Scrapbook Photo 03/19/23 - 74 New Stories - REAL Environmental & Conservation Leadership In PA:
Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
April 26, 2021 Issue #878
* 27 New Stories - REAL Environmental & Conservation Leadership In PA

There are 27 new stories in this week’s PA Environment Digest -- actually a lot more-- that show leadership from a variety of citizens to cleanup abandoned mines, wildlife groups doing stream restorations, business supporting anti-litter efforts and reporting on their sustainability initiatives, schools at all levels being recognized for their environmental initiatives, energy company support for wildlife initiatives, a synagogue dedicating its solar energy array, a family permanently preserving their land and more.

* Earth Day 2021: Celebrating Our Constitutional Right To A Clean Environment In Pennsylvania

By Patrick McDonnell, DEP Secretary

* Now On Sale! New Book By Franklin Kury Makes The Case For A Constitutional Right To A Healthy Environment

More than 50 years ago, Franklin L. Kury, newly elected to Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives, drafted and championed an Environmental Rights Amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution.

* First Lady Frances Wolf Recognizes Earth Day In Virtual Celebration Honoring 50th Anniversary Of PA Green Amendment

On April 22, First Lady Frances Wolf led Pennsylvania agencies and commissions in a virtual celebration of Earth Day 2021 for middle and high school students, hosted by the Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence.

* In Memoriam: Louise Dunlap A Leading Force Behind Coal Mine Reclamation, Regulation

We are very sad to report Lancaster County native Louise Dunlap passed away on April 15.  She was a major force behind the 1977 enactment of the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act and worked in that field with groups all across Pennsylvania and the United States on mine reclamation issues for many years.

* South Fayette Conservation Group, DEP To Dedicate Gladden Acid Mine Drainage Treatment Plant In Allegheny County; Federal AML Funding To Expire

On April 27, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell will joineproject partners and stakeholders for a dedication ceremony of the South Fayette Conservation Group’s Gladden acid mine drainage (AMD) treatment plant.

* Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Trout Unlimited: Preserving PA Streams - Jose DeJesus & Holly Sheisley & Nate Fronk

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Trout Unlimited have released two more videos in their series on conservation projects that benefit hunters and anglers powered by the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund.

* DCNR, Fish & Boat Commission Highlight Stream Buffers For Role In Protecting Water Quality At Planting In Juniata County

On April 20, to help mark Earth Week, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and Fish and Boat Commission Executive Director Tim Schaeffer joined partners to plant a streamside forest buffer at the Walker Access in Mifflintown to improve the water quality of the Juniata River, and eventually the Chesapeake Bay.

* Reist Family Partners With Lancaster Conservancy To Protect 270 Acres In Susquehanna Riverlands, York County

The Reist Family partnered with the Lancaster Conservancy to permanently protect 270 acres of forested land in Chanceford Township, York County within the Susquehanna Riverlands Conservation Landscape.

* Green Stormwater Infrastructure Partners Announce Winners Of 5th Annual Green Stormwater Infrastructure Awards In SE PA

On April 23, the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia and the Green Stormwater infrastructure Partners announced the winners of the 5th Annual Excellence in GSI Awards.

* University Of Pennsylvania, University Of Pittsburgh Student-Led Projects Win EPA Campus RainWorks Challenge

On April 19, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the winners of its ninth annual Campus RainWorks Challenge, a national competition that engages college students in the design of on-campus green infrastructure solutions to address stormwater pollution.

* PennVEST Announces Investment Of $117 Million For 25 Water Infrastructure Projects In 19 Counties; Approves PFAS Funding Program

On April 21, the PA Infrastructure Investment Authority announced the investment of $117 million for 25 drinking water, wastewater, and nonpoint source projects benefiting 19 counties.

* PennVEST Now Accepting Applications To Fund Public Water Supply PFAS Remediation Systems

On April 22, the PA Infrastructure Investment Authority announced it is accepting applications for funding PFAS treatment and remediation systems for public water supplies.  The deadline for applications is May 3.

* Commonwealth Financing Authority Announces $15+ Million In Act 13 Funding For 135 Environmental, Water Infrastructure Projects

On April 21, the Commonwealth Financing Authority announced the investment of more than $15 million in 135 environmental and water infrastructure projects in 38 counties funded by Act 13 drilling impact fees.

