Scrapbook Photo 04/21/17 - Carol Collier To Be Recognized With PEC's Winsor Award June 14 In Philadelphia: https://goo.gl/aBDnV6
Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, April 10, 2017 Issue #667
(4/10/2017)
* Lack Of Resources, New Cleanup Goals Will Make Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Harder In PA

The PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Planning Steering Committee met for the first time Monday and immediately confronted two challenges: Pennsylvania does not have enough resources to meet current nutrient and sediment reduction goals and new milestones coming as early as June will mean even more reductions will be needed.

* House Republicans Pass Budget Proposal With Across-The-Board Cuts… Again

House Republicans Monday unveiled their initial FY 2017-18 General Fund budget proposal totalling $31.52 billion which is $245.6 million less than the current year budget and $115 million less than Gov. Wolf’s proposal.  Republicans passed the bill Tuesday by a vote of 114 to 84.

* Analysis: Cuts In State Funding To DEP Cannot Continue, Rebalance Needed

The budget passed Tuesday by the House again fully endorsed the loud, but unspoken, message from the General Assembly and recent Governors that it is the policy of state government to use a Fee-For-Protecting The Environment Model for funding programs that protect the environment in Pennsylvania.

* Dominion, PEC Announce Winners Of Western PA Environmental Awards, Lifetime Awards

Four environmental programs from throughout Western Pennsylvania will share $20,000 from Dominion and the PA Environmental Council for innovation and effectiveness in making a positive impact on the environment.

* 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--

* Fox News: EPA’s Pruitt Says States Have The Resources To Do The Job

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt Sunday defended massive 31 percent budget cuts at EPA, including funding for states to carry out federal programs saying, “We have state departments of environmental quality that have the resources and the expertise to deal with clean water and clean air issues,” on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.

* Wolf Administration Details Impacts Of Proposed Cuts In U.S. Dept. Of Energy Budget

In a joint letter to U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry Thursday, Department of Environmental Protection Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell  (photo right) and Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin outlined the impacts of proposed cuts to U.S. Department of Energy programs would have on Pennsylvania.

* 220 Ag, Conservation Groups Urge Congress To Protect Farm Bill Conservation Funding

Wednesday, more than 220 agriculture, wildlife, and conservation organizations from across the country sent a letter urging the U.S. House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittees to protect farm bill conservation funding in FY 2018.

* U.S. House Hearing On RECLAIM Making $200M Available For Mine Reclamation

On Wednesday U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a hearing on HR 1731 that would make $200 million available over 5 years to states and Indian tribes to reclaim abandoned mines that promote economic revitalization.

* Academy Of Natural Sciences Speaks Out On Climate Change, Water, Biodiversity

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia Thursday issued a series of position statements on climate change, water, biodiversity and evolution to advance public engagement in environmental science.  The statements follow--

* PA One Call Debunks Myths On The Cost Of Its Pipeline, Utility Safety Program

The House Consumer Affairs Committee Wednesday held a hearing on Pennsylvania’s One Call Program that helps contractors avoid pipeline explosions and interrupting utilities due to construction equipment hitting buried utilities.

* Senate-House Nuclear Energy Caucus Meets April 26 To Hear From PJM Interconnection

The Senate-House Nuclear Energy Caucus will hold its second meeting on April 26 to hear a presentation from the PJM Interconnection on the impact the decommissioning of a nuclear power station could have on the regional electric grid.

* Drought Warning Lifted For Mifflin, Union Counties, Watch Still In Place For 19 Counties

The Commonwealth Drought Task Force Thursday lifted the Drought Warning designation for Mifflin and Union counties, but 19 counties still remain in Drought Watch conditions which call for a 5 percent reduction in water use.

* Stroud Water Research Center Honors Eagle Scout Payton Shonk For Education Kiosk

A nature-inspired outdoor classroom, with an education kiosk designed by Eagle Scout Payton Shonk, is fostering streamside learning at Stroud Water Research Center in Chester County.

* NRCS Now Accepting Applications For Grants In PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service-Pennsylvania is seeking proposals for $3 million in grants for projects that stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches that will reduce nutrient loads to the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

* Renew Your NRCS-PA Landowner Conservation Stewardship Program Contract Now

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Wednesday announced a contract renewal sign-up is now underway for the Conservation Stewardship Program, USDA’s largest working lands conservation program with more than 80 million acres enrolled nationwide.

* Explaining How Green Infrastructure Can Provide Protection From Flooding

As the rain falls, many communities across the country worry about the very real possibility of flooding. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, heavy downpours have increased in frequency and intensity over the last 50 years, and are expected to become even more intense as a result of climate change.

* Explaining How Legacy Sediment Impacts Streams And Floodplains

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines legacy sediment as soil “that was eroded from upland areas after the arrival of early settlers and over the centuries of intensive land uses”, such as agriculture.

* Request A Stream Smart Storm Water House Call In 2 SE Watersheds In 4 Counties

To address significant water quality issues on a residential scale, the PA Resources Council is partnering with the Lower Merion Conservancy, the Eastern Delaware County Stormwater Collaborative and the Darby Creek Valley Association on the Stream Smart Storm Water House Call Project.

