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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
March 12, 2007
(3/9/2007)
PDF Version - PA Environment Digest 3/12/07
* Connecting People to Natural Resources, Schuylkill Watershed Congress
“When you’re a watershed person, it’s more than just facts and figures, you feel it deeply and every day of your life.”
* Video Blog - Cindy Dunn, DCNR, Connecting People to Natural Resources
“When you’re a watershed person, it’s more than just facts and figures, you feel it deeply and every day of your life.”
* On the Senate/House Agenda/Bills Introduced
The Senate and House both return to voting session on March 12, with the highlight of their activities being in the House adopting the package of reform procedures developed by the Speaker’s Reform Commission and the Senate holding a series of confirmation hearings for agency heads.
* Senate Environmental Committee Sets Confirmation Hearing, Action on Bills
The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee will hold a confirmation hearing on the nomination of Michael DiBerardinis to be Secretary for Conservation and Natural Resources as well as consider three bills March 13—
* New Waste Fees Would Cost Households $6.13 Per Year DEP Tells Senate/House
Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen McGinty told House and Senate Appropriations Committees this week at budget hearings the proposals to raise municipal waste disposal fees to fund the Hazardous Sites Cleanup and the original Growing Greener Watershed Restoration Programs will cost households only $6.13 per year.
* Game Commission Defends Habitat Approach to Controlling Deer Population
Game Commsision Executive Director Carl Roe this week defended his agency’s approach to managing the state’s deer population using herd health, habitat condition and human-deer conflict indicators in his annual report to the House Game and Fisheries Committee.
* Ethanol-Driven Commodity Prices Drive Up Costs for PA Farmers - Wolff
At his budget hearing this week, Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff told members of the Senate Appropriations Committee that dramatic increases in corn and soybean prices driven up by the demand for turning them into ethanol and bio fuels are increasing costs for Pennsylvania livestock and dairy farmers.
* Senator, CMU Professor, PPG Researcher Win 2007 Shades of Green Awards
Sen. Jim Ferlo (D-Allegheny), Carnegie Mellon University architecture professor Stephen Lee and PPG Industries researcher Mike Rupert have been named winners of the 2007 Shades of Green Leadership Awards.
* Reminder: Western PA Environmental Award Nominations Due March 16
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council and Dominion, sponsors of the Western Pennsylvania Environmental Awards Program, are still accepting nominations for the 2007 Environmental Awards, to be presented at the Westin Convention Center Hotel on June 7.
* American Water Accepting Applications for Environmental Grant Program
American Water is now accepting applications for its Environmental Grant Program to support innovative, community-based environmental projects that improve, restore or protect watersheds and community drinking water supplies.
* POWR Insurance Sharing Program for Watershed Groups Renewed for 2007
The Glatfelter Agency advised the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds & Rivers this week that Millers Mutual has decided to renew POWR's general liability insurance policy.
* EPA Promoting Use of Green Infrastructure to Protect Water Quality
Don Waye, of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Nonpoint Source Control Branch, recently sent out an invitation to communities and states to work with EPA on opportunities to use green infrastructure to reduce nonpoint source pollution.
* YO! Mark a Storm Drain, Save the Schuylkill
The Philadelphia Water Department, together with the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, is asking homeowners and neighborhood leaders to improve water quality in the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers by installing storm drain emblems proclaiming “Yo! No Dumping! Drains to River.”
* Lancaster Farmland Trust Supports New Dollars for Farm Conservation – REAP
Lancaster Farmland Trust views its job as more than preserving farmland, it also seeks to preserve the farmer on the land to keep it in active production. That’s why the Trust is supporting enactment of the Resource Enhancement and Protection Act (REAP) tax credit program to help farmers install conservation practices.
* PA Joins 16 States Announcing Strategy for Brook Trout Restoration
The Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture this week released a first-of-its-kind conservation strategy to restore healthy, fishable populations of eastern brook trout throughout their eastern native range to respond to the fact that only 5 percent of historic brook trout habitat remains intact.
* Rain Barrel Workshops Coming Up in Allegheny County
The Pennsylvania Resources Council Watershed Awareness/Rain Barrel Workshop will raise your awareness of watershed issues, demonstrate how to assemble and install a retrofitted 55-gallon drum/rain barrel, and offer other rainwater harvesting options.
