Friday, July 10, 2020

EPA Recognizes Recycling Efforts At James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center In Altoona

On July 10, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Mid-Atlantic Region highlighted local successes in recycling as part of EPA's 50th anniversary celebration.
“Throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, individuals and businesses are demonstrating an enthusiastic commitment to recycling,” said EPA’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “These efforts provide positive impacts on both our environment and the economy.”

The James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center in Altoona won EPA’s 2019 award for reducing waste by composting more than 338 tons of material related to a stormwater retention swale and Victory Garden renovation. 

The Medical Center was recognized for their continuing work in sustaining their innovative approach using “Green Teams,” to make assessments in their working areas to recycle paper, turn off lights and motivate and challenge other teams to be greener.  

The VA Medical Center Procedure Clinic’s Green Team, with their emblazoned “GANG GREEN” T-shirts, has more than 90 percent of its employees working actively on the team, establishing email groups for exchanging ideas and promoting the program to new employees.

For more information on federal recycling efforts, visit EPA’s America Recycles webpage.

[Posted: July 10, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

Dept. Of Health Reported 32 Additional Deaths From COVID-19 In PA; 1,009 More Cases

On July 10, the Department of Health reported 32 more people have died in Pennsylvania from COVID-19 for a total of 6,880 confirmed deaths.
As of 12:00 a.m. July 10, there were 1,009 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 93,876 in all 67 counties.

The number of new cases in Allegheny County increased by 180 cases overnight. Philadelphia County increased by 182 cases overnight. 

About 175 of the total cases reported today did not occur within the past 24 hours but are the result of an influx of private lab results.

County-specific information and a statewide map are available.

There are 804,764 patients who have tested negative to date.  Approximately 7,032 of Pennsylvania’s total positive cases are in health care workers.

Of the patients who have tested positive to date the age breakdown is as follows:

-- Nearly 1 percent are aged 0-4;

-- 1 percent are aged 5-12;

-- Nearly 3 percent are aged 13-18;

-- Nearly 8 percent are aged 19-24;

-- 37 percent are aged 25-49;

-- Nearly 24 percent are aged 50-64; and

-- 26 percent are aged 65 or older.

The following regions have seen significant increases among 19 to 24-year-olds in each month from April to July:

-- Southwest – About 5 percent of cases in April to nearly 27 percent of cases so far in July;

-- Southeast – Nearly 5 percent of cases in April to nearly 16 percent of cases so far in July;

-- Northeast – Nearly 6 percent of cases in April to over 16 percent of cases so far in July;

-- Northwest – Nearly 7 percent of cases in April to over 13 percent of cases so far in July; and

-- Northcentral – Nearly 8 percent of cases in April to nearly 11 percent of cases so far in July.

-- Southcentral – About 7 percent of cases in April to nearly 13 percent of cases so far in July.

Most of the patients hospitalized are aged 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older. There have been no pediatric deaths to date. More data is available here.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 18,164 resident cases of COVID-19, and  3,428 cases among employees, for a total of 21,592 at 737 distinct facilities in 55 counties. Out of our total deaths, 4,699 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities.  Click Here for a county breakdown.

For the latest information on the coronavirus and precautions to take in Pennsylvania, visit the Department of Health’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage, Follow them on Twitter, or Like them on Facebook.

NewsClips/Announcements:

Click Here For This Week’s PA Coronavirus NewsClips

Helpful Links:

Responding To COVID-19 In Pennsylvania - General Resource Page All Topics

Attorney General - Coronavirus Price Gouging Updates 

Workers Can Report Businesses Not Following Protective Guidance Here

[Posted: July 10, 2020]

July 10 Take Five Fridays With Pam, PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The
July 10 Take Five Fridays With Pam is now available from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation featuring articles on--
-- Park Tips: Hiking With Your Dog - Video

-- PA Lumber Museum: Civilian Conservation Corps - Video

-- Take A Minute To Fill Out DCNR’s Forest Lands Survey

-- Watch Endangered Species Coalition July 13 Webinar On Wildlife Corridors. Read more here.

-- Check the Foundation Calendar & DCNR’s Calendar for events near you!

  For more information on programs, initiatives, special events and how you can get involved, visit the PA Parks & Forests Foundation website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Foundation,  Like them on Facebook or Follow them on Twitter or tune in to their YouTube ChannelClick Here to become a member of the Foundation.

(Photo: Forest Light, Linn Run State Park, Westmoreland County, by Bob Stough.)

