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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Special July 2, 2012
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* Republican House, Senate, Governor Pass 2nd On-Time, No-Tax Budget

The Senate and House Republicans (by and large) gave final approval to the FY 2012-13 General Fund budget-- Senate Bill 1466 (Corman-R-Centre)-- a day early touting the $27.67 billion spending plan as another no-tax, on-time budget.

* Renew Growing Greener Coalition Applauds Restoration Of Keystone Fund

The Renew Growing Greener Coalition, the largest coalition of conservation, recreation and preservation organizations in the Commonwealth, applauded the restoration of funding for two key programs in the 2012-13 state budget.

* PA Land Trust Assn: Keystone Fund, Farmland Preservation Programs Will Survive

The PA Land Trust Association applauds the PA General Assembly for supporting key conservation investment programs in the 2012-13 state budget.

* The Record: $1.7 Billion Cut/Diverted From Environmental Programs Last 10 Years

With the FY 2012-13 General Fund budget now final, we now know investments in environmental protection and restoration programs have been cut over $1.7 billion over the last 10 years, starting with the record cuts and staff furloughs by Gov. Rendell in each year of his administration.

* Gov. Ridge Receives Lifetime Achievement Award From PA Environmental Council

Tom Ridge, the 43rd governor of Pennsylvania and first-ever Secretary of Homeland Security, was  honored Thursday for his achievements as a champion of the environment by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.

* 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 Governor's Desk

The following bills were given final approval by the Senate and House and are now on the Governor's desk for action--

* Senate/House Bills Moving

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

* Corbett Signs Renewal Of DEP Storage Tank Cleanup Program Extension

Gov. Tom Corbett Wednesday signed Senate Bill 1398 (Yudichak-D-Luzerne) into law which extension two important programs that enable the Department of Environmental Protection to prevent and clean up contamination due to abandoned or leaking underground storage tanks.

* Little Pucketa Creek Project Wins Western PA Environmental Award

Despite its diminutive name, Little Pucketa Creek has been causing major flooding problems for some 14,000 homes and businesses around New Kensington for decades, including extensive, devastating damage in Lower and Upper Burrell townships during Hurricane Ivan in 2004, when the swollen stream also rose to within an inch of Valley High School’s front door.

* SRBC Suspends 37 Drilling Water Withdrawals Due To Low Streamflow Conditions

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission Thursday announced 37 separate water withdrawals approved by SRBC are suspended due to localized streamflow levels dropping throughout the Susquehanna basin. 

* DEP Starts Dialogue With NRDC On Fracking Report

In advance of a panel discussion on hydraulic fracturing regulations, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Mike Krancer Monday outlined in a letter to the Natural Resources Defense Council some perspectives that the organization missed in its May 2012 report, "In Fracking's Wake: New Rules are Needed to Protect Our Health and Environment from Contaminated Wastewater."

* EPCAMR Project Selected For Reforestation Research Effort

The Eastern Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation was one of three Regional Reforestation Planting Projects selected for funding by the Appalachian Coal Country Team.

* DEP Inviting Comments On Irish Creek TMDL In Berks County

The Department of Environmental Protection published a notice June 30 inviting comments on a proposed Total Maximum Daily Load plan for the Irish Creek Watershed in Berks County (PA Bulletin page 3806).  A copy of the proposed TMDL is available on DEP’s TMDL webpage.

* York County Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Faces Criminal Charges

A York County man was charged Thursday by agents from the Attorney General’s Environmental Crimes Protection Section with falsifying monthly waste water reports to the Department of Environmental Protection and allowing unpermitted waste water discharges into the waters of the Commonwealth.

* Stroud Seminar Series investigates Laws Protecting Fresh Water

Are environmental laws protecting our streams and rivers?  Entomologist John K. Jackson, Ph.D., of Stroud Water Research Center will explore that question on the evening of  July 18.

* July 2 WITF Radio SmartTalk On Susquehanna River

Tune into WITF Radio Smart Talk on July 2, at 9 a.m. to hear Fish and Boat Commission Executive Director John Arway discuss the health of the Susquehanna River and other issues affecting fishing, boating and aquatic resources.

* DEP Awards Contract To Plug Abandoned Oil Wells In McKean County

The Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday awarded $168,485 to Phillips and Dart Oil Field Service Inc., of Gifford, McKean County, to clean out and plug 24 abandoned oil wells in Foster Township, McKean County.

* Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Releases Findings Of Six Illegal Dump Surveys

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Monday released reports for 6 counties from their Illegal Dumpsite Survey Program: Bradford, Carbon, Chester, Delaware, Montour, and Philadelphia.

* Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, PRC Announce New Program To Curb Litter

The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and the Pennsylvania Resources Council Tuesday announced a collaborative effort to curb litter in Downtown Pittsburgh while rewarding those who choose to put litter in its proper place.

* DEP Issues Waste Transportation Safety Program Annual Report

The Waste Transportation Safety Program Annual Report for 2011 is now available on the Department of Environmental Protection’s website.

