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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 July 1, 2013 This Is Where The Article Should Be On The Final FY 201314 State Budget With just two voting days left before the July 1 deadline for a state budget, Republicans running the Governor’s Office, Senate and House are having a hard time agreeing on not only the General Fund budget in House Bill 1437 (AdolphRDelaware), but the other big ticket items the Governor wants to go along with the budget. The one issue with the biggest single impact on the General Fund budget pension reform was taken off the table by House Speaker Sam Smith (RJefferson) earlier in the week, but we’ll have to see if that sticks. Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (RJefferson) and Senate Republicans are having a hard time coming up with 26 votes on their side of the Rotunda to pass any form of liquor privatization, let alone one that would be satisfactory to House Republicans and the Governor. House Republicans wobbled a few times, but finally got a $1.9 billion transportation funding package out of the Transportation and potentially in position for one floor vote on Saturday, but it is unknown whether it will be acceptable to Senate Republicans or the Governor. Without agreement on the General Fund budget, related bills which usually go along with any budget agreement amendments to the Fiscal Code, Tax Code, Welfare Code and the Education Code can go nowhere and the lack of voting days left means voting on those measures will probably spill over into next week. Gov. Corbett got some quality time Friday with Sen. Scarnati and Speaker Smith as they toured areas in their districts affected by flooding earlier on the week. Wondered what they talked about? NewsClips: State Leaders Split Harrisburg For Flood Visit Hive Mind At Budget Time At The Capitol Budget Deal Close, Not So Much On Other Priorities Corman: Corbett’s Wishlist Proving To Be A Distraction Pension Reform Has Potential $37 Billion Extra Cost Would Pension Switch Costs? No Easy Answer Hard Numbers On Cost Of Pension Switch House Speaker Says Pension Bills May Have To Wait Editorial: Senators Shortchange Public On Pension Fix House Panel Moves $1.9 Billion Transportation Bill
House Committee Moves $2 Billion Transportation Package House Committee OKs $2 Billion Highway, Bridge Bill House Committee Readies Vote On Transportation Funding Proposed Transportation Funding Plan On Idle House Republican Transportation Funding Grows Slowly Republicans Look For Votes For Corbett Transportation Plan House Lawmakers To Include Turnpike Reforms OpEd: PA Needs Comprehensive Transportation Funding Plan OpEd: Act Now On PA Transportation Funding Editorial: Roads, Bridges, Transit Looking For Attention Tieing Lottery Privatization To Budget Gets Cool Reception House Considering Measure On Lottery Contract Editorial: Bigger Film Credit Means More Jobs House Votes To Drop Small Business Inheritance Tax Meet Delaware, PA Taxpayer’s New BFF Senate Bill Will Close Delaware Loophole Editorial: End Delaware Loophole Legal Tax Evasion House Committee OKs Transportation Funding Plan The House Transportation Committee Thursday voted to amend and send Senate Bill 1 (RaffertyR Montgomery) to the full House for debate, said Rep. Dick Hess (RBedford), Majority Chair of the Committee. The legislation builds transportation funding over a fiveyear period, culminating in more than $2 billion in the final year. Click Here for a summary. The amendment added $8 million more for the Dirt and Gravel Road Program, less than the Senate’s $30 million increase. “There has been a considerable effort put forward to get all stakeholders together to move a full and fair transportation funding package to the House floor, and I am pleased the committee saw fit to vote for this plan,” said Rep. Hess. “My goal was to strike the ‘sweet spot’ between Governor Tom Corbett’s plan and the Senate version, and gain bipartisan support. We did that today. This is a giant step in the right direction.” Rep. Hess said the bill uncaps the Oil Company Franchise Tax gradually over a fiveyear period leading to 2017. In addition, it eliminates the previously proposed increases to driver’s license and registration fees and the $100 surcharge on traffic violations. Assistance for public transportation is built into the bill with a 3 percent Vehicle Lease Fee increase and a $1 increase in the tire tax, both of which haven’t been adjusted since 1991. Proposals to streamline operations of public transportation are also included. A transfer of funds from several fees from the Motor License Fund will also be directed to public transportation. “Our bill provides a gentler impact on the public while giving the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the Pennsylvania Turnpike, local governments and public transportation agencies the tools to make significant progress in funding infrastructure improvements, bringing jobs and maintaining them in Pennsylvania,” Rep. Hess added.
In addition, Rep. Hess said another $8 million was made available for dirt and gravel roads (referred to as lowvolume roads) from a grant program administered by the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission. Rep. Hess said there is a lot of work left to be done before the final goal of improving Pennsylvania’s infrastructure is achieved. “I know there are remaining differences of opinion surrounding this issue and I am open to amendments on the House floor,” said Rep. Hess. “With that, I will continue to work with members on both sides of the aisle and the Corbett administration to accomplish our shared goal. I am grateful for the cooperative spirit in which many have worked so far and I trust that will continue.” NewsClips: House Panel Moves $1.9 Billion Transportation Bill House Committee Moves $2 Billion Transportation Package House Committee OKs $2 Billion Highway, Bridge Bill House Committee Readies Vote On Transportation Funding Proposed Transportation Funding Plan On Idle House Republican Transportation Funding Grows Slowly Republicans Look For Votes For Corbett Transportation Plan House Lawmakers To Include Turnpike Reforms OpEd: PA Needs Comprehensive Transportation Funding Plan OpEd: Act Now On PA Transportation Funding Editorial: Roads, Bridges, Transit Looking For Attention CBF: Bradford's Lovegreen Receives Lifetime Achievement Award The Chesapeake Bay Foundation Tuesday honored the leadership and conservation achievements of Bradford County Conservation District Manager Mike Lovegreen by recognizing his lifetime achievements with the CBF 2013 Conservationist of the Year Award. Lovegreen was honored by nearly one hundred colleagues, friends, and CBF staff at the state Capitol on June 25th. Many had traveled several hours to celebrate his achievements. A true conservationist and advocate for the environment, Mike’s commitment as Manager of the Bradford County Conservation District has spanned more than thirty years. During that time he and his staff have been valued partners, with many clean water achievements for local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay. “Mike has steadfastly dedicated years of service to innovatively tackling challenging and complex issues not only because it was good, but because it was right,” said Harry Campbell, CBF’s Pennsylvania Executive Director. “For more than 30 years the district has delivered conservation programs comprehensively and creatively, demonstrating how multiple programs can be integrated and leveraged to deliver a broad array of benefits.” The Bradford County Conservation District continually brings muchneeded technical assistance to farmers and landowners as they wade through state and federal conservation programs,
requirements, and opportunities. Under his leadership, the district led a comprehensive watershedwide effort to restore the impaired Stephen Foster Lake from phosphorus pollution. Today, water quality in the lake is on the verge of being fully restored. “Conservation Districts are an invaluable asset to the Commonwealth,” continued Campbell. “Our communities, our environment, and our economy are all better today because of their commitment." The CBF Lifetime Achievement award is the highest award given infrequently by CBF to only those most deserving individuals whose longstanding dedication and achievement to saving the Chesapeake Bay merits special recognition. “I have had the continued privilege of working with the most dedicated, talented, and personable groups of people – each focused on the noblest of missions, said Lovegreen. “We have learned the true value of the capabilities of our many, and varied partners. By finding winwin solutions and piecing together the abilities and talents of those partners, without thought of credit, we get some amazing things done on the ground.” When Lovegreen was first hired in 1980 the district office had only two employees and a budget around $10,000. Today, through Mike’s leadership, partnerships, and perseverance, seventeen employees are supported by a robust budget of approximately $1.5 million. “Mike has always been ahead of the curve and sets a high bar for others to follow,” said Jennifer Johns, CBF’s Stream Buffer Specialist. Johns covers the Bradford County area and has worked with Mike for fourteen years. “His ability to make connections, grow partnerships, and build relationships has been instrumental to his success.” Lovegreen was also honored with congratulatory citations sponsored by Sen. Gene Yaw (RLycoming) and Representatives Tina Pickett (RBradford) and Matthew Baker (RTioga) for his years of service, leadership, and contributions to improving Bradford County and the Chesapeake Bay. “Mike has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to our region. Under his leadership, he and his staff have worked closely with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to implement best management practices that integrate and deliver positive results to our ground and waterways,” said Sen. Yaw. “I applaud Mike on his dedication to our region over these past 33 years and congratulate him on receiving this prestigious award.” “During my years as both a county commissioner and state representative, it has been a pleasure to have worked with Mike on a number of conservation issues in Bradford County,” said Rep. Pickett. “His threeplus decades of service to the people of Bradford County have demonstrated his longstanding commitment to conservation issues and the overall health of the Chesapeake Bay and watershed. I’m pleased to see Mike receive this recognition, which is more than deserved.” “Mike has performed his duties with great honor, integrity, and in a spirit of servant leadership,” said Rep. Baker. “I commend him for his many years of faithful public service that has exemplified a strong work ethic worthy of others to emulate. Mike leaves a legacy of success and accomplishments which will loom large in Bradford County communities for a long time.” In many ways, Mike demonstrates what can be done when governments, businesses, and citizens work together for clean water. It with great pleasure that CBF honors Mike Lovegreen with the 2013 Conservationist of the Year Award for his lifetime achievements.
