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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
October 23, 2006
PDF Version - PA Environment Digest 10/23/06
* EQB Adopts Final Rule to Reduce Mercury Emissions, DEP Rejects Compromise
The Environmental Quality Board this week voted 17 to 3 to approve a final rule on reducing mercury emissions from power plants that a labor and business coalition says will impose $1.7 billion in extra costs on electric customers and generators for no added environmental or health benefits.
* On the Agenda
Action is scheduled on several environmental bills next week. Here’s the rundown…
* Senate/House Bills Moving/Bills Introduced
Bills extending the recycling fee, setting uniform environmental covenants on brownfield sites, putting mine families first during mine emergencies and others moved in the Senate and House this week. Two moved to the Governor’s desk. Here’s the rundown…
* Senate Hearing on Hazardous Sites Cleanup Financing Hears Few Funding Solutions
At a hearing by the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee this week, Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen McGinty revived Gov. Rendell’s 2004 plan to impose a new fee on chemicals reported on the federal Toxics Release Inventory as one option on how to fund the state’s Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund.
* House Members Introduce Package of Energy Bills Based on Committee Hearings
As a result of six public hearings on energy issues at the beginning of this year by the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, members of the House introduced a package of bills addressing a variety of energy issues. Here’s the rundown—
* AAA Supports House Action to Give Pennsylvanians Vehicle Choices
AAA supported action taken by the House Transportation Committee this week to give Senate Bill 1025 (Madigan-R-Bradford) a vote by all House members. Senate Bill 1025, a bipartisan effort, allows lawmakers adequate time to evaluate the cost and benefits of unique California vehicle emission standards.
* Video Blog - Sen. Wenger Talks About Farm Conservation Needs and REAP Proposal
Sen. Noah Wenger (R-Lancaster/Chester), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, talks about legislation he sponsored to provide tax credits to farmers who install best management practices to reduce nutrient and sediment going into our rivers and streams.
* Video Blog - Environmental Issues Forum Features Environmental Training Center
The Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee’s October Environmental Issues Forum on October 16 featured a presentation by Alison Shuler, co-director of the Environmental Training Center and Small Public Water Systems Technology Assistance Center and Brenda Firestone, Senior Project Associate, at Penn State’s Middletown campus.
* PUC OKs Penn Power Plan to Lift Rate Caps, 20-33 Percent Increase Results
The Public Utility Commission this week certified that the process used to determine the provider of last resort (POLR) prices for Pennsylvania Power Co. (Penn Power) customers was transparent and non-discriminatory, and reflected market-based prices.
* Awards Presented by Northeast Environmental Partners, PA Environmental Council
The Northeast Pennsylvania Environmental Partners annual Environmental Awards dinner this week attracted over 300 people to recognize eight award winners, including Edie Stevens, winner of the Thomas P. Shelburne Environmental Leadership Award.
* Westmoreland Banquet Recognizes Award Winners, Locally Produced Foods
The public is invited to taste the difference “local” makes in the quality of a meal at a special November 17 banquet hosted by the Westmoreland Conservation District. In addition to good fund, the program will include the recognition of the District’s 2006 Conservation Award winners.
* Four PA Companies Receive Waste Minimization Awards From EPA
Four Pennsylvania companies were included in sixty-one organizations given WasteWise Awards by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week as part of the National Partnership for Environmental Priorities Program.
* DEP Announces Grants to Help Small Businesses Enhance Energy Efficiency
The Department of Environmental Protection this week awarded 39 grants totaling $224,318 to help small businesses enhance energy efficiency and promote pollution prevention.
* Water Resources Education Network Seeking Grant Applications
The Water Resources Education Network is soliciting proposals for its next round of Water Resources Education Grants. Applications are due April 2, 2007.
* Floodplain Restoration, Legacy Sediments Workshop Set for October 26
The Brandywine and Red Clay Valley Associations are sponsoring a workshop, “Legacy Sediments: The Next Frontier in Stormwater Management” on October 26 at the Holiday Inn in West Chester.
* Environmental Permitting Workshops Set by Professional Engineers
The Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers has scheduled three workshops in November on water permitting in Monroeville, Camp Hill and Fort Washington.
* Cooking Grease to Fuel Buses at Wissahickon Charter School
By the time school ends next June, students at Philadelphia’s Wissahickon Charter School are hoping that their school buses will be running on the vegetable oil-based biodiesel fuel they will be manufacturing this year.
* DCNR Commits $1.2 Million to Lackawanna Land Protection
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources this week announced the commitment of $1.2 million in state funds to help acquire about 5,000 more acres of prime watershed and forestland in Lackawanna County.
* PA CleanWays Hosts Dump Cleanup in Dauphin County November 4
PA CleanWays is seeking volunteers to help remove an illegal dumpsite located near the Capital Area Greenbelt at South 29th Street & Park Terrace, Dauphin County on November 4.
* DEP Names Tom Callaghan New Manager for Pottsville District Mining Office
DEP Secretary Kathleen McGinty this week announced the appointment of Tom Callaghan as the new District Mining Manager in the Pottsville District Mining Office.
* Third Young Peregrine Falcon from Rachel Carson Building Dies
The third of five young peregrine falcons that hatched this spring from the nest on the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg has been found dead at Dulles International Airport near Washington, DC. The apparent cause of death was contact with an aircraft.
* Feature - Ospreys Call Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Home for the Next Few Weeks
By Patrick McShea, Division of Education at Carnegie Museum of Natural History
* 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 Department of Community and Economic Development published proposed changes to regulations covering the Community Revitalization Program and the Public Utility Commission published a correction to its order implementing the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act.
* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Public Utility Commission formally published its order investigating conservation and energy efficiency activities.
* 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 .
* Supporting Member PA Outdoor Writers Association
PA Environment Digest is a supporting member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association.

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