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PA Environment Digest

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 August 29, 2011

Northeast Environmental Partners Announce Award Winners, October 27 Dinner The winners of 21st Annual Environmental Partnership Awards were announced Tuesday by the Northeast Environmental Partners along with the winner of the Thomas P. Shelburne Environmental Leadership Award. The award winners will be recognized at a special awards dinner on October 27 at the Woodlands Inn & Resort in Wilkes-Barre. The award winners include: -- Earth Conservancy, Luzerne County Huber III Reclamation Project, Luzerne County: The Earth Conservancy is being honored for the reclamation of the Huber III mine land project, an 82 acre site, which presented environmental hazards of acid mine drainage (AMD) to the Solomon Creek Watershed. The reclamation of this dormant culm-laden site now no longer contributes AMD to the environment and can be responsibly reutilized for purposes that will improve the local economy and quality of life. -- Joseph Orlowsky, Schuylkill County: Mr. Orlowsky is being honored for his contribution and commitment to improving the streetscape and parks in his community for the past decade. Through Mr. Orlowskys leadership over 500 trees have been planted along the streets of Pottsville. He has dedicated many hours above and beyond his chairmanship of the Shade Tree Commission to spearhead tree planting education and initiatives in his and neighboring communities. -- SEEDS of NEPA, Sustainable Energy Education & Development Support, Wayne County: SEEDS of NEPA is being honored for its efforts to build demand and infrastructure for renewable energy and to encourage sustainable living through energy conservation. SEEDS partnered with Northampton Community College, Wayne County Conservation office, Workforce Wayne, PPL-Electric Utilities as well as many other organizations to provide education, training and recognition regarding alternative energy choices and options. -- Robert Skulsky, Luzerne County: Mr. Skulsky is being honored for his leadership and commitment to enhance the environment of Northeastern Pennsylvania through his work as the Executive Director of the Greater Hazleton Area Civic Partnership. Mr. Skulsky has been integral in developing the first four miles of the Greater Hazleton Rail to Trail (GHRT). Mr. Skulsky has partnered with many organizations including Leadership Hazleton to promote

environmental education, the Greater Hazleton Wellness Center, Wyoming Valley Wellness Trails Partnership and Live Well Luzerne to promote healthy living. -- Bonnie Smith, Luzerne County: Ms. Smith is being honored for her efforts and advocacy for environmental and land protection. Ms. Smith shares her legal expertise with others to champion environmental protection throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania. Ms. Smith has partnered with many organizations, such as, North Pocono C.A.R.E., Anthracite Scenic Trails Association, Endless Mountains Nature Center and Stoddartsville Preservation Society among others, to protect area waterways and conserve land. Her efforts have a lasting impression on a myriad of non-profit organizations that have benefitted from her guidance. -- South Branch Tunkhannock Creek Watershed Coalition, Lackawanna County: The South Branch Tunkhannock Creek Watershed Coalition is being honored for their activities to protect and maintain the health of the nearly 100 square mile area of the South Branch Tunkhannock Creek Watershed. The Coalition works to educate, promote and sustain the health of the Watershed. The Coalition has partnered with the Lackawanna County Conservation District to conduct dumpsite cleanups, Lackawanna State Park to provide environmental educational forums for area residents; and the Keystone College Willary Water Resource Center and the Countryside Conservancy to support their water quality monitoring program. Shelburne Award The Seventeenth Annual Thomas P. Shelburne Environmental Leadership Award will be presented this year to: Dorrance Belin, Lackawanna County. Mr. Belin is being honored for his dedication, leadership and commitment to preserving and protecting the environment of Northeastern Pennsylvania. For four decades Mr. Belin has been a leader in the environmental arena through his unique combination of vision and organizational skills, quiet, diplomatic persistence, legal expertise and ability to identify and inspire the human and financial resources so critical to the conservation movement. Mr. Belin was a founding member of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Nature Conservancy as well as the Countryside Conservancy. Mr. Belin has been a steadfast, highly effective leader for the environment for the last forty years utilizing his abilities and expertise to foster partnerships and inspire others to action. Dinner Speakers This years Keynote address will be given by Secretary Michael Krancer, PA DEP. Michael Krancer was nominated by Gov. Tom Corbett to be the Secretary of Environment Protection on January 18, 2011. The nomination was confirmed by the Pennsylvania State Senate on April 26, 2011 Special Commentary will be given by Secretary Richard Allan, PA DCNR. Governor Tom Corbett nominated Richard J. Allan as DCNR secretary on March 23, 2011. The state Senate confirmed that nomination June 13, 2011 by a vote of 50-0. Thomas Makowski, Vice President, Business Development and Marketing at Borton Lawson will be the Master of Ceremonies. To receive information on attending or sponsoring this event, please contact the NE Office of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council at 570-718-6507. Governor Declares Emergency, PEMA Urges Pennsylvanians To Prepare For Hurricane Irene

The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Thursday urged Pennsylvanians to prepare for expected high winds and heavy rain from Hurricane Irene this weekend. Although the storm is expected to primarily impact southeastern Pennsylvania, residents across the state should remain alert and be prepared. In anticipation of the Hurricane, Gov. Tom Corbett Friday declared a state of emergency throughout Pennsylvania. The worst conditions in Pennsylvania are due to hit Saturday evening into Sunday. "The approaching hurricane means all residents should be sure emergency supplies are ready in our homes, and to secure outdoor items so they don't cause more damage when the winds come," said PEMA Director Glenn Cannon. "As this week's historic East Coast earthquake reminded everyone, being prepared at all times is critical." In the event that roadways become impassable or power is lost, Cannon said residents should be prepared to survive on their own without outside assistance for at least three days. Emergency crews simply will not be able to reach everyone immediately after the danger has passed. Have disaster preparedness supplies on hand, including:Flashlights and extra batteries; Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries; First aid kit and manual; Emergency food and water; Non-electric can opener; Essential medicines/prescriptions; Cash, credit cards and important legal documents; and Sturdy shoes. If residents are ordered to evacuate, they should do so without hesitating, and should take important papers with them including: Checkbooks; Driver's license; Credit card information; Birth certificates; Social Security cards; and Other forms and documents proving ownership/ identity. Never drive into low-lying areas or over roads and bridges that are already under water. Just a few inches of moving water can sweep away the average car. Individuals and families need to have a communication plan in place in order to contact or find each other if separated. As the storm approaches, residents should listen to and closely follow instructions from local and state authorities. "Personal preparedness is an essential responsibility," Cannon said. "Individuals and families should be ready to take protective actions at any time, whether the forecast gives us several days notice of a storm, or with an unexpected event like Tuesday's earthquake." State of Emergency Corbett issued the disaster proclamation Friday after meeting with Glenn Cannon, director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, and other emergency officials at their headquarters in Harrisburg. We are urging all Pennsylvanians to take action now to be prepared, Corbett said. We will continue to monitor this changing situation statewide and plan for all possible emergencies. Should the need arise, we will be able to help as quickly and efficiently as possible. The state's Emergency Operations Center has been monitoring conditions statewide, as well as communicating with other states and federal officials, to assess conditions and coordinate any response necessary to support Pennsylvanias counties and municipalities in the affected areas. The latest weather forecasts predict that the eastern portion of the state will bear the brunt of the storm with heavy rains of up to 10 inches, and strong winds gusting to 60 mph or more.

