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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, May 25, 2015
(5/25/2015)
* Citizens Advisory Council Hears Presentation From Southwest PA Health Project

The Southwest PA Environmental Health Project made a presentation to the DEP Citizens Advisory Council Wednesday about the need for a health registry to try to document any health-related impacts from Marcellus Shale natural gas development and infrastructure.

* Confusion Over Governor’s Severance Tax Proposal, Retaining Drilling Impact Fee

Gov. Wolf’s Chief of Staff Kathleen McGinty told the Pennsylvania Press Club Monday the Governor supports the Act 13 drilling impact fee and it is maintained under his severance tax proposal.

* PEMA: Citizens Urged To Prepare During Hurricane Preparedness Week

The PA Emergency Management Agency Friday urged residents to prepare for possible severe weather during Hurricane Preparedness Week, which stretches May 24 through May 30.

* PA Environment Digest Google+ Circle, Blogs, Twitter Feeds

PA Environment Digest now has a Google+ Circle called Green Works In PA.  Let us join your Circle.

* Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule/Gov’s 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--

* Senate Environmental Committee Sets Hearings On Oil Train Safety, Anthracite Mining

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee has scheduled hearings on several environmental issues--

* Western PA Environmental Award Winner: Sustainable Pittsburgh

The Environmental Charter School, McKean County Conservation District, Paint Creek Regional Watershed Association, and Sustainable Pittsburgh are set to be honored on May 27 at Pittsburgh’s Westin Hotel and Convention Center with the 2015 the Western Pennsylvania Environmental Award.  Here’s the profile of Sustainable Pittsburgh.

* Blue Mountain School District Students Honored For Protecting Drinking Water

The Schuylkill Action Network will recognize students in the Schuylkill River Valley for their work protecting drinking water from the Schuylkill River.

* Report Illustrates Conservation Achievements Of No-Till Farming In PA

Pennsylvania farmers are protecting their soils, their bottom lines, and the state's waterways by widely adopting conservation practices in their crop operations, according to a study commissioned by the Department of Agriculture.

* Casey Urges USDA To Increase Support For Farmers To Meet Anti-Pollution Goals

U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Bob Casey, Jr. (D-Pa.) have written to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack encouraging more federal support for farmers’ efforts to prevent pollution into the Susquehanna River Basin and Chesapeake Bay Watershed. 

* Campbell Foundation Accepting Applications For Chesapeake Bay Watershed Grants

The Campbell Foundation is now accepting applications for projects to accelerate the pace of nutrient and sediment reduction in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.  Applications are due June 30.

* 5 Environmental Groups Submit Joint Comments On DEP Drilling Regulations

This week, the PA Environmental Council, Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA, Environmental Defense Fund, PA Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and the Western PA Conservancy submitted comments on the Department of Environmental Protection’s  proposed final regulatory changes for Marcellus and other unconventional shale gas development.

* Anti-Fracking, Anti-Drilling Groups Meet With Gov. Wolf

Thursday frontline community members, scientists, and environmental advocates met with Gov. Tom Wolf and members of his cabinet to urge him to halt shale gas extraction statewide to allow for a comprehensive assessment of its short- and long-term impacts on the Commonwealth.

* Gov. Wolf Sends Letter To Oil Train Companies Urging Additional Safety Steps

Gov. Tom Wolf Tuesday sent a letter to CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway urging them to join Burlington Northern and Santa Fe in adopting improved safety initiatives for all trains with crude-by-rail cars operating in Pennsylvania and to fully and expeditiously comply with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s announced Final Rule.

* Drexel Researchers First To Detect Air Quality Effects Of Natural Gas Extraction

A team led by environmental engineers from Drexel University are the first independent researchers to take a closer look at the air quality effects of natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania.

* Geisinger Medical Systems Seeking Applications For Marcellus Shale Health Studies

The Environmental Health Institute at Geisinger Medical Systems is seeking proposals for research into the impacts of Marcellus Shale development that could influence environmental, human or community Health.

* DEP Recommends Increase In Coal, Noncoal Mining Permit Fees To Offset Deficit

The Department of Environmental Protection reported to the Environmental Quality Board Wednesday current permit and administrative fee collection revenue in both the coal and noncoal mining program has dropped significantly and should be increased.

* Public Hearing June 3 Regarding Proposed Quarry Operation In Lehigh County

The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public hearing on June 3 to take testimony from residents regarding the non-coal surface mining permit application of Geryville Materials, Inc. of Montgomery County, to construct a quarry operation in Lower Milford Township, Lehigh County.

* Pennsylvania Marks 20th Anniversary Of Signing Of Land Recycling Laws

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday released a new video commemorating the 20th anniversary of the signing of Pennsylvania’s Land Recycling laws that encourage the voluntary cleanup and reuse of contaminated commercial and industrial sites.

