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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
November 2, 2009
(11/2/2009)
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* DEP Revokes Drilling Permits As Deficient After Chesapeake Bay Foundation Appeals
The Department of Environmental Protection has revoked three erosion and sedimentation control general permits previously issued to Ultra Resources Inc. and Fortuna Energy Inc. due to technical deficiencies after the Chesapeake Bay Foundation appealed the permits which the agency initially issued after only a few days of review.

* Feature- As Gas Wells Proliferate, Water Worries Grow In Upper Susquehanna Watershed
By Carol Denny,Chesapeake Bay Foundation
* Chesapeake Energy Natural Gas Driller Says It Will Not Drill In New York City Watershed

* Oil And Gas Industry Petitions For Resumption Of Drilling In Allegheny National Forest
A petition distributed by the PA Oil & Gas Association and the Allegheny Forest Alliance gathered nearly 2,000 signatures urging President Obama, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Gov. Rendell to lift a ban on oil and gas development in the Allegheny National Forest.

* Chesapeake Energy: 338 Percent Increase In 3rd Quarter Marcellus Natural Gas Production

* New Oil and Gas Well Permit Application Fees To Help Pay For Permitting, Enforcement
The Department of Environmental Protection has begun collecting higher permit application fees for all traditional vertical non-Marcellus Shale oil and natural gas wells drilled in Pennsylvania to help cover the cost of the agency’s permitting and enforcement work.

* Controversy Continues Over Huge Cuts To DEP, DCNR Budget
The controversy over the 26 percent cut to the budget of the Department of Environmental Protection and the 18 percent cut to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources continued this week as legislators and the public find out more about what is in the budget adopted by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Rendell.

* Get Daily Updates On PA Environment Daily Blog, Twitter

* Growing Greener- Neshaminy Creek Stormwater Best Management Practices Demonstration Project
Susan Harris, Watershed Specialist with the Montgomery County Conservation District, submitted this story about how Growing Greener has funded installation of stormwater best management practices. The District now becomes eligible for a $250 Growing Greener Anniversary Grant.

* Video Blog- County Watershed Specialists Develop Watershed Protection Capacity, But It All May End
County Conservation District Watershed Specialists have been a vital force in Pennsylvania’s watershed movement for nearly 10 years, providing much needed environmental services in their counties and saving the state millions of dollars in project costs, in part by locating matching funding and in-kind contributions for environmental projects.

* Growing Greener Anniversary Grant Applications Due November 20

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

Here's the latest session schedule, Senate and House Calendars and Committee schedules--

* House Committee Hears Update On Downtown Location Law

The House Urban Affairs Committee held a hearing this week on the Downtown Location Law designed to encourage state agencies to build or lease office space in downtown business districts.

* Rep. Adolph To Introduce Legislation To Help Prevent Installation Of Billboards
Rep. Bill Adolph (R-Delaware) recently announced he would introduce two legislative proposals designed to deter the installation of billboards in communities across Pennsylvania.

* EPA To Hold Public Meetings On Proposed Chesapeake Bay TMDL
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will hold a series of public meetings to discuss the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load– a strict “pollution diet” to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its network of local rivers, streams and creeks.

* Chesapeake Bay Restoration, Outreach Grant Applications Due December 4
The Chesapeake Bay Trust is now accepting applications for a series of grant programs to promote watershed restoration and outreach activities. The deadline for applications is December 4. The programs include:

* Wildlife For Everyone, Partners Complete Penns Creek Stream Improvement Project
Wildlife For Everyone Endowment Foundation and several partners this week announced the completion of a stream improvement project on Penns Creek in Gregg Township, Centre County.

* Friends Of The Wissahickon Awarded $780,000 To Improve Wissahickon Creek Water Quality
Merck & Co., Inc. has awarded the Friends of the Wissahickon $780,656 for their Wissahickon Stormwater Mitigation and Sediment Reduction Project.

* DEP Awards Contracts For Nine Projects To Reclaim 235 Abandoned Mine Land Acres

* $79 Million In Water Infrastructure Projects Approved By PennVEST
The PA Infrastructure Investment Authority this week approved $79 million in 16 drinking water and wastewater projects in 15 counties.

* Mercer, Venango Conservation Districts, DEP Host Stormwater Issues Workshop Nov. 3
The Mercer and Venango County Conservation Districts and the Department of Environmental Protection will hold a workshop to discuss local, state and federal stormwater requirements for development at 9 a.m. on November 3, at the Mercer County Cooperative Extension Office, 747 Greenville Road, Mercer.

