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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
March 3, 2008
(2/29/2008)
PDF Version - PA Environment Digest 3/3/08
* Conservation Will Be Your Best Friend Chamber Energy Summit Told
Over 325 participants attended the state Chamber of Business and Industry Energy Summit and heard several speakers said they need to do all they can to become more energy efficient as Pennsylvania makes the transition to market-based pricing for electricity in 2010.
* Thousands of Reasons to Visit Middle Creek Wildlife Area – Video Blog
Each year the Game Commission’s Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area on the Lebanon-Lancaster county line near Kleinfeltersville, Pa hosts hundreds of thousands of migrating geese, swans and ducks.
* On the Senate/House Agenda/Bills Introduced
The Senate and House will return to voting session the week of March 10. The Senate and House will hold hearings on Gov. Rendell’s proposed budget in the interim.
* Budget Hearings Touch on Environmental Issues, DEP, DCNR Coming Up
Budget hearings in the Senate and House this week touched on several environmental issues, but the main events will come up next week when the departments of Environmental Protection and Conservation and Natural Resources appear before the Appropriations Committees.
* Sen. Brubaker Named to EPA Agricultural Advisory Committee
Sen. Mike Brubaker (R-Lancaster) announced this week that he is one of 30 citizens to be appointed to serve on a newly-formed Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Advisory Committee through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
* Rep. DeWeese, Colleagues Seek Federal Investigation of Power Lines Law
House Majority Leader Bill DeWeese (D-Greene) and 38 of his House Democratic colleagues are supporting the efforts of U.S. Senators Bob Casey and Arlen Specter, who are requesting a U.S. Senate investigation into the implementation of the 2005 federal law that allows power lines to be built across 52 of 67 Pennsylvania counties without input from the Commonwealth or local authorities.
* Budget & Finance Committee Moves Ahead with Game Commission, Deer Study
The officers of the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee met this week to approve the award of a contract to study how the Game Commission handles mineral and timber leases on its lands. They also discussed a proposed audit of the Deer Management Program.
* Fish & Boat Commission Provides House Committee With Annual Report
Fish and Boat Commission Executive Director Dr. Douglas Austen provided the House Game and Fisheries Committee with its annual report on February 14.
* Celebration Highlights Christina River Watershed Achievements
The Christina Basin Clean Water Partnership celebrated the completion of a three-year program to improve water quality in the Brandywine, Red Clay, White Clay and Christina watersheds with an awards ceremony this week at the Red Clay Room in Kennett Square.
* Lancaster Dairy Installs System to Reduce Ammonia Emissions, Nutrients
Bion Environmental Technologies, Inc. announced this week it has signed a memorandum of understanding with a large dairy in Lancaster County to retrofit its existing dairy operation with a Bion Nutrient Management System designed to reduce ammonia emissions and nutrients in the effluent.
* 11th Annual Northwest PA Grazing Conference to Be Held March 4
The Natural Resources Conservation Service, Penn State Cooperative Extension Service, Headwaters Resource Conservation and Development Council, and the Jefferson County Conservation District are sponsoring the 11th Annual Northwest Pennsylvania Grazing Conference on March 4 near DuBois.
* Regional Agricultural Program Dollars Available for Livestock Operations
The Capital Resource Conservation and Development Area Council, Inc. announced the availability of funding this week for farmers in Southcentral Pennsylvania to install various beneficial agricultural practices.
* Gov. Rendell Issues Sustainable Infrastructure Task Force Executive Order
Gov. Rendell this week established a high-level task force through executive order that will evaluate what is needed to ensure Pennsylvania maintains a sustainable water and wastewater infrastructure in light of continued cuts from the federal government in recent years.
* Chesapeake Bay Program Has Redesigned Website
The Chesapeake Bay Program has redesigned its website to provide the public with more useful, timely information about the Bay and the partnership that works for its restoration.
* PA Geologists Offer Management of Karst Groundwater Resources Seminar
On March 26 the PA Council of Professional Geologists will offer a seminar in Harrisburg on the Hydrogeology and Management of Karst Groundwater Resources at the Holiday Inn East. The course has three goals:
* Fish & Boat Commission Funds Pittsburgh Boating Project
The Fish and Boat Commission is set to receive $1.35 million in federal funding through the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Boating Infrastructure Grant program. BIG provides federal funds for projects designed to accommodate transient, recreational motorboats that are 26 feet or longer.
* DEP to Host Waste Management Seminar in Butler March 13
Representatives of companies that generate hazardous or residual waste can learn more about waste handling regulations during a March 13 seminar in Butler sponsored by DEP’s Northwest Regional Office.
* Gov. Rendell Calls on Congress to Extend Renewable Energy Tax Credits
Gov. Rendell this week called on Pennsylvania’s Congressional Delegation to support an eight-year extension of the renewable energy production and investment tax credits, saying a failure to do so would put thousands of jobs at risk and imperil the nation’s security.
* New Web Multimedia Portal Launched at EPA.gov
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week launched its new web multimedia portal: www.epa.gov/multimedia . The multimedia portal is EPA’s one-stop location for environmental video, audio/podcasts, and photography.
* Adams Electric Will Own First Plug-In Hybrid Electric Utility Vehicle
Adams Electric Cooperative, Gettysburg, Pa, will be the first utility in the United States to own and operate a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle bucket truck.
* Emission Reduction Credit Application Amnesty Period to Expire in May
The Environmental Quality Board published regulations in May 2007 that included a one-year amnesty period for the submission of emission reduction credit applications for emission reductions generated from stationary or mobile air contamination sources between January 1, 2002, and May 19, 2007.
* Expanded Access to Regulatory Documents Now Available Online Thru IRRC
The Independent Regulatory Review Commission announced new interactive features and subscription services for regulations are now available on its website.
* DCNR Acquires 34-Acre Tract to Expand Lackawanna State Park
Hailing what he termed a "perfect example of strong partnerships in action," Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Michael DiBerardinis this week applauded acquisition of a 34-acre tract that expands the adjoining Lackawanna State Park in Lackawanna County.
* Help Wanted: PA Certified Organic Program
The Pennsylvania Certified Organic Program is seeking candidates to fill positions for assistant certification director, organic inspector/coordinator, organic inspector, and certification specialist. More information available online.
* Feature - The Central Appalachians – The Nature Conservancy’s Four State Initiative
It would take more than a camera with a panoramic lens to capture the complete picture of the Central Appalachian Mountains which span West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
* 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 Department of Environmental Protection published notice of proposed changes to Air Quality Transportation Conformity requirements and notice of proposed changes to Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre 8-Hour Ozone Maintenance 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. 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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