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An Update On Environmental Issues In PA
Edited By: David E. Hess, Crisci Associates
Winner 2009 PAEE Business Partner Of The Year Award Harrisburg, Pa September 23, 2013 Corbett Nominates Chris Abruzzo For DEP, Ellen Ferretti For DCNR Secretaries Gov. Tom Corbett Friday nominated Ellen M. Ferretti as Secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and E. Christopher Abruzzo as Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection. Ferretti, of Dallas, Luzerne County, had been serving as deputy secretary for parks and forestry until she was named interim secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in June. Abruzzo, of Hershey, Dauphin County, was serving as Corbett's deputy chief of staff until he was appointed interim secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection in April. (Click Here to read Acting Secretary Abruzzo’s first in depth interview by the PA Environmental Council.) "Christopher and Ellen have served several months in the capacity of acting secretary of their respective departments, and in both cases we have seen each of them earn the respect of people both inside and outside of the agencies,'' Corbett said. "Each embody the commitment and dedication to protecting and conserving our environment and natural resources, which is a top priority of my administration and the people of Pennsylvania.'' "Ellen has devoted much of her career toward the development, promotion and protection of our state parks and forest lands. That experience and insight will make her an excellent secretary,'' Corbett said. "She understands the unique qualities of our state park and forest systems. I am confident the citizens of Pennsylvania will benefit from her continued stewardship of our public lands.'' With respect to Abruzzo, Corbett said, "Chris has served the citizens of Pennsylvania with distinction, both as a prosecuting attorney and as a member of my executive staff. As deputy chief of staff, Chris played instrumental roles in many of my environmental initiatives, including enhanced protective standards for oil and gas development, implementing the permit decision guarantee, and refocusing the agency on job number one: protecting the environment. The citizens of Pennsylvania will continue to benefit from his pragmatic, balanced approach to problemsolving.'' Ferretti, 56, has more than 20 years of experience working to protect the state's natural resources, having served as the Pennsylvania Environmental Council's director of its northeast regional office, where she worked closely with DCNR and its partners on landscape conservation. In addition, Ferretti has served as director of Environmental Resources at BortonLawson
Engineering; as a land protection specialist for The Nature Conservancy; and as a project manager at Westinghouse Environmental and Geotechnical Services, Inc. A graduate of Wilkes College with a degree in environmental science and biology, Ferretti has completed numerous continuing education courses on conservation, environmental assessments, redevelopment, forest stewardship, trail, park and recreational planning. Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition Executive Director Andrew Heath endorsed the governor's nomination of Ferretti. "We congratulate Ellen Ferretti on her nomination,'' Heath said. "Her leadership and expertise, coupled with her commitment to Pennsylvania's natural resources, make her a strong choice to head DCNR.'' "Ms. Ferretti has a proven record in caring for the commonwealth's rich natural resources and the coalition looks forward to working with her to ensure continued and enhanced funding for parks, recreation, trails and green spaces throughout the state,'' Heath said. As deputy chief of staff, Abruzzo, 46, was responsible for overseeing the activities of nearly 20 state agencies and commissions, including DEP and DCNR. He brings 20 years of public service experience to DEP. He previously served in the state Attorney General's office prosecuting and supervising cases involving white collar crime, drug investigation and Medicaid fraud. In addition to his role in state government, Abruzzo has served for six years with the Derry Township Board of Supervisors and the Derry Township Municipal Authority, which oversees the township's wastewater systems, interceptor lines, sewage treatment plant, and the treatment and disposal of industrial waste. While chairman of the authority in 2010 and 2011, Abruzzo was instrumental in directing the township's response to flooding caused by catastrophic storm events Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Abruzzo's local government experience gives him a unique understanding of the many issues and challenges that municipalities encounter as they strive to implement best practices and meet environmental standards and regulations. A graduate of St. Joseph's University, Abruzzo earned his law degree from the Widener University School of Law. "Township supervisors are known for their common sense and pragmatic and balanced approach to problem solving and Chris Abruzzo, chairman of the Derry Township Board of Supervisors, will bring these important skills with him as the permanent head of the state Department of Environmental Protection,'' Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Executive Director David Sanko said. "We applaud Chris' nomination as DEP secretary because he not only understands what Pennsylvania's local governments need from DEP, like stormwater and wastewater issues, but he also understands what Pennsylvania needs from its leaders: reliability, honesty and integrity. Chris Abruzzo brings all of this and more to the table.'' Paul King, president of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, issued the following statement supporting both of Corbett's two nominees: "The Pennsylvania Environmental Council is pleased that Gov. Corbett has announced that he is appointing acting secretaries Abruzzo and Ferretti as permanent members of his cabinet. "The PEC has worked well with both individuals and has found them committed to the missions
of the agencies. We appreciate Gov. Corbett naming two thoughtful stewards of the environment and we look forward to continuing our work with them. Ellen Ferretti was a PEC vice president in our WilkesBarre office before joining DCNR. We encourage the Senate to approve both promptly at this critical time.'' The nominations now go to the state Senate for its consideration. NewsClips: Corbett Nominates Secretaries To Head DEP, DCNR Ferretti Nominated To Head State Parks Agency Citizens Advisory Council Hears Plans To Revamp DEP Public Participation Info Acting Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Chris Abruzzo told DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council Tuesday changes are underway at DEP to improve public participation in agency decision making as a result of recommendations made by the Council and others inside and outside the department. Included in those changes is an overhaul of DEP’s website to gather all information on how the public can participate in the agency’s development of regulations, technical guidance and in permitting in one location, a better guide to public participation tools the citizens can use and using plain language to describe regulation and policy changes. He invited the Council to look over his proposed plans saying he hoped to roll out the new website changes in October. The Council’s Public Participation Committee volunteered to review the changes. Acting Secretary Abruzzo also highlighted two other initiatives during his remarks to Council updating the Chapter 78 drilling regulations and the agency’s Community Environmental Project Policy. He said DEP would not rush public comment on the proposed changes to Chapter 78 the Environmental Quality Board adopted for public comment in August, even though the law the changes are based on (Act 13) was passed 18 months ago. DEP will be scheduling six public hearings at regionallyappropriate locations throughout the state during a 60 day public comment period. He also noted DEP is revising its Community Environmental Project Policy under which the agency will, in some circumstances, accept the funding of worthwhile local, environmental projects in lieu of penalties paid to the state. The initial draft of the policy changes have been shared with DEP’s Environmental Justice Advisory Board and the CAC for review, but have not yet been circulated for general public comment. Acting Secretary Abruzzo noted a recent controversy over releasing a Penn State climate change report in the press will be addressed shortly when the agency releases the complete report without any deletions. He said he didn’t know why the report was held up before he assumed the role of Acting Secretary. Environmental JusticeCAC Discussion The Council also held a firstever joint meeting with DEP’s Environmental Justice Advisory Board to discuss how the two advisory bodies could work together on public participation and other issues. During the first part of the meeting, the groups heard a presentation from Dr. Hector Ortiz,
Director of the Department of Health’s Office of Health Equity, and Dr. James Logue, Director of the Division of Environmental Health Epidemiology who provided an overview of their programs. Several questions to the presenters involved the health aspects of Marcellus Shale drilling. Dr. Logue said his Division has been involved in individual consultations with doctors and citizens on health issues involved in drilling and fracking, but has not done any specific epidemiological studies on the issue. He said the dozen or so staff he has in this office does not have the funding to do much more than that. Both presenters were asked about whether the Department of Health was developing any policy on provisions in the Act 13 drilling law related to the disclosure of fracking fluid constituents to physicians, noting the issue has been controversial. They said they have not been personally involved, but others in the agency have been discussing the issue with a number of groups. Dr. Arthur Frank, a member of the Environmental Justice Board and an occupational health physician, said sharing of trade secret information with physicians is handled routinely in his field by doctors. He noted the controversy may have developed because doctors who do not routinely work in the occupational health area may not be familiar with these procedures. Rev. Horace Strand, a member of the Environmental Justice Board and a representative of the Chester Environmental Partnership in Delaware County, made the Council aware there were significant concerns over the fact Gov. Corbett did not reappoint Gail Conner to the Citizens Advisory Council, the only African American on the Council. He noted he recognized the Council has no control over who is appointed to the group. Council Chair Terry Dayton reiterated the fact the Council does not have the ability to influence or control appointments to the group. It was also noted there are three different appointing authorities for the Council the Governor, the House and the Senate which independently name members and it was very difficult to coordinate between these authorities to achieve diversity. Presently the Governor has two vacancies to fill on the Council and the Senate and House each have one. Current members can serve until they are replaced. Holly Cairns, Acting Director of Office of Environmental Advocate, gave the Board and Council, a brief overview of the draft Community Environmental Project Policy revisions, but said she expects to be able to share a revised draft with the groups in the near future. Public Comments During the Council’s public comments portion of the meeting, Roberta Winters, PA League of Women Voters, said she applauded recent changes to DEP’s website which put public participation information front and center on the agency’s homepage. She also raised several questions about the proposed revisions to Chapter 78 drilling regulations, including whether the results of the STRONGER evaluation of the agency’s regulatory program would come in time to be included in the final changes. Committee Reports The Council heard reports from several of its committees Legislative Committee: John Walliser lead a discussion of House Bill 1576 (PyleR Armstrong) which fundamentally changes the way threatened and endangered species are listed and changes the designation process for wild trout streams. Council agree to invite a panel of speakers from the involved agencies to its October meeting to hear explanations of how threatened and endangered and rare and species of concern are treated in DEP’s permit process.
Policy & Regulatory Oversight Committee: Nancy Perkins said the committee recommended and the Council approved a motion for DEP to go ahead with a final regulation change involving the printing, adhesives, sealants and solvents industries. Oil & Gas Technical Advisory Board: Burt Waite provided the Council with an update on proposed changes to the Chapter 78 drilling regulations, including the cancellation of the planned September 1819 meetings and outlined the public comment plans for the package 60 day comment period and six public hearings. Environmental Quality Board: Walt Heine reported the Environmental Quality Board earlier in the day approved final regulations increasing the Title V Air Quality emission fees. Public Participation Committee: As earlier noted, the Committee plans to review changes Acting Secretary Abruzzo outlined to improve public participation in the agency. It was also noted the comment period on DEP’s proposed changes to the permit review public participation policy closed on August 27. DEP has not yet formally proposed changes to its public participation policy for developing regulations and guidance or for the review of environmental justice concerns. In January DEP indicated it hoped to have proposals out for public review this year. The next meeting of the DEP Citizens Advisory Council is October 15 in Room 105 Rachel Carson Building, Harrisburg, starting at 11:00. Presentations and other information from Tuesday’s meeting will be posted on the Council webpage. PEC Publishes First InDepth Interview With Acting DEP Secretary Chris Abruzzo The September issue of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s Forum newsletter features an interview with DEP Acting Secretary Chris Abruzzo who shares his thoughts on a wide variety of environmental issues facing the Commonwealth. Friday, Gov. Corbett formally nominated Abruzzo for Secretary of DEP and Ellen Ferretti for Secretary of DCNR. The interview covers issues like: MS4 stormwater management, integrated water resource planning, combined sewer overflows and implementing Total Maximum Daily Load plans, the role of green infrastructure in meeting water quality goals, follow up on recommendations from the Governor’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission report, using mine drainage for frack water, giving a grade to Pennsylvania’s drilling regulation program and more. Click Here to read the interview. The newsletter contains a dozen other articles about initiatives the PA Environmental Council is involved in including A video update on legislative and regulatory activities related to Marcellus Shale development in the state; A video update on promoting forgotten Monongahela River Towns; Philadelphia’s $1 billion bet on green infrastructure; and Partnering with Keep America Beautiful in Northeast PA. For more information, visit the PA Environmental Council website. Did You Know You Can Search 9 Years Of Digests On Any Topic?
