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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Feb. 13, 2017 Issue #659
(2/13/2017)
* Gov. Wolf Proposes New Budget With Little New For The Environment

Gov. Tom Wolf Tuesday proposed a $32.3 billion General Fund budget which he said includes $2 billion in cuts and savings resulting from reinventing and reforming the way the public’s money is spent and $1 billion in new taxes, mostly on business.

* CBF-PA: Wolf’s Budget Lacks Adequate Investments To Meet PA’s Clean Water Commitments

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA Tuesday issued the following statement from Pennsylvania Executive Director Harry Campbell, in response to Gov.Tom Wolf's budget proposal for fiscal year 2017-18--

* Growing Greener Coalition: Wolf Budget Falls Short In Protecting Water, Other Natural Resources

The PA Growing Greener Coalition Tuesday issued the following statement from Executive Director Andrew Heath in response to Gov. Wolf’s proposed budget:

* Senate Fails To Take Any Action On Acting DEP Secretary McDonnell’s Nomination

Gov. Wolf nominated Acting Secretary of Environmental Protection Patrick McDonnell to serve permanently in that role on January 3, but so far his nominations has not been referred to the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee for a hearing.

* DCNR Recognizes Black History And Its Connection To Conservation

In February, Black History Month, DCNR recognizes the great contributions of African Americans across the United States. And looking back on black history in Pennsylvania, there are important links to conservation.

* 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/House Bills Moving

The following bills of interest saw action this week in the House and Senate--

* DEP To Senate Committee: Complete Applications, More DEP Staff Keys To Improving Permit Turnaround Times

John Stefanko, DEP Executive Deputy for Programs, told the Senate Transportation Committee Wednesday the keys to improving turnaround times for environmental permits for PennDOT projects (or any permit reviews) is to get complete applications in the door and to give DEP more staff.

* Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing On DEP Budget Request Now March 9

The Senate Appropriations Committee will now hold a hearing on the budget request for the Department of Environmental Protection on March 9.   The hearing was scheduled for March 8. The hearing will start at 10:00 a.m. in Hearing Room 1 of the North Office Building.

* Senate Committee: Exposure To Endocrine Disruptors Ubiquitous, Impacts Being Studied

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Tuesday held a public hearing on  pharmaceuticals in Pennsylvania’s waterways with representatives of the Fish and Boat Commission, the Department of Environmental Protection and two scientists doing research on this topic.

* Senate Passes Performance Budgeting Bill, Does Not Apply To House, Senate, Judiciary

The Senate Appropriations Committee Monday passed Senate Bill 181 (Mensch-R- Montgomery) establishing a Performance-Based Budget Board and requiring state agencies to justify their budget requests for all existing and proposed programs every year.

* PA Statewide Watershed Conference March 5-6 In State College, Deadline Feb. 14

The PA Organization For Watersheds and Rivers, DEP and other partners will hold the 2017 PA Statewide Watershed Conference on March 5-6 at the Ramada Inn in State College.  The deadline for registration is February 14.

* Applications Now Being Accepted For Montgomery County Master Watershed Stewards

The Penn State Montgomery County Master Watershed Stewards are currently accepting applications for the class of 2017.  The deadline for applications is February 15.

* PA Resources Council Hosts Rain Barrel Workshop In Delaware County

The PA Resources Council and the Eastern Delaware County Stormwater Collaborative are sponsoring a Rain Barrel Workshop on March 23 at the Morton Borough Hall, 500 Highland Ave., Morton starting at 6:30 p.m.

* NRCS: Applications Due For Forest Landowners Conservation Assistance In 15 Counties

The U.S. Natural Resources  Conservation Service-PA is accepting applications from northcentral Pennsylvania forest landowners in 15 counties for financial assistance to apply conservation practices that enhance forest ecosystems.

* Winter Farmer Meetings In Chiques, Conewago Watersheds Feb. 23, March 3

The Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center and other partners will hold winter farmer meetings focused in the Chiques and Conewago watersheds in Lancaster, Dauphin and Lebanon Counties.

