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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
September 21, 2009
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* Budget Deal Announced Friday Will Lease 90,000 Acres Of State Forest Land For Drilling
Gov. Rendell and leaders from the Senate and House announced a budget deal late Friday that builds on the Legislative Budget Proposal announced on September 11 which included plans to lease about 90,000 acres of State Forest land to help raise $100 million to balance the state budget, according to a background document released this week.

* Majority Chairs Of House Finance, Game & Fisheries Committees Denounce Gas Leasing Plan
Rep. David Levdansky (D-Allegheny), Majority Chair of the House Finance Committee, and Rep. Ed Staback (D-Lackawanna), Majority Chair of the House Game and Fisheries Committee both denounced plans to accelerate the leasing of State Forest land for natural gas drilling.

* Parks, Recreation And Forest Groups Oppose Budget Cuts, Natural Gas Leasing - Video Blog
Groups supporting State Parks, State Forests and recreation facilities around the state this week highlighted the damage proposed budget cuts would do to recreation resources and expressed concern about the accelerated leasing of State Forest land for Marcellus Shale drilling.

* Boroughs Say Don't Forget Local Governments In Leasing Of State Forest For Drilling

* Opinion - Severe Budget Cuts Mean Erosion Of Our Right To A Clean Environment
By Donald S. Welsh,President & CEO,Pennsylvania Environmental Council
* Opinion- Short-Term Gains From Natural Gas Drilling Hurt State In Long Run
By Ed Wilson,10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania
* Opinion- Make Natural Gas Industry Pay its Fair Share For Marcellus Shale
By Richard Martin,Pennsylvania Forest Coalition
* Get Daily Updates On PA Environment Daily Blog, Twitter

* A Decade Of Growing Greener- Growing Greener In Northcentral Pennsyulvania
The following Growing Greener Watershed Program success story was submitted by Frank Weeks, President of the Upper Allegheny Watershed Association, Potter and McKean counties, describing how the Association and the watershed has improved as a result of Growing Greener. The Association is now in the running for a $250 Growing Greener Anniversary grant.
* October 20 Deadline For Growing Greener Anniversary Grants
The Growing Greener Watershed Restoration Program will be ten years old in December and to help celebrate 10 groups have come together to invite watershed groups to share their success stories on a special Growing Greener website.

* On the Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule/Bills Introduced

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 action this week-- 

* September Environmental Synopsis Newsletter Features PA Heritage Areas

The September issue of the Environmental Synopsis newsletter published by the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee this week features the PA Heritage Areas Program.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Honors The Nature Conservancy

* PA Groups Win 6 Of 10 EPA Regional Environmental Achievement Awards

* Crayola Receives Wildlands Conservancy’s 2009 Ark Award

* Bethlehem Honored For Providing High Quality Drinking Water
The City of Bethlehem's drinking water supply and treatment operations were recognized this week for optimum treatment for its customers by the Department of Environmental Protection and the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators.

* EPA Honors Meadville Area Water Authority For Protecting Drinking Water

* Coldwater Conservation Grants Program Now Accepting Applications
The Coldwater Heritage Partnership is now accepting applications for its Coldwater Conservation Grants Program to protect and conserve the health of Pennsylvania's coldwater ecosystems.

* DEP Approves Harrisburg Wastewater Treatment Plan To Meet Chesapeake Bay Cleanup
The Department of Environmental Protection has approved Harrisburg Authority’s plan for a new wastewater treatment plant upgrade and its plan to use nutrient trading credits to further reduce nitrate pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.

* Call For Presenters For 2010 Schuylkill Watershed Congress, Sponsorships Available
The Delaware Riverkeeper Network is now soliciting proposals for presentations at the 2010 Schuylkill Watershed Congress to be held on March 13 at the Montgomery County Community College in Pottstown.

* Pocono Forest, Waters Landscape Collaborative Accepting Grant Applications
The Pocono Forest and Waters Landscape Collaborative is now accepting applications for conservation assistance program grants through October 22.

* Save The Date: 2010 PA Environmental Educators Annual Conference, Call For Presenters
The PA Association of Environmental Educators annual conference will be held March 11-13 at the Normandy Farm, Blue Bell, Pa. The theme of the Conference will be "A Sense of Place-Our Outdoor Heritage."

* Geologists Offer Groundwater Sampling, Hydrogeology Courses
The PA Council of Professional Geologists are offering two continuing education courses in the near future on groundwater sampling and hydrogeology.

* Schuylkill County May Host First Near Zero Emissions Power Plant, Carbon Storage Project
Future Power PA Inc. announced this week the company’s “Good Spring IGCC” power plant with carbon sequestration will seek matching funds from round three of the Department of Energy’s “Clean Coal Power Initiative”program.

* EPA Names 11 Energy Star Award Winners Including Swarthmore Church
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is recognizing 11 small businesses and congregations for their efforts to fight climate change including the Swarthmore Presbyterian Church in Delaware County.

* First Residents To Move Into Drexel University’s New Green Dorm
Drexel University sophomores moved into a new "green" $42 million residence hall this week, a 17-story Millennium Hall housing 482 students in a hybrid suite configuration with a series of shared living areas.

* Bucks County Eco-Industrial Park Joins EPA Sustainability Initiative

* PPL: Businesses Can Benefit From Shopping For Electricity Supply
Need a quick refresher on competitive electricity markets and how PPL EnergyPlus can help industrial and commercial businesses in eastern and central Pennsylvania save on their energy bills?

* New Partner To Help Complete Elk Country Visitor Center

* Game Commission Advises Motorists To Watch Out For Deer
Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe this week advised motorists to slow down after sundown and before sunrise to reduce their risk of having a close encounter with a white-tailed deer.

* Plan Your Trip Through Pennsylvania's Colorful Fall Foliage
Yes it's that time already. Visit the Fall In PA website now to help plan your trip to see Pennsylvania's beautiful fall foliage.

* Help Wanted: DEP Seeking Nominations For Storage Tank Advisory Committee Vacancies
The Department of Environmental Protection is seeking nominations for the Storage Tank Advisory Committee. The committee currently has two public member vacancies.

* Spotlight- Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Means Watershed By Watershed Cleanup
As federal agencies respond this month to President Barack Obama's executive order to redouble efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, the challenge in Pennsylvania is to focus on local initiatives aimed at helping agricultural producers and their nonfarming neighbors adopt conservation practices that can improve water quality in bay tributaries, according to an agricultural pollution expert in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

* 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 met this week and approved all items on its agenda and published final bluff recession and setback regulations changes for Lake Erie.  The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of changes to federal radioactive material regulations and temporary radioactive material regulatory relief for certain instrumentation.
* Telchnical Guidance & Permits
PennVEST and the Department of Environmental Protection  published notice of an intended use plan for Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Program Plans and public hearing, trading activity under the  Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Credit Trading Program and notice of changes to certification list for radon contractors  (Pa Bulletin page 5501)

For copies of Draft Technical Guidance (DEP website)

* 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 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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