Saturday, August 1, 2015

Villanova Stormwater Symposium, Municipal Workshop, Award Nominations In October

The Villanova Sustainable Stormwater Initiative and other partners will host its 2015 Stormwater Symposium on October 14-15 with the theme Resilience Through Green Infrastructure.
The Initiative is also accepting nominations for projects under its Stormwater Control Measure Recognition Program.  Nominations are due September 13.
The Initiative will also hold a Municipal Stormwater Workshop on the day before the Symposium on October 13.  The VUSP and the PA Environmental Council have developed a program that emphasizes collaborative and financial strategies to enable municipal officials to meet their water quality requirements.
For more information and to register for the Symposium and workshop, visit the Villanova Stormwater Symposium webpage.

August Starts Height Of Hurricane Season In Pennsylvania, Prepare Now

August starts the height of hurricane season and the PA Emergency Management Agency, Department of Health and Insurance urge residents to always be prepared for the possibility of severe weather.
"We want to remind people to be prepared," said PA Emergency Management Director Richard D. Flinn.  "Don't wait for severe weather; get prepared now for you, your family and your pets."
Families should prepare for two scenarios in the event of severe weather: to remain in their homes during the duration of a storm or to evacuate if it is recommended by local authorities.
Residents should always have enough provisions in their homes to last at least 72 hours because help from emergency responders may not be immediately available when severe weather strikes.
Other disaster preparedness supplies to have at the ready include: Flashlights and extra batteries; Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries; First aid kit and manual; Emergency food and water; Non-electric can opener; Essential medicines/prescriptions; Cash, credit cards and important legal documents; and Sturdy shoes.
If residents are recommended by local officials to evacuate, they should do so without hesitating and should take important documents with them, including: Checkbooks; Driver's license; Credit card information; Birth certificates; Social Security cards; and Other forms and documents proving ownership/identity.
Always remember that it's very important to avoid floodwaters. They can be toxic because they might contain sewage, hazardous chemicals, or sharp objects like glass or metal fragments. Floodwaters can also lead to disease, injuries, and infections.
Also, if your house gets flooded, make sure you know what to do to protect yourself and your loved ones from dangerous mold. If your house has been closed up for several days, you should presume your home has been contaminated with mold and take appropriate steps.
"Reviewing your homeowners' insurance policy to make sure you have the coverage you need is a good idea," said Teresa D. Miller, commissioner, Pennsylvania Department of Insurance.  "Expensive items, such as jewelry, electronics, or collectibles may exceed the limits of your coverage, and protecting them may require an additional policy."
Miller also emphasized the difference between replacement cost and actual cash value in homeowners' policies.  
Replacement cost is the amount it would take to replace or rebuild your home or repair damages with materials of similar kind and quality, without deducting for depreciation.  Actual cash value is the amount it would take to repair or replace damage to your home after depreciation.  
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners recommends insuring your home for at least 80 percent of its replacement value.
Understanding your policy will also help plan for any out-of-pocket expenses, such as temporary living expenses if you can't stay in your home.  The NAIC's Consumers Guide to Homeowners Insurance offers more information about homeowners policies.
Miller also reminded property owners that typical homeowners and business insurance does not cover damage from flooding, and flood policies sold through the National Flood Insurance Program require a 30-day waiting period before taking effect.
To protect your property with a flood insurance policy, call your insurance agent or call 1-800-427-2419 to find an agent near you.
For more information on how to make a disaster supply kit and how to prepare for all kinds of emergencies, visit or get the ReadyPA app for free to help you prepare.

Saturday PA Environmental NewsClips

Click Here  for PA Capitol Digest NewsClips

Friday, July 31, 2015

August 3 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The August 3 PA Environment Digest is now available.  Here are just a few of the headlines--

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA Wednesday issued the following statement from Pennsylvania Assistant Executive Director Lee Ann Murray, explaining its conditional support of a severance tax on natural gas extraction in the Commonwealth.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA has a new online tool available to help you find out which streams in your county do not meet water quality standards.  About 19,000 miles of Pennsylvania waters are impaired. Agriculture is the largest source of pollution to the Commonwealth’s streams and rivers.   The second leading cause of pollution in Pennsylvania is acid mine drainage from the legacy of coal mining in parts of the state.