Did you know you can search 9 years of back issues of the PA Environment Digest on dozens of topics, by county and on any keyword you choose. Just click on the search page. Also take advantage of these related services from Crisci Associates PA Environment Digest Twitter Feed: On Twitter, sign up to receive instant updates from: PAEnviroDigest. PA Environment Daily Blog: provides daily environmental NewsClips and significant stories and announcements on environmental topics in Pennsylvania of immediate value. Sign up and receive as they are posted updates through your favorite RSS reader. You can also sign up for a once daily email alerting you to new items posted on this blog. PA Environment Digest Video Blog: showcases original and published videos from environmental groups and agencies around the state. Sign up to receive as they are posted updates through your favorite RSS read. You can also sign up for a once daily email alerting you to new items posted on this blog. PA Capitol Digest Daily Blog to get updates every day on Pennsylvania State Government, including NewsClips, coverage of key press conferences and more. Sign up and receive as they are posted updates through your favorite RSS reader. You can also sign up for a once daily email alerting you to new items posted on this blog. PA Capitol Digest Twitter Feed: Don't forget to sign up to receive the PA Capitol Digest Twitter feed to get instant updates on other news from in and around the Pennsylvania State Capitol. Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule/Bills Introduced Here are the Senate and House Calendars and Committee meetings showing bills of interest as well as a list of new environmental bills introduced Session Schedule Here is the latest voting session schedule for the Senate and House House September 23, 24, 25, 30 October 1, 2, 15, 16, 17 (NonVoting), 21, 22, 23 November 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 December 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18 (NonVoting) Senate September 23, 24, 25, 30
October 1, 2, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23 November 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 December 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 Bill Calendars House (September 23): House Bill 302 (MoulRAdams) transferring funds from the Oil and Gas Lease Fund to DEP for a competitive grant program to convert small mass transit bus fleets to natural gas; House Bill 303 (MoulRAdams) transferring funds from the Oil and Gas Lease Fund to DEP for a competitive grant program to convert large mass transit fleets to natural gas; House Bill 304 (MarshallRBeaver) funding conversions of transit buses to natural gas; House Bill 306 (PickettRBradford) redirecting the Alternative Fuels Incentive Fund to create the Keystone Fuel Incentive Program to fund conversions of vehicles to natural gas; House Bill 308 (SaylorRYork) redirecting $6 million annually from the Clean Air Fund to finance vehicle conversions to natural gas. <> Click Here for full House Bill Calendar. Senate (September 23): [All bills on the Senate Calendar were Tabled before they adjourned to September 23.] <> Click Here for full Senate Bill Calendar. Committee Meeting Agendas This Week House: <> Click Here for full House Committee Schedule. Senate: the Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee holds a hearing on the nomination of Gladys Brown for appointment to the PUC. <> Click Here for full Senate Committee Schedule. Bills Pending In Key Committees Here are links to key Standing Committees in the House and Senate and the bills pending in each House Appropriations; Education Environmental Resources and Energy Consumer Affairs Gaming Oversight Human Services Judiciary Liquor Control Transportation Links for all other Standing House Committees
Senate Appropriations Environmental Resources and Energy Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Community, Economic and Recreational Development Education Judiciary Law and Justice Public Health and Welfare Transportation Links for all other Standing Senate Committees Bills Introduced The following bills of interest were introduced this week Gas Lease Royalties: House Bill 1650 (WhiteDWestmoreland) further providing for guaranteed oil and gas lease royalties summary. Gas Lease Royalties: House Bill 1684 (EverettRLycoming) further prohibiting certain deductions from oil and gas lease royalties summary. Prohibiting Forced Pooling: House Bill 1700 (WhiteDWestmoreland) amending the Oil and Gas Lease Act to prohibit forced pooling summary. Plastic Bag Fee: Senate Bill 1080 (LeachDMontgomery) authorizing a plastic bag fee summary.
News From The Capitol
House Committees Hear More Opposition To Controversial Endangered Species Bill The House Game and Fisheries and Environmental Resources and Energy Committees held a second hearing Tuesday in Indiana, Pa on House Bill 1576 (PyleRArmstrong) which fundamentally changes the way threatened and endangered species are listed and changes the designation process for wild trout streams. Click Here to watch a video of the second hearing. The Committees heard testimony from (click on links for testimony) Melody Schell, PA Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs; Darrel Lewis, Allegheny Mineral Corporation, PA Aggregates and Concrete Assn.; George Jugovic, PennFuture; George Ellis, PA Coal Alliance; Department of Environmental Protection; John Arway, Fish and Boat Commission; and
Carl Roe, Game Commission. Also providing written testimony was the Independent Regulatory Review Commission. Letters of opposition to the bill were submitted by the Game Commission, Fish and Boat Commission, PA Council of Trout Unlimited, the PA Environmental Council at the first hearing. Click Here for more information of the opposition of the Commissions and Trout Unlimited. Click Here for PEC’s letter of opposition. Click Here for a copy of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s comments on the bill this week. Click Here for a summary of the first hearing. Click Here for a video of the first hearing. The hearing will be held at Indiana University Northpointe, 167 Northpointe Blvd., Building 167, Room 129, Indiana, Pa starting at 10:00. Rep. Martin Causer (RCameron) serves as Majority Chair of the House Game and Fisheries Committee and Rep. Gary Haluska (DCambria) serves as Minority Chair. Rep. Ron Miller (RYork) serves as Majority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and Rep. Greg Vitali (DDelaware) serves as Minority Chair. NewsClips: House Endangered Species Bill Spurs Debate Pyle’s Endangered Species Bill Debated Editorial: Phony Protection For Endangered Species Letter: Changing Endangered Species System, Rep. Causer Rep. McCarter Disheartened With Endangered Species Bill Push Following a joint public hearing of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and the House Game and Fisheries Committee Tuesday, Rep. Steve McCarter (DMontgomery) called House Bill 1576 (PyleRArmstrong) an industry motivated and championed effort to prolong and politicize the process for listing animals on the endangered species list in Pennsylvania. “Today’s hearing was filled with more disappointment and rhetoric about how endangered species are blocking the way for coal, natural gas and other industries that rely on our natural resources to make a profit,” Rep. McCarter said. “I was hoping that today’s hearing would have resulted in more compassion from the bill’s sponsor in protecting these species and in understanding the inherent dangers associated with disrupting natural habitats. “Instead, it became very clear this is an industry bill geared toward removing vital regulatory protections to meet the industries’ desire for additional profit opportunities,” Rep. McCarter said. “One member specifically mentioned how there is an abandoned factory in his district that is home to a native bat population that could block the way for a gas pad to be drilled on that site. Clearly, the intentions of this legislation are not conservation.” House Bill 1576, to be known as the Endangered Species Coordination Act, aims to make several changes to the way a species is designated as endangered or threatened. Realistically, the bill in its current form would neuter the Game Commission and the Fish and Boat Commission’s power to declare a species endangered or threatened and transfers the decision to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission and the legislature. “Based on hearing testimony, the IRRC does not seem to know how this bill would play out,
nor do they have the background in science to make these types of determinations,” Rep. McCarter said. “Ecosystems need to be protected by sound science. House Bill 1576 does not stipulate the industries responsibility in working with the departments to protect these species moving forward. That is the balance we’re seeking. This bill does not provide that balance.” The bill would provide that any species which is currently listed as threatened or endangered must go through IRRC process and the legislature within two years of the legislation to justify its continued designation. “Allowing nonscientific bureaucrats and politicians veto power over the endangered species list will inevitably slow down efforts to protect these species and hundreds of others currently under review,” Rep. McCarter said. “These unnecessary bureaucratic changes will make it increasingly difficult to protect Pennsylvania’s native species and jeopardizes the delicate balance of our rich natural heritage.” NewsClips: House Endangered Species Bill Spurs Debate Pyle’s Endangered Species Bill Debated Editorial: Phony Protection For Endangered Species Letter: Changing Endangered Species System, Rep. Causer CBFPA: Endangered Species Bill Diluting Designation Process For Wild Trout Streams The Chesapeake Bay FoundationPA sent a letter to the Chairs of the House Game and Fisheries and Environmental Resources and Energy Committee this week saying House Bill 1576 (PyleRArmstrong) would dilute the scientific basis of designating wild trout streams and encouraged the Committees to look at the full ramifications of the language in the bill. The letter says in part “As you are aware, Pennsylvania’s wild trout streams are revered across the country. Streams containing naturally reproducing wild trout populations are foremost indicators of exceptional water quality, and as such are found only in the Commonwealth’s most pristine and economically sensitive waters. These pristine streams must be protected and stream designation must continue to be based on scientific data. “The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission designates wild trout streams pursuant to statutory authority. The criteria for designating wild trout streams include a review of location and habitat within the stream, a finding of natural reproduction of trout in the stream section or immediately adjacent to the stream section, tributary linkages, and specific biological criteria. (See 58 Pa. Code §57.11.) This scientific data is obtained through wellestablished and thorough scientific sampling methods which are reviewed critically by trained professionals to determine if the criteria to designate a stream are met. “By interjecting the Independent Regulatory Review Commission and standing committees for both the House and Senate into the process as is proposed in House Bill 1576 and its counterpart Senate Bill 1047 (RScarnati), the scientific basis for these decisions may be diluted. None of the proposed committees would have the scientific expertise or standards needed to evaluate the need for stream designation changes. This layering of further oversight will fail to ensure that scientific data will be accurately assessed, and may in fact lead to merely increasing workloads on agency staff and slowing
down the review process. “While CBF recognizes the desire of individuals to be a part of the wild trout stream designation process, the ability to engage the Fish and Boat Commission already exists pursuant to the Commonwealth Documents Law, the Commonwealth Attorney’s Act and the Sunshine Act. Opportunities for public comment are available and review of the Commission’s reports, as well as summaries of the scientific data that is the basis for the proposed listing and designations, are easily obtained for scrutiny. Further expansion of this review process will only lead to unnecessary delays, thereby furthering endangering Commonwealth waters that warrant immediate protection. “Given the importance of scientific data showing the need to designate a stream as a wild trout stream, and the fact that such a designation assures that the water quality in that stream is pristine, it is imperative that the full ramifications of House Bill 1576 and Senate Bill 1047 be considered before either piece of legislation is voted on in committee.” NewsClips: House Endangered Species Bill Spurs Debate Pyle’s Endangered Species Bill Debated Editorial: Phony Protection For Endangered Species Letter: Changing Endangered Species System, Rep. Causer PEC Provides House Democratic Policy Committee Update On Marcellus Shale Issues The Pennsylvania Environmental Council Monday provided members of the House Democratic Policy Committee Monday with a comprehensive update on Marcellus Shale drilling issues as part of the Committee’s hearing on energy issues in Greene County. John Walliser, Vice President for Legal and Government Affairs, outlined significant developments and challenges in several areas Water Resource and Waste Management Issues: water sourcing, water use in well operations, area of review, well siting setbacks, impoundment pits, monitoring and reporting, chemical disclosure; Waste Disposal: onsite disposal of drill cuttings, disposal of waste fluids; Air Quality: reporting and monitoring, permit exemption 38; Management of Midstream Infrastructure; Inspection, Enforcement, Agency Capacity; and Center for Sustainable Shale Development: best management practices. “PEC has long stressed the importance of adaptive management no rulemaking or statutory enactment should be viewed as the ‘final say’ and this holds equally true for Act 13, the Chapter 78 [proposed regulations] and any future changes,” said Walliser. A copy of PEC’s testimony is available online. Comments on the issues faced by the coal industry and the potential of closing several coalfired FirstEnergy power plants in Western Pennsylvania were also presented to the Committee. Presenters included James Laurita Jr., president/CEO, MEPCO Inc.; Andrew Place, executive director, The Center for Sustainable Shale Development and Corporate Director of Energy and Environmental Policy for EQT Corp.;
Lloyd Blaker, owner, R. M. Manufacturing Sales & Service Inc.; Jason Foster, president, C&J Welding; Blair Zimmerman, commissioner, Greene County; Ed Yankovich, International District 2 vice president, United Mine Workers of America; Andrew Sinclair, employee, Hatfield's Ferry Power Station; and Robert Whalen, president, System Local 102Utility Workers Union of America. Copies of other testimony will be available on the Committee website. Related Hearing On October 3, the House Consumer Affairs Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the proposed shutdown of FirstEnergy coalfired power plants in Western PA at the Monongahela Fire Company Hall, 451 W. Main St., Monongahela starting at 1:00. Rep. Mike Sturla (RLancaster) serves as Chair of the House Democratic Policy Committee. September Environmental Synopsis Newsletter Now Available The September edition of the Environmental Synopsis newsletter is now available from the Joint Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee. This month’s issue includes articles on: Crayola’s recycling initiatives, solid waste generation, green shopping, an update on cellulosic ethanol, managing electronic waste and much more. The Committee is sponsoring two Environmental Issues Forums in the near future September 30: Dr. David Nowak talks about the U.S. Forest Service iTree Program; and October 21: Hydrogeologist Bruce Leavitt talks about using trompe technology to reduce the costs of acid mine drainage treatment. Both Forums will be held at noon in Room G50 of the Irvis Building. Sen. Scott Hutchinson (RVenango) serves as Chair of the Committee.