NewsClip: Sen. Yaw Recognizes Bradford’s Lovegreen For Award 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 June 29, 30 September 23
Senate June 29, 30 Bill Calendars House (June 29): 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; House Bill 1157 (MillerRYork) extending the expiration of the Wild Resource Conservation Fund tax checkoff to 2018. <> Click Here for full House Bill Calendar. Senate (June 29): Senate Bill 332 (VogelRBeaver) intends to exempt vehicles of up to 10 years old from the emissions inspection program; Senate Bill 555 (ScarnatiRJefferson) establishing the Health Advisory Panel on Shale Gas Extraction and Natural Gas Use; Senate Bill 684 (WozniakDCambria) relating to leasing state forest land for wind farm development. <> Click Here for full Senate Bill Calendar. Committee Meeting Agendas This Week Note: House and Senate Committees will be scheduled at the last minute during the remaining days of budget week. Click on the links below for the latest. House: <> Click Here for full House Committee Schedule. Senate: the Appropriations Committee meets to consider in House Bill 1437 (AdolphR Delaware) FY 201314 General Fund budget. <> 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 Consideration Of Endangered Species: House Bill 1576 (PyleRArmstrong) establishing a process in law for designating and considered endangered species in the permit review process summary. Eliminating Riparian Buffers: House Bill 1565 (HahnRNorthampton) eliminating the riparian buffers as a best management practice to minimize pollution from erosion and sedimentation summary.
Bills On Governor's Desk
The following bills were given final approval by the Senate and House and are now on the Governor's desk for action Agricultural Easements: House Bill 84 (MillerRYork) requiring the inspection of all agricultural conservation easements. A summary and Senate Fiscal Note are available. The bill was signed into law as Act 19. Onlot Septic System Reviews: House Bill 1325 (MaloneyRBerks) amending Act 537 to provide that onlot septic systems approved by DEP meet antidegradation requirements summary. The bill now goes to the Governor for his action.
Senate/House Bills Moving
The following bills of interest saw action this week in the House and Senate Senate Onlot Septic System Reviews: House Bill 1325 (MaloneyRBerks) amending Act 537 to provide that onlot septic systems approved by DEP meet antidegradation requirements summary was reported from the Senate Appropriations Committee and was passed by the Senate without amendment. The bill now goes to the Governor for his action. State Forest Wind Mills: Senate Bill 684 (WozniakDCambria) relating to leasing state forest land for wind farm development summary was reported from the Senate State Government Committee and is now on the Senate Calendar for action. Drilling Health Panel: Senate Bill 555 (ScarnatiRJefferson) establishing the Health Advisory Panel on Shale Gas Extraction and Natural Gas Use was amended and reported out of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee and is on the Senate Calendar for action. Permit Extensions: House Bill 784 (EvankovichRArmstrong) extending permit pending and approved in the Department of Environmental Protection and other agencies through July 2, 2016 was removed from the Table, amended on the Senate Floor and was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee. State Green Buildings: House Bill 34 (HarperR Montgomery) setting green building standards for stateowned or leased buildings was Tabled. House Oil & Gas Royalties: Senate Bill 259 (YawRLycoming) further providing for the reporting of royalties from oil and gas wells was amended and reported from the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and referred into and out of the House Appropriations Committee and passed by the House. A summary and House Fiscal Note are available. The bill returns to the Senate for a concurrence vote. Wild Resource CheckOff: House Bill 1157 (MillerRYork) extending the expiration of the Wild Resource Conservation Fund tax checkoff to 2018 summary was removed from the Table and is now on the House Calendar for action. Stormwater Management: Senate Bill 351 (EricksonRDelaware) authorizing municipal authorities to build and manage stormwater management facilities was removed from the Table and is now on the House Calendar for action. Steel Slag: House Bill 1527 (EvankovichRArmstrong) providing for the reuse of steel blast furnace
slag was reported out of the House State Government Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful: House Resolution 206 (BrownDPhiladelphia) recognizing volunteers participating in Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup of PA was referred to the House Rules Committee.
News From The Capitol
Senate Environmental Committee Holds Hearing On Royalty Cost Transparency The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Thursday held a public hearing to discuss issues related to natural gas royalty payments from Marcellus Shale development, according to Sen. Gene Yaw (RLycoming), Majority Chair of the Committee. Click Here for copies of testimony and a video of the hearing. Sen. Yaw said royalty stub transparency and excessive post production cost deductions has significantly impacted many leaseholders throughout his senate district, which prompted him to convene the hearing. “Many leaseholders are seeing costs being deducted from royalty checks for what is being described as the costs of getting gas to market,” Sen. Yaw said. “In some cases, these costs have caused royalty payments to be as low as 1.47 percent, well below the 12 ½ percent guaranteed minimum. This hearing provided an open, honest dialogue that will hopefully answer questions and address concerns brought forward by many of our constituents.” The Committee heard testimony from the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, National Association of Royalty Owners, Marcellus Shale Coalition, Bradford County Commissioners and Attorney Chris Jones of Griffin, Dawsey, DePaola and Jones, PC. Joel Rotz, Senior Director of State Government Affairs for the PFB, voiced support for pending legislation that would clarify royalty pay stubs. “The information that would be required to be included on royalty stubs by enactment of this legislation is clearly not asking for any proprietary information from gas well operators and frankly is common sense detail that those receiving royalties should have in understanding and determining that the payment received is proper compensation as provided for in the lease agreement with the corresponding gas well company.” Sen. Yaw said standardized pay stubs provide for a more open and transparent means for leaseholders to review them, as seen in other natural gas producing states. He added that much of the debate, in regards to post production costs, is whether the legislature needs to amend the Guaranteed Minimum Royalty Act. The Act, passed by the legislature in 1979, provides that a lease to remove natural gas “shall not be valid if such lease does not guarantee the lessor at least oneeighth royalty” of all natural gas removed from the property. The term “royalty” is not specifically defined within the provision. “While the Pennsylvania Constitution and the United States Constitution prohibit a legislature from changing the terms of an existing contract, we can look prospectively to address this issue,” Sen. Yaw said. “We all have the same goal – to ensure that our leaseholders are treated fairly.”
