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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, April 3, 2017 Issue #666
* Trump Issues Order Calling For Review Of Energy, Clean Power Plan, Methane Regs

President Trump Tuesday issued an Executive Order calling on all federal agencies to “immediately review existing regulations that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources and appropriately suspend, revise, or rescind those that unduly burden the development of domestic energy resources beyond the degree necessary to protect the public interest or otherwise comply with the law.”

* EPA: States Have No Obligation To Comply With Clean Power Plan, Defends Budget Cuts

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt Thursday sent letters to state governors advising them that they are under no obligation to adhere to the Clean Power Plan (CPP) rule.  The text of the letter follows--

* Despite Trump Order, DEP Will Continue To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In response to President Trump’s Executive Order on climate change and energy, Acting Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell Tuesday issued this statement--

* PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Planning Steering Committee Meets April 3

Development of Phase 3 of Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan begins April 3, with the first meeting of the steering committee that will coordinate a broad-based effort by work groups and committed partners in the 43 watershed counties.

* DCNR Names The Watershed Farm, Westmoreland County, Green Park Award Winner

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Tuesday announced The Watershed Farm in Westmoreland County is the recipient of the 2017 Green Park Award for its demonstrated commitment to water resource protection, habitat creation and connecting people to nature.

* PA Assn. Of Environmental Educators 2017 Award Recipients Honored

The PA Association of Environmental Educators honored the winners of its 2017 Awards at its annual conference in mid-March.  PAEE recognized individuals and programs in several categories--

* DEP, PennDOT Receive National Recognition From Keep America Beautiful

The departments of Environmental Protection and Transportation were two of 13 Keep America Beautiful State Agency Partner Award recipients at the annual Keep America Beautiful National Awards Ceremony in January for their support of the Great American Cleanup of PA.

* Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule [Updated] /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--

* PUC Urges Preservation Of Federal Heating Assistance, Weatherization Programs

The Public Utility Commission Thursday sent a letter to members of Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation to continue federal funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP).

* Bipartisan RECLAIM Reintroduced In Congress To Cleanup Abandoned Mine Lands

Monday a bipartisan group of legislators in Washington reintroduced legislation in Congress known as the RECLAIM Act – that would expedite much-needed funding from the Abandoned Mine Land Trust Fund for projects that restore mine-scarred land and enhance local economic development in coal field communities.

* Sen. Killion To Introduce Bill To Eliminate Sunset Date On $2 Recycling Fee

Sen. Thomas Killion (R-Delaware) Wednesday circulated a co-sponsor memo to his colleagues inviting them to co-sponsor legislation to eliminate the 2020 sunset date on the $2/ton recycling fee that supports Act 101 recycling grants and programs.

* Legislative Forestry Task Force Issues 2015-16 Report, Recommendations

The Legislative Forestry Task Force Tuesday issued its 2015-16 report done pursuant to Senate Resolution 55 (Hutchinson-R-Venango) of 2015 to make recommendations related to public and private forest lands and practices.

* Op-Ed: Nuclear Energy-A Keystone For Pennsylvania’s Economy And Environment

By: Sen. Ryan Aument (R-Lancaster), Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne), Rep. Becky Corbin (R-Chester), Rep. Rob Matzie (D-Allegheny) Co-Chairs of the PA Nuclear Energy Caucus

* Senate Bill Would Require Approval Of Regulations By The General Assembly, Governor

Sen. John DiSanto (R-Dauphin) Tuesday announced he has introduced legislation-- Senate Bill 561-- to prohibit regulations with an economic impact of $1 million or more from being imposed without approval by the General Assembly and Governor.

* DEP’s Existing Online What Permit Do I Need? Tool Much Better Than Proposed Bill

Rep. Jason Ortitay (R-Allegheny) introduced House Bill 1003 Monday requiring DEP to list all its permits in the PA Bulletin and online as a way to “streamline” DEP permitting (sponsor summary). 

* Want To Be An Ambassador For Water Issues In Philadelphia? Tell Us Why

Are you interested in helping communities in Philadelphia learn more about protecting local watersheds through projects that make neighborhoods greener, more vibrant places to live, learn, work and play?

* SRBC, DEP Partner On Water Loss Management Training For Drinking Water Systems

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission’s Public Water Supply Assistance Program by partnering with the Department of Environmental Protection Operator Outreach Assistance Program to present a three-part instructional series on Water Loss Management in April, July and August.

* Extended: Schuylkill Student Street Art Contest Accepting Entries Until April 14

The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary and the Philadelphia Water Department are now accepting entries to the Schuylkill Street Art Contest.  The deadline for entries has been extended to April 14.

