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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
May 14, 2007
PDF Version - PA Environment Digest 5/14/07
* Sportsmen's Clubs, Agriculture, Environmental Groups Urge Open Look at Deer Program
Hunting, agriculture, land management and environmental groups urged the House Game and Fisheries Committee to do an independent evaluation of Pennsylvania’s Deer Management Program before making wholesale changes in the structure of the Game Commission.
* Video Blog - Art Students, PennDOT Combine for Unusual Recycling Project
Since 2002, art students from Allegheny College and employees of the Department of Transportation in Meadville have creatively recycled discarded highway signs into large flowers and decorated fences surrounding the PennDOT maintenance office along Rt. 322 in Meadville.
* Online Training - EPA Office of Children’s Health Protection Offers Free Webcasts, Special Report
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Children’s Health Protection is offering two free webcasts designed to present experts in the field of children’s health to a wider audience.
* On the Senate/House Agenda/Bills Introduced/Bills Moving
The Senate and Senate return to voting session May 21.
* Senate Confirms McGinty, DiBerardinis for DEP, DCNR Posts
Kathleen McGinty and Michael DiBerardinis were confirmed by the Senate this week after promising changes that would avoid conflicts of interest in awarding grants in the future.
* House Committee Moves Climate Change, Energy Office, Electronics Recycling
House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee this week approved and reported out legislation related to climate change, creating a State Energy Office, promoting electronics recycling and extending benefits for certain DCNR employees. The bills are:
* Senate Committees Set Energy Policy, Coal Bed Methane Hearings
The Senate has scheduled three public hearings on energy policy and coal bed methane in the coming weeks.
* Freeman Bill Seeks to Protect Appalachian Trail From Development
Rep. Bob Freeman (D-Northampton) introduced House Bill 1281 that would require municipalities that border the Appalachian Trail to enact zoning and other land use ordinances as part of their responsibility to protect the Trail.
* New Environmental Synopsis Newsletter Now Online
The April edition of the Environmental Synopsis newsletter published by the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee is now online.
* Environmental Groups Ask for Restoration of Growing Greener Fund
The Pennsylvania Alliance for Restoration and Conservation, a coalition of environmental groups in the Commonwealth, wrote to each member of the Senate and House asking them to oppose using monies from the Growing Greener fund to pay off the Growing Greener II bond issue debt service.
* Schuylkill Partnership Recognizes Schools for Protecting Schuylkill River
The Schuylkill Action Network recognized three Pennsylvania schools in the Schuylkill River Watershed this week for developing environmental and educational projects that help to protect sources of drinking water.
* EPA Honors Aqua Pennsylvania for Rebuilding Bristol Water Plant
During a special ceremony this week with federal, state and local officials, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc. with the 2006 Award for Sustainable Public Health Protection for rebuilding the Bristol Water Treatment Plant, which supplies drinking water to approximately 30,000 local residents.
* Public Meetings Set on Use of Federal Abandoned Mine Reclamation Funds
The Department of Environmental Protection, in conjunction with the DEP Citizens Advisory Council and the Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board, has scheduling a series of town hall meetings on how to most effectively use the up to 30 percent of new federal Abandoned Mine Reclamation funds available to the state.
* Chesapeake Bay Targeted Grants to Remove Millions of Pounds of Pollution
The Chesapeake Bay Targeted Grants Program awarded eight grants totaling $5 million this week, including support for two Pennsylvania projects. They include:
* Sen. Casey Supports Historic Investment to Help Farm Conservation Practices
U.S. Senator Bob Casey announced this week he would co-sponsor federal legislation-- The Chesapeake’s Healthy and Environmentally Sound Stewardship of Energy and Agriculture Act of 2007— to help reduce millions of pounds of nutrients and sediment flowing into the Chesapeake Bay.
* Grant Troop Named Regional No-Till Agronomist
H. Grant Troop has been named to fill the position of No-Till Agronomist by the Penn State Cooperative Extension, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Capital Resource Conservation and Development Area Council, Inc.
* Rachel Carson Forum Looks at Impact of Legacy Sediments May 17
Researchers Robert Walter and Dorthy Merritts, co-chairs of the Legacy Sediment Workgroup for DEP’s Chesapeake Bay Tributary Strategy are the featured speakers at the next Rachel Carson Forum on Future of the Environment tMay 17.
