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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
August 20, 2012
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* West Nile Virus Control Program Ramps Up In PA Hot Zones

This week the Department of Health documented four new human cases of West Nile Virus in Bucks, Lebanon, Lehigh and Centre counties bringing the total number of confirmed human cases to 9 in Pennsylvania since August 6.

* Did You Know You Can Search 8 Years Of Digests On Any Topic?

Did you know you can search 8 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--

* House Republican Policy Committee Holds Hearing On Marcellus Jobs

The statewide benefits of Marcellus Shale development and the unprecedented economic ripple effect in terms of downstream job creation were the focus of a House Republican Policy Committee hearing Wednesday co-chaired by Rep. Mark Mustio (R-Allegheny) held inside Nova Chemicals Corporation's first-floor auditorium in Pittsburgh.

* DEP Suspends Part Of Stage II Vapor Recovery Mandate, But Differs From New Law

The Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday announced it will not enforce a requirement for new gas stations to install costly vapor recovery systems called Stage II. (formal notice)

* Penn State: Hands-On Watershed Lesson Plans For Teens, Young Adults

A new, interactive, inquiry-based lesson plan has been created to help older youth better understand water quality issues that surround small watersheds and the decision making processes that go into improving those water quality issues.

* Ag Progress Days Webinar: Conservation Innovations On PA Farm Lands

The Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences in partnership with the Pennsylvania USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service presented a webinar on August 15 starting at 2:45 from Ag Progress Days on Conservation Innovations on PA farm lands.

* EPA Awards Green Infrastructure Grant To PA Horticultural Society

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Wednesday announced a $58,000 grant for a new initiative for restoring clean water, improving neighborhoods and supporting green jobs in the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford watershed in Philadelphia, Pa.

* Webinar: Measuring Environmental Outcomes In An Integrated Watershed Aug. 21

The Conewago Creek Watershed Initiative in Central PA will host a webinar on August 21 starting at noon as part of their Lessons From The Land Series on the topic of Measuring Environmental Outcomes In An Integrated Watershed.

* DEP Invites Comments On Watershed TMDLs In Bedford, Northumberland

The Department of Environmental Protection is inviting comments on proposed Total Maximum Daily Load Plans for the Dalmatia Creek Watershed in Northumberland County and the Spicer Brook Watershed in Bedford County (PA Bulletin page 5434).

* Spring Creek Watershed Hosts August 21 Program On Protecting Chesapeake Bay

The Spring Creek Watershed Association in Centre County is hosting a special presentation on August 21 at the Patton Township Municipal Building, 100 Patton Plaza Dr. in State College on the role of Centre County watersheds in protecting the Chesapeake Bay.

* Two Water Resource Advisory Committee Meetings Set On Molybdenum, Sulfate Standards

The Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled two special meetings of the Water Resources Advisory Committee Ad Hoc Workgroup to consider changes to Chapter 93 molybdenum and sulfate water quality standards as part of the Triennial Water Quality Review.

* Wilkes SBDC To Help Flood Impacted Businesses In Columbia, Luzerne

As the one year anniversary of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee approaches, the Wilkes University Small Business Development Center announced it has successfully applied for and received funds under the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Small Business Development Centers Portable Assistance Program for FY 2012.

* EPA Sponsors Integrated Pest Management In Housing Workshop In Philly On Sept. 12

Attention multi-family property owners, property managers and maintenance staff, pest control operators and residents.

* Court Rules Injunction Remains In Place On Parts Of Drilling Law

Commonwealth Court ruled Wednesday its injunction remains in effect since its ruling in July striking down provisions of the Marcellus Shale Drilling law (Act 13) restricting the application of local zoning to drilling operations and provisions requiring DEP to issue waivers to setback requirements of the Oil and Gas Act.

* DEP Circulates Concept Paper On Changes To Oil And Gas Drilling Regulations

On Wednesday the Department of Environmental Protection issued a concept paper to the agency’s Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board on proposed changes to Pennsylvania’s Chapter 78 Oil and Gas Regulations required by the Marcellus Shale drilling law adopted in February as Act 13.

* DEP Urges Consumers To Prepare For New Electronics Recycling Law

The Department of Environmental Protection is advising consumers and businesses of new rules for recycling electronic devices that will take effect on January 24, 2013.

