Friday, July 13, 2018

July 16 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The July 16 PA Environment Digest is now available.

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Sen. Yudichak Completes 165-Mile Trek On Delaware & Lehigh Trail In Wilkes-Barre

Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne) was joined by Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and other state and local officials Friday on the last leg of his Senator Takes a Hike Initiative in Wilkes-Barre.
Sen. Yudichak, who serves as Minority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, hiked and biked all 165 miles of the Delaware and Lehigh Trail as part of a pledge he made that if the Philadelphia Eagles won Super Bowl LII he would complete the entire D&L Trail.
The initiative was also created to raise awareness in the areas of the trail that currently have gaps like the three-mile section Sen. Yudichak hiked Friday in Wilkes-Barre.
“The Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles kept their end of the bargain, and today I keep my end of the deal by completing every mile of the beautiful 165-mile D&L Trail,” said Sen. Yudichak. “The Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor honors the workers who drove the American Industrial Revolution from mining coal in northeastern Pennsylvania, to forging steel in the Lehigh Valley, to transporting goods to market in the Delaware Valley.
“It has been an inspiring experience to walk in the footsteps of Pennsylvania’s rich history, and meet the remarkable people who make every community on the D&L Trail from Bristol to Wilkes-Barre a true pleasure to visit,” he said.
“With the help of the tremendous D&L staff, our state partners at DCNR, and countless local officials, we have been able to fulfill our mission of raising awareness to the value of the D&L as both a community asset and an economic engine for job growth across Pennsylvania,” Sen. Yudichak explained.
“We have also been successful in drawing attention to the remaining trail gaps, especially the many miles in Luzerne County, that require attention and local support to fully complete the D&L Trail,” he added.
“All of us at DCNR applaud Sen. Yudichak’s accomplishment,” said Cindy Adams Dunn, DCNR Secretary. “Like this department, the senator has shown he is a longtime supporter of the D&L Trail. Traveling its entire length, he has passed through two of our state parks and three state forest districts, while sampling the unique flavor of so many communities stretched from Bristol to Wilkes-Barre.”
“I would like to thank Sen. Yudichak and all of our partners for putting together this successful initiative, that has brought more attention to the D&L Trail than we ever could’ve imagined,” said Elissa Garofalo, Executive Director of the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. “What we’ve done with Senator Takes a Hike has demonstrated the significant economic and historic aspects the trail offers. We’ve raised a lot of awareness in key areas where we need to close the gaps.”
“Sen. Yudichak made a pledge to walk all 165 miles of the D&L Trail and he has kept his promise,” said Tony George, Mayor of Wilkes-Barre. “Whenever he makes a commitment to the City of Wilkes-Barre, he sticks to it and comes through for his constituents. Senator Yudichak is dedicated to Wilkes-Barre and all of the municipalities he represents.”
“Sen. Yudichak’s hike today highlights the open-air beauty of Luzerne County. I’m looking forward to partnering with the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor to complete the trail gaps in Luzerne County,” said David Pedri, Luzerne County Manager. “I can’t wait to see what Senator Yudichak takes on next when the Eagles win the Super Bowl again this season.”
“Today, quality of place is economic development, which is why completing the D&L Trail from Bristol to Downtown Wilkes-Barre means much more than the development of a 165-mile recreational asset,” said Larry Newman, Executive Director for Diamond City Partnership. “For years, officials, advocates, and volunteers have worked tirelessly to create a regional trail network with the downtown at its center, and to preserve and interpret our city’s remarkable history. The extension of the D&L Trail to its northern terminus at the River Common will leverage all of that hard work, allowing us to realize Wilkes-Barre’s full potential as a trail hub and heritage tourism destination.”
It was also announced that Geisinger, Pocono Forest & Water Conservation Initiative and the City of Wilkes-Barre are joining forces to launch the northeastern Pennsylvania chapter of ‘Get Your Tail on the Trail.’
This free community initiative was founded by St. Luke’s University Health Network and the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor to encourage healthy outdoor lifestyles close to home.
“Geisinger is proud to partner with the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Coordinator on this health and wellness initiative. We encourage people to be physically active because it’s one of the best ways to prevent chronic disease and live a healthy life,” said Allison Hess, Associate Vice President of Health and Wellness at Geisinger. “The D&L Trail is a great resource for people looking to exercise outdoors and our residents have the benefit of the trail being right in their own backyard.”
For more information on the trail, visit the Delaware and Lehigh Trail website.  For a recap of Sen. Yudichak’s 165-mile hike, visit the Senator Takes a Hike Initiative webpage.

