Monday, September 22, 2014

Martins Mill Bridge Park Tree Planting Volunteer Event Oct. 11 In Franklin County

Looking for a fun family event this autumn? Come on out and plant a tree at Antrim Township’s Martins Mill Bridge Park on Saturday October 11 beginning at 9:00 a.m.
The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and Antrim Township will be planting over 100 native trees and shrubs along the Conococheague Creek and seeks volunteer help. This event is a great opportunity to learn about native plants and local watersheds all while enjoying the great outdoors.
With the guidance of Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and Antrim Township staff, volunteers will be planting containerized trees and shrubs in pre-dug holes throughout the Martins Mill Bridge section of the Antrim Township Municipal Park.
These native plants will assist in filtering stormwater runoff, reduce local flooding, and cool the temperature of the Conococheague to enhance the habitat of the local trout populations. Volunteers will also learn about pest control and set up deer fencing to ensure the development and growth of these young trees and shrubs.
The Martins Mill Bridge park planting event is part of Franklin County’s Trees for Tomorrow Program, a county-wide effort to plant 150,000 new trees in the Conococheague watershed by 2016.
The benefits of trees are numerous for both people and the environment. The Trees for Tomorrow Program is a joint initiative of Franklin County Commissioners and numerous non-profits, including the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, which is being funded through grants received from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds.
Volunteers should come dressed for outdoor activity, and may bring items like gloves if they so desire. Martins Mill Bridge is located at 3505 East Weaver Road, Antrim Township, and the Park is accessible by driving past the bridge, north along East Weaver Road.
All volunteers are welcome! If you are interested in participating, please contact Kimberly Slaughter at 717-737-8622, Ext 2, or send email to: kslaughter@allianceforthebay.org.

Help Wanted: Web Writer/Social Media Manager Alliance For Chesapeake Bay

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay seeks a Web Writer/Content Manager/Social Media Specialist for the Chesapeake Bay Program Communications Office in Annapolis, Maryland.
This position is an integral part of the overall CBP Communications Office team, is central to our successful online communications efforts and is responsible for the creation, maintenance and marketing of consistent high quality web content for the Chesapeake Bay Program website.  The deadline for applications is October 2.  Click Here for all the details.

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Sept. 22 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The Sept. 22 PA Environment Digest Is Now Available.  Click Here to Print Entire Digest.

DEP Citizens Advisory Council Recognizes Pat Lupo, OSB Of Erie
Tuesday the Citizens Advisory Council to the Department of Environmental Protection recognized Pat Lupo, OSB from Erie, for her 26 years of dedicated service on Council.  Pat has served on Council since her initial appointment by Gov. Robert P. Casey in 1988.

DEP Fines Range Resources $4.15 Million For Violating Environmental Regulations
The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced it has signed a wide-ranging consent order and agreement with Range Resources for violations at six of its Washington County impoundments.  The consent order requires the company to pay a $4.15 million fine, the largest against an oil and gas operator in the state’s shale drilling era, close five impoundments and upgrade two other impoundments to meet heightened “next generation” standards currently under development at DEP.

Center For Sustainable Shale Development Certifies Chevron Under New Standards
The Center for Sustainable Shale Development Thursday announced it has certified Chevron Appalachia (Chevron) as the first company to successfully complete the Center's rigorous evaluation and verification process.

House Moves Bill To Roll Back Stream Buffer Protection, Final Vote Monday
This week the House moved House Bill 1565 (Hahn-R-Northampton) eliminating the nearly 4 year old requirement for stream buffers in High Quality and Exceptional Value streams which is positioned for a final vote next week.  Click Here to contact your representative today, and urge him/her to vote "NO" on HB 1565.

Keep PA Beautiful Announces 2014 Great American Cleanup Of PA Results
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Thursday announced 136,507 volunteers collected 317,994 bags, or 6,359,872 pounds of trash, cleaned 13,603 miles of roads, railroad tracks, trails, waterways, and shorelines, and 9,113 acres of park and/or wetlands during the 2014 Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Great American Cleanup of PA.

House Environmental Committee Hears Comments On EPA Clean Power Climate Plan
The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Tuesday held a hearing on EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan.  Click Here to watch a video of the hearing.