* March 27 Watershed Winds Newsletter Now Available From Penn State Extension

The March 27 Watershed Winds newsletter is now available from Penn State Extension featuring articles on--

* March Catalyst Newsletter Now Available From Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition

The March issue of The Catalyst newsletter is now available from the Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition in Butler County featuring articles on--

* Centre County Watershed Cleanup Day April 22

Come celebrate Earth Day by taking part in ClearWater Conservancy’s 21st Annual Watershed Cleanup Day on April 22 from 8 a.m. to noon.

* Green Valleys Watershed Assn French Creek Cleanup In Chester County April 22

Green Valleys Watershed Association is seeking volunteers to participate in a stream cleanup of the French Creek in northern Chester County. 

* Allegheny CleanWays Kicks Off Tireless Project Cleanup April 9

The Tireless Project, an Allegheny CleanWays river cleanup program, will be starting its 2017 season on April 9!

* Allegheny River & Watershed Cleanup Set For May 13 At Allegheny Reservoir, NY

The Allegheny River and Watershed Cleanup will take place on May 13 starting at the Onoville Marina, 704 W. Perimeter Road, Steamburg, NY, just north of the Allegheny National Forest in Warren County, at 8:00 a.m. where volunteers will sign-in and get trash bags, gloves and other supplies.

* Volunteers! Clinton County CleanScapes Young Woman’s Creek Cleanup April 8

Join Clinton County CleanScapes, Lock Haven University students and Chapman Twp. staff  in removing litter and tires from the streambanks of Young Woman’s Creek in North Bend on April 8 from 9:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

* Keep PA Beautiful Urges Students To Apply For KAB’s Youth Advisory Council

Keep America Beautiful is now accepting applications for the 2017-2018 National Youth Advisory Council which provides an opportunity for 10 high school students (15-18 years old) from diverse backgrounds to participate in a service learning and leadership development program.

* Millersville U. Receives PepsiCo Recycling Grant To Support Sustainability Ambassadors

Thanks to funding from the PepsiCo Recycling Zero Impact Fund, Millersville University in Lancaster will establish a group of Student Sustainability Ambassadors to run campus events that focus on conserving energy, reducing waste and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

* DEP Now Accepting Applications For Recycling Performance Grants

The Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for Section 904 Recycling Performance Grants for calendar year 2016.  The deadline for applications is September 30.  (formal notice)

* PEMA, Partner Agencies Collaborate On Floodproofing Prevention Workshops In April

The PA Emergency Management Agency, along with the Department of Community and Economic Development, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District Silver Jackets team, will host three regional flood proofing workshops across western Pennsylvania next month.

* U.S. Army Corps, SRBC Partner To Provide Data To FEMA To Revise Flood Maps In PA

By Sarah Gross

* 2017 Environmental Advisory Council Conference Set For May 6 In Lancaster

The annual Environmental Advisory Council Conference will be held on May 6 at the DoubleTree Resort, 2400 Willow Street Pike in Lancaster from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

* DEP To Hold Statewide Listening Tour To Gather Input On Environmental Justice

Department of Environmental Protection Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell Tuesday announced he will be hosting nine roundtables across the state over the next two months to meet with residents and hear their perspectives on environmental justice.  (formal notice)

* Wolf Administration Extends LIHEAP Home Heating Assistance Deadline To April 7

Gov. Tom Wolf Tuesday announced Pennsylvanians struggling to pay home heating bills will now have until April 7 to apply for financial help through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

* PUC Offers Tips On Door-To-Door Sales By Energy Suppliers, Consumer Rights

The Public Utility Commission Thursday offered consumer tips on door-to-door sales and marketing activities by agents of competitive electric and natural gas suppliers, reminding consumers of their rights as well as their options when it comes to shopping for and selecting a competitive supplier for gas or electric service.           

* PJM Study: Electric System Reliable Even With Much More Gas, Renewables

The PJM Interconnection system can remain reliable with the addition of more natural gas and renewable resources, an analysis released Thursday by PJM concludes. However, the report notes that an increased reliance on any one generation type brings resilience risks not accounted for under traditional reliability standards.

* PJM Marks 20 Years Of The Competitive Electricity Market

PJM Interconnection this year celebrates 20 years of operating competitive wholesale electricity markets that maintain grid reliability at the lowest reasonable cost.

* Green Building Alliance Accepting Nominations For Emerald Awards In Western PA

The Green Building Alliance in Pittsburgh is now accepting nominations for its Emerald Awards to recognize local people, projects and initiatives that drive the creation of healthy, high- performing places for everyone and that inspire sustainability in all its forms.  The deadline for nominations is April 26.