“Bradford County has over 35,000 separate parcels of land,” said Daryl Miller, ViceChairman of the Bradford County Commissioners. “The overwhelming majority of them are ten acres or less. These people are small landowners who are working families and senior citizens trying to make ends meet. They are looking at this as a little bit of extra income. They simply want to be treated fairly.” “Effectively having your royalty payments cut by these kind of percentages severely affects royalty owners, most of whom as stated previously, are on fixed incomes,” said David Sikes, CMM, NARO National President. “There are some companies; however, that appear to not care what the lease says and continue to make unauthorized deductions and refuse to substantiate why those deduction are being made. In this instance a clear breach of contract has occurred.” Click Here for copies of testimony and a video of the hearing. Sen. John Yudichak (DLuzerne) serves as Minority Chair. NewsClip: Senate Panel Examines Complaints Of Underpaid Gas Royalties Marcellus Shale Health Advisory Panel Bill Clears Senate Committee On Friday, the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee amended and reported out Senate Bill 555 (ScarnatiRJefferson) which would establish a Health Advisory Panel on Shale Gas Extraction and Natural Gas Use. Under the bill, the panel would be tasked with thoroughly investigating and studying advancements in science, technology and public health data in order to provide Pennsylvania elected officials, regulators and the general public with information, analysis and recommendations regarding the safe, efficient and environmentally responsible extraction and use of unconventional natural gas reserves in the Commonwealth. “There has been much discussion regarding the potential effects of Marcellus Shale drilling on public health and safety,” said Sen. Joe Scarnati. “The creation of an advisory panel composed of experts from a wide range of fields including doctors, scientists, academics and industry leaders will provide Pennsylvania with a critical asset in addressing any current or future impacts arising from the development of the Marcellus Shale.” The creation of a permanent health advisory panel was a suggestion of the Governor’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission. The panel would consist of nine members including the Secretaries of Health and Environmental Protection, as well as individuals to be appointed by the Governor, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Speaker of the House, and the House and Senate Minority Leaders. The bill is now on the Senate Calendar for action. NewsClip: Bill Would Create Marcellus Shale Drilling Health Panel
News From Around The State
Corbett Urges Delaware River Basin Commission To Finalize Drilling Rules On Thursday, Gov. Tom Corbett wrote to the Delaware River Basin Commission expressing his
"frustration and disappointment" over the failure of the Commission to finalize its regulations on Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling. "For over three years, a moratorium issued by the DRBC has been in place which has prohibited the development of natural gas within all or parts of 13 Pennsylvania counties that lie within the basin. Adoption of this moratorium namely through the postponement of consideration of well pad dockets was purportedly done to all for the drafting of appropriate standards that would protect the water resources of the basin. "However, deferring the submission of applications until regulations are adopted presumes that regulations will, ultimately, be adopted. That has failed to occur. "This moratorium has done more than prohibit the citizens of Pennsylvania who reside within the basin from enjoying their property rights. It has depressed economic growth in the region, discouraged the investment of private capital in the Commonwealth, and reflected poorly on the DRBC's ability to function effectively. "Moreover, since the DRBC’s scheduled November 2011 meeting to consider adoption of final rules was cancelled, Pennsylvania has significantly enhanced environmental protection standards through passage of Act 13 in February 2012. Act 13 represents the first comprehensive update of the state’s Oil and Gas Act since 1984, incorporating proposals from the Governor’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission and members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. "The citizens of Pennsylvania residing within the basin have been denied the enjoyment of their property rights due to the inaction of the DRBC. Operators interested in developing natural gas have closed offices and laidoff employees; lease payments have been withheld; force majeure clauses in contracts have been exercised, and communities have watched their neighbors outside the basin benefit tremendously. In addition to this inequity, the DRBC’s inaction may very well constitute a ‘taking’ under the U.S. Constitution, subjecting its members, including the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to financial and other legal ramifications. "Hopefully the residents of Wayne County won’t have to wait another three years for a decision from the DRBC and will soon be able to take part in the growing natural gas industry that has so significantly benefitted much of the rest of Pennsylvania." A copy of the letter is available online. NewsClips: Corbett Wants DRBC To Lift Drilling Ban Wayne County Urges Quick End To Drilling Ban SRBC Approves 21 Water Withdrawals, New Water Program Fees The Susquehanna River Basin Commission Monday held its quarterly business meeting in Harrisburg, Pa. Among its actions, SRBC: Approved 21 water withdrawal and consumptive use applications, tabled 7 applications, rescinded 2 previously approved dockets (see lists below); Accepted settlement offers from Furman Foods, Inc., and Carrizo (Marcellus) LLC for compliance matters; Approved amendments to the Regulatory Program Fee Schedule;
Adopted the FY 20142015 Water Resources Program; Approved the release of the draft updated Comprehensive Plan for Water Resources of the Susquehanna River Basin for public review and comment, set a comment period to run through August 26, 2013 and scheduled a public hearing for August 15, 2013; elected new officers with the Federal jurisdiction, represented by Brig. General Kent Savre, serving as Chair and New York State jurisdiction, represented by James Tierney, serving as Vice Chair; and adopted the FY2015 budget. SRBC’s voting commissioners and alternates were: Dr. Robert Summers, SRBC Chair and Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment; Colonel Trey Jordan, SRBC Vice Chair and District Engineer, Baltimore District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Kelly Heffner, Deputy Secretary for Water Management, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; and Kenneth Lynch, Director, Region 7, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. SRBC also reported on upgrades to the agency’s Early Warning System (EWS), which was first established in 2003. The EWS program is for public water suppliers in Pennsylvania and New York with intakes on the Susquehanna River and major tributaries. Currently, the participating water suppliers represent more than 850,000 customers. The EWS program helps minimize impacts to water supplies when spills occur through data sharing and enhanced communication among water supplies, emergency response personnel and water management agencies. A list of projects considered at the meeting is available online. Shell Announces 6 Month Extension Of Beaver Cracking Plant Option Gov. Tom Corbett Friday issued the following statement in response to the announcement Horsehead Corporation has extended its landoption agreement with Shell Chemical LP for a site near Monaca, Beaver County, for a period of six months. Shell Chemical announced a landoption agreement in March 2012 with Horsehead after selecting Monaca as its preferred site for the potential construction of a multibillion dollar, worldclass petrochemical facility. “Today’s announcement is good news for Pennsylvania. This is another step in Shell’s process of evaluating Horsehead as their preferred site for a multibillion dollar petrochemical facility,” Corbett said. “A petrochemical facility of this size will result in 10,000 construction jobs, at least 400 direct jobs and more than 10,000 jobs created in chemical and supply chain industries.” “This project would be the singlelargest industrial investment in southwest Pennsylvania in a generation. It will develop a market for the state’s natural gas supply, helping to create new jobs and the prosperity that comes with them,” Corbett said. “My administration, local officials and economic groups continue to work in support of Shell Chemical as it continues a deliberate evaluation of this project,” Corbett said. “We are all dedicated to ensuring, once built, that this facility is successful.” For more information about Shell’s multiyear evaluation process, visit the Shell Appalachia webpage. NewsClip: Shell Again Delaying Plans For Beaver Cracking Plant
EQB To Consider Proposed Chapter 78 Well Drilling Fee Regulations July 16 The Environmental Quality Board is scheduled to consider proposed changes to Chapter 78 oil and gas well drilling fee regulations at its July 16 meeting. It is the only regulation on the agenda. The proposal would increase the fee per Marcellus Shale well by about $1,800 per nonvertical well and $2,200 per vertical well. Without the fee increase, DEP would start running a deficit next fiscal year FY 201314. DEP said the fee increase is necessary because of a 22 percent decrease in the number of Marcellus Shale well permit applications received by the department. The cost to DEP to regulate Marcellus Shale wells has increased due to the new requirements included in Act 13 of 2012 and the 23.5 percent increase in the number of actual wells drilled requiring inspections. The EQB meeting will be held in Room 105 of the Rachel Carson Building and will begin at 9:00. For a copy of the proposed regulation, visit the Environmental Quality Board webpage. Registration Opens June 28, July 1 For Ohio River Watershed Celebration Registration for the 12th Annual Ohio River Watershed Celebration will open on July 1 for the Network Cruise and June 28 for the Imagination Cruise for students. The Celebration will be held on September 19. As in the past we are offering prizes to Watershed groups for poster presentations in 4 categories. They are Most Innovative, Best Overall, Communication and Outreach and Best Partnership. We ask that you incorporate how your project relates to this year's theme Working Together For Clean Water. Because space is more limited than on the Majestic we ask that you register early so that we can plan table arrangements. We may assign table locations this year. Because the boats are smaller that last year we are limiting registration to 500 for the Networker Cruise and 250 for students on the Imagination Cruise. Click Here to register.. HB 1565 Would Eliminate Riparian Buffers As CostEffective Sedimentation Control The Chesapeake Bay Foundation Thursday wrote to the Chairs of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee to oppose House Bill 1565 (HahnRNorthampton) which would eliminate riparian buffers as one method of complying with regulations designed to protect High Quality and Exceptional Value streams. CBF’s letter said in part “A riparian buffer can help to prevent property damage and the expense of flooding; dramatically reduce stormwater management costs; help keep pristine streams clean; reduce the cost of treating water for potable uses; and in general, promote and sustain healthier communities.