Related Articles:

-- Natural Lands, Partners Receive PA Park & Recreation Society Award For Coatesville Park Revitalization

-- DCNR Good Natured Blog: A Greater Appreciation For Parks & Recreation

-- Bay Journal: COVID Lockdown Unleashes Swarms Of Visitors At Parks, Trails

-- DCNR Good Natured Pennsylvanians: Tim Herd, PA Recreation & Park Society

-- DCNR Highlights Economic Importance Of Outdoor Recreation Industry At Organic Climbing In Centre County

-- DCNR Reminds Pennsylvanians To Wear Masks While Enjoying The Outdoors

-- DCNR, Dept. Of Health Expand Free Sunscreen At State Park Beaches

-- Dept. Of Health: Protect Yourself From Ticks, Mosquitoes When Spending Time Outdoors 

-- Op-Ed: PA's Howard Zahniser Should Be Included In National Garden Of American Heroes

-- July 8 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

[Posted: July 10, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

NRCS-PA Hosts August 4 Webinar On Using High Tunnels For Ag Production In PA

The
Natural Resource Conservation Service-PA Office will host an August 4 webinar on Using High Tunnels for Agricultural Production in Pennsylvania starting at Noon.
Do you ever wish you could start your growing season a little earlier? Do you ever hope that first fall frost comes later than usual? 

Many growers are turning to high tunnels to extend the amount of time crops can be grown in the ground. 

Because the plants inside a high tunnel are protected from much of the outdoor weather conditions, some high tunnel farmers are planting earlier in the spring and harvesting longer into the fall than otherwise possible in our Pennsylvania climate. 

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service offers free technical and financial assistance to install high tunnels.

 Join NRCS at noon on August 4 for a lunch break chat with all the details!

Click Here to join the event

The meeting will last approximately 30 minutes. It will take place using Microsoft Teams, and if you’re joining from a PC, it’s recommended to use Chrome, Edge, or Firefox browsers. 

If you’re joining from a smartphone, be sure to download the Microsoft Teams app in advance.

For more information on technical and financial assistance to landowners, visit the NRCS-PA webpage.

[Posted: July 10, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

DEP Posted 54 Pages Of Permit-Related Notices In July 11 PA Bulletin

The Department of Environmental Protection published 54 pages of public notices related to proposed and final permit and approval/ disapproval actions in the July 11 PA Bulletin -
pages 3491 to 3545.
Sign Up For DEP’s eNotice: Did you know DEP can send you email notices of permit applications submitted in your community?  Notice of new technical guidance documents and regulations?  All through its eNotice system.  Click Here to sign up.

DEP Invites Comments On Proposed TMDL Plan For Watershed In Adams County

The Department of Environmental Protection published a notice inviting comments on a proposed
Total Maximum Daily Load Plan for the Mummasburg Run Watershed in Adams County (July 11 PA Bulletin, page 3545).
The DEP Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report included impaired stream segments in the watershed. The listings of these segments were due to aquatic life use impairments caused by excessive siltation and nutrients from agriculture.

Click Here for a copy of the proposed Plan.

Comments are due August 10.  Questions should be directed to Michael Morris at michamorri@pa.gov.

Read the entire PA Bulletin notice for more information. (July 11 PA Bulletin, page 3545)

How’s Your Stream?

You can check the water quality in your nearby stream by checking DEP’s latest 2020 Water Quality Report using an interactive report viewer.  Click Here for tutorials and a link to the viewer.

Related Article:

DEP Invites Information For Stream Redesignation Evaluations In The Allegheny River Watershed

[Posted: July 10, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

DEP Invites Information For Stream Redesignation Evaluations In The Allegheny River Watershed

The Department of Environmental Protection published
notice in the July 11 PA Bulletin inviting groups and individuals to submit information on the water quality of creeks and streams in the Allegheny River Watershed to be considered in DEP’s stream classification evaluation.
The PA Bulletin notice includes a list of streams in Allegheny, Butler, Cambria, Clarion, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Indiana, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Venango, Warren and Westmorland counties including in the Watershed evaluation.

DEP is seeking the information to supplement any evaluations or assessments that have been or are being performed for potential redesignation as Cold Water Fishery.

Persons who have technical data concerning the water quality, instream habitat or biological condition of these stream sections are encouraged to make the data available to the Department for consideration in the evaluations. 

These evaluations may lead to recommendations by the Department to the Environmental Quality Board for redesignation.

