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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
December 25, 2023 - Issue #1,014
(12/25/2023)
* 68 New Stories - REAL Environmental & Conservation Leadership In PA

Here are 68 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--

* PA Oil & Gas Weekly Compliance Dashboard - Dec. 16 to 22 - 46% More Conventional NOVs; More Abandoned Wells; Conventional Well Fire; Shale Gas Venting, Spills, Plugging Mess

From December 16 to 22, DEP’s Oil and Gas Compliance Database shows oil and gas inspectors filed 534 inspection entries. 

* Conventional Oil Well Storage Tanks Burn In McKean County, 6 Local Fire Companies Respond

At 5:50 a.m. on December 19, 2023, the MSL Oil & Gas Corp well tender reported a fire in crude oil storage tanks at the Dutter 235 conventional oil well in Wetmore Township, McKean County.

* CNX Resources Begins Disclosing General Information On Fracking Chemicals, Air Monitoring Results Online At 2 Shale Gas Well Pads

On December 18, the Shapiro Administration announced CNX Resources has begun to disclose general information on the chemicals it uses in fracking shale gas wells and some air monitoring results at two of its well pads.

* Oil & Gas Facilities Self-Reported 13,432,713 Tons Of Air Pollution In PA In 2022; 101,741,616 Tons Total Since 2012

Unconventional, conventional, pipeline, storage and other oil and gas facilities have been self-reporting air emissions from their facilities since 2012 and do so regularly under Title V and other Air Quality permits issued by the Department of Environmental Protection.

* AP: Drilling Under Pennsylvania's 'Gasland' Town Has Been Banned Since 2010, It's Coming Back

By Michael Rubinkam, Associated Press

* HEI Energy, Penn State Study Uses 28,500 Water Sample Results To Help Identify Oil & Gas Industry Groundwater Pollution

On December 18, representatives of the nonprofit HEI Energy and Penn State researchers provided an overview of how they used nearly 28,500 water sample results to help identify oil and gas industry groundwater pollution as part of the Community Exposures To Oil and Gas Development and Groundwater Contamination study.

* PA Oil & Gas Industrial Facilities: Permit Notices/Opportunities To Comment - December 23

The following DEP and other notices were published in the December 23 PA Bulletin related to oil and gas industry facilities.  Many of the notices offer the opportunity for public comments.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Approves Water Withdrawal Requests For Shale Gas Drilling In Loyalsock, Pine Creek Exceptional Value Watersheds

On December 14, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission approved water withdrawal requests-- including seven related to shale gas drilling in Bradford, Lycoming, Snyder and Tioga counties and the Loyalsock and Pine Creek Exceptional Value Watersheds.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Approves 32 Shale Gas Well Pad Water Use General Permits In Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wyoming Counties

In November, the Executive Director of the Susquehanna River Basin Commission gave his approval to 32 water use permits for individual shale gas well drilling pads in Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga and Wyoming counties.  (formal notice)

* FERC Approves PJM $1.25 Billion Winter Storm Elliot Settlement With Non-Performing Natural Gas, Other Electricity Generators

On December 20, the PJM Interconnection announced the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a $1.25 billion Winter Storm Elliot Settlement with 81 settling parties.

* PUC Update On Investigation Of Dec. 12 Home Explosion In Sewickley Heights, Allegheny County

Pipeline safety engineers from the Safety Division of the Public Utility Commission– which is part of the Commission’s independent Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement (I&E) – initiated an investigation into the December 12th incident in Sewickley Heights Borough, Allegheny County, which destroyed a home and injured one person.

* Project InnerSpace Launches Cross-Collaborative Future of Oil/Gas Well-Based Geothermal In Pennsylvania Study

On December 20, Project InnerSpace announced the kick-off of two additional state-specific geothermal studies in Oklahoma and Pennsylvania—two historically significant traditional U.S. energy states.

* US DOE, Treasury Release Proposed Regulations Implementing Clean Hydrogen Production Credit Setting A Sliding Scale For Credits

On December 22, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service released proposed regulations on the Clean Hydrogen Production Credit established by the federal Inflation Reduction Act.

* PA Enviro Groups File Appeal For Removal Of Coal Ash 'Mountain’ At Stronghold Digital Mining Scrubgrass Cryptocurrency Power Facility In Venango County

On December 21, Earthjustice, on behalf of Scrubgrass Creek Watershed Association and PennFuture, announced they have filed an appeal with the Environmental Hearing Board to overturn or modify DEPs decision to allow the Stronghold Digital Mining, Inc. cryptocurrency Scrubgrass power plant a four-year delay to remove its unpermitted coal ash pile situated near the Allegheny River in Kennerdell, Venango County.

* PUC Invites Public Comments On Proposed Policy Statement On Electric Utility Rate Design For Electric Vehicle Charging In Pennsylvania

On December 23, the Public Utility Commission published notice in the PA Bulletin inviting comment on a Proposed Policy Statement requesting public comment on proposed guidelines for electric utility rate design for electric vehicle (EV) charging.

* Public Utility Commission Highlights 2023 Accomplishments

During its final public meeting for 2023, the Public Utility Commission continued a tradition of highlighting major accomplishments over the past year.

* Franklin County Joins Clinton, York Counties In Drought Warning Status; 26 Water Supplies Ask For Water Conservation

On December 22, the Department of Environmental Protection announced, after a meeting of the Commonwealth Drought Task Force, that a drought watch will continue for 13 counties and a drought warning will continue for Clinton and York Counties.

