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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
December 21, 2009
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* Quigley: DCNR Does Not Have Resources To Police State Forest Drilling
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Acting Secretary John Quigley told the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee this week his agency does not have the resources to police State Forest Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling as it ramps up over the next few years.

* Budget Briefing Shows $450 Million Budget Deficit, 1,000 More Layoffs Threatened

* Get Daily Updates On PA Environment Daily Blog, Twitter

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

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

* Senate/House Bills Moving

The following bills of interest saw action this week-- 

* House Committee Sets New Precedent For Opting Out Of Environmental Programs
The House Local Government Committee set a major new precedent for an environmental program this week by amending House Bill 1390 (Freeman-D-Lehigh) to, for the first time, eliminate a mandate for environmental improvements if the state does not appropriate matching funding to local governments.

* House Environmental Committee Hearing Explores Sewage Sludge As Energy Source
Rep. Camille “Bud” George (D-Clearfield), Majority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, said a public hearing this week explored innovative uses for sewage sludge, including as an energy source.

* Delaware River Basin Releases Results of Flood Analysis Model

* Feature- Joint Project Enhances Habitat, Water Quality At Memorial Lake, Lebanon County
Even before abundant autumn rains sent the drawn-down Memorial Lake inching back to its original full-pool level, very good things already were beginning to happen at the impoundment that is the focal point of the state park bearing its name.

* Online Video- Friends Of Delaware Start Major Stream Restoration Project
The first stage in a massive stream restoration project, a Friends of the Upper Delaware River funded study recently completed by LandStudies Inc. lays out plans for the total rehabilitation of Sands and Cadosia Creeks in the Town of Hancock. This project will benefit habitat for the fishery, mitigate flooding for inhabitants of the watershed, and serve as a pilot program for streams throughout the region.

* Public Meeting On Wissahickon Creek Feasibility Study January 14
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District and the Philadelphia Water Department will host a public meeting on January 14 to review the feasibility study for Wissahickon Creek in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties.

* PA American Water Launches Stream Of Learning Scholarship Program
Pennsylvania American Water this week unveiled its Stream of Learning Scholarship Program to provide post-secondary scholarship assistance to students living in Pennsylvania American Water’s service areas.

* Marcellus Shale Coalition Supports Responsible Natural Gas Development In PA
The Marcellus Shale Coalition this week underscored its commitment to economic development, environmental protection, and best management practices in the responsible development of Pennsylvania's vast natural gas resources.

* Range Announces Marcellus Infrastructure Expansion, Quadruples PA Production
Range Resources this week announced the third phase expansion of the Marcellus Shale natural gas processing infrastructure has been completed.

* Are You Ready for RecycleMania 2010? Still Time To Register Your College

* EPA Video Competition to Promote Three Rs of Consumer Waste Reduction, Recycling
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is sponsoring a video contest that challenges filmmakers to produce short, creative videos that highlight the “Three Rs” of individual consumption: reduce, reuse, and recycle.

* Save The Date: PA Sustainable Agriculture Conference Set For February 4-6
The PA Association for Sustainable Agriculture will hold its annual conference in State College on February 4-6 with the theme, "The Sustainable Challenge: Providing For A Livable Tomorrow."

* DEP Highlights Benefits Of Mercury-Free Thermostat Law
Pennsylvanians are at lower risk of exposure to mercury as a result of the Mercury Free Thermostat Act, which took effect on December 8. The law bans the sale, installation and disposal of mercury-containing thermostats and requires contractors and homeowners to recycle out-of-service thermostats.

* PUC Urges Consumers To Call Now To Restore Utility Service

* Electric Competition Focus Of PUC Connections Special Edition Report
The Public Utility Commission this week released the autumn issue of the Keystone Connection which includes a special report on electric competiton. The quarterly report represents the PUC's effort to provide beneficial information to the public about important developments in the electric market.

* Turner Selected To Manage Construction Of $49.7 Million Green Building For Drexel
Turner Construction Company has been selected by Drexel University to manage construction of the Constantine Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building on the University's main campus in Philadelphia, Pa.

* DEP Releases Final PA Climate Change Action Plan
Pennsylvania could slash greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020 by following the recommendations contained in the Climate Change Action Plan presented to Gov. Rendell this week.

* Commonwealth Financing Authority Approves New Solar Energy Investments

* PA Energy Authority OKs $1.5 Million In Green Energy Projects In Duquesne Service Area
The PA Energy Development Authority this week approved $1.5 million in investments for six projects in the Duquesne Light service territory which will conserve or generate enough electricity over their lifetimes to power more than 2,000 homes for one year.

* Local Corn Fuels Clearfield County Ethanol Plant
When Pennsylvania’s first ethanol plant begins production next month, chances are the corn-based fuel has its roots in or near Clearfield County.

* Phipps Offers Teacher's Childhood Plant Science Workshop January 9

* Northwestern PA To Host Forests & Forest Landowners Conference Jan. 30
The forest management options available landowners in the northwestern region of Pennsylvania will be discussed at the 14th annual NW PA Forests & Forest Landowners Conference on January 30 at Behrend College, Reed Union Building, in Erie.

* Redwood Creek Wines Expands Greater Outdoors Project Grants For 2010

* Wintry World Of Fun Awaits State Park, Forest Visitors
As winter arrives, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is reminding outdoors enthusiasts that Pennsylvania’s extensive state forest and park systems offer many opportunities for cold-weather fun.

* Game Commission Website In Transition
If you've logged onto the Game Commission's website, you've probably noticed a significantly new look to the homepage, as well as a new manner in navigating through the various sections.

* DCNR, Partners Offering Holiday Gifts That Help Conservation
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources offers some suggestions for holiday gifts that will delight recipients and help to conserve Pennsylvania’s natural resources:

* Wild Resource Conservation Fund Benefits From Online Shopping

* 41 Pennsylvania Communities Eligible For Historic Preservation Grants

* 10,000 Friends Of Pennsylvania December E-Update
The December E-Update from the 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania features articles on Lancaster Smart Growth, integrated transportation and housing policy, models for bike infrastructure, Delaware County Green Stormwater Management and much more.

* Help Wanted: Shaver's Creek, Western PA Conservancy, Blair COG Recycling

* 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--

* Marcellus Shale NewsClips
Here's a selection of NewsClips on topics related to Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling--

* Watershed NewsClips
Read a sampling of NewsClips on watershed topics from around Pennsylvania.

* Regulations, Technical Guidance & Permits
EQB Increases Protection for 265 Miles of Waterways

The Environmental Quality Board this week designed 265 miles of streams in Pennsylvania as "exceptional value" waterways, finalized regulations to increase fees for laboratory accreditation, proposed changes to Land Recycling  and Uniform Environmental Covenants Act programs and proposed changes to the way regulations are presented to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission.  (agenda package)
* 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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