“The simple act of planting a new, or maintaining an existing, forested riparian buffer allows stormwater runoff to soak into the ground when it rains, instead of rushing directly into our streams. Water is purified by plants, trees, and soil, and is released more slowly into the stream, thereby preventing pollution, erosion, and flood damage. “(T)he buffer requirement is only triggered by the need for an NPDES permit and therefore does not apply to any existing landowners and their current land use, but only in a new development context. “It is also important to note that subsection (d) of Section 102.14 provides a long list of exceptions to the buffer requirement. These exceptions include: a project site located greater than 150 feet from a named waterbody; activities involving less than one (1) acres of earth disturbance; activities when a permit is not required under Chapter 102; activities where the permit was acquired before November 19, 2010; road maintenance activities; repair and maintenance of existing pipelines and utilities; oil, gas, timber harvesting or mining activities; single family homes not part of a larger common plan or development; and activities authorized by a Department permit under another Chapter or title. “It is also important to note, that as part of the Commonwealth’s commitments to meeting the requirements under the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (“TMDL”), riparian buffer installation and maintenance is an important practice to ensure the Commonwealth meets its milestone goals. “Removal of the requirement for forested riparian buffers in HQ/EV waters may negatively impact the total numbers of riparian buffers needed under the Pennsylvania Watershed Implementation Plan and the TMDL, which function together to form the Blueprint to help clean the Bay. “Given the innumerable societal and ecological benefits, along with the clear legal authority and requirement flexibility, CBF hopes that House Bill 1565 will not be brought to a vote in Committee.” A copy of the letter is available online. The Majority Chair of the Committee is Rep. Ron Miller (RYork) and the Minority Chair is Rep. Greg Vitali (DDelaware). LandStudies Opens Healthy Watersheds Tour Webpage LandStudies, Inc. from Lititz, Lancaster County, opened a new webpage on its Healthy Watersheds Tour initiative. Healthy Watersheds showcases successful green infrastructure and stormwater best management practices in the field to demonstrate their many benefits. Click Here to watch a video about recent tours and other background on the program. You can also learn how you can coordinate your own tour for groups and stakeholders. Tillage Survey Underway In Chesapeake Bay Watershed Data collection for a survey of cropland, in the Chesapeake Bay watershed of Pennsylvania, to determine the extent of conservation tillage practices, is almost complete. The survey conducted by Capital Resource Conservation & Development Area Council, in partnership with the Department of Environmental Protection and 25 county conservation districts, will result in tillage information for 28 Pennsylvania counties in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The transect survey uses methods established by the Conservation Technology Information Center to estimate, within a 90 percent confidence level, the tillage methods used for crops grown by agricultural producers in each county. The CTIC method uses roadside observations to develop the estimate. Capital RC&D successfully used the CTIC method in two previous surveys conducted in 2007 and 2010. The current survey has taken place over two years and in each county within the focus area with more than 50,000 acres in crop land. The first phase conducted in 2012 surveyed PA counties primarily located in the southern portion of the watershed and the second phase focused on Bradford, Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Dauphin, Franklin, Lebanon, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Tioga and Wyoming counties. Survey crews conducted the 2013 portion during May and June 2013. Survey results will be supplied to the CTIC to update their national database. The data will also be used by DEP to update their conservation tillage estimates for the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Additionally, data generated by the survey will provide information to local partners about the extent of conservation tillage in their counties to help inform their program goals. For additional information contact Cheryl Burns at Capital RC&D at 7172414361 or send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Vote Now For Philadelphia SpokesDogs To Take A Bite Out Of Pollution The polls are now open to vote for your favorite spokesdogs to become Philadelphia’s only spokesanimals excluding Swoop, the Phillie Phanatic, and Barkevious the turkey, of course. One winner in each neighborhood will receive $200 in prizes from a local pet store and the title of Philly Water’s Best Friend. Last year, Philadelphians cast over 7,000 votes for more than 50 spokesdog candidates. Each neighborhood’s 15 finalists then participated in a pageantstyle competition. This allowed judges to evaluate their friendliness, obedience, personality and, most importantly, their interest in reducing water pollution. “Dog owners are a breed all their own, so this event is always great fun,” said Joanne Dahme, general manager of public affairs at the Philadelphia Water Department. “We really need ambassadors like them in every dog park to tell folks how easy it is to prevent this common form of ‘poollution.’” Click Here to vote for your favorite before July 31. DEP Alerts Crystal Spring Vended Water Customers Of Drinking Water Violations The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday notified the public that Crystal Spring, a Berks County water vendor, is selling drinking water that has not been monitored for contaminants and poses a potential health risk to those who consume it. Since December 2012, Crystal Spring Vended Water has not completed monitoring, testing and reporting requirements for contaminants. The contaminants that the owner did not test for and their associated timeframes for testing are: Asbestos, one sample between January and December 2012;
Synthetic organic chemicals; one sample between January and March 2013; and Bacteria, one sample every month for February, March, April and May 2013. The Safe Drinking Water Act mandates that all contaminant testing results must be reported to DEP. This ensures that the treatment system is operating properly and that the well source on the Crystal Spring property has not become contaminated. The department has been seeking compliance from Crystal Spring Vended Water since 2012. DEP will continue its efforts to bring this supplier into compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act. When purchasing drinking water, customers should only use compliant, regulated sources of public water. Located along Route 272 in Adamstown, Berks County, Crystal Spring Vended Water is a privatelyowned water fillup station at which customers can refill their containers; bottled water services are not provided by this vendor. For more information, call 6109160100. Click Here for a copy of the public notice. NewsClip: DEP Scrutinizes Adamstown Water Vending Station Corbett Visits FloodDamaged Areas In Western PA Gov. Tom Corbett Friday visited DuBois, Clearfield County and flew over several neighboring western Pennsylvania communities in Jefferson and Clinton counties that were damaged by Thursday's serious storms. Corbett was joined by Sen. Joseph Scarnati (RJefferson), Rep. Sam Smith (RJefferson), the Adjutant General of the Pennsylvania Department of Military & Veterans Affairs Major General Wesley Craig and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director Glenn Cannon. "This week's floods remind us of the power of nature and the resilience of our citizens,'' Corbett said. "I have visited the counties affected and feel confident that state and local authorities are up to the task of assisting our fellow Pennsylvanians as they rebuild." Dozens of homes were evacuated and numerous motorists had to be rescued from fastrising flood waters. Roads were closed, train tracks washed away and, at one point, at least four bridges were underwater. DuBois, on Thursday, was completely isolated after flood waters made roads and bridges impassable. Shelters were set up at churches, high schools and communities centers for residents forced from their homes. Red Cross representatives were assisting at the scene and emergency workers from neighboring counties delivered food and water. By Thursday afternoon, emergency officials from Jefferson, Clinton and Clearfield counties all declared their counties disaster areas. NewsClips: State Leaders Split Harrisburg For Flood Visit PA Doused By Heavy Rains, Some Flooding Delaware River Hazardous Due To High Water Flooding In DuBois Called A Nightmare Scranton, WilkesBarre Flooding Is Imminent
DEP Citizens Advisory Council To Hear About Review Of Oil And Gas Program The Citizens Advisory Council to the Department of Environmental Protection will hear a presentation on a recent review of Pennsylvania’s Oil and Gas Management Program by the STRONGER group (State Review of Oil and Natural Gas Environmental Regulations) at its July 16 meeting. The agenda includes presentations on STRONGER review of DEP’s Oil and Gas Program by a panel of industry, environmental, government and other organizations by Jim Erb, former Director of DEP’s Bureau of Oil and Gas Management; Overview of the Coastal Zone Program in the Lake Erie and Delaware Estuary Watersheds by Don Benczkowski, DEP Bureau of Interstate Waters; An update on a series of water resource topics State Water Plan, private water well construction standards by Lisa Daniels, Director Bureau of Safe Drinking Water; and Presentation on the stream damage caused by CONSOL longwall mining, Tom Callaghan, Director of the Bureau of Mining Programs. The meeting will be held in Room 105 Rachel Carson Building starting at 11:00 The Chair of the Council is Terry Dayton. For more information and available handouts, visit DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council webpage. Deadline Extended For Northeast Environmental Partnership Award Nominations The Northeast PA Environmental Partnership is now accepting nominations for its 2013 Partnership Awards, the Nineteenth Annual Thomas P. Shelburne Environmental Leadership Award and the 2013 Emerging Environmental Leader Award until July 15. Click Here for details on how to make nominations. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Awards Surveillance Camera Grants Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful has awarded surveillance cameras to six western Pennsylvania organizations to aid in their efforts to curb illegal dumping. Grant recipients are in Allegheny, Armstrong, Blair, Clearfield, and Elk Counties. KPB, through the Illegal Dump Surveillance Support Pilot Program, will loan three high quality surveillance cameras and provide training and technical assistance to help capture evidence at active, illegal dumpsites. The recipients will maintain and collect evidence of illegal dumping and follow through with prosecutions, partnering with District Justices and local and state enforcement agencies as applicable to ultimately reduce illegal dumping through successful prosecutions. Recipients will work with local media and KPB to educate the public by publicizing successful prosecutions and proper disposal and recycling options. “Supplying high tech surveillance cameras and support to municipalities and local organizations will help identify illegal dumpers,” said Shannon Reiter, President, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. “Strong enforcement partnerships will help bring them to justice.”