* PUC To Hold 2 Hearings May 16 On Application To Change Direction Of Laurel Pipeline

The Public Utility Commission Wednesday announced it will hold two “Smart Hearings” on May 16 to gather public comment on an application by Laurel Pipe Line Company, L.P. for approval to change direction of petroleum products transportation service to delivery points west of the Altoona area.

* Commonwealth Financing Authority OKs Pipeline, Small Water, Sewer System Grants

The Commonwealth Financing Authority Wednesday approved a $1 million grant to help finance a natural gas line extension in Venango County and $22.1 million in grants to support 116 small water and sewer system projects.

* Sustainable Pittsburgh Calls On Shell For Sustainability Assessment Of Ethane Plant

Sustainable Pittsburgh Tuesday announced it has invited Royal Dutch Shell to collaborate on an independent sustainability assessment of the company’s $6 billion petrochemical plant to be built in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, located in the Pittsburgh region. 

* DEP Approves 2 Underground Drilling Waste Injection Wells In Elk, Indiana Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection Monday approved permits for two underground injection control (UIC) wells for disposal of wastewater associated with oil and natural gas production. The wells are located in Highland Township, Elk County; and Grant Township, Indiana County. 

* Center For Rural PA: 2nd Studies On Health, Social, Economic Impacts Of Shale Drilling

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania Monday released what it called Wave 2 of its multi-year research into the social and economic impacts of natural gas development in Northcentral and Southwest Pennsylvania.

* AG Shapiro: $30.4 Million Damage Settlement With Volkswagen Over Vehicle Emissions

Attorney General Josh Shapiro Thursday announced a $30.4 million settlement with Volkswagen for environmental damages caused by a device the automaker placed on its cars which allowed excessive carbon monoxide emissions to escape into the air in violation of federal and state laws. 

* DCNR Officials, Educators, Students Launch Think Outside Initiative At Parks, Forests

Addressing educators and students at a state park near Carlisle, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Monday invited statewide college and university participation in DCNR’s new “Think Outside” initiative promoting state parks and forestlands as invaluable learning tools of higher education.

* A Picture-Perfect Prairie Improvement Day At Jennings Environmental Ed Center

By Brittany Nulph, Jennings Environmental Ed Center Intern

* Free Peregrine Falcon Workshop For Educators In Harrisburg April 13

A free workshop called “WILD in the City” offers educators unique up-close learning experiences and curriculum materials on peregrine falcons in Pennsylvania on April 13, at the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg. 

* Have Fun Learning About Invasive Species With New Tool From PA 4-H

Penn State Extension, with funding from the state Department of Agriculture, has created a “fun,” hands-on, interactive curriculum to address the threat of invasive species, to be offered through its Pennsylvania 4-H Youth Program.

* Wildlands Conservancy April Programs Schedule Now Available

The April schedule of education and other programs is now available from the Wildlands Conservancy featuring--

* Gov. Wolf Announces More Opportunities For Pet-Friendly Travel In PA’s State Parks

Gov. Tom Wolf and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Monday announced increased opportunities for campers to bring their pets to some of Pennsylvania’s State Parks.

* Get Outdoors Poconos Chestnut Mountain Hike April 15 In Monroe County

The Brodhead Watershed Association is holding a Get Outdoors Poconos hike on April 15 at the Chestnut Mountain Nature Preserve in Barrett Township, Monroe County from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.

* PPL Utilities Supports Conservation Education With Donation To Hawk Mountain

Visitors to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Berks County will continue to enjoy educational programs, events, workshops and lectures, thanks in part to support from  PPL Electric Utilities.

* Regional Opening Day Of Trout Season Kicks Off April 1 In Southeast, April 15 Statewide

With great weather greeting kids and their mentors this past weekend for Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day, anglers in 18 southeastern counties are warmed up and ready to kick off a new fishing season on April 1 and statewide on April 15.

* Feature- Remembering The Accident At Three Mile Island, 3:53 a.m., March 28, 1979

At 3:53 a.m., March 28, 1979, the cascading failures of valves, pumps, gauges and reactor operators combined to produce the worst accident in the U.S. commercial nuclear power industry.

* Keith Welks Receives PA Bar Environmental & Energy Law Section Achievement Award

Keith Welks, Deputy State Treasurer for fiscal operations and Senior Advisor for Policy at the state Treasury Department, will be honored with the 2017 Pennsylvania Bar Association Environmental and Energy Law Section Award during the section’s Environmental Law Forum, April 5-6 at the Hilton Harrisburg.

* 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 - April 1, 2017

* CLICK HERE To Print Entire PA Environment Digest

CLICK HERE to Print The Entire PA Environment Digest.  The April 3, 2017 issue is 83 pages long.

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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:

* 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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