Scrapbook Photo 08/02/20 - PA Has LONG Way To Go To Clean Up Our Part Of Chesapeake Bay Watershed:
Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
February 23, 2009
CLICK HERE To Print Digest
* Gov. Rendell Announces More Than $21.5 Million In Growing Greener II Grants
Gov. Rendell this week announced the investment of more than $21.5 million in 144 Growing Greener projects to reduce pollution from stormwater runoff and farms, treat acid mine drainage, reduce flooding and improve water quality across the Commonwealth.

* Clean Water Coalition Asks Agencies To Involve Groups Early In New Chesapeake Bay Plan
On February 3, members of the Fair Share for Clean Water Coalition wrote to the Acting DEP Secretary John Hanger and Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolf offering their assistance to help draft the next update to the Chesapeake Bay Tributary Strategy to reduce nutrient and sedimentation.

* U.S.D.A. Offers Farm Conservation Help In Chesapeake Bay Watershed
The new Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative, recently authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill, offers additional conservation opportunities for farms located within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed for technical and financial assistance to install agricultural practices to help control erosion and minimize excess nutrients and sediments to restore, preserve, and protect water quality.

* Federal Stimulus: What Role Will General Assembly Have In Spending $6 Billion?
With Pennsylvania estimated to receive more than $6 billion from the federal stimulus package signed into law this week (more details below), the key question is: what role will the General Assembly have in spending all that money-- the equivalent of about 20 percent of the General Fund budget?

* Pittsburgh, Philadelphia Clean Cities Soliciting Federal Stimulus Alternative Fuel Proposals
The Pittsburgh and Philadelphia Clean Cities Coalitions are now soliciting alternative fuel infrastructure and upgrade and retrofit projects to be funded with the new federal stimulus funding.

* Wildlands Conservancy Receives Grant To Reach Inner-City Youth - Video Blog
Wildlands Conservancy received a $5,000 grant from IronPigs Charities to fund a week-long “Bats to Bats” program designed to create an appreciation for the natural world and introduce 120 inner-city children to close to home environmental pursuits.

* Video Blog - Penn State Extension Private Drinking Water Well Videos
Five new online videos are now online from the Penn State Extension Service to help the more than 1 million private water well owners properly maintain and identify well problems.

* Online Video - TV Program On Climate Change Features Penn State Faculty
The first episode of the National Science Foundation's "To What Degree? What Science is Telling Us About Climate Change" television series will feature Penn State climate researchers Richard B. Alley, Evan Pugh professor of geosciences and Michael E. Mann, associate professor of meteorology and director of the Earth System Science Center.

* On the Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule/Bills Introduced
The next scheduled voting session day is March 9 for the Senate and House, but between now and then both chambers will hold hearings on Gov. Rendell's proposed budget. NOTE: Many budget hearings will be carried on the PA Cable Network on cable and online. The Senate Appropriations Committee starts its budget hearings next week. The Senate will webcast their hearings live on the regular Senate webpage.
* House Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Reorganizes
The Pennsylvania Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, a bipartisan organization consisting of members of both the state House of Representatives and Senate, has elected its leadership team and created an executive council.

* Joint Conservation Committee Environmental Synopsis Newsletter Now Available
The February issue of the Environmental Synopsis from the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee is now available online.

* Presentation On Economic Benefits Study Of West Branch Susquehanna Mine Water Cleanup
Rebecca Dunlap, Project Manager for Trout Unlimited’s West Branch Susquehanna Restoration Initiative, will present An Economic Benefit Analysis for Abandoned Mine Drainage Remediation in the West Branch Susquehanna River Watershed, at 7 - 8 pm on March 12 at Foxdale Village Auditorium in State College.

* DEP Runs Out Of Money To Pay For Septic System Checks
High demand has exhausted this year’s fund to reimburse municipal sewage enforcement agencies for part of the cost of on-lot sewage permitting and enforcement, forcing the Department of Environmental Protection to halt payments.