News From Around The State
Susquehanna River Commission Recognizes Paul Swartz, Appoints New Executive Director The Susquehanna River Basin Commission Thursday held its quarterly business meeting in Binghamton, N.Y. Among its actions, SRBC: recognized retiring Executive Director Paul Swartz for his nearly 22 years of service; appointed Andrew Dehoff as incoming Executive Director; approved 18 water withdrawal applications, including one intobasin diversion, tabled 8 applications, rescinded 3 previously approved dockets (see lists below); and delegated certain regulatory matters to the executive director. SRBC’s voting commissioners and alternates were: Brig. General Kent Savre, SRBC Chair and Commanding General and Division Engineer, North Atlantic Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Kenneth Lynch, SRBC Vice Chair and Director, Region 7, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation; Kelly Heffner, Deputy Secretary for Water Management, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; and Dr. Robert Summers, Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment.
SRBC also reported on the Whitney Point Adaptive Management Plan (AMP). SRBC, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and others established a water management and environmental restoration project at Whitney Point Lake in Broome County, N.Y. The restoration project provides for environmental releases from the lake to augment low flow conditions downstream in the Otselic, Tioughnioga, Chenango, and ultimately, Susquehanna Rivers. Project monitoring began in 2008. The AMP for the project, which describes the goals and sampling design of the overall restoration plan, is reevaluated every year to make sure the project goals are being met. A list of individual project actions is available online. Coldwater Heritage Partnership Now Accepting Applications For 2014 Grants The Coldwater Heritage Partnership announces the opening of the 2014 Coldwater Conservation Grants Program. Applications are due December 13. The program provides two grant opportunities, which help to protect and conserve the health of Pennsylvania’s coldwater ecosystems Planning Grant designed to help develop a conservation plan that identifies the values and threats that impact the health of our coldwater ecosystems that have naturally reproducing trout. The collected information can be used as a catalyst for more comprehensive planning or for development of watershed improvements projects. Planning grants average around $5,000. Implementation Grant designed to provide funding to projects recommended in a completed conservation plan or report. Potential projects must enhance, conserve or protect the coldwater stream for which the coldwater conservation plan was originally completed. Implementation grants average around $7,000. The Coldwater Heritage Partnership urges watershed groups, conservation districts, municipalities and local chapters of Trout Unlimited to apply. The Coldwater Heritage Partnership provides technical assistance and funding support for the evaluation, conservation and protection of Pennsylvania’s coldwater streams. Grants will be awarded to organizations to outline strategies and complete implementation projects that best conserve and protect our coldwater fisheries. Besides offering grants, CHP works to: foster greater public understanding of watershed characteristics and how they affect coldwater ecosystems; identify special areas of concern, such as areas with exceptional water quality and high potential for impacts; and provide technical assistance and financial opportunities to organizations dedicated to protecting our coldwater ecosystems. The CHP is a cooperative effort of Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Fish and Boat Commission and the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds. Applications are available online. For more information, contact Samantha Kutskel, Program Director, at 8143595233. Chesapeake Bay FoundationPA Begins Bay Cleanup Fact Sheet Series
The Pennsylvania Office of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation this week issued the first of what will be a series of fact sheets on the Chesapeake Bay Watershed cleanup and Pennsylvania’s commitments to that initiative. This first fact sheet A Primer On Pollutants Of Concern outlines the contributions Pennsylvania’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed makes to nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution to the Bay. 50 percent of the freshwater entering the Chesapeake Bay comes from Pennsylvania and 49 percent of Pennsylvania drains to the Chesapeake Bay. Agriculture (53 percent), forests (19 percent) and urban and nonurban stormwater (15 percent) are the three major sources of nitrogen going into Pennsylvania’s streams and rivers and ultimately the Bay. Agriculture (54 percent), point source wastewater plants (19 percent) and urban and nonurban stormwater (16 percent) are the three major sources of phosphorus going to the Bay from Pennsylvania. Agriculture (62 percent), urban and nonurban stormwater (22 percent) and forests (15 percent) are the three major sources of sediment load going into Pennsylvania streams and rivers going to the Bay. The fact sheet then outlines how Pennsylvania has already taken significant steps to reduce pollutants going to the Bay, in particular agriculture and wastewater plants, and then outlines the reduction milestones Pennsylvania must meet in the future. Click Here for a copy of the fact sheet. PA Farm Bureau Disappointed With Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Court Decision The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau expressed its disappointment Friday with a federal district court decision that upholds the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to implement a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. “We disagree with the court decision that gives EPA the power to make local land use decisions on every parcel of land in the watershed,” said PFB President Carl T. Shaffer. “Congress did not intend for the agency to have limitless power to dictate how private land can or cannot be used. The judge erred in finding that EPA can do whatever it wants, because Congress specifically reserved land use decisions for state and local authorities.” Farm Bureau notes that the court decision provides enormous power to EPA to make decisions that will affect farmers, homeowners, school districts, municipalities and others regardless of the regulation’s wisdom or accuracy of science. “Pennsylvania farmers have already implemented major changes and improvements on their land to enhance water quality entering the bay, and those efforts will continue in the future. We are also working with state officials to further enhance efforts to reduce runoff from farmland,” added Shaffer. The American Farm Bureau Federation, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and numerous other groups brought the lawsuit against the EPA. Farm Bureau continues to analyze the court’s opinion. New Guidance On Addressing Drilling Spills And Releases Finalized By DEP The Department of Environmental Protection published final guidance in the September 21 PA Bulletin
establishing procedures for Addressing Spills and Releases At Oil and Gas Well Sites or Access Roads. Developed over the course of the last two years with extensive input by both industry and environmental stakeholders, this guidance not only outlines the critically important response that should be taken in the event of a spill at an oil and gas well site or access road, but also ensures consistency among DEP’s regional offices in handling such responses. It is one more step DEP is taking to ensure protection of Pennsylvania’s citizens as well as our natural resources in areas where natural gas drilling occurs, according to Hayley Book, DEP Director of Policy. The technical guidance requires operators, by regulation, to prepare and implement a control and disposal plan for wastes generated on well sites. An operator may include this plan in their Preparedness, Prevention, and Contingency (PPC) Plan. The PPC plan must include all phone numbers and procedures for reporting spills as well as immediate responses and cleanup activities in case of a spill or release. If the spill causes or threatens pollution of the waters of the Commonwealth, it must be reported to DEP immediately. Current regulations require reporting of spills of more than five gallons of brine. The department recommends a responsible party report a spill or release of more than 5 gallons of a regulated substance to the surface of the ground to DEP. The department also recommends reporting more than 42 gallons of a regulated substance to secondary containment. These latter two recommendations are not requirements but protect the operator from liability for failure to report spills and releases. The responsible party has two options for remediating spills at oil and gas well sites. The first option allows the party to clean up the site through the Act 2 Land Recycling Program. The second option for remediation is an alternative process. Under this alternative remediation process, the responsible party must provide specific information about the spill to DEP within 15 days and include a summary of the intended actions the party plans to take or has already taken to address the spill. The responsible party is then required to clean up the land to meet background or Statewide health standards, as listed under Chapter 250 regulations. The alternative remediation process is as protective as Act 2, but it eliminates certain process steps which should enable spills to be cleaned up more quickly. A copy of the final policy and a comment response document are available online. Jennings Environmental Center Passive System Rehabilitation Celebration Oct. 7 The Jennings Environmental Education Center, Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition and Stream Restoration, Inc. would like to invite you to attend a celebration of the rehabilitation of the Jennings Passive Treatment System on October 7 at 11:30 in Butler County. Being located in a Pennsylvania State Park and within the Slippery Rock Creek Watershed, the Jennings site has long been an important demonstration, education and research facility regarding mine reclamation practices and passive, as well as small active. treatment development. Field applications of various technologies have been installed by numerous federal and state agencies, colleges and universities and the Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition. The technologies include: the early use of treatment wetlands in the 1980s, the demonstration of
plugging issues in Anoxic Limestone Drains for discharges with high aluminum concentrations, the use of mixed media in Vertical Flow Ponds, the utilization of test tanks for a variety of treatment media, the implementation of the federal Office of Surface Mining’s Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative practices, the development of plots for various types of vegetation, the development of fabricated soil and many others. Last year, after 15 years of successful operation, the treatment media of the Vertical Flow Pond was removed, encapsulated on site with Mineral CSA (provided by project partner Harsco Minerals) and new piping and treatment media placed. The system well outlasted the original estimated 10year designlife! The rehabilitation was made possible due to the following organizations and funding programs: Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement’s Watershed Cooperative Agreement Program, the Western PA Coalition of Abandoned Mine Reclamation’s Quick Response Program funded by the Growing Greener Program, Harsco Minerals, Jennings Environmental Education Center, BioMost, Inc., Stream Restoration Inc.’s O&M Technical Assistance Program funded by the Growing Greener Program and local citizen volunteers. Please join us as we celebrate the successes of the Jennings system! Participants are asked to meet at the Center main building located at 2951 Prospect Road, Slippery Rock, Pa near the intersection of Route 8 and Route 528. Light refreshments will be provided. Attendees will have the option of walking or riding a shuttle to the nearby project location. Please RSVP if you plan to attend by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or by registering online. Call For Presenters: 2014 Schuylkill Watershed Congress The Delaware Riverkeeper Network and its partners has issued a call for presentations for the 2014 Schuylkill Watershed Congress. Proposals are due October 31. The Congress will be held on March 15 at the Montgomery County Community College campus in Pottstown. For details on the Congress and for submitting presentation proposals, visit the Schuylkill Watershed Congress webpage. Listening Sessions Set For Delaware Flexible Flow Management Program The Parties to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court Decree entered in the Delaware River Case are interested in, and invite you to share your comments on the Flexible Flow Management Program, an adaptive framework for managing diversions and reservoir releases in the Delaware River Basin. The Decree Parties—The State of Delaware, the State of New Jersey, the State of New York, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the City of New York—are pleased to announce two upcoming FFMP Listening Sessions that are intended to solicit feedback on the FFMP from a broad cross section of interested parties. Feedback accepted will be limited to FFMPrelated issues only; comments on other topics or programs will not be accepted at these sessions. Specifically, the Decree Parties invite input on the
following topics addressed by the FFMP: Flood Mitigation under the FFMP; Aquatic Life and Ecosystems under the FFMP; Water Supply Obligations and Reliability; Recreational Use; and Other Topics addressed by the FFMP. The Listening Sessions will be held at two locations in the Delaware River Basin. The program at each location will consist of a brief overview of the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court Decree, and the roles and responsibilities of the Decree Party Principals, the Delaware River Master, and the Delaware River Basin Commission. Each session will be 80 minutes in length. The venues for the Listening Sessions are as follows: PennsylvaniaOctober 2: The Nurture Nature Center, 518 Northampton St., Easton, Pa from 3 to 5 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. New YorkOctober 1: Sullivan County Community College Seelig Theater, 112 College Road, Loch Sheldrake, NY from 3 to 5 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. Click Here for more information on registration, agendas for the listening session and more. Bucknell University Susquehanna River Symposium October 1819 The Bucknell Environmental Center will host the 8th Annual Susquehanna River Symposium on October 1819 with the theme, A Fragmented System: Dams on the Susquehanna River. The event will take place at the Elaine Langone Center, Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa in Union County. A special "Envisioning the Susquehanna's Future" luncheon on Friday, October 18 will initiate the Eighth Annual Susquehanna River Symposium and a new regional conversation about the shared interest in this community and beyond, have in the Susquehanna River and its vital role as a natural, economic and educational resource. "Part of our agenda is creating a new dialogue among many related institutions and organizations around our shared desire to make the most of this river and to protect its future," said Dr. John C. Bravman, President of Bucknell University. "Numerous representatives of these entities, including nonprofits, universities and academic experts, will be with us for this luncheon. "We have together been presented with a great and challenging opportunity by last year's designation of the Susquehanna River as an extension of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail by Secretary Salazar of the Department of the Interior, and I hope that you will make every effort to join us for this special occasion," said Dr. Bravman. The symposium will include agency exhibits and scholarly research posters by students and faculty from eight universities and discussions with and presentations by top scientists, engineers, and watershed managers from across the midAtlantic. Please RSVP for Friday's luncheon by emailing email@example.com no later than October 14. Click Here for a detailed agenda for the Symposium. Click Here for more information when it becomes available. $2.6 Million In State Flood Control Grants Awarded
