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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
May 1, 2006
(4/28/2006)
PDF Version - PA Environment Digest 5/1/06
* Senate/House Unanimously Adopt Watershed Awareness Month Resolutions
Senate Resolution 291 sponsored by Sen. Rhoades (R-Schuylkill), Sen. Musto (D-Luzerne), Sen. Mary Jo White (R-Venango) and 30 other Senators and House Resolution 711 sponsored by Rep. Adolph (R-Delaware) and Rep. George (D-Clearfield) and 87 other members passed both the Senate and House unanimously this week.
* On the Senate, House Agenda/Bills Moving
Here’s the rundown of what’s on the calendars and in committees—
* Bills Introduced
A number of environmental bills and resolutions were introduced this week. Here's a rundown...
* House Committee Reports Bill Increasing Water Pollution Penalties
The House Environmental Resources & Energy Committee met this week and reported out these bills:
* Deer Management Meetings Shed Light on Growing Problem
Rep. Art Hershey (R-Chester), chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, recently held two informational meetings on deer management in order to bring greater awareness to this growing problem.
* Senate Committee Sets 2nd Day of Hearings on Cutting Mercury Emissions
On May 2 the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee holds the second of two days of hearings on cutting mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants in Pennsylvania.
* State Water Planning Subject of House Environmental Committee Meeting
The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee will hold an informational meeting May 2 on the status of State Water Resources Planning.
* Environmental Funding News: State Runs $588 Million Surplus Through April
The Department of Revenue reported with April’s tax collections, revenue is running $588 million more than estimates at this point in the fiscal year, however, they pointed out $364 million are already included in the Governor’s proposed budget.
* Environmental Synopsis Features New Uses for Coal Waste to Reclaim Mines
The April issue of the Environmental Synopsis published by the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee is now online.
* United Mine Workers Support Legislation Reducing Mercury Emissions by 86%
International President of the United Mine Workers of America Cecil E. Roberts wrote to Gov. Rendell last Friday expressing his support for state legislation reducing mercury emissions from power plants, and in opposition to a mercury rule proposed by the Department of Environmental Protection.
* Rendell Asks EPA to Waive Clean Gasoline Requirements for Southeast
Prompted by gasoline supply shortages in the five-county Philadelphia area (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties), Gov. Rendell this week requested that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issue a temporary waiver that would allow gasoline suppliers to sell fuel that does not meet federal Clean Air Act reformulated gasoline guidelines.
* Additional Ozone Pollution Control Measures Subject of DEP Public Meetings
The Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled three public meetings to discuss regional ozone pollution control measures now under consideration by the Ozone Transport Commission for adoption.
* New Report Outlines Needs, Funding Shortfalls In 2007 Federal Farm Bill
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and its partners this week released "Voices of Agriculture," a new report that identifies the alarming state and federal funding shortfalls for Pennsylvania farmers, and summarizes the comments of a cross-section of the agricultural community on the potential solutions.
* USDA, Sen. Santorum Honor Pennsylvania’s No-Till Farming Efforts
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns and U.S. Senator Rick Santorum visited Hershey farm in Elizabethtown this week to honor the cooperative efforts of the Pennsylvania no-till partnership to conserve natural resources by increasing the use of no-till systems.
* Applications Now Being Accepted for Innovative Water, Wastewater Projects
The Department of Environmental Protection announced this week it is accepting applications for its innovative water and wastewater project program through June 30.
* DEP Adds Two More Public Meetings on Tributary Strategy
The Department of Environmental Protection will hold two additional meetings to discuss and obtain feedback on implementation issues related to the Chesapeake Bay Tributary Strategy, as well as the related permitting procedures.
* Public Meetings Set on Revised Stormwater Practices Manual
The Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled four public meetings to gather comments on a revised Stormwater Management Practices Manual.
* Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Named DCNR’s Rivers of the Year
Pittsburgh’s three rivers – the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio – have been named the Commonwealth’s “2006 Rivers of the Year” by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources because of their role in spurring economic growth, shaping the city’s urban renewal, and providing more water-based recreation.
