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June 2, 2008
(5/30/2008)
PDF Version - PA Environment Digest 6/2/08
* Task Force Hears Support for Fair Share Clean Water Plan – Video Blog
The Governor’s Sustainable Water Infrastructure Task Force this week held public hearings on water infrastructure needs in several parts of Pennsylvania and at each one the PA Fair Share for Clean Water Plan to fund nutrient reduction efforts by wastewater plants and farmers found lots of support.
* Senate Committee to Consider Water Infrastructure Bill
The Senate Appropriations Committee meets on June 2 to consider legislation creating the H20 Water Infrastructure Program and has the opportunity to include provisions that would help sewer system ratepayers and farmers cope with the over $1.6 billion cost of complying with federal and state nutrient removal mandates.
* SRBC: New Federal Farm Bill Will Help Sustain Agriculture and Environment
The Susquehanna River Basin Commission this week lent its support to the changes made in the new Federal Farm Bill aimed at supporting farm conservation projects to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus pollution and sediments going into the Susquehanna River Watershed.
* May Tax Revenue Collections Mean State Still on Track for $430 Million Surplus
With May state tax collection figures now in, the Department of Revenue reported this week that while revenues were down 7.2 percent in May, year-to-date revenues are 1.2 percent over estimates.
* Online Video Feature - Cowanshannock Creek Mine Water Used to Raise Trout
This recent Western PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation Video Diary story takes viewers to the Cowanshannock Creek Watershed in Armstrong County where for over 20 years a dedicated group of conservationists have been using water from an abandoned mine site to raise 20,000 trout.
* On the Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule/Bills Introduced
Here’s what’s coming up on the Senate and House agenda for next week, as well as the voting session schedule through June 30.
* House Committee to Consider Mercury Thermostat, Adopt-A-River, Advocate Bills
The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee has scheduled a meeting to consider bills that would prohibit the sale of mercury thermostats, create an Adopt-A-River Program and establish an Office of Environmental Advocate. The bills include:
* Hawk Watch at Waggoner’s Gap, Opossum Lake Focus of June Vance Report
The Audubon Hawk Watch at Waggoner’s Gap, along with the planned Cliff Jones Field Station there, and a recent announcement of funding to repair the Opossum Lake Dam are spotlighted on the June edition of the Vance Report.
* 10th PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference August 12-14 – Online Video
The 10th Annual PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference will be held at the Ramada Inn and Conference Center in State College August 12-14 with the theme of “Reclaiming Our Past-Shaping Our Future.”
* Learn About Sustainable Living in New Television Series Available Online
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council and MiND television (formerly WYBE channel 35) have partnered to produce an educational television series on sustainability in Philadelphia - showcasing local efforts in green building, alternative energy, education, and recreation.
* June 7 Cleanup Planned For Three Susquehanna River Islands in York County
Volunteers are needed to help clean up floatable debris, trash and tires from Green, Rookery and Big Islands of the Lower Susquehanna River, York County on June 7.
* Registration Now Open for Youghiogheny River Sojourn - July 17-20
Pennsylvania's 2008 River of the Year will be featured July 17 to 20 in the Youghiogheny River Sojourn, which will offer a unique opportunity for an interpreted whitewater raft outing, a Family Fishing Event and three other days of paddling and an optional bike ride on the parallel Great Allegheny Passage.
* Agriculture Sponsors Workshops On Natural Gas Leasing Opportunities
Pennsylvania farmers can learn about natural gas leasing opportunities at two informational workshops to be held in Bradford and Tioga counties on June 10 and 11.
* Consumers Warned to be Watchful for Undisclosed Energy "Surcharges"
Attorney General Tom Corbett is cautioning consumers to be watchful for undisclosed fees or "surcharges" that some businesses may attempt to charge in connection with rising fuel and energy costs.
* Six LED Traffic Signals Workshops and Training Sessions in June
Six workshops on the benefits and use of LED traffic signals will be held in Western Pennsylvania in June sponsored by the Department of Environmental Protection and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission.
* PUC Releases Annual Report on Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act
The Public Utility Commission this week released the 2007 Annual Report of the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act of 2004 saying that two electric distribution companies and five electric generation suppliers that had compliance obligations in 2007 have met, and in some instances exceeded, their requirements.
* Two More Energy Management Workshops For Businesses in Lancaster, Pittsburgh
The Department of Environmental Protection is accepting reservations for the final two energy management workshops for businesses in Lancaster June 3 and in Pittsburgh on June 12.
* PPL $600 Million Scrubber Project at Power Plant Leads to Drywall Plant
PPL this week celebrated the completion of a $600 million project to put advanced air pollution control equipment on its Montour Power Plant in Danville that will result in reducing sulfur dioxide, mercury and particulate emissions.
* Lehigh Valley/Berks County Air Quality Partnership Emphasizes Mass Transit Use
With Pennsylvania implementing new federal air quality guidelines that are more protective of public health, the Lehigh Valley/Berks County Air Quality Partnership is urging residents to help avoid air quality action days by using mass transit during the summer ozone season.
* DEP Joins Other States in Suit Against EPA for Adopting Weak Ozone Standards
Department of Environmental Protection announced this week that it has joined a coalition of states and cities in lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for adopting air pollution standards that do not protect public health and the environment, but lead to greater levels of smog.
* Diverse Coalition Urges Federal Action on Bill to Cut Climate Changing Emissions
Representatives from business, faith, and sportsmen's groups joined public health officials this week in calling on Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senators to support a bill in Congress that would reduce carbon emissions and take steps to curtail climate change.
* Hershey Golf Collection Courses Enroll in Audubon International
The four courses in the Hershey Golf Collection have enrolled in the highly respected Audubon International program that will lead to each of the Hershey layouts being certified as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.
* Game Commission Extends Comment Period on Fisher Management Plan
The Game Commission this week said it has extend the comment period on its proposed Fisher Management Plan until June 11, due to a technical problem with the agency’s website.
* Experience Nature; Wildlands Conservancy’s Bike & Boat Summer River Trips
Looking for a new activity for the summer? Work schedule have you crammed for time? Join other Lehigh Valley residents by participating in Wildlands Conservancy’s Bike and Boat program.
* Spotlight - Pennsylvania’s Prevailing Wage Law Raises Abandoned Mine Reclamation Costs By 25 Percent
By Andy McAllister, Watershed Coordinator
* Grants & Awards
This section gives you a heads up on upcoming deadlines for grants and financial assistance as well as nominations for awards and other recognition programs. NEW means from last week—
* 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 published notice the City of Philadelphia’s ambient air monitoring plan is available for public comment. The Independent Regulatory Review Commission published comments on the PUC’s Energy Conservation regulations.
* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Department of Environmental Protection published final guidance this week on underground storage tank liners.
* Calendar of Events
Upcoming conferences, meetings, workshops, plus links to other online calendars. Meetings are in Harrisburg unless otherwise noted. NEW indicates new from last week. 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 .
* Supporting Member PA Outdoor Writers Assn./PA Trout Unlimited
PA Environment Digest is a supporting member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association, Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited and the Doc Fritchey Chapter Trout Unlimited.

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