* Keep PA Beautiful: Nearly 13,000 In PA Participate In 2014 International Coastal Cleanup

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Thursday announced 12,809 volunteers from 50 counties canvassed their communities to remove 646,210 pounds of trash and debris from Pennsylvania’s waterways and coastal regions during the 2014 International Coastal Cleanup.

* Reminder: Still Time To Register For PROP’s Annual Recycling & Organics Conference

There is still time to register or become an exhibitor at the 2015 Recycling and Organics Conference July 28-31 in Harrisburg hosted by Professional Recyclers Of Pennsylvania.

* DEP Issues Permit To Cease Tullytown Landfill Disposal Operations Within 2 Years

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday issued a permit to Waste Management of Pennsylvania, Inc., directing that the Tullytown Landfill cease all waste disposal operations within two years.

* Washita Valley Enterprises Inc. Fined $53,344 For Waste Violations In Bradford County

The Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday said it has fined Washita Valley Enterprises Inc. of Ulster $53,344 for repeated residual waste violations at the company’s well pipe and casing reconditioning facility in Sheshequin Township, Bradford County.

* DEP Fines Maryland Demolition Company For Illegal Waste Disposal In Bedford County

The Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday ordered a Maryland business owner to stop the unpermitted disposal of residential and commercial construction and demolition waste at a site in Bedford County, and issued a $13,500 civil penalty for past violations.

* PennDOT Invites Public To Help Shape Pennsylvania’s Transportation Future

The public is encouraged to visit www.TalkPATransportation.com to provide their input on transportation priorities for the update of the Commonwealth’s Twelve Year Transportation Program before the survey closes on May 29.

* Duquesne University Receives $2 Million Alternative, Clean Energy Funding

A $2 million grant through Pennsylvania's Alternative and Clean Energy program will help Duquesne University upgrade its Energy Center, which generates the bulk of electricity for campus with a clean-burning, natural gas turbine generator.

* PA UCC Committee Misses Opportunity To Reduce Building Energy Use

The Uniform Construction Code Review and Advisory Council rejected revisions the 2012 International Code Council building standards Wednesday, missing a significant opportunity to make Pennsylvania safer and more energy efficient.

* PJM Has Power Ready To Keep Consumers Cool This Summer

PJM Interconnection, operator of the nation's largest power grid, is ready with power supplies to meet 61 million consumers' expected power demand this summer.

* Registration Open For Students 13-15 For Goddard Leadership Legacy Institute In July

Students 13 to 15 can now register for the Goddard Leadership Legacy Institute set for July 12-17 at the Ironmaster’s Mansion at Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Adams County.

* Spring-Summer Issue Of Natural Lands From Natural Lands Trust Now Available

The Spring-Summer issue of the Natural Lands magazine from the Natural Lands Trust in Bucks County is now available featuring articles on—

* DCNR Joins Effort To Set Tree Planting Record In North America

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources employees and volunteers joined teams from across North America Wednesday in a record-setting bid by Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. to plant a quarter-million trees in one hour.

* POWR Awards 15 Mini-Grants For River Sojourns

The PA Organization for Watersheds and Rivers Awarded 15 mini-grants to support river sojourns all across Pennsylvania.

* May 20 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The May 20 edition of the Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* Agriculture: Work To Address Spotted Lanternfly Underway In Berks County

With nearly 20,000 Spotted Lanternfly terminated to date and additional egg masses hatching, officials from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Berks County and local community came together Thursday to provide an update on surveillance efforts and work to eradicate this threatening invasive species.

* Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Hill Climb 5K Held June 13

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Berks County, invites walkers and runners of all ages to tackle its Annual Hawk Mountain Hill Climb, a 5K run or walk held June 13 at 8 a.m.   This event is held rain or shine and costs $25 or $30 after June 1.

* Gov. Wolf Nominates Andrew Place For PUC Commissioner

Gov. Tom Wolf Monday nominated Andrew Place, corporate director for energy and environmental policy at EQT Corporation, to serve as commissioner on the Public Utility Commission.

* Opportunity To Bid On DEP Projects In Cambria, Clarion Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of the opportunity to bid on a mine reclamation project in Cambria County and an abandoned oil and gas well plugging project in Clarion County

* Public Participation Opportunities/Calendar Of Events

This section lists House and Senate Committee meetings, DEP and other public hearings and meetings and other interesting environmental events.

* 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.

* Environmental NewsClips - All Topics

Here are NewsClips from around the state on all environmental topics, including General Environment, Budget, Marcellus Shale, Watershed Protection and much more--

* Regulations, Technical Guidance & Permits

The Environmental Quality Board Wednesday approved a final regulation setting VOC emission standards for fiberglass boat manufacturing (of which there are none in Pennsylvania) and a proposed regulation making changes to the remining program requirements.

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Send your stories, photos and links to videos about your project, environmental issues or programs for publication in the PA Environment Digest to:  DHess@CrisciAssociates.com.

* 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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