* Senior Environment Corps, Students Reduce Nonpoint Source Pollution
Volunteers at the Montgomery County Senior Environment Corps recently received a grant from the Department of Environmental Protection’s Environmental Education Grants Program to reduce nonpoint source pollution in the North Penn area watersheds through education programs for youth groups.
* DCNR Announces $23 Million in Recreation, Conservation Grants
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources this week announced the investment of $23 million in conservation and recreation projects
* Grant Applications Due April 27 for Volunteer Forest Firefighters
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources this week announced it is accepting applications for grants to help Pennsylvania's rural communities better guard against the threat of fires in forested, undeveloped and unprotected areas.
* Engineers’ Society Sponsors 12th Brownfields Conference April 18-20
The Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania is sponsoring its 12th “The Business of Brownfields” conference April 18-20 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.
* Winter Edition of EPA Land Revitalization Newsletter Now Online
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Mid-Atlantic Region has released its Winter 2007 issue of Land Revitalization Update highlighting news, resources and policies impacting cleanup and reuse of contaminated properties.
* Check Properties for Superfund Liens Through This New Website
The Mid-Atlantic Region of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has completed a website project to provide the public with information on properties having perfected (recorded) Superfund liens.
* Backyard Composting Courses Offered By Penn State Extension, DEP
The Penn State Cooperative Extension Service, in a partnership with the Department of Environmental Protection, has scheduled dozens of backyard composting education programs across the state this spring.
* Penn State Offers Conservation Leadership School In Two Summer Sessions
If your ideal school is where the classrooms include more than 7,000 acres of forest, fields, wetlands and streams, and where learning about our environment goes hand-in-hand with having fun and meeting new friends, then consider enrolling in the Penn State Conservation Leadership School.
* EE Connections Newsletter Now Available from PA Environmental Ed Center
The March issue of EE Connections newsletter from the Pennsylvania Center for Environmental Education is now available online. The highlights from this month’s issue include—
* Rachel Carson Forum on Reauthorization of the Abandoned Mine Lands Fund
The March 15 Rachel Carson Forum on Future of the Environment will look at the reauthorization of the Abandoned Mine Lands Fund and what it means for Pennsylvania.
* Doug Scott, Wilderness Historian, Author, Advocate Featured Speaker
Doug Scott, one of the nation's leading experts on wilderness, will be traveling through northwest Pennsylvania over the next week discussing the history of wilderness protection and supporting local citizens in an historic effort to protect their public lands and wilderness.
* Celebrating Pennsylvania’s Native Elegance at Pennsylvania Garden Expo
The dramatic beauty of Pennsylvania’s native plants will be featured in a formal background setting at the Pennsylvania Garden Expo’s “A Garden Party” at the Farm Show complex in Harrisburg, March 8-11.
* BP Solar Selected for Solar America Initiative Grant Award
The U.S. Department of Energy will participate in the first phase of a three-year, $40 million research and development program proposed by BP Solar and its partners aimed at decreasing the cost of solar cells and increasing their efficiency in order to make solar power cost competitive with electricity generated by other means.
* Lape Named New Director of EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program
Jeffrey L. Lape has been selected as the next Director of the Chesapeake Bay Program Office, according to Donald S. Welsh, Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s mid-Atlantic region.
* Grace Appointed DCNR Deputy Secretary for State Parks and Forestry
Dr. James R. Grace was appointed deputy secretary for state parks and forestry in the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources this week.
* McDonnell Named Deputy Secretary for DEP's Office of Administration
Patrick McDonnell was appointed as Deputy Secretary for Administration in the Department of Environmental Protection this week.
* PA Recycling Markets Center Names Bylone Executive Director
The Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center this week announced the appointment of Robert J. Bylone Jr. as executive director for the RMC.
* Feature - Westminister Students Present Research Findings at Slippery Rock Meeting
The November meeting of the Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition was a special one, featuring the presentations of 19 students from Westminster College.
* 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, Environmental Quality Board and the Fish and Boat Commission all published regulatory notices this week. Here are the details…
* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Department of Environmental Protection published proposed guidance on implementing the NPDES Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations Permits for Manure Storage Facilities for comment and a revised process for review NPDES Stormwater Management Permits. (Click here for more explanation)
* 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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