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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, June 12, 2017 Issue #676
(6/12/2017)
* Ardmore Students Devin & Roldan Kramer Win President’s Environmental Youth Award

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Friday announced Devin and Roldan Kramer from Ardmore, Delaware/Montgomery counties will receive the 2016 President’s Environmental Youth Award for grade levels K-5 for their work to save frogs and toads.

* Tim Danehy Recognized With National Reclamationist Of The Year Award

In April, Tim Danehy, a mine reclamation innovator from Butler County, was recognized during the Joint Conference of the American Society of Mining and Reclamation, West Virginia Mine Drainage Task Force, and Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative with the 2017 Reclamationist of the Year Award.

* EPA Recognizes Dow Chemical, Montgomery County, With Green Chemistry Challenge Award

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Friday recognized the Dow Chemical Company in Collegeville, Montgomery County with a Green Chemistry Challenge Award for developing thermal printing paper that eliminates the need for chemicals to create an image.

* DEP Citizens Advisory Council: The Consistent Cuts To DEP’s Budget Are Unsustainable

June is budget crunch time, and just to remind Senate and House members and Gov. Wolf what real people have said about more than a decade of cuts to the Department of Environmental Protection’s state budget, PA Environment Digest is reprinting this story about a letter sent to the General Assembly by DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council--

* Op-Ed: Nobody In Pennsylvania Benefits When DEP’s Budget Is Cut

By Joseph Otis Minott, Clean Air Council

* PA Legislators Look For Ways To Fund Environmental Programs

By Donna Morelli, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* Chesapeake Bay States, DC Call For Continued Federal Funding Of Cleanup Efforts

Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia Thursday unanimously adopted a resolution calling for continued federal partnership in the Bay cleanup as part of the Chesapeake Executive Council meeting.

* June 20 EQB Fee-Related Items: Radon, Chapter 105, Water/Wastewater Plant Operators

The agenda for the June 20 Environmental Quality Board meeting includes three items related to fees charged by the Department of Environmental Protection--

* Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule/Gov’s Schedule/ Bills Introduced

Here are the Senate and House Calendars for the next voting session day and Committees scheduling action on bills of interest as well as a list of new environmental bills introduced--

* Senate/House Bills Moving

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

* Senate Passes Bill To Retroactively Change Stream Protections From Mining

The Senate Tuesday voted 32 to 17, largely along party-lines, to pass Senate Bill 624 (Scarnati-R- Jefferson) which retroactively changes the protection streams receive under Act 54 from underground coal mining.

* Senate Approves Resolution Creating Task Force To Investigate Threat Of Lead Exposure

Sen. John T. Yudichak (D-Luzerne), Minority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, Tuesday announced the Senate unanimously passed Senate Resolution 33 creating a bipartisan task force to investigate the scope of Pennsylvania’s lead exposure problem.

* Legislation To Encourage Natural Gas-Fueled Vehicles Passes Senate

The Senate Tuesday passed legislation-- Senate Bill 589 (Langerholc-R-Bedford)-- to promote the use of cleaner-burning natural gas in larger vehicles by increasing the  maximum allowable weight for motor carrier vehicles that are powered by natural gas from 80,000 pounds to 82,000 pounds.

* Rep. Quinn Introduces PA Clean Transportation Infrastructure Act

Rep. Marguerite Quinn (R-Bucks) Tuesday introduced House Bill 1446 that encourages the expansion of clean transportation infrastructure to support electric and natural gas vehicles (sponsor summary).

* Senate Appropriations OKs Recycling Fee, Voting On Regs Bills

The Senate Appropriations Committee Monday reported out legislation eliminating the sunset on the recycling fee and legislation requiring the General Assembly to vote to approve regulations.

* Conventional Gas Drillers: We Can’t Afford To Protect Public, Workers From Our Pipelines Exploding

Representatives of the PA Grade Crude Oil Coalition of conventional oil/gas drillers told the House Consumer Affairs Committee Monday they cannot afford the cost of reporting the locations of their natural gas pipelines to PA One Call to prevent pipeline explosions and deaths.  100,000 miles of their pipelines are not mapped to prevent accidental hits by construction equipment.

