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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
February 12, 2007
(2/9/2007)
PDF Version - PA Environment Digest 2/12/07
* Waste Fee Increases for Growing Greener II Debt, Hazardous Sites Funding
Gov. Rendell this week proposed a $27.3 billion budget that included a $2.75 per ton increase in municipal waste disposal fees to pay the debt service for the $625 million Growing Greener II bond issue and to finance the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Program.
* Video Blog - Treasury Dept,, PA Environmental Council Partner on Green Investment Strategy
Brian Hill, President & CEO of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, talks about developing a new Green Investment Strategy for Pennsylvania in partnership with the State Treasurer's Office.
* On the Senate/House Agenda/Bills Introduced
Here are some upcoming activities by Senate and House Committees….
* Senate Will Not Disapprove Mercury Rule, Will Consider Mercury Reduction Bill
Senators Mary Jo White (R-Venango) and Ray Musto (D-Luzerne), Majority and Minority Chairs of the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, sent a letter to the Department of Environmental Protection this week saying the Committee will not be taking action to disapprove the final mercury emission reduction regulation.
* House Committee Told Access to Fishable Waters Critical Issue
Connecting anglers and boaters to the water and families to outdoor activities are critical challenges that must be successfully addressed, said Fish and Boat Commission Executive Director Dr. Douglas Austen in his annual report to the House Game and Fisheries Committee this week.
* Rep. George to Introduce Measure to Increase Nuclear Power Plant Fees
Rep. Camille “Bud” George, Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, this week said he is introducing legislation needed so utilities can pay for enhanced safety and emergency-response programs at Pennsylvania’s five nuclear plants.
* Sen. Brubaker Announces “Building a Vision for Rural Pennsylvania”
Sen. Mike Brubaker (R-Lancaster), chair of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, announced he will be holding a series of listening sessions across the state to help identify priorities for his Committee during the 2007-2008 session.
* President’s 2008 Budget Proposal Worst Ever for States
The President’s February 5 budget proposal for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cuts $474 million from State and Tribal Assistance Grants (STAG) for 2008, the highest one-year reduction in the agency’s history, according to the Environmental Council of the States.
* PUC Chair Tells Committee “Conserve, Conserve, Conserve” Electricity
Wendell F. Holland, chair of the Public Utility Commission, told the Senate Consumer Proetection and Professional Licensure Committee this week that he had one message for the Committee and electric consumers—“conserve, conserve, conserve.”
* PUC Seeks Comments on Strategy to Ease Transition From Electric Rate Caps
The Public Utility Commission this week asked for public comment on proposed regulations and a policy statement that will establish the criteria on how electric generation service is provided to customers who choose to not obtain generation service from an alternate supplier.
* Pennsylvania Helps the Nation Save Energy with 79 Energy Star Buildings
In Pennsylvania, there are 79 ENERGY STAR-qualified buildings represent approximately 10.9 million square feet of space that save an estimated $26.8 million annually in lower energy bills, while meeting industry standards for comfort and indoor air quality.
* Penn State Puts Its Own Green Roof Technology to Work
Long a leader in green-roof research, Penn State this spring will plant vegetation on two large green roofs that were prepared last fall and begin a monitoring program that promises to last for years.
* Green$ense 2007 Speaker to Address Economic Benefits of Green Buildings
The developer of the country's first green, master-planned, mixed-use, arts and residential neighborhood will be the keynote speaker for Green$ense 2007 on March 15 in Pittsburgh.
* Two Deaths in Abandoned Mines in 2006, 29 in Past Six Years
The Department of Environmental Protection this week said two people died while trespassing at mine sites in Pennsylvania last year, despite increased efforts to educate the public about the dangers of mines and quarries.
* Report Recommends Improvements to Susquehanna Flood Warning System
The Susquehanna River Basin Commission this week released a report making recommendations on how to improve the Commission’s Flood Forecast and Warning System.
* Save the Date: May 4-5 All Volunteer Watershed Monitors Summit
The DEP’s Citizens Volunteer Monitoring Program and the Pennsylvania Senior Environment Corps are sponsoring the 4th annual All Volunteer Watershed Monitors Summit on May 4-5 at the Eisenhower Conference Center in Gettysburg.
* Nutrient Credits To Be Used by Developer in Perry County
Nutrient credits will be used by HAMM Equities LLC to meet the zero nitrogen/zero phosphorus permit limits for a new sewage treatment plant that the King of Prussia-based developer is constructing to serve a commercial development in Howe Township, Perry County.
* Streambank Stabilization, Habitat Enhancement Workshops in March
The Fish and Boat Commission will sponsor streambank stabilization and habitat enhancement workshops on March 12 in Lycoming College and March 13 at DEP’s Moshannon District Mining Office.
* Pennsylvania Land Conservation Conference May 10-12
The 2007 Pennsylvania Land Conservation Conference will be held in State College May 10 to 12.
* $2.7 Million Available to Local Communities to Reduce Toxic Exposure
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week announced the availability of $2.7 million to support community-based partnerships in reducing risks from toxics in local communities.
* EE Connections Newsletter Now Available from PA Environmental Ed Center
The February issue of EE Connections newsletter from the Pennsylvania Center for Environmental Education is now available online. The highlights from this month’s issue include—
* Bluebird Society Hosts Annual Conference March 30-31 in State College
The Bluebird Society of Pennsylvania will host its 9th Annual Conference in State College which features a variety of speakers, displays, a live auction, raffles, quilt raffle and luncheon.
* Peregrine Falcon Educator’s Workshop to be Held April 5
The Department of Environmental Protection invites teachers, non-formal educators, homeschoolers, and youth group and scout leaders to attend a free, Peregrine Falcon Educator’s Workshop, WILD in the City, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., April 5, in the Rachel Carson State Office Building’s auditorium in Harrisburg.
* Banff Adventure Film Festival Returns To Lehigh Valley March 4
Experience the courage, the passion and the thrill of adrenaline-packed action sports, mountain expeditions, remote cultural experiences and the earth’s last great wild places when this year’s Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour comes to the new Parkland High School’s auditorium on March 4, sponsored by the Wildlands Conservancy.
* Opinion - Federal Mine Reclamation Funding Will Lead to Economic Development
By Robert E. Hughes, Luzerne Conservation District and Eastern PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation
* Feature - Snow Geese Are Harbinger of Spring at Middle Creek
by Joe Kosack, 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.
* Regulations
The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of a March 14 hearing in Hermitage on proposed revisions to the State Implementation Plan for Youngstown-Warren-Sharon Ozone Nonattainment Area and the Fish and Boat Commission published a final list of additions to the Class A Wild Trout streams.
* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Department of Environmental Protection published a f inal policy on utilization of disadvantaged business enterprise firms and a draft policy covering the coal mining applicant violator system.
* 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 .
* Supporting Member PA Outdoor Writers Association
PA Environment Digest is a supporting member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association.

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