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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
March 29, 2010
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* House Committee Reports Out State Forest Gas Leasing Moratorium Bill

By a vote of 16 to 9, the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee this week reported out House Bill 2235 (Vitali-D-Delaware) which would impose a five year moratorium on leasing State Forest land for natural gas drilling.

* Environmental Defense Foundation Files Notice Of Lawsuit On State Forest Gas Leasing

The PA Environmental Defense Foundation this week gave Gov. Rendell notice it intents to file a lawsuit challenging the leasing State Forest land for Marcellus Shale drilling to help balance the state budget.

* House Passed Governor's Budget Locking In Cuts To DEP, DCNR

By a vote of 107 to 89, the House this week passed the state's General Fund budget bill-- House Bill 2279 (D.Evans-Philadelphia)-- locking in the 26 percent cut to the Department of Environmental Protection and the 18 percent cut to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for another year.
            In addition, amendments were withdrawn by Rep. David Levdansky (D-Allegheny) and Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware) that would have either reduced the need to lease more State Forest land for natural gas drilling or imposed a temporary moratorium on drilling.  Rep. Vitali said offering the amendments to the General Fund budget bill was "not the right time" to consider this issue.

* Report Confirms Growing Greener II Money Is Gone With No Replacement In Sight

A report issued this week by the Joint Legislative Budget and Finance Committee confirms virtually all of the $625 million in Growing Greener II bond funds have already been committed to projects, significantly reducing project funding for abandoned mine reclamation, watershed restoration, farmland preservation, recreation and other projects for the future.

* Obama Administration Plans To Cut Mining Administration, Emergency Projects Funding

* Did You Know You Can Search Nearly 6 Years Of Digests On Any Topic?

Did you know you can search nearly 6 years of back issues of the PA Environment Digest on dozens of topics, by county and on any key word you choose. Just click on the search page.

* 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--

* Bills On The Governor's Desk

The following bill was signed into law by the Gov. Rendell this week--

* Senate/House Bills Moving

The following bills of interest saw action this week in the House and Senate--

* DCNR Releases Background Memos On State Forest Leasing To Senate Committee

In response to a request by Sen. Mary Jo White (R-Venango), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources provided the Committee with background memos it sent to Gov. Rendell and Budget Secretary Mary Soderberg expressing concerns about leasing additional State Forest land for drilling dating back to March 2009.

* Joint Conservation Committee Hears Marcellus Shale Issues From Cooperative Extension

* Senate Environmental Committee To Consider John Quigley As DCNR Secretary

* PAEE Announces Environmental Education Award Winners

* Lancaster Farmland Trust Executive Director Named One Of 25 Women of Influence

* Philadelphia City Council Asks Delaware Basin Commission For Drilling Permit Denial

* Consol Makes Second PA Marcellus Gas Purchase For $964 Million

Consol Energy makes its second major Marcellus Shale natural gas-related purchase in as many weeks, this time buying the 16.7 percent of CNX Gas Corp it does not already own for $964 million..
           Last week Consol paid $3.4 billion in cash for Dominion's Marcellus Shale reserves.
            NewsClips: Consol Energy To Pay $964 Million For CNX Shares

* Temple Summit Explores Environmental Impact Of Marcellus Shale Drilling

* PUC Sets Agenda For April 22 Hearing On Marcellus Shale Issues

* Schuylkill Watershed Congress Attracts Over 220 To Learn About Watershed Protection

* April 16 Nutrient Trading In Pennsylvania Conference, Webinar

The PA Association of Conservation Districts and the departments of Agriculture and Environmental Protection will sponsor a one-day Nutrient Trading in Pennsylvania Conference and webinar on April 16 starting at 10:00.

* DEP To Hold Meeting On Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan March 31

* Pequea Creek Restoration Gets Boost From PPL’s Holtwood Hydroelectric Plant

* Buffer-Bonus Program For Plain Sect Farmers In Lancaster, Chester Watersheds

Plain sect farmers in watersheds draining to the Susquehanna River in Lancaster and Chester counties can now take advantage of a special bonus program for installing forested stream buffers to reduce nutrient and sediment runoff.

* Spotlight- It May Take A Village To Save Conewago Creek, April 10 Workshop Set

If the whole village joins together, it just might work.

* Feature- Farmer Partnerships Benefit The Chesapeake Bay

Agricultural run-off is widely recognized as the largest contributor to nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. That’s the bad news.

* Applications For Conservation District Education Mini-Grants Due April 1

* Enjoy Spring In the Wissahickon With FOW Trail Ambassadors

Trail Ambassadors from the Friends of the Wissahickon in Montgomery County are offering free nature walks in Wissahickon Valley Park this spring. These volunteers share their knowledge of the Wissahickon with park users and report any problems they see to Fairmount Park Rangers.

* $92 Million In Funding Awarded For Drinking Water, Wastewater Projects

* PA American Water Urges Customers To Follow On Twitter

PA American Water said this week it is now "tweeting" company news and updates for customers and others at 

* Covanta Energy Offers Free, Safe Destruction Of Unwanted Drugs To Protect Waterways

* Earth Day At 40-- Harrisburg's First Environmental Film Festival April 15

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: Uptown Harrisburg Cleanup Planning Meeting March 29

The Christian Recovery Aftercare Ministry is starting to plan a cleanup event in Uptown Harrisburg. This is the second year of the cleanup by the Ministry which helps aid ex-offenders with housing and jobs as they reenter society.

* Earth Day: Volunteers Needed For April 8 Westmoreland Cleanup

* Earth Day: Celebrate Earth Day At The Wissahickon Creek Clean Up April 24

* Earth Day: Find Cleanup Events In Your Community

* 10 TreeVitalize Tree Planting, Care Training Sessions Scheduled

* Public Meeting Set For South Mountain Trailhead Design On April 1

* Game Commission Releases 2009-10 Deer Harvest Estimates

* Former Harrisburg Falcon Identified As Taking Over Nest In Delaware

A female Peregrine falcon hatched at the Rachel Carson State Office Building two years ago has been spotted at a nest in Wilmington, Del. and may be responsible for killing the resident female and taking over the nest.

* Southeast Ben Franklin Partners Invites Proposals For Clean Energy Funding

* Initiative To Study Pennsylvania Electricity Markets And Economics

* Sustainable Pennsylvania Network Opens New Website

* Pennsylvania In The Dark About Earth Hour

* PJM Reports New Electric Power Carbon Dioxide Emissions Data

* Opportunity To Bid On DEP Project In Jefferson County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of an opportunity to bid on a mine reclamation project in Jefferson County.

* Michael Schmit To Retire From Game Commission

* Kelly Heffnar Named Acting DEP Deputy For Field Operations

* In Memoriam: Roger J. Hornberger, Former DEP District Mining Manager

Roger J. Hornberger, former Department of Environmental Protection District Mining Manager in Pottsville, passed away on March 19.

* Opinion- Let’s Start a Movement

By Michael Klimkos

* 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 Environmental Quality Board published notice accepting a rulemaking petition proposing to make a change to requirements protecting water supplies from the impacts of drilling. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published notice executing oil and gas lease on State Forest land in Potter County.

* 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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