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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
April 2, 2007
PDF Version - PA Environment Digest 4/2/07
* York Town Meeting on Funding Farm BMPs Attacts Nearly 50 Participants
Nearly 50 people came to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s town hall meeting in York to discuss how Pennsylvania can encourage farmers to install best management practices on farms through the proposed Resource Enhancement and Protection Act (REAP).
* Video Blog - John Quimby Receves CBF Educator of the Year Award
John Quimby, the adult leader of Expedition Susquehanna, received the 2006 Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Environmental Educator of the Year Award during a special ceremony on March 24.
* Online Training - New Penn State Extension Online Pond, Lake Management Class Begins April 4
In response to the ever-increasing number of phone calls and emails asking for assistance with pond and lake management, the Penn State Cooperative Extension Service has created a 12-week online pond management course.
* On the Senate/House Agenda/Bills Moving/Bills Introduced
The Senate and House will return to session April 16, except for committee meetings…
* Senate Committee Reports Out Nomination of McGinty as Secretary of DEP
The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held a hearing this week on the nomination of Kathleen McGinty as Secretary for Environmental Protection and unanimously rreported her nomination to the full Senate.
* Senate Passes PA Center for Environmental Education Bill
Senate Bill 356 (MJWhite-R-Venango), that would establish the Pennsylvania Center for Environmental Education in state law, was passed unanimously by the full Senate this week and sent to the House for consideration.
* Rendell Oil Tax Has Unintended Impacts on Renewable Fuels, Domestic Energy
The Senate Transportation Committee this week heard testimony that Gov. Rendell’s proposed oil company profits tax may have unintended, negative impacts on the development of renewable fuels and domestic oil and natural gas development in Pennsylvania.
* Sen. Brubaker Introduces Senate Bill to Improve Farm Conservation
In a continued effort to balance the needs of farmers with the responsibility to protect the environment, Sen. Mike Brubaker (R-Lancaster) has introduced Senate Bill 690, which will provide tax credits to those who invest in proven conservation practices.
* Conservation Districts Hold Capitol Lobby Day, Recognize Sen. Wenger
The Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts held a Capitol Day where over 200 participants discussed the need to obtain consistent and sufficient funding for conservation district activities and staff, amendments to the Conservation District Law, and landowner liability legislation.
* Environmental Synopsis Online, Joint Conservation Committee Annual Report
The latest issue of the Environmental Synopsis published by the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee is now available online.
* Conservation Districts Recognize Farmers Working to Protect Chesapeake Bay
The Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts this week announced that Curry Wagner of Hummelstown, Dauphin County, and Ron and Catherine Kittle of Bradford County, have been named recipients of the 2007 Pennsylvania Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Farm Awards.
* Proposed Federal Bill Would Increase Funding for Farm Conservation
Legislation introduced this week in Congress would provide a historic level of new federal funding to Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts, and has the potential to reduce tens of millions of pounds of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution annually.
* Grants Announced for Innovative Mine Drainage Treatment Projects
The Department of Environmental Protection this week awarded $559,472 to four innovative mine drainage treatment projects intended to develop cost-effective ways to treat the thousands of mine discharges and acidic seeps.
* Get Early-Bird Rates for PA’s Volunteer Water Monitoring Summit
There is still time to get early-bird discount registration for the upcoming Pennsylvania Statewide Summit for Volunteer Watershed Monitors – WATER: Watershed Actions Toward Environmental Rewards.
* PA Water Works Association Annual Conference April 24-27 in Hershey
The PA Chapter of the American Water Works Association will hold its annual conference in Hershey on April 24-27.
* Erie Source Water Protection Workshop to Be Held April 12
The Pennsylvania League of Women Voters Water Resources Education Network is hosting a special source water protection workshop on April 12 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, 301 Peninsula Dr., Erie
* What Do Exceptional Value, High Quality Stream Classifications Mean?
A new publication by the Pennsylvania Campaign for Clean Water outlines how the High Quality and Exceptional Value stream designations affect things like land development, sewage infrastructure, stormwater management, logging, agriculture, mining, and several other land-use impacts.