* Presentations Available From PEC/POWR/DEP Watershed Conference In March

The presentations made at the PA Statewide Conference for Watershed Organizations in March are now available through the PA Environmental Council’s website.

* April 3 Newsletter Available From LandStudies On Legacy Sediments, Reducing Flooding

The April 3 newsletter is now available from LandStudies, a Lancaster County-based consulting firm, featuring articles on--

* 3 Entries From PA Make Viewer’s Choice Chesapeake Bay Photo Contest Voting

Three Pennsylvania entries made it to the Chesapeake Bay Photo Contest Viewer’s Choice Winner round of voting this week (now closed).

* Shippensburg Center For Land Use & Sustainability Offers Soil Science Training

Soil Hub and the Center for Land Use and Sustainability at Shippensburg University are collaborating to bring in-person soil science training to practicing professionals in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland and beyond!

* Delaware RiverKeeper: DRBC Fails To Protect Aquatic Life Despite Clear Science

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network Wednesday submitted comments challenging the Delaware River Basin Commission’s failure to protect Delaware River fish populations in a proposed Resolution currently open for public comment.

* Weis Markets Continues Support For Keep PA Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup Of PA

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful announced Tuesday Weis Markets, Inc. has continued their support for the 2017 Great American Cleanup of PA

* PA Resources Council ReuseFest Recycling/Reuse Collection Event In Pittsburgh April 22

Clean out the closets, the garage and the basement!  On Earth Day, April 22 the PA Resources Council’s sixth annual ReuseFest will offer a one-day collection event for materials destined for reuse by local nonprofits in Pittsburgh. 

* PROP/Keystone SWANNA Now Accepting Nominations For Waste Watcher Recognition

The Professional Recycler of Pennsylvania and co-sponsor Keystone Solid Waste Association of North America are now accepting nominations for the 2017 Waste Watchers Recognition Program.  The deadline for nominations is May 31.

* April Newsletter Now Available From The PA Resources Council

The April newsletter is now available from the PA Resources Council featuring articles on--

* PA Dept. Of Health Holds Zika Response Exercise, House GOP Budget Cuts Funding

The Department of Health Friday held an exercise to bolster the state and local preparedness and response plans for potential future cases of locally-transmitted Zika in the Commonwealth.

* EQB To Consider Laboratory Fee Increases, Ammonia Standard On April 18

The Environmental Quality Board will consider Laboratory Accreditation Program fee increases and revised ammonia and other water quality standards at its meeting on April 18.  The agenda items include--

* DEP Oil & Gas Advisory Board To Meet April 13 On Area Of Review, Water Supply

The DEP Oil And Gas Technical Advisory Board is scheduled to meet on April 13 to further discuss several important technical guidance documents to implementing the Chapter 78A drilling regulations.  The guidance includes--

* PA Grade Crude Development Advisory Council Sets 3 Meetings In 2017

The PA Grade Crude Development Advisory Council, charged with helping to develop updated regulations covering the conventional oil and gas drilling industry, has scheduled three meetings for the remainder of 2017-- May 18, August 17 and November 16.

* DEP April 19 Meeting/Hearing On Transco Compressor Station In Lycoming County

The Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday announced it will hold a combined public meeting and hearing on April 19 to discuss the proposed Air Quality plan approval submitted by Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co., LLC (Transco) for construction of a combustion turbine and emergency generator at Compressor Station 520 located in Mifflin Township, Lycoming County.

* FERC Issues Final PennEast Pipeline EIS Saying It Can Be Built With Minimal Impact

PennEast Pipeline Company LLC Friday announced the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the 120-mile pipeline saying the it can be built with minimal impact to the environment.

* Delaware County Residents Give Notice Of Lawsuit To Enforce Local Pipeline Ordinance

Six residents of Middletown Township, Delaware County, Tuesday announced they have notified Middletown Township that they believe it has a duty to enforce the Township Code’s provisions relating to minimum setback distances required from residential housing units to petroleum product pipelines. 

* DEP Accepting Applications For PA State Clean Diesel Grant Program

The Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for the PA State Clean Diesel Grant Program.  Applications are due May 12.  (formal notice)

* PUC Act 129 Report: $2.2 Billion In Customer Energy Savings In 3 Years

The Public Utility Commission Thursday released its annual report covering Phase II of the Act 129 energy conservation program which documents a total of $2.2 billion in savings for consumers and 3.3 million megawatt hours of electricity over 3 years.

* Pocono Environmental Education Center, KEEA Tout Benefits Of Energy Efficiency

The Pocono Environmental Education Center in Dingmans Ferry, Pike County Thursday hosted a tour of its campus for local elected officials and business leaders to showcase energy efficiency upgrades and retrofits which have resulted in multiple benefits for the Center and local community.

* UGI Announces Partnership With EPA’s Energy Star Energy Efficiency Program

UGI Utilities, Inc. Wednesday announced it has joined the U.S. Environmental Protections Agency’s Energy Star Program as an Energy Star Partner. Through this voluntary partnership, UGI will work to improve energy efficiency through a strategic energy management program that will enhance environmental protection.  

