Friday, January 30, 2009

Feb. 2 PA Environment Digest Now Available

Read the Digest online. Print entire Digest
Selected headlines-
Bad Budget news Keeps Coming Ahead Of Budget Address
Alternative Energy, Climate Change Bill Unveiled
PJM Study Says Federal Climate Bills Will Dramatically Increase Electric Costs
Study From Leading Climate Scientists Says Climate Change Now Irreversible
WTAE-TV, PEC Earth Friend Awards - Video
Online Webinar- Manure Du Jour
Game Commission Presents Annual Report
Watch Punxsutawney Phil's Predictions
Commonwealth Court Invalidates PA Mercury Emissions Rule
Nominations Due For Governor's Environmental Awards
Philadelphia Sustainability Awards Name 12 Finalists
Illegal Dump Cleanup Grant Training Program
RecycleBank Sees Massive Growth In 2008
PUC Electric Price Comparison Report
Allegheny Power Launches Enrollment For Wind Energy Program
Free Radon Tests In Allentown
Fish & Boat Commission Sets Public Meetings
Opinion - DEP Proposes Weakening Clean Water Protections

Friday NewsClips

House GOP: Rendell Siting On Millions In Fund
Rendell: Painful Cuts Needed To Make Budget Work
Environmental Groups Rip Pair Of Energy Bills
Editorial: PA Makes Wise Move Toward Clean Coal, We're Ready
New, Energy-Efficient Homes Ready To Sell
PA Trolley Museum Is Going Solar
Carneigie Science Awards Announced
Free Radon Test Kits In Allentown
New Panel To Guide Philadelphia Riverfront Development
Local Champion Sought To Blaze Iroquois Trail In Tunkhannock
Bradford To Define Change Of Use Under Clean And Green For Drilling
Energy Expo Set On Feb. 25 In Delaware County

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thursday NewsClips

Lycoming County Looks For Funding For Nutrient Credit Trading
Farm Manure Turns Green
PA Would Have Leading Role In Clean Coal Technology Under Bill
$$$ For Landowners In Greenhouse Gas Market?
Editorial: Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Local Incubator Could Help Develop New Coal Technology
Chief Oil & Gas Donates $8,000 For Home Heating Assistance
Pike County Gas Leases Multiply
Editorial: Natural Gas Drilling Interconnections
Numbers Shout For Change In Electricity Lifestyles
Energy Audit To Be Completed For Southern Fulton School District
How Would New Auto Emission Rules Affect Us?
Philadelphia Trash Service Could Be Budget Victim
Punxsutawney Phil Reaches Out To Kids

Governor's Award Nominations Due

The Department of Environmental Protection announced today it is now accepting applications for the 2009 Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence. Nominations are due March 9.
“These awards recognize businesses and organizations that believe a clean environment leads to a competitive and vibrant economy,” said Gov. Rendell. “Past awards recipients are working to make our communities stronger. The projects they’ve undertaken are reducing pollution, fostering a cleaner environment, using more emission-free energy sources, and preparing a whole new generation of Pennsylvanians to be better stewards of our resources. (Click here for the full announcement)

Rendell Warns Of Furloughs, Deficit Much Worse

Gov. Rendell gave state worker unions 30 days notice of possible furloughs and a reduction in work hours as the budget crisis deepens.
House Appropriations Chair Dwight Evans (D-Philadelphia) said the real state budget deficit number was $5.6 billion since the General Assembly and the Governor have to solve not only the current year's deficit, but fiscal next year's as well.
NewsClips: Rendell Notifies Unions Of Possible Layoffs
Rendell Warns Of Possible Furloughs
PA Says It May Furlough Workers
More Bad News For State Workers
Auditor General Uncovers 14 Percent Error Rate In State Medicaid Payments
Editorial: Rendell Spending

Monday, January 26, 2009

DEP Lifts Drought Watch

Department of Environmental Protection Acting Secretary John Hanger lifted the drought watch declaration for 29 counties today in western and north central Pennsylvania citing improved groundwater and streamflow levels.
The affected counties include Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Somerset, Tioga, Venango, Warren, Washington, and Westmoreland counties. (Click here for complete announcement)
Visit DEP's Drought Information Center

DEP Invites Climate Experts To Contribute

The Climate Change Advisory Committee is inviting technical experts and members of the public to help develop recommendations that may be included in an action plan for Pennsylvania to address this pressing environmental and economic challenge.
“The complexity of the challenge before us demands that we bring together the highest level of expertise possible and invite the public to offer their input during this important process,” said Department of Environmental Protection Acting Secretary John Hanger. “This is an opportunity to help develop an action plan that will play a critical role in keeping our economy competitive and ensuring a cleaner, healthier environment for our children and future generations.”
Acting Secretary Hanger added that everyone is encouraged to participate, regardless of their level of technical expertise.
Those interested in serving in a technical or sector-specific should send their name, contact information, resume and the subcommittee on they wish to serve by email to: here for full announcement.)