Gov. Tom Corbett Tuesday announced the Commonwealth Financing Authority has approved nearly $2.6 million through the H2O PA Program to fund the construction and repair of flood control projects that will impact more than 244 businesses and 1,675 residents in Bradford, Chester and Potter counties. “While we cannot prevent natural disasters from happening, we are committed to providing support to help communities proactively prepare for the devastation that nature can bring,” Corbett said. “The investments approved today will help upgrade aging and deteriorating floodcontrol systems, protecting businesses and residents from potential flood damage.” Projects that involve the construction, improvement, repair or rehabilitation of all or part of a floodcontrol system are eligible to apply for H2O PA funding. Floodcontrol projects include channel improvements, compacted earth levees, concrete channels, concrete floodwalls, detention dams, nonstructural measures or any combination of these project types. Major repairs on or rehabilitation of an existing flood protection project are also eligible for funding. One of the projects approved will award $1,042,199 to Sayre, Bradford County, to make repairs and upgrades to an existing pump station in the borough. The funding will be used to remove and replace the damaged pumps, generator, generator pad, electrical equipment and HVAC system with three new pumps and an emergency generator installed at an elevation two feet above the top of the existing levee. The pump station was damaged beyond repair when the levee was overtopped in September 2011 during Tropical Storm Lee. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will receive a $1.1 million H2O PA grant to address structural deficiencies of the spillway located at the existing Marsh Creek Dam in Upper Uwchlan Township, Chester County. The dam was constructed for the purposes of flood control, water supply and recreational activities. Since the initial construction, the entire concrete emergency spillway has continued to slowly deteriorate. The funding provided will fund the complete rehabilitation of the spillway and ultimately return Marsh Creek Dam to a serviceable condition. This ensures flood mitigation for 1,500 residents, 200 businesses and 15 schools located within the Downingtown region, while mitigating the risk of a dam failure. Coudersport, Potter County, will receive a $466,730 H2O PA grant to raise the levee, add an embankment and remove debris and sediments from the Allegheny River levee. The borough will also modify the Mill Creek levee and place riprap on portions of the levee, raise the levee, add embankment material and remove debris and sediments. The repairs and upgrades will allow for Federal Emergency Management Agency certification and accreditation, which ensures homeowners and businesses in the area remain eligible for repair and rehabilitation funds. This remediation project will impact 125 homes, 44 businesses and one school. Administered by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, H2O PA provides grants for flood control projects, construction of drinking water, sanitary sewer and storm sewer projects and highhazard or unsafe dam projects. CFA is not accepting new applications at this time for the H2O Program. For more information on this and other funding programs, visit the Commonwealth Financing Authority webpage. NewsClips:
No Stable Funding For River And Stream Flood Gauges Flood Aid Approval Pending Penn State: Back To School Resources For Youth Water Education As we enter into the first few days and weeks of the 20132014 school year and the last few days and weeks of summer, don’t forget to include water as part of a complete educational experience for youth. There are many excellent resources that may be helpful as you engage youth in waterrelated educational experiences throughout the year. Listed below are a few relatively new materials developed at Penn State Extension, and we hope you find them to be great additions to your curriculum The Water We Drink – A new fact sheet about our drinking water and making sure it’s safe, designed specifically for youth in grades 612. The fact sheet covers important points about public and private water systems and includes an engaging activity on how to read a water quality test report. A Water Drop on a Journey: Shale Gas Drilling in the MidAtlantic – This video presentation covers water’s journey through the shale gas drilling and production processes in the MidAtlantic region and targets 6th–9th grade level youth. True or False: Common Concerns About Shale Gas Drilling in the MidAtlantic This video presentation addresses current environmental issues and misconceptions, particularly those related to water, surrounding shale gas drilling and production and is targeted to 8th–10thgrade viewers. The presentation addresses current topics of environmental concern and misunderstanding with factual researchbased information. Watershed Decisions A handson, inquiry based activity that helps older youth (middle and high school aged) and adults learn about water quality issues surrounding small watersheds and the decision making processes that go into improving those water quality issues. 4H Stream Teams – 4H Stream Teams is a new opportunity for youth ages 818 in Pennsylvania that are interested in water, environmental awareness, science, and their local community. Youth participate in handson learning experiences and take part in implementing a water based community service project in their own neighborhoods. Training for potential new volunteers and educators is being held (free and online) in November 2013. Act 48 Credits will be offered. Preregistration is required online. Dive Deeper II If water education with youth plays a big part in your life, please save the date for our second Dive Deeper Summit! On September 25, 2104 in Harrisburg, PA, youth water educators from across the midAtlantic region will gather to share resources, curriculum ideas, important information, and networking opportunities. Act 48 Credits will be offered at the summit. You can sign up to receive updates about this event online. On November 20, 12 p.m, a onehour free webinar will be offered in which several of these resources will be presented in more detail. Please feel free to join us. You can find details on how to log on to the webinar online. If you have any questions about any of them, please feel free to contact Jennifer Fetter – Watershed Youth Development Educator. Have a great school year! (Written By: Jennifer R. Fetter, Extension Educator – Watershed/Youth Development, Renewable
Natural Resources Team, Penn State Extension, Dauphin County Office, reprinted from the Watershed Winds newsletter.) Join Friends Of The Wissahickon For Sept. 28 National Public Lands Day Cleanup The Friends of the Wissahickon and AIM Academy of Conshohocken, Montgomery County, invite volunteers to work with them in cleaning the Wissahickon Creek as part of National Public Lands Day on September 28. Volunteers will be removing debris from Wissahickon Creek from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meet at the Valley Green parking lot in Wissahickon Valley Park. Parking is very limited at Valley Green, so FOW recommends carpooling, hiking, or biking to this event. The AIM Academy, a grade 112 college preparatory school, provides extraordinary educational opportunities to children with languagebased learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia, utilizing researchbased intervention strategies and an artsbased learning environment that is college preparatory in scope and sequence. Students from AIM are participating in this Wissahickon Creek cleanup project as part of the Green Apple Day of Service. Registration is not required but is recommended in order to be notified of any changes due to weather. To register, contact FOW Volunteer Coordinator Eric Falk by sending email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Workdays are cancelled in the event of heavy rain or snow. Making The Dead Come Alive Environmental Educator Workshop Nov. 13 The Carbon County Environmental Education Center is hosting a teacher workshop on Making the Dead Come Alive on November 13 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Summit Hill, Pa. Topics covered by the workshop include pickled specimen preparation, taxidermy, safety in natural history collecting, standardsbased classroom activities and more. Each participant will take home nearly $100 of free materials. A $10 fee covers materials, lunch and refreshments. Act 48 credits are available. The workshop is made possible by funding from the Department of Environmental Protection. Call 5706458597 to register. Pittsburgh’s The Outdoor Classroom Sets Fall Environmental Education Programs The Pittsburghbased The Outdoor Classroom is sponsoring several environmental education programs in October and November, including using Earth Caches In Your Classroom, Project WET 2.0, Team Tadpole Leadership Academy and more. Click Here for all the details. Keep PA Beautiful, Professional Recyclers Of PA To Hold Enforcement Forum Oct. 1617 Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania are teaming up for a two day enforcement session on October 16 and 17 at the Double Tree Hotel in Monroeville. Guest speakers and panelists will include representatives from the Fish and Boat Commission,
Game Commission, State Police, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, zoning and code enforcement officers, a Magisterial District Judge, and the Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Investigation and Solid Waste Departments. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful will discuss the newly implemented Illegal Dump Surveillance Support Pilot Program and share recent results. This session should be attended by municipal, recycling and waste personnel, enforcement officers or anyone who handles enforcement issues in their job. The class will qualify for 1.2 CEU’s for Recycling 461: Understanding Jurisdictions and Enforcement, and Recycling 462: Investigations and Prosecution Procedures towards the PROP Recyclers certification program. This program is made possible through funding from Richard King Mellon Foundation and the Department of Environmental Protection. Online registration is available. Permit Application For TriCounty Landfill In Mercer County Denied By DEP The Department of Environmental Protection has denied a municipal waste landfill permit application sought by TriCounty Landfill Inc. for the reopening of the TriCounty Landfill in Pine and Liberty townships, Mercer County. TriCounty Landfill Inc. is one of several subsidiary companies of Vogel Holdings Inc. of Mars, Butler County, that are engaged in the waste management business. The department denied the permit based on the compliance history of other Vogel Holding’s subsidiaries, as well as local zoning issues. Prompted by public comments, the department evaluated the compliance history of TriCounty Landfill Inc. and several other related waste companies in Butler County that operate under Vogel Holding Inc.—such as Seneca Landfill Inc. and Vogel Disposal Services Inc.—as part of its final review of the permit application. This review identified a history of noncompliance for these related companies, documented in inspection records from 2003 to 2013. The Pennsylvania Solid Waste Management Act authorizes DEP to deny a permit if it finds that a principal of the applicant corporation was a principal of another corporation that committed past violations of the act. “Environmental compliance should serve as the cornerstone of every company’s corporate philosophy seeking to do business in Pennsylvania,” Kelly Burch, director of DEP’s Northwest Regional Office said. TriCounty’s permit application proposed a finished height of 160 feet for the landfill. However, zoning restrictions in Liberty and Pine townships limit the height of structures to 40 feet. These restrictions have been held by the Mercer Court of Common Pleas to apply to the landfill. In 2000, the General Assembly passed amendments to the Municipalities Planning Code that require DEP to consider local zoning in permitting actions under certain circumstances. Accordingly, the department is also denying TriCounty’s permit because the design conflicts with local height restrictions. TriCounty Landfill Inc. submitted its most recent permit application for the construction and operation of a municipal waste landfill on August 23, 2004. The company previously operated a landfill
at this same location, but that facility closed in 1990. TriCounty currently operates a municipal waste transfer station at the site. DEP Announces Completion Of Currie Landfill Cleanup In Erie County The Department of Environmental Protection will join representatives of Millcreek Township, the Millcreek Youth Athletic Association and Rick Griffith of Moxie Nein LLC to celebrate the end of remedial construction at the Currie Landfill site at 2:00 p.m. on September 26. The statefunded cleanup makes it now possible for the property to transition into productive recreational and commercial use. The public is invited to attend this celebration of completion and change. Currie Landfill is located in Millcreek Township, Erie County, along West 15th Street south of Yorktown Plaza and west of Pittsburgh Avenue. The site previously operated as a household and industrial waste landfill. Heavy metals and volatile organic compounds from waste disposed at the site were responsible for contaminating soil, groundwater, and the sediments and surface water in the West Branch of Cascade Creek. DEP’s remedial work included the consolidation and capping of the waste disposed at the former landfill. Activities to protect the creek, improve water quality and restore lost habitat to the watershed included the removal of waste and contaminated sediments from approximately 600 feet of the West Branch of Cascade Creek; creation of instream habitat improvements; installation of stormwater controls; and the establishment of a riparian buffer along the creek banks. The design of the remedial cleanup was done by Michael Baker Jr., Inc. and construction was completed by Berner Construction. "This once blighted and abandoned property has been restored for the community to use again," DEP Northwest Regional Director Kelly Burch said. "Cascade Creek runs through Frontier Park and into Presque Isle Bay. Restoration of this portion of the creek and further protection of the Presque Isle Bay Watershed was a vital aspect of the project." The remedial action was accomplished through a unique publicpartnership between the Department of Environmental Protection’s Hazardous Sites Cleanup Program, Millcreek Township and Moxie Nein L.P. The cleanup provides significant protection of the public health and environment; the addition of commercial property back onto the county, township and school tax rolls; and a significant recreational asset for Millcreek Township and the Erie community. “The vision, cooperation, and teamwork between Millcreek Township Supervisors and employees, the Millcreek Youth Athletic Association, Rick Griffith, and DEP staff were vital to completing the transformation of the site,” according to Burch. “While DEP will continue to oversee the site for a year to ensure its design operates as intended, we are now turning over the site to Millcreek Township and Moxie Nein so they can continue their work to complete the vision of recreational use and commercial development.” The $4.4 million project is funded out of the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund, which is funded by a portion of the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax. For more information, call 8143326945.
