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June 26, 2006
(6/23/2006)
PDF Version - PA Environment Digest 6/26/06
* * * * Due to Extended Legislative Session, Next Week’s Digest May Be Late * * *
Just a little heads up that next week’s PA Environment Digest may be later than usual because the Senate and House plan to be in session through Friday (or whenever the budget gets done).
* Senate Passes Bipartisan Proposal to Reduce Mercury Emissions 40 to 10
By a vote of 40 to 10, the Senate this week passed Senate Bill 1201 (MJ.White-R-Venango, Musto-D-Luzerne) that would reduce mercury emissions from power plants by 86 percent by 2018.
* On the Senate, House Agenda
Here’s what will be on the Senate and House agenda when they return to session on June 26.
* Senate/House Bills Moving/Introduced
Several environmental bills moved this week. Here’s the rundown….
* Senate Acts to Restore Some Environmental Funding Cuts, But Long Way to Go
This week the Senate took time to strip out almost all the amendments the House added to the budget bill (House Bill 2499) taking it back to its original form, essentially this year’s budget with just a few additions, but with none of the additional spending recommended by the Governor.
* House Committee Meets on Mine Families First, Oil & Gas Leases
The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee meets to consider legislation to care for families with mine workers involved in accidents and on oil and gas leases. The bills include:
* Senate Committee Sets Hearing on Tritium at Landfills, Considers Tank Bill
On June 28 the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee will hold a public hearing on levels of tritium in municipal waste landfills.
* New Member of Senate Environmental Resources Committee Named
Sen. Andrew Dinniman (D-Chester) was sworn into office this week to replace the late Sen. Robert Thompson. At the same time he was named to the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, replacing Sen. Fontanna (D-Allegheny).
* Joint Committee Survey Charts Attitudes About Litter, Roadside Beautification
A survey sponsored by the Joint Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee found 90 percent of those surveyed were bothered by the amount of litter along Pennsylvania's highways and 53 percent felt roadside beautification projects would help bring jobs to the state.
* Groups Rally to Support Santorum Bill to Restore Mine Reclamation Funding
Conservation, mining and labor groups along with officials from the Rendell Administration joined U.S. Senator Rick Santorum to announce their support for federal legislation that would restore federal funding for abandoned mine reclamation.
* DEP Says ‘Stay Out/Stay Alive’ From Abandoned Mines, Quarries
The Department of Environmental Protection this week unveiled its updated “Stay Out/Stay Alive” webpage to increase awareness about the dangers of trespassing on abandoned and active mines and quarries. 27 people have been killed in abandoned mines in 18 counties since January 2000.
* Engineering Technical Assistance Program Celebrates Five Year Anniversary
This summer is the five year anniversary of the Engineering Assistance Program operated by the PA Association of Conservation Districts that's designed to help watershed and other groups develop and implement watershed restoration plans and projects.
* Erie Agrees to Install Hydrogen Bioreactor at Wastewater Treatment Plant
The City of Erie signed an agreement this week with NanoLogix, Inc. for the construction and operation of a prototype hydrogen bioreactor at the city’s wastewater treatment plant.
* Expedition Susquehanna Hits the Water!
Team Susquehanna hit the water this week in Cooperstown, NY, launching what will become a once-in-a-life-time event for 12 Pennsylvania high school students.
* Watershed Art Contest Winners Announced By Pennsylvania American
Pennsylvania American Water announced the winners of its 5th Annual Protect Our Watersheds Art Contest for fifth-grade students across the Commonwealth this week.
* 2006 Schuylkill River Outreach Team Begins Camp Program
During the week of June 26th to June 30th, the Schuylkill Conservation District will be hosting the third annual Schuylkill River Outreach Team (SROT) summer camp program.
* New EPA WaterSense Program Saves Dollars and Makes Sense
WaterSense, a new water efficiency program launched by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will educate American consumers on making smart water choices that save money and maintain high environmental standards without compromising performance.
