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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
January 30, 2006
(1/27/2006)
PDF Version - PA Environment Digest 1/30/06
* Major Climate Forecast Due Next Week in Pennsylvania
On February 2, a major climate forecast will be released for Pennsylvania from that well known climate center in… Punxsutawney.
* On the Senate, House Agenda
The Senate and House Environmental Resources and Energy Committees have a hearing and a meeting set for January 31 and there are several environmental bills on the Senate and House calendars. Here’s the rundown…
* Senate/House Bills Moving
Bills on open space preservation, adopting a state clean car program and a resolution urging Congress to reauthorize federal funding for abandoned mine reclamation were just some of the highlights of legislative activity this week. Here’s a rundown.
* Senate Committee OKs EHB’s Krancer, Trib Strategy and AML Resolutions
Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee recommended approval of the re-appointment of Michael L. Krancer to the Environmental Hearing Board and reported out resolutions dealing with the Chesapeake Bay Tributary Strategy and federal mine reclamation funding.
* House Hears About Energy Efficiency, Research, Alternative Fuels
Promoting energy efficiency is the quickest, cleanest way to stretch our existing energy resources, the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee was told this week, but it often gets lost in the mix of promoting renewable and clean energy generation technology.
* Senate Hearing on Deep Mine Safety to Feature Mine Workers, Industry, DEP
The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee will hold a public hearing on January 31 on legislation to modernize Pennsylvania’s 1961 bituminous mine safety law.
* House Committee Considers Alternative Fuels Tax Credit, State Energy Office Bills
The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee will meet on January 31 to consider legislation creating a tax credit for alternative energy enterprises and to establish a State Energy Office.
* January Environmental Synopsis Now Available, Next Forum February 13
The Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee January issue of its Environmental Synopsis newsletter covers radon, hazardous waste cleanup, the benefits of urban greening and much more.
* Richard St. Pierre Receives Ralph W. Abele Conservation Heritage Award
Richard St. Pierre, a fisheries biologist with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service who for the last 23 years has played a key role in efforts to restore American shad to the Susquehanna River basin, has been named the recipient of the Ralph W. Abele Conservation Heritage Award from the Fish and Boat Commission.
* Six PA Communities Recognized for Water Quality Protection Efforts
Sixteen local governments, including six from Pennsylvania, were recognized for their dedication to protecting and restoring local waters and the Chesapeake Bay under the Bay Partner Community Program.
* Borough of Lititz Receives Regional Award for Environmental Performance
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week presented the Borough of Lititz, Lancaster County, with a regional award for excellence in operation and maintenance of its wastewater treatment facility.
* Nominations for 2006 Western Pennsylvania Environmental Awards Due March 17
Nominations for the 2006 Western Pennsylvania Environmental Awards, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council and Dominion, will be accepted through March 17.
* Construction Junction Shows Off Ability to Sell Recycle Building Materials
Construction Junction, Western Pennsylvania’s first nonprofit retail store designed to sell used and surplus building materials, was visited by DEP Secretary Kathleen McGinty this week in Pittsburgh.
* Mercury Collection Efforts Reclaimed 1,451 Pounds Of Mercury in 2005
The Department of Environmental Protection this week announced that its six regional offices collected 1,451 pounds of mercury in 2005 through a variety of collection strategies aimed at reducing the dangers posed by the neurotoxin to people and wildlife.
* EPA Helps Schools and Child Care Facilities Reduce Lead in Drinking Water
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week released a specialized toolkit to encourage school officials and child care facilities to reduce lead in their drinking water.
* Villanova Receives Grant to Study Reducing Pharmaceuticals in the Environment
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the award of a $101,125 pollution prevention grant to Villanova University this week to study what can be done to reduce the presence of pharmaceuticals in the environment.
* New Website Helps Land Conservation Organizations Assess Their Effectiveness
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council is pleased to announce the launch of Sharing Stewardship, a website designed to help land conservation organizations assess the effectiveness of the land protection efforts.
* Game Commission Adds 400+ Acres, Including Important Bird Area
The Pennsylvania Game Commissioners this week approved five proposals that will increase the State Game Lands system by more than 418 acres. They include two land purchase agreements, one donation and two land exchanges.
* POWR Stream Signage Project a Success, Over 4,000 Placed
The Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers completed a three-year project to coordinate the placement of signs at 4088 stream crossings throughout Pennsylvania.
* New Tool for Determining Cause of Ecological Harm to Rivers and Streams
To improve the nation's waters, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week released a new web-based tool, the Causal Analysis/Diagnosis Decision Information System (CADDIS), which simplifies determining the cause of contamination in impaired rivers, streams and estuaries.
* Understanding the 2006 Growing Greener Program Workshop February 3
The York County Conservation District’s Watershed Program is holding a workshop on Understanding the 2006 Growing Greener Program on February 3.
* Water System Security Workshop Set for February 21
The PA Section of the American Water Works Association is offering an important water infrastructure security workshop on February 21 in Mayfield.
* Workshops to Help Municipalities With Sewage System Issues In Northwest
The Department of Environmental Protection this week announced a series of five training workshops in mid-February focusing on sewage facility reporting and planning.
* PUC Designates Registry for Alternative Energy Credit Transactions
The Public Utility Commission this week designated a registry for alternative energy credit transactions and also asked for public comment on additional standards and processes under the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act.
* Green$ense 2006 Green Building Conference Set for April 20-21
Mark your calendars! The 2006 Green$ense Conference, sponsored by the Green Building Alliance in Pittsburgh, is set for April 20 and 21.
* Top 25 Green Power Users Include Five From Pennsylvania
The 2006 Green Power Top 25 list released this week by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency included five organizations in Pennsylvania that are part of EPA’s Green Power Partnership.
* Sony’s Mt. Pleasant Plant Joins Partnership for Environmental Priorities
The Sony Electronics facility in Mt. Pleasant, Westmoreland County, has enrolled in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Partnership for Environmental Priorities making a commitment to voluntarily reduce emissions of 31 priority chemicals.
* Westmoreland “Stay Warm PA” Workshop Set for January 30
More than 300 Westmoreland County nonprofit organizations, whose mission it is to help low-income families and senior citizens, were invited to a “Stay Warm in PA” workshop on January 30 to hear about services available to help with winter heating issues.
* Speaker of House Announces 2006 College Scholarship Program
Speaker of the House John M. Perzel (R-Philadelphia) this week announced applications are now available for the 2006 Pennsylvania House of Representatives' Scholarship Program and the deadline to apply is April 14.
* Feature - No-Till Economics Can Brighten Bottom Line
By Mark Goodson, Penn State Extension Educator, Capital Region
* 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 published final regulations covering environmental laboratory accreditation. (PA Bulletin, page 465) NewsClip: New Lab Regs.
* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Department of Environmental Protection published a proposed General Air Permit for human or animal crematories, a correction to a previous notice on technical guidance and new proposed guidance on resolving erosion and sedimentation and NPDES violations.
* 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 - DHess@crisciassociates.com or go to www.PaEnvironmentDigest.com .

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