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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
September 14, 2009
(9/14/2009)
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* Senate, House Leaders Agree On Budget, Includes Leasing More Land For Drilling
Senate and House leaders Friday announced a broad agreement on a $27.9 billion state budget framework that includes several tax increases along with a proposal to lease more State Forest land for Marcellus Shale drilling.

* Groups Call For End To Rubber Stamping Marcellus Shale Permits, Adoption Of Severance Tax

* Spotlight - Let's Be Smart About Developing Our Natural Gas Resources
By Matthew Royer, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
* Get Daily Updates On PA Environment Daily Blog, Twitter

* Growing Greener Anniversary Stories Due September 20
The Growing Greener Watershed Restoration Program will be ten years old in December and to help celebrate 10 groups have come together to invite watershed groups to share their success stories on a special Growing Greener website.

* On the Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule/Bills Introduced

NOTE: Due to the unpredictable nature of the Senate and House Committee schedule, meetings will be scheduled and cancelled quickly. The Calendars and Committee schedules this week are only a snapshot in time. 

* Senate/House Bills Moving

The following bills of interest saw action this week-- 

* Senate Approves Bill To Keep State Parks Open
The Senate this week unanimously approved a bill introduced by Sen. Don White (R-Indiana) to ensure the Commonwealth honors leases allowing groups to use state park facilities during impasses over the state budget.

* After 25 Year Struggle, Babb Creek Is In Position To Be Taken Off Impaired Streams List

* Federal Agencies Release Draft Reports On Chesapeake Bay Cleanup, CBF Reaction

* Merck Awards $2.9 Million In Grants In Wissahickon Creek Watershed

* De Sale Mine Drainage Treatment System Featured On EPA Website
The De Sale mine drainage treatment system in Slippery Rock Watershed in Butler County was recently featured on a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency "Greener Cleanup Case Studies" webpage highlighting state-of-the-art technologies for restoring the environment.

* 2009 PA Stormwater Management Symposium To Be Held October 14-15
Engineers, planners, water resource professionals, government representatives, land development professionals, and watershed and conservation groups are encouraged to attend the 2009 Pennsylvania Stormwater Management Symposium to be held October 14-15 at Villanova University.

* Apply Now For USDA's Farm/Forest Conservation Stewardship Program
Farmers and foresters who want to participate in USDA's new Conservation Stewardship Program, or CSP, should apply by September 30 to be considered in the first contract approval cycle.

* North Park Ecosystem Restoration Project Launched In Allegheny County

* Grasslands Field Trip In Chester, Delaware Counties Set For October 17
Join  Natural Lands Trust  staff and Dr. Roger Latham as we visit three grassland/meadow sites in northern Delaware and eastern Chester Counties on October 17 and learn how they are established and managed to benefit wildlife and people.

* Learn How to Plant A Tree With TreeVitalize In September, October
Consumers can help offset the pollution that leads to a warmer climate by learning how to plant and care for a tree this fall, said Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Acting Secretary John Quigley.

* Fishing License Sales Continue Upward Trend
The Fish and Boat Commission is reporting fishing license sales through August 18 are up 5 percent and overall stamp sales are up 4 percent over the same period from 2008, reinforcing thinking by many that people have returned to fishing as an affordable, family-oriented activity in tough economic times.

* Survey Shows 95 Percent Of Retailers Complying With Lead Solder Ban Act
A survey of hardware stores and home centers conducted this summer by the Department of Environmental Protection shows most retailers are complying with the state's Plumbing System Lead Ban and Notification Act.

* EPA Helps Set Up Food Composting Project On Bucks County Farm
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance Mid-Atlantic Consortium of Recycling and Economic Development Officials and an expert on composting food waste on farms, met with farmers and other personnel at the Snipes Farm in Morrsiville, Bucks County, to help set up a composting program,

* PA CleanWays Holds Public Training Sessions On Illegal Dump Survey Results
PA CleanWays this week announced dates and locations for public training sessions to discuss the results of illegal dump survey reports that were recently released.

* Lake Erie Coastal Cleanup Seeks Volunteers For September 19

* DEP Awards $1.2 Million To Increase Use of Recyclable Materials in Finished Products
The Department of Environmental Protection this week announced four Pennsylvania companies will receive $1.2 million in financial assistance to increase their use of recycled materials in the production of finished goods.

* Students, Teachers Invited To Camp Kestrel Wildflower Walk September 26

* Western PA Conservancy Fall Conserve Newsletter Now Online
The Western PA Conservancy just published the fall issue of its Conserve newsletter which is now available online detailing recent activities by WPC on land conservation, watershed restoration, recreation and more.

* State Now Accepting Applications For Renewable Energy Heat, Power Projects
The state is now accepting applications for $11 million in federal stimulus funds for combined heat and power projects which generate power and thermal energy from a single source, the first of several application periods to open under the Green Energy Works! Program.

* DEP Accepting Applications For $5 Million In Biogas Renewable Energy Projects
The Department of Environmental published notice it will be accepting applications for $5 million in financial assistance for projects using biogas from animal manures, septage, food processing wastes and yard waste to generate electricity under the Green Energy Works! Program.

* $18.4 Million Approved For Energy Projects By Commonwealth Finance Agency
The Commonwealth Financing Authority this week approved nearly $18.4 million for 31 projects throughout the state. The investments were made possible through the $650 million Alternative Energy Investment Fund created in July 2008.

* Food Merchants/Convenience Stores Sponsor Energy Savings Workshops October 5, 7, 8
The PA Food Merchants Association and the PA Convenience Store Council are sponsoring three seminars in October on how business owners can reduce their energy costs.

* New Book Helps PA Residents Cut Costs, Save With Solar Energy

* PUC Postpones Sept. 17 Special En Banc Hearing On LIHEAP Energy Assistance
The Public Utility Commission this week announced it will postpone a special en banc hearing that was planned to solicit comments on the effects of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program proposed 2010 state plan and increasing energy costs would have on utility-based customer assistance programs.

* PECO Expands Use of Cleaner, Alternative Fueled Vehicles In Fleet
With new natural gas and hybrid electric models, PECO is expanding its utility fleet of vehicles using cleaner, alternative fuels.

* PennFuture Announces 2009 Green Power Award Winners
Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future this week announced the winners of the 2009 Green Power Awards at a special awards ceremony in Philadelphia.

* Replacement Generators Make Their Way To Three Mile Island Starting September 15

* September Is National Preparedness Month
This month marks the 6th annual National Preparedness Month—a time when federal, state and local partners encourage citizens to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities.

* DEP Bid Opportunity For Abandoned Well Plugging In Warren County
The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of an opportunity to bid on an abandoned oil well project in Warren County.

* Feature - Hawk Mountain Celebrates 75th Anniversary On September 12
This year the world's first refuge for birds of prey,Hawk Mountain Sanctuary near Kempton, Berks County, will celebrate its 75th anniversary

* 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 Environmental Quality Board  published notice of proposed changes to Air Quality regulations covering glass melting furnaces. The Department of Environmental Protection  published notice of the proposed Ozone Air Quality Implementation Plan for the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City area and a public hearing.
* Technical Guidance & Permits
No new guidance documents were published in the PA Bulletin this week.
* 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. 

* PA Environment Digest Family Of Websites

* Supporting Member PA Outdoor Writers Assn./PA Trout Unlimited

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