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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
March 8, 2010
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* DEP Secretary Hanger: Timely Permit Decisions Are More Difficult With Cuts

Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger told the Senate Appropriations Committee this week his agency's ability to make timely permit decisions is getting more difficult because of the budget cuts made this fiscal year and expected for next year.

* Rendell Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Production Tax Supported In New Poll

A poll released this week by Quinnipiac University shows those surveyed support a Marcellus Shale natural gas production tax, the only tax changes proposed by Gov. Rendell in the FY 2010-11 budget they supported.

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The companies and organizations listed in the PA Environment Digest  Professional Services Directory help support this free service.

* 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--

* House Consumer Affairs Committee Holds Hearing On Municipal Electric Aggregation Bill

* House Committee To Hold Hearing On Impact Of Stream Buffers On Waterways March 8

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

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to meet on March 9 to consider bills covering oil and gas well drilling, mineral leasing by the state, how mining permit fees are adopted and the disposition of air quality penalties.  The bills include--

* Senate Committees To Hear Update On Chesapeake Bay TMDL March 17

* Orvis Outfitters Commits To Grants For Watershed Conservation, Including Yellow Breeches

* Feature- Delaware River Basin Commission Hears Comments On Drilling Concerns In Wayne County

By Sandy Long, River Reporter

* Cooperative Extension Marcellus Shale Volunteer Monitoring Workshop March 9

* EQT Corp Spends $280 Million To Buy 58,000 Acres Of Marcellus Shale Gas Reserves

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Real-Time Water Quality Data Available Now Online

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission this week announced real-time data from six initial remote water quality monitoring stations are now available on SRBC’s website.  A user-friendly map, graphs and charts are key features for viewing and understanding the data. 

* EPA Hosts Next Web Update On Chesapeake Bay TMDL March 25

* DEP Restores 750 Acres Of Abandoned Mine Lands In 2009, 210 Acres Less Than 2008

The Department of Environmental Protection this week said Pennsylvania’s mine reclamation programs made "dramatic progress" by reclaiming 750 acres of abandoned mines in 2009.

* EPCAMR Receives Dominion Grant For Acid Mine Drainage Education Program

The Eastern Coalition For Abandoned Mine Reclamation received a grant from Dominion Energy to help support its Acid Mine Drainage Environmental Education Programs to reach students in Tioga and Lycoming Counties who live in watersheds impacted by AMD. 

* National Abandoned Mine Reclamation Programs Conference Sept. 19-24 In Scranton

* New York City Increases Reservoir Releases To Accommodate Record Snow Pack Melting

* Save The Date: Pittsburgh Hosts Global Water Conference On June 3

* DEP Requests Data On Stream Classifications In Lycoming, Potter, Tioga Counties

* ClearWater Conservancy Hosts Vernal Pool Tour March 18

ClearWater Conservancy is offering an opportunity to witness and explore a distinctive and temporary habitat when it hosts its Adventures in Conservation event at the Scotia Barrens on March 18 from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  

* Still Time To Sign Up For Free Rain Garden Program In Westmoreland County

Mount Pleasant residents of Ramsay Terrace and nearby streets should act quickly if they want to sign up for a free program that will create an attractive, landscaped garden in their yard as a way to help relieve flooding in local neighborhoods.

* Over 130 Attend PA Wastewater Conference And Trade Show

More than 130 individuals attended the first decentralized PA Wastewater Conference and Trade Show recently held at the Lancaster County Convention Center & Lancaster Marriott.

* PA American WaterWorks Assn. Sets Southeast, Northeast Water Notification Workshops

* PA Septage Management Association Announces 2010 Leadership

* March PA Center For Environmental Education Newsletter Now Online

The March issue of the EE Connections newsletter from the PA Center for Environmental Education is now available online. This month's newsletter highlights these stories:

* DCNR Seeks Student Applicants For Environmental Careers Camp

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Acting Secretary John H. Quigley is inviting young men and women across the state to apply for its summer residential camp for high-school students interested in pursuing environmental careers.

* Applications Now Being Accepted For Student, Adult Wildlife Leadership Academy Courses

* Earth Day 40th Anniversary- 15,000 Volunteers Expected in Earth Day Cleanups Around Pittsburgh

This year we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, the nationwide teach-in that kick-started many of the major environmental programs we have today. In this section each week the PA Environment Digest will highlight upcoming Earth Day events.  Submit your events for this page to:

* Earth Day: Register Your Group For 2010 Great American Cleanup Of PA

PA CleanWays and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful encourage groups to register now for the 2010 Great American Cleanup of PA.

* Earth Day: Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy Cleanup Event April 17

The Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy in Montgomery County will hold its annual stream cleanup on April 17.  Click here to register for the event.

* Video Blog- Game Commission Reschedules NE Deer Open House, Posts Deer Video Presentation

Game Commission Northeast Region Director Steve Schweitzer announced the deer open house postponed on February 27, because of bad weather, has been rescheduled for March 28.

* Video Blog- Endangered Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnakes In Pennsylvania

* PA Chapter of The Wildlife Society Annual Conference March 19-20

* Video Blog- Sure Sign Of Spring: Geese, Swans Return To Middle Creek, Pymatuning Wildlife Areas

Each year the Game Commission’s Middle Creek and Pymatuning Wildlife Management Areas host hundreds of thousands of migrating geese, swans and ducks.

* Bethlehem Authority Receives Grant From Pocono Forest And Waters Landscape Initiative

The Bethlehem Authority was recently approved to receive a $20,000 grant from the Pocono Forest and Waters Conservation Landscape Initiative through its Conservation Assistance Program—a funding program administered by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, in conjunction with DCNR’s Growing Greener Environmental Stewardship Fund.

* Susquehanna Greenway Symposium To Focus On Civic Tourism On March 18

* Lyme Disease: Under Our Skin Movie Event March 20

* EPA Announces Environmental Justice Video Contest: Faces Of The Grassroots

* PA Home Energy Conference Set For March 15-16

* Municipalities Invited To March 31 Outdoor Lighting Workshop

* Pittsburgh Mayor Introduces Green Purchasing Policy

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl this week introduced legislation to City Council which proposes that procurement specialists not only look toward pricing and performance criteria, but also environmental impact, when making purchasing decisions.

* PECO Signs Deal For 6 Megawatts Of Solar Energy Credits

* PPL Electric Customers Can Get Rebates On Solar Panels, Heat Pumps

* Federal Jury Awards $6.5 Million In Damages For Improper Regulatory Conduct At DEP

* Fish & Boat Commission Names John Arway Executive Director

A 30-year veteran of the Fish and Boat Commission has been chosen as the agency’s next executive director. During a special public meeting today, the Board of Commissioners selected John Arway to lead the Commission, one of the oldest and most effective conservation agencies in the nation.

* DEP Williamsport Regional Director Robert Yowell To Retire

* Help Wanted: Pennsylvania Resources Council Seeks Executive Director

* Help Wanted: PA Resources Council Environmental Education Specialist

* Opinion- Roads To Ruin Without Natural Gas Production Tax

By Rep. Camille George

* 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

Here are NewsClips on topics related to Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling---

* Watershed NewsClips

* Regulations, Technical Guidance & Permits

* 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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