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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
July 21, 2008
(7/18/2008)
PDF Version - PA Environment Digest 7/21/08
* PA Groups Call for Targeted Farm Conservation Help From 2008 Farm Bill
Farm and environmental groups from Pennsylvania participated in a listening session this week by the U.S. Natural Resource Conservation Service on setting spending priorities for the new funding provided in the 2008 Farm Bill for farm conservation in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
* DEP Announces Strategy for Using Federal Abandoned Mine Reclamation Funds
The Department of Environmental Protection announced this week it plans to direct the full amount allowed by the federal government to develop and operate mine drainage treatment systems that are needed to protect thousands of miles of streams, according to Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty.
* Spotlight - 6th Anniversary of Quecreek Mine Rescue Features Visitor Center Groundbreaking
The Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation will host a groundbreaking ceremony for a new visitors’ center on July 26 to help celebrate the 6th anniversary of the 2002 rescue of nine miners trapped in the Quecreek Mine in Somerset County, Pa.
* Online Video Feature - Experts Answer Questions on PA’s New Natural Gas Drilling Rush
Learn how new drilling technology and rising fuel prices are driving the natural gas rush in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale—a 6,000 foot deep rock formation which has the potential to fuel the entire country for two full years.
* On the Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule/Bills Introduced
The Senate and House committee meeting schedules and floor Calendars are listed here--
* Clean and Green Hearing Touches on Wind Farms, Natural Gas Drilling
The House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee this week held a public hearing on issues surrounding the state’s Clean and Green program which provides farmers property tax assessment reductions for permanently preserving farmland.
* House Environmental Committee Sets Hearing on Expiring Electric Rate Caps
On July 22 the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee will hold a hearing in Monroeville on mitigating the impacts of electric rate caps that are due to expire in 2010.
* Senate Committee To Hold Hearing on Neighborhood Blight Reclamation
The Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee will hold a public hearing July 22 on the proposed Neighborhood Blight Reclamation and Revitalization Act-- Senate Bill 1291 (Rhoades-R-Schuylkill)—in Pottsville.
* PROP Announces Winners of 2008 Waste Watchers Awards
The Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association and the Keystone Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America announced the winners of the 2008 Waste Watchers Awards this week to recognize Pennsylvania’s most outstanding recycling programs/projects.
* Recycling Workshop Schedule Announced for Blair County
The Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania, in conjunction with the Blair County Intermunicipal Relations Committee, announced an aggressive marketing campaign, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle…Repeat” designed to educate the residents of Blair County about curbside recycling.
* Voluntary Conservation Agreements Protect Globally Significant Watershed
Three landowners along French Creek have permanently protected their property for future generations and improved the likelihood that one of the most biologically diverse streams in the northeastern United States will continue to thrive.
* DRBC Votes Additional Protections for Lower Delaware Water Quality
Delaware River Basin Commission this week voted to permanently designate the Lower Delaware as Significant Resource Waters under DRBC’s Special Protection Waters program, according to Executive Director Carol R. Collier.
* 150 Join in Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Allegheny River Sojourn
Recently, staff from the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy helped more than 150 canoeists enjoy the river on a two-day Allegheny River Sojourn.
* 400 Participate in Wildlands Conservancy 2008 Lehigh River Sojourn
Bald eagles, ospreys, snapping turtles, and great blue herons demonstrated firsthand lessons to students, ranging in ages 8-70 years old, about the importance of preserving natural habitats during this year’s Lehigh River Sojourn.
* Eastern Brook Trout Habitat Grant Proposals Requested
The Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture–Fish Habitat Partnership is requesting project proposals that conserve habitats which support healthy, productive populations of brook trout or enhances and restores habitats that have historically sustained brook trout populations.
* Workshops Help Applicants Apply for Chesapeake Bay Watershed Education Grants
The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office will hold summer workshops for organizations wishing to apply for the 2009 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) grants.
* SRBC Issues Water Availability Study for Deer Creek Watershed, York County
The Susquehanna River Basin Commission this week released a study projecting water use demands on Deer Creek Watershed in York County, Pa and Hardford County, Md. through the year 2025.
* Friends of the Wissahickon Seeking Volunteers for Sustainable Trails Initiative
Throughout July, August, and September, the Friends of the Wissahickon will be working on the Early Implementation phase of their Sustainable Trails Initiative.
* Delaware Highlands Conservancy Publishes Guide to Local Farm Markets
The Delaware Highlands Conservancy announced the publication of Shop Local, Save Land, a guide to local farms and farmers’ markets in Monroe, Pike and Wayne counties.
