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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
March 1, 2010
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* Secretary Hanger- DEP Cut To Bone After Years Of Budget Reductions

Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger told the House Appropriations Committee this week said his agency's budget has had a series of budget cuts over the past few years and "now we are down to the bone or close to the bone" in terms of having the resources needed to accomplish its mission to protect the environment.

* DCNR's Quigley: Only Sharp Service Reductions, Oil & Gas Fund Kept Parks Open

Acting Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary John Quigley told Senate and House Appropriations Committees this week only a sharp reduction in services and the timely transfer of $1.7 million from the Oil and Gas Fund kept all 117 State Parks open for business this passed year.

* Want To Know How To Get Funding? Check The Digest

* Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule/Bills Introduced

Here are the Senate and House Calendars and Committee meetings showing bills of interest as well as a list of new environmental bills introduced--

* Senate Environmental Committee Meets March 9 On Gas Drilling, Lease, Mine Permit Fee Bills

* February Environmental Synopsis Features Biomass Industry, 2009 Annual Report

* Spotlight- Stimulus Money Grows Jobs, Improves Environment One Farm At A Time

In July the Chesapeake Bay Foundation received $14.9 million in federal stimulus funding from the PA Infrastructure Investment Authority to install farm conservation practices that will reduce nutrient pollution going into Pennsylvania's rivers and streams.  This is one of the project made possible by that funding.

* Rendell Says Action Plan Will Protect, Restore Great Lakes' Ecosystem

Gov. Rendell, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson and members of the Council of Great Lakes Governors this week unveiled an action plan designed to address the most serious environmental challenges facing the Great Lakes ecosystem.

* Great Lakes Habitat Restoration, Protection Grants Available

* Video Blog- StormwaterPA Video Highlights Value Of Streamside Forests

* PA Natural Heritage Program Offers Owners Of Vernal Pools Management Help

Owners of unique wetlands called vernal pools can get hands-on management help from the PA Natural Heritage Program.  Sign-ups for this service ends on May 15.

* Feature- Hammer Creek: Pennsylvania's Next Water Quality Battleground

On February 16, the Environmental Quality Board voted to move forward with a proposal to downgrade the water quality protection for Hammer Creek in Lancaster County. By proposing to strip the creek of its "high quality" status, the Board and the Department of Environmental Protection is opening the door for all kinds of future pollution.

* NRCS Conservation Funds Available For Organic Farm Growers

* Conservation District Northeast Regional Contractors, Engineers Workshop March 10

* Philadelphia Water Department Seeking Volunteers For Earth Day Activity

The Philadelphia Water Department has joined forces with the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary to recruit volunteers for the 40th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22.   Good Samaritans are needed to protect Philadelphia’s urban rivers by gluing signs onto storm drains that warn, “Yo!  No Dumping!  Drains to River.”

* Watershed Assessment Workshop For Teachers At Mansfield University June 15, 16

* ClearWater Conservancy Awards Scholarships For Millbrook March Natural Center Students

* School GreenSylvania Recycling Competition To Begin March 1 In Centre County

The Centre County Solid Waste Authority is sponsoring a  “GreenSylvania”  recycling competition between Bald Eagle, Bellefonte, Penns Valley, Philipsburg-Osceola & State College High Schools as well as Bellefonte Elementary, Park Forest Elementary and The State College Friends School during the month of March.

* EPA Awards Grant To Promote Composting As A Business To Farmers In Lehigh Valley

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Solid Waste Program has awarded a grant to promote the use of composting of food/ organic waste to small farm and small operators at various farming conferences in Allentown, Lehigh County, Franconia, Montgomery County and Wyomissing, Berks County, Pa.           

* PROP Sponsoring Municipal Recycling Roundtables April 8, 12

The Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania is sponsoring municipal recycling roundtables on April 8 in Bloomsburg and April 12 in Slippery Rock.

* DEP Orders Schreiner Oil & Gas To Restore Water Supplies In McKean County

* Cabot Oil & Gas Provides Operations Update, Current Marcellus Production

Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation announced continued success in all of its initiatives this week. "We have spent much of the last three-plus months with our heads down, focused on moving our Marcellus and East Texas operations forward," said Dan O. Dinges, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "The results highlighted below are a culmination of that effort."

* Public Meetings Set For 32-Mile Trail Along Allegheny River Project

* Weather Causes Postponement Of Deer Open House In Northeast Pennsylvania

* West Chester Student Conservation Corps Receives EPA Climate Showcase Grant

* CONSOL Energy Headquarters Receives LEED Green Building Certification

CONSOL Energy Inc.'s headquarters, located in Southpointe near Canonsburg, Pa., has become the first building in the business complex to be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified.  

* Mid-Atlantic Environmental And Energy Conference And Trade Show April 13-14

* Constellation Energy-- $90 Million Solar Project Financing Available

* Commonwealth Financing Authority Invests $5 Million In 13 Solar Energy Projects

* Geothermal Installer Certification Training Offered In Columbia County April 12-14

* Renewable Energy Solutions Seminar April 15 In Carbondale

* Save The Date: Northeast PA Energy Solutions Expo June 26-27

* The Reinvestment Fund Selected To Manage State Green Energy Revolving Loan Fund

The Rendell Administration has selected The Reinvestment Fund to manage the state's Green Energy Revolving Loan Fund.
            The new revolving loan fund will supply capital for developing cost effective, energy-saving and renewable energy projects in existing, non-residential buildings throughout Pennsylvania. The projects create and retain jobs, and must cut an entire facility's energy consumption by at least 25 percent or develop and install technologies on-site that produce electricity from renewable resources.

* PUC Begins Review Of Competitive Safeguards For Electric Industry, Customers

* DEP's Mike Sherman, Gary Niland Retiring From Field Operations

Several retirements were announced this week from the Department of Environmental Protection, including: Michael Sherman, Deputy Secretary for Field Operations and Gary Niland, Director of the Bureau of Regional Coordination and Program Evaluation.

* Deadline Extended To Apply For Fish and Boat Commission Board Seat

* Help Wanted: Sustainable Agriculture Assn, Certified Organic, Blazosky Associates

The PA Association of Sustainable Agriculture, the PA Certified Organic Program and Blazosky Associates have a number of positions and an internship available.

* Opinion- Residents Need To Realize Risks Involving Natural Gas Drilling

By Rep. John Siptroth

* Opinion- New Alternative Energy Mandates Anti-Consumer, Anti-Choice, Anti-Innovation

By PA Chamber of Business and Industry

* Grants & Awards

This section gives you a heads up on upcoming deadlines for awards and grants and other recognition programs. NEW means new from last week.

* Quick Clips

* Marcellus Shale NewsClips

* Watershed NewsClips

* Regulations, Technical Guidance & Permits

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of the final 2009 ozone season nitrogen oxide limits for nonelectric generating units and notice of trading activity and trading proposals from Lycoming County under the Nutrient Credit Trading Program

* Calendar Of Events

Upcoming legislative meetings, conferences, workshops, plus links to other online calendars. Meetings are in Harrisburg unless otherwise noted.  NEW means new from last week.  Go to the online Calendar webpage.

* Stories Invited

Send your stories, photos and videos about your project, environmental issues or programs for publication in the PA Environment Digest to:

* Supporting Member PA Outdoor Writers Assn./PA Trout Unlimited

PA Environment Digest is a supporting member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers AssociationPennsylvania Council Trout Unlimited and the Doc Fritchey Chapter Trout Unlimited.

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