* Penn State Agriculture And Environment Center Newsletter Now Available

The latest edition of the Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center newsletter is now available featuring articles on--

* Interns Wanted: PSU Agriculture And Environment Center Summer Internships Available

The Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center has three internships available for summer 2017.  The deadline for applications is February 14.  Click Here for all the details.

* PA Resources Council Initiative Increases Recycling In Apartments In Pittsburgh Area

Since 2014, the PA Resources Council has partnered with Alcoa Foundation to work with multi-family properties around the Greater Pittsburgh Area to find best management recycling practices as well as increase recycling rates.

* KPB: Apply Now For Dr Pepper/Keep America Beautiful Park Recycling Bin Grants

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful announced Wednesday applications are now being accepted for the 2017 Dr Pepper Snapple/Keep America Beautiful Park Recycling Bin Grants. The deadline for applications is February 24. 

* Backyard Composting Workshops Set In Allegheny County By PA Resources Council

The PA Resources Council is hosting 10 backyard composting workshops in Allegheny County in March, May and June.  The workshops will be held--

* February Newsletter Now Available From The PA Resources Council

The February newsletter of the PA Resources Council is now available featuring articles on--

* Apply Now For $2,000 Scholarship From Abandoned Mine Land Programs Assn

The National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs is now accepting applications for a $2,000 college scholarship to assist in the education of students who intend to work as scientists, engineers or technicians in the field of mine reclamation.

* American Institute Of Architects-PA Designing Schools For Success Feb. 21 In Harrisburg

The American Institute of Architects-PA will host a Designing Schools for Success Discussion in on February 21 from 9 a.m. to Noon at Harrisburg University in Harrisburg.

* PUC: Households Without Heat-Related Utilities Dropped From 22,025 To 13,750

The Public Utility Commission Monday released the results of a mid-winter follow-up survey focusing on households without utility-related heat, showing a substantial drop in households-- from 22,025 to 13,750-- who do not have electric or natural gas service, compared to the Commission’s initial survey in December.

* PUC Postpones Feb. 9 Statewide Sustainable Energy Board Meeting, New Date Feb. 23

Due to the impending weather forecast for central Pennsylvania, the PA Sustainable Energy Board, in conjunction with the Public Utility Commission, will postpone its annual meeting originally scheduled for February 9

* Bloomberg/Sustainable Business Council: Consumer Energy Spending Plummets In 2016

American consumers spent less than 4 percent of their total annual household spending on energy in 2016, the smallest share ever recorded by the U.S. government, a new study finds.

* Drexel: Methane Levels Have Increased In Shale Region Despite Dip In Well Installation

Despite a slow down in the number of new natural gas wells in the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania, new research led by Drexel University finds that atmospheric methane levels in the area are still increasing.

* Penn State: Campus Natural Gas Power Plants Pose No Radon Risks

When Penn State decided to convert its two power plants in State College from their historic use of coal as a source of energy to natural gas, there was concern about radon emissions.

* FERC OKs Energy Transfer Partners Rover Natural Gas Pipeline From PA To Ontario

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the third major natural gas pipeline in the last week— the Energy Transfer Partners LP’s Rover Pipeline from Pennsylvania to Ontario-- on February 3.

* FERC, DEP Approves Empire Pipeline In McKean County Into New York

Buffalo-based National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation and Empire Pipeline, Inc., both wholly-owned subsidiaries of National Fuel Gas Company, received notice February 3 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved their application to construct the Northern Access 2016 Project.

* Trout Unlimited Pipeline Construction Monitoring Training March 18 In Carbon County

Trout Unlimited will host a pipeline construction monitoring training from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. March 18 in Palmerton, Carbon County.

* DEP OKs Montgomery Lock & Dam #4 Hydroelectric Project In Washington County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the February 11 PA Bulletin (page 908) it has approved the Section 401 Water Quality Certification for a 12-megawatt hydroelectric facility at the Montgomery Lock and Dam No. 4 on the Monongahela River in Washington County.

