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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
July 27, 2009
(7/27/2009)
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* State Of Budget-- There Is No Rational Reason For Optimism

* Budget: Environmental Groups Outline Budget Priorities In Letter To Senate, House Members

* Budget: Chesapeake Bay Foundation Highlights Watershed, Environmental Funding Needs
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation this week joined other environmental groups to advocate for fair funding levels for environmental programs along with enactment of a severance tax on natural gas production to fund Growing Greener and other programs. Here's their letter to members of the Senate and House--

* Get Daily Updates On PA Environment Daily Blog, Twitter

* Webinar- PA Energy Conservation Works! Grant Webinar July 27
The Department of Environmental Protection, in partnership with the Local Governments for Sustainability, will offer a webinar on July 27 from 1:30 p.m.-3 p.m. that focuses on the new PA Conservation Works! energy conservation grant program.

* Submissions For Growing Greener Anniversary Grants Due August 20

* On the Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule

The House is technically in voting session every day through July 31. The Senate has scheduled voting session on July 27-31 and thereafter as needed. 

* On The Governor's Desk

This environmental bill of interest was passed by both the House and Senate and now goes to the Governor for his action-- 

* Senate/House Bills Moving

The following bills of interest saw movement this week-- 

* House Environmental Committee Reports Solar Testing Lab, Coal Refuse Bills
The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee this week reported out bills on siting new coal refuse disposal areas and creating an alternative energy testing laboratory. The bills include:

* Senate Committee To Consider H20 Program, Coal Refuse, State Park Events Bill
The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is meeting on July 28 to consider legislation on coal refuse disposal area siting, making changes to the H20 water infrastructure program and requiring DCNR to honor State Park event leases. The bills include:

* PennVEST OKs Interesting Green Infrastructure Projects Funded By Stimulus Monies

* $14.9 Million In Stimulus Funding Awarded For Farm BMPs To Chesapeake Bay Foundation
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation was awarded $14.9 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds today, to pay local contractors to install a variety of farm conservation practices that will reduce pollution and, in some cases, use manure to create energy.

* Conservation Districts Present Awards To Individuals For Conserving PA’s Natural Resources

* Agriculture Recognizes Pennsylvanians For Conservation Successes

* State Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference Attracts Over 168 People

* DEP Invites Public To Erie July 28 Meeting On Great Lakes Restoration Plan
In response to the proposed investment of $475 million for Great Lakes restoration projects in the 2010 federal budget, the Department of Environmental Protection is encouraging local residents to attend a public meeting to learn about the restoration plan and offer comments.

* American Water Announces $32,800 In Environmental Grants To PA Groups

* Conservation Districts Gets a New Look In PA, New Website
The PA Association of Conservation Districts and its member districts adopted a new brand identity at their annual conference in State College this week, unveiling a suite of new logos, websites, publications, and other materials that the organizations use to inform the public about their work.

* 2010 Keystone Coldwater Conference Seeking Speakers, Posters
The organizers of the 2010 Keystone Coldwater Conference are seeking speakers and posters for the February 19-20 conference.

* Ohio River Watershed Celebration Changed To October 1 To Avoid G-20 Summit
The Ohio River Watershed Celebration will now be held on October 1, not September 24 starting from Pittsburgh's Gateway Clipper dock.

* Cabot Oil Now Producing 39 Million Cubic Feet Of Natural Gas A Day In Pennsylvania

* EPA Invites Public To Vote In The Rachel Carson Sense Of Wonder Contest
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency invites the public to vote for their favorite submissions in the third annual Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Intergenerational Poetry, Essay, Dance and Photography Contest.

* PA Resources Council Offers Rain Barrel, Composting, Invasive Species Workshops In Fall
The PA Resources Council is offering a series of workshops in the fall on backyard and worm composting, rain barrels and controlling invasive plants.

* Lancaster County Waste Authority Receives SWANA 2009 Excellence Award
The Solid Waste Association of North America is pleased to announce the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority was awarded SWANA’s Gold Excellence in Solid Waste Management Award.