* Protect Philadelphia's Hidden Streams Student Art/Video Contest
The Philadelphia Water Departmenti s now accepting entries for its 10th annual art competition, the theme of which is “Protect Philadelphia’s Hidden Streams.” In addition to drawings, students are now invited to submit short video clips depicting polluted rainwater, a leading threat to Philadelphia’s waterways.

* Student 4-H, FFA Teams Wanted For 2009 Grassland Competition
The Penn’s Corner Resource Conservation and Development Council is seeking teams for the 2009 Grassland Evaluation Competition,an outreach program for youth and is open to all Pennsylvania chapters of Future Farmers of America and 4-H program.

* Fish & Boat Commission To Hold Public Meeting March 2 On Proposed Mussels Listing
The Fish and Boat Commission has scheduled a public meeting for March 2, in western Pennsylvania to receive public comments on the agency’s proposal to list five mussel species as threatened or endangered.

* Landowners Wanted For Riparian Conservation Program In Centre County
The ClearWater Conservancy is looking for landowners that are interested in enrolling their streamside property into ClearWater’s 2009 and 2010 Riparian Conservation Program.

* Water Resources Advisory Committee To Discuss Controversial Permit Rollback
The Department of Environmental Protection is expected to present a new version of a controversial permit-by-rule proposal that would eliminate permit reviews for development projects to the Water Resources Advisory Committee on February 25.

* Penn State, Center For Rural PA Study Shows Improvements, Problems In Private Water Wells
A two-year study of over 700 private water wells by the Penn State Extension Master Well Owner Network sponsored by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania shows levels of lead and nitrates have dropped sharply over the last 25 years, but as many as 40 percent of the wells surveyed still do not meet safe drinking water standards.

* State Supreme Court Knocks Down Local Ordinance Regulating Oil & Gas Well Drilling
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania this week announced its unanimous decision to uphold a Commonwealth Court ruling in 2005 rendering a Salem Township, Westmoreland County ordinance regulation oil and gas well drilling invalid.

* PROP Announces 19th Annual Recycling Conference In Scranton July 28-31
The Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania announced this week it will hold their 19th Annual PROP Conference in Scranton from July 28 – 31, 2009 at the elegant Scranton Hotel & Convention Center. This year the conference will feature a Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Mini-Summit and Awards Luncheon.

* Montgomery County Community College In RecycleMania, Reduces Carbon Footprint
For the second year, Montgomery County Community College is participating in RecycleMania, a10-week nationwide contest during which colleges and universities compete to see who can reduce, reuse and recycle the most campus waste.

* PA CleanWays Now Accepting Applications For Litter Hawk Youth Award
PA CleanWays is excited to announce it is now accepting nominations for the annual Litter Hawk Youth Award Program.

* Volunteers Wanted For Musser Gap Deer Density Survey, Centre County
Volunteers are wanted by the ClearWater Conservancy to help conduct a deer density and browse impact survey in Musser Gap and surrounding properties in the Rothrock State Forest in Centre County on March 27 starting at 8:00 a.m. in the Ferguson Township Building. April 1 will be the snow date.

* Fund For Wild Nature Has Grants Available, Next Deadline May 1
The Fund for Wild Nature continues to accept applications to provide funding for campaigns to save and restore native species and wild ecosystems, including actions to defend wilderness and biological diversity.

* Save The Date: PA Parks And Forests Awards Banquet May 5
The PA Parks and Forests Foundation will hold its annual awards banquet on May in Harrisburg to recognize groups and individuals for their outstanding service to State Parks and Forests.

* 2009 Philadelphia Flower Show Features EPA Landscaping Exhibit March 1-8
The 2009 Philadelphia Flower Show will again feature a green landscaping exhibit with the theme "Water is Life, Llife is Water" by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from March 1 to 8.

* BP Donation Supports North Park Greenway In Allegheny County
The Allegheny Land Trust this week announced BP America recently donated more than $40,000 to Allegheny Land Trust to support conservation projects, including the North Park Greenway project in southwestern Pennsylvania.

* 4,682 Acres Of Prime Farmland Protected From Development
The Agricultural Preservation Board this week approved an additional 4,682 acres on 48 farms through the state's nationally recognized Farmland Preservation Program.

