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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
July 17, 2023 - Issue #991
(7/17/2023)
* 97 New Stories - REAL Environmental & Conservation Leadership In PA

Here are 97 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.

* 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 Secretary Negrin To Citizen Activists: ‘We Don’t Represent Chevron, We Don’t Represent Shell And I’ve Made That Absolutely Clear-- We’re Holding Those Leaders Accountable’

On July 11, DEP Secretary Richard Negrin said “We don’t represent Chevron, we don’t represent Shell and I’ve made that absolutely clear-- we’re holding those leaders accountable.”

* DEP Held July 13 Local Steering Committee Meeting For $5 Million Shell Petrochemical Plant Community Fund

On July 10, the Department of Environmental Protection announced the members of a steering committee who will be tasked with developing a protocol to allocate $5 million in funding for community projects in Beaver County from the settlement of Shell Petrochemical Plant air quality violations.

* Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Weekly Compliance Dashboard - July 8 to 14; Failed Shale Gas, Conventional Well Plugging; Leaking Conventional Wells

From July 8 to 14, DEP’s Oil and Gas Compliance Database shows oil and gas inspectors filed 672  inspection entries that resulted in reporting 52 violations (new and continuing) of environmental regulations-- 43 violation entries by the conventional oil and gas industry and 9 violations by the unconventional shale natural gas industry.

* DEP: Risk Assessment Did Not Prove Chemicals Polluting Soil & Groundwater At American Refinery Group’s Bradford Petroleum Refinery Met Safe Environmental Cleanup Standards

On July 15, the Department of Environmental Protection published a formal notice that it had disapproved a Risk Assessment submitted by the American Refinery Group saying it did not prove the cleanup of chemicals polluting soil and groundwater at ARG’s Bradford petroleum refinery in McKean County met a safe cleanup standard.  (July 15 PA Bulletin, page 3759)

* PA Oil & Gas Industrial Facilities: Permit Notices/Opportunities To Comment - July 15

The following DEP notices were published in the July 15 PA Bulletin related to oil and gas industry facilities.  Many of the notices offer the opportunity for public comments.

* DEP Invites Comments On CNX Midstream Project To Expose Natural Gas, Water/Wastewater Pipelines To Prevent Longwall Coal Mining Damage In Greene County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the July 15 PA Bulletin inviting comments on a CNX Midstream Operating Company, LLC Chapter 105 permit application to expose three pipelines to prevent damage from longwall coal mining in Morris Township, Greene County.  (PA Bulletin, page 3742)

* EQB No Longer Has Statutory Authority To Change Conventional Oil & Gas Well Bonding Amounts To Help Prevent 400 to 600 New Well Abandonments A Year; Adopts Proposed Changes To Water Quality Standards For Comment

On July 11, the Environmental Quality Board voted to accept the Department’s report on a rulemaking petition submitted by the Sierra Club and other groups in September of 2021 that the EQB no longer has the authority to adjust well bonding amounts for 10 years under Act 96 passed and signed into law by Gov. Wolf on July 19, 2022.

* PA Eligible To Apply For $76.4 Million In Federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Funding To Plug Abandoned Conventional Oil & Gas Wells; Conventional Operators Still Abandoning Wells

On July 10, the US Department of the Interior announced Pennsylvania is eligible to apply for $76,406,474 in Phase I federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Act formula grants to plug abandoned conventional oil and gas wells.

* DEP Posts Draft Final Chapter 105 Environmental Assessment Alternatives Analysis; Will Discuss At Agricultural Advisory Board Meeting July 18

On July 11, DEP gave a presentation to the Citizens Advisory Council on the draft final Chapter 105 Environmental Assessment Alternatives Analysis technical guidance.

* MethaneSAT-EDF Successfully Test Methane Detection Technology To Be Used To Document Methane Emissions From Onshore Natural Gas Production In North America

On July 10, MethaneSAT, a subsidiary of the Environmental Defense Fund, announced it has successfully tested methane detection technology to be used to measure and track methane emissions from oil and gas operators and other sectors across North America.

* Marcellus Drilling News: Do Oil & Gas Drillers Owe Taxpayers Royalties For Oil & Gas Under Roads, Streets, Bridges And Other Taxpayer-Owned Land?

On July 13, Marcellus Drilling News raised the issue of whether taxpayers are due royalties and bonus payments by unconventional [and conventional] oil and gas operators for oil and gas they develop under roads, streets, bridges and other land owned by taxpayers, if the mineral rights are included.

* DEP Blog: Do You Know What’s Below? Gasoline Stations And Aging Underground Storage Tanks In Pennsylvania

By: Stephanie Berardi, MES, Regional Communications Manager, DEP Southeast Regional Office

* DEP Secretary Introduces Bevin Ann Buchheister As New Acting Deputy Secretary For Water Programs

DEP Secretary Richard Negrin introduced Bevin Ann Buchheister, Esq. as the new Acting Deputy Secretary for Water Programs at the July 11 Environmental Quality Board meeting.

* Alliance For The Chesapeake Bay Recognizes PA Master Watershed Steward Jodi Sulpizio, Jodi Rose, Interfaith Partners For Chesapeake, As Watershed Champions

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay presents the Watershed Champion and Fran Flanigan awards as special recognition for leadership and dedication to cleaner rivers and streams of the Chesapeake Bay.

