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State Performance Report Shows Over 12 Point Drop In Environmental Compliance

Budget Secretary Charles B. Zogby Wednesday released the 2011-12 Report on State Performance.  The report reviews the activities of 30 Commonwealth agencies, providing details on their challenges and accomplishments as they work to improve the lives of Pennsylvania's citizens.

Overall the report examines the Commonwealth’s performance in the areas of education, economic development, health and human services, the environment, public safety, consumer protection and government efficiency.

By outlining agencies’ key objectives and presenting measurable results in dozens of different categories, the report evaluates state government's ongoing efforts to deliver quality services to its citizens.

“The Report on State Performance clearly outlines how effectively we are serving the residents of Pennsylvania and how efficiently these services are being delivered,” Secretary Zogby said.  “As the Commonwealth contends with increasing cost pressures on the budget, it is important that state agencies can measure success and demonstrate our fiscal responsibility.”

Environmental Agency Performance

The report shows the percentage of sites in full compliance with environmental regulations enforced by the Department of Environmental Protection dropped 12 percentage points since 2001, from 89.9 percent in 2001 to 77.71 percent in 2011-12 performance report and lower than in 2009-10 at 78.75 percent.

At the same time, the report said the percentage of inspections with violations increased by 0.6 percent-- 14.9 percent to 15.51 percent, and higher than in 2009-10 at 15.03 percent.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources reported a 10,428 acre drop in the number of land acquired through fee simple acquisition or easements for conservation purposes, from 17,405 last year to 6,977 in 2011-12 and less than in 2009-10 at 11,936 acres.

DCNR did see a $2.3 million increase in Community Conservation Partnership Grants awarded in 2011-12-- $29.1 million to $31.4 million, which was more than in 2009-10 at $25.3 million.

With the FY 2012-13 General Fund budget investments in environmental protection and restoration programs have been cut over $1.7 billion over the last 10 years, starting with the record cuts and staff furloughs by Gov. Rendell in each year of his administration.

Gov. Rendell's share of these cuts/diversions is $1.4 billion.  Gov. Corbett's share is $314.7 million, so far.

In terms of General Fund appropriations, DEP's budget in FY 2002-03 was $728.2 million, in the FY 2012-13 budget it was $124.8 million, below 1994 funding levels.

DEP's authorized complement is now below 2,759, down from 2,770 last fiscal year and significantly reduced from the 3,211 in FY 2002-03.  DCNR's complement is now below 1,375, down from 1,389 last year and 1,391 in FY 2002-03. 

 The FY 2009-10 budget cuts required DEP and DCNR to furlough or eliminate 333 full time positions and DCNR had to eliminate or reduce hours for 1,131 seasonal workers.  The FY 2012-13 budget included a reduction of at least 14 positions in DCNR and 11 positions in DEP, but no furloughs.

                DEP Performance

            Key performance results for DEP during the reporting time period include--

Agency Overall-

-- Increase in the percentage of inspections with violations of 0.6 percent (14.9 percent to 15.51 percent, and higher than in 2009-10 at 15.03 percent);

-- Decrease in the percentage of sites with full compliance with environmental regulations of 1.52 percent (79.23 percent to 77.71 percent, and lower than in 2009-10 at 78.75 percent);

-- Decrease in the percentage of violations resolved of 7.1 percent (99.24 percent to 92.14 percent, and lower than in 2009-10 at 94.63 percent);

Oil & Gas Permits-

-- Decrease in the number of oil and gas permits processed of 874 (6,326 to 5,452);

-- Decrease in the number of gas well enforcement actions- unconventional (Marcellus) wells of 7 (271 to 264, and lower than in 2009-10 at 330);

-- Decrease in the number of gas well enforcement actions- unconventional (Marcellus) wells of 506 (1,410 to 902, and lower than 2009-10 at 1,078);

-- Increase in the number of gas well inspections- unconventional (Marcellus) wells of 4,192 (7,876 to 12,068);

-- Increase in the number of oil and gas enforcement actions-conventional wells of 80 (437 to 517, and higher than in 2009-10 at 465);

-- Increase in the number of oil and gas violations- conventional wells of 749 (1,545 to 2,294, and higher than in 2009-10 at 2,023); and

-- About the same number of oil and gas well inspections - conventional (12,075 to 12,077).

Waste/Wastewater Facilities-

-- Decrease in the percentage of waste facilities complying with environmental regulations of 4.75 percent (81.53 percent to 76.78 percent, significantly lower than in 2009-10 with 81.86 percent);

-- Decrease in the percentage of wastewater facility inspections with no recorded violations of 6.5 percent (74.50 percent to 68 percent, and significantly lower than in 2009-10 at 74.7 percent);

-- Decrease in the percentage of wastewater facility violations remedied of 16.2 percent (84.2 percent to 68 percent, and significantly lower than 2009-10 at 89.4 percent);

-- Increase in the number of solid waste facility inspections of 847 (3,184 to 4,031, and slightly lower than in 2009-10 at 4,101);

-- Increase in the number of wastewater facility inspections of 423 (5,967 to 6,390, and higher than in 2009-10 at 6,310); and

-- Increase in number of wastewater systems with improved operational capacity of 6 (7 to 13).

Dam Safety-

-- Increase in dam emergency action plan compliance rate of 1 percent (89 percent to 90 percent, and higher than in 2009-10 at 85 percent);

-- Percentage of deficient high hazard dams 69.8 percent;

-- Percentage of high hazard dams classified as safe 85.10 percent; and

-- Population at risk downstream of deficient high hazard dams 1,452,000.