Save The Date: Penn State Ag Progress Days Aug. 14-16 In Huntingdon County Near State College

Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences will host this year’s Ag Progress Days on August 14-16 at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, 9 miles southwest of State College on Route 45.
Visitors will see farm equipment demonstration, hear presentations on agriculture production, animal health and the latest on farm conservation techniques as well as on issues like the spotted lanternfly.
There are lots of activities for children too, including the butterfly tent, blacksmith demonstration and 4-H Youth activities.
Ag Progress Days ours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 14; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 15; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 16. Admission and parking are free.
For more information, visit the Ag Progress Days webpage and like them on Facebook.

CBF: Congressional Republicans Again Try To Gut Accountability For Chesapeake Bay Cleanup

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation Friday issued a statement condemning efforts by Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte from Virginia to gut the provisions in the Chesapeake Bay Program holding states accountable for their cleanup obligations.
Congressman Goodlatte's amendment would keep EPA from using any funds to provide "firm accountability" if a state fails to meet its pollution-reduction goals set under the Blueprint.
This accountability is what sets it apart from any previous federal-state Bay cleanup efforts. Without it, if one state does not implement its plan in good faith, the work and investments of all other states is in jeopardy.
“This amendment is out-of-step with bipartisan agreement in Congress and among Bay states on the importance of the Chesapeake Bay cleanup,” said CBF President Will Baker. “There is no doubt the Bay is improving. However, there are significant challenges ahead to meet the 2025 goals.
“Congress has twice in recent months voted to reject attempts to defund the Chesapeake Bay cleanup. Republicans and Democrats are united in support of the effort, a rare display of unity these days,” Baker explained.  “A further attempt to undermine the Bay’s progress is at odds with overwhelming public opinion, and an end-run around the will of Congress and Bay states. CBF will do everything in our power to see that this amendment is defeated.”
In March, Congress rejected a Trump Administration proposal to largely defund the Chesapeake Bay Program in the fiscal year 2018 omnibus appropriations bill, much as it rejected similar cuts in the FY 2017 appropriations bill.
On June 20, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency notified Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia of what the agency expects to see in state and local implementation plans for the third phase of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).
Four pages of the 18 page expectations document outlines specifically what is expected of Pennsylvania and a series of steps EPA could take if Pennsylvania does not live up to these expectations.
For more information on steps Pennsylvania is taking to meet its Chesapeake Bay cleanup obligations, visit DEP’s PA’s Chesapeake Bay Plan webpage.
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House Republican Policy Committee Hearing July 17 On Pipeline Safety In Delaware County

The House Republican Policy Committee will hold a hearing on natural gas pipeline safety on July 17 at the Penn State Brandywine Campus, Rooms 114-117 of the Student Union Building, 25 Yearsley Mill Road in Media, Delaware County starting at 1:00 p.m.
The hearing is intended to educate state legislators on safety concerns surrounding the Mariner East 2 Pipeline, pipeline construction standards and the state rules and regulations in place to ensure the public and environment are protected during all stages of development.
Those scheduled to testify include--
-- Andrew Place, Vice Chairman, Public Utility Commission;
-- Patrick McDonnell, Secretary, Department of Environmental Protection;
-- Tim Boyce, Delaware County Emergency Services;
-- Eve Miari, Clean Air Council; and
-- Sam Marshall, Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania.
Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Mifflin) serves as Chair of the Committee. Rep. Chris Quinn (R-Delaware) is hosting the hearing.
The hearing will be webcast through the House Republican Policy Committee website.

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