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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
June 15, 2009
(6/12/2009)
CLICK HERE To Print This Digest
* Marcellus Shale Severance Tax Vital To Solving PA’s Environmental Funding Issues
House and Senate members, joined environmental groups and local government representatives this week in calling on the General Assembly and the Governor to support the adoption of a severance tax on natural gas production from Marcellus Shale that supports environmental programs and local governments.

* Business, State, Local Government Leaders Outline Opportunities Marcellus Shale Brings

* Submissions For Growing Greener Anniversary Grants Due June 20

* Online Video - StormwaterPA Features New Riparian Buffer Restoration Case Study
The StormwaterPA website now has available a new video case study on a riparian buffer restoration project in the Bullfrog Creek Watershed in Montgomery County.

* Online Video - Out Of The Ground Film Documents Impact Of Coal Mining In Pennsylvania
Andy McAllister, Watershed Coordinator with the Western Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation, not only does a great job working with watershed groups in Western Pennsylvania, he has also developed a second skill-- film making.

* On the Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule/Bills Introduced
The House and Senate return to voting session on June 15.
* Senate/House Bills Moving
The following bills of interest saw movement this week--
* Bill Expanding Gas Well Reporting Requirements Approved by Senate
Senate Bill 297 (Yaw-R-Bradford), which would change the requirements for reporting gas well data to the Department of Environmental Protection, was unanimously approved by the Senate this week.

* Senate Environmental Committee Reports Recycling Fee, Landfill Penalties, Biodiesel Bills
The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee this week reported out bills relating to extending the Recycling Fee, providing for additional penalties for violations at landfills, to exempt small refineries from biodiesel mandates and providing funding options to keep State Parks open. The bills include:
* House Committee Approves Bill To Promote Alternative To Sprawl
House Bill 1609 (Freeman-D-Northampton) to promote traditional neighborhood development as an alternative to sprawl was unanimously voted out of the House Local Government Committee this week.

* Secretary Hanger, Sen. Mary Jo White Duel Over West Nile Virus Budget
Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger and Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Majority Chair Sen. Mary Jo White (R-Venango) tangled again over budget issues, this time over funding for the West Nile Virus Program.
* House Environmental Committee To Consider Carbon Sequestration, Alternative Energy Bill
On June 16 the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to consider legislation creating a carbon sequestration network in Pennsylvania and and expand the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards. Also on the agenda is an electronics recycling bill.
* Brownfields, Flood Control, State Parks Bills On Senate Environmental Committee Agenda
The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee meets on June 16 to consider legislation related to brownfields redevelopment, authorizing non-structural flood control alternatives and bills to help keep State Parks open during the budget crisis. The bills include:
* Capital RC&D Awarded Grant To Assist With Grazing Operations
The Capital Resource Conservation and Development Area Council, Inc. has been awarded a grant to assist eligible landowners with “prescribed grazing systems” within the Lower Juniata and other impaired watersheds in the southcentral Pennsylvania portion of the Chesapeake Bay.

* Penn State, Lancaster Farmland Trust Receive Chesapeake Bay Grants
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Chesapeake Bay Program, announced 24 grants through the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund, including several in Pennsylvania.

* Department Of Agriculture Outlines Benefits Of REAP Farm Conservation Tax Credit

* Water Quality Monitoring Network Formed-- River Alert And Information Network (RAIN)
The Department of Environmental Protection has awarded $75,000 to the River Alert and Information Network, or RAIN, to develop a water quality monitoring network and source water protection program on the Monongahela River.

* Pennsylvania Receives $1.3 Million In Recovery Act Funding For Floodplain Easements
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA will provide $1.3 million for floodplain easements in Pennsylvania through through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

* Fish And Boat Commission Reopens Public Fishing At Butler County Reservoirs
With a ceremonial “first cast” by local and state officials, the Fish and Boat Commission and Pennsylvania American Water this week marked the reopening of the Oneida and Thorn Run Reservoirs in Butler County for shoreline fishing.

