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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
April 10, 2006
(4/7/2006)
PDF Version - PA Environment Digest 4/10/06
* House Passes Its Own Version of the Budget
The House this week officially started the state budgeting process by passing House Bill 2499, a version of the budget proposed by House Republicans, after considering some 207 amendments in a marathon session.
* On the Senate, House Agenda/Bills Moving
Here’s the rundown of what’s on the calendars and in committees—
* Bills Introduced
Here's a sampling of new environmental bills and resolutions introduced this week.
* Committee Hears Comments on MTBE, Service Station Dealers Support MTBE Ban
The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee heard comments supporting and opposed to a ban on MTBE in gasoline at a hearing this week and, separately, service station dealers and petroleum distributors in Pennsylvania came out in support of a ban on MTBE for the first time.
* Too Many Deer Cause Over $314 Million in Damage Annually Committee Told
Agriculture, forest, nursery and Audubon PA testified before the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee this week that over-browsing by too many deer causes over $314 million in damages and significant habitat loss in Pennsylvania’s forests.
* PA CleanWays Outlines Accomplishments, Future Plans to Joint Committee
PA CleanWays has organized nearly 29,000 volunteers to cleanup 547 illegal dumps, conduct 1,226 litter cleanups and remove over 7,360 tons of trash from the state’s roads, trails, waterways, State Parks and Forests and educated over 221,600 children about littering and dumping over the last 15 years. But, there’s more work to be done.
* Surface Water Supplies in Many Counties at Drought Emergency Levels
Water levels, especially in rivers and streams, in Pennsylvania are at or approaching drought emergency levels in many parts of the state and groundwater levels have been declining.
* Coldwater Heritage Partnership Announces 2006 Grant Awards
The Coldwater Heritage Partnership announced that over $35,000 in grants have been awarded to local organizations to protect and conserve Pennsylvania’s coldwater stream habitats.
* Conowingo Reservoir Operations Plan Released for Public Comment
The Susquehanna River Basin Commission this week released a draft plan on the management of the Conowingo Pond in the lower Susquehanna River for public review.
* DEP Schedules Two Public Sessions on Chesapeake Bay Tributary Strategy
The Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled two public meetings to discuss the Chesapeake Bay Tributary Strategy in Williamsport and Harrisburg.
* Eastern Abandoned Mine Coalition Workshop on Culm Banks, Abandoned Mines
Municipal officials are invited to a free workshop April 19 in Wilkes-Barre on using GIS maps to help plan and target the clean up of abandoned mines and to restore watersheds.
* Counties Can Share Litter Fines with PennDOT Under Little-Used Program
Counties with PennDOT-approved litter control programs can share in littering fines imposed by the state under a little-used program created in 1990.
* Heat & Steam System Workshops to Help Businesses Reduce Energy Costs
Industrial and commercial businesses and institutions searching for ways to reduce energy costs can attend two U.S. Department of Energy workshops planned for western Pennsylvania during mid-April.
* Apply Now for Wind Turbines for Local Governments, Schools, Authorities
Municipalities, authorities and school districts can now apply to participate in the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority’s Small-Scale Community Wind Project.
* PUC OKs Program to Help Pike County Cope With 129% Electric Cost Increase
Because a growing number of Pike County Light & Power consumers are seeking help with their bills, the Public Utility Commission this week reinstated the Pike County Light & Power's Low Income Pilot Program.
* Public Supports Energy Assistance Program, $100 Million Balance Remains
About $100 million of the $218 million in state and federal funds for the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program remains unused this heating season due in part to the milder than expected winter weather.
* Dirt and Gravel Road Center Receives Grant To Prove Tire Recycling Concept
Penn State's Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies received a $696,685 grant from the Department of Environmental Protection to use waste tires to improve dirt roads that are causing silting of local waterways.
* PA Celebrates Earth Day and National Environmental Education Week
The Pennsylvania Center for Environmental Education has put together special webpages and resources to help students, teachers and everyone celebrate Earth Day (April 22) and Environmental Education Week (April 16-22).
* April Issue of PCEE Connections Newsletter Now Available
The EE Connections newsletter published by the Pennsylvania Center for Environmental Education is now available online.
* See & Hear - A Falcon First -- Five Eggs! In the Harrisburg Nest
The female Peregrine falcon nesting on the ledge of the Rachel Carson Building in Harrisburg has laid five eggs this spring -- a first for this particular female.
* Opinion - Green Buildings Need Green Light
By Patrick Starr, Pennsylvania Environmental Council, and Jill Kowalski, Delaware Valley Green Building Council
* Feature - Got Hummingbirds?
by Joe Kosack, Wildlife Conservation Education Specialist, Pennsylvania Game Commission
* 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.
* Watershed Awareness Month Activities
This special Calendar section is devoted to activities going on in and around Watershed Awareness Month in May. If you have events to add, send them to: DHess@crisciassociates.com.
* Regulations
The Department of Environmental Protection published a notice correcting the list of stream classification published in 2001.
* Technical Guidance & Permits
No new guidance documents published this week.
* 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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