* Gov. Wolf, Chesapeake Conservancy & Partners Announce Initiative To Restore 30 Agriculturally Impaired Streams By 2030; Recognized Champions Of Chesapeake

On April 22, Gov. Tom Wolf marked Earth Day by joining the Chesapeake Conservancy to announce a new collaborative environmental initiative for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to restore the health of 30 agriculturally-impaired streams by 2030

* Gov. Wolf Announces Multimodal Transportation Project Funding, Including 13 Trail, Bike, Walking Path Projects

On April 21, Gov. Tom Wolf announced the approval of 116 new projects through the Multimodal Transportation Fund, improving Pennsylvania’s transportation infrastructure and ensuring safer, more reliable transportation accommodation across the commonwealth. The projects total more than $48 million in funding.

* Gov. Wolf Announces $459,823 In Grants To Support Local Environmental Education Projects Across The State

On April 22, Gov. Tom Wolf announced $459,823 in Environmental Education Grants to 51 projects addressing environmental justice, climate change, and water quality.

* DEP Teaching Green: 4 PA Schools Receive National, State Green Ribbon Schools Recognition

On April 22, the U.S. Department of Education recognized 40 educational institutions nationwide as 2021 Green Ribbon Schools, District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees, according to DEP's Teaching Green newsletter.

* PA Organization For Watersheds & Rivers Announces Sojourn Grant Awards; Sojourn Schedule

On April 22, the PA Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 Pennsylvania River Sojourn Grants.

* PA Parks & Forests Foundation Invites All Pennsylvanians To Celebrate Joseph T. Rothrock Week April 24-30

The PA Parks and Forests Foundation invites all Pennsylvanians to celebrate the accomplishments of Joseph Rothrock, the Father of Pennsylvania Forestry, during Joseph T. Rothrock Week from April 24-30..

* The GIANT Company, Keep PA Beautiful Partner On Healing The Planet Grants, Applications Accepted Starting June 1

In celebration of Earth Day and its commitment to healing the planet, The GIANT Company announced a new $250,000 grant program designed to support projects that build on environmental stewardship by connecting families with community green spaces.

* Weis Markets Issues Sustainability Report Showing 27.4% Reduction In Carbon Emissions, Reducing Food Waste Going To Landfills, Refrigerant Use

On April 23, Sunbury-based Weis Markets announced its continued progress toward reducing the company's overall environmental impact last year, exceeding its goal of a 20 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

* Congregation Beth Shalom In Pittsburgh Held April 22 'Flip The Switch' On Solar Energy Initiative Celebration

On April 22-- Earth Day-- Congregation Beth Shalom and Pittsburgh Community leaders come together to celebrate and “Flip the Switch” on the Congregation Beth Shalom Solar Initiative.

* The Hershey Company Announces New Renewable Energy Agreements Aligned With 2030 Goal To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions By More Than 50%

On April 20, The Hershey Company announced two new clean energy partnerships to develop solar projects in the U.S. as it moves its operations toward the use of clean and renewable energy.

* Allegheny College Calls On Higher Education Community To Accelerate Climate Action, Address Intertwined Social, Economic Issues

On April 19, Allegheny College in Crawford County called on higher education institutions in the U.S. to accelerate climate action by tackling intertwined issues of climate, social and economic inequality and public health.

* DEP Works Thru Pandemic: 953 More Permits, 1,907 More Inspections Since Last Week

From March 16, 2020 to April 20, 2021 Department of Environmental Protection employees have been teleworking and using COVID-19 mitigation measures to continue to fulfill its mission.  DEP staff have--

* Chester County District Attorney Files Civil Complaint Against Sunoco/Energy Transfer On Mariner East Pipeline To Address Environmental Violations

On April 22, the Chester County District Attorney’s Office filed a civil complaint on behalf of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania against Energy Transfer LP, and its subsidiaries Energy Transfer Operating LP, Sunoco Partners Operations LP, and Sunoco Pipeline LP.

* 2 Eggs Hatch At The Rachel Carson Building Peregrine Falcon Nest In Harrisburg!

Are you watching?  One Peregrine Falcon is out of its egg and another is trying to make an appearance in the Peregrine Falcon nest on the Rachel Carson Building in Harrisburg.  There are a total of four eggs in the nest.