* PennVEST Revises Cutoff Dates For Water, Sewer, Stormwater Applications
The PA Infrastructure and Investment Authority this week added a new cutoff date for applications for water, wastewater and stormwater projects for their October meeting. The revised schedule is

* Free Recycling Workshops Set For June 22 In West Chester

* DEP Publishes Mercury Thermostat Collection, Recycling Program For Comment
The Department of Environmental Protection has received a plan to establish a Mercury Thermostat Collection and Recycling Program from the Thermostat Recycling Corporation of Arlington, VA and is now accepting comments on the plan. The plan is required by the Mercury-Free Thermostat Act.

* Electric Utilities, Grid Managers Highlight Summer Reliability, Marcellus Shale Impacts
As several regions of the state experience hot and humid temperatures this week, the Energy Association of Pennsylvania, the Electric Power Generation Association, and PJM Interconnection advised the Public Utility Commission they are expecting normal demands for electricity during the summer months while maintaining enough power for emergencies.

* Green Building Alliance Offices Receive LEED Platinum Rating, The Highest Possible

* ABC Keystone Tours The Green Lancaster YMCA

* Photovoltaic Systems Continues Commonwealth's Commitment To Renewable Energy

* Wilkes-Barre Receives 2009 Conference Of Mayors Climate Protection Award

* DEP Offers Nitrogen Tire Inflation System Grants
The Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for Nitrogen Tire Inflation System Grants under the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program.

* Dump The Pump Day June 18 In Central PA To Encourage Mass Transit
Commuter Services of Pennsylvania and regional transit agencies will participate in a variety of activities on June 18, “Dump the Pump” Day, an annual event promoting transit use and reduced gasoline consumption.

* Pennsylvania State Parks Finalist For National Gold Medal Award
Pennsylvania's State Park system is one of four finalists for the 2009 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management, Acting Secretary of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary John Quigley said this week.

* State Parks Hosting Get Outdoors Day Observances On June 13
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Acting Secretary John Quigley announced today that six State Parks across Pennsylvania have been selected to host a day-long series of special events as part of a nationwide Get Outdoors Day celebration on Saturday, June 13.

* Guided Tours Of Regal Fritillary Butterfly Habitat Slated At Fort Indiantown Gap

* DEP Asks Pennsylvanians To Help Battle West Nile Virus

* Preservation Board Safeguards Additional Farmland For Future Agriculture Production
Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff said prime farmland in 19 counties will continue to be viable for agriculture production thanks to action this week by the Agricultural Preservation Board to protect an additional 4,225 acres on 47 farms.

* Emerald Ash Borer Found In Westmoreland County, Quarantine Imposed

* Residents Encouraged To Participate In Appalachian Bat Survey

* PA Environmental Council Hosts 39th Annual Philadelphia Dinner June 17, Win $5,000
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council is hosting its 39th annual dinner in Philadelphia featuring keynote speaker Robert Sussman, Senior Policy Advisor for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

* Joseph Powers Retires As DEP Executive Deputy Secretary
Joseph Powers, Executive Deputy Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection and number two manager in the agency, will retire on June 19.

* John Hines Appointed DEP Deputy Secretary For Water Management
John T. Hines has been appointed Deputy Secretary for Water Management at the Department of Environmental Protection, succeeding Cathy Myers who now serves as Special Assistant to the Secretary of DEP for Pennsylvani's Recovery.

* DEP Publishes Bid Opportunity For Allegheny, Clarion County Projects
The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of two project bid opportunities, one for a gas mitigation project in Allegheny County and an abandoned mine reclamation project in Clarion County.


* Spotlight - Nutrient Reduction Projects Receive Little State Funding, PA Municipal Authorities Assn.

* Grants & Awards

* 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
Environmental Quality Board meets June 16 to consider proposed changes to erosion and sedimentation control regulations, lead and copper drinking water standards, final bluff recession and setback requirements in Erie and several rulemaking petitions. The EQB also published a correction to a Chapter 93 stream reclassification list (PA Bulletin page 2949)

* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Department of Environmental Protection published changes to this of individuals and companies certified for Radon-Related Activities (PA Bulletin page 3002)

* 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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* Supporting Member PA Outdoor Writers Assn./PA Trout Unlimited
PA Environment Diges tis a supporting member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association, Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited and the Doc Fritchey Chapter Trout Unlimited.

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