House, Senate Members, DEP To Announce Climate, Alternative Energy Bill

On January 28 at 9:30 a.m. several lawmakers, the Department of Environmental Protection and several environmentalists will hold a news conference in the Capitol Rotunda to discuss legislation to be introduced in the House and Senate addressing carbon sequestration and improvements to the alternative energy portfolio standards.
Those expected to participate in the news conference include Sen. Ted Erickson (R-Delaware), sponsor of the Senate legislation; John Hanger, Acting Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection; Reps. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware), Chris Ross (R-Chester), and Eugene DePasquale (D-York), co-sponsors of the House legislation.
Updated information available at Rep. Vitali's webpage.

Monday NewsClips

PA Budget Could Be Nightmare
Several Eye Lawmakers' Surplus To Ease Budgets
Feds Could Ease Pain For States
Editorial: DEP's Hanger Deserves Appointment
Lycoming County Works With Nutrient Credit Trading
Projects Abound In Lycoming Region's Streams
Editorial: Report Shows the Living Benefits Of Pollution Curbs
States May Win Right To Cut Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Keystone College Keeps Current On Electric Cars
Source Of Gas In Dimock Township Wells Unknown
Release More From New York Reservoirs, Rendell Says
Recyclers Lose Green
Price Drop Linked To Recycling Complaints
Milford Gearing Up For Wind Energy
Contractors Tilting At Windmills As Residential Renewable Energy System Gain
Electric, A Green Alternative To Oil Heat
Municipal Energy Audit Could Result In Savings
Midtown Harrisburg Aiming for Pre-Sprawl Character
Money Stopping Waterfront Plan In Bucks County
Navy On Time With Philadelphia Base Cleanup
Environmental Protections Take Hit In Fiscal Crunch

Friday, January 23, 2009

Jan. 26 PA Environment Digest Now Online

Go To Click Here To Print Digest
Selected Headlines
Gov. Rendell Raises Budget Deficit Estimate, More Cuts, Layoffs Coming
Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show Award Winners Announced
Video-Lebanon Low Impact Development
Total Dissolved Solids In Mon River Drop After Limits On Drillers
The Nature Conservancy Investing In Nature Business Awards
Guidelines OK'd For Selling, Trading REAP Tax Credits
PA American Water Protect Our Watersheds Art Contest
Pittsburgh YMCA Green Roof
Green$ense Beyond Buildings Conference
First Statewide Environmental Justice Conference
Breen Building Council Announces Green Product Innovative Grants
Game Commission Issues First Wind Energy Annual Report
Ecologists, Economists Call On Congress To Protect Allegheny Forest

Friday NewsClips

Layoffs, Higher Taxes Likely As Budget Crisis Worsens
Rendell Looks To Obama For Budget Help
Rendell: No General Tax Hikes In Next Year's Budget
Layoffs Coming, Rendell Warns
PA Budget Gap Grows To $2.3 Billion
Natural Gas Taints Wells
We're Fighting For Our Lives Says Pike Drilling Foe
Op-Ed: Gas Lease Fund Can Help Create Green Infrastructure And Jobs
Troubling Signs For Bats In PA
Sweet Smell Of Septic
Energy Association To Discuss Incentives For Solar Systems

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Governor Raises Budget Deficit Estimate to $2.3 Billion, More Cuts, Layoffs Coming

