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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
December 11, 2023 - Issue #1,012
(12/11/2023)
* 118 New Stories - REAL Environmental & Conservation Leadership In PA

Here are 118 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 Puts Links To The Best Environment & Energy Articles and NewsClips From Last Week Here By Topic--

* Voting Begins For Pennsylvania’s 2024 River Of The Year: Allegheny, Lackawaxen, Youghiogheny Rivers

On December 5, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced the public is invited to vote online for the 2024 Pennsylvania River of the Year, choosing from among three waterways nominated throughout the state.

* Marcellus Drilling News: Senate Republican Leaders Urge DEP To Withdraw Environmental Justice Policy Saying They Lack Statutory Authority, And Out-of-State Groups Not Actual Residents Express EJ Concerns

On December 6, the Marcellus Drilling News published a November 30 letter from Senate Republican Leaders to DEP expressing their opposition to the Interim Final Environmental Justice Permitting Policy and urging DEP to immediately “withdraw this policy and work with the General Assembly to address environmental injustices that may exist in our communities….”

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission: Low Stream Flows Trigger ShutDown Of 4 Shale Gas Drilling Water Withdrawals In Bradford, Tioga County

On December 4, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission Hydrologic Conditions Monitor tracked the shutdown of four shale gas drilling water withdrawal points due to low streamflow conditions in Bradford and Tioga counties.

* DEP Expects $44 Million To Plug Conventional Wells Leaking Methane; $76 Million For 2nd Year Of Federal Conventional Abandoned Well Plugging Program

On December 5, DEP told the Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board it expects to receive an estimated $44 million to plug conventional oil and gas wells leaking methane under the federal Methane Emission Reduction Program and $76 million in second-year funding for plugging abandoned conventional oil and gas wells.

* DEP Plugs 132 Abandoned Conventional Oil & Gas Wells So Far; DEP Issued 499 NOVs For New Conventional Well Abandonments So Far In 2023

On December 6, the Shapiro Administration announced it has capped and plugged 132 abandoned conventional oil and gas wells so far in 2023-- plugging more wells in the Governor’s first 11 months than in the previous eight years combined.

* PA Oil & Gas Weekly Compliance Dashboard - Dec. 2 to 8 -- 9 Abandoned Conventional Wells; Failure To Restore Shale Gas Pad; No Progress In Spill Cleanups

From December 2 to 8, DEP’s Oil and Gas Compliance Database shows oil and gas inspectors filed 652 inspection report entries.

* Roulette Oil & Gas LLC Withdraws Oil & Gas Wastewater Injection Well Application In Potter County

On December 5, the Department of Environmental Protection told the Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board Roulette Oil and Gas LLC withdrew its application for an oil and gas wastewater injection well in Clara Township, Potter County on September 14, 2023.

* DEP Sets Jan. 23 Hearing On Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Frazer Compressor Station In Chester County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the December 9 PA Bulletin inviting comments at a January 23 hearing on the RACT III, Title V Air Quality Permit and State Implementation Plan Revision for the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline, LLC  Frazer Compressor Station in East Whiteland Township, Chester County.  (PA Bulletin, page 7674

* PA Oil & Gas Industrial Facilities: Permit Notices/Opportunities To Comment - December 9

The following DEP notices were published in the December 9 PA Bulletin related to oil and gas industry facilities.  Many of the notices offer the opportunity for public comments.

* Independent Fiscal Office Reports 3rd Quarter Natural Gas Production Down 0.5% Over 3rd Quarter 2022, But Increased Over Last 12 Months

On December 4, the Independent Fiscal Office reported third quarter natural gas production in Pennsylvania was down 0.5% from the third quarter of 2022, but has increased slightly over the past 12 months.

* PennEnvironment, Three Rivers Waterkeeper Sue Styropek USA To Stop Plastic Pollution In Raccoon Creek, Ohio River In Beaver County

On December 5, PennEnvironment and Three Rivers Waterkeeper announced they have filed a federal lawsuit against BVPV Styrenics LLC and its parent company, Styropek USA, Inc., for alleged violations of the federal Clean Water Act involving illegal discharges of plastics from their plastic manufacturing facility in Monaca, Beaver County. 