* Volunteers Needed for Ohio River Sweep Set for June 16
Volunteers are needed for the 2007 Ohio River Sweep cleanup event to join thousands of other people who care enough about the environment to pick up trash and litter along the Ohio, Allegheny and Monongahela rivers and streams all over the Ohio River Basin.
* Railpower Hybrid Corp. Among EPA Clean Air Award Winners
Railpower Hybrid Corp. of Erie was one of the 13 winners of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 7th Annual Clean Air Excellence Awards.
* McNeil PPC In Lititz Winner of EPA Performance Track Award
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the winners of the 2007 Environmental Performance Track Awards that included McNeil PPC in Lancaster County.
* Governor Sets Public Meetings to Follow Outdoor Conference
Gov. Rendell this week announced that five public meetings will be held across the state to present findings from the recent Governor’s Outdoor Conference and solicit additional ideas and recommendations about keeping people connected to nature.
* PCN Tours State Parks In New Regular Series Starting May 18
The Pennsylvania Cable Network has joined forces with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to showcase the beauty and versatility of the state's park system with a series of tours guided by Pennsylvania's expert state park staff.
* Westmoreland Home School Students Win County Envirothon
For the third year in a row, students from the Westmoreland Enrichment Classes, a group of home school students based in Norwin, this week won the Westmoreland County Conservation District Envirothon.
* Deadline Extended For Ralph W. Abele College Scholarships, Due June 15
High school seniors and current college students have until June 15 to submit applications for a Ralph W. Abele Conservation Scholarships. This year one or more scholarships totaling up to $4,000 will be awarded.
* PA Center for Environmental Ed May EE Connections Newsletter Now Online
The May issue of the EE Connections newsletter from the Pennsylvania Center for Environmental Education is now available online. The highlights from this month’s issue include--
* National Arbor Day Foundation Hosts Seminar on Restoring Native Ecosystems
The National Arbor Day Foundation will present a day-long “Practice of Restoring Native Ecosystems” seminar in Philadelphia on June 26.
* Pennsylvania Joins Climate Registry to Track Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Pennsylvania was one of 31 states announced as charter members of The Climate Registry, marking the largest national effort to take action on climate change.
* Energy Efficiency Workshop for Universities, K-12 Schools June 19
The Department of Environmental Protection will host an energy efficiency workshop in Cranberry Township, Butler County on June 19 for universities and K-12 school districts.
* PUC Finalizes Overall Strategy for Addressing Electric Rates After Caps
The Public Utility Commission this week approved the final regulations and policy statement that will establish the rules for default service for electric generation as well as a plan to mitigate and prepare Pennsylvania electricity customers for potential significant price increases that included the possibility of a $5 million consumer-education campaign.
* Competition Working in Electric Industry in Pennsylvania Expert Says
The cost of electricity, which has been capped at the retail level in Pennsylvania for the past 11 years, would have to increase more than 40 percent when the caps come off over the next few years to outpace inflation over the same period, the President of the Electric Power Generation Association, Douglas L. Biden, told Pennsylvania's largest industrial users this week in Harrisburg.
* Recycled Tire Economic Development Forum to be Held May 21
The Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center will hold a Recycled Tire Rubber Economic Development Forum on May 21 in the Harrisburg.
* PennVEST's Paul Marchetti Receives James McGirr Kelly Award
Paul K. Marchetti, executive director of the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority was presented with the James McGirr Kelly Award for Excellence from the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Association of Water Companies at the organization’s annual meeting and awards luncheon this week in Harrisburg.
* Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Appoints Thomas D. Saunders as New President
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy announced the selection of Thomas D. Saunders as President and Chief Executive Officer this week to lead the 75-year old nonprofit land and water conservation organization.
* DEP Names New Small Business Ombudsman, Director of Communications
Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty today announced the appointment of Julien Gaudion as the department’s new small business ombudsman and Michael Smith as its director of communications.
* Help Wanted: Fish & Boat Commission, PA Healthy Waters Campaign
The Fish and Boat Commission and American Rivers are looking to fill positions in the near future. Here are the details….
* 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 meets May 16 to consider several rulemaking packages and published for comment a list of proposed stream redesignations. The Department of Environmental Protection is inviting comments on an Ozone Transport Commission MOU and an update radon contractor certification list (PaB 2253). Details below….
* Technical Guidance & Permits
No new technical guidance 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
* 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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