* Keystone HELP Loan, Rebate Program Now Available For Homeowner Energy Savings
AFC First Financial Corporation is now accepting applications for rebates and loans under the Keystone HELP Program to promote homeowner energy savings program.

* ConocoPhillips, Penn State Launch 2009 ConocoPhillips Energy Prize
ConocoPhillips and Penn State this week launched the 2009 ConocoPhillips Energy Prize, a competition to recognize -- with awards up to $300,000 -- new ideas and original, actionable solutions that can help improve the way the United States develops and uses energy.

* Energy Auditing Subject Of Energy Roundtable Meeting March 5 In Erie
Uncovering the most cost-effective energy improvement projects through the use of energy audits and thermal imaging are two topics the Energy Roundtable will tackle during its next quarterly meeting at 9 a.m. March 5 at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, 301 Peninsula Dr., Erie.

* DOE Motor System “Best Practices” Workshop Set For March 25
Industrial and commercial businesses, institutions, and local government operations can learn to reduce energy consumption while improving system reliability by attending the Department of Energy’s full-day Motor System Management workshop March 25 at the Union County Government Center, 155 North 15th Street, in Lewisburg.

* Covanta Energy-From-Waste Facility Operator Named Climate Action Leader
Covanta Energy, a world leader in development, operation and ownership of Energy-from-Waste and other renewable energy projects, this week announced it has been named a "Climate Action Leader" by the California Climate Action Registry.

* Geisinger Health Systems Completes First LEED Certified Health Care Building In PA
The newly constructed Gray’s Woods Ambulatory Care facility by Geisinger Health Systems in State College is the only healthcare facility in Pennsylvania and one of only seven in the nation to achieve LEED Gold green building certification.

* PA Solar Energy Conference Set For May 6-7 In State College
The 2009 Pennsylvania Solar Energy Conference, sponsored by the Penn State Center for Sustainability and other partners, will be held on May 6-7 at the Penn Stater Conference Center in State College.

* FirstEnergy PA Utilities File Plan To Purchase Electric Generation Supply Beginning In 2011
FirstEnergy's Metropolitan Edison and Pennsylvania Electric companies have filed plans with the Public Utility Commission to procure electric generation supply beginning January 2011 for customers who choose not to shop with alternative suppliers.

* PPL Electric Files Plan To Give Customers Second Option To Smooth Out Rate Increases
PPL Electric Utilities has asked the Public Utility Commission for permission to offer customers a second option for spreading out higher electricity prices.

* Gov. Rendell, Sen. Specter Announce Flight 93 National Memorial Will Be Completed By 9/2011
Gov. Rendell and U.S. Senator Arlen Specter this week signed a letter of commitment that will ensure the planned Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Somerset County, is completed and dedicated by the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

* New Book: Agenda For A Sustainable America, Edited By John Dernback
A new book, Agenda For A Sustainable America edited by Widener Law School Professor John C. Dernback, provides a comprehensive assessment of progress in the United States toward sustainable development. The book also provides a roadmap of next steps toward achieving sustainability.

* Spotlight - Governor’s Award Presented to Heron’s Eye Communications, Apply Now For 2009
The Department of Environmental Protection officially presented Heron’s Eye Communications with a 2008 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for the firm’s work on Nature’s Keepers, an inspirational documentary film about Pike County’s 150-year history of land stewardship and those who are continuing that legacy today.

* Feature - Penn State Extension Helps Landowners Work With Natural Gas Drillers
The following is one of several resources the Penn State Extension Service has available for landowners interested in learning more about natural gas drilling on their property.
* 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 Fish and Boat Commission published a notice extending the comment period for five mussel species as threatened or endangered.
* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of changes to mining and drinking water programs (see below) and notice of proposed changes to General Permits for Beneficial Use of Biosolids and Residential Septage.
* 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 toPA Environment Digest-
* 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 Digest is a supporting member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association, Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited and the Doc Fritchey Chapter Trout Unlimited.

Previous PA Environment Digests