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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
March 24, 2008
PDF Version - PA Environment Digest 3/24/08
* Join Community, Watershed Groups in the 2008 Great PA Cleanup!
Join nearly 140,000 friends and neighbors from all across Pennsylvania that volunteer to remove litter and trash from roadways, parks and streambanks as part of the annual Great PA Cleanup sponsored by the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Alliance, state agencies and many other partners.
* Agriculture, Environmental Groups Create a Storm at Capitol – Video Blog
Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, the PA No-Till Alliance and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation participated in “College Capitol Day,” which focused on the importance of agricultural research giving farmers new tools to reduce their environmental footprint.
* Video Blog Feature - Penn State’s Rainfall Demonstrator Clearly Shows Benefits of No-Till
Illustrating the need for best management practices on farms, Penn State’s Rainfall Demonstrator literally “made it rain” in the Capitol this week.
* On the Senate/House Agenda/Bills Introduced
The Senate and House will return to voting session the week of March 31.
* Senate/House Bills Moving
These Senate and House environmental bills moved this week--
* House Environmental Committee Reports Heating Assistance, Stormwater Bills
The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee reported out legislation on home heating assistance and stormwater management legislation. The bills include:
* House Republicans Examine Ways to Lower Consumer Electric Bills
The benefits of allowing the marketplace to set the rates for Pennsylvania's electric industry, thereby making the industry more competitive and giving more options to consumers, was the topic of a hearing this week by the House Republican Policy Committee.
* Regional Compact Might Aid Fight Against Electric Corridor
House Majority Leader Bill DeWeese (D-Greene) wants the Commonwealth to join forces with other states in forming a "regional transmission siting agency."
* House Hearing on Budget Yields Support for More Environmental Funding
The House Appropriations Committee this week held a special hearing on the 2008-09 budget featuring members of the House making their suggestions for budget priorities. Several legislators suggested increases in environmental funding.
* House Environmental Committee Sets Hearing on Extending Electric Rate Caps
Rep. Camille "Bud" George (D-Clearfield), Majority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, will hold a second public hearing March 26 on legislation that would extend utility generation rate caps by two years.
* Environmental Synopsis Features E-Waste Dilemma
The March issue of the Environmental Synopsis newsletter features a discussion of the coming electric waste crisis. Other topics covered include: cellulosic ethanol production, climate change-the cost of inaction and acid rain emissions reduced.
* Gov. Rendell Announces Nine Winners of Environmental Excellence Award
Gov. Rendell this week recognized nine Pennsylvania businesses and organizations adopting environmentally friendly practices and technologies and who are working to revitalize communities, reduce pollution, and educate the public on the benefits of being good stewards of the state's natural resources.
* Rebounding Youghiogheny River Named DCNR's River of the Year
Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Michael DiBerardinis this week named the Youghiogheny River as the Commonwealth's River of the Year for 2008.
* Nominations Accepted for 2008 Friend of the Lehigh River Award
Nominations are now being accepted for the Friend of the Lehigh River Award given annually by Wildlands Conservancy in acknowledgement of individuals, groups, organizations, businesses, institutions, governmental bodies, and others who deserve to be recognized for their commitment to preserving, protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Lehigh River and the Lehigh River valley.
* 12th Annual Lehigh River Sojourn Set for June 20-25
The 12th Annual Lehigh River Sojourn sponsored by the Wildlands Conservancy will be held from June 20 to June 25.
* Conservation Districts Announce Legislator Recognition Award Winners
The Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts this week announced Sen. Roger Madigan (R-Bradford) and Sen. Michael Waugh (R-York) were this year’s winners of the PACD Legislator Recognition Award.
* PA American Water Accepting Applications for Environmental Grant Program
Pennsylvania American Water announced it is now accepting applications for its Environmental Grant Program to support innovative, community-based environmental projects that improve, restore or protect watersheds and community drinking water supplies.
* Anglers Invited to Chart Future of Raystown Lake
The Fish and Boat Commission and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are asking anglers who fish Raystown Lake in Huntingdon County to participate in an angler logbook program.
* EPA Settlement with Upper Southampton Includes Pharmaceutical Education
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week announced a proposed settlement with Upper Southampton Sewer Authority in Southampton, Bucks County, Pa., for violations of the Clean Water Act.
* Pennsylvanians Urged to Evaluate Flood Insurance Needs
The Insurance Department this week reminded Pennsylvanians that the arrival of Spring is a good time to consider buying flood insurance to protect their homes and businesses.
* 2nd Annual Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Poetry, Essay and Photography Contest
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Aging Initiative, in partnership with Generations United and the Rachel Carson Council Inc., are inviting submissions for its Second Annual Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Intergenerational Poetry, Essay and Photography Contest.
* BP Donates $13,000 to Three PA Boy Scout Councils
BP America recently donated more than $13,000 to three Pennsylvania Boy Scout Councils for use on environmental projects. Each of the three councils – Northeastern Pennsylvania Council, Minsi Trails Council, and Moraine Trails Council – will receive a donation of $4,525.
* Harrisburg, Pittsburgh Peregrine Falcons Make Their Online Debut This Week
Spring is in the air and the two Peregrine falcons nesting on the ledge of the Rachel Carson Building in Harrisburg will again provide an intimate look at how the recovering species raises a family through online video. Their first egg should arrive around March 25.
* Game Commission to Provide Wildlife Workshops for Teachers
The Game Commission this week announced a pair of wildlife education workshops for educators, scout and youth group leaders in April.
* Game Commission Reports Deer Harvest Down 11 Percent Over Last Season
The Game Commission this week reported that hunters harvested an estimated 323,070 deer in the state's 2007-08 seasons. That's down 11 percent from the previous seasons' harvest.
* WPC Offers Land Preservation and Conservation Easements Workshop
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is offering a comprehensive workshop for landowners and WPC conservation partners entitled, “Understanding Land Preservation and Conservation Easements,” at two locations.
* Exelon-EPURON Solar Center Breaks Ground on 3,700 MW Plant
Construction officially got underway this week on the $20 million Exelon-EPURON Solar Center that will feature 16,500 solar panels on a 16.5-acre tract of land adjacent to Waste Management’s GROWS Landfill.
* Chem-Fab Site in Doylestown Added to EPA's Superfund List
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week added the Chem-Fab site, located in Doylestown, Bucks County, to the Superfund National Priorities List.
* Backyard Composting Courses to Be Offered in 50 Counties
The Penn State Cooperative Extension, in partnership with the Department of Environmental Protection, will hold backyard composting education workshops in 50 counties beginning in April.
* Protecting Pennsylvania’s Historic Resources Conference May 14-16
Protecting Pennsylvania’s Historic Resources brings together the Ninth Annual Byways to the Past Conference and the Thirtieth Annual Heritage Partnerships Conference for the first time in Harrisburg May 12-16.
* Spotlight - Conservation Districts Hold Capitol Legislative Day to Push Initiatives
The Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts held a Capitol Legislative Day and luncheon this week in Harrisburg to focus attention on key legislative issues important to conservation districts across the Commonwealth.
* Feature - Western Pennsylvania Land: A Legacy for Future Generations
In its first 75 years, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy left an important legacy for Western Pennsylvania by permanently protecting some of our most cherished natural places.
* 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 a corrective amendment to proposed water quality standards regulations, proposed revisions to the 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area Plan for Clearfield-Indiana and York-Adams and final regulations were published relating to siting landfills in proximity to airports.
* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Department of Environmental Protection published draft guidance on site suitability and alternatives analysis for onlot sewage disposal.
* 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 - 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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