Friday, March 4, 2016

March 7 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The March 7 PA Environment Digest is now available.  Here are just a few of the headlines--

In comments Tuesday to the House Appropriations Committee on DEP’s budget, DEP Secretary John Quigley said the state “can’t cut its way to improving the environment.”
Secretary Quigley said as a result of “relentless budget cuts,” DEP has lost 14 percent of its staff, but the average state agency lost 6 percent over the last decade.
As a result, Secretary Quigley said, the capacity of his agency has been significantly degraded.  Any further cuts, he said, would put the public’s health and the environment at risk.

DEP Secretary John Quigley told the House Environmental Resources and Energy and Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committees Monday, Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Program is all about improving local water quality, but has been faced with inadequate resources and data on conservation practices to do its job.
Secretary Quigley also said the real-world water sampling results in the watershed show the reductions of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment have been more than the Chesapeake Bay Model accounts for.

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday denied the request of the American Farm Bureau Federation, the PA Farm Bureau and their allies to take up their case challenging the legality of the Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan known as the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint.
The decision means that the ruling of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals will stand. That unanimous ruling found the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency did not exceed its authority and that the efforts to restore local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay are entirely legal.

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday delivered the final Chapter 78 (conventional) and 78A (unconventional) drilling regulations to the House and Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committees and to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission for their review.  The IRRC has scheduled a meeting for April 21 to consider the regulation.

Over the last five years, Philadelphia’s Green City, Clean Waters Program, the first green-centric plan in the U.S. to deal with stormwater and combined sewer overflow pollution, kept 600 million gallons of polluted water from reaching nearby rivers.

Officials from Keep America Beautiful Thursday presented several national awards to DEP and its partners for their efforts to reduce illegal dumping and promote participation in the Great American Cleanup of PA.
KAB Senior Vice President of Recycling Brenda Pulley and Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications Mike Rosen presented the awards to DEP Secretary John Quigley and Deputy Secretary Ken Reisinger.

The PA Environmental Council is hosting a series of 6 Regional Watershed Workshops across the state where watershed groups can share resource information, learn techniques to help build members and network with other groups in the region.

The PA Parks and Forests Foundation Thursday recognized the outstanding service, programs, and exemplary work being done in state parks and forests with the announcement of its 2016 award winners.

A new study released Thursday by the Center for Rural PA shows Pennsylvania’s 12 state-designated Heritage Areas generate hundreds of millions of dollars in economic benefits and support thousands of jobs in addition to building awareness of the state’s history and culture.
The study found that in 2014, tourists spent an estimated 7.5 million days/nights in Pennsylvania’s Heritage Areas, purchasing $2 billion worth of goods and services. This spending supported 25,708 jobs and generated $798 million in labor income and nearly $1.3 billion in value-added effects.

By Lynn Conrad, Executive Director, Rail-Trail Council Of Northeastern PA
It’s the beginning of March, the time of year when the Rail-Trail Council of Northeastern PA decides where to conduct our annual spring trail cleanup. After over 25 years of trash pickups, luckily there are not many more choices! The Rail-Trail Council is a nonprofit rail-trail group that owns an old railbed in Northeast Pennsylvania, a railbed that is being developed into a recreational trail. Built in 1870 to carry coal out of the Lackawanna Valley, the Delaware & Hudson (D&H) Rail Trail is a 38-mile railbed along the eastern border of Susquehanna County.

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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