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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
April 30, 2007
PDF Version - PA Environment Digest 4/30/07
* House, Senate Designate May Watershed Awareness Month
The House this week unanimously adopted House Resolution 246 (Adolph-R-Delaware, George-D-Clearfield) designating May as Watershed Awareness Month.
* Video Blog Feature - A Visit to the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, Presque Isle, Erie
Eric Obert, Associate Director of the PA Sea Grant Program, takes visitors on a tour of the Tom Ridge Environmental Center which sits at the entrance of Presque Isle State Park in Erie.
* On the Senate/House Agenda/Bills Introduced
The Senate returns to voting session April 30 and the House May 7. Here’s what’s on the agenda…
* Other Senate/House Bills Moving
Here’s a quick rundown on other bills moving this week…
* House Environmental Committee Moves Mine Safety, Reactor Fees Bills
The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee this week reported out bills to create the Mine Families First Program and to increase fees on nuclear power plants, including:
* Governor Gives Senate More Time on McGinty, DiBerardinis Nominations
Gov. Rendell this week agreed to give the Senate more time to consider his nominees to head the departments of Environmental Protection and Conservation and Natural Resources, after the Senate said it needed answers to questions about grants given out by the agencies.
* Hanna Creates Animal Deterrent and Damage Fund
Rep. Mike Hanna (D-Clinton/Centre) has re-introduced legislation that would increase deterrent fencing for wild animals and establish an elk damage compensation fund.
* Senate Committee to Consider Storage Tank, Nuclear Power Plant Fee Bills
The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee will meet May 1 to consider legislation to raise fees on nuclear power plants and to change the Storage Tank Act. The bills include:
* DEP Releases Chesapeake Bay Tributary Strategy Implementation Documents
The Department of Environmental Protection this week released two new documents supporting efforts to implement Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay Tributary Strategy that deal with NPDES permitting and sewage facility planning.
* PA Landscape and Nursery Assn. Highlights Arbor Day, Supports REAP
Members of the Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Association delivered live silver maple trees to each House and Senate member as a way to celebrate Arbor Day and to spread the word about the proposed Resource Enhancement and Protection Act (REAP).
* Nearly 50 Attend Town Meeting on Helping Farmers Install Conservation BMPs - Video Blog
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Pennsylvania State Grange, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and other partners held a town meeting on April 26 at the Progress Grange Hall in Centre Hall, PA to talk about a proposal to provide farmers tax credits to install best management practices to reduce nutrient and sediment runoff called the Resource Enhancement and Protection Act.
* Pleasant Hills Middle School Students Plant Peters Creek Stream Buffer
Over 40 students from the Pleasant Hills Middle School in Allegheny County worked to help protect the Peters Creek Watershed by planting a riparian buffer zone along a 300-foot section of the stream on April 27.
* Passive Treatment Systems in Slippery Rock Watershed Yield Black Glaze
Fifteen passive treatment system have been constructed in the Slippery Rock Creek Watershed to combat the effects of approximately 30 abandoned mine discharges that degrade the stream.
* DEP Invites Comments on Draft Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Plan
The Department of Environmental Protection is inviting public comment on a draft Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Plan covering the Delaware and Lake Erie coasts.
* Workshop on Invasive Aquatic Species Set for May 24-25 in Philadelphia
The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Philadelphia is hosting a workshop on using Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point analysis to help control invasive aquatic species.
* New, Improved Water Quality Modeling Tool Released By EPA
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a new version of its acclaimed watershed management program, making it easier to use and more readily available.
* PA Cleanways Announces Litter Hawk Youth Award Program Winners
PA CleanWays announced the winners of this year's Litter Hawk Youth Award Program that gives children and teens a chance to illustrate their concern about littering and illegal dumping prevention, recycling, proper disposal, beautification, and stewardship through visual arts, language arts, and community outreach activities.