* Commonwealth Financing Authority Awards $320 Million In Federal American Rescue Plan Funding For Water Infrastructure Projects

On December 20, the Commonwealth Financing Authority announced the award of $320 million in federal American Rescue Plan funding for water infrastructure projects through two programs--

* Tioga County Couple Honored By Susquehanna River Basin Commission For Unwavering Efforts To Restore Tioga River Watershed

On December 14, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission honored a couple whose devotion to the restoration of the Tioga River Watershed will soon turn its orange, polluted waters into clear, healthy flows.

* PA’s Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program Closes Year With More Than 82,000 Acres Of Land Enrolled For Conservation Improvements

On December 19, the PA Association of Conservation Districts announced the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) ended 2023 with more than 82,000 acres enrolled in the conservation program.

* PA’s Ag Conservation Assistance Helps Strayer Cattle Farm In Cumberland County Improve Water Quality; $140 Million Committed To Projects So Far Statewide

Liquid manure doesn’t run off of Greg Strayer’s Cumberland County beef farm and threaten the Conodoguinet Creek any longer, thanks to a new 185,000-gallon storage area made possible with cost-share funds through Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Conservation Assistance Program (ACAP).

* Penn State Extension, Partners: Collaborative School Planting Project Creates Lifelong Learners In Chester County

By Megan Hopkins-Doerr, Master Watershed Steward Coordinator Chester, Delaware Counties 

* Stroud Water Research Center Update: Scaling Up Outreach To Farmers, Landowners To Improve Water Quality

The latest UpStream newsletter from the Chester County-based Stroud Water Research Center highlights the expansion of its outreach efforts to farmers and landowners to improve water quality... and much more!

* Allegheny College: Western PA Conservancy Watershed Mini Grant Supports Creek Connections Program

Crawford County-based Allegheny College has been awarded a grant of $3,500 for water quality monitoring supplies as part of the college’s Creek Connections Program.

* National Fish & Wildlife Foundation Awards $1.8 Million In Chesapeake WILD Grants To Restore Freshwater Mussels, Other PA Projects

On December 18, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a 2023 round of funding for the Chesapeake Watershed Investments to Landscape Defense (WILD) projects.

* Chesapeake Bay Foundation Highlights PA Legislative Priorities For 2024

Increased and sustained funding for farm practices, and more streambank fencing are among what the Chesapeake Bay Foundation sees as legislative priorities for Pennsylvania in 2024.

* Federal Office Of Surface Mining Awards PA $300,000 To Update Abandoned Mine Land Inventory

On December 19, the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement announced $8 million in grants for states and Tribes to update their abandoned mine land inventories, to support future remediation efforts.

* DEP Environmental Justice Update: Comments On Revised EJ Permit Review Policy; Funding & Comment Opportunities; Much More

The latest Environmental Justice Update from the Department of Environmental Protection includes a quick summary of just some of the comments made on the revised Environmental Justice Permit Review Policy and highlights upcoming funding opportunities, public participation and educational opportunities.

* Governor’s Office Releases List Of DEP, Other Agency Permits Included In PAyback Permit Fee Refund Program And Review Deadlines

On December 19, in response to a Right To Know Request, the Governor’s Office released the list of state permits, licenses and authorizations covered by the Shapiro Administration’s PAyback Permit Fee Refund Program.

* DEP Invites Comments, Sets Feb. 8 Hearing On RACT 3 Air Quality Permit For Magnesita Refractories Facility In York County

The Department of Environmental Protection is inviting comments and has set a February 8 hearing on a proposed RACT 3 Air Quality Permit for the Magnesita Refractories Co. facility in West Manchester Township, York County.  (Dec. 23 PA Bulletin, page 7967)

* Dept. Of Agriculture Protects Another 2,553 Acres Of Farmland; 13,663 Acres Protected In 2023

On December 22, the Department of Agriculture announced it had preserved another 2,553 acres on 30 farms in 21 counties, forever protecting them from residential or commercial development.

* Western PA Conservancy Protects 460 Acres In McKean County To Create New Nature Reserve

On December 18, the Western PA Conservancy announced the permanent protection of 460 forested acres in Keating Township, McKean County.

* ClearWater Conservancy Protects 35 Acre Ecological Gem In Little Sugar Valley Centre County

On November 20, ClearWater Conservancy finalized an agreement to permanently conserve a 35.46-acre property in the Roaring Run Watershed in Madisonburg, Centre County.

* Feature: Meet Your New Year’s Resolution On The Susquehanna Greenway

By Susquehanna Greenway Partnership

* Dec. 22 Take Five Fridays With Pam, PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The December 22 Take Five Fridays With Pam is now available from the PA Parks & Forests Foundation featuring articles on--

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Invites Comments On Cooperative Fish Nursery General Permit; Hearing Set For Feb. 1

On December 19, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission invited comments on a proposed general permit covering cooperative fish nurseries (GP-03).

* Help Wanted: ClearWater Conservancy - Communications Director

The Centre County-based ClearWater Conservancy is seeking qualified candidates to fill the position of Communications Director.

* Help Wanted: Allegheny Land Trust - Field Coordinator

The Allegheny County-based Allegheny Land Trust is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Field Coordinator.

* Environment & Energy Educational Opportunities For Students & Adults

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

* 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 December 23 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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