* PA Senate Hearing Focuses On Minimizing Risk And Harm In Development Of PA’s Hydrogen Infrastructure

On December 4, Sen. Katie Muth (D-Chester), chair of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, joined Sen. Carolyn Comitta (D-Chester), Democratic Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, to co-host a public hearing on the proposed development of hydrogen infrastructure in Pennsylvania.

* House Environmental Committee To Hold Dec. 11 Hearing On Bill To Expand Renewable Energy Mandates In Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing December 11 on House Bill 1467 (Otten-D-Chester) expanding the mandate for renewable energy under the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards to 30% by 2030.

* Hydrogen Tax Credit Changes, Riparian Buffers, Light Pollution On House Environmental Committee Agenda For Dec. 13

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to meet December 13 on legislation to change the state hydrogen production tax credit, protect streams with riparian buffers and reduce light pollution.

* New Legislation Creates Task Force To Address Rising Flood Insurance Premiums

On December 4, Sen. Steve Santarsiero (D-Bucks) and Representative Perry Warren (D-Bucks) joined Gov. Josh Shapiro in Yardley Borough for a ceremonial bill signing of House Bill 735, establishing a task force to address rising flood insurance premiums.

* Registration Open! Interfaith Partners For The Chesapeake Bay Faith & Waters Restoration Summit Feb. 19

The Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake invites you to the Faith & Waters Restoration Restoration Summit on February 19 at St. Mary’s Parish in Annapolis, MD.

* Perry County Dairy Producer Gives Inside Look At Rotational Grazing Operation, How To Drive Strong Milk Production And Pasture Health

In the Center for Dairy Excellence’s latest episode of the “Cow-Side Conversations” podcast, Neil Hertzler of Rock Hollow Dairy LLC in Perry County, Pennsylvania shares how his family transitioned their dairy operation to a rotational grazing model years ago.

* American Farmland Trust Seeking PA Corn, Soybean Farmers To Join Soil Health Practices Study, $1,000 Stipend Offered For Qualified Farmers

The American Farmland Trust is seeking corn and soybean farms in Pennsylvania to join a soil health practices study to test a new tool they are developing with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to predict the costs and benefits of practices like no-till, cover crops and nutrient management.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Releases New Study Of Groundwater Recharge Potential In Critical Aquifer Areas

On December 4, Susquehanna River Basin Commission published a groundbreaking study focused on groundwater recharge potential in over-utilized areas with limited water availability.

* Delaware River Basin Commission Releases 10-Year Evaluation Showing Water Losses In Public Water Supply Systems Have Remained Constant

On December 4, the Delaware River Basin Commission released a new report-- A Comprehensive Assessment of the Delaware River Basin’s Water Audit Program (2012-2021)-- providing a detailed look at ten years of Water Audit Program data. This analysis is the first of its kind in the country.

* PennFuture Blog: Mapping Climate Change By Viewing USDA's New Plant Hardiness Zones Map

By Brigitte Meyer, Staff Attorney

* DEP Invites Comments At Jan. 9 Hearing On Jessop Steel, LLC Air Quality Permit In Washington County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of a January 9 hearing on a RACT III Title V Air Quality Permit for the Jessop Steel, LLC facility in Canton Township, Washington County.  (Dec. 9 PA Bulletin, page 7632)

* Hearing Set For Jan. 23 On DEP Air Quality Permit For The Cleveland Cliffs Plate Facility In Chester County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the December 9 PA Bulletin of a January 23 hearing on a RACT III Title V Air Quality Permit for the Cleveland Cliffs Plate, LLC facility in Coatesville Borough, Chester County.  (Dec. 9 PA Bulletin, page 7635)

* Rep. Rob Mercuri Presents Allegheny County Resident Lynn Appman With Keep PA Beautiful Community Pride Award

On December 5, Rep. Rob Mercuri (R-Allegheny) nominated Lynn Appman for the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Community Pride Award in recognition of her efforts with the McCandless 'Litter Getters' and coordinating roadside cleanups through the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Pick Up Pennsylvania program.