* House Committee Seeks Ways The General Assembly Can Get More Involved In The Regulatory Process

The House State Government Committee Tuesday held a hearing in what it called state regulatory abuses, burdens and legislative oversight of the regulatory process seeking suggestions on how the General Assembly can be more directly involved in the regulatory process.

* PEC: Bill Requiring House/Senate Approval Of Regulations Raises Significant Constitutional Questions

The PA Environmental Council Tuesday wrote to all members of the Senate raising significant concerns about  Senate Bill 561 (Disanto-R-Dauphin) which would require the Senate and House to vote to approve all final regulations promulgated by state agencies; if no vote occurs regulations would die.

* Resolution Urging Repeal Of MS4 Stormwater Pollution Reduction Program Opposed By PEC

The PA Environmental Council Tuesday wrote a letter to members of the House State Government Committee urging them to oppose House Resolution 284 (Moul-R-Adams) urging Congress to repeal the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s MS4 Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program (sponsor summary).

* PEC Urges Protection Of Bicycling, Trail Activities In Landowner Recreation Liability Bill

The PA Environmental Council Tuesday wrote to members of the House Tourism and Recreational Development Committee urging the addition of bicycling and trail groups doing mapping or maintenance activities on trails to the list of recreational activities covered in the state’s law protecting landowners from liability for opening their land to recreation.

* June 13 Joint Conservation Committee Hearing On Act 101, Recycling To Be Webcast

The Joint Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on June 13 to review the Act 101 Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act Programs.

* John Dawes Urges Congress To Reauthorize Federal Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fee

John Dawes, Executive Director of the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds, testified Wednesday before the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources to urge Congress to reauthorize the collection of a federal fee assessed on each ton of coal mined until 2036.

* Pennsylvania, 12 Other States Challenge Rollback Of Federal Vehicle Emission Standards

Attorney General Josh Shapiro Friday announced a coalition of Attorneys General and the Department of Environmental Protection intends to take legal action if the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rolls back important federal vehicle emission rules to limit the carbon pollutants and other gases emitted by hundreds of millions of cars across the country.

* President Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Focuses On Moving Goods By Water, Road, Rail & Air

President Trump unveiled an Infrastructure Plan Wednesday that is focused entirely on moving good by waterways, roads and bridges, rail and through airports and does not include funding for other types of infrastructure like wastewater, drinking water or green infrastructure.

* DEP Citizens Advisory Council Meets June 20 On Volkswagen Settlement, Other Issues

DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council will hear presentations on the proposed Volkswagen Settlement and changes to the radiological health regulations at its meeting on June 20.

* June 15 DEP Webinar On Draft Plan To Reduce Phosphorus In Lake Erie

Department of Environmental Protection is inviting citizens to share their views on how the Commonwealth can best achieve elimination of nutrient pollution in Lake Erie by commenting on the Domestic Action Plan which was created to assist in the reduction of phosphorus in Lake Erie.

* Over 200 Attend Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan Listening Session

More than 200 Pennsylvanians representing local governments, the farming community, and other stakeholders gathered Monday to share ideas for a plan to best achieve federally mandated water pollution reductions in the state’s 43 counties in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and improve the environment and economy for all.

* Companies, Groups Making It Their Businesses To Help The Chesapeake Bay, 5 In PA

By Corinne Stephens, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay

* PA Horticultural Society, Philadelphia Airport Launch Landscape Design Competition

The Philadelphia International Airport and the PA Horticultural Society are hosting a design competition to create an “Image Maker” landscape at the Airport.

* June 5 Watershed Winds Newsletter Now Available From Penn State Extension

The June 5 Watershed Winds newsletter is now available from Penn State Extension featuring on--

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Meets June 16 At Lake Raystown, Huntingdon County

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission will hold its quarterly business meeting June 16 starting at 9 a.m., at Lake Raystown Resort, Conference Center – River Birch Ballroom, 3101 Chipmunk Crossing, Entriken, Huntingdon County.

