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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Feb. 22, 2016 Issue #608
* DEP Presents Final Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force Report To Governor

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday presented the final report of the Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force to Gov. Wolf which identified a dozen top recommendations, along with a broader set of 184 suggestions, to help Pennsylvania achieve responsible development of natural gas pipeline infrastructure in the Commonwealth.

* PUC: Key Safety Recommendations From Governor’s Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force

The Public Utility Commission highlighted numerous key safety recommendations included in the Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force report presented to the Governor Thursday.

* Environmental Funding Dominos Fall As Price Of Natural Gas Drops

Funding going to the Environmental Stewardship (Growing Greener) Fund, Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund and DCNR’s Oil and Gas Lease Fund is dropping dramatically as the decline in natural gas prices is reducing revenue from the Act 13 drilling impact fee and royalties due DCNR from drilling on State Forest land.

* Senate Hearings On DCNR, DEP Proposed Budget Set For Feb. 24, 25

The Senate and House begin hearings on Gov. Wolf’s FY 2016-17 budget request next week, including hearings on the budgets for the departments of Conservation and Natural Resources (February 24) and Environmental Protection (February 25).

* 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--

* 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--

* House Committees To Hold Information Meeting On Chesapeake Bay Strategy Feb. 29

The House Environmental Resources and Energy and Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committees will hold an informational meeting on the Wolf Administration’s Chesapeake Bay Reboot Strategy on February 29.

* February Environmental Synopsis Available From Joint Conservation Committee

The February edition of the Environmental Synopsis newsletter is now available from the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee featuring articles on--

* Gov. Wolf: New Website Charts Progress To Meeting 2020 Goals, Program Measures

Gov. Wolf Wednesday invited the public to preview a new website initiative intended to make government more transparent: Governor’s Goals.  The website introduces measurable goals to align to Gov. Wolf’s three key priorities — Jobs that Pay, Schools that Teach, and Government that Works.

* PAEP Now Accepting Nominations For Karl Mason & Walter Lyon Awards

The PA Association of Environmental Professionals is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Karl Mason and Walter Lyon Awards.  The deadline for nominations is March 21.

* PA’s Largest Wetlands Mitigation Bank In Washington County Nationally Recognized

The Robinson Fork Mitigation Bank in Washington County constructed by Resource Environmental Solutions (RES) recently received the distinguished Environmental Business Journal’s 2015 Award for Project Merit.

* Rain Check Program In Philadelphia Provides Free Rain Barrels & More

Rain Check is a Philadelphia Water Department program that helps residents manage stormwater at their homes. Participants can get a free rain barrel and/or get a downspout planter, rain garden or porous paving installed at a reduced price.

* Feb. 25 Webinar On Increasing Diversity In Chesapeake Bay Programs

The federal-state Chesapeake Bay Program is developing a comprehensive strategy for increasing diversity in its leadership, decision-making, in implementation of conservation and restoration activities and is creating meaningful opportunities to recruit and engage diverse stakeholders in the Bay Program efforts.

* Grants Available To Improve Watersheds In York, Lancaster Counties

The Fish and Boat Commission Wednesday announced grant funding opportunities are available to address habitat improvement and sediment reduction projects in York and Lancaster counties.  Applications are due April 30.

* Westmoreland: Preventing/Repairing Driveway/Lane Washouts Workshop March 3

Melting snow, heavy spring rains and flooding can wash out unpaved driveways, farm lanes, and access roads.

* Feature: Parks To The Rescue On Stormwater, Flooding

By Ann Yost, RLA,  President YSM Landscape Architects & Kelly Gutshall, RLA,  President LandStudies, Inc.

* EQB Publishes Public Water Supply Disinfection Rule For Public Comment

The Environmental Quality Board published notice of the opportunity to comment on proposed regulations setting Disinfection Requirements for public water supplies in the February 20 PA Bulletin (page 857).  Comments are due April 19. 

* SRBC Announces Workshops To Assist Small Water Suppliers April 5, May 17

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission will hold a workshop on Developing Aquifer Testing Plans and Groundwater Withdrawal Applications on two dates, April 5 and May 17.

* PEC-TV: Smallmouth Bass, Water Quality In Lower Susquehanna On PCN Feb. 21

Smallmouth bass and water quality in the Lower Susquehanna River are the topic of the PA Environmental Council’s next Environmental Focus TV program to air Sunday, February 21 on the PA Cable Network at 4:00 p.m.

* Feb. 16 Watershed Winds Newsletter Now Available From Penn State Extension

The February 16 edition of the Watershed Winds newsletter is now available from Penn State Extension featuring articles on--

* Alliance For Chesapeake Bay April 2 Project Clean Stream! Sign Up! Participate!

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay is hosting its annual Project Clean Stream! stream cleanup event on April 2 throughout the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

* PRC Urges Public To Call Legislators To Keep Free, Convenient Access To TV Recycling

The PA Resources Council Tuesday urged all Pennsylvania residents to contact their legislators to urge them to fix the state’s electronics waste recycling law to ensure convenient and free access to recycling for their old TVs.

* Keep PA Beautiful: Adopt Your Local Road, Park Or School To Keep Them Trash Free

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful invites local residents, organizations, civic groups, and businesses to commit to litter free communities by joining its Statewide Adoption Program.

