Friday, March 24, 2017

PECO To Power Down Iconic Crown Lights For Earth Hour, Encourages Energy Audits

PECO will power down its iconic LED Crown Lights system for Earth Hour 2017 on March 25 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Earth Hour is the world’s largest annual voluntary environmental action event to raise awareness about climate change.
Prior to “going dark” a special message will appear from 5 to 8:30 p.m. on the lights atop the company’s Main Office Building at 2301 Market Street in Philadelphia.
In addition to turning off nonessential lights during Earth Hour, PECO customers can take a number of steps to save energy and money and the environment year-round with PECO Smart Ideas, including:
-- Schedule an energy assessment or audit at peco.com/smartideas. An energy efficiency expert will evaluate insulation, heating and air cooling systems, lighting, appliances and more;
-- Use a programmable thermostat;
-- Caulk and weather strip windows and doors;
-- Turn lights off when you leave a room;
-- Close blinds/shades/drapes in the summer and leave them open in the winter; and
-- Use energy-efficient appliances: When shopping for appliances such as refrigerators, look for the EnergyStar label, and purchase the most affordable energy efficient unit.
Before customers turn their lights back on this Earth Hour, they should take a moment to replace energy-wasting incandescent light bulbs with new LED lightbulbs, which typically use 75-90 percent less energy and last about 25 times longer.
PECO provides discounts for energy-efficient bulbs, which can be found at hundreds of local retail stores.
For more information, visit the PECO Smart Ideas webpage.

Agriculture, PSU Extension Join Forces To Train Volunteers To Combat Invasive Spotted Lanternfly

The Department of Agriculture, in conjunction with Penn State Extension and Berks County Conservation District, will host a series of April public meetings to train volunteers to assist in eradicating the invasive Spotted Lanternfly.
This destructive insect pest poses a significant threat to the state’s $16.1 billion hardwoods industry, as well as grape and tree fruit industries, which collectively add more than $170.2 million annually to Pennsylvania’s economy, and support thousands of jobs.
The public meetings will be held:
-- Berks County
-- April 5, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. – Berks County Ag Center, 1238 County Welfare Road, Leesport
-- April 8, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. – District Township Municipal Building, 202 Weil Road, Boyertown
-- April 15, noon - 2 p.m. – Center at Spring Street, 200 West Spring Street, Boyertown
-- April 26, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. – Brandywine Heights Middle School, 200 W. Weis St., Topton
-- April 27, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. – Ruscombmanor Township Office, 204 Oak Lane, Fleetwood
-- Bucks County
-- April 29, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. – Milford Township Office, 2100 Krammes Road, Quakertown
-- Lehigh County
-- April 22, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. – Lehigh County Ag Center, 4184 Dorney Park Road, Allentown
-- Montgomery County
-- April 12, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m., Montgomery County 4-H Center, 1015 Bridge Road, Collegeville
At the meetings, PSU Extension educators will train residents to recognize and to help eliminate these invasive insects.
With warm weather approaching, the department is seeking volunteers to place sticky bands on Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) trees to kill adult insects that live on the trees. Volunteers will be trained and equipped with tree-banding supplies at the meetings.
“Spotted Lanternfly has the potential to devastate Pennsylvania’s grape harvests and damage hops, nursery plants, fruit trees and hardwoods,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “Our staff and partners are working hard to eradicate the insects and limit their spread, but volunteers can magnify those efforts significantly.”
The Spotted Lanternfly is an inch-long black, red and white spotted pest native to China, India, Japan, and Vietnam. It is an invasive species in Korea, where it has attacked 25 plant species that also grow in Pennsylvania.
The first U.S. detection of the pest was in Berks County in late 2014, shortly before the department began to coordinate efforts to eradicate it.
Parts of six Pennsylvania counties where egg masses have been found — Berks, Bucks, Chester, Lehigh, Montgomery and Northampton — are under quarantine. The quarantine restricts movement of materials or objects that can spread the pest by transporting egg masses.
Once egg masses hatch in mid-May, insects hop or crawl from one woody plant to another until reaching the Tree of Heaven, their preferred food source. Grapevines, fruit trees, nursery plants and hardwoods in infested areas are susceptible to damage.
Click Here to register for the meetings or by calling 610-489-4315.
For more information, visit Agriculture’s Spotted Lanternfly webpage.