The combination of wind and rain could result in downed trees and utility lines, possibly resulting in extensive power outages and flash flooding. In addition, state emergency officials are in communication with multiple state agencies, including the state departments of Transportation, Health, Public Welfare, General Services, State Police, Pennsylvania National Guard, Turnpike Commission, Public Utility Commission and the American Red Cross, to make sure supplies and personnel are ready if needed. Individuals needing assistance should call their local municipal emergency management office in the Blue Pages section of the phone book or, if they have an emergency, should call 911 immediately. Never call 911 to request or report road conditions. When calling 911 to report an emergency, it is critical for callers to stay on the line, even if for an extended series of rings, until the operator answers. Motorists can check road conditions on state roads by calling 511 or visiting Available 24 hours a day, the number provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, average traffic speeds on urban interstates and access to more than 500 traffic cameras. Regional Twitter alerts are also available on the 511PA website. To be better prepared for emergencies of all sorts, Cannon urged residents to visit -- a state resource that encourages citizens to take three basic steps before an emergency or natural disaster: -- Be Informed: know what threats Pennsylvania and your community face. -- Be Prepared: have an emergency kit with at least three days' worth of essentials at your home, including food, one gallon of water per person per day, medications and specialized items such as baby or pet supplies. Create an emergency plan so family members know where to meet if everyone is separated when an incident occurs. -- Be Involved: Pennsylvanians have a long history of helping one another in times of need. Specialized training and volunteer opportunities are available so citizens can help others in their community in a disaster. Information such as checklists for emergency kits and templates for emergency plans, as well as other information and volunteer opportunities, is available at or by calling 1-888-9-READYPA (1-888-973-2397). Flooding Fact Sheets To track Hurricane Irene, visit the National Hurricane Center of the National Weather Service. Click Here for a Floods and Flash Floods Fact Sheet from the PA Emergency Management Agency. Click Here for Flood Recovery of heating and cooling systems fact sheet. Click Here for recovery of flood damaged electric motors and appliances fact sheet. Click Here for recovery of flood damaged walls fact sheet. Click Here for instructions in disinfection of home wells and springs fact sheet. Click Here for specific National Weather Service Flood Alerts for your county. NewsClips: Corbett Issues Emergency Declaration For PA With Irene Looming, Corbett Declares State Of Emergency Guard Troops Staging For Storm Aid Corbett Tells Midstate Not To Let Down Their Guard On Irene PA Organizations Prepare For Irene's Expected Arrival

Insurance Commissioner: To Check Insurance Policies Agriculture Secretary: Take Food Safety Precautions Western PA Readies Help For Storm Victims Hurricane Outlook For NE PA Worsening Hurricane Irene Expected To Soak Central PA PA Fuel Distributors Join Groups Asking EPA For Fuel Waivers As A Result Of Irene The PA Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association Friday joined with other vehicle fuel distributors in the Northeast United States urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to issue fuel waivers to allow for the timely distribution of fuel during the Hurricane Irene emergency. The letter said in part-"It is estimated that more than 80 million people along the Eastern Seaboard will be impacted by Hurricane Irene over the next four days. PMAA and its affiliated state association members in the path of the storm are urgently working to develop a coordinated plan to ensure that the supply distribution network for gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene and heating oil fuel will be maintained before during and after Hurricane Irene passes through the region. "PMAA anticipates that numerous federal fuel waivers authorized under the Clean Air Act Section 112(c)(4)(C), will be necessary during this period in order to meet demand, particularly for emergency responders and other vital services such as hospitals and utility crews. It is essential that the EPA move quickly with sufficient regulatory flexibility to ensure the uninterrupted distribution of petroleum as a result of the storm. "First, the EPA must take proactive measures to ensure that the region is fully prepared for Hurricane Irene. PMAA is urging the agency to issue a fuel waiver today that would allow heating oil to be used in emergency generators and back-up equipment that ordinarily requires 15 ppm diesel fuel. "Information from PMAA state associations in the region indicate that petroleum marketers are being inundated with calls from emergency responders and vital service providers for fuel to power emergency generators and back up equipment due to anticipated prolonged power outages. "Marketers across the region are reporting urgent fuel supply requests for emergency equipment from from local fire, police and DPW departments, hospitals and nursing homes, water and sewage facilities, public utilities, the National Guard and 911 emergency centers, to name a few. "Fuel for emergency generators and back-up equipment is in high demand because supply tanks are typically left close to empty to prevent fuel spoilage while not in use. The logistical problem of meeting the current unprecedented demand is due to a lack of 15-ppm supply at local bulk storage facilities which are currently filled with heating oil in anticipation of the upcoming winter heating season. "Consequently, in order to obtain adequate supply of 15-ppm fuel for emergency equipment, multiple trips back and forth to distant terminal facilities are required. Demand cannot be met in this way because there is simply not enough time, trucks or drivers available to make these multiple, time consuming runs.

"On the other hand, marketers have ample heating oil on hand at their bulk storage facilities that could easily substitute for 15ppm product and ensure that emergency responders and vital service providers receive the fuel they need prior to the arrival of Hurricane Irene. For this reason a proactive waiver of the 15ppm requirement for emergency generators and equipment is absolutely essential at this time. "Second, the EPA must move quickly in the aftermath of the storm to ensure that adequate supplies of gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene and heating oil remains available. PMAA anticipates that Hurricane Irene will knock out power to refineries and terminal facilities and require the shutdown of vital petroleum supply pipelines. If this occurs, the EPA must be ready to waive RVP, RFG, and ULSD fuel requirements across the area affected by Hurricane Irene. "The nation learned in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina that proactive preparedness is essential to prevent avoidable catastrophic consequences of killer storm. Hurricane Irene is a very dangerous storm headed towards the nations most populated region. For this reason PMAA and its member associations urge the EPA to move quickly on the requests presented in this letter." A copy of the letter is available online. Did You Know You Can Search 7 Years Of Digests On Any Topic? Did you know you can search 7 years of back issues of the PA Environment Digest on dozens of topics, by county and on any key word you choose. Just click on the search page. Also take advantage of these related services from Crisci Associates-Twitter Instant Updates: On Twitter, sign up to receive instant updates from : PAEnviroDigest. PA Environment Daily: 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 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. 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-Senate September 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28 October 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 31 November 1, 14, 15, 16 December 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14 House September 26, 27, 28 October 3, 4, 5, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 31 November 1, 2, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23 December 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14 Bill Calendars House (September 26): Senate Bill 303 (MJ White-R-Venango) providing for the disposition of fines under the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act; Senate Bill 304 (MJ White-R-Venango) requiring the posting of the state air quality implementation plan on the Internet; House Resolution 70 (Harhart-R-Lehigh) requesting the Department of Transportation to study the potential use of quarry and other mining waste in highway and civil engineering projects. <> Click Here for full House Bill Calendar. Senate (September 19): <> Click Here for full Senate Bill Calendar. Committees House: the Human Services Committee hearing on House Bill 272 (Hess-R-Blair) establishing a task force on Lyme disease and related maladies. <> Click Here for full House Committee Schedule. Senate: <> Click Here for full Senate Committee Schedule. Bills Introduced The following bills of interest were introduced this week-Marcellus Tax: House Bill 1804 (Pashinski-D-Luzerne) providing for a Marcellus Shale severance tax. Reclamation Guarantees: House Bill 1813 (Tobash-R-Berks) providing for financial guarantees as an option for mine reclamation bonding.

AEPS: House Bill 1822 (Moul-R-Adams) adding natural gas to the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards.

News From The Capitol

House Republicans Examine Energy Mandates And Impacts On Consumers The House Republican Policy Committee Monday held a hearing on the energy mandates included in the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards and under Act 129 of 2008. Terry Fitzpatrick, Energy Association of PA, told the Committee electric distribution companies are concerned about the cumulative cost to consumer of these mandates in light of the need to modernize electric infrastructure and maintain programs to assist low-income individuals. He noted the bulk of the requirements to purchase power from certain sources have not yet taken affect, however, the cost of alternative energy credits and compliance payments will increase the cost of electricity to consumers. Fitzpatrick said the cost to comply with Act 129 mandates to reduce electricity use are complex and contentious as well as very prescriptive increasing the cost of compliance for consumers. The total cost of compliance is expected to be about $1 billion in Pennsylvania. Romulo Diaz, PECO, said while environmental stewardship is one of PECO's core values, there are more effective and less effective ways of achieving those goals laid out by AEPS and Act 129. "Our experience has been that some of these programs have been successful and cost-effective, but others can be improved while maintaining their basic structure, and a few require fundamental re-thinking." Doug Krall, PPL Electric Utilities, said the energy efficiency and conservation programs in Act 129 are providing value to customers, but the AEPS requirements should not be changed to allow the electricity market to respond, react and adjust to the act's mandates. Bill Roland, Duquesne Light, said whether we like it or not, the energy mandates have to be paid for by the consumers and that allowing customers the choice of electric suppliers is a core philosophy of his company. Chuck Fullem, FirstEnergy, said the goals included in Act 129 were set in a "vastly different economic landscape" than Pennsylvania's finds itself in now. He noted in particular the mandates for smart meters and penalties for not achieving mandated electric use reductions should be review. Rep. David Reed (R-Indiana), Chair of the Committee, said they will continue to explore energy efficiency policies and their impact on consumer in future meetings. Copies of testimony are also available at the Committee website. Rep. Baker To Introduce Bill To Include Natural Gas Lines In PA One Call In an effort to increase consumer safety and ensure the delivery of essential home heating fuel is not disrupted, Rep. Matt Baker (R-Tioga) has authored legislation that will include oil and natural gas gathering lines under the Pennsylvania Underground Utility Protection Law.