Gov. Rendell today said his latest estimate of the state budget shortfall for the current fiscal year is $2.3 billion, $400 million more than his last estimate, and that layoffs or unpaid furloughs may be part of his next budget proposal.
At the same time the Department of Labor and Industry reported Pennsylvania lost 27,100 jobs during December.
The Governor also changed the date of his budget address to February 4.
He reported he now expects the Obama Administration to provide $2 billion to $4 billion in federal aid as part of the planned federal stimulus package that will help plug the holes in the state's budget over the next three years. The Governor said just last month he expected $450 million in federal aid this year and next fiscal year.
Gov. Rendell called on legislative leaders to help deal with the deficit by returning $175 million from their legislative accounts which a recent audit shows has $220 million.
This fiscal year alone, environmental funding has been cut $207.4 million to help with deal with the budget deficit, the single largest cut in any state programs. In the last seven years, $784 million in environmental funding has been used to balance the budget or given to programs which could not get funding on their own. (12/29/08 Pa Environment Digest)
While Gov. Rendell said he was reluctant to propose a general tax increase, he said it was likely he would propose a tax on production from natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation. He did not provide any details of how much the tax would be or how the funding would be spent.
A number of environmental groups, including recently the PA Land Trust Association, said revenues from Marcellus Shale drilling should be used to help build for the future, not pay for today's expenses. (12/22/08 Pa Environment Digest)
Since these dollars would be generated in rural and economically challenged parts of the Commonwealth, many legislators want a significant portion of these revenues to be returned to those areas to support county and local governments, rebuild infrastructure and fund other local improvements.
While a new tax on production from Marcellus Shale natural gas wells will not generate a substantial amount of revenue in the immediate future, projects are it could generate hundreds of millions of dollars annually. The decisions made today about where to spend those funds will set a precedent for the future.
The General Assembly and the Governor also have other potential sources of funding available to deal with the budget, including $750 million in the MCARE Fund to pay medical malpractice insurance premiums for doctors and $375 million of the state's Rainy Day Fund.
NewsClips: Rendell Promises Job Cuts As State Finances Worsen
PA Loses 27,000 Jobs In December, Unemployment Climbs
Rendell Warns Of Layoffs As State Deficit Grows
Rendell Calls For Additional Budget Cuts As Deficit Grows

Thursday NewsClips

Mon River Quality Up After Limits On Drillers
Natural Gas Drilling Plan Prompts Many Questions
Wastewater Disposal From Drilling To Be Tackled
Water Tanks Aid Homes With Gas In Wells
Draft Of TMDL Proposal Presented To Moshannon Creek Coalition
Water Problems In Susquehanna County
DEP Sets Limit For CMA To Upgrade High Hazard Dam
Bethlehem Water Agency Sells Logging Rights In Poconos
Groups At Odds Over Dam Water Releases
Cleaner Air Is Giving Longer Life To Pittsburgh Region
Developer Hopes To Transform Old Steel Plant Site In Oakmont
Brentwood Looks For Energy Upgrade To Save Money
Editorial: Research The Potential Of Clean Coal
Easton Sends Message To Billboard Firms: No
HACC Receives Grant For Solar Panels
Mine Subsidence Opens In Pittston Basement
Telling The Trees From The Forest
Op-Ed: Deer Management Tends To Defy Broad Consensus

Monday, January 19, 2009

PA American Water Annual 'Protect Our Watersheds' Art Contest

Pennsylvania American Water announced today that entries are now being accepted for its Seventh Annual Protect Our Watersheds Art Contest. Open to fifth-grade students in schools served by Pennsylvania American Water - and to individual fifth-graders who live in the company's service area - the contest encourages students to tap their artistic talents to express the importance of protecting Pennsylvania's watersheds and water resources.
The deadline for submissions is February 20. (Click here for full announcement and here for student/teacher pages.)

Monday NewsClips

State, Industry To Develop New Rules For Gas Drilling Wastewater Pollution
Gas Drilling Wastewater Still A Concern To Many
Teacher Earns National Honor For Camp Compass
Pitt Archivists Uncover The Past With Old Mining Maps
The Cause Of The Knox Mine Disaster
Knox Mine Disaster Left 12 Men Dead And An Economy In Ruins
Annual Mass Honors Knox Mine Victims
Schooley Shaft Mine Blast Remembered
Falconer Asks For Help Finding Missing Bird

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Investing In Nature Business Awards

The PA Chapter of The Nature Conservancy is now accepting nominations for a new awards program to recognize the exemplary initiatives by businesses in Pennsylvania which take significant measures to achieve tangible, lasting conservation results.
There are five categories: energy conservation, natural resource management, green building design/construction/planning, environmental education, innovative new environmental technologies, sustainable agriculture and ecotourism.
Nominations are due January 30. (Click here for more)

Sunday NewsClips

GO Eagles, GO Steelers!
Pittsburgh Reclassified As Failing To Meet Smog Limits
Editorial: Wild Spending On Ex-Legislators
Western PA Side Business Puts Beetles To Work
2 Ships Stuck In Ice Near Presque Isle Bay
Elizabeth Embracing Its Environmental Heritage
Knox Mine Disaster: 50 Year Later