* Majority of Trout Anglers Satisfied With Fishing Experience
The overwhelming majority of Pennsylvania trout anglers were satisfied with their trout fishing experiences in Pennsylvania in 2007, according to survey results released this week by the Fish and Boat Commission.
* Susquehanna River Water Trail Recognized as National Recreation Trail
In honor of National Trails Day and the 40th anniversary of the National Trails System, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne recently designated 24 trails in16 states as National Recreational Trails, including the middle and lower sections of the Susquehanna River Water Trail.
* Pennsylvania Sea Grant Program Elevated to Institutional Level
The National Sea Grant College Program, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has designated Penn State University's Behrend College campus in Erie as the Institutional Sea Grant Program for Pennsylvania.
* DEP Awards $2 Million Grant to 3 Rivers Wet Weather Project
The Department of Environmental Protection this week announced it has awarded a $2 million grant to 3 Rivers Wet Weather Inc. to foster regionalization of municipal sewage collector systems among communities served by the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority to more efficiently maintain and operate those systems.
* PennVEST Announces $64 Million in Water Infrastructure Investments
The PA Infrastructure Investment Authority this week gave its approval to $63.8 million in low-interest loans and grants for 20 drinking water and wastewater projects in 16 counties.
* DCNR Announces Competitive Bid for Natural Gas Leases on State Forest Lands
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Michael DiBerardinis this week announced that the department will hold a lease sale for subsurface oil and gas rights on 18 tracts totaling 74,023 acres in the Loyalsock, Tiadaghton and Tioga state forests in Tioga and Lycoming counties.
* Sustainable Energy Fund, PPL Announce Small Business Lighting Retrofit Rebate
The Sustainable Energy Fund and PPL Electric Utilities are co-sponsoring the Small Business Lighting Retrofit Rebate Program, a new financial rebate program to help small business owners ease the expense of implementing energy-efficiency measures in their shops or stores.
* PUC OKs Rate Cap Removal Consumer Education Plans for 4 Companies
The Public Utility Commission this week gave final approval of consumer-education plans related to electric rate cap removal and price increase mitigation for West Penn Power Company, Citizens' Electric Company, Wellsboro Electric Company, and PPL Electric Utilities Corporation.
* Pollution Prevention, Energy Efficiency Grants Available From DEP
The Department of Environmental Protection this week announced it is now accepting applications for the Small Business Advantage Grant Program for pollution prevention and energy efficiency projects.
* Keystone Fund, Growing Greener Help Protect Lehigh Valley Greenways
In a former factory town still associated with steel production, the Bethlehem Greenway is linking urban areas to forests and open spaces.
* ClearWater Conservancy Receives $10,000 Grant From Dominion
The Dominion Foundation has given a $10,000 grant to ClearWater Conservancy whose mission is to promote the conservation and restoration of natural resources in central Pennsylvania.
* Outdoor Task Force Submits Findings, Recommendations to Governor
The 16-member task force named to develop key recommendations to strengthen the bond between citizens and the natural world is proposing the establishment of a Governor's Commission on People and Outdoor Connections, among other recommendations submitted this week in its 40-page report to Gov. Rendell.
* Game Commission Seeks Citizen Advisory Committee Volunteers
The Game Commission is calling for nominations of citizens willing to participate in one of five Citizen Advisory Committees to help gather input related to the deer management goal of reducing deer-human conflict in five Wildlife Management Units in 2009.
* Fish and Boat Commission Leadership Elected, Trout Rules Modified
The Fish and Boat Commission this week voted to allow anglers to fish in lakes and ponds approved as year-round trout waters without possessing a trout/salmon permit, as long as anglers are not fishing for trout or salmon. Commissioners also voted to open 31 additional approved trout waters to year-round fishing.
* Vote for the Winner of the Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Contest
The U.S. Environmental Protection Aging Initiative, in partnership with Generations United and the Rachel Carson Council Inc., invites the public to vote for their favorite submissions for the Second Annual Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Intergenerational Poetry, Essay and Photography Contest.
* Amanda Stein Wildlands Conservancy Director of Land Conservation and Planning
Wildlands Conservancy announced this week Amanda Stein as the new Director of Land Conservation and Planning.
* Spotlight - Conservation Groups Join Chorus of Voices Calling for End of Oil Speculation
Oil market speculation is dramatically driving up oil prices and giving consumers a major pain at the pump, environmental groups said this week in a letter to Congress.
* 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 19, 2008
* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of Nutrient and Sediment Credit Trading activity.
* 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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