The Pennsylvania Underground Utility Protection Law was developed to protect the public health and safety by preventing excavation and demolition work from damaging underground lines used to provide electricity, communication, gas, oil, sewage, water or other services. Under the law, prior to any work being done that may disturb the earth, homeowners, contractors, plumbers, excavators, and others must make a Pennsylvania One Call that notifies all service providers of the work being done so they can come out and properly mark the location of the lines. The Pennsylvania One Call System is an important program that protects consumers and service workers from accidentally hitting a line and causing injury or disruption of service when digging for a new foundation for a house, installing a fence or even planting landscaping if you are using powered equipment, said Rep. Baker. It is important to include natural gas and oil lines as part of this service because a break in the lines could cause fires, explosions or asphyxiation. It could also lead to gas or oil leaching into the ground and area water supplies. My legislation will simply make sure natural gas and oil companies are included when someone calls the system. Rep. Baker said the natural gas industry is rapidly growing in the Commonwealth and gathering lines for gas are becoming more prevalent and, therefore, need to be included in the Pennsylvania Underground Utility Protection Law so as to prevent damage to underground utility infrastructure and assure public safety and environmental protection. This is a commonsense and timely bill, said Rep. Baker. I am hopeful it will gain quick passage through the committee process and come before the full House for a vote in the very near future. August Environmental Synopsis Features GreenCircle Recycling Content Program The Joint Conservation Committee's August Environmental Synopsis features the GreenCircle Certification Program for recycled content. This issue also features stories on: state environmental budgets, Pennsylvania's clean economy and jobs, pharmaceuticals disposal and power plant emissions. Rep. Scott Hutchinson (R-Venango) serves as Chair of the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee.

News From Around The State

Lehigh Valley Clean Water Summit Set For September 29 The Northampton County Conservation Districtin partnership with the Upper Mount Bethel Township Environmental Advisory Council, Portland Borough Authority, the Water Resources Education Network and the Martins-Jacoby Watershed Associationwill host a Lehigh Valley Clean Water Summit from 4:00 to 8:30 p.m. on September 29 at the Lower Mt Bethel Welcome Center, 7701 Martins Creek-Belvidere Highway, Bangor, Pa.

This program is designed to provide tools and resources on drinking water protection for county and municipal officials, councils, commissions and boards; community watershed organizations; public water providers; and other interested groups and individuals. Representatives from the Water Resources Education Network, Department of Environmental Protection, and others will address regulatory and non-regulatory ways to protect drinking water sources. Registration for the Lehigh Valley Clean Water Summit is $10 by September 21, which includes workshop attendance, materials, and dinner. This program has been funded by the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Citizen Education Fund through a Section 319 federal Clean Water Act grant from the Department of Environmental Protection, administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, with additional funding provided by the Martins-Jacoby Watershed Association, Martins Creek, Pennsylvania. For more information or to register for the Lehigh Valley Clean Water Summit, contact Jim Wilson, Watershed Specialist with the Northampton County Conservation District, at 610-746-1971 or send email to: ClearWater Conservancy Sponsors Wild and Scenic Film Festival September 22 ClearWater Conservancy will host the Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival for the third time this fall at 7 p.m. September 22 at the State Theatre in State College. Festival-goers will see 10 films in all: one feature length film and eight shorts selected locally from more than 50 award-winning films about nature, community activism, adventure, conservation, water, energy and climate change, wildlife, environmental justice, agriculture and indigenous cultures. Together, the films will run a little over two hours. This year the feature-length film is Living Downstream by Chandra Chevannes. Cancer runs in Sandra Steingrabers family: her mother, aunts and uncles, and now her. But Sandra is adopted. This unusual twist led Sandra to ask what else families have in common besides their DNA. The answer is all around us: our environment. This film is based on the 1997 book of the same name by ecologist and cancer survivor Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D. The Wild and Scenic Film Festival was conceived by a California watershed advocacy group (the South Yuba River Citizens League) in 2003 and has since flourished into the largest film festival of its kind in North America. It is held each January in Nevada City, California. In 2004, environmental groups started asking if they could bring the festival to their community, and gradually a touring version of the Wild and Scenic Film Festival developed from outside interest. Seven years later, the tour now visits more than 110 communities nationwide. Advance purchase tickets are $14, $12 with student I.D. On the evening of the show, tickets will be $16 at the door. Tickets can be purchased online. Tickets may be purchased in downtown State College at Appalachian Outdoors, 123 South Allen Street and at the State Theatre box office, 130 W. College Avenue. Tickets can also be purchased at ClearWater Conservancy, 2555 North Atherton Street. For mail-order tickets, call ClearWater at 814-237-400. Penn State: Environmentally Friendly Horsekeeping Part 2

Going green on your horse farm is not difficult or expensive. You may already be doing environmentally friendly methods of horse-keeping and just need to make some adjustments. This is part one of a two-part series. Part Two: Clean Water and Manure Management from the Penn State Cooperative Extension. Note: The Penn State Extension Service may have to close some offices to meet state budget cuts. NewsClip: Penn State Extension Offices May Face Layoffs New Book: Aquatic Plants Of PA, A Complete Reference Guide From the Delaware River to the shores of Lake Erie, Pennsylvania's diverse watery habitats are home to more than 200 species of aquatic plants. In Aquatic Plants of Pennsylvania: A Complete Reference Guide, botanists Timothy A. Block and Ann Fowler Rhoads have assembled the first identification guide specific to the Keystone State yet useful throughout the Mid Atlantic region. Organized and written in a way that will make information easily accessible to specialists and nonspecialists alike, the book highlights the diversity and vital ecological importance of this group of plants, providing photographs, illustrations, descriptions, and identification keys for all emergent, floating-leaved, and submergent aquatic plants found in the Commonwealth. An introductory chapter on aquatic plant ecology covers topics such as evolution, form, and reproduction of aquatic plants, vegetation zones, types of aquatic ecosystems, and rare and endangered species. Information on invasive plants, such as Eurasian water-milfoil and curly pondweed, that threaten Pennsylvania's aquatic ecosystems will be especially useful to watershed organizations, citizen monitoring projects, lake managers, and natural resource agency personnel. An illustrated identification key guides the reader through a series of steps to properly identify a specimen based on its characteristics. Each of the more than 200 listings provides a plant's taxonomy, detailed description, distribution map, and expert botanical illustrations. Many also include color photographs of the plants in their natural habitats. At the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, Timothy A. Block is John J. Willaman Chair of Botany and Director of the Pennsylvania Flora Project, Ann Fowler Rhoads is Senior Scientist of the Pennsylvania Flora Project, and Anna Anisko is Botanical Illustrator. They are coauthors and illustrator of The Plants of Pennsylvania: An Illustrated Manual and The Trees of Pennsylvania: A Complete Reference Guide, both also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press. Copies of Aquatic Plants of Pennsylvania are available online. PEC Officially Joins National Green Infrastructure Partnership The PA Environmental Council has signed the statement of support, recognizing the multiple benefits of green infrastructure in reducing pollution and improving water quality. PEC is currently one of only 3 Pennsylvania organizations included in this partnership. However, local and state governments, environmental groups, development groups, and other corporate entities are invited to sign the Statement of Support.