Friday, January 16, 2009

Jan. 19 PA Environment Digest Now Available

Go to
Click here to print full Digest
Selected Headlines--
$23 Million Chesapeake Bay Watershed Funding Now Available
US House Releases Economic Stimulus Plan With Environmental Element
Foundation For PA Watersheds Announces Grant Awards
Deadline For H20 Water Infrastructure Grants Feb. 13
New Air Quality Initiative For Farmers Now Available
Grazing Assistance Available For Farmers
NRCS Announces $20 Million In Conservation Innovation Grants
2009 Schuylkill Watershed Congress March 9
Wildlife For Everyone Continues Seedlings For Schools
Apply Now For Geothermal, Wind Project Grants, Loans
2009 Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show Feb. 7-15
Home Gardeners Can Reap Huge Financial Rewards
Wealth of Trails Leads PA Towns To New Promise

Apply For Geothermal, Wind Energy Grants

The Commonwealth Finance Agency this week approved guidelines to provide $25 million in grants and loans for geothermal and wind energy projects. There is no set deadline to apply, but ASAP is always recommended. Several types of assistance are available--
-- Loans for component manufacturers of renewable energy generation equipment up to $35,000 for every new job created; for geothermal systems or wind energy generation or distribution projects shall not exceed $5 million;
-- Grants for component manufacturers of renewable energy generation equipment up to $5,000 for every new job created; for geothermal systems or wind energy generation or distribution projects up to $1 million; for planning and feasibility studies up to 50 percent of the total cost of the planning project or $175,000, whichever is less. (Click here for more)

Friday NewsClips

State's 2 Percent Biodiesel Law To Take Effect
State Advances Aid For Alternative Energy Projects
Judge Rejects Challenges To Central PA Wind Farm
Project Preserves, Digitizes Maps Of Thousands Of Mines
Clarks Green Facing Garbage/Recycling Cost Debate
Editorial: State Positioned To Lead Sustainable Agriculture
Sustainable Tissue Paper Research Presented By Students
Penn State Hybrid Car Places Sixth In Competition
Ashland Invites Proposal To Better Control Electricity Costs
Speakers: Gas Well Drilling Impacts Being Monitored In Clearfield
DEP, DEC and DRBC Drilling Updates
Delaware Flood Analysis Model Delayed

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Senate Budget Hearing Schedule

The Senate Appropriations Committee today announced its budget hearing schedule for the 2009-10 budget, after Gov. Rendell's budget address on February 3. All hearings will be in Hearing Room 1 in the North Office Building.
February 23: 2:30 - Budget Secretary, Revenue Secretary
February 25: 10:00 - Department of Agriculture, 2:30 - Department of Environmental Protection
February 26 - 1:00 - Governor's Office, Office of Administration
March 3 - 10:00 - Department of Education - K-12, 1:00 - Department of Education - Higher Education
March 4 - 10:00 - Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
March 5 - 1:00 - Department of Community & Economic Development

2009 Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show Set For February 7 - 15

The 2009 Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, the country's largest outdoor, hunting and fishing consumer show, will run from February 7 - 15 at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg.
Hundreds of displays, demonstrations and education programs will be featured during the eight day event. Learn about new hunting and fishing products, plan outdoor sport and camping vacations, shop for fishing boats, RVs, SUVs, motorcycles and ATVs and participate in a wide range of sport-related contests and family entertainment offerings.
For tickets and more information, click here.

DCNR Offers Electronic Filing For Grants Program

To streamline its 2009 grant application process, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced a new service today through its Community Conservation Partnerships Grants Program, popularly known as "C2P2." The service starts February 2.
DCNR has also set up a series of grant writing workshops during February. (Click here for more)

DEP Seeks Input to Update Forest Buffer Toolkit

The Department of Environmental Protection, in partnership with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Office of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, is updating the Pennsylvania Stream ReLeaf Forest Buffer Toolkit.
The toolkit is intended to serve as a general resource for watershed organizations, county conservation districts, school districts, land managers and government agencies.
Anyone interested in completing a short survey on the toolkit that will help the authors make it as useful as possible to interested parties, contact Rebecca Wertime by sending email to: It will take 5-10 minutes to fill out the survey form.

