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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
December 26, 2005
PDF Version - PA Environment Digest 12/26/05
* Celebrate the Holiday, Your Family and Your Successes in 2005!
As you take time to celebrate this holiday season, we at PA Environment Digest are no different. This week and next we put together a list of the major environmental accomplishments for 2005, along with a special collection of stories showing how individuals, farmers, businesses, watershed groups, public agencies and nonprofits took positive action to improve their habitat in 2005.
* Second 2006 Improve Your Habitat Calendar
The PA Environment Digest is pleased to present the second of two new “2006 Improve Your Habitat” calendars for you to print out and use all year long.
* House-Passed Property Tax Relief Plan Includes Tax on Consulting Services
The property tax relief plan approved by the House this week includes a personal income tax hike and adds 18 categories of goods and services not previously taxed to the sales tax, including management, consulting and public relations services.
* More Utilities Answer Call to Help Pennsylvanians Stay Warm
Gov. Rendell this week announced that a dozen utilities took additional steps to help vulnerable customers stay safe and warm this winter, including a commitment of $12 million in new funds to help pay bills for low-income customers.
* Energy Efficiency, Pollution Reduction Grants Help Small Businesses
The Department of Environmental Protection this week awarded 45 grants totaling $275,000 to help small businesses cut costs, save energy and reduce pollution under the Small Business Advantage Program.
* Steam Workshop Will Help Reduce Energy Costs for Manufacturers
A Department of Energy steam system specialist-qualification workshop is scheduled for January 24-26 at its Center Valley Pennsylvania training complex in Lehigh County.
* Green Building Workshops for Interiors, Existing Buildings Set for January
The U.S. Green Building Council is sponsoring workshops on January 18 in Philadelphia on interiors (along with the Delaware Valley Green Building Council) and January 26 for existing buildings in Rockville, MD.
* BP, Johnson & Johnson, Others Named Low Carbon Leaders By The Climate Group
The Climate Group recognized BP as one of ten Low Carbon Leaders of the Decade and Johnson & Johnson as having the largest single percentage reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over the last year in a recent ceremony.
* DEP Accepting Applications for Solid Waste – Resource Recovery Dev. Grants
The Department of Environmental Protection is accepting applications through April 6 for Solid Waste and Resource Recovery Development Grants.
* York Foundation Awards Grant for Farm Preservation Work
The York County Community Foundation this week awarded its largest grant ever -- $120,000-- to fund a three-year initiative to educate local officials on the importance of protecting agricultural land and to create an agriculture preservation program for municipalities.
* Goodwill Industries Receives $200,000 Brownfields Job Training Grant
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week announced the selection of Goodwill Industries of Conemaugh Valley Inc. to receive a $200,000 brownfields job training grant. Goodwill Industries will train 40 people, providing skills for them to gain employment in the clean up and redevelopment of brownfields.
* Projects Funded to Study Rare, Declining Species and Their Habitats
Using more than $880,000 from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s State Wildlife Grants Program, the PA Fish and Boat Commission is engaging in projects to study and manage rare or declining species and their habitats.
* National Fish & Wildlife Foundation Awards $650,000 to Restore Delaware Estuary
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced the award of $650,000 in grants to 29 local nonprofit organizations and governments to fund conservation projects under the Delaware Estuary Grants Program.
* New Publication on Mid-Atlantic Vernal Ponds Available from MAIA
The Mid-Atlantic Integrated Assessment partnership issued a new publication—An Introduction to Mid-Atlantic Seasonal Pools this week it hopes will promote a better understanding of vernal pools.
* Play It Safe On Or Around Ice This Winter
With this week’s “official” start of winter, the Fish and Boat Commission issued some common sense safety tips for those on or around ice.
* DEP Publishes Notice of 2006 Board and Advisory Committee Meetings
The Department of Environmental Protection published its annual schedule of board and advisory committee meetings for 2006.
* Feature - Legislative & Program Milestones in 2005
Passage of the $625 million environmental bond issue by over 60 percent of voters and the accompanying implementing legislation by the General Assembly reallocating existing environmental funding were clearly the major legislative highlight of 2005.
* Quick Clips
Here’s a selection of NewsClips on environmental topics from around the state.
* Watershed NewsClips
Read a sampling of NewsClips on watershed topics from around Pennsylvania.
* Regulations
The Environmental Quality Board this week approved proposed regulations for comment on New Source Review of air pollution sources and the Storage Tank Program. The Public Utility Commission published formal notice of their proposed policy statement implementing the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards. Comments are due January 23.
* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Department of Environmental Protection published final guidance on sinking shafts and slopes for underground mines.
* Calendar of Events
Upcoming conferences, meetings, workshops, plus links to other online calendars. Go To: PA Environment Digest Calendar Page
* Stories Invited
Send your stories about environmental issues, programs and positive actions to PA Environment Digest - or go to .

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