* Presentation on Fish Enhancement Structures Set for April 18 in Harrisburg
David Keller, from the Fish and Boat Commission’s Habitat Management Section, will do a presentation on fish enhancement structures on April 18 from 1:30 to 3:30 at DEP’s Southcentral Regional Office in Harrisburg.
* Anglers Encouraged to Follow Guidelines for Eating Trout They Catch
With the March 31 opening of trout season in 18 counties, the Department of Health and the Fish and Boat Commission this week reminded anglers that fresh trout can be part of a healthy, balanced diet when consumed according to recommended guidelines.
* Wildlands Conservancy Seeks Nominees for Friend of the Lehigh River Award
The Wildlands Conservancy is seeking nominations for the 2007 Friend of the Lehigh River Awards. The deadline for nominations is May 1.
* First Falcon Egg Arrives in Harrisburg, More to Follow (We Hope)
The female falcon nesting on the ledge of the 15th floor of the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg laid her first egg at around 10:30 a.m. on March 25.
* New Forest Education Program Geared Toward Young Students
Penn State's School of Forest Resources and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources are teaming up to offer a new Junior Forest Steward Program to teach youth about forests and the concept of forest stewardship.
* DEP Accepting Composting Infrastructure Development Grant Applications
The Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for Composting Infrastructure Development Grant Program.
* Schools Invited to Enroll in Litter-Free School Zones Program
Something new and exciting is happening in Pennsylvania this spring! Just in time for Earth Day, all Pennsylvania schools and school districts are being invited to join the new Pennsylvania Litter-Free School Zone Program.
* Lower Susquehanna River Sweep Cleanup Set for June 2-3
The Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, Stewards of the Lower Susquehanna, the Watershed Alliance of York, and PPL are sponsoring a Lower Susquehanna River Sweep Cleanup event on June 2-3.
* What Are You Doing for Earth Day in April? Here Are Some Suggestions
Earth Day, April 22, is an opportunity to demonstrate that environmental responsibility is everyone's responsibility. There are a number of simple everyday choices that people can make to help protect the environment and here are some suggestions from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency--
* Studies Identify Troubled Communities Statewide, Make Recommendations
Three new studies are sounding a warning bell for Pennsylvania municipalities and the state as a whole: without major changes in the structures and laws that govern municipalities and the way they are financed, and unless communities are empowered to work more closely together, their fiscal and physical integrity is at grave risk and the state's economy will continue to struggle in the coming decades.
* Deadline Extended to Apply for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance
Cash and crisis grants for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program will be available to eligible households through April 13, the Department of Public Welfare announced this week.
* PA Biomass Working Group to Hold First Meeting April 16-17
The PA Biomass Working Group, a collection of businesses, universities, government agencies, foresters, economic development partners and environmental advocacy groups working to promote biomass energy production, will have its first meeting April 16-17 in St. Mary’s, Elk County, at the Red Fern.
* Heffner Appointed Director of DEP's Policy Office
DEP Secretary Kathleen McGinty this week announced the appointment of Kelly Heffner as director of DEP's Office of Policy.
* Spotlight - Nation’s New Thirst for Ethanol Could Leave Chesapeake Bay With Hangover
By Karl Blankenship, The Chesapeake Bay Journal
* Environmental Heritage - Three Mile Island, March 28, 1979 at 3:53 A.M.
At 3:53 a.m., March 28, 1979, the cascading failures of valves, pumps, gauges and reactor operators combined to produce the worst accident in the U.S. commercial nuclear power industry.
* Feature - Game Commission Issues Springtime Alert: Do Not Disturb Young Wildlife
Whether hiking in the woods, driving through the countryside or simply enjoying nature, outdoor enthusiasts encountering wildlife, especially young wildlife, are encouraged to leave the animals alone and not remove them from the wild.
* 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
No new regulations were published this week.
* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Department of Environmental Protection published formal notice of the 2007 new source set-asides for nitrogen oxide emissions.
* 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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