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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
June 28, 2004
(6/25/2004)
PDF Version PA Environment Digest 06/28/04
* Will the Budget Get Done on Time?
Next week the General Assembly hopes to wrap up next year’s budget in what will probably be marathon sessions. There is apparent agreement on slots at race tracks, with property tax relief coming together and perhaps sewer and water funding.
* Senate Approves 3 Bill Environmental Package, Plus Fireworks Bill
Legislation on environmental education, the PA Senior Environment Corps, creating an Office of Energy and Pollution Reduction in DEP and regulating fireworks were all unanimously approved by the Senate this week.
* House Passes Sewer-Water Project Funding Bill, Moves Senate Bill
The House amended and then passed House Bill 2690 (Weber-R-Montgomery) that would create a sewer and water project funding program to spend the $250 million approved by voters in the Primary Election. This bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.
* House Passes Incentives for Alternative Energy Suppliers, Senate AFIG Bill Moves
The House unanimously passed House Bill 121 (Bard-R-Montgomery) which gives qualified businesses tax credits equal to 30 percent of the cost of capital equipment used to produce alterative energy for a period up to 15 years. Electricity generated by a qualified business at its facility either sold at wholesale or at retail or consumed by the qualified business would be exempt from sales and use tax.
* Point, Counterpoint on Green Proposals, Money Still Flows to Growing Greener
Hundreds of farmers, business people, hunters, anglers, conservationists, environmentalists and students joined in a rally in the Capitol Rotunda this week urging support for Gov. Rendell's $800 million Growing Greener III Initiative.
* PA Businesses Reduce Off-Site Releases by Over 11 Percent in 2002
This week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the release of its 2002 Toxic Release Inventory report which shows an 11 percent decline in off-site disposal and release of chemicals for businesses in Pennsylvania from 66.3 million pounds to 58.9 million pounds. Overall on-site and off-site disposal and releases declined 8.1 percent from 184 million pounds to 169 million.
* High Natural Gas Costs Make Renewable Energy More Competitive Senate Told
Witnesses agreed, the high cost of natural gas is making renewable sources of electric generation more competitive for electric generators with renewables serving as a hedge against higher electric bills for customers in the future.
* Quick Updates
Here's a quick update on environmentalissues in the House and Senate.
* Appointments Announced
DEP Secretary Announces Key Appointments
* No Collusion
Attorney General’s Report Finds No Collusion in Emissions Test Pricing
* Green Building Alliance Sponsors Breakfast on Green Roofs
The Green Building Alliance in Pittsburgh is sponsoring a Green Roof Breakfast Seminar on how green roofs can offer better stormwater management, improved roof durability and reduced heat retention.
* Lehigh Carbon Community College to Offer Watershed Training
Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC) will offer an Environmental Workforce Training Program this fall at its Carbon Center, 24 E. Locust St., Nesquehoning. Ten scholarships will be offered through a Growing Greener Grant.
* Taking Positive Action - Award Winning Performances
Check Out These Governor’s Environmental Award Winners for Ideas on What You Can Do
* Taking Postive Action - Codorusfest
Community Makes Possible Codorus Clean-Up and Codorusfest
* Taking Positive Action - Renewable Energy Coalition
Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition Promotes Green Energy Purchases
* Taking Positive Action - Future Trucks
Penn State Students Among Winners of Future Truck Competition
* Sign Up for Your Daily Dose of Western PA’s Environment
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy offers a daily dose of the environment of Western Pennsylvania through pictures and interesting facts direct to your email box. To celebrate the beauty of our environment, sign up online. The pictures are beautiful and the facts make you think!
* Watershed NewsClips
Here's a sampling of NewsClips on watershed topics from around the state.
* Regulations
Here's the latest on proposed and final regulations.
* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Department of Environmental Protection published one final guidance and a new general permit this week.
* Calendar of Events
Upcoming meetings, workshops and conferences, plus links to other calendars
* Contributions Invited
Send your stories about new and changing state government programs and services to PA Environment Digest to: DHess@crisciassociates.com .

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