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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
January 14, 2019 Issue #759
* DEP Changes Regional Boundaries, Shifts Workload, Provides Update On e-Permitting, e-Inspections To Improve Permit Review Times, Reduce Costs

On January 10, the Department of Environmental Protection announced a change in its regional office boundaries, the opening of a new office to handle multi-county projects and provided an update of ongoing e-permitting and e-inspection initiatives designed to improve permit review times and reduce costs.

* UPDATED: PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Planning Steering Committee Meets Jan. 16

The PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Planning Steering Committee is scheduled to meet on January 16 to hear updates from two of the counties involved in the County Clean Water Planning Pilot Project and a presentation from the Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center on more Farm Survey results.

* Agriculture, DEP Launch Public-Private High Performance Farms Initiative For Health, Environmental, Economic Benefits In Chesapeake Bay Watershed

On January 11, Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell joined six public and private partners in launching the High Performance Farms Initiative to help increase environmental sustainability, economic benefits, public health, and soil and water quality by promoting innovative farming practices in Pennsylvania’s part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

* Harvest Home Farms In Northampton County Receives Sand County Foundation Pennsylvania Leopold Conservation Award

On January 11, the Sand County Foundation announced the DiFebo family’s Harvest Home Farms of Northampton County has been selected as the first recipient of the 2018 Pennsylvania Leopold Conservation Award®.

* Register Now! 2019 PA In The Balance Conference On Farm Conservation Feb. 6-8 Hershey; Early Bird Rates End Jan. 26

The Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center and many partners invite you to attend the Pennsylvania in the Balance Conference 2019 at the Hershey Lodge February 6-8 where your ideas can help shape agriculture’s role in the Phase 3 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan.

* DEP Awards 14 New Grants In 12 Counties For Water Quality Improvement This Week; Over $11.6 Million In Growing Greener Grants Announced So Far

Since December 21, the Department of Environmental Protection has announced a total of $11,652,697 in Growing Greener grants for watershed restoration, mine drainage treatment, flood damage reduction and water quality improvement projects in Beaver, Bradford, Cambria, Centre, Clarion, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Lancaster, Lehigh, Lycoming, Luzerne, McKean, Montgomery, Northumberland, Philadelphia, Schuylkill, Venango, Washington, Wyoming and York counties.

* DEP Awards Grants To Help Train Volunteer Master Watershed Stewards, Students In Farm Conservation Practices

On January 10, the Department of Environmental Protection announced the award of 2 grants to Penn State University totaling $181,038 to help train volunteer Master Watershed Stewards and support internships for students on farm conservation practices.

* Chesapeake Bay Foundation: 2018 Bay Health Score Drops; EPA Must Hold PA Accountable To Achieve Pollution Reduction Milestones

On January 7, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation announced the biennial State of the Bay Report score decreased one point this year to 33, equivalent to a  D+. The drop was largely due to increased pollution and poor water clarity caused by record regional rainfall.

* Bay Journal: Scientists Waiting To See If Record 2018 Rainfall Dampens Chesapeake Bay Recovery

By Karl Blankenship, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* Bay Journal Op-Ed: 2019 Conservation Commitment Tied To Memories, Plans For Future

By Kate Fritz, Executive Director Alliance For The Chesapeake Bay

* Rep. Greg Vitali Named Democratic Chair Of House Environmental Committee

On January 7, House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny) named Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware) as the Democratic Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.

* Senate Republicans, Democrats Make Few Changes In Environmental, Energy Committee Chairs

On January 7, Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) announced Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) will again serve as Republican Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee in the new session.

* Foundation For PA Watersheds Study Documents 150%+ Return On Investment For Cleaning Up Little Conemaugh River

The Foundation For Pennsylvania Watersheds recently released an economic study that documented a 150 percent return on investment  for funding a major project designed to treat mine drainage polluting nearly 30 miles of the Little Conemaugh River in Cambria County.

* Gov. Wolf Sets Goal Of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions By 80% By 2050 From 2005 Levels

On January 8, Gov. Tom Wolf announced he has signed a new executive order setting a statewide goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2025 and 80 percent by 2050 from 2005 levels.  These are the same reduction levels in the 2015 U.N. Paris Climate Agreement.

* Peoples Gas Commits To Reducing Methane Emissions By 50% In its Pittsburgh Distribution System

On January 8, Peoples Gas announced it is committing to cut methane emissions from its Pittsburgh distribution system by 50 percent using advanced leak detection methods developed in partnership with Environmental Defense Fund and Google Earth Outreach to map and measure leaks coming from underground pipes.

* Gov. Wolf Lists Environmental, Energy Accomplishments In First Term

On January 8, Gov. Tom Wolf pledged to continue to make Pennsylvania an environmental leader in his second term.  He went on to list what he said were his environmental and energy accomplishments during his first term.

