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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
March 9, 2009
(3/6/2009)
CLICK HERE To Print This Digest
* DCNR Secretary DiBerardinis Leaving For Philadelphia Parks Post

* Gov. Rendell Outlines Process For Spending Federal Stimulus Funds

* $17 Million Energy Conservation Loan, Energy Star Rebate Program Unveiled - Video Blog

* On the Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule/Bills Introduced
The Senate and House return to voting session on March 9.
* Coldwater Heritage Partnership Announces $35,000 In Grant Awards
The Coldwater Heritage Partnership announced the award of over $35,000 in grants to local organizations to protect and conserve Pennsylvania’s coldwater stream habitats.

* DEP Restores 960 Acres Of Abandoned Mine Lands, Degraded Streams In 2008

* Stonycreek River Reported On The Mend From Acid Mine Drainage
The Somerset Conservation District recently completed a reassessment of the Stonycreek River indicating the $10 million investment in acid mine drainage abatement projects over the last decade has resulted in substanital improvements.

* DEP Invites Comments On Stoney Run Watershed TMDL
The Department of Environmental Protection invited comments this week on a proposed Total Maximum Daily Load watershed plan for Stoney Run Watershed in Westmoreland County.

* World Water Day Event On March 15 In New Hope Helps, Teaches And Entertains
On World Water Day, March 15, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., the Environmental Club of New Hope-Solebury High School and The Jonathan D. Krist Foundation will present "Know H2o: Water Heroes on Tour," a multimedia event addressing the issues threatening local watersheds and water supplies throughout the world.

* Public Invited To Comment On Spring Creek Canyon Master Plan March 31
The public is invited to attend a public meeting on the Spring Creek Canyon Master Plan in Centre County sponsored by the project's Steering Committee and the ClearWater Conservancy on March 31 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology in Pleasant Gap, Pa.

* Celebrate The Shad Running In The Delaware River At The Fishtown Shad Fest April 25
The Fishtown Shad Fest is an event for the entire Philadelphia region that celebrates the return of shad fish to the Delaware River.

* Friends of the Wissahickon Offer Free Lecture On Green Stormwater Design March 24
Glen J. Abrams of the Philadelphia Water Department will speak on “Green Stormwater Design: Putting Nature Back into the City” on March 24 at the Friends of the Wissahickon office in Chestnut Hill, Pa.

* DEP Completes Plugging 173 Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells In 2008
The Department of Environmental Protection plugged 173 abandoned oil and gas wells that were found in 11 counties across the state during 2008.

* 888 Students Will Learn About the Environment at Millbrook Marsh Nature Center
ClearWater Conservancy awarded over $7,800 to 15 local schools for spring 2009 field trips to Millbrook Marsh Nature Center, the most the program has awarded in a single semester since the project’s inception.

* Protecting Public Drinking Water: Source Water Protection Workshop April 8
The Water Resources Education Network and other partners will hold a workshop on April 8 at Susquehanna University on Protecting Public Drinking Water: Source Water Protection Solutions.
* Advanced Forestry Workshop Offered By Westmoreland District March 28
The Westmoreland Conservation District is offering a second-level course on the principles of good forest stewardship on March 28, from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the District’s headquarters on the Donohoe Road in Greensburg.

* The Nature Conservancy, Partners Issue Report On Recreation, Wildlife Habitat Funding
The Nature Conservancy and 51 national, regional and state land conservation and outdoor recreation groups this week released a report which documents the decline of two major federal land conservation programs and the need to restore federal funding to protect America’s public lands.

* Habitat Improvement Project Completed At Bald Eagle State Park's Sayers Reservoir
Sayers Reservoir still may be locked in winter's icy grip, but work crews are confident their just-completed habitat improvement project at Bald Eagle State Park soon will prove a warm-weather boon to fish, not to mention the anglers who seek them at the popular Centre County waterway.

* Controlled Burn Part Of Habitat Improvement Project In Scotia Barrens, Centre County
Game Commission officials this week outlined detailed plans for conducting a controlled burn on the Scotia Barrens on State Game Land 176 in Patton Township, Centre County, to improve habitat conditions within this unique ecosystem.

* ClearWater Conservancy Hosts Evening Vernal Pool Tour At Scotia Barrens March 26
ClearWater Conservancy is offering an opportunity to witness and explore a distinctive and temporary habitat when it hosts its Adventures in Conservation event at the Scotia Barrens on March 26 from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

* Laurel Highlands Summit Set For April 26-27

* DEP, DCNR Hold Workshops In Northwest On Grant Application Process
Municipalities, community planners and watershed groups looking for grant funding can help find guidance on the application process during one of two upcoming workshops in northwestern Pennsylvania.