* Waste Industry Appeals Monroe County Tipping Fee RFP

The PA Waste Industries Association Wednesday asked the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas to declare the tipping fee system established in a recent request for proposals issued by the Monroe County Municipal Waste Management Authority to be illegal and invalid.

* Recyclebank Launches EcoAcademy Challenge For Back To School

Recyclebank, the company that rewards people for taking everyday green actions with discounts and deals from local and national businesses, announced the EcoAcademy Challenge, a nationwide sweepstakes to educate, motivate and inspire people to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle throughout the school year.

* PRC Hosts Household Collection Events In Allegheny, Beaver Counties

The PA Resources Council and its partners will host Household Chemicals Collection events in Allegheny and Beaver counties this fall.

* DEP Hearing On Monessen Coke Plant Air Permit August 30

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced it will hold a public meeting and hearing on August 30, to discuss ArcelorMittal’s proposed revision to an air quality permit for the Monessen Coke Plant in Monessen, Westmoreland County.

* Rational Middle Energy Series Special Film Screening August 22 Pittsburgh

Shell and the PA Environmental Council extend an invitation to the newly released Rational Middle Energy Series Film Screenings on August 22 at 5:30 in the August Wilson Center, 928 Liberty Ave in downtown Pittsburgh.

* Pennsylvania Crews Deploy As Wildfires Continue In Other States

Because of their training, spirit and organization, Pennsylvania’s volunteer wildfire fighters continue to get the call this summer as the going gets rough with forest and brush fires across the country.

* Promised Land State Park Hosting Civilian Conservation Corps Reunion

Promised Land State Park will again host the popular Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. August 18 in the historic CCC section of the Pike County park that includes Pickerel Point Campground, the park museum, auditorium and Deerfield Campground. The event begins at the park amphitheater, located behind the museum, off Pickerel Point Road.

* Environmental Community Recognizes Flyfishing Pioneer August 29

ClearWater Conservancy and the Spring Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited will install a plaque commemorating George Harvey’s lifetime of service to Spring Creek and the local conservation community on August 29 at 9 a.m. at the Fish and Boat Commission’s Bellefonte Fish Hatchery Flyfishing Museum at Fisherman’s Paradise. 

* Upcoming Events Celebrate The Accomplishments Of Maurice K. Goddard

Maurice K. (“Doc”) Goddard is recognized by many as the Father of Pennsylvania’s State Parks.  During his tenure as Secretary of the Department of Forests and Waters and later the Department of Environmental Resources, 45 parks were added to Pennsylvania's State Park System.

* PA Parks & Forests Foundation Summer Newsletter Now Available

The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation summer issue of Penns Stewards newsletter is now available.

* DCNR Joins In Opening Celebration At Sunbury River Front Park

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Thursday celebrated the long-awaited opening of a river-front project in Sunbury, Northumberland County that offers better public access to the Susquehanna River, enhancing recreation and tourism opportunities.

* Fish-for-Free Day, Family Fishing Programs Set For Labor Day Weekend

Families and friends visiting Pennsylvania’s popular outdoor spots on the Labor Day holiday weekend can enjoy a day of free fishing, thanks to the Fish and Boat Commission.

* Game Commission Marcellus Leases Help Pay For Pheasant Stocking

Thanks to a series of Marcellus Shale leases approved by the Board of Game Commissioners in 2011, Game Commission officials Thursday announced hunters will see the agency’s pheasant stocking efforts increase to 200,000 birds for the upcoming small game seasons for the first time since 2004.

* Montgomery Trust Permanently Preserves Historical Landscape

The Montgomery County Lands Trust Friday announced the permanent protection of the 78-acre Rogers-Hiester property, a long sought-after landscape in Upper Salford and Marlborough Townships that is rich in both natural and historical resources.

* DEP Opportunity To Bid On Gas Well Plugging Project Butler County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of an opportunity to bid on a gas well plugging project in Butler County.

* 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 Thursday the Independent Regulatory Review Commission voted to approve final regulations increasing noncoal mining permit fees after the package was resubmitted to the Commission by the Environmental Quality Board without change.  The Commission had disapproved the regulation in June saying they imposed to much of a burden on the industry.

* 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 links to 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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