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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
January 19, 2009
(1/16/2009)
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* $23 Million Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative Funding Now Available, Sign-Up Underway

* U.S. House Releases Economic Stimulus Plan With Environmental Components
The U.S. House Appropriations Committee this week released its plan for a $825 billion stimulus bill, including $11 billion for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and many other environmental components of interest to state environmental programs.

* Online Video - Video Shows Green Practices to Manage Stormwater Runoff
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Botanic Garden produced an on-line video, “Reduce Runoff: Slow It Down, Spread It Out, Soak It In,” that highlights green techniques such as rain gardens, green roofs and rain barrels to help manage stormwater runoff.

* On the Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule
The next scheduled voting session day is January 26 for the Senate and House members. The Senate will be in non-voting session January 20-21 primarily to allow for the introduction of bills.
* Senate Appropriations Committee Sets Budget Hearing Schedule
The Senate Appropriations Committee this week announced its budget hearing schedule for the 2009-10 budget, after Gov. Rendell's budget address on February 3. All hearings will be in Hearing Room 1 in the North Office Building.
* Rep. Mahoney Will Reintroduce Bill To Increase Deer Herd On Game Lands
Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-Fayette) will again introduce legislation that would increase the deer population on State Game Lands in Pennsylvania. Last sessions bill was House Bill 1667.

* Susquehanna Greenways Partnership Topic Of First Environmental Issues Forum in 2009
The Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee will hold its first Environmental Issues Forum of the 2009 legislative session on February 9 featuring a speaker from the Susquehanna Greenways Partnership.

* Foundation For Pennsylvania Watersheds Announces Grant Awards, Apply For A Grant
The Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds announced the award of $132,700 grants that will leverage a total of $1.2 million dollars.
* Deadline For H2O Water Infrastructure Grants Is February 13
The Commonwealth Financing Agency this week established a deadline for applications for funding $800 million in water infrastructure projects under the H2O PA Program. The deadline is February 13.

* New Air Quality Initiative For Farmers Under Environmental Quality Incentives Program
Natural Resources Conservation Service's State Conservationist, Craig Derickson, this week announced a new Air Quality Initiative for Pennsylvania under the fiscal year 2009 Environmental Quality Incentives Program.

* Grazing Assistance Available To Farmers Through NRCS
Jana Malot, Pennsylvania Natural Resources Conservation Service's Grassland Specialist, this week reminded farmers that NRCS is continuing to promote grazing systems through their Environmental Quality Incentives Program to help them improve their overall farming operation.

* NRCS Announces Sign-Up for $20 Million In Conservation Innovation Grants
Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Arlen Lancaster this week announced the availability of program funding for Conservation Innovation Grants for 2009, including a special Chesapeake Bay Watershed category.

* PECO Unveils Pa.’s Largest Urban Green Roof
PECO this week unveiled a 45,000 -square foot green roof installed at its downtown Philadelphia headquarters. It’s largest ever installed on an existing building in an urban setting in Pennsylvania.

* Contractors' Workshop Offered By Westmoreland Conservation District January 23
Highway and commercial contractors interested in better ways to control erosion and manage stormwater on their sites are invited to attend a special workshop offered by the Westmoreland Conservation District on January 23 from 7:30 a.m. until noon.

* Stormwater Monitoring: The Nuts & Bolts For Citizen Groups February 14
The Stroud Water Research Center, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, U.S.G.S. and Widener University School of Law are sponsoring a workshop on Stormwater Monitoring: The Nuts & Bolts For Citizen Groups on February 14 in Valley Forge.

* 2009 Schuylkill Watershed Congress Set For March 7
The 2009 Schuylkill Watershed Congress will be held on March 7 at the Montgomery County Community College West Campus in Pottstown.

* DEP Seeks Input to Update Forest Buffer Toolkit
The Department of Environmental Protection, in partnership with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Office of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, is updating the Pennsylvania Stream ReLeaf Forest Buffer Toolkit.

* Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy Is Looking For Trash
The Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy is seeking trashy sites within the watershed to include in the 2009 Stream Clean-up Event.

* DEP, Drilling Industry Partner To Explore New Wastewater Treatment Technologies
The Department of Environmental Protection and the natural gas drilling industry have launched a partnership to explore innovative methods to treat wastewater generated from oil and gas well drilling operations in the Commonwealth. DEP said it is developing a permit-by-rule that would eliminate individual reviews of erosion and sedimentation and stormwater permits.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Urges Federal Funding For Flood Warning System
The Susquehanna River Basin Commission called on President-elect Barack Obama, Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (Maryland) and other members of Congress to provide $2.4 million in Fiscal Year 2010 to fully fund the Susquehanna Flood Forecast and Warning System.

* Delaware River Basin Commission Announces Delay in Delivery of Flood Analysis Model
Delaware River Basin Commission Executive Director Carol R. Collier announced this week the flood analysis model being developed by an interagency team led by the U.S. Geological Survey will not be delivered to the DRBC this month as originally planned.

* Reminder: Western Pennsylvania Environmental Awards Due February 18
If your organization is working to make a difference in protecting the environment in Western Pennsylvania, you could receive a $5000 cash prize from Dominion and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.

* Wildlife For Everyone Continues Popular Seedlings For Schools Project
The Wildlife For Everyone Endowment Foundation Board of Directors again approved funding for the highly successful “Seedlings for Schools” Program.

* National Middle School Green Competition Urges Kids to Change Their Communities In 2009

* Nationwide Search For America's Greenest School Kicks Off, Win Free Bus

* Game Commission, Partners To Host Wildlife Workshops For Teachers Feb. 11, 26
ZooAmerica and Wildwood Lake Sanctuary in Dauphin County are partnering with the Game Commission to put on teacher workshops on Pennsylvania's biodiversity and Project WILD.

