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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
November 24, 2008
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* Rendell Acknowledges $1- $2 Billion Budget Deficit, Hints At Using Marcellus Shale Revenue
Gov. Rendell acknowledged this week for the first time the state could face a budget deficit of $1- $2 billion in the current fiscal year if the economy does not improve. He also said the state could tap some of the $190 million the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources received recently from leasing Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling rights to balance the budget.
* Video Blog - A Winter Walk At The Kettle Creek Wildlife Sanctuary
Karen N. Boyle , Environmental Educator at the Monroe County Environmental Education Center, leads a Winter Walk at Kettle Creek last January. The participants discovered that there is still plenty of life and sights in the Kettle Creek Wildlife Sanctuary, even in the dead of winter.
* On the Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule/Bills Introduced
The Senate and House committee schedules and floor calenders are listed here--
* On The Governor's Desk
The following bills of interest were given final approval and now go to the Governor for his action--
* House, Senate Leadership Elections Mean Geographic Shift In Power
Although most Senate and House members in Leadership positions were re-elected this week, there were changes in the Senate Appropriations chairs and House Democratic Leadership that makes the geography of power different for the 2009-10 legislative session.
* Senate Republican Policy Committee Hearing On Marcellus Shale Drilling - Online Video
On November 18 the Senate Republican Policy Committee held a public hearing hosted by Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne)(photo) on the issues surrounding drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation.
* Environmental Synopsis Newsletter Features Oil 150 Celebration
The November issue of Environmental Synopsis newsletter published by the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee highlights the 2009 celebration of finding oil in Pennsylvania.

* EPA Outlines Plans to Set Pollution Caps for the Chesapeake Bay
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen L. Johnson this week renewed EPA’s commitment to speed Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts with its partners, while agency officials outlined plans for an unprecedented effort to set pollution caps needed to meet water quality standards throughout the Bay’s watershed.
* Committee Puts Chesapeake Bay Wastewater Plant Compliance Costs At Over $1.4 Billion
The Joint Legislative Budget and Finance Committee this week released a report estimating the cost for municipal wastewater plant compliance with Chesapeake Bay cleanup standards at over $1.4 billion, matching estimates earlier developed by the PA Municipal Authorities Association and far exceeding estimates developed by the Department of Environmental Protection.
* Rep. Hershey, Chesapeake Bay Commission Chair, Pushes For Accelerated Bay Restoration
In an effort to acknowledge the significant challenges facing the Chesapeake Bay restoration and nutrient reduction effort, Chesapeake Bay Commission Chairman, Rep. Arthur Hershey (R-Chester), sought to offer a realistic and rational tone to this week's Chesapeake Executive Council meeting in Washington, DC.

* Penn State Agricultural Council Hears Watershed Report
"Upstream Practices, Downstream Effects" was the theme as members of the Penn State Agricultural Council were updated on developments in agricultural nutrient management and water quality issues at the council's recent meeting in State College.
* PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation, Gas Well Plugging Projects Featured On EPA Website
A gas well plugging project in Clarion County and an abandoned mine reclamation passive treatment system in Butler County are the latest projects to be featured as success stories on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website.

* PEC Tree Planting Scheduled Nov. 22 in Luzerne County, One Completed
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council Northeast Office, in partnership with Earth Conservancy and Wilkes University, will be conducting a streamside tree planting project at the Penobscot property located in Newport Township on November 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

* DEP Recognizes 8 Different Aqua Pennsylvania Water Systems For Excellence
The Department of Environmental Protection this week presented Aqua Pennsylvania with awards for eight of its drinking water systems participating in the Partnership for Safe Water Program.

* DEP Recognizes Easton Suburban Water Authority for Efforts in Safe Drinking Water Program
The Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania section of the American Water Works Association this week honored the Easton Suburban Water Authority for successfully completing Phase III in the national Partnership for Safe Water Program.

* Aquatic Resource Education Grant Applications Now Being Accepted
The Fish and Boat Commission is looking for sportfishing, boating, and aquatic education programs that could use some financial assistance. As part of its efforts to re-engage youth, the PFBC is offering grants to organizations and local agencies involved in providing these types of programs.

* ClearWater Conservancy Honors Good Works Of Members
Three members of ClearWater Conservancy were recognized at ClearWater’s Annual Meeting on November 18 for their outstanding commitment and participation with the organization and in the community.

* DCNR Announces $44 Million Investment In Recreation, Conservation Projects
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources this week announced an investment of nearly $44 million in 316 conservation and recreation projects designed to help revitalize communities and protect natural resources.