Keep America Beautiful Offering Graffiti Hurts Grants Keep America Beautiful and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful announced the availability of the 2013 Graffiti Hurts Grant Program, designed to assist communities in augmenting their local graffiti prevention activities. Applications are due to Keep American Beautiful July 10. With municipal government funding under increasing burdens, KAB believes that the grant program will serve as a catalyst to combat the economic and qualityoflife setback caused by graffiti vandalism. Keep America Beautiful is offering six grants for the 2013 program: four cash grants of $2,500 each; two paint product grants from The SherwinWilliams Company, valued at $2,500 each; and one FlashCAM from QStar Technology, valued at $6,995. Past Pennsylvania grant winners include the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and the South Side Revitalization Project of the United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania. “We applaud the work being done through this program to prevent and abate graffiti vandalism on the local level, resulting in safer, more vibrant communities,” said Becky Lyons, chief operating office, Keep America Beautiful. “Keep America Beautiful’s valuable partnership with The SherwinWilliams Company continues to provide key awareness tools and resources that actively engage communities in impactful graffiti eradication practices.” “SherwinWilliams is excited to once again partner with Keep America Beautiful on the Graffiti Hurts program. It is rewarding to see the growing national impact this program has on graffiti abatement, awareness, and education in cities and towns across America,” said Harvey Sass, president & general manager, Diversified Brands Division, The SherwinWilliams Company. “As local governments continue to face budget constraints, providing these resources to communities is a meaningful way for SherwinWilliams to activate groups dedicated to graffiti prevention and eradication.” Local governments, police departments, youth groups, downtown associations, crime prevention organizations, and other groups dedicated to eradicating graffiti vandalism are encouraged to apply. (Businesses that make or operate graffitiremoval equipment or technologies are not eligible.) Proposed projects can address graffiti prevention and education, eradication, or enforcement of local antigraffiti laws. Programs that focus on prevention initiatives, including Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, and engaging and educating youth are encouraged. Grant winners will be announced by October 9. All interested communities and organizations should complete the online application at KAB’s Graffiti Hurts Grant webpage. DEP Awards $1.65 Million In Mine Mapping Grants Gov. Tom Corbett Friday announced the Department of Environmental Protection has awarded $1.65 million in Mine Map Grants to seven recipients, including six of the state’s universities. The grants were awarded to California University of Pennsylvania, $85,934; Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation, $321,968;
Harrisburg Area Community College, $122,101; Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, $299,534; Indiana University of Pennsylvania Research Institute, $484,631; Saint Vincent College, $110,832; and University of Pittsburgh, $225,000. “These grants create an important partnership with higher education, develop a skilled workforce for the energy sector, and continue to ensure a safe working environment for Pennsylvania’s miners,” Corbett said. The Mine Map Grant Program provides funding to learning institutions and incorporated nonprofit organizations to process mine maps and mine data into electronic formats that can be used in Geographic Information Systems and other computer applications. The grants will also provide funding for mine map and document restoration and preservation. The grantfunded projects will georeference 7,200 maps, digitize 3,100 maps, scan 26,900 maps, and restore or preserve 259 maps. Once the maps are digitized, they will be uploaded to DEP’s Mine Map Atlas—an online database of more than 15,000 mine maps that allows users to search for an area based on an address or latitude and longitude. Users can view the atlas from three perspectives: terrain, topographic or bird’seye. The projects funded by the Mine Map Grant Program will enhance the quality, quantity and delivery of mining information to the millions of residents living in Pennsylvania's mining regions. The grant program also gives learning institutions and nonprofits the opportunity to train individuals in the use of the emerging geospatial technologies. The Mine Map Grant Program is financed by Pennsylvania Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act funds, which come from coal mining license and permit fees and penalties, as well as state Mine Subsidence Insurance funds and the Acid Mine Drainage Abatement Fund. For more information, visit DEP’s Mine Map Grants webpage. FirstEnergy Accepting Applications For Education Grants FirstEnergy Corp. is offering education grants of up to $500 for creative classroom projects planned for the 20132014 school year. Applications are due September 16. The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Classroom Grants are awarded for creative, individual classroom projects for grades prekindergarten through 12. The grants are available to educators and youth group leaders located in communities served by FirstEnergy's 10 electric operating companies, and in communities where the company operates generating plants or does business. "Our goals are to encourage innovative classroom learning in the STEM subjects; to support professional development for educators in these critical areas; and to expose both students and teachers to the wide variety of career possibilities in the STEM fields of study," said Delores Jones, manager, Community Initiatives. "The students who benefit from these programs could someday work at FirstEnergy as engineers, scientists, accountants, analysts, information technologists and electricians." Grants will be awarded based on the recommendations of the FirstEnergy Education Advisory Council. Winners will be notified by October 7. More than 1,000 STEM grants have been awarded to
educators and youth group leaders since 1986. The application and more information about grant criteria are available on FirstEnergy's website. Nearly $3 Million In PA Solar Rebates Still Available Gov. Tom Corbett and the Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday reminded residents and small businesses of the nearly $3 million in rebates remaining before the agency’s Sunshine Solar Program ends December 31 or when funds are exhausted. “Last January, Gov. Corbett brought back the Sunshine Solar Program, and since then, the state has invested $4.5 million into the local economy in the form of solar rebates,” DEP Acting Secretary Chris Abruzzo said. “We encourage Pennsylvania’s residents and small business owners to take advantage of this funding before the program expires.” The $3 million in remaining funds will be disbursed on a firstcome, firstserved basis. Homeowners are eligible for rebates of up to $7,500 for solar electric projects, with small business receiving up to $52,500. Solar hot water projects can net residents a maximum of $5,000, with $50,000 to small commercial businesses. Those wishing to apply must select and work with a DEPapproved installer. The installer applies for the rebate on behalf of the homeowner or business once the project is completed. The Sunshine Solar Program is supported by funding from the Commonwealth Finance Authority. A list of approved installers and the balance of remaining funds will be updated weekly on the Sunshine Solar webpage. $3,000 Alternative Fuel Vehicle Rebates Still Available Gov. Tom Corbett and the Department of Environmental Protection reminded residents Thursday $3,000 rebates are still available for the purchase of largebattery system plugin hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and batteryelectric vehicles (EVs). “Since 2011, Gov. Corbett has invested $3.35 million in rebates for the purchase of electric vehicles, which has worked to support local jobs and clean the air,” DEP Acting Secretary Chris Abruzzo said. “This current rebate was initially available only through June 30, but we’ve extended the deadline to give more residents an opportunity to make the switch to an alternativefueled vehicle.” The $3,000 rebate amount is now available through December 31, 2013, or until the 500 vehicle mark is reached, whichever occurs first. Rebates of $3,500 were previously made available to the first 500 applicants. When that milestone was reached in February, rebate amounts of $3,000 were made available for the next 500 qualified applicants. As of June 18, there were 350 rebates remaining in this amount. Rebate amounts offered in the future will be reassessed at that time. Large battery vehicles that have battery system capacity equal or greater than 10 kilowatt hours (kWh)—including but not limited to models such as the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt—are eligible for the highest rebate amount. DEP also offers rebates of $1,000 for PHEV or EV vehicles with battery system capacity of less than 10 kWh, including but not limited to models such as the Toyota Prius plugin and Ford CMax