* National Energy Efficiency Registry Principles, Operating Rules Available For Comment

The National Energy Efficiency Registry Project Team, including Pennsylvania, Monday released its draft Principles and Operating Rules for a National Energy Efficiency Registry Registry.  The deadline for comments is May 31.

* PUC Begins Investigation Of Low-Income Energy Conservation, Assistance Programs

The Public Utility Commission Thursday unanimously approved a motion by commissioners Andrew Place (photo left) and David Sweet to begin an investigation of energy conservation and assistance programs aimed at low-income electric and natural gas customers.

* Marking The PUC’s 80th Anniversary Of Ensuring Safe, Reliable Utility Service

The Public Utility Commission Thursday marked its 80th anniversary as an independent state agency.

* Godshall’s Quality Meats Installs 4,000th Solar Module Across 3 PA Facilities

Just in time for the celebration of Earth Day (April 22), Godshall's Quality Meats in Montgomery County has surpassed 4,000 solar modules installed across its three Pennsylvania facilities.

* PA Biomass Energy Assn. Upcoming Workshops And Training

The PA Biomass Energy Association is offering a series of workshops and training sessions over the next several months on topics like food waste recycling, boiler operator training, supporting bioenergy and forest management and more.

* FirstEnergy Sells Part Of Former Hatfield Power Plant To Natural Gas Power Developer

FirstEnergy Corp. Wednesday announced its Allegheny Energy Supply Company, LLC subsidiary has entered into an agreement for sale of a portion of the former Hatfield's Ferry Power Station in Masontown, Fayette County to APV Renaissance Partners Opco, LLC, of Bernardsville, New Jersey, a natural gas power developer.

* March In Case You Missed It From PA Environmental Council

The March edition of In Case You Missed It from the PA Environmental Council is now available featuring stories on--

* PA Historical & Museum Commission OKs Historian Markers, 2 Related To Environment

The PA Historical and Museum Commission Monday announced it has approved 18 new state historical markers recognizing the people, places and events that have affected the lives of Pennsylvanians over the centuries.

* Pocono Forests & Waters Initiative Now Accepting Mini-Grant Applications

The Pocono Forests and Waters Conservation Mini-Grant Program, administered by the PA Environmental Council under a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, is now accepting applications.

* DCNR, PennDOT, Partners Break Ground For Delaware & Lehigh Bridge In Carbon County

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Wednesday joined Department of Transportation Secretary Leslie S. Richards, local officials and trail group representatives in applauding the start of pedestrian bridge construction which is viewed as a key link in the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor and a future economic stimulus in the Carbon County area.

* April 5 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The April 5 Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* Headwaters Charitable Trust Brings AmeriCorps VISTA To The PA Wilds

In 2015, Headwaters Charitable Trust, was awarded a team of AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteers to create and implement the Living Greener Program. This program creates opportunities that meet the needs of individuals within the context of supporting a green economy. 

* Keystone Elk Country Alliance Completes Land Acquisition

The Keystone Elk Country Alliance recently completed its first permanent land protection project -- a nine-acre tract located adjacent to the Elk Country Visitor Center in Benezette Township, Elk County, Pa.

* Game Commission Plans Controlled Burns Over 11,000 Acres To Improve Habitat, Safety

The Game Commission announced Friday it would be conducting controlled burns to restore wildlife habitat and decrease the threat of wildfires on state game lands statewide this spring.

* Delaware Highlands Conservancy: May 20 Money Does Grow On Trees Workshop

The Delaware Highlands Conservancy will host a free Money Does Grow On Trees Workshop on May 20 on how to permanently protect your land through financial and estate planning from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Grey Towers National Historic Site in Milford, Pike County.

* Check Out Opportunities To Volunteer At Pinchot’s Grey Towers National Historic Site

Do you love history? Are you a “people person?” Do you enjoy gardening? The U.S. Forest Service and the Grey Towers Heritage Association have some opportunities for volunteers at Gov. Pinchot’s Grey Towers National Historic Site, 151 Grey Towers Drive, Milford in Pike County.

* Fish Commission: April 8 Marks PA’s Second Mentored Youth Trout Day

Saturday, April 8 marks the Fish and Boat Commission’s second Mentored Youth Trout Day for 2017, an opportunity for kids to practice their fishing skills one week before the statewide opening day of trout season kicks off in 49 counties on April 15.

* Governor’s Youth Council For Hunting, Fishing, Conservation Engaging Youth

The Governor’s Youth Council for Hunting, Fishing, and Conservation held its inaugural meeting on March 25-26 at the Palmyra Sportsmen’s Association in Palmyra, Lebanon County.

* DCNR State Forester Daniel Devlin Earns Penn State Distinguished Alumni Honor

Daniel A. Devlin, Pennsylvania’s State Forester and the 13th in the history of Pennsylvania’s forest management program, recently was named a recipient of the Pennsylvania State University 2017 Forest Resources Outstanding Alumni Award. (photo left)

* 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 8, 2017

* CLICK HERE To Print Entire PA Environment Digest

CLICK HERE to Print The Entire PA Environment Digest.  The April 10 Digest is 86 pages long.

* 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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