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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Oct. 1, 2012
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* Sen. Scarnati Working On Marcellus Shale Health Advisory Panel Bill

Sen. Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) circulated a memo to members of the Senate this week announcing his intent to develop legislation to create a Marcellus Shale Health Advisory Panel.

* PEC Urges Action On Senate Stormwater Bill, Opposes House Bill On Selling Parklands

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council Friday issued a legislative alert on two important bills moving toward final action in the General Assembly.

* 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--

* Bill Providing For Drilling On Other State Lands Goes To Governor

Senate Bill 367 (D.White-R-Indiana) allowing the leasing of property owned by the state and the State System of Higher Education for mining or removal of valuable coal, oil, natural gas, coal bed methane, limestone and mineral resources received final legislative approval Tuesday and is headed to the Governor for enactment into law.

* Rep. Grove Introduces Natural Gas Vehicle Tax Credit Bill

Rep. Seth Grove (R-York) announced Monday he is introducing House Bill 2620 which would improve air quality in Pennsylvania, reduce the cost of shipping goods and allow Pennsylvania companies to rely on domestic fuel by creating a tax credit program for businesses replacing diesel vehicles with natural gas vehicles.

* Rep. Mundy Seeks Better Coordination Of Floodplain Management Ordinances

In the wake of last year’s destructive flooding, Rep. Phyllis Mundy (D-Luzerne) convened a meeting Tuesday to discuss a better approach to floodplain management.

* Dents Run Mine Reclamation Project Wins National Recognition

Department of Environmental Protection Monday accepted the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement’s 2012 national Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Award for the Dents Run Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Project in Benezette Township, Elk County.

* Penn State Extension Water Testing Lab Products Available

Pennsylvania is fortunate to have a Department of Environmental Protection accredited water testing laboratory at Penn State University.

* Dept. Of Agriculture Offers Tips To Manure Haulers, Brokers

Manure haulers and brokers and agricultural producers are reminded to exercise caution when managing animal waste to minimize health risks.

* StormwaterPA Offers Two New Video Case Studies

The StormwaterPA website this week offered two new video case studies on effective stormwater management strategies.

* Whitaker Center Hosts Expedition Chesapeake Sustainability Seminar Oct. 10

Officials from Penn State University and Dauphin County will join with experts from GreenWorks Development and Property Management Services, a division of Corporate Office Properties Trust, for a free seminar on Sustainability Planning at Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts in Harrisburg as part of their Expedition Chesapeake project from 9:00 to 11:45 a.m. October 10.

* Gov. Corbett Supports National Estuaries Day, Commends Chesapeake Bay Foundation

In recognition of National Estuaries Day, Gov. Corbett this week issued a commendation expressing his gratitude to Restore Americas Estuaries and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for their efforts to preserve Pennsylvania natural resources.

* DEP, EPA Fine Mobile Home Park Owner More Than $1.3 Million

The Department of Environmental Protection announced Friday that, along with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it has signed a $1,339,000 joint consent decree with GSP Management Co., Frank T. Perano and related companies, due to drinking water and wastewater issues at 73 mobile home parks, 70 of which are in Pennsylvania.

* Lt. Gov. Cawley Tours Clarion Marcellus Water Treatment Plant

Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley Wednesday toured the Clarion Altela Environmental Services plant in Clarion to see firsthand how the local Marcellus Shale industry is creating jobs in the area. The plant is currently under construction and will purify the wastewater generated at natural gas drilling sites.

* EPA Fines Company For Illegally Disposing Of 228,000 Gallons Of Brine Waste

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Friday announced a Consent Agreement and Final Order requiring Swamp Angel Energy, LLC, to pay a civil penalty of $54,324 and plug a well that was used illegally for dumping oil production brine waste.

* Philadelphia Council Calls For Overturning Marcellus Drilling Law

Activists and community leaders from across the Philadelphia area praised the Philadelphia City Council’s resolution Thursday opposing Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale drilling law-- Act 13. 

* Opinion: Marcellus Shale Find Transforms Pennsylvania

By Kathryn Z. Klaber, Marcellus Shale Coalition

* CHEMSWEEP Safely Disposes Of Two Million Pounds Of Old Pesticides

CHEMSWEEP, a Department of Agriculture program that collects old pesticides from farms and pesticide application businesses, has safely disposed of two million pounds of unwanted or unusable product across the state.