Energi. Rebates of $1,000 are offered for the purchase of natural gas, propane and hydrogen or fuel cell vehicles. A $500 rebate is available for electric motorcycles and scooters. DEP provides these rebates as incentives to assist Pennsylvania residents with the incremental cost of purchasing an alternative fuel vehicle. To qualify, the vehicle must be new, registered in Pennsylvania, and purchased no more than six months before the rebate application is submitted. Leased vehicles are not eligible for these rebates. The rebates are funded by the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program, which is supported by a receipts tax on utilities. Rebate applications and updated guidelines are available on DEP’s Alternative Fuel Vehicle Rebates webpage. Information on rebate availability will be updated weekly. Corbett Reacts To Obama Climate Change Plan Gov. Tom Corbett issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s climate change announcement: “In Pennsylvania, we have a true alloftheabove energy portfolio, with innovations in grid technology, nuclear power, cleanburning natural gas, coal, wind, solar and hydropower all working to fuel our economy and protect the environment. “These marketbased approaches are working, with the United States leading the world in reducing carbon emissions. In fact, greenhouse gas emissions are back to 1994 levels, an incredible accomplishment brought about by a free market. “With our greenhouse gas emissions at the lowest they’ve been in nearly two decades, we know that much of the increase in global carbon emissions are attributable to growth in other countries such as China. This means that global warming requires a global response if there is to be any meaningful action that does not put our nation at an even greater competitive disadvantage. “Here in Pennsylvania, nearly 63,000 men and women, including 8,100 miners, work in jobs supported by the coal industry. This proposal is not only a war on coal, as suggested by a White House climate adviser, but also a war on jobs.” DEP Climate Change Committee The Department of Environmental Protection’s Climate Change Advisory Committee is now reviewing more than 30 work plans making recommendations for legislative, regulatory and program changes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Pennsylvania. The Committee reviewed a series of work plans relating to agricultural issues manure digesters, feeding policies and no till farming and discussed a series of others involving electric generation and use. The work plans being considered by the Committee include Act 129 Energy Use Reduction Reduced Load Growth Stabilized Load Growth Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard Sulfur Hexafluoride Combined Heat and Power
Nuclear Capacity Uprates Coal Mine Methane Reducing Methane Leakage from Natural Gas Infrastructure Reducing Lost & Unaccounted for Natural Gas in Distribution Systems WastetoEnergy Digesters WastetoEnergy Municipal Solid Waste Biofuel Development and InState Production Incentive Act Manure Digesters Fuels for Schools Improved Efficiency at Wastewater Treatment Facilities Diesel AntiIdling Increasing Public Transportation Ridership Increasing Participation in Efficient Passenger Transit Alternative Fueled Public Transit Fleets Alternative Fueled Taxi Fleets Foodshed Development Strategy Management Intensive Grazing Notill and Organic Row Crop Farming Forest Protection Easements Forestland Protection Initiative – Acquisition Afforestation Reforestation Durable Wood Products Urban Forestry The next meeting of the Committee is October 8. For more information visit DEP’s Climate Change Advisory Committee webpage NewsClips: Corbett: Obama Climate Plan War On Coal Reaction To Obama’s Climate Change Plan Toomy: Obama Climate Change Full Of Bad Ideas Covanta Energy Applauds Obama’s Climate Plan Editorial: Obama’s Climate Monstrosity Obama Summary Of Pennsylvania Climate Conditions Covanta, Harrisburg Move Out Of Court To Settle Debt Lawsuit Covanta Energy Applauds Obama Climate Change Plan Covanta Energy Corporation, a world leader in sustainable waste management and renewable energy, congratulates President Barack Obama and his administration on the announced Climate Action Plan. The broadsweeping plan addresses major sources of carbon pollution as well as other greenhouse gases like methane. A powerful greenhouse gas, methane's potency has led to calls for its immediate reduction by scientists, the U.S. State Department, the United Nations, and now the Obama
administration. "Today's announcement is a significant step forward in addressing the urgent challenge of climate change," said Dr. Paul Gilman, Covanta Energy's chief sustainability officer. "Recent research demonstrates that sustainable waste management is a critical tool in our arsenal, with the potential to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by one billion tons of carbon equivalents every year by 2050 through energy savings and landfill methane avoidance. That reduction is quite significant the equivalent of building two million wind turbines or shutting down 1,000 large coal power plants." Landfills are the third leading source of methane emissions in the U.S. The path to reducing these emissions is already well proven the European Union (EU) has already seen significant reductions in GHG emissions through sustainable waste management. Through a focus on recycling, composting, and energy recovery, the EU has already cut its waste sector emissions by a third. Energy recovery is a critical component of the reductions achieved in the EU and has significant potential in the U.S. According to the U.S. EPA, every ton of municipal solid waste processed at an EnergyfromWaste facility instead of a landfill reduces lifecycle GHG emissions by one ton of carbon dioxide equivalents. This is possible due to the avoidance of methane from landfills, the offset of greenhouse gases from fossil fuel electrical production, and the recovery of metals for recycling. Covanta's energyfromwaste facilities annually offset approximately 20 million tons of greenhouse gases, the equivalent of the carbon sequestered by planting 460 million trees. Covanta operates or owns five energyfromwaste facilities in Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery and York counties. For more information, visit Covanta’s Climate Change webpage. NewsClips: Corbett: Obama Climate Plan War On Coal Reaction To Obama’s Climate Change Plan Toomy: Obama Climate Change Full Of Bad Ideas Covanta Energy Applauds Obama’s Climate Plan Obama Summary Of Pennsylvania Climate Conditions Editorial: Obama’s Climate Monstrosity Covanta To Settle Lawsuit Against Harrisburg Covanta, Harrisburg Move Out Of Court To Settle Debt Lawsuit Western PA Conservancy Issues 2012 Annual Report The 2012 Annual Report from the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is now available. Click Here to read your copy. Game Commission Launches Interactive Mapping Center Looking to spend some time outdoors, but don't know where to go? A new offering from the Game Commission might hold the answer. The Game Commission has launched on its website a new Mapping Center that will help users
to locate state game lands and other hunting grounds, view topography and aerial photos for tracts, and even find a place to park when they arrive. Those searching for outdoorrecreation opportunities can search by game lands number, county, region or wildlife management unit. Users also can click on any game lands defined on the map to see a more detailed layout of access roads, parking areas and buildings there. The map can also be set to show hunter access points on private lands. Outdoor enthusiasts can customize their own maps and bookmark their favorites, and print them out to use afield or to leave directions for where they'll be. "The new Mapping Center represents a big upgrade in terms of the quantity and quality of information available," said Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe. "Anyone interested in spending time on state game lands, or other publicaccess properties, will find it useful." A short video on how to use the Mapping Center is available at the www.pgc.state.pa.us, and can be found by clicking on the icon titled "State Game Lands Mapping Center." The Mapping Center can be accessed directly at. The Mapping Center was developed in partnership with GeoDecisions. This Mapping Center is part of a larger threeyear initiative for the Game Commission to improve GIS mapping for state game lands. "The Mapping Center allows the public to view all the latest information on game lands, as well as locations of hunter access cooperators," said David B. Gilbert, project manager for GeoDecisions. "The overlay of Wildlife Management Units allows sportsmen to plan their next day in the field." Click Here to view a short video on how to use the Mapping Center. Click Here to go to the Mapping Center. Independence Day July 4th Marks Second FishforFree Day Families and friends visiting Pennsylvania’s popular outdoor spots over the July 4 holiday can enjoy a day of free fishing, thanks to the Fish and Boat Commission. Independence Day July 4 – marks the second of two free fishing days in the Commonwealth. FishforFree Days allow anyone – residents and nonresidents – to legally fish in Pennsylvania. From 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on both days, no fishing license is needed to fish in Pennsylvania's waterways. All other fishing regulations apply. The first FishforFree day was Memorial Day. “FishforFree days are an easy way to introduce friends and family to the sport of fishing,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway. “Many families spend the day at lakes and parks throughout the state. Now they can try fishing at no cost. We know that once people try it, particularly kids, they will see that fishing is a great recreational activity and they will want to do it more.” For more information, visit the Fish For Free webpage. Free Outdoor Education Programs Highlight Hawk Mountain Celebration July 13 Visit Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Berks County, on July 13 and enjoy a full day of free education programs in honor of the grand reopening of the notforprofit’s newly expanded Irma BrounKahn Education Building.
