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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Dec. 5, 2016 Issue #649
(12/5/2016)
* DEP Accepting Applications For 2017 Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence

The Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for the 2017 Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence.

* DEP Welcomes Precipitation, But Drought Conditions Remain Unchanged

Following a meeting Wednesday of the Commonwealth Drought Task Force, the Department of Environmental Protection announced no changes in county drought declarations, despite recent precipitation.

* Monroe, Wayne County Farmers, Ag Businesses Eligible For SBA Drought Disaster Loans

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced Friday federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations located in Pennsylvania as a result of the drought that began on November 15, 2016.

* Gov. Wolf Announces Additional Federal Flood Disaster Assistance In 4 Midstate Counties

Gov. Tom Wolf Friday announced the federal government has granted his request for federal disaster assistance to reimburse state agencies, county and municipal governments and other eligible private nonprofits for costs associated with significant flash flooding in Bradford, Centre, Lycoming and Sullivan counties on Oct. 21, 2016.

* Legislative Session Formally Ends, New 2017-18 Session Begins, Swearing In January 3

At midnight November 30, the 2015-16 legislative session formally ended and all legislation not on the Governor’s desk for action died; most will be reintroduced next year.

* 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

Here are the Senate and House Calendars and Committee meetings showing bills of interest as well as a list of new environmental bills introduced--

* November State Revenue $79.7 Million Below Estimates, $261.8M Below For Fiscal Year

The Department of Revenue Thursday reported Pennsylvania collected $2 billion in General Fund revenue in November, which was $79.5 million, or 3.8 percent, less than anticipated.

* Pittsburgh Releases Draft City-Wide Green First Stormwater Infrastructure Plan

The City of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority released its comprehensive draft City-Wide Green First Plan for public comment. The plan outlines how Pittsburgh intends to use innovative, cost-effective, and green infrastructure approaches to manage stormwater.

* WPCAMR: Is Your Mine Reclamation Project Registered Under PA Good Samaritan Act?

The Western PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Restoration is advising nonprofit groups, landowners and individuals who have or are planning to develop mine reclamation or mine drainage treatment projects to be sure they are registered under Pennsylvania’s Environmental Good Samaritan Act.

* FirstEnergy: Bruce Mansfield Coal Plant Residuals To Be Used For Reclamation In WV

FirstEnergy Corp. Tuesday announced its Bruce Mansfield coal-fired power plant in Shippingport, Beaver County will ship coal combustion residuals (CCRs) for reclamation of a site owned by the Marshall County Coal Company in Moundsville, W.Va.

* DEP Final Report On Tenmile Creek In Greene County Shows No Radioactivity Danger

In a follow-up study to a report released in December 2015, the Department of Environmental Protection Thursday confirmed there is no radiation concern for Tenmile Creek in Greene County near the Clyde Mine Water Treatment Facility.

* Pastoral Images Of Cows Standing In, Drinking From Streams Have Hidden Story

Written by Diane Huskinson, County Lines Magazine, October 2016 via Stroud Water Research Center

* Western PA Conservancy Now Accepting Watershed Mini Grant Applications

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is now accepting proposals for the Watershed Mini Grant Program, which provides assistance to the region’s grassroots watershed groups in Western Pennsylvania.  Applications are due December 30.

* Save The Date: PA Statewide Watershed Conference March 5-6 In State College

The PA Organization For Watersheds and Rivers, DEP and other partners will host the 2017 PA Statewide Watershed Conference on March 5-6 at the Ramada Inn in State College.

* Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA Says Get Real When Considering A Christmas Tree

When considering a Christmas tree this holiday season, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Pennsylvania urges you to “get real,” and help the environment and the local economy.

* Registration Open For PA Assn. For Sustainable Agriculture Conference Feb. 1-4

Register now for the PA Association For Sustainable Agriculture 2017 Farming For The Future Conference in State College February 1-4.   The theme of the Conference is Hope, Farm, Heal.

