Friday, February 26, 2016

Feb. 29 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The February 29 PA Environment Digest is now available.  Here are just a few of the headlines--

DEP Secretary John Quigley was very direct in telling the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday that his agency does not have enough staff to meet the needs of any of its programs because of persistent and continuous budget cuts over the last decade.
He added additional cuts would not only be “ruinous” for the agency, but also for the regulated community.

The PA Environmental Council and Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA wrote to members of the Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday to raise concerns about the risk of losing control of key environmental regulatory programs to the federal government and courts because of the cuts in funding and staff at the Department of Environmental Protection over the past decade.

The Governor’s Office published its semiannual Regulatory Agenda showing regulation changes in process and being developed in the coming year in the February 27 PA Bulletin starting on page 1119.  The Agenda provides an agency-by-agency listing of regulations.
For the Department of Environmental Protection, the Governor’s Regulatory Agenda shows DEP proposing permit fee increases for the coal and noncoal mining, Safe Drinking Water, Environmental Laboratories, Radiation Protection and Air Quality programs in the coming year.

Appearing before the House Appropriations Committee Wednesday, Public Utility Commission Chair Gladys Brown said the PUC’s FY 2016-17 budget request includes the hiring of two additional rail safety inspectors and two additional pipeline inspectors, but not an increase in overall PUC complement.

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn appeared before the Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday to answer questions about the Governor’s proposed FY 2016-17 budget request for more than two and one-half hours.
Secretary Dunn said DCNR has seen a significant decline in drilling on the existing leases on State Forest Land saying there isn’t a single drilling rig in State Forests.

The Joint House-Senate Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing March 21 on the collapse of Pennsylvania’s Electronic Waste Recycling Program created by the Covered Device Recycling Act.

The Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting public comments on the update to the Pennsylvania Climate Change Action Plan.  Comments are due March 30. (January 30 formal notice)

The federal-state Chesapeake Bay Program is developing a comprehensive strategy for increasing diversity in its leadership, decision-making, in implementation of conservation and restoration activities and is creating meaningful opportunities to recruit and engage diverse stakeholders in the Bay Program efforts.

At a reception held on Thursday at its western headquarters building in Pittsburgh, the PA Resources Council presented its inaugural “Zero Waste” awards to eight environmental leaders in recognition of their commitment to adopting sustainable environmental practices and minimizing the amount of solid waste sent to area landfills.

The Professional Recyclers Of PA announced Monday there is an opportunity open to apply for a Recycling Partnership Grant from The Recycling Partnership.   Applications are due April 15.

The departments of Transportation and Environmental Protection are seeking volunteers for this year’s Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania that begins March 1 and runs through May 31.

The Professional Recyclers Of PA announced Monday applications are now being accepted by the EPA Environmental Education Grants Program. Applications are due April 8.

The Game Commission once again is helping students learn about the vital role trees play in the environment through the Seedlings for Schools Program that provides tree seedlings to classrooms so students can plant them as part of projects to improve wildlife habitat.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Thursday announced the availability of $26 million in grant funding to establish clean diesel projects aimed at reducing emissions from the nation's existing fleet of diesel engines.  Applications are due April 26.

The Delaware Highlands Conservancy Monday announced the federal Forest Legacy Program has allocated funding for the purposes of protecting private forestlands.

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.

Additional Tools--
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PA Environment Daily Blog: Update on PA environmental issues.
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Questions?: Send email to David Hess at:

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