Judge Throws Out Landowner Challenge To DRBC De-Facto Moratorium On Drilling

StateImpact reported Friday a U.S. Federal District Court Thursday threw out a lawsuit by a group of Wayne County landowners who said the Delaware River Basin Commission lacks the authority to review and approve natural gas facilities on land owned by the group.
The ruling ends one legal threat to a de-facto moratorium by DRBC on shale gas development in the basin that has stood since 2010.
This is the lawsuit that three Pennsylvania state Senators-- Sen. Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson), Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) and Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming)-- attempted to intervene on the side of the landowners last October, however, their request was denied by Federal Court in January.  
The Department of Environmental Protection reported in January to DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council that staff from its Oil and Gas Management and Water Resources Planning offices attended a special meeting of the Delaware River Basin Commission November 29 to discuss draft regulations covering oil and gas development activities in the watershed.
The DEP report said, “All jurisdictions reviewed draft regulatory language for oil and gas management and provided direction to the Commission related to the next steps for regulatory actions.
“DRBC will be providing additional edited language for certain sections of the proposed regulations to the jurisdictions as follow up actions. Commissioners from all the jurisdictions will continue to discuss future actions concerning oil and gas activities in the basin.”
No timeline was given on when the Commission might take action on the oil and gas regulations.
NewsClip:
Judge Throws Out Landowner Challenge To DRBC Authority To Regulate Drilling

TreePhilly Program Again Offering Free Trees To Plant In Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department and the Fairmount Park Conservancy Monday announced the TreePhilly Program will again be offering free trees to plant starting April 1.
Interested people should pre-register for one of the four pick-up events being held around Philly in April (walk-ins will be accepted, but while supplies last).  In addition, each resident will receive a free bag of mulch.
There, you’ll be able to pick from a dozen types of yard trees, including black gum, red oak, gray birch, ironwood, red buckeye, Robin crabapple, staghorn sumac, witchhazel, sourwood, apple, apricot, and sweet cherry.
These are the four dates and locations for tree pick-ups:
-- April 1: from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Congreso de Latinos Unidos courtyard (216 W. Somerset St.);
-- April 2: from 12 to 2 p.m. at South Philadelphia High School (2101 South Broad St.);
-- April 8: from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Roxborough TD Bank Store (5501 Ridge Ave.); and
-- April 9: from 12 to 2 p.m. at Frankford Avenue TD Bank Store (6635 Frankford Ave.).
For more information and to pre-register, visit the TreePhilly Program website.
NewsClip:
How To Get A Free Tree In Philly For Your Yard This Spring

Save The Date: National Brownfields Conference In Pittsburgh Dec. 5-7

The national Brownfields 2017 Conference -- Sustainable Communities Start Here-- will be held December 5-7 in the LEED-certified David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.  
The National Brownfields Training Conference is the largest event in the nation focused on environmental revitalization and economic redevelopment.
Held every two years, the Conference attracts nearly 3,000 stakeholders in brownfields redevelopment and cleanup to share knowledge about sustainable reuse and celebrate the EPA brownfields program’s success.
Whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned professional, Brownfields 2017 offers something for you!
Registration for the Conference opens June 1.  Click Here for all the details.

DEP Reschedules Solid Waste Advisory Committee Meeting For March 27

The DEP Solid Waste Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet on March 27 to hear an update on managing waste from Marcellus Shale drilling operations.  The previous meeting was canceled due to Winter Storm Stella.
The meeting will be held in Room 105 Rachel Carson Building in Harrisburg starting at 10:00.
For more information and available handouts, visit the Solid Waste Advisory Committee webpage or contact Laura Henry by calling 717-772-5713 or send email to: lahenry@pa.gov.

Senate Takes No Action Yet On Nomination Of Patrick McDonnell As DEP Secretary

The Senate this week again failed to take any action on the nomination of Patrick McDonnell to serve as Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection.
Gov. Wolf nominated him for this position January 3 and his paperwork was complete the week of January 16.  
The nomination is in the Senate Rules and Executive Nominations Committee and the normal process is to have the nomination reported out and re-referred to the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee for consideration.
McDonnell first became Acting Secretary on May 20, 2016 and was formally nominated for the post by Gov. Wolf on September 21, 2016.  
This is the only cabinet nomination now before the Senate, although there are two other agencies with Acting or soon to be Acting Secretaries-- the departments of Aging and soon Revenue.
The Senate Rules and Executive Nominations Committee has a meeting scheduled for March 27 to consider certain nominations, so we'll see what happens.
The Senate has until May 10 to act on the nomination or it stands approved.

DEP Published 52 Pages Of Permit Actions In March 25 PA Bulletin

DEP published 52 pages of public notices related to proposed and final permit and approval/ disapproval actions in the March 25 PA Bulletin - pages 1776 to 1828. DEP published 704 pages of permit actions since January 1, 2017.

DEP: Opportunity To Bid On Mine Reclamation Project In Clearfield County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the March 25 PA Bulletin of an opportunity to bide on a mine reclamation project in Clearfield County.
The Department of Environmental Protection has available a current list of Abandoned Mine Reclamation, Acid Mine Drainage, Surface Mine Reclamation, Cleaning Out and Plugging Oil and Gas Wells, Waterways Engineering (Concrete Dams/Concrete Lined Channels, Walls and Box Culverts, etc.), Hazardous Site Remediation, Removal and Disposal of Underground Storage Tanks, and Wetland Restoration projects available for bidding.  Click Here for the list.
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has a current list of bid proposals for construction projects in State Parks and State Forests available online.  Click Here for the list.

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