* December UpStream Newsletter Now Available From Stroud Water Research Center

The December UpStream newsletter is now available from the Stroud Water Research Center in Chester County featuring articles on--

* Nov. 28 Watershed Winds Newsletter Now Available From Penn State Extension

The November 28 Watershed Winds newsletter is now available from Penn State Extension featuring articles on-

* Storage Tank Advisory Committee To Consider New Closures Rules, Reg Changes Dec. 6

DEP’s Storage Tank Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet on December 6 to discuss changes to technical guidance setting closure requirements for aboveground and underground storage tanks as well as proposed changes to Chapter 245 - General Provisions implementing the Storage Tank Program.

* PEC: Busy Fall For Cleanups In Northeast PA, Volunteers Needed For December Cleanups

Workers and volunteers removed dozens of discarded tires and nearly 16 tons of other waste from five illegal dumpsites in northeastern Pennsylvania this fall, under PEC’s Community Illegal Dumpsite Cleanup Event Program.

* Agriculture: CHEMSWEEP Provides 15 Counties With Safe Pesticide Disposal In 2017

Agricultural businesses and pesticide applicators in 15 counties can dispose of unwanted pesticides safely and easily in 2017 through the Department of Agriculture’s CHEMSWEEP Program.

* Recyclebank: This Holiday Season, Create A Waste-Free Wonderland

This Holiday season, Recyclebank, the incentives and behavior change platform focused on waste, wants to gift you these 10 tips that will surely help you green your Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, Festivus, anything!

* DEP: Comments On Keystone Metals Site Remediation In Allegheny County Due Jan. 30

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced it is accepting public comments on options for remediating the former Keystone Metals building site in the Borough of Cheswick, Allegheny County until January 30.

* Lockheed Martin, DEP Settlement: $500K In Quehanna Nuclear Site Cleanup Costs

The Department of Environmental Protection and Lockheed Martin Corporation have entered into a proposed settlement to reimburse the state for $500,000 in costs associated with the cleanup of the Quehanna Wild Area Nuclear Site in Clearfield County and DEP is seeking public comments on the settlement.  (formal notice)

* PA Environmental Educators Conference Proposals Due December 16

The PA Association of Environmental Educators has extended the deadline for accepting presentation and workshop proposals for its 2017 Conference to be held at the McKeever Environmental Learning Center, Sandy Lake, Mercer County, March 13-14.  Proposals are now due December 16.

* Register Now For GreenAllies Conference At Messiah College Feb. 11

Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County, will host the 3rd Annual GreenAllies Conference on February 11 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

* SRBC Considers $97K Penalties Against 3 Natural Gas Power Plants Dec. 8

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission is scheduled to hold its quarterly business meeting December 8 starting at 9 a.m., at Loews Annapolis Hotel, Point Lookout Room in Powerhouse Building, 126 West Street, Annapolis, Md. 21401. The meeting is open to the public.

* After 5 Months, Advisory Committee On Conventional Drilling Not Yet Appointed

The 17-member PA Grade Crude Development Advisory Council was created by Act 52 on June 23 to, among other duties, advise the Department of Environmental Protection in the restart of its process to update regulations covering conventional drilling operations. 

* DEP Invites Comments On Columbia Gas Pipeline Replacement Project In Southwest

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the December 3 PA Bulletin inviting public comments on its proposed Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the 34 mile, 20-inch Columbia Gas Tri-County Pipeline Replacement Project in Allegheny, Greene and Washington counties.  (PA Bulletin page 7590)

* Proposed Tennessee Gas Triad Pipeline Project In Susquehanna County Approved By DEP

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the December 3 PA Bulletin approving water obstruction and encroachment permits for the proposed 7 mile, 36-inch Tennessee Gas Triad Expansion “300-3 Loop” Pipeline Project in Susquehanna County. (PA Bulletin page 7582).

* 3 Monongahela River Lock & Dam Hydro Projects Get Conditional Approval By DEP

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the December 3 PA Bulletin giving conditional Section 401 Water Quality Certification for three hydropower projects at locks and dams on the Monongahela River in Greene and Washington counties.  (PA Bulletin page 7592-7597)

* Exelon, Illinois OK Bill To Keep Nuclear Plants Open, Expand Renewables, Energy Efficiency

Exelon Generation and ComEd Wednesday announced they have reached an agreement with Illinois Gov. Rauner on an amendment to the Future Energy Jobs Bill-- Illinois Senate Bill 2814-- to keep Exelon’s Clinton and Quad Cities Nuclear Power Plants operating.