* Penn State Extension Master Watershed Steward Jayné Park-Martinez Sparks Conservation Efforts

By Noah Evans, Penn State News

* Watershed Alliance Of York Accepting Applications For Riparian Forest Buffer Grants

The Watershed Alliance of York is now accepting applications for grants to support the planting of riparian forest buffers in York County.  The deadline for applications is September 30.

* Chesapeake Bay Foundation Asks PA Supreme Court To Reverse A Commonwealth Court Decision Saying West Chester Stormwater Fee Is A Tax

On July 14, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation filed an amicus brief asking the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reverse a Commonwealth Court decision that the Borough of West Chester’s stormwater fee is a  tax as applied to West Chester University of Pennsylvania property within the borough.

* Multi-Agency Resource Center Opens For Berks County Residents Impacted By Flooding

On July 13, Gov. Josh Shapiro and PEMA Director Randy Padfield, in coordination with the Berks County Department of Emergency Services, announced that the Shapiro Administration opened a Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) to provide individuals, families, and businesses affected by recent storm damage with in-person access to state and local resources.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Highlights Stream Surveys; Restoring Rivers; Juniata Flood Risk; Meeting Over Mussels; More

The Summer edition of The Guardian newsletter from the Susquehanna River Basin Commission includes these articles--

* PJM Interconnection Issues Hot Weather Alert For July 12 & 13 For Its Mid-Atlantic, Southern Regions

The PJM Interconnection has issued a Hot Weather Alert for its Mid-Atlantic and Southern regions for July 12 and 13 in advance of expected 90-degree temperatures.

* Senate Bill Introduced To Provide $5 Million In Tax Credits To Develop Solar Energy Facilities On Brownfields, Abandoned Mine Sites, Warehouse Roofs

On July 12, Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Adams) announced the introduction of Senate Bill 798 to provide $5 million in state tax credits to develop solar energy facilities on brownfields, abandoned mine sites, capped landfills, warehouse and parking facility roofs.

* University Of Pittsburgh Names 5 Finalists In Pitt Sustainability Challenge

From freezer upgrades in labs to geothermal heating and cooling at Johnstown, the winner will move the University of Pittsburgh toward its carbon neutrality goal.

* US DOE Selects Penn State University As One Of 9 Organizations To Help Deploy Clean Energy Technologies To Decarbonize The Industrial Sector

On July 12, the US Department of Energy selected Pennsylvania State University as one of nine organizations to help industrial facilities and other large energy users increase the adoption of onsite decarbonization strategies.

* PennFuture Releases Model Municipal Warehouse Facility Zoning Ordinance To Help Manage Impacts

On July 11, PennFuture announced the release of a Model Logistics Use Zoning Ordinance and Guidebook to assist municipalities in updating zoning ordinances originally drafted long before this pattern of development was even a remote possibility.

* DCNR Seeks Applicants For NextGen Advisory Council

On July 13, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced the department is seeking applicants for its NextGen Advisory Council.

* July 14 Take Five Fridays With Pam, PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The July 14 Take Five Fridays With Pam is now available from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation featuring articles on--

* Carnegie Museum Of Natural History Awarded $225,000 Grant From Mellon Foundation To Lead Campaign Against Spread Of Invasive Plant Species

Thanks to a $225,000 grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh will lead a collaborative education and outreach campaign to inspire local organizations and the public to act against the spread of invasive plant species across Pennsylvania and Central Appalachia.

* PA Mine Map Atlas Has Served State Since The Quecreek Mine Rescue In Somerset County

By Kevin Sliman, Penn State News

* Feature: Rock - Water - Air: A Personal Account Of The 2002 Quecreek Mine Rescue

By David Hess, Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection at the Time of the Rescue

* Environment & Energy Educational Opportunities For Students & Adults

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

* DCNR State Parks July Environmental Education Newsletter - 34 Summer Nature-Based Activities For Kids; Counting Fireflies; And Much More!

The July edition of DCNR’s State Parks Environmental Education newsletter is now available featuring articles on--

* PA Interfaith Power & Light, Jewish Earth Alliance Host July 19 Webinar On EPA's Proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Rule Covering Power Plants

Join the Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light and the Jewish Earth Alliance on July 19 at 7:00 p.m. for an online informational session about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed carbon pollution rules for fossil fuel burning power plants.

* Penn State Extension Master Watershed Stewards, Master Gardeners Hold July 26 Webinar How To Participate In Native Tree & Shrub Sale/Fundraiser, Tips On Planting, More!

Planting native trees and shrubs is a powerful way to turn your landscape into a wildlife wonderland while also improving local stream health and water quality. But choosing the best species for your specific landscape conditions can be a challenge.

* 2nd Annual Marcellus Shale Water Business Update Conference Aug. 9 In Pittsburgh On Managing Shale Gas, Conventional Oil & Gas Wastewater

The Oilfield Water Connection will host the 2nd Annual Marcellus Shale Water Business Update Conference at the Westin Hotel In Pittsburgh August 9.

* Penn State Hosts Online Solar Law Symposium Aug. 23

The third annual Penn State Solar Law Symposium will be held virtually on August 23, from noon to 4:30 p.m., for attorneys and energy professionals.

* 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--

* 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 July 15 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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