The Environmental Protection Agency's Green Infrastructure Partnership aims to promote green infrastructure as a preferable approach to manage stormwater runoff. Family Fun Awaits at Delaware Coast Day September 10 Delight in the Delaware River at Pennsylvania Coast Day on September 10, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Philadelphia. Visitors can board the RiverLink Ferry for a free, round-trip tour of the Delaware River (while supplies last). They can also paddle Penns Landing in a kayak or swan boat for $8 to $10, and that's not all. Click Here for a full list of attractions. Lt. Governor Says Marcellus Shale Industry Creating Jobs In Wilkes-Barre Even in areas of Pennsylvania where there is no Marcellus Shale natural gas production taking place, the industry is creating jobs, Lt. Governor Jim Cawley said Wednesday during a tour of Cleveland Brothers Equipment, a distributor of Caterpillar vehicles, parts and service. Natural gas is already providing thousands of jobs for Pennsylvania. You can see it right here at Cleveland Brothers. They may not be drilling here, but jobs are being created here in Wilkes-Barre and across the state, said Cawley. Cawley said the natural gas industry and related businesses generated more than 72,000 new hires in Pennsylvania over the last 18 months alone. These are family-sustaining jobs, paying on average nearly $70,000. Cleveland Brothers is a family-owned company that has been doing business in PA since 1937. It currently employs more than 1,100 people statewide and is growing because of the need for heavy equipment in the natural gas industry. To those who say Marcellus Shale is not benefiting Pennsylvania, I say come to WilkesBarre and see for yourself, Cawley said. Pennsylvanians are finding good jobs, and not just on the drilling rigs. Cawley headed the Governors Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, which in July unanimously adopted 96 recommendations for responsible natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania. The recommendations provide for: Stronger regulations for drilling; Tougher penalties for violators; Promoting PAs energy independence; Protecting public safety and health; and Creating jobs for Pennsylvanians. NewsClips: Lt. Gov: Gas Industry Is Paying Its Share Lt. Gov. Calls For Improvements To Drilling Regulations Lt. Gov Tours Wilkes-Barre Region On Marcellus Shale One Month Later, Corbett Vague On Marcellus Recommendations PUC Clarifies Decision On Laser Natural Gas Pipeline Case The Public Utility Commission Thursday clarified its June 2011 Order that determined that Laser Northeast Gathering Co.'s proposed service was a 'public utility service and denied two petitions for reconsideration. The Commission voted 4-1 to provide clarification by further defining the parameters of the determination that Lasers proposed service meets the definition of a 'public utility.' Commissioner James H. Cawley issued a dissenting statement.

The Commission did not vote on whether the granting of a certificate of public convenience to Laser was "necessary or proper for the service, accommodation, convenience of safety of the public" under the Public Utility Code. In its June 2011 Order, the Commission remanded that issue to the PUC Office of Administrative Law Judge for further consideration, which is ongoing. In clarifying the June 2011 Order, the Commission used criteria set forth in relevant case law and an existing Commission policy statement. Based on that review, the Commission considered various facts including: -- Laser will be transporting or conveying natural or artificial gas by pipeline or conduit for compensation. -- Laser will serve any and all potential customers needing to move gas through the pipeline system. -- Laser intends to utilize negotiated contracts to secure customers; contracts are not meant to be exclusionary, but rather to establish technical requirements, delivery points, and other terms and conditions of service. -- Laser has made a commitment to expand its capacity, as needed, to meet increased customer demand. In a separate action, Commissioner Cawley also requested a Secretarial Letter be issued asking that the parties in the case address his questions and areas of concern as part of the remand of the case. Keep PA Beautifuls Fresh Paint Days Pennsylvania Grant Winners Announced Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Thursday announced the 10 grant winners of their new Fresh Paint Days Pennsylvania Program grants. Designed to provide community groups with paint and painting supplies, the program enables these groups to renew a community structure in need into something beautiful through the application of fresh paint and a lot of elbow grease. This annual event is held in partnership with support from PPG PITTSBURGH Paints and The Home Depot. During the month of September, the 10 grant winners will transform their structure utilizing up to 40 gallons of exterior paints and $200 in painting supplies. The 10 grant winners are as follows: -- Allegheny County Bloomfield/Garfield Corp. for painting Kraymicks Bike Shop in the Penn Avenue Arts Revitalization district. -- Allegheny County Tarentum Borough for painting the Chapman Building in the central business district. -- Berks County West Reading Elm Street for the Lets Paint the Town project for historic row homes in West Reading Borough. -- Clearfield County Downtown DuBois Revitalization Group for painting the Tubbs Building in the City of DuBois. -- Dauphin County Penbrook Revitalization, Inc. for painting the Salvatore Pantano residence in the Borough of Penbrook as part of the Paint Penbrook Beautiful project. -- Lancaster County Boys and Girls Club of Lancaster to paint the Walker Clubhouse in the City of Lancaster as part of the Paint it Pretty project.

-- Philadelphia County Project H.O.M.E for painting of businesses on Ridge Avenue as part of the City of Philadelphia and The Cecil B Moore Ridge Avenue commercial corridor revitalization initiative. -- Westmoreland County City of Arnold to repaint the Amphitheater at Roosevelt Park. -- Westmoreland County Greater Monessen Historical Society to paint the Museum Annex in the City of Monessen. -- York County Glen Rock Borough for painting the maintenance building as part of the downtown area revitalization effort. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful received 48 applications, and grant winners were chosen based on their applications. Two of the awardees will receive an additional $500 from PPG Pittsburgh Paints and The Home Depot at the end of the project for community improvement projects, based on reporting and the winner of two criteria; best visual impact and best community revitalization story. We are proud supporters of Fresh Paint Days Pennsylvania, said Dori Marks, senior marketing manager, PPG Industries. It is a valuable new program and I really want to encourage community groups in Pennsylvania to take full advantage of this great opportunity. Through our partnership with PPG Pittsburgh Paints and The Home Depot, Fresh Paint Days Pennsylvania empowers community groups to take a direct role in community revitalization efforts, explains Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. Something as simple as a fresh coat of paint on a public library or community center sends a strong message that we care about our communities. For additional information regarding Keep Pennsylvania Beautifuls Fresh Paint Days Pennsylvania Program, please contact Michele Dunn, Fresh Paint Days Pennsylvania Program Coordinator, at 1-877-772-3673 ext. 113 or send email to: Hard To Recycle Collection Event At Pittsburgh Mills September 17 The PA Resources Council and Zero Waste Pittsburgh will hold a Hard To Recycle Collection event at the Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills on September 17. Click Here for details. Registration Now Open For 2011 Pennsylvania Brownfields Conference Registration is now open for the 2011 Pennsylvania Brownfields Conference to be held September 27-28 at the Blair County Convention Center, Altoona. This years conference features big changes as it moves to Altoona and the commonwealth joins forces with the Engineers Society of Western Pennsylvania to combine the two largest statewide brownfield conferences into one unique and informative event. The first brownfields conference was held by the Engineers' Society in1994, a year before Pennsylvania's award-winning Land Recycling Act. was passed. This years conference will focus on the redevelopment of smaller brownfields sites. Sessions will be offered for both those new to brownfields as well as the seasoned brownfields practitioner. Preceding the conference, a Brownfield Basics course will be offered to provide

