold a hearing May 10 on water withdrawal requests and a business meeting June 7.  (formal notice)

* Delaware River Basin Commission Completes Water Storage Study To Support Resilience Planning; 12 Of 14 Final Projects In PA

On April 26, the Delaware River Basin Commission released a review of future water storage options for the Delaware River Basin, Evaluation of Additional Storage in the Delaware River Basin.

* PA Resources Council: Registration Open For Weekday Electronics Waste Collection Events In Allegheny County

Throughout May, the Pennsylvania Resources Council will collect electronics for recycling on designated weekdays in Allegheny County. 

* PA Resources Council Hosts 2 Household Chemical Collection Events In Allegheny, Cambria County During May

In May, Pennsylvania Resources Council will host two household chemical collection events in western Pennsylvania to enable area residents to conveniently dispose of materials such as cleaners, paints, stains and varnishes, batteries, motor oil and pesticides. 

* PA Resources Council Sets May Schedule For Traveling Glass Recycling Bin Program In Allegheny County

The Pennsylvania Resources Council Traveling Glass Recycling Bin Program provides a free recycling service that rotates through a variety of locations in western Pennsylvania. 

* Centre County Recycling & Refuse Authority Collects Over 73,000 Pounds Of Household Hazardous Waste At Collection Event April 28-29

The Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority collected over 73,000 pounds of household hazardous waste and enough fluorescent light tubes to span 4.5 miles at a special collection event on April 28-29.

* Guest Essay: DCNR’s Conservation And Stewardship Of State’s Natural Resources Is Vital To Pennsylvania's Booming Outdoor Recreation Industry

By Cindy Adams Dunn, Acting Secretary of DCNR, and John Norbeck Deputy Secretary for Parks & Forestry

* DCNR Highlights Importance Of Trees In Communities On National Arbor Day At Cumberland County Event

On April 28 Arbor Day, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Acting Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and State Forester Ellen Shultzabarger planted trees in Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County, to highlight the many benefits trees provide to communities.

* April 28 Take Five Fridays With Pam From PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The April 28 Take Five Fridays With Pam is now available from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation featuring articles on--

* Help Wanted: Armstrong Conservation District - Resource Conservationist

The Armstrong Conservation District Board of Directors will be accepting applications for the full-time position of Resource Conservationist until May 31, 2023 or until the position is filled.

* Environment & Energy Educational Opportunities For Students & Adults

Opportunities to learn more about environmental and energy issues affecting Pennsylvania for students and adults--

* Penn State Extension Watersheds: How Land Use Impacts Groundwater

By Peter Wulfhorst, AICP

* Asbury Woods Environmental Center In Erie Leads City Nature Challenge, 4-Day Bioblitz April 28 - May 1

The Greater Erie City Nature Challenge is back for its second year.  This 4-day bioblitz takes place around the world from April 28 through May 1, 2023 and Asbury Woods in Erie is pleased to lead the way for the Greater Erie area. 

* Nature At Risk Series: Why Backyard Pollinators Are All The Buzz

By Carol Hillestad for Brodhead Watershed Association, Monroe County

* Penn State Extension: June 13 Webinar On Wildlife Adaptations - How Wildlife Endures Extreme Weather, Limited Resources, Predators To Stay Alive

On June 13 Penn State Extension will host another in its series of Pennsylvania Forest Seminars on Wildlife Adaptations - How Wildlife Endures Extreme Weather, Limited Resources, Predators To Stay Alive at Noon and 7:00 p.m.

* News From PA House & Senate

The information you need to follow legislation in the House and Senate- starting with articles and NewsClips from last week--

* Sen. Yaw To Introduce Bill To Remove ‘Protection’ From The Name Of The Department Of Environmental Protection

On April 27, Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, announced plans to introduce legislation to take the word “Protection” out of the name Department of Environmental Protection.

* House Consumer Protection Committee Reports Out Solar Energy Decommissioning Bills For Rereferral To House Environmental Committee

On April 25, the House Consumer Protection, Technology & Utilities Committee reported out two bills setting standards for utility-scale solar energy facility decommissioning with a recommendation to re-refer them to the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. 

* House Environmental Committee Reports Out Bipartisan Bills On School Solar Energy Grants For Rereferral, Local Notice Of Toxics Violations

On April 25, the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee reported out two bills--

* The Feds

Articles and NewsClips about federal actions impacting Pennsylvania--

* 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.

* PA Bulletin Public Notices

Highlights of the environmental and energy notices in the April 29 PA Bulletin--

* 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.

* Supporting Member PA Organization For Watersheds & Rivers; PA Outdoor Writers Assn.; PA Trout Unlimited

PA Environment Digest is a supporting member of the PA Organization for Watersheds & Rivers, PA Outdoor Writers Association, PA Council Trout Unlimited and the Doc Fritchey Chapter Trout Unlimited.

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