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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
June 23, 2008
(6/20/2008)
PDF Version - PA Environment Digest 6/23/08
* Agriculture Committees OK Fair Share Clean Water Plan for Farmers
The Senate and House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committees this week unanimously approved funding increases for cost share, technical assistance and the REAP Tax Credit Program designed to help farmers reduce nutrient pollution to meet federal Clean Water Act mandates.
* Spotlight - REAP Gives Eby Farm the Opportunity to Expand No-Till Farming Practices
Earlier this spring Leon Eby and his wife Elsie learned that their application for state tax credits through the Resource Enhancement and Protection Act (REAP) had been approved.
* State Budget Talks Coming Down to the July 1 Deadline
With the July 1 deadline for adopting a state budget looming, there were a series of meetings and actions this week designed to move the process along to a successful conclusion; at least everyone hopes so.
* Online Video Feature - Bare Facts About Bear Encounters, How to Avoid Attracting Bears
In this online video story, the Pocono Record's Mike Kuhns and Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Park Ranger Chris Cross discuss what to do when you encounter a Pennsylvania Black Bear.
* 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.
* Senate/House Bills Moving
These bills of interest saw action in the House and Senate this week—
* House Committee Met on Carbon Sequestration, Mercury Thermostats, Oil Costs
The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee met this week to hear a presentation by DCNR Secretary Michael DiBerardinis on the agency’s Carbon Management Plan and approved legislation that would ban the sale of new thermostats containing mercury and to urge Congress to investigate the role of speculators in the rising cost of oil.
* Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Electronic Waste Recycling
The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held a public hearing this week on the issue of electronic waste recycling and heard from a variety of witnesses on the growing demand for these services.
* House Environmental Committee to Consider Litter Education Bill
The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee meets to June 24 to consider House Bill 1319 (Siptroth-D-Monroe) increasing penalties for scattering rubbish and including an acknowledgement of littering laws on learner’s permit applications.
* June Environmental Synopsis Features One Story - Mandatory Trash Collection
The June edition of Environmental Synopsis published by the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee features an article on a survey done by Mansfield University on mandatory trash collection and rural dumping issues.
* Wildlands Conservancy Announces 2008 Friend of the Lehigh River Awards
The Wildlands Conservancy this week announced the winners of the 2008 Friend of the Lehigh River Awards: Stephen Baier, Larry Rafes, the late Peter W. Nestor, and the County of Lehigh.
* Environmental Groups, Legislators Urge DEP to Adopt Forest Buffer Rule
The Pennsylvania Campaign for Clean Water this week publicly launched its “Buffers 100” initiative to urge the Department of Environmental Protection to propose new regulations that would require minimum 100 foot buffers on new development on all rivers and streams in the state.
* PA Trout Unlimited Announces Trout In the Classroom Grant Awards
PA Trout Unlimited this week announced grants to 14 schools across the state to participate in its Trout in the Classroom environmental education program.
* Record Number of Paddlers Participate in Schuylkill River Sojourn
The Schuylkill River Heritage Area held it’s 10th Annual Schuylkill River Sojourn in June, taking a record 250 participants on a 110-mile, seven-day guided canoe/kayak tour.
* Youghiogheny Sojourn Activities Salute River of the Year, Community Involvement
The Youghiogheny River's dominant role in Western Pennsylvania history and its rebirth from a threatened past to a promising recreational future will be highlighted during a four-day sojourn in July offering events for rafters, bikers, anglers and other outdoors enthusiasts.
* Plan to Reduce Nutrients to Mississippi River From 31 States Released By EPA
The Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force this week released an Action Plan that involves state and federal partners in reducing hypoxia in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. The watersheds include the Ohio River Watershed in Western Pennsylvania
* York County Alliance to Hold Annual Watershed Weekend September 27-28
The Watershed Alliance of York is pleased to announce the opening of registration for the 6th Annual Watershed Weekend to be held September 27 and 28.
* Clarion County Plant Completes Third Phase of Partnership for Safe Water
The Pennsylvania American Water Co.’s Clarion Plant recently completed the third phase of the Partnership for Safe Water program, a voluntary effort to take additional steps to provide safe drinking water.
* Delaware Estuary Part of New EPA Climate Ready Estuaries Program
The Delaware Estuary and five other estuaries across the United States are part of a new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency program called “Climate Ready Estuaries.” The six estuaries will be case studies for local action to protect sensitive coastal ecosystems and economies from the potential effects of climate change.
* PNC Financial Group, PA Horticultural Society Honored in Global Awards Program
Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. has won an inaugural Sustainable Cities Award sponsored jointly by the Urban Land Institute and the Financial Times. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society was a finalist in the same program.
* New EPA Guide to Help Businesses Confront Climate Challenge
This U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week released a new resource, A Business Guide to U.S. EPA Climate Partnership Programs, for businesses committed to addressing the risks and opportunities associated with climate change.
* Gov. Rendell Again Calls for Cuts in State Agency Energy Use
Gov. Rendell this week announced a number of strategic initiatives the Commonwealth will take to expand on the steps it has been taking since 2004 to reduce energy costs and stimulate renewable energy among state agencies.
