Scrapbook Photo 08/08/20 - Ohio River Basin Alliance: PA Is Headwaters Of The Ohio River:
Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
August 31, 2009
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* CBF Files Challenges To DEP Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Permits, Calls For Severance Tax
For the first time since the Department of Environment Protection took over review of erosion, sediment, and stormwater control plans for natural gas drilling sites, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation is challenging two permits in Tioga County contending violations of both Commonwealth and federal laws.

* More Programs, Agencies Feeling Hurt Of Zeroed Out Budget, Talks Take Step Backward
School districts this week missed their second payment of $876 million from the state because Gov. Rendell zeroed out their budget line item in hopes of putting pressure on Senate Republicans to increase taxes. The total of missed payments to schools is now $1.3 billion for this fiscal year.

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* A Decade Of Growing Greener- We Haven't Looked Back - Five Years Of Restoring The Genesee Watershed
The following Growing Greener Watershed Program success story was submitted by Jack Fleckenstein, Watershed Specialist, Potter County Conservation District, outlining how the program has helped the Genessee Headwaters Watershed Association improve their watershed. The Association is now in the running for a $250 Growing Greener Anniversary grant.

* Submissions For Growing Greener Anniversary Grants Due September 20

* On the Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule

NOTE: Due to the unpredictable nature of the Senate and House Committee schedule, meetings will be scheduled and cancelled quickly. The Calendars and Committee schedules this week are only a snapshot in time. 

* Senate/House Bills Moving

The following bills of interest saw movement this week-- 

* Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff Resigns, Governor Nominates Russell Redding
Gov. Rendell announced this week he will nominate Russell Redding of Adams County as the new Department of Agriculture secretary following the resignation of Dennis Wolff, which is effective September 12.

* Sen. White Urges DEP, Health Depts. To Reconsider Scaling Back West Nile Virus Program
Sen. Mary Jo White (R-Venango), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, wrote to DEP Secretary John Hanger and Health Secretary Everette James this week asking them to reconsider suspending the comprehensive West Nile Virus Program.

* House Finance Committee Chair Issues Special Report On Marcellus Shale Severance Tax
Rep. David Levdansky (D-Allegheny), Majority Chair of the House Finance Committee, this week issued a special update on the proposed natural gas severance tax designed to capture some of the billions of dollars of value to be produced by drillers tapping into the Marcellus Shale formation in Pennsylvania.

* Pitt Awarded Project On Curtailing, Reusing Wastewater From Marcellus Shale Drilling
The U.S. Department of Energy recently selected the University of Pittsburgh as one of nine national partners that will develop techniques for curtailing the possible environmental and health hazards associated with tapping the massive natural gas reserves lying beneath Pennsylvania and surrounding states.

* DEP Fines Company Handling Gas Drilling Frack Water For Unpermitted Transfer Station
The Department of Environmental Protection has fined Gas Field Specialist Inc. of Shinglehouse, Potter County, $3,000 for operating an unpermitted residual wastewater transfer station in Dunnstable Township, Clinton County.

* PEC Seeking Bids For Ohiopyle Green Infrastructure Project
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council is now seeking bids for the installation of rain barrels, downspout and gutter repair and installation throughout Ohiopyle Borough, Fayette County.

* PA American Water Wins Recognition From State Dam Safety Officials
The Association of State Dam Safety Officials has selected Pennsylvania American Water to receive the 2009 Northeast Regional Award of Merit. The association presents the award annually to organizations or individuals that have made outstanding contributions to dam safety.

* Wildlands Conservancy Seeks 2009 Ark Award Nominations
Wildlands Conservancy is looking to recognize one of the Lehigh Valley’s pre-eminent businesses that accomplish its work in a environmentally sustainable manner with this year’s Ark Award.

* EPCAMR Makes GIS Presentation On Waste Coal, Anthracite Abandoned Mine Pools Study
Staff from the Eastern PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation made a presentation at the ARIPPA Annual Technical Convention on August 25 promoting the use of the GIS tool for identifying waste coal piles and abandoned mine pools that could be useful to waste coal to energy co-generation facilities.

* Fourth Annual Susquehanna River Symposium Set For September 25-26
Bucknell University will again host the annual Susquehanna River Symposium on September 25-26, with this year's theme, "Cultures at the Confluence: Native Americans, Ecology, and the Susquehanna Valley."

* Reminder: Port Of Pittsburgh-Ohio River Watershed Celebration Now October 1
Because of the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh, the Port of Pittsburgh-Ohio River Watershed Celebration will now be on October 1 and there is room left on the Networking Cruise for more participants, although the Imagination Cruise for students is now full.

* Westmoreland Conservation District Invites Public To 60th Anniversary Open House
In October 1949, a group of determined area farmers petitioned the Westmoreland County commissioners and successfully got their wish: The creation of a conservation district in Westmoreland County to help them conserve the rich agricultural soils that formed the foundation of their livelihoods.

* Penn State Aims to Set Example By Planting Cover Crops For Environmental Benefit
Seeking to be a role model for farmers in the state and across the Northeast, Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences will undertake aerial seeding of a cover crop in late August or early September.