By Coleen P. Engvall, Research Analyst, Joint Conservation Committee
Pennsylvania experiences a lot of rain. When one considers the droughts causing havoc on the West Coast, the amount of rainfall the commonwealth enjoys is certainly a blessing. But it can also have its drawbacks.
In a report released by the University of Pittsburgh, the unique difficulties associated with plentiful rainfall and water resources are explored, as well as a way to mitigate them.
The publication, Green Infrastructure: Status Report, describes technologies that simultaneously filter and slow storm waters, preventing flooding, erosion and the pollution of waterways.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will announce the final version of its Clean Power Rule under Section 111(d) of the federal Clean Air Act on August 3, according to PennFuture.   
This first-ever federal rule to curb carbon pollution from power plants seeks to cut carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030 by requiring states to come up with carbon reduction measures  in the form of amendments to their Air Quality State Implementation Plans.
While there are no details at this time, Pennsylvania state law requires extensive public participation in the development of an amendment to the State Implementation Plan and a specific law was passed in 2014 requiring a special review procedures for state plans developed to implement Section 111(d).

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is encouraging educators in Pennsylvania to get their schools involved in the Recycle-Bowl Competition.  The Recycle-Bowl competition begins October 19 and runs through November 15.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority is now accepting applications for energy-related programs-- the High Performance Building Program and Renewable Energy Program.  Applications are due September 9 for action by the Authority on November 10.

To read the Digest, visit:  Click Here to print the entire Digest.

PA Environment Digest is edited by David E. Hess, former Secretary Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and is published as a service of Crisci Associates.

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Forest Service Workshop On Aquatic Organism Road-Stream Passage Nov. 16-20

The U.S. Forest Service and its partners will host a workshop November 16029 in State College providing training on a Stream Simulation Design Approach for Providing Aquatic Organism Passage at Road-Stream Crossings.
This 4.5 day workshop will teach participants the necessary skills to design road-stream crossing structures that provide unimpeded fish and other aquatic organism passage through the structure, restore natural channel characteristics and fluvial processes through the structure, and maximize the long-term stability of the structure.
Other partners in presenting this workshop are: National AOP Design Cadre, Eastern Regional Office, Allegheny National Forest; USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; Trout Unlimited; and The Nature Conservancy.
Click Here for more background on the techniques involved.  For more information, visit the Workshop webpage, or contact Dan McKinley, U.S. Forest Service, by sending email to:

Centre County Adds Misc. Plastics Recycling Container At Centre Hall Drop Off

The Centre County Recycling & Refuse Authority has placed a container for recycling miscellaneous plastics in the Centre Hall Snappy’s parking lot.
Plastics accepted at this location include: Yogurt Containers, Margarine/Butter Tubs, Cottage Cheese Containers, Sour Cream Containers, Whipped Topping Containers, Strawberry/Blueberry/Raspberry Containers, Cherry Tomato Containers, Lettuce/Salad Bar Containers, Olive Bar Containers and much more.  A comprehensive list is available online.
DO NOT place these plastics in your curbside bin or blue commercial recycling toters - they will not be collected in our curbside/commercial trucks due to space and operational issues.
For more information, please call the Authority’s office at 814-238-7005, or send email to:

PEC’s Lindsay Baxter Recipient Of 2015 McCloy Fellowship In Environmental Policy

The PA Environmental Council Friday announced Lindsay Baxter, PEC’s Program Manager for Energy & Climate, has been named one of two Americans to receive a 2015 McCloy Fellowship in Environmental Policy through the American Council on Germany.
The program allows Baxter to travel to Germany for three weeks this fall to study energy policy in that country.
Recipients of the fellowship design their own research project and itinerary and Baxter’s research will focus on the challenges and opportunities of integrating increasing amounts of renewable energy into the electricity grid. This is an issue with immediate applicability in Pennsylvania as our percentage of renewable electricity increases.
While in Germany, she will explore both technical solutions, such as advanced battery storage and smart grid technologies, as well as policy-based options.
“It really is an honor to be selected for such a prestigious fellowship,” Baxter said. “I am anxious to share what I learn through this experience with partners across Pennsylvania and use it to inform PEC’s work towards an affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy future.”
Baxter, who is certified as a Qualified Environmental Professional, manages PEC’s programs related to energy efficiency, renewable energy, and climate protection, including low-impact hydroelectricity development and PEC’s participation in the ReEnergize Pgh Coalition and the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative.
She has also been instrumental in the implementation of PEC’s River Town Program.
“This is a great opportunity for Lindsay, and we are looking forward to seeing her apply new learnings from Germany to her work here in Pennsylvania,” PEC President Davitt Woodwell said.
The other fellowship recipients include one American and two Germans: Alan Cohn, Climate Program Director for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection; Frank Osterhage, Deputy Head of the Research Group on Development of City Regions at the ILS – Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development; and Alexandra Seibt, Project Coordinator for Research Group: Sustainable Protection and Consumption at Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, and Energy.

July Newsletter Now Available From Stroud Water Research Center

The July edition of UpStream, the newsletter from the Stroud Water Research Center in Avondale, Chester County, is now available featuring articles on--
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