Former Montgomery County Plating Facility To Be Cleaned Up By DEP The Department of Environmental Protection will conduct an environmental cleanup at the former Pottstown Plating facility in Pottstown Borough, Montgomery County, to remove hazardous materials left onsite. The company operated an electroplating facility at 215 South Washington St., Pottstown, from 1950 to 2009, before going bankrupt. Following a DEP inspection of the plant in 2009, company owners hired a contractor to remove hazardous waste. Onsite cleanup activities by the company ceased in 2010 due to lack of funding. Although DEP issued an order in October 2011 requiring completion of the cleanup, Pottstown Plating has taken no further action. “This facility is unsecured and in disrepair. At our most recent inspection, we found clear evidence of trespassing. DEP will remove the remaining hazardous material before any chemical release can occur,” DEP Southeast Regional Director Cosmo Servidio said. Air monitoring performed during a July 30 inspection found no release into the atmosphere, although tanks, drums and totes of heavy metals, cyanides and sodium hydroxide remain, along with hydrochloric acid in onsite sumps. DEP’s cleanup action is slated to begin in late September, and is expected to last several months. The department will then hold a public hearing to outline actions the agency has taken to date, giving area residents an opportunity to comment. DEP’s work at the site is being conducted under the authority of the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act, a 1988 law that authorizes the agency to perform cleanup of hazardous waste sites and recover costs from responsible parties. For more information, call 4842505900. DEP Sets Keystone Teacher Energy Education Workshop Schedule The Department of Environmental Protection this week announced the schedule for the Keystone Energy Education Program Workshops to teach and track energy efficiency in school buildings and homes. The workshops will be held October 23: Chester County IU, Downingtown; October 24: Penn College of Technology, Williamsport; October 29: McKeever Environmental Education Center, Sandy Lake, Mercer County; November 5: Monroe County Conservation District, Stroudsburg; November 6: DEP Southcentral Regional Office, Harrisburg; November 26: Allegheny IU, Pittsburgh; February 24: St. Vincent College Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve, Latrobe; March 19: Asbury Woods Nature Center, Erie; TBA: March: Penn State University, State College; TBA: March: Wilkes University, WilkesBarre; TBA: March: Montgomery County IU, Norristown; and May 20: Juniata College, Huntingdon. The workshops will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participating teachers will be eligible for 6.5 Act
48 credit hours. Space is limited, so registrations will be accepted on a firstcome, firstserve basis. Six school teams will attend each workshop, resulting in 72 schools participating. Click Here to download the registration form (the forum can be used for any workshop, but CLEARLY indicate which workshop you are registering for) and send the registration to: KEEP@energyworkshops.org or fax to: 4124315214. For more information, contact the KEEP Coordinator Susan Gove at 4124311010 or send email to: email@example.com. KEEP is a series of free workshops, geared to middle school building teams, which includes three teachers of grades 5, 6 or 7, an administrator and a building maintenance manager. Workshop participants will learn about and explore energy issues, including fundamentals and impacts, electricity generation, transportation fuels, careers, energy conservation, student teams and school building energy benchmarking through presentations, tours and handson activities. “Energy education is critically important for children, teachers and families. The KEEP program will enable participants to learn the importance of conserving our natural resources; the economics of energy sources and technologies; and the value of clean energy for our environment, while enabling the school district to operate the school building more economically to save taxpayer dollars on utility costs,” DEP’s Director of Environmental Education Jack Farster said. Each team will have the opportunity to integrate high level, standardsbased energy education into their formal curriculum. This could include lesson plans, curricular modules and ongoing benchmarking through EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager, resulting in energy efficiency assessments leading to improvements that reduce energy consumption. The workshops are based on Pennsylvania’s Academic Standards and Assessment Anchors for Environment and Ecology, Science and Technology and Engineering Education. Participating teachers will receive background information, standardsbased curricular materials and energy conservation material kits. PPL Offers Energy, Environment, Resource Conservation Education Grants As part of its continuing partnership with the communities it serves, PPL Corporation is once again offering grants to teachers to help their students learn more about energy, the environment and resource conservation. The deadline for applications is November 8. Through the competitive “Empowering Educators” grants program, teachers can receive up to $2,000 for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) projects to encourage action in schools in Pennsylvania and New Jersey near PPL facilities. Projects must focus on energy issues, such as renewable energy, efficiency and the greening of schools. “The students who will benefit from these grants are the people who will decide how our state and nation use energy in the future,” said Meg Welker, PPL’s manager of Education and Public Outreach. “Continued support of education helps ensure that they will make informed choices.” Grant awards will be announced December 9. For more information, and for grant application forms, visit the Empowering Educators page. If you have a project in mind or need more information about PPL’s grants program, please contact Alana Roberts, community affairs specialist, by sending
email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or 5705422886. Corbett Announces $13.5 Million For Cleaner Energy Projects Gov. Tom Corbett announced Tuesday Pennsylvania is expanding its commitment to advance clean, alternative and renewable energy sources with the investment of more than $13.5 million in loans and grants through the Commonwealth Financing Authority. “Today’s investments represent the success that can be achieved when state government, public and private entities and markets all work together to benefit all Pennsylvanians,” said Corbett. “The expansion of alternative, clean energy is resulting in cost savings for businesses and residents, new job opportunities, and a cleaner environment.” The Commonwealth Financing Authority approved 13 projects through the state’s Alternative and Clean Energy Program in Adams, Chester, Columbia, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Montgomery, Perry and Philadelphia counties. The state investments are projected to result in more than $75.7 million in additional economic investments. The approved projects also included funding for five compressed natural gas fueling stations. The proliferation of fueling stations is expected to result in reduced emissions, fuel savings and the utilization of domestically produced natural gas. “We have an available, abundant, domestic, economical and cleanburning supply of natural gas throughout Pennsylvania that can be used in a number of ways including to fuel our vehicles,” said Corbett. “Increasing the number of natural gas fueling stations in the state will grow the industry, boost our employment and result in a better environment.” Changes Encourage Natural Gas To encourage the development of public Compressed Natural Gas and Liquefied Natural Gas fueling stations the CFA announced CNG/LNG policy changes which includes a 25 percent grant incentive for private CNG/LNG stations and a 40 percent grant incentive for publicly accessible CNG/LNG fueling stations. The overall grant and loan combination would be capped at 50 percent of the total project cost. The ACE Program provides financial assistance in the form of grants and loan funds that will be used by eligible applicants for the utilization, development and construction of alternative and clean energy projects in the state. The HPB program provides financial assistance in the forms of grants and loan funds to underwrite the cost premiums associated with the design and construction or major renovation of high performance buildings in the state. A running list of approved ACES Projects is available online. The Alternative and Clean Energy Program is still accepting applications for the next round of funding. NewsClip: PA Gives $2 Million To Build Natural Gas Stations Auditor General Praises Kutztown University For Energy Cost Reductions
Auditor General Eugene DePasquale Tuesday released a performance audit of Kutztown University, Berks County, showing that recently implemented campus energy conservation measures have saved more than $1.4 million over a twoyear period through the use of a guaranteed energy savings contract. “Kutztown University has done a great job of cutting operational costs by reducing energy use, enabling those savings to be put to use serving the educational needs of the students,” DePasquale said. “We all know that it’s getting harder for middleclass families to send their children to college, so I am encouraged to see that Kutztown University is doing what it can to hold down operating costs.” The Guaranteed Energy Savings Act allows government entities, including stateowned universities such as Kutztown, to enter into contracts for evaluating, recommending, designing, implementing and installing energy conservation measures. In 2008, Kutztown contracted with Noresco Inc. of Westborough, MA, for 15 guaranteed energy savings campus projects. The projects included lighting upgrades, window and weather stripping replacement, installation of energy management systems, new kitchen hood exhaust controls, a solar pool heater, heat pump improvements, a new roof on the field house as well as the establishment of a campuswide awareness, communications and sustainability program. Under the contract, Noresco guaranteed that the university would realize net energy cost savings of $5.5 million over 15 years. “In 2011 and 2012, Kutztown University exceeded the expectations of savings guaranteed in the contract, clearly demonstrating that guaranteed energy savings agreements are useful tools in energy conservation and related cost reductions,” DePasquale said, noting that other stateowned institutions, including Mansfield University, are benefiting from similar contracts. In addition to the energy savings contract, the university also initiated several other projects on its own that are designed to reduce energy costs, including installing utility meters in all housing units, retrofitting water fountains with water bottle filling stations and using LED lighting. A copy of the full audit and other findings and recommendations is available online. Chatham University Eden Hall Green Campus Impact Tour Oct. 10 Chatham University will host a behindthescenes construction site tour: The Eden Hall Campus Impact Tour: A Stronger Pittsburgh, A Healthier World on October 10 prior to its official opening this fall. Located in the North Hills region of Allegheny County, Eden Hall will be the first community in the world built from “below the ground up” for the study of sustainable living, learning, and development. Selfsustaining in every way, Eden Hall is designed to oneday serve 1,500 students while emitting zero carbon emissions, producing more energy than it consumes and managing all storm and wastewater onsite. The tour will offer a first look at the initial stage of construction and commentary from industry experts on the various sustainable architectural and engineering initiatives, technologies, approaches and academic plans underway on the campus. Attendees will learn more about Eden Hall’s impact on sustainable issues critical to the Pittsburgh region and the world including: Improving air quality and reducing a community’s carbon footprint Utilizing comprehensive onsite storm and wastewater management techniques Modeling a diverse mix of energy generation including solar, geothermal and natural gas fuel cells