* Budget Office Accepting Applications For Redevelopment Assistance Capital Projects Program Funding

The Governor's Budget Office announced it is now accepting applications for Redevelopment Assistance Capital Projects Program funding. The deadline to apply is January 12.

* Western PA Conservancy Protects 410 Acres Of Forestland Along Clear Creek In Somerset County; Land Added To Forbes State Forest

On December 4, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy announced the permanent protection of 410 acres of steep forested slopes and riparian forest in Somerset County that safeguards water quality and wildlife habitat along Clear Run Creek, a tributary to Laurel Hill Creek.

* Natural Lands Announced Acquisition Of 46 Acres For Use As A Park In Aston Township, Delaware County

On December 7, Natural Lands announced the acquisition of nearly 46 acres of open space by Aston Township, Delaware County, for a township park. 

* WeConservePA: Schuylkill River Trail's Auburn Gap Closes With Opening Of Auburn Bridge In Schuylkill County

A former Pennsylvania Railroad bridge in Auburn, Schuylkill County has been rehabilitated as part of the extension of the Schuylkill River Trail. The historic plate girder bridge, which crosses the Schuylkill River, has been fitted with a new concrete trail deck and steel railings.

* DCNR Awards Grant To French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust For Lawn Conversion, Streamside Tree Planting In Chester County

On December 5, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources awarded the French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust $159,700 of grant funding to develop a program for lawn conversion and streamside tree planting on properties permanently protected by the Trust.

* Reminder: Nominations Due For 2024 Parks & Forests Foundation Awards Dec. 15

The PA Parks and Forests Foundation is seeking nominations for its 2024 Annual Parks and Forests Awards which recognize the exemplary programs, services, staff, and volunteers that have made a positive impact on the state’s parks and forests.

* DCNR Forest Focus Newsletter Highlights Draft Forests For All Plan; Extended Wildfire Season; 2024 Spongy Moth Outbreak; Forest Carbon Management

The Fall issue of DCNR’s Forest Focus newsletter features articles on a variety of important issues in the Bureau of Forestry and State Forests, including--

* US DOT Awards Pennsylvania $840,000 To Develop Statewide Wildlife Crossings Plan

On December 5, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration announced $110 million in grants for 19 wildlife crossing projects in 17 states, including four Indian Tribes.

* Shamokin Creek Restoration Alliance Names Phil Dunn As New Executive Director

On December 5, the Shamokin Creek Restoration Alliance in Northumberland County announced the appointment of Phil Dunn as its new executive director.

* PA Environmental Council In Case You Missed It In November Now Available

The PA Environmental Council In Case You Missed It In November is now available featuring articles on--

* 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 Winter/Holiday Environmental Education Activities, Teaching Ideas!

DCNR’s Bureau of State Parks December Environmental Education newsletter is full of winter and holiday educational activities!

* Penn State Extension Host Jan. 8 Webinar On Private Water Supply Education & Water Testing

On January 8, Penn State Extension will host a live webinar on Private Water Supply Education and Water Testing from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.

* Penn State Climate Solutions Symposium May 14-15 To Focus On Forging New Partnerships In Climate, Research, Solutions

Penn State will host the 2024 Climate Solutions Symposium on May 14 and 15 at The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center.

* Philadelphia Solar Energy Assn. Accepting Entries In Student Imagine A Clean Energy Future Contest

The Philadelphia Solar Energy Association is now accepting entries in the Student Imagine A Clean Energy Future Contest.  Entry deadline February 29.

* 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--

* EPA Announces $1 Million In Grants For Brownfield Job Training In Pittsburgh, Cumberland County

On December 8, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the selection of North Side Industrial Development Company in Pittsburgh and the Housing and Redevelopment Authorities of Cumberland County to receive a total of $1 million for environmental job training programs.

* 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 December 9 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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