* Slippery Rock Watershed: 20+ Years Of Reclamation, How The Waters Have Improved!

Here’s an update from the Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition in Butler County on how 20+ years of mine restoration and acid mine drainage treatment projects have improved the watershed….

* June Catalyst Newsletter Now Available From Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition

The June edition of The Catalyst newsletter is now available from the Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition in Butler County featuring stories on--

* Food Guy Adventures Offers Pittsburgh’s 1st Sustainability-Focused Food Tour On 3 Days This Summer

Food Guy Adventures is partnering with Sustainable Pittsburgh to launch the City’s first sustainability-focused food tour: “A Taste of Sustainability: Cultural District.”

* West Nile Virus Program Announces Positive Mosquito Results In Lawrence County

The Department of Environmental Protection Friday announced positive mosquito results for West Nile Virus have been found in Mahoning and Pulaski townships in Lawrence County.

* Covanta Extends Partnership With Delaware County Waste Authority For Sustainable Waste Disposal

Covanta Tuesday announced a new agreement with the Delaware County Solid Waste Authority for sustainable waste disposal at the Covanta Delaware Valley Energy-from-Waste facility located in Chester, Delaware County.

* Keep PA Beautiful Now Accepting Applications For Fresh Paint Days Grants To Beautify Communities

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is now accepting applications for the 2017 Fresh Paint Days Pennsylvania Grant Program.  The deadline for applications is July 17.  Grants will be awarded mid-August.

* Westmoreland Cleanways Hosts July 15 Household Hazardous Waste Collection

Westmoreland Cleanways and Recycling will hold a Household Hazardous Waste Collection event on July 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Westmoreland CleanWays Recycling Center, 113 Innovative Lane in Latrobe.

* PRC Hosts June 24 Hard-To-Recycle Collection Event In Allegheny County

The PA Resources Council will host a Hard-To-Recycle Collection Event on June 24, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Quaker Valley High School, 625 Beaver St., in Leetsdale, Allegheny County to enable area residents to conveniently dispose of numerous items not suitable for curbside recycling.

* June Newsletter Now Available From PA Resources Council

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

* DEP: Air Monitoring In McAdoo, Schuylkill County Shows No Dangerous Levels Of Dust

Following a 13-month air quality study, the Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced it has determined that dust levels in an area of the borough of McAdoo, Schuylkill County are not a danger to residents and do not exceed statewide standards for settled particulate matter.

* DEP Hearings In July On RACT II Air Pollution Controls For Facilities In Northcentral, Southeast

The Department of Environmental Protection is scheduled to hold hearings in July on a proposed State Air Quality Implementation Plan amendments for RACT II controls relating to nitrogen oxide and volatile organic compound emissions for four facilities in DEP’s Southeast Region and one in DEP’s Northcentral Region.  (formal notices, PA Bulletin beginning on page 3279)

* PennEast Pipeline Awards Community Grants In Pennsylvania, NJ

PennEast Pipeline Company Thursday announced the award of its eighth round of grant through its Community Investment Program, which now has invested more than $600,000 in local organizations making a difference in their communities.

* Commonwealth Court Affirms Lower Court Ruling On Zoning Ordinance Allowing Drilling

In an opinion Wednesday, Commonwealth Court affirmed a Butler County Court of Common Pleas decision to deny a challenge by the Delaware RiverKeeper Network, the Clean Air Council and local residents to a local zoning ordinance allowing Marcellus Shale gas drilling.

* Cabot Drilling Has Paid $1.5 Billion In Royalties, Signing Bonuses In Susquehanna, Wyoming Counties

During an update to the community and elected officials Tuesday in Montrose, Susquehanna County, Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation announced it has paid more than $1 billion in royalties to landowners in Susquehanna and Wyoming Counties and nearly $500 million in signing bonuses since Cabot commenced operations in 2006.

* PUC Releases Summer Readiness Reports From Electric Utilities

The Public Utility Commission Thursday released the 2017 Summer Readiness Overview reports from the state’s electric distribution companies and the regional transmission organization, PJM Interconnection.