Developing new, green buildings while also preserving and updating older structures Pursuing sustainable agriculture methods to produce food for the region Eden Hall will model how a community can improve watershed protection and utilize innovative onsite water management techniques with 75 percent potable water use reduction and 100 percent onsite wastewater treatment. “Pennsylvania has more impaired waterways than any other U.S. state and even modest rainfall causes serious problems for aging, overtaxed lines,” said Dr. David Hassenzahl, Dean of the School of Sustainability and Environment. “Water and how we manage it is just one of the many ways Eden Hall models green innovation for the region.” Pittsburgh has become a leader in sustainable design, alternative energy technology, LEEDcertified green building, brownfield development, and sustainable regional architecture in recent years. Several headquarters for biofuel, wind turbine, and solar cell companies now call Pittsburgh home. Eden Hall will speed the city’s emerging leadership in sustainability, energy and green building. It will serve as a living and working laboratory of ways that a small community can be more sustainable. Located at Eden Hall, Chatham’s School of Sustainability & the Environment integrates academics with campus sustainable infrastructure to offer graduate and undergraduate sustainability programs that prepare students for the career opportunities emerging in this field. Chatham has also established international partnerships with other universities, including EARTH University in Costa Rica, to connect physically and virtually students, faculty, professionals, and leaders from around the world right here in Pittsburgh in the study of sustainability. According to Bill Flanagan, Executive Vice President of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Eden Hall is a new symbol of how far Pittsburgh has come. “We’ve been on a journey for the past 70years to get cleaner and greener and now, a new generation of civic leaders are setting their sights on urban farming and green infrastructure,” said Flanagan. “Chatham’s Eden Hall campus promises to propel this commitment to sustainable prosperity to a whole new level, by pushing the edge of what’s possible not just for Pittsburgh but for the nation and the world. “ The tour schedule: 10:00 a.m. – Chatham BioDiesel Shuttle Departs Woodland Road, Chatham University Shadyside Campus (100 Woodland Road Pittsburgh, PA 15232); 11:00 a.m. Eden Hall Campus Tour Begins: (6035 Ridge Road Richland Township, PA 15044); 2:00/2:30 Shuttle returns to Shadyside Campus. Visit Chatham’s Eden Hall Campus webpage for more information including a 3D virtual walkthrough, the master plan and other information. BNY Mellon Wins EPA Energy Star Awards For 3.1 Million Square Feet Of Office Space Pittsburghbased BNY Mellon has reached a new environmental sustainability milestone by earning U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star awards for 100 percent of its commercial real estate portfolio in downtown Pittsburgh. The accomplishment applied to three separate buildings totaling 3.1 million square feet of Class A commercial office space within a three block area. "Clear goals, excellent teamwork and a highly effective energy management program have
resulted in this powerful new milestone in BNY Mellon's comprehensive sustainability strategy, thanks to the disciplined work of our entire sustainability team," said Vince Sands, chairman of BNY Mellon of Pennsylvania. "Energy Star” is the benchmark of the nation's energy conservation, so reducing the overall carbon footprint of our largest employee base, while also continuing to grow local employment, demonstrates leadership and commitment to the environment and our employees." The U.S. EPA's Energy Star program was introduced in 1992 as a voluntary, marketbased partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Commercial buildings that earn the Energy Star label use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The EPA's national energy performance rating system provides a scale from one to 100, which helps organizations assess how efficiently their buildings use energy relative to similar buildings nationwide. The Energy Star designation applies to BNY Mellon Center (1.25 million square feet), BNY Mellon Client Service Center (910,000 square feet) and 525 William Penn Place (940,000 square feet). In addition to its downtownbased Energy Star properties, the company's processing center in Armstrong County was among the firstever Energy Starcertified data centers in the EPA's Energy Star property registry. In fact, the company's 39 facilities in the EPA's property registry have achieved a portfoliowide average Energy Star rating of 75, with some BNY Mellon properties like its Everett, MA facility earning Energy Star for 11 years in a row. To date, BNY Mellon has surpassed its greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 10 percent by 2016, recording a 32 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in 2012 from its owned and controlled U.S. real estate portfolio since 2008. Included on the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability Index, the company has also been recognized for sustainability leadership and operational efficiency by the CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project). Locally, BNY Mellon and its partners from Jones Lang LaSalle and Mechanical Operations Corporation have implemented a program of continuous improvement which supports the company's corporatewide commitment to sustainability. BNY Mellon is a charter member of the Pittsburgh 2030 District in which the region's commercial property owners and managers work collaboratively to attain sustainability targets and support the city's legacy as a national leader in green buildings. According to the Pittsburgh 2030 District, buildings in the United States are responsible for up to 50 percent of domestic energy use, over 70 percent of electricity use, 40 percent of raw materials use and 38 percent of carbon dioxide emissions. For more information, visit the BNY Mellon website. PUC: Most Electric, Natural Gas Customers Satisfied With Utility Service The majority of electric and natural gas customers were satisfied with the way customer service representatives handled their calls in 2012, according to an annual report released Wednesday by the Public Utility Commission.
The 2012 Customer Service Performance Report measures the customer service performance of the state’s major electric and natural gas companies. This year’s report summarizes data from 2010, 2011 and 2012. It allows customers to see how well companies are responding to their questions and enables utilities to see how their level of service compares to other companies. The data falls into two categories: companyreported performance information and customer survey results. The companyreported data measures telephone access to the companies, such as the percentage of calls that were answered within 30 seconds, abandoned by customers or received a busy signal. Calls in the “busyout rate” represent those attempted calls that received a busy signal or message. The report also measures how often companies failed to read meters, issue bills and promptly respond to customer disputes. The customer surveys measure customer perception of access to the company; employee courtesy and knowledge; promptness and timeliness of a response or visit; and satisfaction with the handling of the interaction. All of the utilities contracted with a common market research firm to conduct the surveys of their customers. The full report is available online. Groups Say Federal Emissions Policies Hurt PA's Economy The federal government's regulatory policies regarding carbon emissions will have a detrimental impact on Pennsylvania in terms of lost jobs and higher electricity prices, the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance told the House Democratic Policy Committee Monday. George Ellis, Coal Alliance president, speaking in Pennsylvania's largest coalproducing county, said recent policies of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are causing the premature closing of coal plants. "The added compliance costs for recently adopted EPA policies and the regulatory uncertainty about the scope and level of future regulations have led some generators to rethink their fuel options," Ellis said. Plants at Hatfield's Ferry, Mitchell, Elrama, Armstrong, New Castle, Portland, Titus and Shawville are designated for retirement. Together they represent more than 5,000 megawatts of electricity, or about ten percent of Pennsylvania's currently installed electric capacity. The impact of these plant closings will be felt in their communities and the surrounding region, not just in terms of the plant jobs lost but throughout the other sectors of the economy as well, he said. Additionally, removing such a significant proportion of coalfueled electricity from the energy portfolio will mean higher electricity prices and will threaten the stability of the power grid. "The bottom line is you cannot simply jettison coal from our generation mix and still expect to have an affordable and reliable source of electricity to help foster a growing economy," Ellis said. "There are environmental and pricing challenges inherent with using any existing energy source. If we shy away from using any of our domestic resources merely because they post challenges, we will find ourselves with fewer, more expensive and less reliable energy options." Ellis noted that Pennsylvania is the nation's fourthlargest coal producer by volume and contributes about $7 billion to the state's economy. The industry supports 41,500 direct and indirect jobs in the state, with a payroll of more than $2.2 billion per year. He also noted that technological advancements are paying off with significant reductions in
various emissions, and that mining safety is at a higher level than at any point in history. Coal also is the nation's largest indigenous fossil fuel, and utilizing it reduces the need for foreign energy sources, he said. Greene County's economy, in particular, benefits significantly from the six major mines located there. They produce 65 percent of Pennsylvania's coal and represent half of the state's mining workforce. Three of the top four employers in Greene County are mining companies. "The true path toward energy security and economic prosperity is a balanced energy policy that wisely utilizes all of our indigenous resources, including coal, through marketdriven choices to satisfy demand," he said. New Carbon Limits John Pippy, CEO of the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance, made the following statement in response to the proposed federal standards on carbon emissions proposed this week: "These standards effectively ban construction of new, efficient coalfueled power plants that greatly reduce emissions through the use of cleancoal technology. This will force a reliable, affordable, domestically produced fuel source out of the energy mix, causing dire economic consequences across all sectors of the economy, with little or no environmental improvement to show for it. "Pennsylvania's economy will be disproportionately affected through the loss of thousands of middleclass jobs, and manufacturers, commercial businesses and individual consumers will all pay more for electricity. "We do not need to choose between a cleaner environment and reliable, affordable electricity and the jobs that go along with it. We can have all of those things with a collaborative approach that relies on science and technology rather than on what is perceived as politically fashionable." For more information, visit the PA Coal Alliance website. Other Reaction John W. Carroll, an environmental attorney with Pepper Hamilton, said, “This proposed new rule confirms the fears expressed by the power plant industry for some time that the EPA’s approach to regulating coalfired plants – new or old – would require the use of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology that most argue is not yet commercially proven and certain to be high cost. “The EPA’s endorsement of this approach in today’s proposal for new plants strongly suggests that the agency will impose similar requirements on existing plants when it proposes that rule next summer. “This expected increase in costs for new, unproven technology, combined with the lower costs we see in today’s market for natural gas—as well as recent EPA rules regulating mercury and air toxins from power plants that also ratchet down allowable limits of those emissions and impose significant retrofit requirements—are all combining to convince some power plant operators to close down existing coal plants." Environmental Quality Board OKs Final Title V Air Quality Emission Fee Increases The Environmental Quality Board Tuesday approved a final regulation increasing Air Quality Title V emission fees from $57.50 per ton of emissions to $85 per ton. The change is estimated to initially generate about $5.1 million more in revenue to the Department of Environmental Protection to administer the Title V program.
