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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
June 4, 2004
(6/1/2004)
PDF Version PA Environment Digest 06/04/04
* Dr. Ruth Patrick Recognized for Contributions
Dr. Ruth Patrick, scientist, educator and trustee of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia was given the Winsor Award this week by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council to recognize her outstanding contributions to environmental science.
* Hearings on Renewable Portfolio Standards, Growing Greener Coming Up
Both the Senate and House Environmental Resources and Energy Committees have hearings scheduled on the issue of requiring Pennsylvania electric utilities to have a percentage of the electricity they generate come from renewable or environmentally beneficial sources.
* Rendell, Gale Norton Headline PA Environmental Council Dinner
At the Pennsylvania Environmental Council dinner in Philadelphia this week, Gov. Rendell reacted to comments in the press from some legislators that his Growing Greener II spending proposal is “dead” by saying, “If this is dead in Harrisburg, a lot of the life of this state goes with it; the future of this state dies with it.”
* Senate Committee to Consider Sewer/Water Funding Bill
On June 9 the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to consider Senate Bill 1102, sponsored by Sen. Gordner, which implements the $250 million water/sewer bond issue approved by voters during the primary election.
* House Set to Consider Forest Land Beautification Bill
The House this week may take up Rep. Rubley’s Forest Land Beautification legislation – House Bill 2227 that would continue a $1.5 million program to fund projects to clean up dumping in State Parks and Forests.
* PPL Center Wins Environmental Award from U.S. Green Building Council
The Plaza at PPL Center this week won two awards recognizing its “green” construction features – the LEED “gold” rating and a Special Recognition Award from the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.
* DEP Publishes Guidelines for Small Business Advantage Grant Program
The Department of Environmental Protection published the general guidelines for implementing the Small Business Advantage Program which provides up to 50% matching grants, up to a maximum of $7,500, to enable a small business in this Commonwealth to adopt or acquire energy efficient or pollution prevention equipment or processes.
* Farmers - Apply Now for CREP Grants in Ohio Basin
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced a $146 million Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) agreement with Pennsylvania to improve water conditions in the Ohio watershed. Sign-up for the Pennsylvania CREP will begin Apr. 19, 2004, and continues until enrollment goals are attained or through Dec. 31, 2007, whichever comes first.
* Deadline for PEC’s Environmental Partnership Award Nominations July 16
The deadline for nominations for the Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s Environmental Partnership Awards and Thomas P. Shelburne Environmental Leadership Award is July 16.
* Nominating Pennsylvania Educators for NAAEE Awards by June 15
The Awards Committee of the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) invites nominations for the nine prestigious annual awards that will be presented at the Association's annual conference being held this year in Biloxi, Mississippi from November 6-10.
* The Urban Sub-Watershed Restoration Manual Series Is Now Here!
The Center for Watershed Protection has spent the better part of the last year developing the Urban Sub-Watershed Restoration Manual (USRM) series, a practitioner's guide to restoring urban watersheds.
* Local Officials Urged to Attend the Watershed Academy
The PA State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS) and Department of Environmental Protection are working together to sponsor Watershed Academies for local officials. These Academies are for 2 days and the topics are all related to "watersheds" and how local governments can help restore and protect this valuable resource. Upcoming Watershed Academy dates are:
* 90 % Comply with Violation Notice on Emergency Action Plans For Dams
The Department of Environmental Protection sent notices of violation to 256 dam owners for 276 dams in March that did not have emergency action plans, giving them 30 days to outline a schedule of how and when they intend to complete their EAPs.


* Gardening & Site Restoration with Native Plants
Mowed lawns, controlled edges, and exotic colors and shapes of plants have evolved to be the status quo of the American landscape. This landscape genre often defines good stewardship while less manicuring and use of perceived "weeds" -- native plants -- constitutes the opposite.
* DEP to Publish General Permit for Stormwater Discharges
DEP will publish a final NPDES General Permit for Stormwater Associated with Industrial Activities (PAG-03) in the June 5 Pennsylvania Bulletin. This permit will become effective upon publication for a term of 5 years. Full story available at: http://www.dep.state.pa.us/newsletter/default.asp?NewsletterArticleID=8726&SubjectID=
* Regional EPA Grant Program for Human Health and the Environment
Donald S. Welsh, EPA Region II Administrator has announced that $1 million in Regional Geographic Initiative (RGI) grants for watershed restoration, reducing environmental exposure to sensitive populations and enhancing environmentally responsible development.
* WREN Awards Grants for Community Based Water Resources Education Projects
The Water Resources Education Network (WREN) Project, a program of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Citizen Education Fund, announces the award of nearly $110,000 in funding to community partnerships across the state. Projects will carry out water resources education projects in the coming year. Funding comes from DEP for activities that will either address nonpoint source pollution issues on a watershed basis or help protect sources of drinking water.
* Eric Conrad Retires From DEP, Pontorero Appointed to District Mining Job
Eric Conrad, DEP Deputy Secretary for Field Operations, announced he is retiring from the agency. A 25-year veteran of state service, Conrad has held a variety of positions at DEP in his career and was instrumental in organizing the state’s response to the threat of West Nile Virus. Innovative use of information technology and geographic information systems in that program have become a model followed by other states and the federal government.
* Taking Positive Action - AMD & ART Transforms Community
Southwestern Pennsylvania, indeed the entire Appalachian Region, is an area of remarkable beauty. Unfortunately, residents and visitors alike can often miss this natural beauty, blinded by the overshadowing regional legacy of pre-regulatory coal mining. Acid mine drainage (AMD) is the most widespread water quality problem, as well as a significant economic and social constraint. Today, AMD is a painful reminder of the poverty and economic abandonment that currently exists in coal country, the emblematic orange silent signature of dying communities.
* Delaware County High School Wins State Envirothon
The team from Penncrest High School in Delaware County took top honors at this year’s State Envirothon competition. More than 320 students from all 64 Pennsylvania counties competed in the 21st annual Envirothon held May 26 on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (UPJ).
* Smog Rules Will Cut Power Plant Pollution in Eastern States This Summer
On May 31, the first phase of EPA’s regional program to reduce ozone in the Eastern U.S. became effective -- cutting nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions by 600,000 tons through September of this year.
* EPA Proposes In-Use Testing of Heavy-Duty Diesel Emissions
EPA is proposing a manufacturer-run, in-use emissions testing program for heavy-duty diesel trucks. Under this program, engine manufacturers will measure emissions from their diesel engines in highway applications using portable onboard emission measurement systems.
* Regulations
The latest on proposed and final regulations and the agenda for the upcoming Environmental Quality Board meeting.
* Technical Guidance & Permits
No New Guidance Available 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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