Drinking Water-

-- Increase in drinking water survey inspections of 282 (2,271 to 2,553, but lower than in 2009-10 at 3,177);

-- Increase in the number of water samples tested for private well owners 2,845 (2,800 to 5,645, a 100 percent increase over 2009-10);

-- Percentage of community water systems meeting health based drinking water standards- 97 percent (the same as 2009-10); and

-- Slight decrease in the percentage of public water systems with no reported cases of waterborne disease- 99.96 percent, down slightly from 99.98 percent and 2009-10 at 100 percent.

Renewable Fuels-

-- Increase in the gallons of renewable liquid fuels generated 1.5 million (128.8 million to 144.3 million, and a significant increase over 2009-10 at 87.1 million).

Measures to Reduce Pollution-

-- Significant increase in miles of impaired streams restored to designated uses- 284 (184 to 468, and fewer than in 2009-10 at 3,241, and more than in 2009-10 at 335));

-- Significant decrease in the acres of stream buffers installed of 2,907 (5,907 to 3,000);

-- Acres of existing stream buffers protected- 1,350;

-- Reduction in the percentage of hazardous air pollutant reductions of 8.4 percent (31.3 percent to 22.90 percent, and less than in 2009-10 at 30.41 percent);

-- Significant reduction in the percentage of population in counties attaining 1997 ozone standard of 12 percent (100 percent to 88 percent, and less than in 2009-10 at 95 percent);

-- Percent of population in counties attaining the 2008 ozone standard- 35 percent;

-- Increase in percent of population in counties attaining PM-2.5 (fine particles) standard- 10 percent (90 percent to 100 percent);

-- Cleanups completed under the Land Recycling Act- 380; Site currently in the Land Recycling Act cleanup program- 3,132;

-- Slight increase in tons of municipal waste disposed per person- .01 tons (.69 to .7 tons, but slightly less than in 2009-10 at .72 tons);

-- Cumulative acres of abandoned mine land reclaimed sin 1977- 27,985)

-- Slight increase in tons of municipal waste recycled of 40,000 tons (5.54 million to 5.5 million tons, and more than in 2009-10 at 5.3 million);

-- Decrease in acres of abandoned minelands reclaimed- 139 (714 to 575);

-- Increase in abandoned mine reclamation projects started of 64 (179 to 243);

-- Decrease in the cost of abandoned mine reclamation projects started of $1 million ($15.6 million to $14.5 million);

-- Reclamation value of Government Financed Construction Contract reclamation projects- $1.3 million, 188 acres;

-- Reclamation value of remining by current mine operators-- $850,000, 141 acres;

-- Total number of mine drainage treatment systems-- 300;

-- Increase in the storage tank cleanups completed of 525 (655 to 1,180); and

-- Slight decrease in the response actions under Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act- 1 (139 to 138).

            DCNR Performance

Key performance results for DCNR during the reporting time period include--

-- Significant decrease in land conservation acquisition and easement acreage- 10,428 (17,405 to 6,977, and less than in 2009-10 at 11,936);

-- Increase in river implementation projects completed of 2 (16 to 18, and more than in 2009-10 at 7);

-- Slight increase in total carbon sequestered in state forests of 130,000 tons (3.9 million to 4.1 million tons, and more than in 2009-10 at 3.84 million);

-- Decrease in the number of firefighters trained of 187 (5,024 to 4,837, but more than in 2009-10 at 4,193);

-- Increase in forest stewardship plans completed of 112 (3,046 to 3,158, more than in 2009-10 at 3,147);

-- Increase in Community Conservation Partnership Grants awarded of $2.3 million ($29.1 million to $31.4 million, and more than in 2009-10 at $25.3 million);

-- Increase in cumulative total trees planted under TreeVitalize of 51,047 (288,165 to 339,212, up from 215,236 in 2009-10);

-- Increase in cumulative attendance a environmental education programs of 12,679 (now 397,388, up from 2009-10 at 346,793);

-- Increase in Get Outdoors recreation programs of 111 (2,740 to 2,851, and increase over 2009-10 at 2,779);

-- Slight increase in miles of new recreation trails of 2 miles (61 to 53 miles, up from 38 miles in 2009-10);

-- Increase in State Park attendance of 1.2 million (37.6 million to 38.8 million, and an increase over 2009-10 at 38.4 million);

-- Increase in State Park cabin nights rented of 959 (58,248 to 59,207, and about the same as 2009-10 at 59,182);

-- Increase in State Park camp sites rented of 21,319 (295,087 to 316,406 but down from 2009-10 at 325,323);

-- No change in acres of State Forest land treated for certified timber - 12,429, down from 2009-10 at 14,301);

-- Number of LEED certified park and forest buildings- 11, up 1 from last year;

-- Increase in number of green C2P2 grants of 3 (31 to 34 and 27 in 2009-10);

-- increase in the number of PA Natural Diversity Inventory database searches of 2,577 (53,600 to 56,177 and significantly more than the 49,042 in 2009-10);

-- Downloads of State Park mobile app 13,785; and

-- Increase in social media subscribers of 65,000 (20,000 to 85,000).

            Department of Agriculture

Key performance results for the Department of Agriculture during the reporting time period include--

-- Increase in number of best management practices of 346 (483 to 829, and an increase over 2009-10 at 436);

-- Decrease in farm acres covered by Nutrient Management Plans of 184 (890 to 706, but a decrease over 2009-10 at 715);

-- Increase in REAP Tax Credit project funding of $14.1 million ($10.48 million to $24.60 million, and over the $12 million in 2009-10); and

-- Decrease in farm acreage preserved of 3,624 (15,225 to 11,601, and a significant decrease over 2009-10 at 17,889).

The 2011-12 report is available online in a dashboard format that offers interactive features not possible with a paper report.  Past state performance reports are available online, but few have the same program measures so they are not comparable from year to year.


12/17/2012

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