* Wyoming County Illegal Dump Cleanup Removes More Than 20 Tons of Trash, Tires
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council this week announced it has completed the cleanup of an illegal dump in Tunkhannock Township, Wyoming County, removing more than 20 tons of trash and tires that had been illegally dumped along the banks of Tunkhannock Creek.

* Pennsylvania Receives $38.8 Million For State Energy Projects
Pennsylvania has received $38.8 million of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for innovative, job-creating energy projects in every corner of the state the Rendell Administration announced this week.

* GreenQuest Offers Free Community Energy Efficiency Tool to School Districts
In order to encourage community-wide energy efficiency, GreenQuest has launched the "School's Out Promotion" for school districts.

* Urban Eco Electric's Free Solar Panel Program In Philadelphia
Urban Eco Electric, a new kind of power company, is making solar energy affordable and practical for Philadelphia residents. Now urban residents can participate in going green without the prohibitive upfront costs.

* DEP Accepting Applications For Alternative Energy Production Tax Credit
The Department of Environmental Protection announced this week it is accepting applications for the Alternative Energy Production Tax Credit which provides a credit of 15 percent of the net cost of alternative energy production projects located in Pennsylvania.

* PA Conservation Works! Grant Workshops Set For Pittsburgh On August 5
To help local government officials and non-profit organizations apply for funds through PA Conservation Works!, a new competitive grant program funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Department of Environmental Protection’s Southwest Regional Office in Pittsburgh will host training sessions August 5.

* Green Technology Upgrades At PA Farm Show Complex To Save $300,000 Annually
A series of self-supporting 'green' upgrades to make the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center more energy efficient will save more than $300,000 each year, Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff said this week.

* PUC Approves PPL's Plan To Mitigate Projected Rate Increases

* Keystone Connections Newsletter From PUC Is Now Available Online
The Public Utility Commission's quarterly newsletter Keystone Connection is now available online featuring a summary of the "State of the Commission" report from Chairman James H. Cawley.

* 51 Work Plans, Recommendations Approved By DEP Climate Change Advisory Committee
Members of the DEP Climate Change Advisory Committee met July 17 to discuss their final work plan recommendations for the department's consideration for inclusion in the Climate Change Action Plan.

* Game Commission Posts Draft Strategic Plan For Public Comment
Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe this week announced the agency has posted its Draft Strategic Plan for 2009-2014 on the Commission website for a 30-day public comment period.

* Emerald Ash Borer Found In Indiana County; Quarantine Expanded
Emerald Ash Borer beetles have been found near Ewings Mill, Indiana County, bringing to 10 the number of counties where the ash tree-destroying pest has been identified, Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff said this week.

* Game Commission Seeks Citizen Advisory Committee Volunteers
The Game Commission is calling for nominations of citizens willing to participate in one of three Citizen Advisory Committees to help gather input related to the deer management goal of reducing deer-human conflict in three Wildlife Management Units in 2010.

* Brinley Named DEP Deputy For Community Revitalization & Local Government Support
DEP Secretary John Hanger has announced the appointment of Denise Brinley as the Deputy Secretary for the Office of Community Revitalization and Local Government Support.

* DEP Bid Opportunties For Flood Protection, Dam Removal Projects
The Department of Environmental Protection this week published notice of bid opportunities for a flood protection project in Lackawanna County and a dam removal project in Montgomery and Chester counties.

* Spotlight - Passive Mine Drainage Treatment System Snapshots
by Cliff Denholm, Stream Restoration Inc.

* 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 this week  approved each item on its agenda including increases in oil and gas well permit fees and air quality permit fees, provided changes to coal ash disposal regulations and accepted a rulemaking petition to reclassify Dwarfskill Creek in Pike County.
* Technical Guidance & Permits
The DCED published an amended  State Weaterization Assistance Program Plan for comment and scheduled a public hearing.
* 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. 

* PA Environment Digest Family Of Websites

* Supporting Member PA Outdoor Writers Assn./PA Trout Unlimited

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