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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
May 17, 2010
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* DCNR Leases 32,896 Acres Of State Forest For Drilling, Rendell Now Supports Moratorium

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources this week announced it has leased 32,896 more acres of State Forest land for Marcellus Shale drilling in a sole source negotiation without competitive bidding netting $120 million in revenue.

* Natural Gas Industry Spent $2.8 Million In Campaign Contributions, $4.2 Million Lobbying

The natural gas industry made over $2,800,000 in campaign contributions between January 2001 and March 2010 and reported over $4.2 million in lobbying expenses from January 2007 to March 2010, according to a report by PA Common Cause and the PA League of Women Voters.

* EPA Signs Binding Commitment To Reduce Pollution In Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, its co-plaintiffs, and the federal Environmental Protection Agency this week settled the lawsuit with a binding agreement that will require pollution to be reduced across the watershed. 

* New Strategy For Chesapeake Launches Major Initiatives, Holds Government Accountable

The new federal strategy for the Chesapeake region released this week focuses on protecting and restoring the environment in communities throughout the 64,000-square-mile watershed and in its thousands of streams, creeks and rivers. 

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* Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule

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 Governor's Desk

The following bills were signed into law this week by Gov. Rendell--

* Rendell Signs Bill Extending Recycling Fee Through 2020

Gov. Rendell this week signed House Bill 961 (Buxton-D-Dauphin) extending the $2/ton Recycling Fee supporting more than 1,600 municipal recycling programs.

* House Democratic Policy Committee Evaluates Marcellus Shale Water Issues

* Senate Republican Policy Committee Hearing On Natural Gas Pipelines

* Sen. Yaw Hosts Senate Majority Leader For Marcellus Well Tour

* House Transportation Committee Announces Funding Crisis Hearings

* Conservation Fund Features 2 Watershed Projects By PA Environmental Council

* Join The Movement For Growing Greener Reauthorization

Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds in partnership with the Green Team has announced the Renew Growing Greener campaign. To learn more about the campaign click here

* USDA Urges Landowners To Sign Up Now For Conservation Stewardship Program

* DEP To Hold Source Water Protection Workshops In Erie May 19, Huntingdon June 24

The Department of Environmental Protection is encouraging water suppliers and local officials to attend free workshops to learn how to collaborate and better protect drinking water sources on May 19 in Erie and in Hesston, Huntingdon County on June 24.

* Aqua America Publishes Sustainability Report

* Video Blog- Penn's Woods, Stream Buffers, Nature's Water Purifier

Next time you walk through a forest, imagine that the trees are affixed to the end of your kitchen faucet like a large green purifier, cleaning the water before it splashes, crystal-clear and cool, into your drinking glass.

* Reforestation Opportunity For Abandoned Mine Lands

* Special Registration Deal On September National Abandoned Mine Land Conference

* DEP Meets With 90 Companies Involved In Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Development

The Department of Environmental Protection this week met with 90 companies involved in Marcellus Shale natural gas development and told them they must follow proper well construction procedures to prevent gas migration problems that endanger public health and safety and threaten residential water supplies to avoid the problems occurring in Dimock, Susquehanna County.

* Range Resources Penalized $141,175 By DEP For Spill In High Quality Waterway

The Department of Environmental Protection this week fined Range Resources $141,175 for an October 6, 2009, spill of fluids from a gas drilling operation that killed fish and aquatic life in a high-quality waterway in Hopewell Township, Washington County. 

* DEP Fines Rex Energy Operating Corp. $45,000 for Environmental Drilling Violations

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Opens Marcellus Shale Office In Northern PA

* Penn State Marcellus Shale Summer Webinar Series Hosted By

* PA State Envirothon Set For May 26 At PPL Montour Preserve Montour County

* Education Grants Awarded By Fish And Boat Commission

* Natural Biodiversity, Johnstown Heritage Sponsor Native Plant Fest On May 22

* Your Help Needed In Odwalla Plant A Tree Campaign For PA

* Game Commission To Begin Accepting DMAP Landowner Applications


* Fish And Boat Commission To Host Susquehanna Smallmouth Bass Public Meetings

* Video Blog- New Video From Audubon PA Offers Birdwatching Sampler

A sampler of Pennsylvania birdwatching is presented in a unique new video by Pennsylvania Audubon. Learn more about John James Audubon's home at Mill Grove, Pa, the Audubon at Home program, Important Bird Areas of PA and more.  Click here to watch the video.

* Get On The Water With Paddle Penn's Landing's Kayaking And New Swan Boats

* DCNR Receives Four PA Parks & Recreation Society Awards

* Cambria County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event May 22

The Southwestern PA Household Hazardous Waste Task Force will sponsor a household hazardous waste collection event in Johnstown on May 22 from 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

* Save The Date: PROP Organics Roundtable July 13

* PUC Holds Summer Reliability Assessment May 20

* Commonwealth Financing Authority Invests $7 Million Solar, $7.8 Million In Energy Projects

* DCNR Reports On Carbon Dioxide Storage Show Opportunities, Need For Changes In Law

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources this week posted two reports online that conclude that with the appropriate changes in laws, Pennsylvania's geology could store carbon dioxide in a cost-competitive and manageable way. 

* DEP Sets Adaptation To Climate Change Work Group Meetings

* Leonard Harrison State Park Will Screen An Inconvenient Truth May 29

* DEP's Barbara Sexton Joins Chesapeake Energy

* 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 Independent Regulatory Review Commission published notice of comments on Environmental Quality Board regulations relating to the Land Recycling Program and implementing the Uniform Environmental Covenants Act.

* 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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