* Budget & Finance Committee Releases Review Of Farmland Preservation Program
The House-Senate Legislative Budget and Finance Committee this week released a comprehensive review of the state Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program authorized by Senate Resolution 195 sponsored by Sen. Mike Brubaker (R-Lancaster)(photo), Majority Chair of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.

* Scranton, Dunmore High Students Compete in First Greensylvania Recycling Competition

* Chester County Invites Local Officials To Recycling Showcase December 3
Chester County invites municipal supervisors, township officials and waste/recycling coordinators to attend the Chester County Showcase on December 3 to learn more about operating a successful recycling program.

* PA Recycling Markets Center Offers Green Share Program To Turn Waste Into Raw Materials

* DEP Looking To Change State Recycling Program To Ban More Materials From Landfills
The Department of Environmental Protection has started the process of developing the next generation of the state's recycling program by proposing a ban on 18 different categories of waste from landfills over a four year period. These materials would be left to municipalities and private industry to recycle.
* Coca-Cola, National Recycling Coalition Recycling Bin Grants Awarded, 5 in PA
The National Recycling Coalition and the Coca-Cola Co. this week announced the 85 recipients of their Fall 2008 Recycling Bin Grants, including five grants in Pennsylvania.
* Lake Erie Cleanup Sets Record for Volunteers, Trash Collected
The sixth year of the Pennsylvania-Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup was one for the record books: 1,305 volunteers collected 55,300 items of trash throughout the Lake Erie watershed to improve the local quality of life and to prevent future littering.
* Verizon Makes Its PA Fleet Greener With 15 Hybrid Vehicles in Philadelphia
Verizon is rolling out 15 hybrid sedans to help conserve fuel and significantly reduce the emission of greenhouse gases in Philadelphia.
* Federal Renewable Fuel Standard Increased for 2009
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced this week the 2009 renewable fuel standard will be 10.21 percent to ensure that at least 11.1 billion gallons of renewable fuels be blended into transportation gasoline.
* DEP Recommends Measures to Reduce Electricity Costs, Avoid Full Effects Of Rate Spike
Acting Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger offered the Public Utility Commission suggestions this week to ensure that consumers can realize the greatest amount of savings—up to $500 million by 2013 and $800 million annually thereafter—from the state’s new energy efficiency and conservation law.
* PUC Announces Agenda For Dec. 18 Hearing, Extends Comments On Energy Conservation
The Public Utility Commission this week released the agenda for the December 18 hearing on wholesale electricity markets and extended the comment period onalternative energy resources, energy conservation and efficiency, and demand side response measuresto December 2.

* Philadelphia Housing Authority Opens Green Seniors Apartment Building
The Philadelphia Housing Authority has ushered in a new era of environmentally friendly public housing with the opening of Nellie Reynolds Gardens, a 64-apartment building for seniors with an adult daily living center in North Philadelphia.

* PA Home Energy Hosts Solar Training Workshop December 9
PA Home Energy, a new program from the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund, will hold a Solar Energy Training Workshop on December 9 in State College for contractors, consultants and remodelers who want to take advantage of the growing demand for solar expertise.

* DEP Citizens Advisory Council Fall 2008 Newsletter Now Online
The Citizens Advisory Council to the Department of Environmental Protection this week published its Fall 2008 newsletter-- Advisory-- highlight recent Council activities.
* DEP Bidding Opportunities For Well Plugging, Concrete Channel Access
The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of two bidding opportunities, one for plugging 32 abandoned oil wells in McKean County and a second for concrete channel access improvement in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties.
* Help Wanted: Pennsylvania Center for Environmental Education
The Pennsylvania Center for Environmental Education seeks a full time communications coordinator to manage and develop the center’s website and relational databases, coordinate all PCEE technological and online resources, and assist in the development/coordination of online educational materials.
* Spotlight - PA Oil and Gas Industry Generates $7.1 Billion in Statewide Economic Impact Annually
Generating more than $7.1 billion in economic output annually, Pennsylvania's oil and gas industry is a vital contributor to the state's economy, directly and indirectly, according to The Economic Impact of the Oil and Gas Industry in Pennsylvania, a new "state of the industry" report released this week.
* Feature - Game Commission Begins Countdown To 2008 Deer Season
The state's biggest draw for hunters is set to begin the Monday after Thanksgiving, according to Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe, when the two-week firearms deer season opens.
* 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 - November 22, 2008
* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of draft guidance on air quality permit exemptions and two proposed general waste permits, one for hot mix asphalt plants and a second for converting municipal waste to fuel products.
* 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
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Send your stories about environmental issues, programs and positive actions to PA Environment Digest- or go to
* Guide To The PA Environment Digest Family Of Websites
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* 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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