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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
January 16, 2006
PDF Version - PA Environment Digest 1/16/06
* Chase the Winter Blaas, Learn About Native Plants, Look for a New Job, And More
What better way to spend a cold January day than to curl up with your favorite computer and learn how you could use native plants in your garden or yard. This week’s Digest is filled with these and other great stories.
* California Car Emissions Standards Subject of House Committee Hearing
The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee will hold a hearing February 8 on House Bill 2141 (Geist-R-Blair) that would prohibit Pennsylvania from adopting California vehicle emission standards.
* Zug Honored for Work on Chesapeake Bay Education Issues
This week the Chesapeake Bay Foundation honored Rep. Peter Zug (R-Lebanon) at an annual luncheon for Lebanon County teachers held in Myerstown.
* House Committee Meeting Helps Clarify Global Warming Issues
House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee chairman Rep. Bill Adolph (R-Delaware) said this week’s informational hearing on the effects of greenhouse gas emissions and global warming was important in answering questions.
* Change in Senate, House Budget Hearing Schedule
There’s been a slight change to the budget hearing schedule. The Senate hearing on the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is now March 2 at 10:30. Here’s a revised list—
* Enzi Will Expedite Confirmation Hearing for Head of Federal Mine Safety Agency
U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, this week announced a January 31 hearing on the confirmation of former Pennsylvania Deep Mine Safety Director Richard Stickler as head of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.
* Farmland Preservation Funds, Alternative Fuels Promoted at Farm Show
At the state Farm Show this week, Gov. Rendell announced the availability of an additional $100 million for farmland preservation, $65 million of which is from Growing Greener II funds, and promoted initiatives to produce energy from farm products.
* State Treasurer Funds Low-Rate Loans For Homeowner Energy Savings
A new statewide initiative to promote energy conservation and reduce home heating bills was unveiled this week by State Treasurer Robert P. Casey, Jr. that would invest $20 million in the Keystone Home Energy Loan Program.
* Workshops Help Homeowners Learn to Save Energy, Save Money in Northwest
The Department of Environmental Protection will hold two workshops in Meadville, Crawford County, to help homeowners learn about ways to conserve energy and save money this winter.
* PA Issues Record Number of Oil, Gas Well Permits in 2005
The Department of Environmental Protection announced this week it issued nearly one-third more oil and gas drilling permits during 2005 than the year before.
* $8.5 Million for Clean Energy Projects Announced
The Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority this week approved financial assistance for 25 projects totaling $8.5 million that will leverage an additional $144 million in private investment.
* $116,000 in Energy Efficiency, Pollution Reduction Grants for Small Business
The Department of Environmental Protection this week announced the award of 19 grants totaling nearly $116,000 to help small business increase their energy efficiency and reduce pollution through the Small Business Advantage Grants Program.
* January 19 Forum: Water Trading – Reducing Costs and Pollution
The January 19 Rachel Carson Forum on the Future of the Environment will examine the potential of pollution trading programs to make improvements in water quality at lower costs.
* Master Well Owner Network Sets Training Session for March 11
Penn State’s Master Well Owner Network will hold another in its series of training programs on March 11 in Lewisburg, Union County.
* Pennsylvania Rural Water Association 2006 Annual Conference March 21-24
The Pennsylvania Rural Water Association will hold its 2006 annual conference on March 21-24 at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center, State College. PRWA is also still accepting nominations from members for its awards program.
* Philadelphia Urban Sustainability Forum January 19
The Academy of Natural Sciences is hosting an Urban Sustainability Forum in Philadelphia on January 19 that will focus on the issues of high energy costs, traffic congestion, fractured communities, pollution and sprawl in and around Philadelphia.
* PA Environmental Professionals Annual Conference May 17-19
Mark your calendars! The Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Professionals will hold their annual conference on May 17-19 in State College and the theme this year is “Career Development for Pennsylvania’s Environmental Professionals.”
* Trout Unlimited Youth Fishing Camp Applications Due March 15
Applications for the 12th annual Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp being held June 18 –23, 2006 at the Allenberry Resort in Boiling Springs, Cumberland County are due March 15.
* Free EPA Software Tool Helps Schools Protect Kids' Learning Environment
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week announced the release of a new tool – HealthySEAT -- to help schools identify and prevent health, safety and environmental problems before they arise, building on the agency's voluntary school indoor air quality program.
* New Director of State Environmental Education Center Named
Kathleen Cowles Paul was named the Director of the Pennsylvania Center for Environmental Education at Slippery Rock University.
* March 3 Deadline for Next Round of Watershed Restoration Grant Applications
Just a reminder, the deadline for the next round of Growing Greener Watershed Restoration Grants from the Department of Environmental Protection is March 3.
* International Panel Concludes U.S. Has Improved Environmental Performance
The United States has significantly improved its environmental performance in the last eight years even as its economy and population have grown substantially, according to a report from the Environmental Performance Review Program of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's .
* McDonnell Named DEP Policy Director, John Dernbach Returns to Weidner
DEP Secretary Kathleen McGinty this week announced the appointment of Patrick McDonnell as Director of DEP’s Policy Office. McDonnell replaces John Dernbach who has returned to Widener University School of Law to continue his tenured professorship.
* Candidates for Boating Seat on Fish & Boat Commission Sought
The Governor’s Advisory Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation this week announced it is looking for a qualified candidate to serve as the at-large boating commissioner on the board of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
* Help Wanted – Four Organizations Looking for Good People to Fill Positions
The Three Rivers Ecological Research Center, PA Resources Council, PA Environmental Council and the PA Institute for Conservation Education are all looking for good people to fill challenging positions.
* Feature - Interest in Native Plants Growing for Nurseries Like Octoraro
by Jon M. Casey, Country Folks Grower Newspaper
* 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
No new regulations published this week. See Technical Guidance & Permits for other changes.
* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Department of Agriculture published an interim policy on the enforcement of the Commercial Manure Hauler and Broker requirements. The Department of Environmental Protection also published guidance changes in drinking water, x-ray machine and permit coordination programs as well as revised Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation General Permit requirements and changes to the list of certified radon testing and remediation firms (PaB page 231).
* Calendar of Events
Upcoming conferences, meetings, workshops, plus links to other online calendars. Meetings are in Harrisburg unless otherwise noted. 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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