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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
January 8, 2007
(1/5/2007)
PDF Version - PA Environment Digest 1/8/07
* Senate, House Elect Leadership, Still Must Name Committee Chairs, Members
The Senate unanimously elected Sen. Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) as President Pro Tempore and the House, with considerably more political theater, elected Philadelphia Republican Dennis O’Brien Speaker, the candidate of the House Democrats who hold a majority in that body.
* Video Blog - Volunteers Mitigate Acid Rain Impacts on Wiconisco Creek
Walt Finch, president of the Wiconisco Creek Restoration Association, takes visitors on a tour of one of the six Rattling Creek limestone sand dosing sites that helps restore damage to the stream from acid rain.
* Senators White, Musto Work on Environmental Reform Legislation
Senators Mary Jo White (R-Venango) and Ray Musto (D-Luzerne), Majority and Minority Chairs of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, are working on a series of proposed environmental reform bills for the new session. Here are several of the measures they plan to introduce—
* Meetings Planned on How to Best Use Increased Federal Abandoned Mine Funding
U.S. Senator Arlen Specter, PA Congressmen John Peterson and Tim Murphy, John Dawes head of the Pennsylvania AML Coalition, Department of Environmental Protection Deputy Secretary for Mineral Resources Management J. Scott Roberts met at an abandoned mine site near the Pittsburgh Airport in Bridgeville, Allegheny County, to mark passage of a 15 year extension to the federal Abandoned Mine Lands Trust Fund that will deliver over $1 billion to Pennsylvania for abandoned mine reclamation.
* Farmers May Apply Now for Environmental Quality Incentive Program Grants
The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service is now taking applications for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Applications are due February 2.
* Get a Fishing Education Program Started in Your School Through “Physh Ed”
The Future Fisherman Foundation, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education and the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation are partnering to sponsor the Physical Education - "Physh Ed" – Grants Initiative.
* Global ReLeaf 2007 Tree Planting Grants Available
Global ReLeaf, a program of American Forests is offering annual grants towards tree planting projects. Applications are due January 15 and July 1.
* Reminder: Water Resources Education Network Grant Applications Due April 2
The Water Resources Education Network is soliciting proposals for its next round of Water Resources Education Grants. Applications are due April 2.
* Delaware Estuary Experts to Converge on Conference and Summit
On January 22-24, several hundred scientists, resource managers and environmentalists from throughout the tri-state region will descend upon Cape May, N.J., to convene at the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary’s second-ever Delaware Estuary Science Conference.
* DEP Invites Comments on TMDL for Crawford County Watershed
The Department of Environmental Protection this week invited comments on a proposed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for Coon Run Watershed in Crawford County.
* Workshop on Fish Health in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed January 23-25
A regional Fish Health Workshop will be held in Shepherdstown, WV from January 23-25 with an objective to synthesize what is known about fish health and disease in the Chesapeake Bay watershed including a summary of prevalence and affected species.
* PA Section Amercian Water Works Assn. Announces 2007 Training Schedule
The PA Section of the American Water Works Association this week announced their 2007 training schedule.
* Is Your Flood Insurance Up-to-Date?
Floods and flash floods can happy anytime of year and almost anywhere. If you’re in areas that could be flooded, make sure your flood insurance is up-to-date.
* Bowman’s Hill Preserve Hosts Ecological Landscaping Symposium
The Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve presents its 7th Annual Land Ethics Symposium: Creative Approaches for Ecological Landscaping on February 15.
* DCNR Solicits PA Heritage Areas Grant Applications
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced this week it is accepting applications for the Pennsylvania Heritage Area Program.
* The Nature Conservancy Commits $3.5 Million To Protect Land in PA
Pennsylvania’s diverse wildlife has nearly 500 additional acres forever protected across the state thanks to local conservationists and a $3.5 million commitment from The Nature Conservancy in Pennsylvania.
* DCNR Issues 2006 Accomplishments Report
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources issued a 2006 accomplishments report in the latest issue of its Resource online newsletter.
* PennDOT Anti-Litter Program Earns National Acclaim
The PA Department of Transportation announced this week it has won a Keep America Beautiful Award, presented by the U.S. Department of Transportation, for its success in highway beautification.
* Do the “ROT” Thing, Chester County Offers Free Master Composting Classes
The Chester County Board of Commissioners, through the Chester County Solid Waste Authority, is offering free Certified Master Composting Classes at three convenient locations.
* Pittsburgh's Convention Center Releases 2006 Green Practices Report Card
Pittsburgh's David L. Lawrence Convention Center, the world's largest certified green building and the first of its kind in the world, released highlights of the facility's 2006 green practices in a special report card.
* 2006 High Performance Green Schools Planning Grants Program Opens
The Governor’s Green Government Council announce the continuation of the High Performance Green Schools Planning Grants Program for FY 2006-07.
* 800 Pound Butter Sculpture at Farm Show to be Converted to Biodiesel
The 800 pound butter sculpture depicting both Benjamin Franklin and America’s Liberty Bell displayed at the Pennsylvania Farm Show next week will be recycled by Philadelphia-based Fry-o-Diesel, LLC, into cleaner-burning biodiesel.
* IRS Increases Employers, Employee Commuter Benefit Tax Incentives
The IRS has increased the amount employers and employees can set aside in qualified, tax-free transportation fringe benefit plans to $1,320 for 2007, Commuter Services of South Central Pennsylvania reported this week.
* Intern Wanted: PHMC Seeking Environmental History Summer Intern
The State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Professionals, is offering a full time, paid internship for Summer 2007 in the field of Environmental History.
* Video Blog Feature - Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Offers Unique Experience for Birdwatchers, Hikers
As the world's first refuge for birds of prey, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Kempton, Berks County that started during the Great Depression with an amateur ornithologist by the name of Richard Pough, offers a dramatic and compelling experience for birdwatchers, hikers and nature lovers.
* 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 a final rule changing the stream designations for Newtown Creek and other streams. The EQB meets January 17 to consider proposed regulations on streamlining the air quality permitting requirements and considering a petition restricting the idling o diesel-powered vehicles.
* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Public Utility Commission published its final policy statement on implementing the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published notice of its reorganization. The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of its intent to reissue the General Permit for Stripper Well Discharges (PA Bulletin Page 70).
* Calendar of Upcoming Events

* 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 .
* Supporting Member PA Outdoor Writers Association
PA Environment Digest is a supporting member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association.

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