The fees are required by state and federal law to cover the cost of Title V program administration, but due to declining air emissions, the existing fee structure was not adequate to meet agency costs. For more information and a copy of the final regulation and other related fee package documents, including the Regulatory Analysis Form, visit the Environmental Quality Board webpage. The next scheduled meeting of the Environmental Quality Board is October 15. Insider's Guide To Streamlining The Air Permitting Process Seminar Oct. 17 The Allegheny Mountain Section of Air & Waste Management Association will hold a regional air permitting seminar on October 17 at the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania. Representatives from local regulatory agencies will give updated information and insider tips on best practices, submitting an administratively complete application, common omissions and mistakes, and expediting air installation and operation permit applications. This workshop is ideal for young professionals interested in gaining technical knowledge in local air permitting practices and industry veterans looking to advance their knowledge. There will also be a question and answer sessions with the experts and networking opportunities. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. with a continental breakfast provided and concludes after a buffet lunch. Online registration is available. Registration is $65 for members and $85 for nonmembers. Payment is preferred through PayPal – follow the instructions on the Events registration. Checks are also accepted. Make checks payable to the Allegheny Mountain Section of A&WMA and bring them to the workshop after registering. Please contact Jill Buckley with any issues by sending email to: Jill.Buckley500@gmail.com. Exhibit Information The Insider’s Guide to Streamlining the Air Permitting Process will bring together regulators, industrial environmental professionals, and decision makers. This workshop is the perfect place to demonstrate your company’s services! Eight exhibit spaces are available on a firstcome firstserve basis and will be located in the same room as the presentations. There is ample time to discuss your services during the registration, continental breakfast, break, and lunch. Setup will be on October 17, 2013 from 7:30 to 8:00 a.m. All exhibits must be removed prior to 2:30 p.m. on October 17. Exhibitors will be provided with one skirted 6’ table and two chairs. The space provided will accommodate tabletop exhibits. Exhibit space is limited and costs $150. One employee of the exhibiting company will receive registration for the full conference (up to an $85 value). Payments may be made by cash, check, or credit card. Make checks payable to Allegheny Mountain Section A&WMA. Please contact Leah Blinn for more information regarding exhibits at 4127221970 or send email to: LBlinn@ngeconsulting.com. Call For Presenters: PA Environmental Professionals 2014 Annual Conference The PA Association of Environmental Professionals has issued a call for presentations for its 2014 Annual Conference to be held May 79 in Seven Springs, Pa. The deadline for proposals is September
27. Click Here to submit an online proposal. PA Society For Conservation Biology Sets Western PA Conference Nov. 2 The Western PA Chapter of the Society for Conservation biology will host the first annual Western PA Conservation Conference November 2 at Clarion University with the theme of Connecting Conservation Stakeholders Across Western PA. The conference will feature oral and poster presentations on conservation research and conservation programs, a presentation by keynote speaker Dr. Gregory Smith from the University of Akron, and a forum on "Cold Water Conservation in Pennsylvania's Changing Landscape." The forum will also feature a panel of speakers representing a variety of interests in Pennsylvania and will be free to the public. Click Here to download a registration form. Click Here to register for a display booth. For more information, contact Dr. Andrew Keth, Clarion University, by calling 8143931734 or send email to: email@example.com. Call For Presenters: PA Land Trust Assn. 2014 Conservation Conference The PA Land Trust Association has issued a call for presenters for its 2014 Pennsylvania Land Conservation Conference to be held May 13 at the Reading Crowne Plaza. Proposals are due October 31. Click Here for all the details. PA State Parks & Forests’ Goddard History Project Wins National Award A volunteerled project to raise awareness about the patriarch of Pennsylvania’s State Parks, Maurice K. Goddard, has won a major national award from the National Association of State Park Directors, the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation announced Tuesday. The Goddard Legacy Project won the 2013 President’s Award from the Director’s Association, an accolade presented to an individual or organization that has made an extraordinary contribution or innovation at a state, regional, or national level, furthering the goal of a system of state parks. “We are thrilled by the State Park Directors’ recognition of the Goddard Legacy Project,” said PPFF President Marci Mowery. “Launched in 2009, the goal of the Goddard Project was to build awareness of the man and most importantly of his legacy of public service, commitment to state parks and public lands, bipartisan ethic, and science based management our parks and forests.” Sometimes called the father of Pennsylvania’s modern state park system, Goddard served five Pennsylvania governors—both Republicans and Democrats—for 24 years. During his tenure the state park system doubled in size, adding 45 new parks (for a total of 90 parks), and all existing state parks were improved and upgraded, fulfilling his vision for “a state park within 25 miles of every Pennsylvanian.” “During his long career Goddard significantly expanded the state park system, established state forest natural and wild areas, and professionalized forest and environmental management in state government,” said Project member Brenda Barrett.
The NASPD recognized the Goddard Legacy Project for its efforts to building awareness of Pennsylvania’s state park system, the state’s conservation heritage, and the need for continued stewardship and support through historical research, five state historical markers, interpretive signs in state parks, scholarly and popular articles, and continuing educational programs and a feature length documentary with PBS affiliate WITF in Harrisburg. “WITF is honored to partner with the Goddard Legacy Project,” said Kathleen Pavelko, WITF’s President and CEO. “This award from the National Association of State Park Directors recognizes both Dr. Goddard’s accomplishments and the persistence of his vision as embodied in the Goddard Legacy Project.” Partnering with the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Professionals, and the Harrisburg public media outlet WITF, Inc. with funds from the DCNR, Heinz Endowments, the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and many private donors, the Goddard Legacy Project: Erected five official historic markers to memorialize Goddard’s work in parks, forestry, professionalization, and the development of the interstate compacts for the Delaware and Susquehanna rivers at the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg, the Mont Alto Campus of Penn State, Delaware Canal State Park, Camp Hill Borough, and Goddard State Park; Produced The Life of Maurice Goddard, a fulllength documentary which premiered in 2010 and has aired on every PBS television station across the state; Sponsored continuing education programs on the legacy of Maurice Goddard including: annual staff training for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; Park Break program with the National Park Service at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area; an annual Goddard Forum at Camp Hill High School; the “Goddard Leadership Legacy Institute” middle school summer camp; outreach programs for civic and conservation organizations; teacher training programs; and campfire programs in state parks; Installed interpretive panels at twentyfive of the state parks created in the Goddard years with funding from dedicated conservation sources. The panels emphasized the vision and the funding needed to create state parks; Published articles in scholarly and popular publications to build awareness of the legacy project including: a dedicated issue of the PPFF newsletter, “Why the Past Matters in Pennsylvania History” in the Journal of MidAtlantic Studies, “Conserving Pennsylvania’s Natural Resources: The Thrifty legacy of Maurice Goddard” in Legacies, the Journal of the Pennsylvania Historical Society, an article on leadership in the Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Professionals newsletter, and a lead guest editorial in the Harrisburg Patriot News; Rededicated the M.K. Goddard Wilderness Area as part of the State Forest System; and Sponsored a graduate student in partnership with the state history agency to research and prepare a report on the accomplishments of Maurice Goddard. For more information, visit the Goddard Legacy Project webpage. Acting DCNR Secretary Ferretti Tours Timber Harvest, Forest Product Facilities Pennsylvania’s state forests are working forests, meaning DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry manages them
for many uses including sustained yields of quality timber. On September 9, the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association hosted Acting Secretary Ellen Ferretti on a tour through the Pennsylvania Wilds to learn about forest products from start to finish. First stop—an active harvest site in the Susquehannock State Forest in Potter County, where the average age of the standing trees is about 80 years. The 265,000 acre Forest District 15 derives its name from the Susquehannock tribe that once inhabited the region. It’s a northern hardwood forest—sugar maple, red oak, red maple, birch—that also grows some of the most productive stands of black cherry trees in the world. District Forester Chris Nicholas explained how sustainable timber harvesting provides a steady flow of wood products to the economy, creating wildlife habitat and enhancing health and diversity for the forest of tomorrow. “DCNR Bureau of Forestry’s work with the timber industry is a longstanding partnership, and it’s now evident to me how closely we work together for our mutual benefit,” Acting Secretary Ferretti said. “When forester Chris Nicholas showed us twigs emerging at his feet that would become future cherry trees the patch of duff at our feet was no longer unremarkable—it represented the future of Pennsylvania’s forests!” Nicholas noted that the annual goal in the Susquehannock is to regenerate about 1,100 acres annually. “We make sure that regeneration is already occurring before we lay out a timber sale,” Nicholas said. “Now that the habitat is much more in balance with the deer herd, deer are having less of an impact on the next generation of forest. Where we used to be doing 20 or 30 fences a year to keep deer out, now we do 2 or 3.” “Many citizens tell us that one of the things they value most about the state forest is wildlife habitat and watching,” State Forester Dan Devlin said. “What they may not realize is how closely wildlife habitat is connected to a forest of different ages of trees made possible through timber harvesting.” DCNR has a harvest allocation goal of about 14,300 acres annually across its 2.2 million acre system. A harvest allocation model is used to set those goals for about a 10 year period. Pennsylvania’s state forest has been independently certified for more than 15 years, validating that the department is managing in a way that protects its longterm health. This certification allows removed timber to be sold as sustainably harvested, giving an edge to our timber and wood product industries. According to the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association, the timber and forest products industry operates in all 67 counties with more than one billion board feet of timber produced in Pa each year – enough to circle the globe seven times. "Pennsylvania hardwood products are exported around the globe, and are famous for their beauty and quality,” said association Executive Director Paul Lyskava. “The commonwealth leads the U.S. in production of hardwoods.” The second stop on the tour was at Pine Creek Lumber in Mill Hall, a hardwood sawmill that cuts more than 6 million board feet annually. Pine Creek Lumber is one of the primary manufacturing sites for Bingaman and Son Lumber that utilizes the locally grown timber, modern manufacturing techniques, and highly skilled employees to produce the fine quality hardwoods.
On a tour through the mill the group learned how the sawyer looks for the most valuable lumber and tries to avoid defects in the log being cut, and how lumber graders examine the wood as it passes on a conveyor belt for defects to mark each board with the grade as determined by the standards established in the industry. The final stop was Bingaman and Son Lumber dry kilns and yard in Kreamer, where Max Bingaman told the acting secretary how he started work in the lumber business with his father, and now works side by side with his son in a profession that is clearly a labor of love for both of them. Industry representatives did express concerns about road maintenance cost issues related to increased traffic in the region from the natural gas industry. Also on the tour were state Rep. Fred Keller (RSnyder) and staff from the offices of Sen. Joe Scarnati (RJefferson), Sen. John Wozniak (DCambria) and Rep. Mike Hanna (DCentre). For more information, visit DCNR State Forest Management Plan webpage. (Reprinted from the September 18 DCNR Resource newsletter.) Game Commission Sets Game Land Tours Sept. 29 To Oct. 20 As part of the Game Commission’s efforts to highlight its ongoing habitat improvement initiatives, the public is invited to take part in upcoming tours of several state game lands. The tours are free and will be held between September 29 and October 20. Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe said the tours offer a glimpse of what state game lands have to offer. “We’re proud of our state game lands and these tours not only provide a chance for us to show them to the public, but they also provide the public an opportunity to come out and talk with the Game Commission personnel directly responsible for managing and protecting game lands,” Roe said. With autumn nearly here, the tours also provide a chance to see some of the best scenery the Commonwealth has to offer, Roe said. The state game lands system has a long history in Pennsylvania. In 1919, the Game Commission was granted authority to purchase lands for the protection, propagation and management of game and wildlife, and to provide areas for public hunting and trapping. Since that time, the Game Commission has acquired more than 1.4 million acres in 65 of the state’s 67 counties (Philadelphia and Delaware counties being the exceptions). With few exceptions, state game lands were purchased using revenues from hunting and furtaker license sales; state game lands timber, coal, oil, gas and mineral operation revenues; the state’s share of a federal excise tax on sporting arms and ammunition, known as the PittmanRobertson Wildlife Restoration Program; from Working Together for Wildlife artwork and patch sales; and from the Pennsylvania Waterfowl Management stamp and print sales. Click Here for details on each tour. NewsClips: State Game Land Tour Schedule Announced
Your 2 Cents: Issues On Advisory Committee Agendas
This section gives you a continuously updated thumbnail sketch of issues to be considered in upcoming advisory committee meetings where the agendas have been released September 25 DCNR Conservation and Natural Resources Advisory Council meeting. Room 105 Rachel Carson Building. 10:00. (formal notice) September 26 Agenda Released. DEP Solid Waste Advisory Committee and Recycling Fund Advisory Committee joint meeting. Room 105 Rachel Carson Building. 10:00.. (formal notice) Consideration of Recycling Fund spending plan. Updates on PennDOT, General Services MOUs Update on TENORM natural gas study Status of medical waste rulemaking <> Click Here for available handouts. October 4 DEP LowLevel Radioactive Waste Advisory Committee meeting. Room 105 Rachel Carson Building. 10:00. October 8 DEP Climate Change Advisory Committee meeting Room 105 Rachel Carson Building. 10:00. October 8 DEP Technical Advisory Committee on DieselPowered Equipment meeting. Fayette County Health Center, Uniontown. 10:00. October 10 DEP Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee meeting. Room 105 Rachel Carson Building. 9:15. October 15 Environmental Quality Board meeting. Room 105 Rachel Carson Building. 9:00. October 15 DEP Citizens Advisory Council meeting. Room 105 Rachel Carson Building. 11:00. October 16 DEP Agricultural Advisory Board meeting. Susquehanna Room A, DEP Southcentral Office, 909 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg. 10:00. October 16 DEP State Board for Certification of Water and Wastewater System Operators meeting. 10th Floor Conference Room, Rachel Carson Building. 10:00. October 17 DEP Radiation Protection Advisory Committee meeting. Room 105 Rachel Carson Building. 9:00. October 23 DEP Small Business Compliance Advisory Committee meeting. 12th Floor Conference Room, Rachel Carson Building. 10:00.
