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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Oct. 16, 2017 issue #694
* Here Are Some GOOD Bills The Senate & House Could Pass To Help Solve Environmental Problems

When the Senate and House came back into session after Labor Day in September, there was hope they would take action on a variety of environmental issues.  With, at most, 21 voting days scheduled in the House and 15 in the Senate until the end of the year, time is short to act.

* Op-Ed: Don't Be A Twit, Invest In Parks, Public Spaces, Recreation & Green Infrastructure

By Tim Herd, CEO PA Recreation & Park Society

* Gov. Wolf, State Treasurer, LCB Continue Implementing Default State Budget

Gov. Tom Wolf this week took a series of actions to implement his default state budget-- default because things were left hanging when the House left town October 4 without voting on a revenue package.  Here’s a quick rundown.

* 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--

* 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--

* Reaction To Proposed Repeal Of EPA’s Clean Power Climate Plan

Here are some reactions from groups in Pennsylvania to the proposal to repeal the EPA Clean Power Climate Plan--

* Rep. Maher Announces Plans To Introduce PA Clean Power Plan Bill

Rep. John Maher (R-Allegheny), Majority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, Tuesday circulated a memo to all House members inviting them to co-sponsor a bill he plans to introduce creating a Pennsylvania Clean Power Plan.

* Resolution Asks For Support Of DOE Proposal For Higher Compensation For Coal, Nuclear Power Plants

The Nuclear Energy and Coal Caucus members from the House Friday circulated a co-sponsor memo asking members to co-sponsor a concurrent resolution supporting the federal Department of Energy’s proposal on grid resiliency and higher compensation for electricity generated by coal and nuclear power plants.

* Straight Talk: Draining The Swamp, Reducing Headwaters Stream Protection Not Good Ideas

By John A. Arway, Executive Director, Fish & Boat Commission

* House Finance Committee Cancels Meeting On Natural Gas Severance Tax Bill

The House Finance Committee Friday canceled a meeting scheduled for October 16 to consider House Bill 1401 (DiGirolamo-R-Bucks) imposing a 3.2 percent natural gas severance tax in addition to the Act 13 drilling impact fee.

* House Committee To Consider Bill Oct. 16 Allowing The General Assembly To Kill A Regulation By Doing Nothing

The House Commerce Committee is scheduled to meet October 16 to consider House Bill 1237 (Keefer-R-York) which amends the Regulatory Review Act requiring the General Assembly to specifically approve “economically significant” final regulations approved by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission.

* Senate Committee To Consider Bill Oct. 17 To Fund Energy Efficiency Projects Thru Property Assessed Clean Energy Programs

The Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee is scheduled to meet on October 17 to consider Senate Bill 234 (Blake-D-Lackawanna) would authorize local governments to create energy improvement districts to help fund energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation projects by commercial and industrial buildings to reduce their operating costs (sponsor summary).

* Oct. 16 Environmental Issues Forum Features Presentation On State Parks Strategic Plan

The Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee will host its first Environmental Issues Forum of the fall legislative session on October 16 at noon in Hearing Room 8E-A of the Capitol East Wing in Harrisburg.  Click Here to watch live online.

* DEP Proposes Changes To Process For Developing Regulations, Technical Guidance And Using Advisory Committees

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the October 14 PA Bulletin of proposed changes to several technical guidance documents guiding public participation efforts within the agency--

* DEP To Pay For At Least 800 Farm Conservation Plans In PA Part Of Chesapeake Bay Watershed

The Department of Environmental Protection Friday announced it will reimburse farmers in Pennsylvania’s part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed for the cost of preparing hundreds of agricultural plans for clean water.

* Project Begins In Stroudsburg To Install Green Infrastructure, Urban Nature Space

The Brodhead Creek Watershed Association Tuesday announced a portion of a vacant lot in Stroudsburg in Monroe County will become an urban nature space – a pocket park--  green oasis amid a busy downtown.

* Volunteers Plant 1,000 Trees Along Buck Run In Coatesville, Chester County

Stroud Water Research Center and the Brandywine Conservancy hosted a joint tree planting Friday on a farm in Coatesville, Chester County that was once the base of the northern operations of the historic King Ranch of Texas.