Keep PA Beautiful Announces 2014 Great American Cleanup of PA Results

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Thursday announced 136,507 volunteers collected 317,994 bags, or 6,359,872 pounds of trash, cleaned 13,603 miles of roads, railroad tracks, trails, waterways, and shorelines, and 9,113 acres of park and/or wetlands during the 2014 Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Great American Cleanup of PA.
Additionally, volunteers planted 31,406 trees, bulbs, and plants in an effort to keep Pennsylvania beautiful.
This annual event is held in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup and in partnership with support from the Department of Environmental Protection, PennDOT, Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association and the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association.
Additional sponsors include Waste Management, Republic Services, Steel Recycling Institute, and the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority.
As in years past, all 67 counties participated in this annual community improvement event. In total, there were 5,349 events with 136,507 volunteers.
Volunteers collected 317,994 bags, or 6,359,872 pounds of trash. They cleaned 13,603 miles of roads, railroad tracks, trails, waterways, and shorelines, and 9,113 acres of park and/or wetlands. Additionally, volunteers planted 31,406 trees, bulbs, and plants in an effort to keep Pennsylvania beautiful.  
“We are so grateful to our volunteers and sponsors who helped make the Great American Cleanup of PA successful again this year.” said Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. “Without volunteers on the ground coordinating and carrying out local events and sponsors supporting that work, it would not be a reality.”
The 2015 Great American Cleanup of PA will begin on March 1st and end on May 31st.  During this period, events registered online will receive free bags, gloves, and vests from PennDOT District offices, as supplies last.  Events can include litter cleanups, illegal dump cleanups, beautification projects, special collections, and educational events.  
As part of this event, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association will sponsor Let’s Pick It Up PA – Everyday from April 12th- May 5th.  During the Pick It Up PA Days, registered events will be able to take the trash collected during their cleanup to participating landfills for free or reduced disposal.
Since the inception of this event in 2004, more than 1,565,967 volunteers removed 80,575,227 pounds of litter and planted 136,321 trees, bulbs, and flowers.
The Great American Cleanup of PA is sponsored by Keep America Beautiful.  The 2014 national sponsors were The Dow Chemical Company; The Glad Products Company; Lowe’s; Phillips 66; Troy-Bilt® Lawn and Garden Equipment; and Waste Management.
Registration for the Great American Cleanup of 2015 will open in mid- January.
A copy of the 2014 results report is available online.

Range Resources Issues Statement On DEP's Enforcement Action

Appalachia, LLC pioneered large scale water recycling for shale gas development in Pennsylvania in 2009. Pennsylvania now leads the nation in shale water recycling and reuse.
Over the years several iterations of technologies and best practices have been developed and employed as part of the Company’s water management plan, including the use of impoundments specifically engineered to manage water.
Range discovered elevated levels of chlorides, or salt, at some older facilities in Washington County, Pennsylvania. Further investigations found elevated chlorides in some groundwater monitoring systems at the impoundments and in the soil beneath some impoundment liner systems, due to damage to the liner and some minor surface spills.
Both Range’s and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) monitoring and testing have reconfirmed that there have been no impacts on drinking water supplies.
Again, while there have been no impacts on drinking water supplies, the elevated salts in the monitoring wells at the locations do not present a health or safety risk.
Testing has confirmed that no constituents were discovered in the monitoring wells at concentrations exceeding health-based maximum concentration levels, as determined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Pennsylvania has a robust regulatory program and Range accepts the DEP's actions, which has resulted in a signed Consent Order Agreement and an associated penalty settlement.
While the Company is deeply disappointed that these violations occurred, Range is excited to implement newly established best practices and technologies that have been jointly developed with the DEP over the last several months and years.
These new practices go above and beyond more comprehensive landfill regulations and newly proposed oil and gas impoundment standards to prevent future issues and continue leading the nation in water recycling.
All new facilities will incorporate best management practices and design standards to include thicker and better engineered liners, newly designed leak detection systems with capabilities to allow for precise and immediate leak detection, a system to allow real-time remote monitoring, leak prevention redundancies including a layer of geosynthetic clay liner that acts as a sealant in the event of a leak, on-site security, continual monitoring by trained experts, and enhanced location siting to alleviate possible traffic issues.
The Company will continue to utilize temporary pipelines to transport water that greatly reduce truck traffic, which is an important consideration for the communities in which Range works. The water stored in reuse impoundments is currently a blend of treated or filtered flowback water, drilling and produced water, as well as rain and freshwater.
Part of Range’s plan includes the following: closing five legacy impoundments by the end of the year, with one being closed by April 2015, upgrading two impoundments with these newly established best practices, converting one to a freshwater impoundment, and conducting additional monitoring and testing of water and soil surrounding the locations.
Some of these underutilized locations have been out of service for several years and were in the process of being reclaimed.
In addition to implementing these new best practices for impoundments Range is taking additional steps to better manage freshwater withdrawals. This includes reorganizing and refocusing specific employees to provide greater coordination and oversight of water management and regulatory compliance matters to provide more timely coordination with the DEP along with continued development of improvements in this critical area of the Company’s operations.
Range is taking these steps after discovering that the Company did not properly administer certain provisions of the Company’s water management plan related to withdrawals along certain waterways.
Range has reaffirmed that the withdrawals did not impact any ecosystems since all pass-by flows were protected, but in some instances exceeded permitted daily and instantaneous withdrawals.
Impoundments and effective water management play a critical role in water recycling and reuse and will continue to serve in this important capacity for responsible shale development.
Range remains fully committed to being good stewards of the environment and in the communities where the Company works in order to fully maximize the tremendous benefits that responsible shale development can mean for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the nation.

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