* PA Capitol & COVID Weekly Report: Senate R Rejection; House Rs Move To Help Business; Last Election Challenge

[ Because In Politics Everything Is Connected To Everything Else ] Senate Republicans last week pulled the trigger on a major weapon.  On April 21, they wrote a letter to Gov. Wolf to advise him they will reject all future nominees to the Public Utility Commission until he withdraws his executive order joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to reduce carbon pollution from power plants.  Read more here.

* Senate/House Bills Moving Last Week

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

* Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule [Updated]/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 Committee Meets April 27 To Consider Bills To Kill Regulations By Doing Nothing, Repeal Regs Because They Have Too Many Words, Shield Law Breakers, And More

The Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee is scheduled to meet on April 27 on a veritable smorgasbord of bad ideas to allow the General Assembly to kill regulations by doing nothing, repeal regulations because they have too many words, shield law breakers from enforcement actions, end public participation in rulemaking and more.

* House Republican Introduces ‘You’re On Your Own’ Emergency Declaration Bill

On April 20, Rep. Dawn Keefer (R-York) introduced House Bill 1225-- the “You’re On Your Own” emergency declaration bill that prevents state, county and local governments and officials from taking these actions under a disaster declaration by a governor--

* Republicans On House Committee OK Bills Killing Regulations By Doing Nothing; Shielding Law Violators; Mandating Private Review Of DEP Permit Applications

On April 20, the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee approved legislation by party-line vote-- Republicans supporting-- to allow the General Assembly to kill final regulations by doing nothing, provide a shield to law violators and mandating private review of DEP permit applications.

* Republicans On House Committee OK Bill Setting Up Office Of The Repealer To Recommend Repeal Of Existing Regulations

On April 20, the House State Government Committee approved legislation by party-line vote-- Republicans supporting-- to set up the Office of the Repealer to recommend repeal of regulations that defy a common sense approach to government and another bill to repeal existing regulations by resolution rather than law.

* House Committee Reports Out Bill Authorizing Local Solar Energy Subscriber Programs By Utilities

On April 19, the House Consumer Affairs Committee voted to amend and report out House Bill 1161 (Mizgorski-R-Allegheny) authorizing the establishment of a local solar energy subscriber programs by utilities, the former House Bill 1970 from last session. 

* Senate Republicans To Gov. Wolf: We Will Reject Any Nominees To PUC Until You Withdraw Your Executive Order Joining RGGI Carbon Pollution Reduction Program For Power Plants

On April 21, Senate Republicans wrote a letter to Gov. Wolf to advise him they will reject all future nominees to the Public Utility Commission until he withdraws his executive order joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to reduce carbon pollution from power plants.

* PA Senate, House Lawmakers Announce 2021-22 Legislative Coal Caucus To Support Coal Mining Industry

On April 20, Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) and Sen. John Yudichak (I-Luzerne) along with Rep. Tommy Sankey (R-Clearfield) and Rep. Pam Snyder (D-Greene) announced they will serve as Co-Chair’s for the Legislative Coal Caucus during the 2021-2022 Session.

* U.S. Dept. Of Energy Announces $109 Million To Support Jobs, Economic Growth In Coal & Power Plant Communities

On April 23, in connection with a White House report on economic revitalization in coal and power plant communities, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $109.5 million in funding for projects that directly support job creation in communities impacted by changes in the energy economy—the first results of a government-wide initiative launched by President Biden in the first week of his administration to boost the economic potential of coal and power plant communities.

* Appalachian Voices, EPCAMR, Other Partners: RECLAIM Act Mine Reclamation Town Hall April 28

Appalachian Voices, the Eastern PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation and other partners will host an April 28 Town Hall meeting on the proposed RECLAIM Act, a bipartisan initiative to free more federal Abandoned Mine Reclamation funding to reclaim abandoned mine lands.

* U.S. Secretary Of State Blinken Delivered Climate Speech From Chesapeake Bay Foundation Headquarters

On April 19, Chesapeake Bay Foundation President Will Baker welcomed U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to CBF’s headquarters in Annapolis.  In a speech, Sec. Blinken announced stronger U.S. efforts to mitigate climate change.