* Coatesville’s Charlie Root Receives EPA National Award
Charlie Root of East Fallowfield Township this week was awarded the National Remedial Project Manager Award for excellence in community involvement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
* Compost/Recycling Yard Waste-- Reduce Waste, Save Money
American homeowners spend hundreds of hours a year mowing, clipping, raking, and landscaping to keep yards healthy and our property attractive.
* Hard to Recycle Collection Event in Pittsburgh July 15
Take advantage of the July 15 collection event for hard to recycle materials at Construction Junction in Pittsburgh from 10:00 to 2:00.
* Sen. Williams Applauds DuPont Grant to Cobbs Creek Environmental Center
Corporate partners are catching the vision of the Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education Center, said state Sen. Anthony H. Williams (D-Philadelphia).
* Keith Williams, Hercules Cement, Receives R. Emmet Doherty Clean Air Award
Keith Williams, a Penn State engineering graduate, and environmental manager for the Hercules Cement Co. in Northampton County received the R. Emmet Doherty Clean Air Award in a ceremony this week.
* Valesky’s Market Earns Energy Star Award
Valesky’s Market, an independent family-owned grocery store in downtown Meadville, Crawford County, scored near the top in a federal energy audit and received an Energy Star award for reducing energy use and improving efficiency.
* Sustainable Fund Finances First “Green” Affordable Housing Development
The Sustainable Energy Fund of Central Eastern Pennsylvania has provided funding for the Commonwealth’s first “green” affordable housing development, specially designed for energy efficiency and with earth-friendly materials.
* PUC Adopts Net Metering Rule for Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards
The Public Utility Commission this week adopted net metering standards which govern how small alternative electric generators – who use technologies such as solar panels or fuel cells – connect to the electric distribution system and how they are compensated for generation they provide into the electric utility distribution system.
* PUC Hears Options to Mitigate Electric Prices Increases When Caps Come Off
The Public Utility Commission this week heard from consumer advocates, businesses, environmental groups and industry experts on actions that could mitigate potential future significant price increases in electricity prices when price caps come off.
* PUC Releases Report on Market Conditions for Pike County Light & Power
The Public Utility Commission this week released a report on its staff’s fact-finding inquiry into the competitive electric market in the Pike County Light & Power service territory.
* DCNR Survey Shows Deer Numbers Vary Widely in 460,000+ Acres of Woodlands
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources completed an aerial analysis of white-tailed deer populations that shows deer densities on surveyed lands are highly variable.
* See & Hear - Watershed Specialists Are Making a Difference
Watershed Specialists that work for county conservation districts are part expert, part organizer and part cheerleader for individuals and groups all across the state that are interested in protecting and restoring their watersheds.
* Feature - Audenreid Treatment Project Dedicated, Will Clean Up 34 Miles of Catawissa Creek
Over 150 people attended the dedication for the $2 million Audenreid Mine Tunnel Discharge Treatment Project along the Catawissa Creek in Schuylkill County last weekend.
* Quick Clips
Here’s a selection of NewsClips on environmental topics from around the state.
* Watershed NewsClips
Read a sampling of NewsClips on watershed topics from around Pennsylvania.
* Regulations
The Department of Environmental Protection this week published a Pennsylvania-only mercury emissions reduction rule for comment, a notice correcting the Water Quality Toxics Management Strategy and a notice soliciting information on two stream redesignations in Lycoming and Bucks counties. Here are the details….
* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of proposed changes to guidance documents covering bonding for land reclamation, water vending and hauling and other documents related to the water supply program as well as the availability of General Operating Permit for Natural Gas, Coal Bed Methane or Gob Gas Production or Recovery Facilities.
* Calendar of Events
Upcoming conferences, meetings, workshops, plus links to other online calendars. Meetings are in Harrisburg unless otherwise noted. Go To: PA Environment Digest Calendar Page
* Stories Invited
Send your stories about environmental issues, programs and positive actions to PA Environment Digest - DHess@crisciassociates.com or go to www.PaEnvironmentDigest.com .

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