new attendees with the fundamental concepts of brownfields redevelopment. Other sessions will focus on planning and financing innovations to advance brownfield projects. The conference agenda includes an informative field trip where attendees will experience first-hand the impressive results of Altoonas downtown revitalization as well as tour a more traditional manufacturing reuse of a former rail car shop in Hollidaysburg. The tour will be followed by a networking event at the historic Railroaders Memorial Museum. The conference has been approved for 6.75 organizational Professional Development Units through the Pennsylvania Economic Development Institute. For a listing of the approved sessions within the conference, call PSATS at 717-763-0930. Additionally, the conference satisfies requirements for PA Economic Development Association Professional Development Units. Attendance at all sessions also equates to 10 Professional Development Hours for Engineers. To see how brownfields remediation and redevelopment are benefiting communities across Pennsylvania, visit DEPs Land Recycling webpage. For sponsorship or exhibit information, contact the conference manager at 717-763-0930 or send email to: For more information or to register online, visit the Conference webpage. PA Protects 1,425 More Acres Of Prime Farmland The Pennsylvania Agricultural Preservation Board this week took action to ensure 1,425 additional acres on 16 farms in seven counties are preserved for future generations through the states nationally recognized farmland preservation program. The board met Thursday to approve the preservation of these farms, located in Bucks, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton and York counties. During the programs 23-year history, 453,419 acres on 4,189 farms have been safeguarded for future agricultural production. Preserving farmland is the first step in securing the future of Pennsylvanias number-one industry, said Agriculture Secretary George Greig. Agriculture provides not only one-in-seven jobs and $51 billion in total economic impact, but also provides a way of life for Pennsylvanias farm families. I thank these producers who have decided to set aside land for agricultural production. They are ensuring the future success of the agriculture industry and its ability to serve as the cornerstone of our states economic recovery. The states farmland preservation efforts work through the Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program, which was developed in 1988 to help slow the loss of prime farmland to non-agricultural uses. The program enables state, county and local governments to purchase conservation easements, also called development rights, from owners of quality farmland. Since the programs inception, state, county and local governments have invested more than $1 billion to preserve farms. Greig added that farm succession planning is essential to ensuring producers are available to farm preserved land, and the Center for Farm Transitions can offer assistance to find the next generation of farmers. For more information, visit Agriculture's Farmland Preservation webpage.

DEP Awards Nearly $517,000 In Clean Diesel Grants The Department of Environmental Protection announced Thursday it has awarded $516,637 in clean diesel grants to four organizations. Bucks County Transport, of Holicong; Jennings Transportation Corp., of Nazareth, Northampton County; Kuhn Transportation LLC, of Jim Thorpe, Carbon County; and Berks County Intermediate Unit, of Reading, will use the grants to implement clean diesel technology. There are three primary benefits to the grants: these bus fleets will run cleaner, theyll require less fuel, and the state will move ahead in attaining and maintaining federally required national ambient air quality standards, DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. Each of the four recipients will match a percentage of the grant amount with their own funds to purchase compressed natural gas-powered vehicles; retrofit diesel engines with cleaner technology; replace older, more polluting diesel buses with cleaner diesel buses; or purchase hybrid electric-powered buses. The implementation of such technology will result in reduced emissions and fuel use from the recipients fleets. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated the five-county Philadelphia region of Bucks, Delaware, Chester, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties as nonattainment for ozone and fine particulate matter air quality standards. A non-attainment designation means air quality in the region does not meet federal standards. Berks, Lehigh and Northampton counties are currently designated as non-attainment for federal particulate matter standards. Recent monitoring indicates these counties particulate matter levels are meeting the standards, but continuous compliance must occur before EPA will grant an attainment designation. The clean diesel programs goal is to improve air quality by decreasing emissions from diesel-powered transit bus and school bus fleets. The program supports projects that re-power or retrofit fleet vehicles to curb emissions; purchase and install idle-reduction technology; or purchase clean alternative-fuel fleet vehicles. Ground-level ozone, a key component of smog, forms during warm weather when pollution from vehicles, industry, homes and power plants bakes in the hot sun, making it difficult for some people to breathe. Fine particulate matter, or PM 2.5, has a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers, about one-thirtieth the diameter of a human hair. These particles can get deep into the lungs and cause significant health problems. PM 2.5 has been determined to be most closely associated with health effects related to increased hospital admissions and emergency room visits for heart and lung disease, increased respiratory symptoms and disease and decreased lung function. DEP is funding the grants through a combination of the state's Clean Air Fund, which is financed by permitting fees and enforcement penalties, and a September 2010 award from EPA administered under the federal Diesel Emission Reduction Act. A list of grant recipients is available online. For more information, visit DEP's Diesel Retrofit Information webpage. PA Chamber Hosts Regional Stormwater, Greenhouse Gas Storage Tank Conferences

The PA Chamber of Business and Industry is hosting a series of three regional conference devoted to several important environmental tops in October-- Water Quality, Stormwater, Greenhouse Gas Regulations and Underground Storage Tanks. They will be held on October 4 in Mars, October 19 in Camp Hill and on October 26 in King of Prussia. Click Here for more details and registration information. Tour The New Wind Project At Turkey Point September 17 In Lancaster County The Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority and PPL Renewable Energy are inviting the public to tour the new Wind Project at Turkey Point in Conestoga, Pa to learn more about wind energy. Free two-hour tours depart at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Delicious Turkey Hill ice cream and small gift provided. All ages welcome. Rain or shine. Seating is limited, and pre-registration is required. Click on the link at the left to register your preferred tour time, along with full name, phone number and email address. You'll receive a confirmation to bring along with you to the tour. Click Here for details and to register. Students Can Register Free For PA Environmental Professional's Conference Sept. 21-23 College students can register free for the upcoming PA Association of Environmental Professionals' Conference by submitting an article about their current research, a recent class paper or any article of interest dealing with the environment. The Conference is being held at the Ramada Inn Conference Center in State College September 21-23. Submissions should be 1-5 pages, single spaced, size 11 font. Please include author name and contact information in the submission email, as well as professor contact information to confirm student status. Please note: by submitting an article, you are giving PAEP permission to print your article in conference publications and/or future editions of the Environmental Assessment. Submissions are due by September 9 and must be submitted by email to: Click Here for more information on the Conference. DCNR Offers 2012 State Parks Calendar The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is pleased to offer a new 2012 16-month calendar featuring beautiful photography from Pennsylvania State Parks. The calendar serves as a daily reminder of the striking natural beauty found within Pennsylvanias State Park system. It also provides the added value of tips and facts that make it easy for people to get outside to discover what the state parks have to offer.

The calendar is $8.49 plus sales tax, and a small shipping fee of $1.95. Profits from calendar sales goes directly into maintaining State Parks. You may purchase a calendar by calling the PA State Park Reservation Center at 1-888-PA-PARKS (727-2757), Monday through Saturday between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Elk County Visitor Center Gears Up For Elk Viewing Season Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard J. Allan Wednesday visited the Elk Country Visitor Center in Elk County to preview the upcoming elk-viewing season and see the centers new exhibits. He also met the leadership of DCNRs partner the Keystone Elk Country Alliance and learned about the economic impact and potential of both public and private investments in the Pennsylvania Wilds. I wanted to see and hear about the tremendous success we are experiencing at the Elk Country Visitor Center, including a phenomenal number of visitors from all over the world, and the increased amount of economic activity this world-class destination is bringing to this region, Allan said. This is one of our shining examples that conserving and promoting our natural resources are important not only for protecting habitat and providing outdoor experiences, but also as a way to make local economies vibrant. The Elk Country Visitor Center, first opened in September 2010, is nestled on 245-acres owned by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in Benezette. It includes a 4D story theater; interactive interpretive exhibits; wildlife trails and viewing areas; wagon rides; year-round restrooms; and parking for cars, RVs and buses. In 2009, DCNR partnered with the nonprofit Keystone Elk Country Alliance, a Pennsylvania-based wildlife conservation organization, whose mission is to conserve and enhance Pennsylvanias elk country for future generations; raise private funds for the project; assist in the development of the interactive displays; and conduct the day-to-day operations of the center. This private-public partnership between DCNR and KECA is an exceptional example of how government and the private sector can work together to create a wonderful conservation education facility and improve opportunities for local and regional business owners, Allan said. Fall is the peak season for viewing elk in the Pennsylvania Wilds because the mating season, or rut, occurs, and bugling bulls can be heard throughout elk country. New exhibits for the season include: -- Bugle Like an Elk. This exhibit allows visitors to see how close they can come to replicating the sound of an elk during the mating season. -- Discovery Room. Located just adjacent to the Great Room, this room now offers more hands-on activities about elk and other wildlife in the Pennsylvania Wilds, as well as a close look at the work of wildlife biologists and conservationists in the field, laboratory and community. Web cameras provide a glimpse of fields and wildlife beyond the viewing range of the center, and wildlife watching trails and viewing areas provide closer encounters for moreadventurous visitors. KECA employs nine local residents at the center. In addition to operating the center, it helps to develop and maintain wildlife forage plans to attract elk and other wildlife for public viewing.

