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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
February 4, 2008
PDF Version - PA Environment Digest 2/4/08
* Audubon PA Urges Taking of More Deer, Eradication of Feral Swine – Video Blog
Audubon Pennsylvania this week urged the Game Commission to allow hunters to take more antlerless deer before tagging, rather than limiting the hunting of antlerless deer in certain areas and for the elimination of the state’s feral swine population.
* PA Farm Bureau Questions Game Commission Actions on Deer Program
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau expressed concern over decisions by the Game Commission this week to reduce doe season by five days in some areas of the state and to delay the effectiveness of a law designed to protect farmers from crop losses caused by deer and other animals.
* On the Senate/House Agenda/Bills Introduced
The Senate and House will return to voting session the week of February 4.
* Senate/House Bills Moving
These bills of interest moved in the Senate and House this week--
* PEC Praises House Passage of Great Lakes Compact, Now Moves to Senate
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council thanked the House this week for passing the Great Lakes Compact, a multi-state agreement through which the Great Lakes states would be able to manage future water withdrawals from Lake Erie and the Great Lakes basin.
* Senate Committee Approves Bill Limiting the Idling of Diesel Engines
The Senate Transportation Committee this week approved Senate Bill 295 (Browne-R-Lehigh) to reduce the noise and noxious exhaust fumes of idling tractor trailers.
* House Environmental Committee OKs Sludge, In-Lieu of Tax, HSCA Bills
The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee reported out legislation requiring testing of sewage sludge, providing in-lieu of tax payments to municipalities for State Park lands and additional reporting of expenditures from the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund. The bills include:
* House Committee Hears Comments on Energy Proposals, Will Vote Next Week
The House Consumer Affairs Committee held a hearing this week on proposals by House Environmental Committee chair Rep. Bud George (D-Clearfield) and House Majority Whip Rep. Keith McCall (D-Carbon) that attempt to ease the transition to market-based electricity rates after the rate caps come off most of Pennsylvania in 2010.
* Rep. Perry Announces Legislation to Help Fund Chesapeake Bay Cleanup
Rep. Scott Perry (R-Cumberland) said this week he will introduce legislation that will help increase the environmental quality of the Chesapeake Bay without placing an unfair burden on local governments or taxpayers.
* House Environmental Committee to Consider Coal Bed Methane, Rule Review Bills
The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee meets February 5 to consider legislation on property rights associated with coal bed methane and a bill to broaden the review of guidelines and policies published by state agencies.
* Chesapeake Bay Cleanup, Appalachian Trail on Senate Committee Agenda
The Environmental Resources and Energy Committee meets February 5 to consider a resolution calling for totaling the costs of the Chesapeake Bay cleanup and legislation requiring municipalities to do more to protect the Appalachian Trail.
* CBF Calls for Increased Funding for Successful REAP Farm Tax Credit Program
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation this week called for increasing funding for the highly successful Resource Enhancement and Protection Act (REAP) farm conservation tax credit program to at least $50 million in the next state budget.
* County Conservation Districts Launch into the New Year on a Positive Note
Approximately 170 representatives of county conservation districts and partnering agencies attended the PA Association of Conservation Districts’ Winter Meeting in State College from January 16-18.
* Partners Celebrate Improvements to Swamp Creek Mine Water Treatment Facility
The Department of Environmental Protection has successfully refurbished a key acid mine drainage treatment facility that will maintain the fish population in 52 miles of Swamp Creek in Elk County and two lakes.
* Connoquenessing Creek Watershed Plan Available for Public Review
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy will present the draft Watershed Conservation Plan for Connoquenessing Creek and its tributaries in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, and Lawrence counties at a series of public meetings in February.
* Pennsylvania Fish Consumption Advisory Updated
State officials responsible for monitoring Pennsylvania waterways and protecting public health this week released an updated list of fish consumption advisories.
* Gov. Rendell Seeks Applicants for Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council
Gov. Rendell is seeking qualified candidates to serve on the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council, which is one of eight regional councils established by the Magnuson Act to develop fisheries management plans and advise the National Marine Fisheries Service.