* PEMA Encourages Pennsylvanians To Make Emergency Plans

As millions of Pennsylvanians think about changes they want to see in their lives and make resolutions for 2017, PA Emergency Management Agency Director Richard D. Flinn Jr. Monday  encouraged citizens to “Resolve to be Ready” in 2017 by creating family emergency plans and emergency kits.

* DCNR: Heavy Infestations Of Gypsy Moths Expected In Northeast, Central PA

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry again is preparing for an aerial spraying effort to combat gypsy moth populations poised for spring outbreaks in the eastern and central portions of Pennsylvania, DCNR officials said Wednesday.

* DCNR Held Feb. 9 Meeting On Study Of ATV Connecting Trail In Clinton County

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources held the first stakeholder meeting on February 9 to review a study under way in Sproul State Forest to address feasibility of closing a trail gap and determining the best way to connect the Bloody Skillet and Whiskey Springs ATV trail systems, near Renovo, Clinton County.

* Free Woodland Owner’s Conference In Dauphin County March 4

Are you interested in learning more about Pennsylvania forests, or maintaining and improving forest diversity on your wooded property? If so, consider registering for a free, one-day educational seminar conducted by the Dauphin County Woodland Owners Association.

* South Mountain Partnership Celebrates 10 Years

In 2006, a small group of people met at Kings Gap Environmental Education Center in Cumberland County to talk about how to protect the White Rocks property along the ridge of South Mountain from development.

* February 8 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The February 8 Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* Susquehanna Greenways Partnership Now Accepting Entries In 2017 Photo Contest

The Susquehanna Greenways Partnership is now accepting entries for its 2017 Photo Contest.  The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2017.

* Schuylkill Center For Environmental Ed Winter Photography Contest Accepting Entries

The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education in Philadelphia is now accepting entries for its Winter 2017 Photography Contest.  Entries are due February 28.

* Latest E-Connections Newsletter Available From Susquehanna Greenway Partnership

The February edition of the E-Connections newsletter is now available from the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership featuring stories on--

* February Currents Newsletter Now Available From Fish & Boat Commission

The February edition of the Currents newsletter is now available from the Fish and Boat Commission featuring articles on--

* Winter Newsletter Now Available From PA Council Of Trout Unlimited

The Winter edition of PA Trout from the PA Council of Trout Unlimited is now available featuring articles on--

* In Memoriam: Ralph E. Bailey, Consol Energy, Mining Hall Of Fame Inductee

Ralph E. Bailey, 92, passed away peacefully on February 1 in Greenwich, Connecticut surrounded by his loving family and friends.

* Foundation For Sustainable Forests Names Annie Socci Executive Director

The Foundation for Sustainable Forests has promoted Annie Socci, formerly the Conservation and Outreach Manager for the organization since January of 2016, to be its first Executive Director.

* Intern Wanted: Allegheny Land Trust John Hamm Conservation Intern Position

The Allegheny Land Trust is seeking candidates for the paid John Hamm Conservation Internship for 10 weeks during the summer.  The deadline for applications is April 3.  Click Here for all the details.

* Help Wanted: Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA Watershed Educator

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA is seeking qualified candidates to fill the position of Educator/ Assistant Manager for the Susquehanna Watershed Environmental Education Program.  The deadline for applications is February 10.  Click Here for all the details.

* Help Wanted: Berks County Conservation District Urban Resource Conservationist

The Berks County Conservation District is seeking qualified candidates to fill an Urban Resource Conservationist position.  The deadline for applications is March 3.

* DEP Opportunity To Bid On Mine Drainage Treatment Project In Cambria County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the February 11 PA Bulletin of an opportunity to bid on mine drainage Treatment project in Cambria County.  Mandatory pre-bide conference on February 28.

* 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

No new regulations were published this week.   Pennsylvania Bulletin - February 11, 2017

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* 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.

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