KECA applauds DCNR for its novel thinking in developing this private public partnership, said KECA President and CEO Rawley Cogan. We work every day through educational programming developed cooperatively between KECA and DCNR to present a clear and consistent conservation education message to thousands of visitors travelling to Pennsylvanias elk country. Our guests also understand that all of the funds generated by the alliance remain here in Pennsylvania to support our wildlife resources and to ensure that this extraordinary facility is self-sustaining. For September and October, the grounds at the center are open dawn to dusk, seven days a week. Early morning and twilight are the best times to spot elk. The center itself is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Commonwealth invested $6 million to build the center with another $6 million from private donations. The center -- and the larger Pennsylvania Wilds effort to develop sustainable nature and heritage tourism in the area -- has had a positive local economic impact. Between 2005 and 2010 the number of businesses offering overnight lodging in the Benezette-Weedville area has more than doubled -- from seven to 16, according to Pennsylvania Wilds Small Business Ombudsman Ta Brant. The North Central Regional Planning and Development Commission serving the counties nearby has processed more than $2 million in tourism loans for start-ups and expansions of restaurants, lodges, wineries, outfitters, golf courses and the like, creating 177 jobs since 2006, Brant said. A majority of the loans were initiated through the Commonwealth Financing Authoritys First Industries program, a tourism loan fund administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development. All told, since 2004 DCED has invested more than $5.5 million in First Industries monies in tourism businesses across the entire region, creating 275 jobs. This is really incredible for such a remote area, Brant said. In many cases, the elk center itself is having a direct impact on businesses. KECA and DCNR have worked hard to cultivate local artisans and vendors for the elk centers gift shop, and to pass the centers robust foot traffic to area businesses, Brant said. Business owners have shown me before and after business data related to the elk center opening and the growth at some places has just been incredible. One vendor told me last week the center was a life changer for his business. Tourism businesses in three counties around the elk center have even started meeting quarterly to network and find more ways to pass foot traffic among each other. This is all great stuff thats helping diversify our rural economy. Brant works directly with communities and small tourism businesses in the region, helping them find answers and resources to grow and ways to tie into the larger Pennsylvania Wilds Initiative. She also works closely with the many stakeholders involved in growing the nature and heritage tourism industry in the 12 county Pennsylvania Wilds region. DCNR, DCED, and the Appalachian Regional Commission have all helped fund the ombudsman position since it was created in 2008. To contact the ombudsman, or to learn more about opportunities available, go to the PA Wilds webpage or follow the ombudsman on Facebook. For more information about the Elk Country Visitor Center, visit the Elk Visitor Center webpage or call 814-787-5167.

Cameron County Artisan Center Boosts Economy Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard J. Allan Wednesday visited the Cameron County Artisan Center in Emporium, a popular stop on the Pennsylvania Wilds Artisan Trail. Allan said the center is making a difference to individual businesses and artisans while contributing to the overall momentum of the Pennsylvania Wilds initiative. DCNR has supported the artisan project with Growing Greener grant funding working with the Lumber Heritage Region and other partners. "This effort seems to be clearly demonstrating the power of a brand that promotes authentic local products, many made with wood and other natural materials, as well as a positive conservation 'buy local' message," Allan said. "The artisan project is becoming increasingly important to the overall Pennsylvania Wilds initiative. The region's many skilled artisans help give the Pennsylvania Wilds its unique sense of place and make it a destination. Several of our state parks are now showcasing local artisan works and promoting the trail." The Pennsylvania Wilds Artisan Development Project was launched in 2006 to raise the visibility and profitability of artisans and arts-related businesses in the region. The program does this by branding high-quality products made by local artisans with the "Proudly Made in the Pennsylvania Wilds" brand so these products can command a higher price; and by helping to get more of these items to market by establishing an Artisan Trail and an online presence so artisans can more easily market their products to residents, retailers, visitors, design professionals and others. In its first two years, the program had an estimated overall economic impact of $100,000, according to a recent study conducted as part of the Community and Economic Development Master's program through Penn State University. The program led to a 23 percent increase in Pennsylvania Wilds Artisans selling their products through retail trail sites across the 12 1/2-county region. Commissions paid to artisans increased almost 30 percent from 2008 to 2009. "These are great results for an effort that was just getting off the ground in the middle of one of the worst recessions in history," said Bob Veilleux, who oversaw the study. "We expect that these figures have only increased over the last two years." The study also looked at the importance and economic power of the Pennsylvania Wilds brand a key aspect of the artisan project and of the larger effort to grow sustainable tourism in the region. The study showed that artisan products branded with the Pennsylvania Wilds logo were considered higher quality by customers and more likely to be purchased than products without the branding. The Cameron County Artisan Center is a testament to the program's momentum. The center opened in 2008 in large part because of the marketing, networking and branding opportunities offered through the Pennsylvania Wilds Artisan Trail. In order to have Cameron County represented on the trail, the local chamber transformed a vacant storefront in downtown Emporium into a chamber office and artisan center. In three short years, the center has gone from carrying 10 artists to carrying more than 80, and has sold more than $60,000 in artwork. It also now offers art classes a needed service in the community that has created additional work opportunities for local artisans.

"This is a fantastic success story in a county that has only 5,200 people," said Pennsylvania Wilds Small Business Ombudsman Ta Brant, who helps oversee the artisan project. "The chamber's executive director has done an amazing job and has been very generous with her time. She is the person all our new trail sites go to for advice." While in Emporium, Allan also heard about efforts by community groups to revitalize the area by developing and promoting outdoor recreation assets like trails and geocaching. Chamber Director Tina Johns Solak works with a variety of community organizations to develop these opportunities so local businesses reap the benefits. "By providing grants to support the work of the Pennsylvania Wilds Planning Team, DCNR is pleased to have created opportunities for Emporium and other communities in the region to take advantage of the initiative," Allan said. "DCNR's support to the Planning Team has led to on-the-ground resources for communities and businesses like design assistance and signage grants, trail workshops, the Pennsylvania Wilds Resource Center website and a variety of locally-driven recreation and conservation projects that not only contribute to sustainable tourism, but also improve quality of life." To learn more about opportunities available, visit Pennsylvania Wilds website or follow the initiative on Facebook. State Parks Again Offering Early Canada Goose Hunting Pennsylvania State Parks again will allow Canada goose hunting when the state's season opens on September 1. Hunters should contact individual park offices for local starting dates and other details as some parks are closed to hunting. Also, with the early season starting date falling prior to Labor Day, some parks will not allow hunting until September 6, the day after Labor Day. Sunday hunting is not permitted in Pennsylvania. Click Here for more information. Participate In The 2011 Great PA Outdoor Challenge: September 10 To October 9 What do the outdoors, 30 X 30, physical activity, and a month-long challenge have in common? They combine to form a better YOU! The PA Parks and Forests Foundation introduces the 4th annual Great Pennsylvania Outdoor Challenge, starting on September 10, and concluding on October 9, and invites you to participate in support of our Commonwealths parks and forests. You are invited to make a 30-minutes-per-day for 30-days investment in your future, personal health and well-being. At the end of it, not only will you be on the way to creating a better YOU, but you also will have made an investment in the future of outdoor recreational opportunities in Pennsylvanias parks and forests. Studies show that there is a direct connection between physical activity and improved health, and our state parks and forests are the perfect place to challenge yourself and jump-start your daily workouts. Dont feel that you are limited to physical activity on our public lands. You can do your 30 minutes of activity anywhere! Find out more about the GPOC, view the activities and events calendar, and register online.