* Game Commission OKs Wildlife Project Grants, Wildlife Teamwork Coordinator
The Game Commission this week approved four projects that will study or help species of concern and manage globally-significant habitats in-state and approved a contract to coordinate Northeast Wildlife Teamwork Strategy projects that will help species and habitats of greatest conservation need.
* Land Purchases, Exchanges, Oil/Gas and Coal Leases OK’d by Game Commission
The Game Commission this week approved several land purchases, land donations, exchanges and three oil/gas and coal leases on Game Commission lands.
* Western PA Conservancy Sells Property to Fisherman’s Cove Conservation Group
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has sold 207 acres in Venango County to Fisherman’s Cove Preservation Foundation, an organization formed to protect the Allegheny River watershed.
* DCNR Has Nearly $50 Million Available for Recreation, Conservation Grants
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources this week announced it has $50 million in grants available to communities and non-profit organizations to help fund community recreation, open space, land trust, rails-to-trails, rivers, and conservation projects under the Community Conservation Partnerships Program
* PPG in Pittsburgh Becomes Founding Reporter of The Climate Registry
PPG Industries has become a founding reporter of The Climate Registry as it sets aggressive greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals.
* Grants to Help Small Businesses Conserve Energy, Reduce Waste
The Department of Environmental Protection this week awarded 29 small businesses grants to conserve energy and reduce waste totaling more than $186,000 in Small Business Advantage Grants.
* PA Has Critical Need for Improved Electrical Infrastructure to Prevent Blackouts
Pennsylvania businesses and citizens have an urgent need for improved electric transmission infrastructure or they could face rolling blackouts in just a matter of years, according to a new coalition called Pennsylvanians for Reliable Power.
* Chester County Offers 9 Free Certified Master Composting Classes
The Chester County Board of Commissioners, through the Chester County Solid Waste Authority, are offering nine free Certified Master Composting Classes at three convenient locations.
* Paper Recycling and Processing Techniques Workshop February 27
On February 27 the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania, Department of Environmental Protection and Penn State Altoona will hold “The Paper Chase,” a course for recycling and environmental professionals that will expand their knowledge and understanding of paper processing techniques and practices.
* EPA Annual RecycleMania Challenge for Colleges, Universities Now Underway
College recycling efforts are being tested under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s RecycleMania 2008 which began January 27 and continues through April 5.
* County Commissioners Priorities, Including Farmland Preservation, Recycling Fee
County leaders from throughout Pennsylvania this week unveiled their list of 2008 key legislative priorities while calling upon state leaders to strengthen their commitment to improving equity in county taxation, and to provide sufficient and fair levels of funding for mandated human services.
* EPA Releases Multi-Cultural Environmental Outreach Materials
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week released two publications specifically designed to increase environmental awareness among multilingual communities.
* PA Green Power Purchasing Leadership Showcased in the EPA Green Power List
The latest U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Green Power Partnership list of the top 25 largest purchasers of green power in the United States includes the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania.
* National Green Economy Conference Set for Pittsburgh March 13-14
The Green Jobs: A National Green Jobs Conference will be held on March 13-14 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.
* Spotlight - Guster Is First Artist Featured on PA Environmental Council’s New Website
The musical group Guster is the first artist to be featured on the redesigned website of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, providing a new and unique way to attract visitors to learn more about environmental issues.
* Feature - Clearfield Creek Watershed Assn. Completes Klondike Mine Drainage Project
The Clearfield Creek Watershed Association completed a major project last November called the Klondike Mine Drainage Treatment Project.
* 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
The Governor’s Office published its semi-annual Regulatory Agenda outlining the schedule for consideration of regulation changes for each state agency. The Department of Environmental Protection, Environmental Quality Board and the Susquehanna River Basin Commission also published regulatory notices as well, see below.
* Technical Guidance & Permits
No new guidance documents were published this week.
* Calendar of Upcoming 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 - 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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