All programs will celebrate learning in the great outdoors and be free of charge, although a modest trail fee always applies for nonmembers wishing to walk to scenic overlooks. Onsite vendors will offer lunch options, and a free, continuous shuttle will transport visitors to and from the Visitor Center and the Education Building throughout the day. The Grand ReOpening culminates a twoyearlong capital campaign that raised $1 million to expand an outdoor patio area, create full ADA accessibility, install high speed Internet and an interactive “Smart Board” for school groups, install a safe school bus turnaround and connector trail, and to outfit the building for both environmental education programming and corporate meetings and retreats. “We couldn’t be more proud to reinvest in outdoor education, and to present to our community and supporters this beautiful facility,” says Hawk Mountain president Jerry Regan. “Not only does the building embrace our history and reuse the original structure from the 1950s, but it also now provides us with modern technology, a great space to host a broader range of programs, and will be perfect for corporate meetings and retreats during our downtime,” he adds. Free programs for the day were designed to cover a range of interests and will feature live, native American wildlife presented by Jack Hubley with live raptor and snake presentations, and a focus on bats by Susan Gallagher from the Carbon County Environmental Center. Others may be interested to tour the building, learn how to prevent bird deaths from glass strikes, or hear insights on Hawk Mountain history, its founder and its first volunteer Irma Broun, for whom the building is named. The day begins at 9 a.m. with tours of the building and a mock field trip, followed by “Snakes: Venomous or Not?” at the Education Building or “Rosalie Edge: the Mother of the Environmental Movement” by biographer Dyana Furmansky at the Visitor Center. At 11 a.m., naturalist and author Scott Weidensaul will reflect on environmental education during a slideshow at the Education Building, Porcupine Pat McKinney will lead a Wee One’s (and Big Ones!) Walk from the Visitor Center, and Jeremy Scheivert will present Raptors Up Close! In the Outdoor Amphitheater. Cindy Dunn, the Deputy Secretary at the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will be on hand for the noontime ribboncutting, along with Berks Commissioner Christian Leinbach and Sen. David Argall (RSchuylkill). An unveiling of an inscribed boulder outside the building will culminate the short dedication. At 1 p.m., Dyana Furmansky will present a history of education at Hawk Mountain at the Education Building, Susan Gallagher will talk about “Bats, bats, bats!” at the Visitor Center, and Jack Hubley will present “Feathered Hunters” in the Outdoor Amphitheater. At 2 p.m., Dr. Dan Klem, Jr, ornithologist and Muhlenberg professor, will share his expertise in preventing bird deaths from glass strikes, and the day will end with Dr. Laurie Goodrich who will lead an interpretive walk from the Education Building to the North Lookout where the group will scan for bald eagles. Also on hand will be the chance to informally walk through the new building, to meet and learn more about fern species by volunteer Catherine Ellwell, to testdrive optics from Cabela’s Outdoor Outfitter, and to snap your photo with a lifesize cutout of our firstvolunteer Irma Broun at the trailhead entrance. H awk Mountain Sanctuary is the world’s first refuge for birds of prey and an international center for raptor conservation. The 2400 acre sanctuary, including its 8mile trail system, scenic overlooks,
Visitor Center and native plant garden are open daily year round. To learn more, visit the Hawk Mountain website or call 6107566961. Profile: Ellen Ferretti, Acting Secretary Of DCNR DCNR Deputy Secretary for Parks and Forestry Ellen Ferretti will serve as the acting secretary of the department following the resignation of Rick Allan June 13. “My responsibilities with DCNR have taken me to many parks and forests throughout the state, and I’ve learned how integral the department is to the people and communities where we work,” Ferretti said. “DCNR’s strength is its employees, and I know that together we can continue to be one of the best conservation agencies in the nation.” Ferretti has served as deputy secretary since June 2011. She also served as the vice president of the northeast regional office of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council; director of Environmental Resources at BortonLawson Engineering; project manager at Westinghouse Environmental and Geotechnical Services, Inc.; and was a former board member of North Branch Land Trust. Ferretti earned a B.S. in Environmental Science/Biology from Wilkes College in WilkesBarre. (Reprinted from June 26 DCNR Resource newsletter) Opportunity To Bid On DCNR Project In Bedford County The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published notice of an opportunity to bid on a project in Blue Knob State Park in Bedford County (PA Bulletin page 3517).
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 July 2 CANCELED. DEP Climate Change Advisory Committee meeting. The next scheduled meeting is October 8. (formal notice) July 910 NEW. Delaware River Basin Commission hearing and meeting. Agenda. Carvel State Building, 820 North French St., 2nd Floor Auditorium, Wilmington, DE. (formal notice) July 10 CANCELED. DEP Sewage Advisory Committee meeting. The next scheduled meeting is November 6. (formal notice) July 10 Agenda. DEP Technical Advisory Committee on DieselPowered Mining Equipment meeting. Fayette County Health Center, Uniontown. 10:00.
Model DHPP080 Hydraulic Power Pack <> Click Here for available handouts July 11 Agenda. DEP Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board meeting. DEP Cambria District Mining Office, 286 Industrial Park Road, Ebensburg. 9:00. Discussion of field visit to Rosebud Mining St. Michael’s Discharge Facility Regulatory Packages & NPDES Permitting Update Legacy Trust Account Update Permit Review Decision Guarantee Update EPA Statistical Methods for Remining Act 95 & Act 157 Draft Regulations Bond Rate Guidelines Update <> Click Here for available handouts. July 16 Agenda. Environmental Quality Board meeting. Room 105 Rachel Carson Building. 9:00. Proposed Chapter 78 Marcellus Shale drilling permit fee increase <> Click Here for available handouts. July 16 Agenda. DEP Citizens Advisory Council meeting. Room 105 Rachel Carson Building. 11:00. Presentation on Lake Erie, Delaware Estuary Projects STRONGER review of PA Oil and Gas Program State Water Plan Update, Private Water Well Construction Standards CONSOL Longwall Mining Impact Determination <> Click Here for available handouts. July 24 DEP Small Business Compliance Advisory Committee meeting. 12th Floor Conference Room, Rachel Carson Building. 10:00. 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. July 9 Abandoned Mine Reclamation Watershed Heroes July 10 NEW. Keep America Beautiful Graffiti Hurts Grants July 12 PROP Recycling Film Fest July 15 Extended. Northeast PA Environmental Partnership Awards
July 19 CFA High Performance Building Funding July 19 CFA Alternative, Clean Energy Funding July 26 DEP Alternative Energy Vehicle Grants July 31 Keep PA Beautiful Fresh Paint Days PA Grants July 31 CFA Act 13 Abandoned Mine, Watershed, Recreation Funding July 31 NEW. Vote Now For Philadelphia’s Favorite Spokesdog August 1 DPW Child Care Center Environmental Health Grants August 9 Foundation for PA Watershed Grants LOI August 16 DEP Growing Greener Watershed Restoration Grants September 15 CFA High Performance Building Funding September 15 CFA Alternative, Clean Energy Funding September 16 NEW. FirstEnergy Education Grants September 30 DEP Recycling Performance Grant September 30 Project Learning Tree Classroom Grants October 31 PRC Lens On Litter Contest December 31 DEP PA Sunshine Rebates (or before if funds run out) 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 NewClips on environmental topics from around the state Budget Armstrong County Expects $1.5M Drilling Fees York County Allotted Marcellus Drilling Fees Erie Awards Greenways Grants From Drilling Fees State Leaders Split Harrisburg For Flood Visit Hive Mind At Budget Time At The Capitol Budget Deal Close, Not So Much On Other Priorities Corman: Corbett’s Wishlist Proving To Be A Distraction Pension Reform Has Potential $37 Billion Extra Cost Would Pension Switch Costs? No Easy Answer Hard Numbers On Cost Of Pension Switch House Speaker Says Pension Bills May Have To Wait Editorial: Senators Shortchange Public On Pension Fix House Panel Moves $1.9 Billion Transportation Bill House Committee Moves $2 Billion Transportation Package House Committee OKs $2 Billion Highway, Bridge Bill House Committee Readies Vote On Transportation Funding Proposed Transportation Funding Plan On Idle House Republican Transportation Funding Grows Slowly