You can also contact the PPFF Office to receive a hard copy of the GPOC registration packet. GPOC events showcase all the opportunities that our state parks and forests have to offer. We invite you to take part in these activities in addition to your own GPOC recreation plans. You can even use our new Pennsylvania State Parks & State Forests Passport to craft your own challenge. For PPFFs GPOC events in particular, please take note of the Lace-Up for Leah Memorial 5K Run/Walk, as well as Play Like a Kid Day, at Sam Lewis State Park in York County both scheduled for Sunday, September 18. Check out the PPFF website for further details and to register for the run/walk. Registration is open as well on the day of the race event. National Public Lands Day is Saturday, September 24, and there are more than 30 events across the state for you to get involved in celebrating and caring for our state forests and parks. The GPOC like our State Parks and forests is canine-friendly! On Saturday, October 1, participate in the 2nd annual Bark in the Park at Colonel Denning State Park from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. &nbsp; &nbsp; At this event, you will mingle with other dog lovers, learn from a variety of dog-centric presentations including a local man who trains Iditarod sled dogs interact with pet-related product vendors, and view the winning entries of the 2nd annual Dogs in the Outdoors Photo Contest. These are just a few of our fabulous GPOC events. Remember: 30 X 30 = U! PA Economic Development Association Sets Fall Conference October 5 The PA Economic Development Association will hold its annual conference in State College on October 5 at the Toftrees Golf Resort and Conference in State College. Click Here for details on the agenda and registration information. All 4 Exelon Nuclear Plan Operate Safely Following Seismic Activity None of Exelon Nuclear's four Mid-Atlantic nuclear energy stations was affected by this afternoons seismic activity in Virginia, and all continue to operate safely Tuesday. An Unusual Event was declared at each of the stations following the seismic activity, in accordance with plant procedures: Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Three Mile Island Generating Station and Limerick Generating Station in Pennsylvania, and Oyster Creek Generating Station in New Jersey. Plant equipment continued to function normally at each of the Exelon Nuclear stations. Operators are currently performing "walk-downs" to identify any potential affects from the seismic activity, but no damage to equipment or plant operations has been identified at this time. Each plant continued to operate at normal power level throughout the event and no evacuations or additional safety measures were required. Nuclear energy plants are designed specifically to withstand the impact of earthquakes and other severe acts of nature. The earthquake, reported to be at a magnitude of 5.9 on the Richter Scale, did not challenge the engineered design of the Exelon facilities. An Unusual Event is the lowest level emergency classifications as determined by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

NewsClips: PA Earthquake Rattles Nerves, Buildings Central PA Earthquake Disrupts Phone Service Out Of Nowhere, Earthquake Rattles Area Marcellus Shale Drilling To Blame For Earthquake? No Fracking Way No Damage Or Injuries At Nuclear Power Plant No Unusual Event At Shippingport Nuclear Plant PA Infrastructure Withstands Quake PEMA Pleased With State Coordination After Earthquake

PSU: Eastern Earthquake Unusual But Not Remarkable The earthquake that shook the entire northeast Tuesday afternoon was unusual in its strength but not an unusual event, according to a Penn State geophysicists. "It is unusual to have an earthquake of this size on the east coast, but it is not unusual to have earthquakes in this area," said Kevin P. Furlong, professor of geosciences, Penn State. "This is on the higher end of earthquakes in this area, but not unheard of." The earthquake, which occurred at 1:51 p.m., was centered on Mineral, Va., about 92 miles southwest of Washington, D.C. and northwest of Richmond, Va. The earthquake epicenter was 270 miles from the University Park campus. It was also felt in Toronto, along the east coast and at least as far west as Flint, Mich. "The fact that it was felt 300 miles away shows that it was a strong earthquake," said Furlong. The U.S. Geological Survey now estimates the magnitude of the earthquake at 5.8 and, according to Furlong, we may not feel any of its aftershocks this far away in Pennsylvania. "This afternoon, since the original 5.8 earthquake occurred the U.S.G.S. has recorded two earthquake aftershocks, one 2.8 and one 2.2 in magnitude," said Charles Ammon, professor of geoscience, Penn State. The aftershocks were also recorded in the Earth and Mineral Sciences museum on their seismographs, but were not felt by anyone in the area. "The key thing to remember is that this fault line is probably only two to three miles long and the aftershocks will occur in the same area or nearby, probably within two or three miles of the original earthquake," said Furlong. Historically there were large earthquakes on the United State's east coast in the 1700s and 1800s. The Cape Ann earthquake in Massachusetts took place in 1755 and was probably between 6.0 and 6.3. In 1886, an earthquake in Charleston, S.C., was between 6.6 and 7.3. The strengths of these earthquakes are estimates as there were no seismic recording devices to record either of these events and reports relied on eyewitness reports. "This region of Virginia is part of the Central Virginia Seismic zone and has experienced a string of earthquakes since the 1700s," said Ammon. "There was a magnitude 4.5 earthquake in the area in 2003." While earthquakes of this magnitude occur about every five years in California, they probably are 50- or 100-year events in the east. The Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 was much larger than this event.

The shaking in the University Park area was caused by the long wavelengths produced by the shallow -- about three miles deep -- earthquake. Closer to Mineral, Va. and the epicenter, the wavelengths would be shorter and produce a sharper, more pronounced shaking. "Small earthquakes commonly occur in the front range of the Appalachian Mountains," said Furlong. "We rarely pay attention to the magnitude 1 or 2 earthquakes because we don't feel them." Although an earthquake also occurred in southern Colorado yesterday morning, Furlong notes that there is no connection between the two events and that earthquakes occur all the time around the world. The U.S.G.S. recorded more than 25 earthquakes yesterday in places as diverse as Japan, Indonesia, Yemen and the Fiji Islands as well as Colorado, Virginia and Baja California, Mexico. Furlong notes "Earthquakes of this size can be damaging and are not something to take lightly. Closer to the source, buildings can be badly damaged. This earthquake is approaching the size where earthquakes can cause damage to old buildings." No damage from the earthquake was reported on the University Park campus. University Police and structural engineers surveyed the university buildings, focusing on large glass buildings, light poles, parking decks, silos, exhaust stacks, cell towers and the water tower. They covered the area in 2.5 hours and found no damage to campus structures. Wednesday, personnel from the University's physical plant will do a walk through of Beaver Stadium and recheck some buildings on foot. For more information, visit the PA Geologic Survey Earthquakes webpage. NewsClips: PA Earthquake Rattles Nerves, Buildings Central PA Earthquake Disrupts Phone Service Out Of Nowhere, Earthquake Rattles Area Marcellus Shale Drilling To Blame For Earthquake? No Fracking Way No Damage Or Injuries At Nuclear Power Plant No Unusual Event At Shippingport Nuclear Plant PA Infrastructure Withstands Quake PEMA Pleased With State Coordination After Earthquake DEP Notice To Bid On Mine Reclamation Projects In Armstrong, Butler, Clearfield Counties The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of the opportunity to bid on an abandoned mine reclamation project in Armstrong County, a mine reclamation project in Butler County and a third mine reclamation project in Clearfield County.

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. August 29-- DEP Small Business Pollution Prevention, Energy Efficiency Grants September 1-- TKF Foundation Open Space Sacred Places Grants

September 1-- PEMA Volunteer Fire Company Grants September 2-- Natural Biodiversity: Earth Friendly School Grant September 4-- Chester County Green Business Awards September 6-- Coca-Cola America Is Your Park Recreation Voting/Grants September 9-- PPFF Dogs In The Outdoors Photo Contest September 16-- EPA Apps For The Environment Challenge October 17-- DEP Coastal Zone Management Grants October 31-- CFA Business In Our Sites, PennWorks Funding October 31-- CFA Solar Energy Program Funding November 30-- iConservePA CSI Pennsylvania Super Sleuth Sweepstakes! December 30-- DEP Recycling Performance Grants December 31-- President's Environmental Youth Awards -- Visit the DEP Grants and Loan Programs webpage for more ideas on how to get financial assistance for environmental projects.