* Chatham University Offers New Sustainability Track For Business Degree

Complementing sustainability programming within Chatham Universitys School of Sustainability and the Environment, the business and entrepreneurship department now offers a new sustainable business track in the Master of Business Administration.

* Applications Now Being Accepted For DEP Environmental Education Grants

Applications for the 2013 Environmental Education Grants Program are now available from the Department of Environmental Protection.  The deadline for applications is December 13. (formal notice)

* Put Cans To Work For Your School And The Environment

Registration is now open for the 3rd Annual Great American Can Roundup School Challenge which takes place from America Recycles Day-- November 15-- to Earth Day-- April 22, 2013.

* EPA Honors Green Power Partners, Including Philadelphia

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented its 12th annual Green Power Leadership Awards to 24 Green Power Partners and three suppliers for their achievements in advancing the nation’s renewable electricity market.

* Barnes Foundation Office Awarded LEED Platinum Certification

The Barnes Foundations new building will be the first major art and education institution in the country to achieve the highest level of environmental certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

* Highmark Cumberland County Office, Data Center Earn Energy Star Certification

Highmark announced Thursday it has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star certification for its 1800 Center Street and Data Center buildings. This award signifies that each building performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide, meeting strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA.

* Ben Franklin Partners Launch PA Energy Economy Map

Ben Franklin Technology Partners Monday launched the Pennsylvania Energy Economy Map, an interactive web-based map detailing Pennsylvania's energy sector companies, corporations, organizations and academic assets.

* PUC Releases Retail Electric Markets Discussion Document

The Public Utility Commission Thursday released a summary document for its Investigation of Pennsylvania’s Retail Electricity Market designed to initiate the final phase of discussion prior to issuing a proposal for the end state of default service in the state.

* Ground Broken For New $4.8 Million Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard Allan, along with other state and local officials, broke ground Monday on a new $4.8 million project to construct a new Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center in Belfast, Northampton County.

* Register Now For Conservation Landscape Summit October 29-30

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard Allan Friday announced a conference to highlight the accomplishments of conservation, recreation and economic development at the landscape level and to advance best practices to other areas of the state will be held in Harrisburg in October.

* Heritage Conservancy Showcases Land Preservation In Cooks Creek

The Heritage Conservancy in Bucks County hosted its inaugural Farm to Table Dinner Party in Upper Bucks County on September 22nd at Historic Kirkland Farm in Springtown, PA.

* DCNR Offers Fall Foliage Updates

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is making key personnel in the Bureau of Forestry available to the news media to serve as regional experts on fall foliage. Foliage is expected to peak over the next several weeks across Pennsylvania.  DCNR has weekly fall foliage reports on its website.

* Nature Abounds Announces Speakers For Oct. 10 Forest Symposium

There is still time to sign up for the October 10 Forest Symposium at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Philadelphia. Sessions and speakers for the event include:

* Additional State Forest Roads Opening For Hunting Season

Hunters heading into Pennsylvania’s state-owned woodlands this season will find additional roads open in 18 of the 20 state forest districts, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced Friday.

* OpenTreeMap App Released To Support Urban Forestry Projects

Azavea has released the source code for the first smartphone version of its OpenTreeMap urban tree inventory software.  

* Senate, House Recognize The Accomplishments Of Maurice K. Goddard

The Senate and House this week unanimously passed identical resolutions honoring the accomplishments of Maurice K. Goddard, the father of Pennsylvania’s state parks system and the first secretary of the state’s modern environmental protection agency.

* Help Wanted: Briar Bush Nature Center, Beaver County

Briar Bush Nature Center, Abington, Beaver County now taking applications for a Public Programs Director. The position will oversee educational programming and program staff, assessing the Briar Bushes’ current and future role in the community, and coordinating a multimedia marketing effort.

* Your 2 Cents: Issues On Advisory Committee Agendas

This section gives you a continuously updated thumbnail sketch of issues to be considered in upcoming advisory committee meetings where the agendas have been released

* 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

The Public Utility Commission published a notice formally publishing its order implementing the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards demand side management resources and technical reference manual.

* 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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