* $5.3 Million In Energy Harvest Grants Announced
Pennsylvania is investing more than $5.3 million in 12 innovative clean energy projects funded through the Energy Harvest Program and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

* Allegheny County Announces New Cost-Saving, Energy-Saving Equipment Contract

* PECO Plan To Purchase Solar Energy Credits Approved By PUC

* Agriculture Certifies Infrastructure In Place To Support Biodiesel Mandate
The Department of Agriculture this week issued a report required by the Biofuels Development and In-State Production Act requiring the agency to certify there is sufficient infrastructure in place in Pennsylvania to support the biofuels mandate.

* Pittsburgh Energy And Environment Week Brings Together Stakeholders April 12-16
On April 12-16, 2010 Pittsburgh will host the "Energy and Environment Week" to bring together stakeholders from North American and Europe to talk business and new ventures in the field of renewable energy.

* Future City Competition Now Open To Middle Schools

* Federal Tax Refund Applications Available For Clean Energy Manufacturers
Investments in manufacturing facilities that support clean energy generation and conservation may qualify for a tax credit from the federal government thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

* Health Department Distributing Potassium Iodide Tablets Near Nuclear Power Plants

* PA Coal Association Opposes Federal Climate Change Bill

* PA Faces More Than Eight Degree Increase In Temperature Over Next 100 Years

* Take Part In The Second Annual Great Pennsylvania Outdoor Challenge

* Trail Poll Reveals Most Hikers Longest Day Hike Is 15 To 20 Miles
The Keystone Trails Association recently released a poll of 433 hikers that revealed for most hikers 15 to 20 miles is the longest they have ever hiked in a single day.

* Game Commission Says Litter Causing Risk To Wildlife
Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officers have been encountering more problems involving trash and wildlife, and are encouraging Pennsylvanians to be more thoughtful about disposing of their trash properly.

* Southwest PA HHW Task Force Serves 20,000th Participant
The Southwestern Pennsylvania Household Hazardous Waste Task Force celebrated a milestone at its August collection event: accepting household chemicals from its 20,000th participant.

* 5th Annual PA Greenways & Trails Summit To Be Held September 27-29 In Blair County

* Lehigh County Extension Native Plant Identification Workshop September 8, 15
Lehigh County Extension is sponsoring a workshop for landscape, nursery and gardening professionals on the identification and use of native plants September 8 and 15 at the Pool Wildlife Sanctuary in Emmaus, Pa.

* DCNR Forestry Bureau Awards Funding For Rural Firefighters

* Dickinson College Named To Green Honor Roll
Dickinson College has been named to the Princeton Review's "Green Honor Roll," for sustainable practices. The Carlisle institution is one of 15 colleges to receive a rating of 99 out of of 100 points, along with Harvard, Yale, and Evergreen State College of Washington.

* PennGreen Experience For Environmentally Conscious Incoming Students At Penn

* Rabies Vaccination Program Underway In Western Pennsylvania

* Rachel Carson Legacy Conference On Endocrine Disrupting Contaminants September 25
On September 25 the Rachel Carson Homestead will sponsor a conference on endocrine disrupters entitled "When Chemicals Disrupt: Managing Our Risks" at the Bidwell Training Center in Pittsburgh.

* Governor Nominates 4 To Environmental Hearing Board
Gov. Rendell this week nominated four individuals to serve on the Environmental Hearing Board which is the first level of appeal for all actions of the Department of Environmental Protection. The individuals nominated are:

* DEP Citizens Advisory Council Elects 2009-10 Officers, EQB Representatives
Richard Manfredi of Hilltown, Bucks County, and Joyce Hatala of Fleetville, Lackawanna County, were re-elected chair and vice chair of the DEP Citizens Advisory Council for the coming year.
* DEP Opportunity To Bid On Mine Reclamation Project In Allegheny County
The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of an opportunity to bid on a mine reclamation project in Allegheny County.

* Creative Solutions- Orion Grassroots Network Helps EPCAMR Raise Funding For Kids In Creeks
The Eastern PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation partnered with the Orion Grassroots Network to help raise $300 in new funding for the "Kids In Creeks" program.

* Feature- Careers Shaped, Friendships Forged In The Outdoors World Of ECO Camp
Would she be an environmental attorney 10 years down her road of life? An educator? Researcher? Or, perhaps a crusading journalist, leading the good fight to save land and water?

* Environmental Heritage- 140th Avondale Mine Disaster Commemorations Set For September 6
The public is cordially invited to three free-of-charge historical preservation events on September 6 in Scranton and Plymouth Township that will commemorate the 140th anniversary of the Avondale mine disaster of September 6, 1869, anthracite’s most deadly mining disaster with 110 victims.

* 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  published notice and opportunity to comment on proposed changes to erosion and sedimentation and control and stormwater regulations affecting agricultural operations.  The Department of Environmental Protection  published notice of changes in Part 1, 2 MACT Air Quality standards for industrial, commercial and institutional boilers and process heaters and  a notice correcting published Safe Drinking Water regulations.  The Fish and Boat Commission  published notice adding Walker  Run, Luzerne County was a Wild Trout Stream.
* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Department of Environmental Protection  published notice of actions under the Nutrient Credit Trading Program and  a notice correcting proposed changes to the General NPDES permit for stormwater discharges.  The Environmental Quality Board  published notice accepting a petition proposing to change the classification of Lycoming Creek.
* 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 - 

* 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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