Republicans Look For Votes For Corbett Transportation Plan House Lawmakers To Include Turnpike Reforms OpEd: PA Needs Comprehensive Transportation Funding Plan OpEd: Act Now On PA Transportation Funding Editorial: Roads, Bridges, Transit Looking For Attention Tieing Lottery Privatization To Budget Gets Cool Reception House Considering Measure On Lottery Contract Editorial: Bigger Film Credit Means More Jobs House Votes To Drop Small Business Inheritance Tax Meet Delaware, PA Taxpayer’s New BFF Senate Bill Will Close Delaware Loophole Editorial: End Delaware Loophole Legal Tax Evasion Other Editorial: Report Seeks To Fault Reputable Environmentalists Sen. Yaw Recognizes Bradford’s Lovegreen For Award St. Patrick School Named PA Chesapeake Champion Festival Goes Green Thanks To Messiah College Green Workplace Challenge Expands In 2nd Year DEP Scrutinizes Adamstown Water Vending Station Waste Management Seeks Tax Exempt Bonds For Landfill Corbett: Obama Climate Plan War On Coal Reaction To Obama’s Climate Change Plan Toomy: Obama Climate Change Full Of Bad Ideas Covanta Energy Applauds Obama’s Climate Plan Obama Summary Of Pennsylvania Climate Conditions Editorial: Obama’s Climate Monstrosity OpEd: Use Energy Savings To Finance Energy Improvements Covanta To Settle Lawsuit Against Harrisburg Covanta, Harrisburg Move Out Of Court To Settle Debt Lawsuit Casey Promotes Propane Fueled Vehicles 2 Miners Freed From Kiski Twp Mine After Rock Fall Rural PA Leery Of Proposed Deep Mine Projects Report Finds Longwall Mining Damage In PA Streams Cooper Take From Somerset Wind Turbines New Castle Power Plant To Burn Gas, Not Coal Lawrence County Power Plant To Switch To Natural Gas Editorial: Dems War On Coal TMI’s New Emergency Sirens Fail Test PPL Confident In Nuclear Power Future NRC Audit Of Beaver Nuclear Plant Set Seeing Is Unbelievable At Chickies Rock Park, Lancaster Harrisburg Tree Survey Could Cut Crime, Pollution Riverlife Seeks Funds For Pittsburgh Riverfront Trail
Western PA Audubon Raises $40K For Campers Cicadas Fest For Wild Things In Central PA Corbett Signs Bill Assuring Private Boar Hunts Webcam Shares Video Of Young Kestrels Near Hershey Falcon Nests On The Rise In PA Bald Eagle Nests To Top 250 In PA
Marcellus Shale NewsClips
Here are NewsClips on topics related to Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling Corbett Wants DRBC To Lift Drilling Ban Wayne County Urges Quick End To Drilling Ban Shell Again Delaying Plans For Beaver Cracking Plant Bill Would Create Marcellus Shale Drilling Health Panel Armstrong County Expects $1.5M Drilling Fees York County Allotted Marcellus Drilling Fees Erie Awards Greenways Grants From Drilling Fees Editorial: Fund Drilling Health Study Mixed Results In Study Of Water, Fracking Fracking Can Increase Methane In Drinking Water: Study Study: Contaminated Water Wells Found Near Fracking Site Study Finds More Gas In Water Near Marcellus Drilling Methane In Wells Troubles Scientists, Money Matters Ignored Stray Gas In PA Water Wells Rules Out Biological Source Senate Panel Examines Complaints Of Underpaid Gas Royalties New Castle Power Plant To Burn Gas, Not Coal Lawrence County Power Plant To Switch To Natural Gas Allegheny Park Drilling Opinions Mixed Allegheny Looks To Washington County On Park Drilling Companies Find Shale Opportunities In NE PA Old Cecil Wells To Be Sealed By DEP Is PA Getting Its Fair Share From Gas Boom? Financial/Other States EPA Scraps Plan For Study Of Wyoming Fracking
Here are NewsClips on watershed topics from around the state Flooding State Leaders Split Harrisburg For Flood Visit
PA Doused By Heavy Rains, Some Flooding Delaware River Hazardous Due To High Water Flooding In DuBois Called A Nightmare Scranton, WilkesBarre Flooding Is Imminent Other Watershed NewsClips Battle Erupts Over Senate Bill Aimed At Cleaning Up Bay Manheim Improves Sewer Plant To Protect Chesapeake Bay St. Patrick School Named PA Chesapeake Champion 6 Franklin School Work Closely With CBF Watershed Program Editorial: Don’t Muddy Chesapeake Bay Restoration OpEd: State Working Hard To Save Susquehanna River 16th Century Method May Revolutionize Mine Drainage Treatment Lawsuit: Fayette Coal Waste Pile Polluting Water Fayette Residents File Suit Over Coal Refuse Pile Plan Underway For North Fork, Bens Creek Watershed Expo Teaches Lessons In Lancaster County Kayak Excursion Opens Eyes To Susquehanna River Lehigh Sojourn Draws 100 Kayakers, Canoeists Meet The New Masters Of The Juniata River Large Fuel Spill Threatens Little Valley Creek Report Finds Longwall Mining Damage In PA Streams Old Cecil Wells To Be Sealed By DEP
Regulations, Technical Guidance & Permits
No new regulations were published this week. Pennsylvania Bulletin June 29, 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 Public Utility Commission published a notice of final Marketing and Sales Practices for the Retail Residential Energy Market order. (PA Bulletin page 3473) 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. Note: House and Senate Committees will be scheduled at the last minute during the remaining days of budget week. Click on the links below for the latest. Senate Committee Schedule House Committee Schedule June 29 NEW. Senate Appropriations Committee meets to consider in House Bill 1437 (AdolphRDelaware) FY 201314 General Fund budget. Rules Committee Room. Off the Floor. July 2 CANCELED. DEP Climate Change Advisory Committee meeting. The next scheduled meeting is October 8. (formal notice) July 910 NEW. Delaware River Basin Commission hearing and meeting. Agenda. Carvel State Building, 820 North French St., 2nd Floor Auditorium, Wilmington, DE. (formal notice) July 10 CANCELED. DEP Sewage Advisory Committee meeting. The next scheduled meeting is November 6. (formal notice) July 10 Agenda. DEP Technical Advisory Committee on DieselPowered Mining Equipment meeting. Fayette County Health Center, Uniontown. 10:00. July 11 Agenda. DEP Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board meeting. DEP Cambria District Mining Office, 286 Industrial Park Road, Ebensburg. 9:00. July 16 Agenda. Environmental Quality Board meeting. Room 105 Rachel Carson Building. 9:00. July 16 Agenda. DEP Citizens Advisory Council meeting. Room 105 Rachel Carson Building. 11:00. July 24 DEP Small Business Compliance Advisory Committee meeting. 12th Floor Conference Room, Rachel Carson Building. 10:00.
September 13 Senate Game and Fisheries Committee holds a hearing on elk management and the 100th anniversary of the reintroduction of elk into Pennsylvania. Elk County Visitors Center, Benezette. 2:00. 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. You can watch the Senate Floor Session and House Floor Session live online.
Send your stories, photos and links to videos about your project, environmental issues or programs for publication in the PA Environment Digest to: DHess@CrisciAssociates.com. PA Environment Digest is edited by David E. Hess, former Secretary Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and is published as a service of Crisci Associates, a Harrisburgbased government and public affairs firm whose clients include Fortune 500 companies and nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit the newly updated Crisci Associates website or call 7172341716. PA Environment Digest weekly was the winner of the PA Association of Environmental Educators' 2009 Business Partner of the Year Award. Also sign up for these other 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.
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