* Dept. Of Conservation & Natural Resources Highlights 2018 Accomplishments

In the January 9 Resource newsletter, DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn outlined her agency's accomplishments in 2018 in a special message from the Secretary--

* Study: Recreational Visits To State Forest System Alone Generate Over $720 Million Annually For PA Economy

A new Penn State University study released by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania estimates recreational visits to DCNR’s State Forest system contributes an estimated $721.4 million annually to the state’s economy and supports 5,100 jobs.

* KPB: Over 13,000 Volunteers Collected 523,855 Pounds Of Trash During 2018 International Coastal Cleanup Of PA

On January 9, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful announced 13,297 volunteers worked in their communities to remove 523,855 pounds of trash and tires from Pennsylvania streams and watersheds during the 2018 International Coastal Cleanup.

* Keep PA Beautiful: Sign Ups Start Jan. 15 For Great American Cleanup Of PA

On January 11, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful announced groups can start registering their local cleanup events as part of the 2019 Great American Cleanup of PA on January 15.  The event runs from March 1 to May 31.

* Celebrating Women In Conservation Awards Program Now Accepting Nominations

PennFuture is now accepting nominations for the 5th Annual Celebrating Women In Conservation Awards.  The deadline for nominations is February 22.

* PEC, Dominion Energy Accepting Nominations For Western PA Environmental Awards

On January 9, Dominion Energy and the PA Environmental Council announced applications are now being accepted for the 2019 Western Pennsylvania Environmental Awards for excellence in advancing the environmental quality of Western Pennsylvania.

* PA Lake Management Society Accepting Nominations For Annual Awards

On January 10, the PA Lake Management Society announced it is now accepting nominations for its Annual Awards Program.  The deadline for nominations is February 15.

* In Memoriam: Sen. Ted Erickson, Environmental, Community Leader From Delaware County

The PA Environmental Council published this remembrance of Sen. Ted Erickson (R-Delaware) who passed away on January 8 at the age of 80.

* Senate/House Co-Memos/Session Schedule/Gov’s Schedule/ Bills Introduced

This section includes a lot of the nitty-gritty legislative stuff you need to  keep track of environmental legislation and legislative schedules.

* Op-Ed: Game, Fish & Boat Commissions Have Earned The Right To Set Their Own Fees

Rep. Keith Gillespie, Majority Chair, House Game and Fisheries Committee

* Citizens Advisory Council To Hear Update On DEP Oil & Gas Regulatory Program Jan. 22

The DEP Citizens Advisory Council is scheduled to meet on January 22 to hear a presentation on DEP’s Oil and Gas Management Program by Scott Perry, Deputy Secretary for Oil and Gas Management.

* Schuylkill River Restoration Fund Now Accepting Water Quality Improvement, Land Transaction Grant Applications

The Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area is now accepting applications for Schuylkill River Restoration Fund Grants to support local Water Quality Improvement Projects and Land Transaction grants. 

* Berks County Master Watershed Stewards Volunteer Information Meetings Jan. 14, 28, Feb. 11 In Leesport

Individuals interested in joining Penn State Extension’s Master Watershed Steward Program in Berks County can attend one of three upcoming information meetings on January 14, 28 or February 11 starting at 6:00 at the Berks County Ag Center auditorium, 1238 County Welfare Road in Leesport.

* Water Resources Advisory Committee Meets On Chapt. 102 ePermitting, Alternative To TMDLs, Small Project Permit, Floodplain Restoration Jan. 24

DEP’s Water Resources Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet on January 24 to discuss a variety of issues, including--

* Schuylkill Conservation District: 44th Sweet Arrow Lake Seedling Sale Now Underway

The Schuylkill County Conservation District and the Sweet Arrow Lake Conservation Association are now accepting orders for the 44th Annual Seedling Sale.

* PEC Save The Date: May 4 Moshannon State Forest Tree Planting In Clearfield County

The PA Environmental Council and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will celebrate Earth Month by hosting a tree planting event in Moshannon State Forest starting in Penfield, Clearfield County from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

* WHYY Airs First Of 8 Stories From The Streams Starting January 7

In a thought-provoking and informative series from WHYY TV12, viewers can see how a team of scientists, educators, and private citizens are working every day to maintain the quality of the water that sustains 15 million people living in the Delaware River Watershed.

* Registration Now Open For PA Lake Management Society Conference March 6-7

Registration is now open for the PA Lake Management Society 2019 Annual Conference to be held March 6-7 at the Ramada Conference Center in State College, Centre County.

* PA American Water Works Assn. Now Accepting Registrations For Annual Conference, Deadline Extended For Presentation Proposals

The PA-American Water Works Association is now accepting registrations for its 71st Annual Conference to be held April 16-18 at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center in Hershey.

* AG Shapiro: PA To Receive $8.4 Million Settlement For Fiat Chrysler, Auto Supplier Robert Bosch Emissions Test Cheating

On January 11, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Fiat Chrysler and auto supplier Robert Bosch have agreed to pay $8,415,879 total to Pennsylvania, and more than $171 million to 52 jurisdictions nationwide, for selling or leasing vehicles that allegedly contained illegal defeat devices which allow vehicles to pass emissions inspections without actually being compliant.