* Recycling Markets Center Partners On New Energy Management Program

The Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center, Inc. Friday announced a new energy management partnership with Empowered Municipality. 

* DEP Solicits Proposals For Comprehensive Energy Analysis

On June 30 the Department of Environmental Protection published a notice soliciting proposals for a one-time grant opportunity for the preparation of a Commonwealth Comprehensive Energy Analysis to be completed by December 31, 2012.

* PPL Electric Usage Information Tool Helped More Than 300,000 Users

Time flies when you’re saving energy. PPL Electric Utilities’ Energy Analyzer, launched in 2007 as part of a customer-focused makeover of, turns five this month and remains a popular energy-saving tool.

* PA Energy Alliance Applauds Passage Of Nuclear Fuel Resolution

The House this week voted unanimously in favor of  House Resolution 750 (Godshall-R- Montgomery) which directs the President and Congress to adopt the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future and pass legislation enabling the construction of one or more centralized interim nuclear fuel storage facilities.

* DEP Starts Webinar Series For Families

The Department of Environmental Protection this week announced it will launch a series of free quarterly webinars, called DEP@Home.

* Pennsylvania's Energy Future 2.0 September 5-6

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council will host Pennsylvania's Energy Future 2.0: Getting From Here To There on September 5-6 in Pittsburgh to explore issues related to developing the Commonwealth's energy resources.

* DEP Submits Comments On EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Emission Rule

On June 25 the Department of Environmental Protection provided comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed rule setting standards for greenhouse gas emissions from electric power plants.

* IRRC Disapproves Final DEP Noncoal Mining Permit Fee Increases

On June 29 the Independent Regulatory Review Commission formally notified the Environmental Quality Board and the Department of Environmental Protection of its disapproval of a final regulation increasing permit fees for noncoal mining operations.

* 18th PA Rivers Conservation Youth Camp A Success

The eighteenth annual PA Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp were held June 17 -22 at the Allenberry Resort in Boiling Springs. The co-ed camp was full with 32 students ages 14 to 17.

* Dr. Tyler Black Named Dr. Robert J. Behnke Award Winner

At the 2012 PA Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp, Dr. Tyler Black was named the first recipient of the Dr. Robert J. Behnke Award for his professional work in the field of coldwater conservation.

* Penn State Extension: Ticks And Lyme Disease

This summer, there has been an increase in reported cases of tick bites. In an effort to promote wellness and to reduce the number of cases, the following information is being offered to keep you safe while at work and during your leisure time.

* Game Commission Amends Endangered, Threatened Species Lists

The Game Commissioners Tuesday amended the list of state endangered and threatened species to reflect the current status of breeding bird populations in the state and to update scientific nomenclature for a species of warbler.

* Game Commission Adds 975 Acres To State Game Lands

The Game Commissioners Tuesday approved six contracts that will add nearly 975 acres of land to several State Game Lands (SGLs), which presently encompasses more than 1.4 million acres.  The new game lands are in Fayette, Clearfield, Carbon and Monroe, Luzerne, Lehigh and Northampton and Cambria counties.  Click Here for details.

* Wildlands Conservancy Preserves 30 Acres In Williams Township

Wildlands Conservancy Friday announced the preservation of nearly 30 acres of high-value fields, woodlands and wetland habitat on the Dreisbach family property in Williams Township, Northampton County.

* Tree Ordinance Workshop Set For July 12 In Morgantown

Penn State Extension will hold a Tree Ordinance Workshop on July 12 in Morgantown, Berks County, at the Morgantown Holiday Inn starting at 8:00 a.m.

* American Chestnut Foundation Hosts Fundraiser August 18 In Lancaster County

The Lower Susquehanna Restoration Branch of the American Chestnut Foundation will hold a celebration and fundraiser at the Drumore Estate on August 18 from 3:30 to 7:00 p.m. in Pequea, Lancaster County.

* September 19 Webinar On Redeveloping Blighted Properties

The PA Economic Development Association is hosting a webinar on redeveloping blighted properties on September 19 starting at 2:00.  Click Here to register for more information.

* Eric Cavazza Appointed Director Of DEP’s Bureau Of Abandoned Mine Reclamation

The Department of Environmental Protection Friday announced the appointment of  Eric Cavazza as Director of the Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation in the Office of Active and Abandoned Mine Operations

* 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.

* Budget/Quick NewsClips

Here's a selection of NewClips on environmental topics from around the state--

* Marcellus Shale NewsClips

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

* Flooding/Watershed NewsClips

Here are NewsClips on watershed topics from around the state--

* Regulations, Technical Guidance & Permits

On June 29 the Independent Regulatory Review Commission formally notified the Environmental Quality Board and the Department of Environmental Protection of its disapproval of a final regulation increasing permit fees for noncoal mining operations.

* 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 Association, Pennsylvania Council Trout Unlimited and the Doc Fritchey Chapter Trout Unlimited.

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