* PUC Chairman Holland Participates in Joint Federal-State Smart Grid Collaborative
In a time of rising energy prices and aging infrastructure systems, Public Utility Commission Chairman Wendell F. Holland will be working to address these issues and several other priorities as a participant on the National Association of Regulatory Commissioners – Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Smart Grid Collaborative.
* National Symposium on Conservation, Sustainability To Be Held In Philadelphia
Leaders from 16 states, including Pennsylvania, will gather at the University of Pennsylvania June 23 and 24 for a symposium entitled "Creating a New Natural Resource Legacy: Conservation and Sustainability ... Historic Missions Cast New in the 21st Century."
* DCNR Releases Study of Proposed Wind Farm Impacts on Cherry Springs State Park
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources released a study recently by an internationally respected lighting consultant that indicates a proposed wind farm near Cherry Springs State Park in Potter County will have an unnoticeable impact on the dark sky viewing opportunities.
* PA Preserves An Additional 6,400 Acres of Farmland
Farmland in 20 Pennsylvania counties will remain viable for agricultural production thanks to this week’s approval of more than 6,400 acres on 58 farms by the state Farmland Preservation Board, said Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff.
* International Urban Parks Conference Slated for September in Pittsburgh
The green transformation of Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania will be on display to the world this September as the city hosts the 2008 International Urban Parks Conference on September 21-23.
* National Park Service Rivers, Trails, Conservation Program Looking for Applicants
The National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program has a new round of assistance available to partners to plan successful locally-led outdoor recreation and natural resource conservation projects.
* Guided Tours of Regal Fritillary Butterfly Habitat Slated at Fort Indiantown Gap
The public will have the opportunity to see the only viable colony of Regal Fritillary butterflies in the Eastern U.S. during free, guided tours beginning at 9 a.m. on July 4, 5, 14, and 21, and at 1 p.m. on July 13 at Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville.
* Game Commission Looks Forward to Court Ruling on Deer Management
Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe this week welcomed the opportunity for the agency to present its case to Commonwealth Court to resolve, once and for all, the scientific foundation of its Deer Management Program.
* Game Commission Posts Deer Management Advisory Committee Reports
To provide more information about its deer management public input process and challenges it faces, the Game Commission has posted the final reports from the five Citizen Advisory Committees held in Wildlife Management Units 2A, 4C, 4D, 4E, and 5A in 2008.
* Residents Encouraged to Participate in Breeding Bird Atlas
The Game Commission and Carnegie Museum of Natural History are looking for both casual and avid birdwatchers to help monitor nesting wild birds as part of the Second Pennsylvania Breeding Bird Atlas, an ambitious five-year project (2004-2008) that is literally putting Pennsylvania's breeding birds on the map!
* Game Commission Hosts 'eBird' on Website
The Game Commission has become the first state wildlife agency to host and manage an "eBird" website. The eBird network is dedicated to helping birders throughout North America and the world record their bird observations and improve our understanding of seasonal bird activities and movements.
* New Interactive Displays at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area
The Game Commission announced this week that two interactive displays are now open to the public at the agency's Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area Visitors Center, along Hopeland Road, two miles south of Kleinfeltersville, Lebanon County.
* ERM Holding Workshops on New Continuous Emission Monitoring Requirements
ERM has scheduled a series of free workshops to help businesses understand new rules adopted by the Department of Environmental Protection requiring updated Continuous Emission Monitoring Data collection.
* 3rd Annual GreenFest Philly Set for September 7
The 3rd Annual GreenFest Philly will take place September 7 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at 2nd and South Streets in Philadelphia. This year over 200 exhibitors and 20,000 visitors will fill the streets to learn and share how easy it is to be green!
* DEP’s Dan Desmond, Deputy for Energy, Retires, Daniel Griffiths Named
Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty this week announced the retirement of Daniel Desmond, Deputy Secretary for Energy and Technology Deployment at DEP.
* Help Wanted: PA Trout Unlimited Seeks Trout in Classroom Coordinator
PA Trout Unlimited is seeking a full-time Americorps service position, managed through the Pennsylvania Mountain Service Corps to serve as an outreach coordinator for its Trout in the Classroom Program.
* In Memoriam: Bill Apgar, PA Senior Environment Corps Volunteer, Passes
Bill Apgar, a long-time employee of the Department of Environmental Protection and Chairman of the Capital Area Chapter of the Pennsylvania Senior Environment Corps, passed away this week.
* In Memoriam: William McDonnell, Former DEP Regional Director
William McDonnell, former Regional Director for DEP’s Wilkes-Barre Office, passed away this week.
* Opinion - Data Quality Act Needed by Pennsylvania
by Sen. Edwin Erickson
* 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 Regulatory Agenda, a list of regulations proposed by agencies, including DEP and others, pending and a schedule for future activity. The Environmental Quality Board approved each of the items on its June 17 agenda.
* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Governor’s Executive Board published a reorganization plan for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. (Pa Bulletin page 3361)
* 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 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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