* Perry And Fulton Counties Join PA CleanWays Grassroots Network

* Register Now For The Great American Cleanup of PA April 25 - May 9
Time to think about organizing your watershed, roadside, park or community cleanup to be part of the Great American Cleanup of PA, this year running from April 25 to May 9.

* Pittsburgh Teens To Debut Original Environmental Films At C.A.U.S.E Film Festival April 23
Pittsburgh's young filmmakers will debut their original environmental-oriented documentaries at the 5th Annual C.A.U.S.E. Challenge High School Film Festival at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m.

* March PA Center For Environmental Education Newsletter Now Available
The March issue of the EE Connections newsletter from the Pennsylvania Center for Environmental Education is now available online. This month's features include:

* DEP Awards Grants For Local Plans To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The Department of Environmental Protection this week awarded nearly $300,000 to seven municipalities to help develop plans to reduce climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions in Allegheny, Bucks, Butler, Centre, Crawford and Delaware counties.

* 50 Buildings In Philadelphia Area Earn Energy Star Rating
The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency announced this week 50 buildings in the Philadelphia-area achieved the prestigious Energy Star efficiency label in 2008. Energy Star buildings are among the top 25 percent of facilities nationwide for energy performance.

* HVAC, Home Contractor Training For Keystone HELP Energy Conservation, Rebate Program
The newly-expanded Keystone HELP energy conservation loan and rebate program requires the use of approved contractors to install qualifying Energy Star HVAC and other energy conservation measures funded through the program.

* Update Webinar For Keystone HELP Approved Energy Efficiency Contractors
Four webinars will be available starting March 9 to update Keystone HELP-approved energy conservation contractors on the expanded Keystone HELP Program.

* PECO Seeks PUC Permission To Purchase Solar Renewable Energy Credits
In a plan filed with the Public Utility Commission this week, PECO is seeking approval to purchase 6 megawatts of solar renewable energy credits as part of the company’s ongoing fulfillment of the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards.

* Online Shopping Reduces Carbon Dioxide Emissions, Energy Consumption CMU Study Says
A new study by Carnegie Mellon University's Green Design Institute found shopping online via Buy.com's e-commerce model reduces environmental impact with 35 percent less energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions than what is produced in the traditional retail shopping model.

* Penn State: Sunlight Turns Carbon Dioxide To Methane
Dual catalysts may be the key to efficiently turning carbon dioxide and water vapor into methane and other hydrocarbons using titania nanotubes and solar power, according to Penn State researchers.

* PECO Completes Cleanup of Former Gas Plant Sites In Montgomery County
Two former manufactured gas plant sites in Montgomery County are now ready for recreational and residential development.

* White Nose Syndrome In Bats Found At Six Sites
As Game Commission wildlife biologists continue to monitor bat hibernacula, the number of sites where bats have been confirmed infected or dying from White Nose Syndrome has risen to six.

* Statewide Conference On Transportation, Heritage And The Environment May 19-22
Registration is now open for Pennsylvania's Statewide Conference on Transportation, Heritage and the Environment to be held May 19-22 in Harrisburg. The Conference also includes the 30th Byways to the Past Conference.

* PA Environmental Council Set To Honor Winners Of Governors Environmental Award April 22
Join the PA Environmental Council for the annual gala celebration in honor of the recipients of the 2009 Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence.

* DEP E-News Eliminates Daily Update On March 12
The Department of Environmental Protection announced it will eliminate its Daily E-News Service sent by email, but will retain the weekly email update. The change will take place March 12.

* DEP Provides Notice of Project Bid Opportunities
The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of bid opportunities for several projects:

* Spotlight - Time To Watch Peregrine Falcons In Love, Educators Workshop April 2
It's that time of year again when the hearts of young peregrine falcons turn to love and everyone can watch nature's renewal online through webcams on the peregrine falcon nest on the Rachel Carson Building in Harrisburg and the nesting sites in Pittsburgh sponsored by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project.

* Spotlight - Why Just Plant Flowers When You Can Plant Natives!
Spring has almost sprung and it's time to think about planting the garden and sprucing up the outdoors. This week PA Environment Digest puts the Spotlight on how you can learn about the advantages of landscaping with native plants.

* Feature- Pittsburgh Public Schools Students Get Closer to Nature

* Opinion - Building A Greener Workforce
By Sen. Shirley Kitchen
* 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 Department of Environmental Protection published notice of a corrective amendment to final Radiological Health regulations and a notice of approval for the commercial and recreational vessel discharge general permit. The Independent Regulatory Review Commission published comments on several Environmental Quality Board regulations: Enhanced Surface Water Treatment, Safe Drinking Water Stage 2 Disinfectants and changes to regulations by the Coal and Clay Mine Subsidence Insurance Fund.
* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published notice of execution on another Marcellus Shale drilling 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 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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