* Poetic Justice for One Illegal Dumper in Westmoreland County
On April 21, PA CleanWays of Westmoreland County and the Sewickley Creek Watershed Group targeted an illegal dumpsite at Rt 31 West Newton exit and Interstate 70 for cleanup.
* Bring Your Hard to Recycling Items to PRC Collection Event May 12
On May 12 the Pennsylvania Resources Council, Appliance Warehouse and Verizon are inviting the public to drop off tires, scrap metal, major appliances, ink cartridges, and cell phones for recycling.
* So What Did You Do on Earth Day? Look at What Springside School Did
Springside School for Girls in Philadelphia has an active academic program for students from Kindergarten through twelveth grade, but their list of Earth Day activities this year looks like something a lot more advanced!
* Lehigh University Among EPA P3 Award Winners
A student project from Lehigh University that will try to find a way to safely dispose of sludge with high levels of toxic arsenic was one of the university projects funded under the U.S. Environmental Protection P3: People, Prosperity and Planet Student Design Competition for Sustainability Program.
* DCNR Warns of Spring Wildfire Danger
The same forests cloaked in wet snow and soaked by heavy rain just one week ago are becoming tinder dry, prompting a call for increased vigilance in this season of rapidly changing weather and rising fire dangers in the state’s wealth of woodlands.
* Shipley Energy Brings BioHeat to Customers, Launches Shipley Green Team
"Green" is in the air at Shipley Energy and they want you to know about it. Shipley Energy has made a commitment to increase environmental awareness throughout Central Pennsylvania.
* Pittsburgh's David L. Lawrence Convention Center Proves Green Practices Impact
The David L. Lawrence Convention Center, which is certified with a Gold LEED rating by the U.S.Green Building Council and maintains the distinction as the first "green" convention center, is the meeting, convention and exhibition industry's greatest proponent of green practices - and the convention center's programs and partnerships are proof.
* Wanner Farm Digester to Generate Electric, Reduce Greenhouse Gases
Officials from The Wanner Farm, a 600 head dairy operation in Lancaster County, announced it has received funding from the Sustainable Energy Fund of Central Eastern Pennsylvania to complete the installation of an anaerobic digester to process dairy manure and generate electricity for dairy operations and possible resale to the power grid.
* Energy Efficiency Workshop for Local Officials Set for May 24
Local officials are invited to a May 24 Energy Efficience Workshop at the Westmoreland County Conservation District Education Center in Greensburg.
* Peregrine Falcons and Osprey Return to Three Mile Island
Peregrine falcons and osprey have returned to their nests this spring at the Three Mile Island Generating Station in Londonderry Township, Dauphin County.
* Southwestern PA Smart Growth Conference Set for May 18
“Focusing Growth for Regional Prosperity” will be the theme of the Seventh Annual Southwestern PA Smart Growth Conference in downtown Pittsburgh on May 18.
* Gaito Named to DEP’s Office of Community Revitalization and Local Government
The Department of Environmental Protection this week announced the appointment of Jill Gaito as Deputy Secretary DEP’s Office of Community Revitalization and Local Government Support.
* Help Wanted: 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania
The non-profit group 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania is seeking a new President and CEO to lead the alliance of organizations and individuals from across the state committed to land use and investment policies that strengthen Pennsylvania’s communities.
* Feature - Shaver's Creek Uses New Academic Partnerships to Extend its Offerings
After 30 years of outreach, research and education, Shaver's Creek Environmental Center is coming out of the woods, so to speak.
* Feature - Neotropical Birds are Coming North, Black Bears Have Emerged from Hibernation
By Joe Kosack, Wildlife Conservation Education Specialist, 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 the proposed Clean Air Interstate Rule for comment and a notice of a proposed change to the ozone nonattainment area designation for the State College and Cambria County areas. The Allegheny Health Department published notice of a hearing on its Clean Air Plan.
* Technical Guidance & Permits
No new guidance documents were published this week.
* 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
* About PA Capitol Digest
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* Supporting Member PA Outdoor Writers Association
PA Environment Digest is a supporting member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association.

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