* SunShot Prize: Solar In Your Community Challenge, Early Applications Jan. 6

The SunShot Prize: Solar in Your Community Challenge is a prize competition that aims to expand solar electricity access to all Americans, especially underserved segments such as low- and moderate-income (LMI) households state, local, and tribal governments, and nonprofit organizations.

* Submit Ideas On Making Renewable Energy Projects More Feasible In Philadelphia

City of Philadelphia Office of Sustainability in partnership with the Philadelphia Energy Authority released a Request for Information (RFI) regarding project structures that would make renewable energy development projects feasible for the City.

* Webinar: Moving The Clean Economy Forward In The Keystone State Dec. 7

Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) will host a webinar from noon to 1:15 p.m. December 7 on Moving The Clean Economy Forward In The Keystone State that will let participants know how you and your business or organization can help grow Pennsylvania’s clean jobs economy.

* November In Case You Missed It From PA Environmental Council

The November edition of In Case You Missed It from the PA Environmental Council featuring articles on--

* Penn State Named Silver Bicycle Friendly University, Joining 6 Other PA Schools

The League of American Bicyclists has recognized Penn State's University Park campus with a silver Bicycle Friendly University award, moving up from bronze last year.

* Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy: Apply Now For PA Master Naturalist Training

In the spring of 2017, Pennsylvania Master Naturalist is partnering with the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy in Montgomery County to prepare citizens to become volunteer leaders in their communities through natural resource conservation education, citizen science, and stewardship.

* Central PA Conservancy Grant Supports Outreach To Private Woodland Owners

The Central PA Conservancy was recently awarded a grant to help private forest landowners in the South Mountain Landscape Area-- Cumberland, Franklin and northern York counties-- on how to plan for future succession, look at conservation options and strategies and prevent conversion to development uses.

* 500-Acre Conservation Easement Completed In Perry County On Kittatinny Ridge

The Central PA Conservancy recently finalized a conservation easement on 500 acres in Perry County just west of Landisburg to help protect the Kittatinny Ridge.

* KPB Grant Restores Handicapped Accessible Playground In Dauphin County

Possibility Place Playground in Lower Paxton Township, Dauphin County, was built in 2006 by community members as a place where children of all physical abilities could come together to play.

* Get Outdoors Poconos McMichael Creek Preserve Hike Dec. 18 In Monroe County

The Brodhead Creek Watershed Association and the Pohoqualine Fish Association will host a rare hike through the McMichael Creek Preserve on December 18 from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. in Monroe County.

* Vote Now! Help Fund The Sept. 11th National Memorial Trail With Your Vote

Voting is now open for the NRG Retail Charitable Foundation’s NRG Gives competition to award 3 charities $115,000 in grant funds-- first place receives $100,000, second place $10,000, and third place $5,000.  Click Here to vote now and often through December 9.

* Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Announces Winners Of 2016 Photo Contest

The Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Wednesday announced the winners of its 2016 Photo Contest in 5 different categories--

* Wildlands Conservancy December Education, Special Programs Highlighted

The Lehigh Valley’s Wildlands Conservancy Wednesday highlighted education and other special programs scheduled in December, including--

* Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association Names Gail Farmer Executive Director

Gail Farmer has joined the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association as Executive Director beginning on November 14.  She was chosen after a regional search and selection process.

* Jerry Regan Named President Wildlife For Everyone Foundation

The Wildlife for Everyone Foundation Thursday announced Jerry Regan will serve as the new President starting December 1.

* Help Wanted: Keep PA Beautiful Enforcement Support Program Coordinator

Keep PA Beautiful is seeking qualified candidates for an Enforcement Support Program Coordinator to oversee KPB’s efforts to support local enforcement of litter laws through the surveillance camera program and other initiatives outlined at the Illegal Dump Free PA website.

* 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 Governor’s Office published notice in the December 3 PA Bulletin of the Proclamation of Disaster Emergency covering flooding in Bradford, Centre, Lycoming and Sullivan counties on October 21-24, 2016.

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CLICK HERE to Print The Entire PA Environment Digest.

* 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:  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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