Quick Clips
Here's a selection of NewClips on environmental topics from around the state-Budget Lt. Gov: Gas Industry Is Paying Its Share Marcellus Co-Op Members Discuss Impact Fees House Transportation Committee Awaits Corbett's Proposals Action Urged On Transportation Funding Outlook Bleak For Transportation Funding Op-Ed: Transportation System Needs To Be Addressed Sooner Op-Ed: Transportation Panel Presents Sensible Solutions Column: More State Forest Drilling? Not Conservative! Editorial: Drill-a-Palooza In State Forests Editorial: Gas Not Sole Forest Interest Editorial: State Parks Are Too Valuable To Ignore Other Living Green: Little Changes Make Big Difference Corbett Takes to The Outdoors Mt. Lebanon's Leaf Grinder Use Violated Grant Terms Op-Ed: Recycled Content Can Now Be Verified Employee Error Caused Plastics Recycling Plant Fire Armstrong County Nuclear Waste Removal On Verge Of Start Utilities Differ On Energy Mandates PPL Electric Bills To Drop Next Month Allegheny Co. Gets Grant To Boost Energy Efficiency Propel Schools Looks To Save Energy With Workshop Ohiopyle Borough Receives Energy Grant

House GOP Committee Will Take Up Energy Mandate Reading Solar Farm Inaugurated Congress Urged To Adopt Stricter Power Plant Rules Editorial: Electric Choice, Consumers Deserve Fallback Provider Editorial: LIHEAP Must Clean Up Its Act Penn State Climate Scientist Cleared Cumberland County Firm To Capture Carbon Monoxide From Steelmaking DEP Fines Dentist $13,250 For Failure To Renew X-Ray License Bowman's Hill In Bucks Is A Universe To Explore Researcher Looks At Shale Drilling Impacts On Songbirds Waterford Man Captures Feeder Culprits- Bears Fallingwater Takes Step To International Recognition PA Earthquake Rattles Nerves, Buildings Central PA Earthquake Disrupts Phone Service Out Of Nowhere, Earthquake Rattles Area No Damage Or Injuries At Nuclear Power Plant No Unusual Event At Shippingport Nuclear Plant PA Infrastructure Withstands Quake PEMA Pleased With State Coordination After Earthquake Gifford Pinchot III Carries Grandfather's Environmental Legacy Thousands To Crowd Into Region During 9/11 Weekend

Marcellus Shale NewsClips

Here are NewsClips on topics related to Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling--One Month Later, Corbett Vague On Marcellus Recommendations Lt. Gov: Gas Industry Is Paying Its Share Lt. Gov. Calls For Improvements To Drilling Regulations Lt. Gov Tours Wilkes-Barre Region On Marcellus Shale Marcellus Co-Op Members Discuss Impact Fees DEP Investigates Methane Contamination In Susquehanna County DEP Probes Methane Contamination Marcellus Shale Drilling To Blame For Earthquake? No Fracking Way Lighting, Not Earthquake, Burst Venango Gas Pipeline Venango Officials Investigate Earthquake, Gas Pipeline Leak Link ESPN Spotlights PA's Gas Economy During Broadcast Fayette, Burnett Oil Sign Gas Pipeline Contract Fracking Opponent Sells Home To Driller Property Owners On Front Lines Of Fracking Gas Well Safety Bill Addresses Common Events EPA Meets With PA Residents Over Drilling Fears Residents Wary Of Drilling Appeal To Feds Researcher Looks At Shale Drilling Impacts On Songbirds

Ensure Water Testing Before Drilling UGI Says Region Will Be First To Go All Marcellus UGI Seeks To Extend Gas Pipeline 27 Miles Column: More State Forest Drilling? Not Conservative! Editorial: Drill-a-Palooza In State Forests Editorial: Gas Not Sole Forest Interest Editorial: State Parks Are Too Valuable To Ignore Editorial: UGI First To Be All Marcellus Column: Nature's Calling, But We're Too Busy To Listen Is Gas Drilling Industry Sucking PA's Creeks Dry? Driller: Error Inflated Shale Waste Numbers Testimony Continues In Natural Gas Pipeline Hearing Drilling Leases In Cemeteries Prompt Concern Shale Gas A Boon To Clean Water Technology Meet The Marcellus Shale Landmen Marcellus Shale Sparks Start-Up's Plans To Build Ethane Plant Local Business Owners Taking Advantage Of Shale Southwest Oil & Gas Equipment Maker HQ In Jeannette Planning Is Key To Long-Term Marcellus Benefit Wyoming County Responds To Chesapeake Energy Lawsuit Shale Gas Drilling In Springhill Twp Gets Approval Editorial: Grave Reservations, Drilling Under Cemeteries Nutter Resists A Role In Shale Showdown Western PA Artists To Air Both Sides Of Fracking Chief Oil & Gas Offers Community Video Series Op-Ed: Gas Drilling's Grim Precedent Other States WV Emergency Marcellus Shale Drilling Provides Oversight NJ Gov. Supports 5-Year Ban On Fracking NJ Wrestles With Ban On Fracking NJ Governor Rejects Fracking Ban, Eyes Moratorium Gas Drillers In NY Use Compulsory Integration To Take Land PA Law Held Up Estimates Of Natural Gas How Much Gas Is There Anyway? Dueling Shale Data Leaves Confusion The Spin On Changing Marcellus Gas Estimates U.S. Revises Estimates Of Marcellus Gas Higher U.S. To Slash Marcellus Shale Gas Estimate 80 Percent Shale Reserves Estimate Slashed Halliburton CEO Has Underling Drink Frack Water Financial Editorial: Fewer Foreclosures, Natural Gas Boost Banks

Watershed NewsClips

Here are NewsClips on watershed topics from around the state-Weather Services Urges PA To Prepare For Irene Western PA Readies Help For Storm Victims Hurricane Outlook For NE PA Worsening Hurricane Irene Expected To Soak Central PA Pittsburgh Authority Could Manage Flood Area Official: Stormwater Systems Not At Fault For Flooding Flash Flood: How Did It Happen? Solutions Sought For Flood-Prone Area In Western PA Editorial: After The Storm, Infrastructure Must Cope Meeting On Flood Maps Monday In Scranton New Flood Designation In Scranton Can Save On Flood Insurance Lehigh Valley Rainfall Nearing Record Hampton Receives Grant For Flood Mitigation Project PBS Coals Honored For Reclamation Work PA And Chesapeake Bay: Connected And Conflicted Whitaker Center Initiative Draws Attention To Fragile Chesapeake Bay Op-Ed: Naming Rights For Stadiums, Why Not Lakes, Streams? Op-Ed: Did You Do Something To Restore Watersheds Clearfield County Backs Effort To Monitor Source Water Is Gas Drilling Industry Sucking PA's Creeks Dry? Ohiopyle Drainage Project In Full Bloom

Regulations, Technical Guidance & Permits

The Environmental Quality Board published notice of a final regulation designating Muddy Run in Cambria County unsuitable for surface mining. The Department of Environmental Protection submitted comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on two federal regulations in recent weeks. They include the Cooling Water Intake rule and MACT Standards for Coal and Oil-Fired Power Plants. Pennsylvania Bulletin - August 27, 2011 Proposed Regulations Open For Comment - DEP webpage Proposed Regulations With Closed Comment Periods - DEP webpage Rolling Regulatory Agenda - DEP webpage

Technical Guidance & Permits

The Public Utility Commission published an order implementing Act 129 of 2008 relating to the organization of bureaus and offices. The State Conservation Commission published a notice correcting certain allocations of funding under the Dirt and Gravel Road Program. Technical Guidance Comment Deadlines - DEP webpage Copies Of Draft Technical Guidance - 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. August 30-- House Human Services Committee hearing on House Bill 272 (Hess-R-Blair) establishing a task force on Lyme disease and related maladies. Room 60 East Wing. 10:00. September 13-- House Finance Committee informational meeting on Marcellus Shale industry. Holiday Inn, Warren. 10:00. September 15-- House Game and Fisheries Committee hearing on Sunday hunting. East Allen Twp. Building, Northampton. 6:30 p.m. September 15-- NEW. Susquehanna River Basin Commission meeting to consider water withdrawal requests and other matters. Country Inn and Suites, Milford, NY. (formal notice) September 16-- CANCELED. DEP Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board meeting. Room 105 Rachel Carson Building. 10:00. (formal notice) October 21-- DEP Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board meeting. Room 105 Rachel Carson Building. 10:00. (formal notice) December 6-- DEP Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board meeting. Room 105 Rachel Carson Building. 10:00. (formal notice) DEP Calendar of Events

Environmental Education Workshop/Training Calendar (PA Center for Environmental Education) Senate Committee Schedule House Committee Schedule

You can watch the Senate Floor Session and House Floor Session live online.

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