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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
June 16, 2008
(6/13/2008)
PDF Version - PA Environment Digest 6/16/08
* Bills Including Fair Share for Clean Water Plan See Action in Senate, House
Both the Senate and House took important, bipartisan steps this week to move or introduced legislation that contains elements of the PA Fair Share for Clean Water Plan to provide financial relief for sewer system ratepayers and farmers under federal and state mandates to reduce nutrient discharges.
* Senate Committees To Consider Fair Share Farmer Assistance, Infrastructure Bills
Two more elements of the PA Fair Share for Clean Water Plan will be considered June 16 and 17 in the Senate Appropriations and Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committees.
* Governor’s Task Force Begins Reviewing Comments on Water Infrastructure Needs
The Governor’s Sustainable Water Infrastructure Task Force has started to review hundreds of public comments on ways Pennsylvania can address a $20 billion funding shortfall facing the state’s drinking water and wastewater systems.
* Online Video Feature - DEP College Interns Help Map Lake Erie Shoreline With GPS
Watch this Erie Times story about how Department of Environmental Protection summer intern Andy Faivre trains new intern Sarah Lawlor on how to map the structures along the Lake Erie shoreline using GPS systems, photographs, and other measurements to compile a database which will be used to monitor beach erosion.
* On the Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule/Bills Introduced
Here’s what’s coming up on the Senate and House agenda for next week, as well as the voting session schedule through June 30.
* On the Governor’s Desk
Gov. Rendell signed House Bill 1281 (Freeman-D-Lehigh) requiring municipalities to protect the Appalachian Trail into law this week as Act 24.
* Senate/House Bills Moving
These bills of interest saw action in the House and Senate this week—
* House Committee Approves Bills on Flooding, Dam Repair Funding
The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee reported out legislation promoting nonstructural alternatives to control flooding and authorize PennVEST to fund high hazard dam repair projects. The bills include:
* Senate Committees Approves Water Infrastructure Bills, Great Lakes Compact
The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee this week approved legislation adopting the Great Lakes Compact, authorizing a $400 million water infrastructure bond issue referendum, allowing non-structural solutions to flooding problems and to prevent the theft of scrap metals.
* Carbon Sequestration, Mercury Thermostats, Oil Cost on House Committee Agenda
The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee meets June 17 to hear a presentation by DCNR Secretary Michael DiBerardinis on the agency’s Carbon Management Plan.
* Senate Committee Sets Hearing on Electronics Waste Recycling
The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee will hold a public hearing June 18 on the issue of electronic waste recycling.
* Environmental Issues Forum Features Presentation on PennTAP Assistance Program
The Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee will hold its June 2008 Environmental Issues Forum on June 16, 2008 at 12 noon in Room 205, Matthew J. Ryan Building, Capitol Complex, Harrisburg.
* Water Resources Education Network Announces $90,000 in Education Projects
The Water Resources Education Network announced the award of more than $90,000 in Source Water Protection and Nonpoint Source Pollution/Watershed Education Project Grants.
* PEC Praises Senate Committee Approval of Groundbreaking Great Lakes Compact
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council this week praised the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee for approving legislation -- House Bill 1705 -- that would help establish comprehensive protections against new diversions of fresh water from Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes for use outside of the basin.
* EPA Water Quality Trading Funding: Proposals Due September 9
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is now accepting proposals for water quality trading or other market-based projects in the Ohio River and other watersheds through its Targeted Watersheds Grants Program.
* Wyoming Valley RiverFest and Sojourn Set to Kick Off June 20-22
June is Rivers Month and what better way to celebrate than to join in the Wyoming Valley RiverFest and Sojourn! Discover the beauty, splendor and cultural significance of the North Branch of the Susquehanna River.
* Friends of the Wissahickon Dedicates First Bio-Composting Toilet in Fairmount Park
The Friends of the Wissahickon celebrated the opening of the first bio-composting toilet in Fairmount Park this week with a Toilet Paper Ribbon Cutting followed by a toast with prune juice.
* Giant Food Store Customers Help Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful
The purchase of reusable grocery bags by customers of Giant Food Stores has generated over $42,000 for the anti-litter and beautification activities of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful thanks to a special Earth Day promotion.
* William Gumbert Receives PA CleanWays Sue Wiseman Scholarship
PA CleanWays announced this week that William Gumbert from California Area High School, Washington County was chosen as the $1,000 Sue Wiseman Scholarship recipient.
* Farm Scale Composting Field Day Set at Rodale Institute on August 12
The Rodale Institute and the Department of Environmental Protection will sponsor a Field Day on Farm Scale Composting on August 12 to review current practices for on-farm composting at the Institute’s facility near Kutztown, Pa.
* Non-Profit and Transit Groups Promote Options to Driving Alone in Central PA
Commuter Services of South Central Pennsylvania and its transit partners are encouraging the region’s more than 800,000 commuters to “Dump the Pump” and save gasoline – and money – by using options such as transit, carpools, vanpools and telecommuting.
* Pollution Prevention Saves Bloomsburg Floral Greenhouse $106,000 Annually
Dillon Floral Corp. of Bloomsburg, Columbia County, installed a new wood-fired heating system at their facility that will replace an existing inefficient oil heating system and save over $106,000 annually.
* Electric Utilities, Electric Grid Managers Highlight Reliability For Summer Months
The Energy Association of Pennsylvania, the Electric Power Generation Association, PJM Interconnection and Pennsylvania One Call System Inc. this week advised the Public Utility Commission that they are expecting normal demands for electricity during the summer months while maintaining enough power for emergencies.
* Bucks County Receives Supplemental EPA Brownfields Grant
Bucks County was one of 16 state and local governments receiving supplemental brownfield revitalization grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help return problem properties to productive use.
* DCNR Grant Helps Conserve Land in Lower Susquehanna Greenway
To foster open space preservation, protect the watershed and promote outdoor recreation and heritage tourism in the Lower Susquehanna River watershed, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Michael DiBerardinis this week presented a $1.4 million grant for the preservation of three land tracts.
* Landowners Reminded DMAP Deer Management Applications Due July 1
Eligible landowners interested in enrolling in the Game Commission's Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) have until July 1 to submit an application for the 2008-09 hunting seasons to the appropriate Regional Office.
* Game Commission Sponsors Teacher Workshops in Southwest
The Game Commission will sponsor teacher workshops in June and July entitled, Wild About Bears and Wonders of Wetlands in Southwestern PA. The details include:
* Spotlight - Reducing Demand Can Lower Electric Bills, Lessen Chance of Blackouts
A 5 percent reduction in electricity use will lower the market price of electricity, cut consumers' bills and lessen strain on the grid when demand shoots up this summer, say energy experts in Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.
* 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 Environmental Quality Board meets June 17 (details below) and the Game Commission publishes proposed new rules on taking more than one deer at a time and a proposal to expand the DMAP deer management program.
* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Department of Environmental Protection published an updated list of available air emission reduction credits for nitrogen oxide, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, lead, sulfur oxides and particulate matter (Pa Bulletin page 3312) and a list of organizations certified to perform radon-related activities. (Pa Bulletin page 3321)
* 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 - DHess@CrisciAssociates.com or go to www.PaEnvironmentDigest.com .
* Supporting Member PA Outdoor Writers Assn./PA Trout Unlimited
PA Environment Digest is a supporting member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association, Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited and the Doc Fritchey Chapter Trout Unlimited.

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