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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
July 4, 2008
(7/4/2008)
PDF Version - PA Environment Digest 7/4/08
* $1.2 Billion Approved for Infrastructure Upgrades, Funding for Farmers Left Behind
The General Assembly and Gov. Rendell this week gave final approval to more than $1.2 billion in new funding for infrastructure improvements, including water and sewer system upgrades, but only managed to restore some of the cuts made to the Department of Agriculture and conservation district funding without adding anything to help farmers meet federal and state clean water mandates.
* $650 Million Renewable Energy Program, BioFuels Mandate, Incentives OK'd
The General Assembly this week gave final approval to a $650 Renewable Energy Investment Program designed to encourage wind, solar and other alternative energy sources. Also given final approved were a biofuels mandate and a production incentive program.
* Major Environmental Initiatives Adopted, But Budget Trends Are Not Good
The good news in this year’s budget is the General Assembly approved a $1.2 billion water infrastructure funding program and a $650 million renewable energy program.
* PEC Praises Final Passage of Climate Change Action Plan Legislation
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council this week praised passage of Senate Bill 266, the Pennsylvania Climate Change Act, which requires the development of a Climate Change Action Plan for Pennsylvania.
* Pennsylvania Adopts Historic Great Lakes Compact Legislation
The General Assembly this week gave final approval to House Bill 1705, legislation that will ratify the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact. The bill now goes to Gov. Rendell for his consideration.
* Deep Mine Safety Legislation Given Final Approval
The General Assembly this week gave final approval to Senate Bill 949 (Kasunic-D-Somerset) that provides the first comprehensive update to the Bituminous Coal Mine Safety Act in more than 45 years.
* Online Video Features - New York Times Features Legacy Sediment Researchers Merritts, Walter
The New York Times this week did a feature story in its Science section on Franklin & Marshall College professors Dorothy Merritts and Robert Walter and the work they’ve done on the issue of legacy sediments.
* On the Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule/Bills Introduced
The Senate and House committee meeting schedules and floor Calendars (such as they are) are detailed below--
* On the Governor’s Desk
Here are the bills given final approval by the Senate and House that are now on the Governor's desk for his action--
* Senate/House Bills Moving
These bills and nominations of interest saw action in the House and Senate this week—
* Joint Conservation Committee Issues Report on Electronic Waste Recycling
The Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee this week issued a report this week on the issue of electronics waste recycling, including potential draft legislation on the topic.
* Ohio River Watershed Celebration Set for September 25
Circle this date on your fall calendar—September 25. That’s the date of this year’s always thrilling, always educational Ohio River Watershed Celebration.
* Conservation Districts Awarded Over $53,000 for Water Pollution Control Projects
The PA Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. this week announced the award of $53,000 in Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-Grants to 24 county conservation districts.
* $54,000 to Safeguard Clean Water Thru County Conservation Districts
The PA Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. this week awarded $54,000 in Chesapeake Bay Educational Mini-Grants to 22 county conservation districts.
* USDA Holds Chesapeake Bay Listening Session In Annapolis July 14
On July 14, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service will hold a public listening session on the Chesapeake Bay provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill.
* Native Eastern Brook Trout Added to PA Wildlife Action Plan
The Fish and Boat Commission formally added naturally reproducing eastern brook trout to the Pennsylvania Wildlife Action Plan, the document that prescribes conservation measures for species and their critical habitats before they become more costly to protect and restore.
* DEP Requests Comments on Armstrong County TMDL Watershed Plan
The Department of Environmental Protection is asking for public comments on the proposed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Plan for Patterson Creek in Armstrong County.
* PennVEST Holds Public Hearing July 14 on State Water Revolving Fund Priorities
The PA Infrastructure Investment Authority will hold a hearing on July 14 in Harrisburg for the Fiscal Year 2009 Intended Use Plans for the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Fund priorities.
* PA CleanWays Releases Illegal Dumpsite Surveys for 9 Counties
PA CleanWays has released Illegal Dumpsite Surveys for nine counties: Bedford, Berks, Crawford, Fulton, Lawrence, McKean, Schuylkill, Somerset, and Venango.
* Summary of Comments on State Forest Management Plan Now Available
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has completed a summary and response to public comments made on changes to the Bureau of Forestry's master management plan.
* Click a Mouse, Plant 5 Trees in a PA State Park for Free!
With just a click of your mouse, you can help to plant trees in Pennsylvania’ State Parks, courtesy of the Odwalla juice company of Dinuba, California.
* International Recognition For Dark Skies at Cherry Springs State Park
Cherry Springs State Park has been designated as the second International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association. The announcement was made this week at IDA’s annual meeting in Tucson, Arizona.
* Televisions Now Accepted Free at Lancaster Authority HHW Facility
On July 1 the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority Household Hazardous Waste Facility began accepting televisions for recycling. No external speakers, VCR or DVD players, or other peripheral television equipment will be accepted at the HHW.
* Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Holds Oil and Gas Drilling Issues Meeting July 16
The PSU Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies will hold a roundtable on oil and gas drilling issue on July 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Centre County/Penn State Visitor Center, 800 East Park Ave., State College.
* Program Offers Wind Energy Assessments to Public, Private Entities in PA
The Saint Francis University Renewable Energy Center in Loretto, Cambria County, has announced another application period for its popular statewide Community Wind Project. Public and private entities can receive a wind energy assessment of their property at no upfront cost.
* Going Green Event Set for August 2 at Grange Fairgrounds in Centre Hall
G&R Excavating & Demolition and Forever Broadcasting present Central Pennsylvania’s first “Going Green” event on August 2 at the Grange Fairgrounds from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. More than 100 businesses will showcase their environmentally friendly goods and services at the first ever Going Green event.
* Presentation on Energy Savings Ideas Set for July 17 in Pottstown
Jim Crater, President of Recycling Services, Inc., will do a presentation on energy saving ideas at the Norco Fire Hall on Rt. 724 just south of Pottstown on July 17 from 7 to 9 p.m.
* DEP CAC Elects 2008-09 Officers and EQB Representatives
At its June 17 meeting, the Citizens Advisory Council to the Department of Environmental Protection held elections for officers and Environmental Quality Board representatives for the coming year.
* Spotlight - Stoneycreek River Restored to Be Included in Whitewater Park
Twenty years ago the Stonycreek River ran orange with acid mine runoff; today it is the site of a 300-yard long whitewater park—the only one of its kind in 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
No new regulations were published this week. Pennsylvania Bulletin – July 5, 2008
* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is proposing a land exchange in Butler County.
* 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 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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