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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
July 23, 2012
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* DEP Declares Drought Watch For 15 Western PA Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday issued a drought watch for 15 Western Pennsylvania counties.

* SRBC Suspends 64 Water Withdrawals Due To Low Stream Flows

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission Monday announced 64 separate water withdrawals approved by SRBC are suspended due to lower streamflow levels in the Susquehanna basin. 

* Ralph W. Abele Historic Marker Dedicated

On Tuesday a Pennsylvania historic marker was unveiled honoring former Fish and Boat Commission Executive Director Ralph W. Abele (1921-1990) in a dedication ceremony at PFBC headquarters in Harrisburg.

* 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--

* New Bill Would Require Pre-Drilling Water Tests For Gas Wells

Rep. Camille “Bud” George (D-Clearfield) Friday unveiled House Bill 2556 which would require pre-drilling water quality surveys upon request by landowners residing within 5,500 feet of a proposed Marcellus shale gas well.

* DEP Celebrates Plant Using Treated Mine Water To Generate Power

Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Mike Krancer Wednesday opened a valve allowing treated acid mine water from the Antrim treatment plant in Tioga County to power a turbine and begin generating electricity to run the facility.

* PennVEST, DEP To Hold September 12 Nutrient Credit Trading Auction

The PA Infrastructure Investment Authority and the Department of Environmental Protection announced Monday they will host an auction on September 12 for the sale and purchase of nutrient credits in the Susquehanna and Potomac watersheds.

* Vote Now For Foundation PA Watersheds In Nonprofit Awards Program

Now through July 26 you have the opportunity to vote for The Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds as part of the CLASSY Awards—the “Academy Awards for Philanthropy.”

* Panel Unveils Top Projects To Improve Delaware River, Bay

A collaboration of public and private supporters has identified five projects as this year’s best ways to improve the tidal Delaware River and Bay.

* PennVEST OKs $87 Million In Water Infrastructure Project Funding

The PA Infrastructure Investment Authority Wednesday approved the investment of $87 million in 18 non-point source, drinking water, and wastewater projects in 18 counties.

* Operation North Branch: Restore The Susquehanna Removes 7.6 Tons Of Debris

Paddle Without Pollution is pleased to announce a total of 7.6 tons of trash, scrap metal, and other flood debris have been removed from the Susquehanna River as a result of Operation North Branch, a community-wide river cleanup held on June 29-30.

* Penn State Extension: Good Watershed Housekeeping

Pennsylvania is a water-rich state with six watersheds. Water that collects in local streams flows down through the watershed finally reaching a saltwater body, so what you do in the watershed is felt many hundreds of miles away.

* Penn State Extension Youth Water Educator's Summit September 27

Penn State Extension will host a "Deep Dive" Youth Water Educator's Summit on September 27 at the Central Hotel & Conference Center in Harrisburg starting at 8:30.

* Pitt Mobile Science Lab Educators Workshop August 2

The University of Pittsburgh Mobile Science Lab will hold a free teacher workshop on August 2 at Scaife Hall on the Oakland Campus starting at 8:30.

* International Envirothon Draws Students To Pennsylvania

Teams of high school students from 45 states and 9 Canadian provinces are expected to participate in the weeklong 2012 Canon Envirothon opening July 22 at Susquehanna University.

* DEP Responds To Clear Air Council Report On Bradford Methane Migration

On July 12, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Krancer responded to a June 26 report by the Clean Air Council concerning methane migration in Leroy Township, Bradford County, saying Chesapeake Energy and DEP are taking the appropriate steps to deal with the problem.

* Pittsburgh Region's First ReuseFest August 11

The PA Resources Council and its partners will hold a one-of-a-kind one day collection event-- ReuseFest-- for materials destined for reuse on August 11 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the SouthSide Works at 26th and Sidney Streets in Pittsburgh.

* DEP Issues Permit For New Municipal Waste Facility In Schuylkill County

The Department of Environmental Protection Friday issued a permit to Blythe Township, Schuylkill County, to construct and operate a new municipal waste facility on 252 acres of land along Burma Road.

* Philly GreenFest Set For September 9, Award Nominations Due

The 2012 Philly GreenFest, Philadelphia’s largest environmental festival and street-fair, will be held on September 9.

* Recycling Markets Center Helps Set Specs For Crumb Rubber In Asphalt

A new provisional specification has been issued by the Department of Transportation for recycled crumb rubber as a stabilizer for Stone Matrix Asphalt Mixture Design, RPS Construction of Plant-Mixed Hot Mixed Asphalt Wearing Courses. 

* DEP Accepting Applications For Pollution Prevention, Energy Efficiency Grants

The Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for its Small Business Advantage Grant Program to fund pollution prevention and energy efficiency projects.  Applications are due September 26. (formal notice)

* State Prison Officials Dedicate Cogeneration Plant In Somerset

Corrections officials this week dedicated a cogeneration plant at the State Correctional Institution at Laurel Highlands that generates electricity and steam using methane gas from an area landfill.

* Keystone Solar Project Begins Construction In Lancaster County

Community Energy Solar Wednesday announced it has closed financing and commenced construction of its six megawatt Keystone Solar Project in Lancaster County.

* Direct Energy Offers Energy Saving Grants To Nonprofits

Direct Energy Wednesday announced it is opening the Reduce Your Use For Good Grant program for video applications from nonprofit organizations.

* New State Game Lands App Now Available

The Game Commission Monday announced that GPS-enabled applications, or “apps” as they are commonly referred to, are available to provide outdoor enthusiasts easy access to a host of information about all State Game Lands.

* Hawk Mountain: Talons! A Bird Of Prey Experience July 28

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary will share the thrill of live raptors and the importance of conserving birds of prey on July 28 with a special presentation of Talons! A Bird of Prey Experience from 10 am to 3 pm in the Visitor Center parking lot.

* Fish & Boat Commission Presents Awards At Quarterly Meeting

As part of its quarterly business meeting held Tuesday, the Fish and Boat Commission presented several awards to staff and partners.  The following awards were presented:

* Trout Stream Listings Highlight July Fish & Boat Commission Meeting

At its quarterly business meeting Tuesday, the Fish and Boat Commission approved catch and release regulations for American shad on the Lehigh and Schuylkill rivers, approved a property transaction in Huntingdon County and added various stream sections to the list of wild trout streams.

* July 24 Event To Discuss Smallmouth Bass Kills In Susquehanna River

On July 24 the National Wildlife Federation and other groups are sponsoring an educational program on the issue of smallmouth bass kills in the Susquehanna River at the Riverside Pavilion on Harrisburg’s City Island starting at 5:30.

* PA Township Supervisors Issue Call For 2013 Conference Workshop Presentations

Planning is under way for the PA Association of Township Supervisors’ 2013 Annual Educational Conference and Trade Show, and that means putting together a program of more than 80 training opportunities for more than 4,000 conference attendees.

* PHMC Releases 5-Year Statewide Historic Preservation Plan

The PA Historical and Museum Commission Friday released the official statewide historic preservation plan for 2012 through 2017.

* 10th Anniversary Of Quecreek Mine Rescue Celebrates The Triumph of the American Spirit

The week of July 23-28 marks the 10th anniversary of the miraculous rescue of nine coal miners from the flooded Quecreek Mine near Somerset, Pennsylvania in 2002.

* 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 Clips

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 July 17 the Environmental Quality Board voted to resubmit final regulations increasing noncoal mining permit fees with a minor change to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission after the Commission disapproved the rulemaking last month.  The board also approved a final regulation increasing coal mining permit fees.

* 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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