* DEP: March 16 Hearing On Proposed IESI Landfill Expansion In Northampton County

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced it will host a public hearing March 16 to take comments from the public regarding IESI Landfill’s permit application to expand its existing facility on Applebutter Road in Bethlehem, Northampton County.

* PUC: 32 Percent Reduction In Homes Without Heat Since December

The Public Utility Commission Friday urged any resident without heat-related utility service to take immediate action to seek assistance, noting that numerous utility assistance programs are available to help restore and maintain electric and natural gas service.

* Covanta’s 3rd Sustainability Report, Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions 18.2M Tons

Covanta, a world leader in sustainable waste and energy solutions, has released its latest sustainability report, which provides an update on goals set in previous years, highlights major achievements since the last report and establishes new goals to advance progress in sustainability.

* DEP Offers Grants To Support Alternative Fuel Transportation Projects

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday encouraged Pennsylvanian business and community leaders to be better caretakers of the environment by offering incentives for the purchase and use of alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles. (formal notice)

* FirstEnergy Receives OK For Electric Infrastructure Improvement Plans

FirstEnergy Corp. subsidiaries Pennsylvania Power Company (Penn Power), West Penn Power Company (West Penn Power), Metropolitan Edison Company (Met-Ed) and Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec) recently received approval from the Public Utility Commission (PPUC) for Long Term Infrastructure Improvement Plans that will result in a total of an additional $245 million being spent on capital investments over the next five years.

* Carnegie Mellon First Ever Energy Week March 14-18 In Pittsburgh

Carnegie Mellon’s Scott Institute for Energy Innovation invites members of the public, students, industry, non-governmental organizations and foundation to attend the inaugural Energy Week March 14-18 at the CMU campus in Pittsburgh.

* Clean Air Council Nominations For Clean Air Commuters: Individuals, Companies Due

The Clean Air Council is now accepting nominations for Philadelphia Area individuals and alternative commute-friendly companies for its Clean Air Commuter Contest.  The deadline for entries is March 11.

* Feb. 12 Sustainable Pittsburgh Economy, Environment, Equity Newsletter

The Feb. 12 edition of the Economy, Environment, Equity newsletter is available from the Sustainable Pittsburgh featuring articles on--

* Feb. 18 DEP News Now Available

The February 18 DEP News is now available from the Department of Environmental Protection featuring articles on--

* PA Protects Additional 27 Farms, 2,412 Acres In Farmland Preservation Program

High-quality farmland in 18 Pennsylvania counties will remain in agricultural production thanks to the state’s Agricultural Land Preservation Board which took action Thursday to safeguard 2,412 additional acres on 27 farms through the state’s nation-leading farmland preservation program.

* USDA: PA Lost 900 Farms, 20,000 Acres Devoted To Farmland In 2015

The number of farms in Pennsylvania for 2015 is estimated at 57,900, down 900 farms from 2014, according to King Whetstone, Regional Director of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Northeastern Regional Office.

* PEC: 2015 Laurel Highlands Conservation Coalition Accomplishments

2015 was an exciting year for the Laurel Highlands Conservation Coalition, highlighted by the opening of the $7 million Ohiopyle Visitor Center in July (photo).

* Looking For Science Fair Project Ideas? EPA Has Suggestions

It’s Science Fair season and students are looking for ideas on winning projects.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has some ideas to get students started for grades 6, 7 and 8.  It’s NOT a compendium of finished projects, but presents ideas for students to explore.  Click Here for a copy.

* DCNR Invites Students To Apply For Summer Environmental Careers Camp

Young Pennsylvanians interested in pursuing environmental careers are invited to apply by April 15 for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' summer residential camp, DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said Tuesday.

* Feb. 17 Resource Newsletter From DCNR Now Available

The February 17 Resource newsletter from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is now available featuring articles on--

* Explore The World Of Salamanders & Frogs With The Nature Conservancy-PA In March

The PA Chapter of The Nature Conservancy is offering three public walks at the Forest Pools Preserve at the Kings Gap Environmental Center in Cumberland County to explore forested vernal pools – nurseries for amphibians – to catch a glimpse of salamanders and frogs as they emerge from their subterranean slumber to lay their eggs.

* John Hanger Leaving Wolf Administration, Other Changes Announced

The Wolf Administration Friday announced Secretary of Policy and Planning, John Hanger, is leaving the administration to spend more time with his wife and daughter, who currently reside in Worcester, Massachusetts.

* Interns Wanted: Western PA Conservancy For Watershed Conservation, Fallingwater

The Western PA Conservancy is seeking candidates to fill internship positions in its Watershed Conservation Program and at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater.

* Help Wanted: Berks Conservation District West Nile Virus Technician

The Berks County Conservation District is seeking candidates for a West Nile Virus Technician to assist the West Nile Virus Coordinator in implementing the Integrated Mosquito Management program, collect data and monitor mosquito activities.  The deadline for applications is March 4.

* Opportunity To Bid On DEP Mine Reclamation Project In Schuylkill County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of an opportunity to bid on a mine reclamation project in Schuylkill County in the February 20 PA Bulletin.

* 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 published notice of the opportunity to comment on proposed regulations setting Disinfection Requirements for public water supplies in the February 20 PA Bulletin (page 857).  Comments are due April 19. 

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* 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 UnlimitedSponsor: 2016 Keystone Coldwater Conference, State College, Feb. 26-27.

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