2009 Schuylkill Watershed Congress Set For March 9

The 2009 Schuylkill Watershed Congress will be held on March 9 at the Montgomery County Community College West Campus in Pottstown.
With a focus on networking across disciplines and a goal of presenting new information about watershed restoration, the annual Schuylkill Watershed Congress has become a highly anticipated event for watershed citizens interested in understanding, protecting and restoring their local streams. (Click here for more.)

Stormwater Monitoring Workshop For Citizen Groups

The Stroud Water Research Center, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, U.S.G.S. and Widener University School of Law are sponsoring a workshop on Stormwater Monitoring: The Nuts & Bolts For Citizen Groups on February 14 in Valley Forge.
This interactive workshop is designed to assist citizen groups interested in monitoring the impacts of stormwater on their local streams by providing information and hands-on activities that demonstrate how they can effectively ensure proper stormwater practices are being maintained in their community. (Click here for more.

Wednesday NewsClips

Panel Explores Water Treatment Issues With Drilling
DEP, Gas Drillers Seek Ways To Dispose Of Wastewater
Timbering Concerns Brockway Authority
Coalition Announces Nuclear Power Support
Nuke Energy Policy Push Picks Up
Editorial: Senate Should Act On Cabinet Nominees
Governor Creates Job At DCNR For Former Legislator
Rendell Ally Gets Job Despite Hiring Freeze
Ex-PA Environment Chief Joins Element Partners

Friday, January 9, 2009

Jan. 12 PA Environment Digest Now Online

The latest PA Environment Digest is now available.
Click here to print the entire Digest
Selected Headlines--
CBF Files Lawsuite Against EPA On Chesapeake Bay Cleanup
DEP Responds To Campaign For Clean Water On Proposed Rollback
Video Blog: Somerset Summit Highlights Water Improvement
Senate/House Appoint Chairs, Committee Members
House Budget Hearings Schedule Released
Nominations Due For Ralph W. Abele Conservation Award
DCNR 2008 Accomplishments Report
Rivers Conservation Fly fishing Youth Camp Applications Due
Farm Show - 900 Pounds Of Butter Turned Into Biofuel
Central PA Sustainable Landscapes Conference April 1
Nature Abounds Launches Ice Watch, Pa Senior Environment Corps Projects

Friday NewsClips

Chesapeake Bay Funds Aid NE PA Farms
Poll Says Taxpayers Would Pay More For Infrastructure
Clearfield County Recreation and Tourism Green Building Featured
Natural Gas Drilling Causes Clean And Green Woes
Borough Bonds Roads Drillers Likely To Use
Keystone Central School District Could Save $3.7 Million In Energy Costs
New Pottstown Recycling System Did Pretty Well
State Forms Board To Review Coal Mining Regulations
US Mine Deaths Fall To 51, Lowest On Record
Lawmakers Step Up Efforts To Aid Dolphins In Rivers

Monday, January 5, 2009

CBF, Partners Sue EPA Over Failure To Keep Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Commitments

WASHINGTON, D.C.-- After 25 years of watching promises broken and commitments unfulfilled, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) today filed a lawsuit in federal court to require the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to enforce the law and reduce pollution sufficiently to remove the Chesapeake Bay from the federal ‘impaired waters’ list. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia following a legal requirement for a 60 day notice of intent to sue period (CBF filed the notice on Oct. 29). (Click here for full announcement)

Rendell Announces Mid-Atlantic Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Standard

HARRISBURG -- Pennsylvania has signed a letter of agreement with 10 Mid-Atlantic states that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels and other sources by developing a comprehensive, regional low carbon fuel standard, Gov. Rendell announced today. (Click here for full announcement)

Monday NewsClips

Rendell: PA Budget Shortfall More Than Expected
A Fishy Project In The Classroom
Transitioning To No-Till Crop Production
Sayre Recycling Program Expansion To Continue
Bethlehem To Start Picking Up Recycled Paper At Homes
The Theory And Practice Of Flesters
Centre Waste Authority To Increase Tipping Fee
Editorial: Gas Drilling Windfall Creates Balance Dilemma
Firm Pays $283 Million For Local Natural Gas Rights
Coal Refuse Fire Near Pottsville Has Residents Concerned
New Coal Refuse Fire No Relation To Centralia
Editorial: Obama's Energy Secretary's Views Could Hurt Coal
Oil Customers Regret Hedging Their Bets
Luzerne, Lackawanna Counties Working On Joint Long-Range Plan
Haverford State Site Chock Full Of Wildlife
Experts Focus On Habitat and Big Bee Revival
Outdoors: Backyard Feeders Attract Predators
Foundation Draws Attention Toward State's Wildlife

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