* Stormwater Program Communication Workshop Oct. 25 In Dauphin County

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and its partners will host a Stormwater Program Communication Workshop on October 25 at the Londonderry Township Building, 783 S. Geyers Church Road in Middletown, Dauphin County from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

* Ferris Passive Mine Drainage Treatment System Receives Maintenance In Butler County

In 1997, the Ferris passive treatment system complex was installed to address four abandoned mine discharges emanating from an old deep mine in the coal mining ghost town of Ferris in the Slippery Rock Creek Watershed in Butler County.

* October Catalyst Newsletter Now Available From Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition

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

* Stroud Water Research Center Helps Berks Farmers Connect With Land, Water, Customers

Deanne Boyer and her parents, Linford and Florence Weber, jointly operate Willow Run Farm in Berks County, Pennsylvania.

* Latest Stroud Water Research Center UpStream Newsletter Now Available

The latest edition of the UpStream newsletter is now available from the Stroud Water Research Center in Chester County featuring articles on--

* Green Roof & Wall Symposium In Pittsburgh Nov. 6

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities and University of Pittsburgh invite you to attend the Pittsburgh Green Roof and Wall Symposium on November 6 at the University of Pittsburgh, 4200 Fifth Avenue in Pittsburgh from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

* Pittsburgh To Have Largest Urban Farm In U.S. On Old Public Housing Site

The City of Pittsburgh will soon be the home to the largest urban farm in the United States-- Hilltop Farm & Homes--  on the site of a former public housing development.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Hearing Nov. 2 On Water Withdrawal Projects

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission will hold a hearing on November 2 to take public comments on a series of water withdrawal projects.  (formal notice with project list)

* Student Symposium On The Environment Dec. 7 Westminster College, Submit Abstracts Now

The Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition in Butler County is again partnering with Westminster College to host the annual Student Symposium on the Environment on December 7 at the Witherspoon Rooms and Mueller Theater on the Westminster campus in Lawrence County.

* K-12 Student Video Contest By Society For Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Accepting Entries

The Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration is challenging teams of K-12 students to answer this question in a 3-minute video, “Why is mining important in our lives?” in the Move Mining Next Gen Contest to win cash prizes of up to $1,000.

* Society For Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Holds College-Level Student Poster Contest

The Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration Environmental Division is inviting undergraduate and graduate students in geology, geological engineering, environmental engineering and environmental scientists to submit entries to its 2018 student poster contest.

* PA Environmental Educators Call For 2018 Conference Workshop Proposals

The PA Association of Environmental Educators have issued a call for presentation and workshop proposals for its 2018 Conference to be held on March 12-13 in State College.  The deadline for proposals is December 17.

* Nominations Now Being Accepted For 2018 PA Environmental Educator Awards

The PA Association of Environmental Educators is now accepting nominations for the 2018 PAEE Awards For Excellence In Environmental Education.  The deadline for nominations is December 29.

* Keep PA Beautiful: Still Time To Join The International Coastal Cleanup

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Thursday reminded residents there is still time to volunteer or to organize your own litter cleanup event as part of the International Coastal Cleanup, the world’s largest volunteer effort aimed at improving the health of our oceans.

* PEC: Volunteers Needed For Illegal Dumpsite Cleanups In Potter County Oct. 28, 30, 31

The PA Environmental Council is seeking volunteers to assist in the cleanup of three illegal dumpsites this fall in Potter County--

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Water Monitoring Again Finds No Impacts From Natural Gas Drilling

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission Thursday released its 2016 report monitoring water quality in the watershed for impacts from unconventional natural gas drilling and found none.

* Nov. 2 Hearing On Air Permit For Natural Gas-Fired Power Plant In Greene County

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced it will hold a public hearing November 2 on an Air Quality Plan Approval application for the proposed Hill Top Energy Center located in Cumberland Township, Greene County.

* DEP Collects $220,000 Penalty From Ohio Laboratory For Violations

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced it collected a $220,000 penalty from Summit Labs in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, for violations related to testing drinking water samples and failure to notify DEP and public water suppliers in cases of Maximum Contaminate Level exceedances, among others.

* PUC OKs Energy Conservation Plans For PPL, PGW To Lower Energy Burdens For Low-Income Customers

The Public Utility Commission Wednesday acted on Universal Service and Energy Conservation Plans for PPL Electric Utilities Corporation and Philadelphia Gas Works

* PA Environmental Council Supports Bill To Create Local Energy Efficiency, Clean Energy Funding Program

The PA Environmental Council Monday wrote to members of the House Local Government Committee supporting House Bill 1722 (Harper-R-Montgomery) to authorize local governments to create energy improvement districts to help fund energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation projects by commercial and industrial buildings to reduce their operating costs is pending in the House Local Government Committee (sponsor summary).