October 23 DEP Cleanup Standards Scientific Advisory Board meeting. Room 105 Rachel Carson Building. 9:00. October 24 DEP Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board meeting. Room 105 Rachel carson Building. 10:00. November 13DEP Water Resources Advisory Committee meeting. Susquehanna Room B, DEP Southcentral Regional Office, 909 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg. 9:30. (formal notice) November 20 CANCELED. DEP Water Resources Advisory Committee meeting has been rescheduled for November 13. (formal notice) Click Here for links to DEP’s Advisory Committee webpages. DEP Calendar of Events [Visit DEP’s new and improved Calendar]
Grants & Awards
This section gives you a heads up on upcoming deadlines for awards and grants and other recognition programs. NEW means new from last week. September 25 Heenan PA Recycling Markets Development Award September 30 DEP Recycling Performance Grant September 30 Project Learning Tree Classroom Grants October 8 DEP Small Business Advantage Grants October 21 DEP Coastal Zone Management Grants October 23 PEMA Fire Company & Ambulance Services Grants October 25 Berks, Lebanon Watershed Improvement Grants October 30 Schuylkill Action Network Photo Contest October 31 PRC Lens On Litter Contest October 31 DCNR Wild Resource Conservation Photo Contest November 8 NEW. PPL Energy, Environmental, Conservation Education Grants November 13 PennVEST Water Infrastructure Financing December 13 NEW. Coldwater Heritage Partnership Conservation Grants December 31 DEP PA Sunshine Rebates (or before if funds run out) February 1 Susquehanna Greenway Photo Contest February 19 PennVEST Water Infrastructure Financing May 1 Keep PA Beautiful Sue Wiseman Student Scholarship May 14 PennVEST Water Infrastructure Financing Visit the DEP Grants and Loan Programs webpage for more ideas on how to get financial assistance for environmental projects.
Here's a selection of NewsClips on environmental topics from around the state Corbett Nominates Secretaries To Head DEP, DCNR Ferretti Nominated To Head State Parks Agency House Endangered Species Bill Spurs Debate Pyle’s Endangered Species Bill Debated Editorial: Phony Protection For Endangered Species Letter: Changing Endangered Species System, Rep. Causer Other At Solanco Fair, Lessons On Groundwater Quality Amerikohl Mining Wins Reclamation Award OpEd: Pennsylvania Is Coal Country PPL Shuts Berwick Nuclear Plant Due To Possible Turbine Cracks PPL Finds Leak At Berwick Nuclear Plant UGI Adding 100+ Jobs For Infrastructure Improvement Editorial: Biofuels Bust Oil Trains Rumble Into Philadelphia Settlement Ends Challenge To TiresToEnergy Plant Report: Climate Change Reducing Fish Habitats Bucks Man Dies Of West Nile Virus Legislator To Investigate Dual Role Of Game Commission Officer Study Highlights Extent Of Asian Carp Threat Interest In Sailing At Yellow Creek State Park On Rise Presque Isle Bay Committee Considers Future Plans Presque Isle Visitors Satisfied With Park State Game Land Tour Schedule Announced Bird Hikes Prime Way To Enjoy Nature Hiking Thru Pennsylvania’s Fall Splendor Fall Colors On The Way Across Erie Region Erie Gardeners Lament Loss Of Butterflies Editorial: National Wilderness Month Deserves Consideration SomersetMade Flight 93 To Screen At Festival
Marcellus Shale NewsClips
Here are NewsClips on topics related to Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling New Methane Study Encouraging For Fracking Backers New Methane Study Examines Drilling Leaks At Source
Natural Gas Leaks From Fracking Found To Be Low Editorial: Frack, Baby, Frack Gas Driller Seeks Sanctions Against Residents In Lawsuit Drilling Company Criminal Charges Raise Hackles U.S.G.S. Documenting Land Disturbance From Drilling Closer Look At Southwest PA Environmental Health Project Editorial: Drilling Criminal Case Step Toward Accountability Sen. Ferlo Introduces OpenEnded Fracking Moratorium Editorial: Allegheny County Doesn’t Need Drilling Moratorium Westmoreland Authority To Audit Gas Royalties 2Year Schools Fill Needs Of Growing Natural Gas Industry Drilling, History Intersect In Marcellus Shale Legislator To Investigate Dual Role Of Game Commission Officer Man Pleads Guilty In Scheme To Falsely Sell Gas Rights PA Gives $2 Million To Build Natural Gas Stations UGI Adding 100+ Jobs For Infrastructure Improvement Oil Trains Rumble Into Philadelphia Financial/Other States Chesapeake Energy Layoffs To Be Completed In November West Virginia Sees Natural Gas Trust Fund As Key To Better Future
Here are NewsClips on watershed topics from around the state Flooding No Stable Funding For River And Stream Flood Gauges Flood Aid Approval Pending Other Watershed NewsClips Judge Rambo Upholds EPA Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Plan Federal Judge Upholds Chesapeake Bay Pollution Limits Court Upholds EPA Plan For Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Judge Upholds EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Plan Benefits Of Rain Gardens Taking Root In Western PA Conservation Means Preservation For Westmoreland Farm Alcosan Mistakes Cost $123K In Penalties Alcosan Limits Chief’s Contract Change Orders Battle Plan Is Urged To Kill Off Asian Carp Study Highlights Extent Of Asian Carp Threat Lackawanna, Luzerne Loans To Develop MineScarred Land
Regulations, Technical Guidance & Permits
The Environmental Quality Board Tuesday approved a final regulation increasing Air Quality Title V emission fees from $57.50 per ton of emissions to $85 per ton. The change is estimated to initially generate about $5.1 million more in revenue to the Department of Environmental Protection to administer the Title V program. Pennsylvania Bulletin September 21, 2013 Proposed Regulations Open For Comment DEP webpage Proposed Regulations With Closed Comment Periods DEP webpage DEP Regulatory Agenda DEP webpage
Technical Guidance & Permits
The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of draft technical guidance on Aquifer Testing for Public Water Systems and final guidance on Addressing Spills and Releases at Oil and Gas Well Sites or Access Roads. DEP published notice of the availability of the fiscal year report for the Mine Reclamation O&M Trust Fund Account. A copy will be posted online. DEP published notice of an opportunity to comment and a public hearing on a revision to the Reading Fine Particulate Matter Air Quality Plan and published a correction notice concerning the 2012 vintage nitrogen oxide allowances to offset sulfur dioxide emissions. DRAFT: DEP ID: 3942125001. Title: Aquifer Testing Guidance for Public Water Systems. Description: When a permit is required, Department regulations at 25 Pa. Code Chapter 109 (relating to safe drinking water) require an aquifer test for all proposed public water systems (PWS) that intend to utilize a groundwater source. An aquifer test and derivation of aquifer hydraulics are necessary for public health and compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act. This draft guidance is intended to outline recommended aquifer testing procedures for systems that require a permit and for all other PWSs that intend to pump more than 100,000 gallons per day. Information provided in this guidance, once it is final, will serve as a standalone document and replaces the corresponding procedures in Part II of the Public Water Supply Manual (DEP ID: 3832125108) pertaining to aquifer testing. This guidance is intended to reflect and supplement the Department's regulations in 25 Pa. Code Chapter 109. FINAL: DEP ID: 8005000001. Title: Addressing Spills and Releases at Oil & Gas Well Sites or Access Roads. Description: This policy is developed to facilitate a consistent and uniform general response by those working in and for the oil and gas industry to respond to spills and releases at oil and gas well sites or access roads regulated by the Department. The policy provides clear guidance on how
to address spills and releases, including when spills and releases must be reported to the Department and the standards for remediation and restoration after spills and releases occur. The proposed policy was published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin for a 30day public comment period at 42 Pa.B. 2101 (April 14, 2012) under the document number 5505000001. The Department received 67 unique comments from 12 commentators, revised the proposed policy accordingly, and has prepared a comment response document. Technical Guidance Comment Deadlines DEP webpage Recently Closed Comment Periods For Technical Guidance DEP webpage Technical Guidance Recently Finalized DEP webpage Copies of Final Technical Guidance DEP webpage
Calendar Of Events
Upcoming legislative meetings, conferences, workshops, plus links to other online calendars. Meetings are in Harrisburg unless otherwise noted. NEW means new from last week. Go to the online Calendar webpage. Click on Agenda Released on calendar entries to see the NEW meeting agendas published this week. September 24 Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee holds a hearing on the nomination of Gladys Brown for appointment to the PUC. Room 461. 12:00. September 25 DCNR Conservation and Natural Resources Advisory Council meeting. Room 105 Rachel Carson Building. 10:00. (formal notice) September 26 Agenda Released. DEP Solid Waste Advisory Committee and Recycling Fund Advisory Committee joint meeting. Room 105 Rachel Carson Building. 10:00.. (formal notice) September 30 Environmental Issues Forum, Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee will feature Dr. David J. Nowak, Ph.D, project leader for the USDA Forest Service’s Northern Research Station, will discuss the agency’s innovative “iTree” program and how communities can get help in planning how best to make trees work for them. Room G50 Irvis Building, Noon. October 3 House Consumer Affairs Committee holds a hearing on the proposed shutdown of FirstEnergy coalfired power plants in Western PA. Monongahela Fire Company Hall, 451 W. Main St., Monongahela. 1:00.
October 4 DEP LowLevel Radioactive Waste Advisory Committee meeting. Room 105 Rachel Carson Building. 10:00. October 8 DEP Climate Change Advisory Committee meeting Room 105 Rachel Carson Building. 10:00. October 8 DEP Technical Advisory Committee on DieselPowered Equipment meeting. Fayette County Health Center, Uniontown. 10:00. October 10 DEP Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee meeting. Room 105 Rachel Carson Building. 9:15. October 15 Environmental Quality Board meeting. Room 105 Rachel Carson Building. 9:00. October 15 DEP Citizens Advisory Council meeting. Room 105 Rachel Carson Building. 11:00. October 16 NEW. Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee holds a hearing on the PA Downtown Location Act. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building. 10:00. October 16 DEP Agricultural Advisory Board meeting. Susquehanna Room A, DEP Southcentral Office, 909 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg. 10:00. October 16 DEP State Board for Certification of Water and Wastewater System Operators meeting. 10th Floor Conference Room, Rachel Carson Building. 10:00. October 17 DEP Radiation Protection Advisory Committee meeting. Room 105 Rachel Carson Building. 9:00. October 18 CANCELED. Senate and House Game and Fisheries Committees hold a joint hearing on use of Lake Erie permit funds and Fish and Boat Commission fee expansions. Erie Yacht Club, 1 Ravine Drive, Erie. 9:00. October 21 Location Added. Environmental Issues Forum, Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee will feature Pennsylvania hydrogeologist Bruce Leavitt will discuss his “back to the future” technology – known as “trompe” technology, dating back to the 16th century that he has rediscovered and is using to remediate acid mine drainage in an energy saving, costefficient and effective way. Room G50 Irvis Building. Noon. October 23 DEP Small Business Compliance Advisory Committee meeting. 12th Floor Conference Room, Rachel Carson Building. 10:00. October 23 DEP Cleanup Standards Scientific Advisory Board meeting. Room 105 Rachel Carson Building. 9:00.
October 24 DEP Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board meeting. Room 105 Rachel carson Building. 10:00. November 13DEP Water Resources Advisory Committee meeting. Susquehanna Room B, DEP Southcentral Regional Office, 909 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg. 9:30. (formal notice) November 20 CANCELED. DEP Water Resources Advisory Committee meeting has been rescheduled for November 13. (formal notice) DEP Calendar of Events [Visit DEP’s new and improved Calendar] Note: The Environmental Education Workshop Calendar is no longer available from the PA Center for Environmental Education because funding for the Center was eliminated in the FY 201112 state budget. The PCEE website was also shutdown, but some content was moved to the PA Association of Environmental Educators' website. Senate Committee Schedule House Committee Schedule You can watch the Senate Floor Session and House Floor Session live online.
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