* ALCOSAN Sets Public Meetings To Talk About Sewage Overflow Issues In November
The Allegheny County Sanitary Authority will host a series of public meetings in November to provide the public with information about sewage overflow issues, planning efforts to address the overflow problem and what it means to individuals, businesses, neighborhoods and the region.

* $15 TreeVitalize Coupons Available To Homeowners In Southcentral PA
Fall is a great time for planting, and homeowners buying trees in Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster and Perry counties can take advantage of a $15 discount TreeVitalize coupon at a participating garden center or nursery this season, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources acting Secretary John Quigley said this week.

* Emerald Ash Borer Found In Juniata County, Quarantine Expanded
Emerald Ash Borer beetles have been found in Milford Township, Juniata County, bringing to 11 the number of Pennsylvania counties where the ash tree-destroying pest has been identified, acting Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said this week.

* Celebration Of Marsh Creek State Park, Struble Trail Expansion Planned For November 2

* Online Video- EcoExpress Website Great Resource For Environmental Educators
Educators can use the real world video stories of the EcoExpress website, produced by the GreenTreks Network, Inc., to help engage students on a variety of environmental topics in an inspiring way.

* Applications Now Being Accepted For EPA 2010 Environmental Education Grants

* PROP Holds Organics Roundtable In Bellefonte November 12
The Professional Recyclers of PA will hold an Organics Roundtable at the Centre County Solid Waste Authority's Interpretative Center in Bellefonte on November 12 starting at 9:30 a.m.

* EPA Fall Brownfields Revitalization Newsletter Now Available Online
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 3 has just posted the first "School Edition" of this quarterly e-newsletter on brownfields revitalization efforts.

* Proposed Greening Of City Code Introduced To Pittsburgh City Council
In its next step towards creating a greener Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative introduced green city code language changes to Pittsburgh's City Council this week.

* Point Park University Set To Build Green Student Center
Point Park University in Pittsburgh this week announced WTW Architects will design the renovation of its new Student and Convocation Center which will be designed to meet LEED green building standards.

* Natural Gas Utilities, Suppliers And Experts to Brief PUC On Reliability For Winter Nov. 5
The Public Utility Commission announced its annual Winter Reliability Assessment meeting, which provides a snapshot of various conditions that may affect natural gas supply, price and service reliability for the upcoming winter, will be held November 5 in Harrisburg.

* $123 Million In Federal Weatherization Funds To Be Released In PA November 2
The first installment of $123 million in federal Recovery funds for weatherization will begin to be released November 2, part of $253 million that the state will use for this purpose.

* Onorato & Ravenstahl Launch $20 Million Weatherization Program In Allegheny County

* Reminder: PA's Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program To Open November 2

* $233 Million In Recovery Funds To PA For Smart Grid Technology

* U.S. Secretary of Energy Visits PECO & Awards $200 Million In Smart Grid Funding
U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu came to Philadelphia this week to announce a $200 million stimulus award to PECO for smart electric grid projects.

* DeSales Student Wins Emmy Award For Wild Resource Conservation Series Cosmo's World
DeSales University Senior TV/Film major Brandon Pousley, of Perkasie, Pa, received a regional Emmy Award from the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his work as editor for Cosmo's World, a program produced for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to teach biodiversity to 4th graders.

* Pittsburgh's Olympic Paint Unveils Alliance For New Audubon Color Collection
Inspired by the beauty found in nature, Pittsburgh-based Olympic Paint announced a new collection of eight color palettes, drawing upon the vision and artistic tradition of the National Audubon Society.

* Game Commission 2010 Calendar Now On Sale
With the holiday gift-giving season coming up, the Game Commission announce its popular 2010 wildlife calendar now is available.

* Help Wanted: Foundation For PA Watersheds Seeks Coalition Director

* Fish And Boat Commission Launches Search For Executive Director
The Fish and Boat Commission announced it has begun a nationwide search for a new executive director.

* Nominations For Goddard Chair At Penn State Now Being Accepted
The School of Forest Resources at Penn State is seeking nominations for individuals to serve as the Goddard Chair named for former state environmental resources agency Secretary Maurice K. Goddard.

* Todd Wallace Named Acting Director Of Waste Management
Todd Wallace has been named Acting Director for the Bureau of Waste Management at the Department of Environmental Protection.

* Spotlight- Recycling Employs 81,322 People In Pennsylvania, Celebrate America Recycles Day Nov. 15
On November 15, Americans will celebrate America Recycles Day. On that day and every day, recycling is a simple way in which everyone in your community can protect the environment, preserve our natural resources, and contribute to the economic well-being of our nation.

* 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
No new regulations were published this week.  Pennsylvania Bulletin - October 31, 2009      

* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Susquehanna River Basin Commission  published notice of water withdrawals approved by the Commission.
* 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. 

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