* Reminder: 7th Annual Pittsburgh Solar Tour Oct. 14

PennFuture will mark October as Energy Awareness Month with its 7th Annual Pittsburgh Solar Tour on October 14, featuring residents and business owners who have made the switch to clean energy.

* CEOs For Sustainability Launch Speakers Series To Educate, Inform Western PA Business Leaders Oct. 25

Recognizing the executive’s critical role in driving transformational sustainability strategies, CEOs For Sustainability, an executive council of CEOs from throughout the Pittsburgh region, are hosting a morning program: “How C-Suites are Responding to Increasing Stakeholder Demand” on October 25 at the Energy Innovation Center, 1435 Bedford Avenue in Pittsburgh from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.

* PA’s Harvey Mine Team Places Second In 2017 National Coal Mine Rescue Contest

The “Harvey Grey Team” from Consol’s Harvey longwall coal mine in Sycamore, in Greene County wins second place in the 2017 National Coal Mine Rescue Contest hosted by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration.

* DCNR Kicks Off Driving Toward Sustainability Tour At New Buchanan State Forest HQ In Fulton County

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn today joined State Forester Dan Devlin and other officials in marking the opening of the new Buchanan State Forest headquarters in Fulton County.

* New Solar Array At Caledonia State Park Saves Money, Reduces Carbon Footprint

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Friday joined state park and other DCNR officials in a visit to a solar array recently installed at Caledonia State Park in Franklin County.

* DCNR Names Weiser State Forest HQ After Fmr Sen. Edward Helfrick In Columbia County

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Tuesday joined State Forester Dan Devlin and other officials in marking the opening of the new Weiser State Forest headquarters in Columbia County.

* Latest Fall Foliage Report Now Available From DCNR, Many Areas At Peak

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Thursday issued its fourth Fall Foliage Report showing the next week will see fall foliage in many areas of the state at its peak.

* Wild Excellence Films: WQED Pittsburgh To Show Cook Forest Film Oct. 14

Wild Excellence Films Monday announced their film-- Cathedral: The Fight to Save the Ancient Hemlocks of Cook Forest-- will play on WQED Pittsburgh’s Filmmakers Corner program on October 14 at 10 p.m.

* PA Horticultural Society Selected As Partner For TD Trees Days To Plant Trees In Philadelphia Oct. 20

TD Bank has selected the PA Horticultural Society to participate in TD Tree Days, a community-based program that expands urban forests and green spaces in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods.

* Allegheny Land Trust: First PA Master Naturalist Program Coming To Southwest PA

The Allegheny Land Trust Wednesday announced the Pennsylvania Master Naturalist Program is coming to Southwest Pennsylvania for the first time.

* Creative Makers Of The PA Wilds Traveling Art Show Opens Nov. 3 at Winkler Gallery In DuBois

the “Creative Makers of the Pennsylvania Wilds – A Traveling Art Show,” from 6 to 9 p.m. on November 3 at the Winkler Gallery of Fine Art, 36 N. Brady St., DuBois, Clearfield County.

* Game Commission: Lead Poisoning In PA Bald Eagles On The Rise

An increasing number of bald eagles have been admitted to wildlife-rehabilitation centers across Pennsylvania exhibiting signs of illness such as weakness, lethargy, emaciation, labored respiration and drooping wings.

* Jim Lanning, Spring Creek Trout Unlimited Centre County, Wins National Honors

The Spring Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited in Centre County Friday announced Jim Lanning, Chair of their Veterans Service Program, was awarded  the National Trout Unlimited 2017 Distinguished Service Award – Veterans Service Program at the Trout Unlimited Annual Meeting held in Roanoke, VA in September.

* 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 - October 14, 2017

* CLICK HERE To View Or Print Entire PA Environment Digest

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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:

* 2018 Keystone Coldwater Conference Feb. 23-24 - Sponsorships Available

2018 Keystone Coldwater Conference February 23-24 in State College.  Join PA Environment Digest in sponsoring this worthwhile Conference.

* 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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