* NRCS-PA Seeks Proposals For Innovative Approaches To Conservation On Agricultural Lands

On April 22, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service-PA is seeking proposals through June 21 for On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials (On-Farm Trials).

* Game, Fish & Boat Commissions Push For Dedicated Federal Fish And Wildlife Conservation Funding

On April 22-- Earth Day, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act was introduced in Congress that could rank among the most meaningful initiatives for fish and wildlife in history, the Game Commission and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission announced.

* DEP Provides March/April Update On PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan Progress

The latest Healthy Waters newsletter from DEP provides the latest update on local and state initiatives to implement the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan featuring articles on--

* Spring Creek Watershed Group Creates Watershed Atlas To Educate The Public In Centre County

By Bryan Swistock, Penn State Extension Water Resources Coordinator

* Penn State Extension Water Team Goes Live On Facebook (And On Demand)

By Danielle Rhea, Extension Educator

* DEP Invites Comments On Total Maximum Daily Load Plan For Brush Valley Creek In Northumberland County Covering Sediment Pollution

The Department of Environmental Protection invites comments on a Total Maximum Daily Load Plan for the Susquehanna River-Brush Valley Creek in Northumberland County covering sediment pollution. (PA Bulletin, page 2355)

* Penn State Extension: Total Maximum Daily Loading Plan - A Watershed Stewardship Opportunity

By Scott A Sjolander, Associate Educator in Renewable Natural Resources and Kinorea Tigri, Master Gardener Coordinator

* Penn State Extension Water Team Invites You For Stormwater BMP Walk In Cumberland, Westmoreland Counties

Join an educator from the Penn State Extension Renewable Natural Resources Water Team for a Stormwater BMP Walk around several best management practices (BMPs) designed to manage stormwater from single-family homes and medium-sized commercial or institutional buildings.

* Learn How To Certify Your Property As Watershed-Friendly

Penn State Extension is now offering an on-demand webinar on how to manage your property to be included in the Watershed-Friendly Property Certification Program.

* PA Lake Management Society Accepting Applications For Lake, Reservoir Water Quality Improvement Mini Grants

The PA Lake Management Society is now accepting applications for Lake and Reservoir Water Quality Improvement Mini Grants.  The deadline for applications is June 30.

* Stroud Water Research Center To Study PFAS Contamination In Biosolids Used As Soil Amendments

By Diana Oviedo-Vargas, Ph.D., Stroud Water Research Center

* Citizen Science Opportunity: Penn State Looking For 60 Volunteers For Endocrine Disrupter Study In Susquehanna River Watershed

The Penn State Center for Contaminants of Emerging Concern is looking for 60 citizen scientists to participate in a study focused on identifying personal care products in water samples collected throughout the Susquehanna River Basin.

* Penn State Extension: Take A Walk With A Master Watershed Steward And Learn About Your Watershed

Master Watershed Stewards all over Pennsylvania will be hosting Watershed Walks starting May 1 to help everyone learn more about the watershed landscape you live in.

* Chesapeake Bay Commission, Chesapeake Legal Alliance Host May 19 Webinar On How Structure Of State Governments Influences Chesapeake Bay Policy Making

The Chesapeake Bay Commission and the Chesapeake Legal Alliance will host a May 19 webinar on Embracing Our Differences - How the Structures of our State Governments Influence Policy Making starting at 1:00 p.m.

* Berks County Conservation District Receives Urban Agriculture Conservation Grant

On April 19, the Berks County Conservation District announced it was awarded an urban agriculture conservation grant through a partnership with the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to boost technical capacity nationwide.

* PA Organization For Watersheds & Rivers Hosts May 6 Webinar On DEP’s Local Climate Action Program

On May 6, the PA Organization for Watersheds and Rivers will host a webinar in DEP’s Local Climate Action Plan from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

* PA Resources Council Hard-To-Recycle Collection Events Start May 22 In Allegheny County

The PA Resources Council will launch its 2021 schedule of Hard-To-Recycle Collection Events in Allegheny County at the Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills, Frazer Township, on May 22, from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 

* May Schedule Of Traveling Glass Recycling Bin Locations Announced By PA Resources Council For Allegheny County

On April 23, the PA Resources Council and its partners will host the Traveling Glass Recycling Bin Program at three locations in Allegheny County in May.

