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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
October 5, 2009
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* Wheels Came Off The Budget Deal In Part Over Increased Drilling In State Forests

* Chesapeake Bay Foundation Urges Support For Natural Gas Severance Tax
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation this week weighed in again with members of the House to support passage of a severance tax on natural gas production to help fund critical environmental programs and help local governments. They sent the following letter to each member--

* Borough Officials Urge OK Of Natural Gas Severance Tax To Protect Taxpayer Investments

* Rep. George Urges Final Adoption Of Natural Gas Production Severance Tax
Rep. Camille "Bud" George (D-Clearfield), Majority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, today rebutted contentions that now is not the time for Pennsylvania to enact a severance tax on gas extracted from the Marcellus Shale Deposit.

* Get Daily Updates On PA Environment Daily Blog, Twitter

* 4 Winners Of Growing Greener Anniversary Grants Announced

The Growing Greener 10th Anniversary Program this week announced four winners of $250 Growing Greener Anniversary Grants for submitting stories to a special website highlighting their accomplishments under the program. The winners include- 

* 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 interested saw action this week-- 

* Senate Committee OKs Recycling Fee Extension, Tire Cleanup Fund, Coal Refuse Siting Bills

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee had two meetings this week to approve legislation extending the Recycling Fee, creating a waste tire cleanup account and additional siting criteria for coal refuse piles. The bills include:

* Video Blog- Harrisburg Coca-Cola Bottling Company Awards Recycle Bowl Scholarship To HACC

The Harrisburg Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Lemoyne, Cumberland County this week awarded the Harrisburg Area Community College main campus with a $1,000 scholarship for winning the Recycle Bowl competition for recycling 13,650 plastic or aluminum containers.

* Online Video- New GreenLife Pennsylvania TV Series Shows How Pennsylvanians Are Going Green

Think globally, act locally – that’s the focus of GreenLife Pennsylvania, a new television series produced by WVIA public media of Pittston and sponsored in part by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and iConservePA.

* PA Project Wins Top Honors From Federal Office Of Surface Mining
The federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement this week recognized six state agencies for excellence in reclaiming abandoned mines, including the Department of Environmental Protection's Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation.

* EPA Sues Scranton Sewer Authority For Combined Sewer Overflow Violations
The U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has filed a complaint asking a federal court to order the Scranton Sewer Authority to stop discharges of untreated sewage into the Lackawanna River.

* Online Training- Stormwater Retrofiting Webcast Set For October 14
The Center for Watershed Protection will hold a Stormwater Retrofitting webcast on October 14 starting at noon Eastern time.

* 843 Students Learn About the Environment at Millbrook Marsh Nature Center

* Joe Humphreys To Be Awarded 6th Annual Spring Creek Heritage Award
Joe Humphreys, local fly fishing luminary and watershed conservationist, will receive the 6th Annual Spring Creek Heritage Award at the ClearWater Conservancy’s Spring Creek Day Family Festival on October 4.

* 2010 Environmental Education Grant Applications Now Being Accepted
Applications for the 2010 Environmental Education Grants Program are now available from the Department of Environmental Protection. (formal notice)

* October PA Center For Environmental Education Newsletter Now Online

* Lancaster County Agricultural Summit Set For October 20-21
Lancaster County Commissioners will host a Lancaster County Agriculture Summit on October 20-21 to look at the economic contribution of agriculture to the County and at water quality issues.

* Fishing License Sales Hit Five-Year High
Over 871,499 fishing licenses have been sold as of September 13 already eclipsed the total yearly sales for each of the last four years and represents the largest one year percentage increase since 1980, according to sales figures from the Fish and Boat Commission.

* Partners Conserve 40 Forested Acres Along West Branch of French Creek

* Westmoreland Trust Aquires 105 Acres Of Open Space
More than 105 acres of open space in Westmoreland County will be preserved, thanks to the Westmoreland Land Trust.

* Western PA Conservancy Acquires 2,400 Acres In Clearfield County
The Western PA Conservancy completed a significant land acquisition in Clearfield County this week, purchasing 2,400 acres of forested slopes and streams at the headwaters of Bennett Branch, which is a tributary to Sinnemahoning Creek. This land will be permanently conserved for future generations.

* Newest Stretch Of Great Allegheny Passage Trail Opens In Duquesne

* Conservation Corps Grants For Conservation Projects, To Remove Graffit, Repair Vandalism
Applications are now being accepted for PA Conservation Corps Program grants for conservation, recreation, historic preservation, graffiti removal and repair of vandalism from the Department of Labor and Industry. (formal notice)

* Northwest PA GIS Conference Set For October 15-16
Clarion University and the Northwest Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission will host the fourth Annual Northwest PA Geographic Information Systems Conference, October 15-16, at the Gemmell Student Complex.

* Urban Sustainability Forum In Philadelphia October 22
The Economy League of Greater Philadelphia and the PA Environmental Council are sponsoring an Urban Sustainability Forum focusing on Green Infrastructure Funding on October 22 at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.

* Genesee & Wyoming Railroad Highlights Environmental Initiatives

* An Audit To Look Forward To: Home Energy Use
Want to improve your home’s performance when it comes to energy efficiency? Schedule a diagnostic energy audit this fall or winter.

* Pennsylvania Youth Make Biofuel For October 7 4-H National Youth Science Day

* PJM Symposium On Reducing Electricity Bills Through Price Responsive Demand Nov. 9-10
PJM Interconnection will conduct a symposium on November 9-10 to advance the ability of electricity consumers to adjust their use of electricity based on retail rates that change daily or hourly in response to wholesale market price signals.

* DEP Now Accepting Applications For Alternative Fuels Incentive Grants
The Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for grants under the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program. (formal notice)

* PROP Announces New Executive Director-- Mark Mehall
The Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania this week announced Mark Mehall of South Bend, Indiana, will be joining the organization as Executive Director.

* Help Wanted: Fish And Boat Commission Seeks Conservation Officer Applicants
The Fish and Boat Commission is looking for individuals interested in a career as a Waterways Conservation Officer. Applications for WCO Trainee positions will be accepted between October 7 and November 18. All written testing must be completed with the Civil Service Commission by December 29.

* Spotlight- Western PA Conservancy Researchers Discover New Plant In Erie

* 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 proposed designations for Lead National Ambient Air Quality Standards and a  correction notice from the Environmental Quality Board on proposed changes to the lead and copper drinking water rule.
* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Department of General Services  published notice adopting  High Performance Building Standards. The Department of Environmental Protection  published notice approving of a mercury thermostat collection and recycling program,  notice of final drinking water public notice guidance and  notice of municipal waste to fuel general permit.  The Susquehanna River Basin Commission  published notice of approved oil and gas drilling withdrawals approved.
* 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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