* EHB: Air Quality Permit For Natural Gas Liquids Project At Marcus Hook Refinery Unlawful

On January 9, the Environmental Hearing Board issued a decision rejecting one of the air quality permits for the natural gas liquids project at the Sunoco Partners Marketing & Terminals, L.P. facility in Delaware County in a case brought by the Clean Air Council.

* DEP Posts Formal Notices Of Permits Issued To Shell Ethane Pipeline

The Department of Environmental Protection posted the formal notices that it has issued water quality permits for the Shell Ethane Pipeline in Allegheny, Beaver and Washington counties in the January 12 PA Bulletin (page 256).

* Delaware Riverkeeper Appeals Denial Of Challenge To DEP Water Quality Certification For Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline To U.S. Supreme Court

On January 9 the Delaware Riverkeeper Network appealed a federal court denial of a challenge to DEP's Water Quality Certification for the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline to the U.S. Supreme Court.

* DCNR Leases Youghiogheny River Streambed Crossing To Chevron For $975,600 In Allegheny, Westmoreland Counties

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has executed a lease with Chevron Appalachia, LLC for a Youghiogheny River streambed crossing in South Versailles and Elizabeth townships in Allegheny County and Sewickley Township in Westmoreland County for $975,600.

* Covanta Begins Construction Of Ash Processing System In Fairless Hills, Bucks County

On January 7, Covanta announced it has started construction of its first Total Ash Processing System (TAPS) in Fairless Hill, Bucks County adjacent to Covanta's existing metals processing facility.

* Agriculture Announces Winners Of Student Spotted Lanternfly Calendar Contest

On January 8, a drawing of the Spotted Lanternfly titled “Lousy Lanternflies” by Bella Santos, an eighth-grader at Governor Mifflin Middle School in Berks County, has been named the grand prize winner of the Spotted Lanternfly Calendar Contest organized by the Department of Agriculture.

* Brandywine Conservancy Receives $1.5 Million Grant To Preserve 569 Acres In Chester, Lancaster Counties

On January 9, the Brandywine Conservancy announced it has been awarded a $1.5 million grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to be used towards the acquisition of a 569-acre natural area along the Octoraro Creek in Lower Oxford and West Nottingham Townships, Chester County.

* DCNR: New Wild Plant Regulations Now In Place In PA; What You Can Do To Help Native Plants, Pollinators

On January 9, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced new regulations that apply to the conservation of native wild plants in Pennsylvania are now final.  (Dec. 22 PA Bulletin, page 7757)

* Pocono Arts Council Accepting Entries For The Earth Speaks V: A Juried Exhibition On The Environmental Crisis

The Pocono Arts Council, along with several local partners, will host “The Earth Speaks V: A Juried Exhibition on the Environmental Crisis,” in Spring 2019 at the Dunning Art Gallery, Northampton Community College Monroe Campus, Tannersville.

* Meet Aneca Atkinson Serving As Acting DEP Deputy For Water Programs

The Department of Environmental Protection named Aneca Atkinson as Acting Deputy Secretary for Water Program to replace Tim Schaeffer who moved to the Fish and Boat Commission as Executive Director.

* Introductory Message From New Fish & Boat Commission Executive Director Tim Schaeffer: It's Great To Be Back!

Timothy D. Schaeffer, the new Executive Director of the Fish and Boat Commission, penned this introductory message that appeared in the January/February Pennsylvania Angler & Boater magazine, along with a great photo of his 2 sons Erik and Kurt enjoying the water--

* Game Commission To Recruit New Game Warden Class

On January 8, the Game Commission announced it is recruiting the 32nd class of State Game Warden Cadets at its Ross Leffler School of Conservation in Harrisburg.

* Interns Wanted: Department Of Environmental Protection Looking For Summer Interns

The Department of Environmental Protection is looking for summer interns. College students with science, engineering, biology, communications, other backgrounds are needed. Apply now!   Deadline March 1. Click Here for all the details and positions available.

* Help Wanted: PA Federation Of Sportsmen & Conservationists Executive Director

The PA Federation of Sportsmen and Conservationists is seeking qualified candidates for the full-time position of Executive Director.

* Help Wanted: Landforce Work Readiness Manager In Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh-based Landforce is seeking qualified candidates for a Work Readiness Manager to work closely with Landforce crew members to assess current career skills, interests, and aptitudes and assist them to set career path goals including  training or employment.

* 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.

* 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.

* Regulations, Technical Guidance & Permits

Here are highlights of actions taken by agencies on environmental regulations, technical guidance and permits.

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* Sponsor: 2019 PA/National Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference

PA Environment Digest is proud to be a sponsor of the 2019 PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation and National Abandoned Mine Lands Program Conference to be held in Pittsburgh on September 8-11.

* 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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