* 5 Rivers and Streams Placed on PA Rivers Conservation Registry
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources this week announced the addition of five rivers and streams on the Pennsylvania Rivers Conservation Registry. They include:
* West Branch Susquehanna Task Force Announces Coalition
The West Branch Susquehanna Task Force, organized through the efforts of groups like DEP, DCNR, Trout Unlimited, PA Fish and Boat Commission, Susquehanna River Basin Commission, and many more, has announced the formation of the West Branch Susquehanna Restoration Coalition.
* Clarion River Cleanup Planned for May 6, 13 to Cover 51 Miles
Don’t think people care about their watersheds, or in this case, their river? Just read this passionate announcement of the ambitious cleanup of more than 51 miles along the Clarion River.
* New Lancaster County Watershed Website Now Online
After several months of planning the new Lancaster County Watershed website is now up and running!
* DCNR Acts to Protect 1,800 Acre Birdsboro Reservoir from Development
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has partnered with the Natural Lands Trust to permanently protect Birdsboro Reservoir - a 1,800-acre, forested track in Berks County - from development.
* Workshop in Dauphin County to Help Business Owners Cut Energy Costs
The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a half-day workshop in Dauphin County on May 2 to help owners of small and medium-sized businesses reduce energy costs and increase profits.
* Model Ordinance, Wind Conference Scholarships to Help Local Governments
The Department of Environmental Protection this week unveiled a model ordinance that will help Pennsylvania’s local governments decide how to direct the location and development of wind turbines within municipal borders.
* Sustainable Energy Fund Launches College-Level Solar Energy Education Initiative
The Sustainable Energy Fund of Central-Eastern Pennsylvania has partnered with six Pennsylvania colleges and universities to launch Solar Scholars-– an innovative solar-energy education program for university-level students that aims to cultivate the “solar energy leaders, policy-makers and entrepreneurs of tomorrow.”
* Shades of Green Leadership Award Winners Selected
The Shades of Green Leadership Awards, presented by the Green Building Alliance, were awarded recently to highlight the efforts of distinctive persons in Western Pennsylvania who have contributed to the region’s environmental transformation through green leadership within the built environment.
* See & Hear - Green Communities Offers Online Seminar at No Cost May 18
Green Communities is hosting an online seminar on Greening Single-Family Home Rehabilitation on May 18 at 2:00 p.m.
* Seven School Districts Receive Grants to Promote Green Building Construction
School districts in Allegheny, Montgomery, Perry, Philadelphia, Westmoreland, Erie and Delaware counties will be able to plan cost-efficient and environmentally friendly school construction projects with the help of state grants totaling $200,000.
* Coca-Coke Bottler in Allentown Added to EPA Environmental Performance Track
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week added 37 facilities to its National Environmental Performance Track program, including the Coca-Cola North American Lehigh Valley Plant in Allentown.
* 2006 Phoenix Award Applications Now Being Accepted for Brownfield Projects
The Phoenix Award Executive Committee is seeking redevelopment projects to recognize for excellence in brownfield redevelopment.
* Americans Recycling 28.5 Percent of Their Trash, But Still Throw Most Away
BioCycle magazine’s 15th Nationwide Survey, the “State of Garbage In America,” reports that Americans recycled 28.5 percent of their waste, or 110.4 million tons.
* Steel Recycling in the U.S. Continues its Record Pace in 2005
The Steel Recycling Institute announced this week that the recycling rate for the world's and America's most recycled material -- steel -- increased to 75.7 percent in the United States in 2005.
* Lichvar and Anderson Confirmed for Fish & Boat Commission
Len Lichvar of Boswell in Somerset County and Donald Anderson, another resident of Somerset County, were both confirmed as members of the Fish and Boat Commission Board this week.
* Help Wanted- Watershed Coordinator
The Western Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation is looking for a full-time Watershed Coordinator.
* See & Hear - Students, Businesses, Homeowners, Learn About Energy Efficiency
Students, businesses, homeowners show you how you can save energy in some very basic and imaginative ways in the Energy Efficiency episode of GreenWorks for Pennsylvania.
* 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 proposed Nonattainment New Source Review regulation for comments. Comments are due: June 28.
* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Department of Environmental Protection published its final Water Quality Toxics Management Strategy. The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency published a statement of policy governing the distribution of grants under the Volunteer Fire Company and Ambulance Service Grant Program.
* 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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