* Call For Papers: Business Of Brownfields Conference Set For April 16-17
The Western PA Brownfields Partnership has issued a call for papers for its Business of Brownfields Conference to be held in Pittsburgh April 16-17.

* DCNR Offers Electronic Filing, Workshops To Help Streamline Grant Process Starting Feb. 2
To streamline its 2009 grant application process, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced a new service this week through its Community Conservation Partnerships Program, popularly known as "C2P2."

* Land Ethics Symposium: Creative Approaches For Ecological Landscaping February 19
Bowman's Hill Wildlife Preserve and other partners will old the 9th Annual Land Ethics Symposium, this year with the theme "Creative Approaches For Ecological Landscaping," on February 19 in Langhorne, Pa.

* Public Supports Nuclear Energy, New Statewide Coalition Formed
A group of community leaders, technical experts and otherswho believe nuclear energy is vital to Pennsylvania’s future this week announced the formation of a coalitionto advocate for nuclear energy and increase awareness of the environmental and economic benefits itbrings to the Commonwealth.

* PA Biodiesel Production Reaches 40 Million Gallons
Gov. Rendell this week announced Pennsylvania-based production capacity of biodiesel has reach 40 million gallons. This threshold triggers a requirement that diesel contain a 2 percent renewable, biodegradable content-- usually soybean oil.

* PUC Establishes Energy Efficiency, Conservation Program for Electric Utilities
The Public Utility Commission this week established an energy efficiency and conservation program that included the plan requirements for most of the state’s electric distribution companies to reduce energy demand and consumption within its service territories as required by Act 129.

* Apply Now For Geothermal, Wind Energy Project Grants And Loans
The Commonwealth Finance Agency this week approved guidelines to provide $25 million in grants and loans for geothermal and wind energy projects.

* DEP Schedules Small Business Energy Efficiency Grant Workshop In Williamsport
The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a workshop from 9 a.m. until noon on January 27 in Williamsport to discuss the new Small Business Energy Efficiency Grant Program.

* EPA Recognizes Landfill Gas Projects, Including The Conestoga Landfill
Seven innovative landfill methane capture projects were recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for generating renewable energy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

* DEP, Habitat For Humanity Highlight Energy-Saving Home Construction Measures
When Tiffany Jones moves her family into their new home built by Habitat for Humanity’s Greater Harrisburg Area chapter, she can rest a bit easier knowing their heating bill will be manageable.

* Consumers At Risk Of Termination-- Call PUC Now To Maintain Electric, Gas Service
With a cold snap gripping the state, the Public Utility Commission this week reminded consumers at risk of termination to call their utility now to maintain electric or natural gas utility service this winter.

* Widener Law School Sponsoring Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy Conference February 10
The Law & Government Institute and the Widener Law Journal of Widener University School of Law will host a conference that considers the impact of government efforts to foster innovation in energy efficiency and renewable energy on February 10.

* EPA Releases Report On Climate Change-Caused Sea Level Rise In The Mid-Atlantic Region
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in collaboration with other agencies, released a report this week discussing the impacts of sea level rise on the coast, coastal communities, and the habitats and species that depend on them.

* DEP Re-Inspects Large Coal Waste Basins, Other High-Hazard Dams to Ensure Public Safety
In the wake of a disastrous December 22 coal ash impoundment failure in Tennessee, the Department of Environmental Protection is re-inspecting all coal ash slurry basins in Pennsylvania, according to Acting Secretary John Hanger.

* EPA Awards $274,914 Grant to Philadelphia Clean Air Council
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $274, 914 Community Action for a Renewed Environment grant to the Philadelphia Clean Air Council’s Southeast Philadelphia Port Communities project.

* 2009 Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show Set For February 7 - 15 In Harrisburg
The 2009 Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, the country's largest outdoor, hunting and fishing consumer show, will run from February 7 - 15 at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg.

* Spotlight - Home Gardeners Can Reap Huge Financial Rewards Growing Veggies
A recently completed cost-analysis by Pennsylvania-based W. Atlee Burpee & Co saysa well-planned garden will result in a 1 to 25 cost-savings ratio, meaning $50 in seeds and fertilizer can produce $1,250 worth of groceries purchased at a supermarket.

* Feature - Wealth Of Trails Leads PA Towns To New Promise On The Horizon
By Brenda Barrett, Director, DCNR's Bureau of Recreation & Conservation
* 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 will meet on January 20 to consider a final regulation implementing the Triennial Review of Water Quality Standards and a measure to recind the final-omitted rulemaking repealing the state's Clean Air Interstate Rule. The Independent Regulatory Review Commission issued comments on proposed changes to Environmental Quality Board regulations.

* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Department of Environmental Protection published notices extending the comment deadline for a revised land use policy (details below), a notice approving alternative liner materials for oil and gas well drilling sites, a draft policy covering transient drinking water systems and a final general air quality permit for feed mills. DEP also published notice of the current inventory of Certified Emission Reduction Credits available on its registry (PA Bulletin page 357). DCNR filed a request for a radioactive material license termination request for Quehanna Wild Area.

* 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.
* Guide To The PA Environment Digest Family Of Websites
Crisci Associates is pleased to provide our clients and the public with the latest, most comprehensive news on environmental issues, legislation and accomplishments through a family of websites. Sign up now to get the latest news, whether you want it daily, weekly or in video form--
* Supporting Member PA Outdoor Writers Assn./PA Trout Unlimited
PA Environment Digestis a supporting member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association, Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited and the Doc Fritchey Chapter Trout Unlimited.

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