Monday, September 1, 2014

Westmoreland Conservation District Offers Tour Of Turtle Creek Watershed Sept. 26

We all live downstream … and upstream.  By examining the different ways we use the land along our waterways (is it the site of a factory?  a housing plan?  a wood lot or an open field?), we can learn which choices are good for water quality and good for us and our neighbors.
The Westmoreland Conservation District is sponsoring a bus tour to portions of the Turtle Creek Watershed on September 26, to provide the public with a firsthand look at the ways that upstream land uses impact downstream neighbors.  
Participants will see the impacts of drainage from an abandoned coal mine, stormwater management techniques, erosion and sediment controls, streambank stabilization, and recreational enhancements.
The Turtle Creek Watershed drains an area of 147 square miles that extends from western Westmoreland County to eastern Allegheny County.  Turtle Creek flows west from its source in Delmont, Westmoreland County, to its mouth where it enters the Monongahela River in North Versailles Township, Allegheny County.  
The creek and its tributaries have been impacted from pollution related to past coal-mining activities and development.  Today, communities and organizations are working to repair past damage and implement innovative conservation projects.
The Westmoreland Conservation District bus tour will begin at 8:00 a.m. at The Lamplighter Restaurant in Delmont and conclude there at 1:30 p.m. after a buffet lunch and program.  
The tour is open to the public.  Cost is $20, and includes light refreshments in the morning, lunch, and bus transportation from and to the Lamplighter Restaurant.
Financial and other support for this project is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a grant from the Department of Environmental Protection under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act, administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Space is limited and registration and payment must be received by September 19.  
For more information, Click Here for the Tour flyer. Click Here to register online.  Questions can be directed to Jen at 724-837-5271 or send email to: jen@wcdpa.com.

Monday NewsClips

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Sept. 1 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The Sept. 1 PA Environment Digest is now available.  Click Here to print entire Digest.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Launches Clean Water For The Keystone State Campaign
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA has launched an exciting statewide campaign-- Clean Water Counts-- urging Pennsylvania officials to make clean water a priority throughout the Keystone State, and to commit the needed funding to ensure that all 83,000 miles of waterways in the state are clean.

DEP Lists Water Supplies Damaged, High Hydrogen Sulfide Emissions From Gas Drilling
The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday released a table listing the 248 water supplies found by DEP to be contaminated by oil and natural gas drilling from 2008 to 2014, about 1.2 percent of new wells drilled during that time period.  Other complaints are still being investigated.

Capitolwire.com: Attorney General Issues Subpoenas On Gas Well Royalty Payments
Capitolwire.com reported late Tuesday and Thursday Attorney General Kathleen Kane has issued administrative subpoenas to Marcellus Shale drilling companies across the state as part of her Office’s review of gas well royalty payment issues.

EPA Presents President’s Environmental Youth, Environmental Ed Awards To 2 In PA
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday presented the President’s Environmental Youth Award to May Wang from Bucks County and the President’s Innovations in Environmental Education Award to David Andrews of Butler County.

Outdoor Celebration For Military Families Highlights Special Recreation Event Sept. 6
Military service members, veterans and their families are invited to a free day of recreation at Gifford Pinchot State Park on September 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with the PA Parks and Forests Foundation.

DEP New Stanton District Mining Office Opens Replacing Greensburg, Uniontown

The Department of Environmental Protection Greensburg and Uniontown district offices will begin operating out of a new location beginning on September 2.
The just-completed building is convenient to the Pennsylvania Turnpike and I-70, located at 131 Broadview Road, New Stanton, PA 15672. The phone number for the office is 724-925-5500.
The New Stanton Office consolidates staff from DEP’s Mine Safety, District Mining, Field Operations and Oil and Gas Management Programs. Employees from both offices will be moving in between September 2 and 4.
The 38,000 square foot building is designed to be energy efficient, utilizing many materials with a high recyclable content. The offices feature energy efficient lighting, a highly efficient heating and air-conditioning system controlled by an automated building management system and water saving, low flow toilets and bathroom fixtures.
For more information, call 412-442-4400.

Analysis: DEP Lists Water Supplies Damaged, High Hydrogen Sulfide Emissions From Gas Drilling

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday released a table listing the 243 water supplies found by DEP to be contaminated by oil and natural gas drilling from 2008 to 2014, about 1.2 percent of new wells drilled during that time period.
Other complaints are still being investigated.
According to Scott Perry, DEP Deputy Secretary for Oil and Gas Management, about half the water supplies were damaged by conventional oil and gas wells and about half were unconventional (Marcellus Shale) gas wells.
The problems include methane gas contamination, spills of wastewater and other pollutants, and wells that went dry or were otherwise rendered undrinkable.
The records show that some of the problems were temporary.
The table with links to the letters of determination by DEP or the orders issued to correct the problems.
DEP also posted a list of 19 oil and gas wells that have high levels of hydrogen sulfide emissions-- greater than 20 ppm.  14 of the wells with high emissions were conventional oil and gas wells and 5 were unconventional (Marcellus Shale) wells.
7 of the wells are still active, 8 have been plugged, 2 were abandoned wells and 2 are in regulatory inactive status (inactive, but not abandoned or producing).
Hydrogen sulfide can cause conjunctivitis  and respiratory tract irritation at levels of 50 to 100 ppm and loss of consciousness and possibly death after 30 minutes of exposure at levels of 500 to 700 ppm.
DEP reports 20,178 conventional and unconventional oil and gas wells were drilled between January 2008 and the end of July 2014.  There were 12,098 conventional wells and 8,080 unconventional (Marcellus Shale) wells.
Copies of the list of damaged water supplies and the wells with hydrogen sulfide emissions are available online.

Friday NewsClips

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

PA American Water Works Assn. Offers Fall Training Schedule

The PA Section-American Water Works Association recently posted its fall training schedule.  Click Here for a list of available training opportunities.