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December 15, 2008
(12/12/2008)
CLICK HERE To Print This Digest
* Environmental Groups Oppose Rendell Plan To Use DCNR Funds To Balance State Budget
15 environmental groups and the Conservation and Natural Resources Advisory Council this week sent letters to Gov. Rendell opposing his plan to use $174 million in revenue from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to help balance the state's budget.
* Video Blog - New Documentary on Pike’s Conservation Leaders To Premiere on WVIA-TV In January
Nature’s Keepers, an inspirational documentary film about Pike County’s 150-year history of land stewardship and those who are continuing that legacy today, will air on public television station WVIA-TV, based in Scranton, January 5 at 7:00 p.m..
* Consider Holiday Gifts That Help Conservation, Protect PA's Environment
If you're looking for a gift that will bring a smile to someone's face this holiday season and help conserve our natural resources, cleanup abandoned mine discharges, improve recreation facilities and restore wildlife habitat, we have a few suggestions. Or you could get someone another tie.

* On the Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule
There is little activity in the Senate and House due to the ending of the legislative session and the holidays.
* Sen. Erickson To Convene Work Group To Review DEP Infrastructure Permitting Process
Sen. Ted Erickson (R-Delaware) this week announced plans to convene a work group to review the permitting process of the Department of Environmental Protection for infrastructure projects.
* December Environmental Synopsis Features Year In Review
The December issue of the Environmental Synopsis published by the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee features a review of just a few of the issues faced by Pennsylvania during 2008.
* Agency OKs Guidelines For $800M Water Infrastructure Funding Applications
The Commonwealth Financing Agency this week approved guidelines for reviewing applications for funding $800 million in water infrastructure projects under the H2O PA Program.
* Delaware River Basin Report Shows Improving Water Quality
The Delaware River Basin Commission joined with the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum to officially release the 2008 State of the Delaware River Basin Report, as well as reintroduce PDE’s 2008 State of the Delaware Estuary Report which was released in July.
* Sinnemahoning Creek Watershed Restoration Grants Due February 14
The Fish and Boat Commission this week set a February 14 deadline for applications of up to $100,000 for projects to restore the Sinnemahoning Creek Watershed, which was damaged in a June 30, 2006 train derailment in rural Norwich Township, McKean County.
* DEP Invites Comments On TMDL Plan In Jefferson County Watershed
The Department of Environmental Protection this week invited comments on a proposed Total Maximum Daily Load Plan for the Nicely Run Watershed in Jefferson County.

* Bid Opportunity For Abandoned Mine Reclamation Project In Cambria County
The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of a bid opportunity on an abandoned mine reclamation site in Cambria County. (See full notice)
* Pennsylvania Watersheds Featured In Texas Watershed Planning Course
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 3 Blacks Creek Restoration Plan and the Mill Creek Watershed Implementation Plan, both in Pennsylvania, are being featured in the Texas M&M Watershed Planning Course offered on the web.

* Middle School Students Compete in Annual Future City Competition On Water Issues
This fall thousands of middle school students from across the country, including students from Central Pennsylvania, are participating in the 2009 National Engineers Week  Future City Competition which this year has the theme "Conserve and Reuse Our Most Precious Resource - Water."
* PA Underground Storage Tanks Compliance Exceeds National, Regional Averages
The Department of Environmental Protection released a report this week indicating 73 percentof Pennsylvania’s underground storage tank owners and operators were in compliance with federal and state standards, well ahead of the national average of 66 percent.

* Rodale Institute: Organic Farming Best Route to Global Food Security - Video Blog
To best feed the world, a growing number of researchers, development experts, farming groups and environmentalists are calling for new emphasis on sustainable agricultural practices that make a sharp break from current policies.
* 2009 Farm Show To Again Showcase Alternative Energy, Energy Conservation
The 2009 Pennsylvania Farm Show promises to offer something to interest each of its anticipated 400,000 visitors - from milkshakes to tractors to alpacas and biofuels, said Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff this week as he announced that the 93rd show is set for January 10-17 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg.
* Preservation Board Protects 40 More Farms From Development, 30,200 Acres This Year
An additional 4,236 acres of Pennsylvania farmland will remain viable for agricultural production now that the state has preserved another 40 farms this week, Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff said.

* Recycling Officials Say 'Don't Panic' Over Plunge In Recycle Materials Prices
The Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania issued a statement this week concerning the current state of recycling markets in light of recent economic changes urging the public and recyclers not to panic over the significant decline in the value of recycled materials.

* PPL EnergyPlus Offers Customers Chance To Help Develop Alternative Energy Facilities
Everyone wants to do their part to fight global warming. Now with the help of a new program from PPL EnergyPlus, you can help create a cleaner, greener future for our planet.

* Application for Expansion of Holtwood Hydroelectric Plant Withdrawn By PPL
PPL announced this week it has withdrawn an application filed a year ago with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to expand its Holtwood hydroelectric plant on the Susquehanna River in Lancaster County, Pa.
* EPA ‘Wanted’ List Website Aims to Track Down Environmental Fugitives
A new web tool is available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to enlist the public and other law enforcement agencies in tracking down fugitives accused of violating environmental laws and evading arrest.

* Help Wanted: Nature Conservancy, StormwaterPA
The Pennsylvania Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and the GreenTreks Networks' StormwaterPA Project are both looking for individuals to fill interesting positions.
* Spotlight - Game Commission Urges Participation In Audubon Christmas Bird Count
Game Commission officials are urging wildlife enthusiasts to join the tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the United States in the Audubon Society's 109th Annual Christmas Bird Count, which will take place December 14 through January 5.

* 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 a notice extending the General NPDES Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated With Construction and changes to firms certified for radon-related activities(PA Bulletin page 6809). The Sewage Enforcement Officer Certification Board published the 2009 exam schedule.The Independent Regulatory Review Commission published its formal order disapproving of the EQB proposed Triennial Review of Water Quality Standards regulation.

* Technical Guidance & Permits
The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of nutrient and sediment reduction credit creation and trading.

* 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 toPA Environment Digest- DHess@CrisciAssociates.com or go to www.PaEnvironmentDigest.com.
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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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