* DEP: July 12 Hearing On Proposed Natural Gas-Fired Power Plant In Washington County

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced it will hold a public hearing July 12 on an Air Quality Plan Approval application for the proposed Robinson Power Company, LLC Beech Hollow Project.

* Berwick Nuclear Power Plant Shutdown Automatically, Cause Under Investigation

At 3:28 p.m., on Thursday, June 8, Unit 1 at the Susquehanna Nuclear Power Plant in Luzerne County automatically shut down. The cause of the incident is still under investigation.

* Energy Efficiency Advocate Liz Robinson Steps Down After 33 Years Leading Energy Coordinating Agency In Philadelphia

Philly.com reported Monday Liz Robinson, the Executive Director of the nonprofit Energy Coordinating Agency in Philadelphia, announced she is stepping down from her position after 33 years of leading the organization.

* New Public/Private Partnership CNG Fueling Station Opens In Donora, Washington County

Gov. Tom Wolf Tuesday announced the opening of the third of 29 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling stations planned as part of a Public Private Partnership, this one in Donora, Washington County.

* PA Environmental Council: New Website On Controlling Methane Emissions-- CH4nge.com

The PA Environmental Council has created a new online resource for government and business leaders, citizens and others who want to learn more about why controlling methane emissions matters.  It’s called CH4nge.com and it was announced by PEC on Monday--

* AG Shapiro Joins 19 Govt. Leaders Vowing To Support Paris Climate Accord

Following President Donald Trump’s announcement last week the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, Attorney General Josh Shapiro Monday joined with 19 Attorneys General in a broad coalition with governors, mayors, business leaders and universities pledging to maintain their commitment to fighting climate change and abiding by the principles of the global agreement.

* PA Municipal League Sustainable Pennsylvania Conference June 13, State College

The Pennsylvania Municipal League will hold the 2017 Sustainable Pennsylvania Conference June 13 at the Hyatt Place in State College from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

* PA Environmental Council: May Issue Of In Case You Missed It

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

* DCNR, PennDOT Officials Mark PA Rivers Month By Paddling The Schuylkill River

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and Department of Transportation Secretary Leslie S. Richards Wednesday joined Schuylkill River Heritage Area members and other river supporters in marking PA Rivers Month and paddling with the group in part of its week-long sojourn.

* New Film Highlights Land Conservation, Recreation In Allegheny County

A newly released short film called Love Your Land highlighting the work of Allegheny Land Trust in Allegheny County serves as a cinematically striking introduction to several of the non-profit organization’s local conservation areas that are open for public exploration.

* DCNR Dedicates Restored Dam At Pymatuning State Park’s 17,000 Acre Lake, Crawford County

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Friday joined other state officials and Bureau of State Parks representatives in dedicating a newly restored dam and gatehouse at Pymatuning State Park, Crawford County.

* Fort Indiantown Gap Offers Guided Tours Of Rare Regal Fritillary Butterfly Habitat In Lebanon County

This June and July, visitors are invited to come see the only population of rare regal fritillary butterflies in the eastern United States at Fort Indiantown Gap, near Annville, Lebanon County.

* Natural Lands Effort To Save 1,505-Acre Bryn Coed Farm Within Reach In Chester County

“It’s the chance of a lifetime,” said Natural Lands President Molly Morrison, describing her organization’s effort to preserve 1,505 acres in northern Chester County known as Bryn Coed Farms. On June 1st, that chance took two important steps toward becoming a reality.

* Op-Ed: Small Landowners Are The Key To Saving Pennsylvania’s Big Woods

By Josh Parrish, Director Of The Working Woodlands Program, The Nature Conservancy-PA

* Neighborhood Gardens Trust Community Gardens Day June 17 In Philadelphia

The Neighborhood Gardens Trust, Philadelphia’s largest land trust, will host Community Gardens Day on June 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Rain date: June 18). The citywide celebration spotlights the benefits of the shared growing spaces for Philadelphia neighborhoods and the importance of preserving the gardens.

* 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 - June 10, 2017

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