* PA Resources Council Sets May Schedule Of Online Composting, Rain Barrel, Recycling Workshops

The PA Resources Council's May schedule of online conservation workshops on backyard composting, rain barrel and recycling.

* Sen. Yaw Encourages Participation In National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, encouraged Pennsylvanians to participate in the 20th Semi-Annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration, on April 24.

* CFA OKs $4.4 Million In Grants For 5 Natural Gas Service Pipeline Projects

On April 21, the Commonwealth Financing Authority approved over $4.4 million in grants to extend natural gas service to projects in five counties under the Pipeline Investment Program.

* Registration Now Open For Penn State Energy Days To Be Held Virtually May 19 & 20

By Penn State News

* SEEDS Sustainable Energy Education & Development Support In NE PA: Fundraising Auction May 1; New Farm To Table Podcast Series

The SEEDS Sustainable Energy Education & Development Support In Northeast PA will host a May 1 Raise-the-Rent fundraiser auction virtually on the BiddingOwl platform.

* FirstEnergy Partners With Wildlife For Everyone Foundation To Plant 300 Trees In Soaring Eagle Wetland, Centre County

As part of an initiative to celebrate Arbor and Earth Days this April, FirstEnergy‘s Green Team is partnering with nonprofits to plant 10,000 trees on their properties on April 30.

* Independent Conservancy Hosts Wildflower Walk At Rocky Bend Nature Preserve In Beaver County April 25

Independence Conservancy will hold a family-friendly wildflower walk at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 25 at Rocky Bend Nature Preserve, 247 Raccoon Creek Road, Potter Township, Monaca, Beaver County.

* Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Native Plant Sale Set For May 15-16

The Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Berks County will hold its annual Native Plant Sale May 15 and 16 featuring over 100 species of Pennsylvania native wildflowers, perennials, vines, grasses, ferns, shrubs, and trees.

* Pike Conservation District, Lackawaxen River Conservancy Hosts May 11 Japanese Knotweed Control Webinar

On May 11, the Pike County Conservation District and the Lackawaxen River Conservancy will hold a webinar on the control of the invasive Japanese Knotweed from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.

* WeConservePA: Urban Trail Workshops June 11 & 12 In Pittsburgh And Virtual

WeConservePA is hosting Urban Trails Workshops on June 11 and 12 in Pittsburgh and in virtual format

* Dept. Of Health WalkWorks Program Adds Partners To Develop New Walking Routes Across PA

On April 22, Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam announced the WalkWorks Program, a collaboration between the Department of Health and Pennsylvania Downtown Center, is continuing to grow by adding three new partners and locations to its network of 103 walking routes across Pennsylvania.

* April 23 Take Five Fridays With Pam, PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The April 23 Take Five Fridays With Pam is now available from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation featuring articles on--

* Penn State Extension: Circle Traps Work To Destroy Spotted Lanternflies

By Amy Duke, Penn State News

* Delaware Highlands Conservancy 2020 Annual Report Now Available

The Delaware Highlands Conservancy just released its 2020 Annual Report featuring important accomplishments during the challenges of the pandemic.

* Intern Wanted: PA/NJ Chapter American Chestnut Foundation Outreach & Traveling Data Analysis

The PA/NJ Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation is seeking qualified candidates to fill the position of Outreach and Traveling Data Analysis Intern for its program to increase the genetic diversity of the American Chestnut.

* Help Wanted: Berks Conservation District Urban Resource Conservationist

The Berks County Conservation District is looking for qualified applicants to fill the Urban Resource Conservationist position, this is a full-time, permanent position with benefits.

* Environment & Energy NewsClips

Click Here: Week’s Worth Of PA Environment & Energy NewsClips

* Public Participation Opportunities/Calendar Of Events

Click Here for a list of public participation opportunities and a calendar of events.

* Grants & Awards

Click Here for grants, awards, recognition programs and contest deadlines.

* Regulations, Technical Guidance & Permits

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

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* Supporting Member PA Organization For Watersheds & Rivers; PA Outdoor Writers Assn.; PA Trout Unlimited

PA Environment Digest is a supporting member of the PA Organization for Watersheds & Rivers, PA Outdoor Writers Association, PA Council Trout Unlimited and the Doc Fritchey Chapter Trout Unlimited.

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