Data should be submitted to Mark Brickner, Water Quality Division, Bureau of Clean Water, P.O. Box 8774, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8774 or to: mbrickner@pa.gov.  

Data must be submitted by August 10. Questions concerning these evaluations can be directed to Mark Brickner at 717-787-9637 or  mbrickner@pa.gov.

Visit DEP’s Stream Redesignations webpage to learn more about this process and to see existing designations.

How’s Your Stream?

You can check the water quality in your nearby stream by checking DEP’s latest 2020 Water Quality Report using an interactive report viewer.  Click Here for tutorials and a link to the viewer.

Resource Link:

PennFuture: Stream Redesignation Handbook

[Posted: July 10, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

Applicants For Oil & Gas ESCGP-3 Permits Must Submit Applications Thru DEP’s ePermitting System Effective Sept. 9

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the
July 11 PA Bulletin applicants for the ESCGP-3 Erosion and Sedimentation Permit for Oil and Gas Operations must submit the Notice Of Intent through the ePermitting System effective September 9, 2020.  (formal notice)
After September 9, DEP will no longer accept new or major modification NOIs on paper.

The Department will continue to accept paper NOIs for Renewals submitted to the Department's Bureau of District Oil and Gas Operations where the existing Authorization of Coverage under the ESCGP-3 was originally issued. 

NOIs for ESCGP-3s submitted to a Conservation District of the Department's Regional Waterways and Wetlands Program should continue to be submitted to the appropriate office on paper. 

To the extent that an applicant for coverage under the ESCGP-3 is uncertain how to submit their NOI, they should contact the District Oil and Gas Office where the project will be located for further information.

Click Here for information on DEP’s ePermitting system.  Questions regarding ESCGP-3 electronic submissions should be directed to Joseph Kelly at josephkel@pa.gov or 717-772-2199.

[Posted: July 10, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

DEP Posts Update To Non-Regulatory Agenda Showing Status Of Technical Guidance In Development

Only July 10, the Department of Environmental Protection posted an update to its
Non-Regulatory Agenda showing the status of technical guidance in development.  (formal notice)
The Agenda serves as a guide and resource to the regulated community, the public, Department staff and members of the Department's advisory committees regarding the focus of the Department's policy development for the coming year. 

The types of documents listed in the Agenda include policies and technical guidance documents that provide directives, guidance or other relevant compliance-related information.

The Agenda is similar to the Regulatory Agenda published by DEP showing regulations in development.

Among the guidance included is--

-- Public Participation in Regulations & Guidance Development - Draft 1st Quarter 2020

-- Environmental Justice Public Participation Policy - Final 3rd Quarter 2020

-- Surface Water Protection Underground Mining - Draft 4th Quarter 2021

-- Civil Penalty Assessments In Oil & Gas Program - Draft 3rd Quarter 2020

-- Area Of Review Requirements For Drilling Permits - Final 4th Quarter 2020

-- Replacement Of Private Water Supplies Affected By Drilling - Final 4th Quarter 2020

-- Erosion & Stormwater Management With Drilling Operations - Draft 4th Quarter 2020

-- Chapter 105 Alternatives Analysis - Draft 4th Quarter 2020

-- Trenchless Pipeline Construction Considerations - Draft 3rd Quarter 2020

-- Water Allocation Permit Application Guidance - Draft 2nd Quarter 2021

-- Act 162 Implementation Plan - Final 1st Quarter 2021

-- Riparian Buffer Equivalency Demonstration - Final 1st Quarter 2021

-- Riparian Buffer Offset Requirements - Final 1st Quarter 2021

-- Guidance on Reporting Spills - Draft 2nd Quarter 2020

-- Closure Requirements for Underground Tanks - draft 4th Quarter 2020

-- Closure Requirements for Aboveground Tanks - draft 4th Quarter 2020

-- Radioactivity Monitoring At Waste Processing/Disposal Facilities - Final 4th Quarter 2020

-- Radon Mitigation Standards - Draft 4th Quarter 2020

Click Here for up-to-date versions of both the Regulatory and Non-Regulatory Agendas.

Questions about the Non-Regulatory Agenda should be directed to Abbey Cadden, DEP Policy Office, 400 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101, ra-epthepolicyoffice@pa.gov  or 717-783-8727.

Related Article:

Analysis: What If The Senate And House Had To Adopt Laws Like DEP Adopts Regulations?

[Posted: July 10, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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