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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
December 10, 2007
(12/7/2007)
PDF Version - PA Environment Digest 12/10/07
* PA Senior Environment Corps Ending Due to Lack of Funding
The Department of Environmental Protection and the Environmental Alliance for Senior Involvement this week notified local Pennsylvania Senior Environment Corps chapters across the state the program would be ending.
* Week Ahead- Calendars, Committees, Session Schedule
The Senate and House have the following committee meetings scheduled next week and published Calendars for December 10—
* Senate/House Bills Moving/Bills Introduced
The following bills and resolutions moved in the Senate and House this week—
* House Appropriations Moves 6-Month Hazardous Sites Cleanup Funding Plan
The House Appropriations Committee this week approved a plan to fund the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Program through June 30 of next year, but removed provisions, by a party-line vote, that would have put in place a more permanent funding solution.
* Senate Passes Update to Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act
The Senate this week passed Special Session Senate Bill 25 (Waugh-R-York) that updates Pennsylvania's alternative energy law to include biomass and low-impact hydropower energy resources, according to Sen. Mary Jo White (R-Venango), who chairs the Senate Special Session Committee on Energy Policies.
* House Committee Reports State Energy Office Legislation
The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee reported out Special Session House Bill 36 (George-D-Clearfield) establishing a State Energy Office within the Department of Environmental Protection.
* Senate Committee Reports Landowner Liability, Tire Recycling, Miner Day Bills
The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee reported out legislation on landowner liability, used tire recycling and designing Coal Miner’s Day this week. The bills included:
* House Env. Committee to Meet Twice on Energy, Great Lakes Compact Bills
The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to have two meetings December 11 and 12 on a variety of Special Session Energy bills and legislation to adopt the Great Lakes Compact on water withdrawals.
* State of the Chesapeake Bay Report Finds No Improvements in Any Category
With just three years to go before the court-ordered deadline to remove the Chesapeake Bay from the nation’s dirty waters list, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s 2007 State of the Bay report finds the health of the Bay going in the wrong direction.
* Rendell Urges Action on Federal Farm Bill, Announces Biofuels Summit
Gov. Rendell joined the governors of other states in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed at the annual Bay Executive Council meeting this week and urged Congressional action on the Federal Farm Bill. He also announced an upcoming biofuels summit.
* Sen. Noah Wenger Honored by Susquehanna River Basin Commission
Susquehanna River Basin Commission this week recognized former Sen. Noah Wenger (R-Lancaster) for his outstanding contributions to the agricultural industry in the Susquehanna watershed and for his unwavering commitment to protecting the water resources of the Susquehanna River Basin.
* New York City Delaware Basin Reservoirs Management Plan Published
The Delaware River Basin Commission this week announced a schedule of informational meetings and a public hearing on proposed regulations to implement a Flexible Flow Management Program for the operation of three New York City Delaware Basin reservoirs.
* Big Spring Creek Symposium Set for April 5 in Shippensburg
Big Spring Creek, once a flourishing native brook trout fishery, is the subject of a day-long symposium to be held on April 5, 2008 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the University Foundation Conference Center at Shippensburg University.
* Fish & Boat Commission Hosts Dr. Paul Seelbach in December 10 Seminar
IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Fish and Boat Commission sent out a notice December 10 that this seminar was rescheduled from December 10 to December 11 at the location and time noted below.
* U.S. EPA Seeks Nominations for Green Chemistry Challenge Awards
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is now accepting nominations for the 2008 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards.
* DEP Awards $3 Million in Recycling Performance Grants
More than 100 municipal recycling programs across the state received additional financial support with the award of nearly $3 million in Recycling Performance Grants announced this week by the Department of Environmental Protection.
* Expedited Review Timeframes for Air Quality Plan Approvals Now Available
The Department of Environmental Protection this week announced that an Expedited Review Process is available for the Air Quality portion of the Money-Back Guarantee Program.
* 5 Chester County Schools Use Biofuels to Power School Buses
Five Chester County school districts that are replacing conventional diesel with biofuels to power its school buses were recognized this week by the Department of Environmental Protection as energy leaders.
* PA Home Energy Program to Provide Training for Contractors and Consultants
The Pennsylvania Home Energy program is offering training to contractors and consultants who wish to provide consumers with high-quality energy assessments of their homes.
* DEP Approves Gas to Energy Project for Berks County Landfill
The Department of Environmental Protection this week approved an air quality application for a plant at the Pioneer Crossing Landfill in Exeter Township, Berks County, that will convert methane gas to 50 million kilowatt hours of energy per year.
* Agriculture Provides Curriculum Information on Renewable Energy
The Department of Agriculture this week announced it has expanded the offerings on its Market Place for the Mind education website to include renewable energy.
* Leading Corporations Cutting Greenhouse Gases, Including 3 in PA
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week commended more than 150 businesses for working to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, including three companies in Pennsylvania, during the agency’s Climate Leaders Conference.
* Effect of Climate Change on Weeds Conference January 8-10
The Northeastern Weed Science Society will sponsor a conference on January 8-10 in Philadelphia entitled, “Effect of Climate Change on Weeds.”
* Highmark, Fifth Avenue Place Sponsor Environmental Leadership Days
On December 12 and 13, Highmark and Fifth Avenue Place will rally the community around sustainable, eco-friendly and green practices by hosting Environmental Leadership Days in Fifth Avenue Place's Center Court in downtown Pittsburgh from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
* PUC OKs PECO Plan to Begin Meeting Alternative Energy Requirements Early
The Public Utility Commission this week approved a plan that will allow PECO Energy Co. to begin fulfilling the requirements of the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act of 2004 sooner than required.
* DCNR Awards $39.4 Million in Grants for Recreation, Conservation Projects
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources awarded $39.4 million in grants for land protection, conservation and recreation projects.
* Creating Sustainable Community Parks Guide Now Available
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, in partnership with the PA Recreation and Parks Society, has released a new publication, "Creating Sustainable Community Parks: A Guide to Improving Quality of Life by Protecting Natural Resources."
* Threatened and Endangered Plants of PA 2008 Calendar
The Wild Resource Conservation Program is pleased to announce the availability of their 2008 Threatened and Endangered Plants of PA calendar.
* Join Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count December 14 to January 5
The Christmas Bird Count, a long-standing program of the National Audubon Society, provides an early-winter bird census, where volunteers follow specified routes through a designated 15-mile (24-km) diameter circle, counting every bird they see or hear all day.
* Help Wanted: Green Building Alliance Has 3 Intern Openings
The Green Building Alliance is seeking interns for several positions: a communications intern, a DASH intern and a Pittsburgh Climate Change Initiative Intern.
* Spotlight - Conservation Districts Have Role to Play in Energy Independence
The Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. this week released an Energy Strategy proposal for increased technical assistance to farmers as they consider altering their farm operations to provide the Commonwealth and the Nation with renewable energy sources.
* Grants & Awards
This section gives you a heads up on upcoming deadlines for grants and financial assistance as well as nominations for awards and other recognition programs. NEW means from last week—
* 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. Pennsylvania Bulletin – December 8, 2007
* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Department of Environmental Protection published final guidance on funding Chesapeake Bay Watershed Projects.
* Calendar of Events
Upcoming conferences, meetings, workshops, plus links to other online calendars. Meetings are in Harrisburg unless otherwise noted. NEW indicates new from last week. 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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