Thursday, June 22, 2017

DEP July 19 Public Conference On Bailey Mine Expansion Permit, Greene County

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced it will hold an informal public conference on July 19 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at Ryerson Station State Park Visitor Center, 361 Bristoria Road, Wind Ridge, PA 15380 to gather public feedback on a permit application from Consol Pennsylvania Coal Company LLC (Consol).
Consol applied to revise the Bailey Mine & Prep Plant (Permit No. 30841316) for the addition of 4,875 acres of underground permit area and subsidence control plan area for development mining located in Richhill, Gray, and Center Townships in Greene County.
Representatives of DEP District Mining Operations will be available to answer general questions on the permit application and receive both written and oral testimony regarding the application.
Testimony will be placed into the public record for the application and considered in the application review process.
Individuals wishing to attend who require an auxiliary aid, service or other accommodation to participate should contact Bonnie Herbert at 724-769-1100. The AT&T Relay Service is available by calling 1-800-654-5984 (TTD users) or 1-800-654-5988 (voice users) and request that the call be relayed to Bonnie Herbert at the number above.
Copies of the application are on file for public review at the DEP California District Mining Office, 25 Technology Drive, California Technology Park, Coal Center, PA 15423. Interested individuals should call 724-769-1100 to schedule an appointment.
[Note: This is the underground mine involved in damaging the dam at Ryerson Station State Park and the current legislation to retroactively rollback environmental protection standards for streams in Senate Bill 624.  Click Here for more).]
Questions should be directed to Lauren Fraley, DEP, by calling 412-442-4203 or send email to: lfraley@pa.gov.

House Committee Set To Do Recycling Fee Extension, Onlot Septic System Bills June 27

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to meet June 27 on legislation eliminating the sunset date on the $2 Recycling Fee in Act 101 and a bill to provide for alternative onlot septic system technologies in local sewage plans.
The bills include
-- Senate Bill 646 (Killion-R-Delaware) would prevent a funding crisis in the state’s Recycling Program by eliminating the expiration date for the Act 101 $2 per ton recycling fee on waste disposed in Pennsylvania; and
-- Senate Bill 144 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) amending Act 537 ton include alternative on-lot sewage systems in sewage plans (sponsor summary).
The meeting will be held in Room B-31 of the Main Capitol starting at 9:30.  House Committee meetings are typically webcast through the House Republican website.
Rep. John Maher (R-Allegheny) serves as Majority Chair of the House Environmental Committee and can be contacted by sending email to: jmaher@pahousegop.com.  Rep. Mike Carroll serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by sending email to: mcarroll@pahouse.net.

Deadline Extended For Northeast Environmental Partners Awards To July 19

The Northeast Environmental Partners Thursday announced the deadline for nominations for the Northeastern Pennsylvania Environmental Partnership Awards, including the Thomas P. Shelburne Award and the Emerging Environmental Leader Award, has been extended to July 19.
The Awards are open to any group, individual, company, program, or organization whose work has had a positive impact on the environment in Northeastern Pennsylvania’s following counties; Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming.
The Northeast Environmental Partners include the Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Protection, PA Environmental Council’s Northeast Office, PPL Corporation, Procter & Gamble Paper Products Company, and Wilkes University.
Click Here for all the details on applying.
For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the PA Environmental Council website, visit the PEC Blog, follow PEC on Twitter or Like PEC on Facebook.  Visit PEC’s Audio Room for the latest podcasts.  Click Here to receive regular updates from PEC.

Alliance For Chesapeake Bay Selling Stormwater Workshop July 17 In Dauphin County

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Capital Region Council of Governments and other partners are hosting a Selling Stormwater Workshop on July 17 at the Londonderry Township Building, 783 S. Geyers Church Road in Middletown, Dauphin County from 8:00 to 3:00.
Participants involved in meeting MS4 Stormwater pollution prevention requirements will learn about the latest research on selling stormwater programs to the public and review of case studies of how communities have handled these issues.
Presentations will be made by--
-- Erie Eckl, Water Words That Work - “Selling Stormwater Management - PA Stormwater Survey with Recommendations;” and
-- Nathan Walker, AMEC Environment and Infrastructure, Inc. - “Local Municipal Stories: Multiple Paths for Meeting MS4 Requirements.”
Other participating organizations include the University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center and Water Words That Work.
Click Here for more information and to register.
For more information on stormwater requirements, visit DEP’s Municipal Stormwater webpage.

June 27-29 PA Horticultural Society Workshop To Teach Educators To Build School Gardens

The PA Horticultural Society will teach educators how to build a sustainable school garden and inspire children to get involved in gardening at a three-day workshop on June 27-29 at Tilden Middle School in Southwest Philadelphia.
Thanks to a $105,000 grant from GSK, the PHS Green City Teachers Program is developing a new school gardening-STEM curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), and finding new ways to focus on the importance of healthy eating for children.
The three-day workshop will cover these topics and much more. Staff from PHS and Bartram’s Garden will lead the hands-on activities.
“We are pleased to support PHS as they give Philadelphia students the opportunity to get their hands dirty and learn about healthy eating in a fun and engaging way,” said Becki Lynch, Manager of Community Partnerships at GSK.
The 12 hours of training for educators will include how to design, build and maintain a school garden year-round; integrating STEM-related activities in the classroom and garden; relevant indoor activities and lesson plans; getting the community involved in a school garden; working with administrators; making a school more sustainable; relating school gardens to healthy eating; and finding ways to get kids outside to enjoy the natural environment.
Tilden Middle School is located at 6601 Elmwood Ave., Philadelphia, 19142.
Fee for the training is $50. Group discounts are available. Graduates quality to apply for up to $200 in in-kind project support.
Click Here for all the details and to register.
For more information on programs, initiatives and upcoming events, visit the PA Horticultural Society website, Like PHS on Facebook, Join PHS on Instagram and Follow on Twitter.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from PHS.  Click Here to become a member.
(Photo: PHS Green City Teachers Build School Garden.)

Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority Takes Leadership Role In MS4 Stormwater Program To Save Communities More Than 50% In Compliance Costs

The Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority has been providing wastewater treatment services for residents of Luzerne County since 1962. WVSA’s service area includes 35 municipalities from Harveys Lake to Pittston to Newport Township.
Not only is the Authority managing upgrades to deal with its combined wastewater and stormwater sewer system, it has proposed a new role for itself in serving as permit administrator to comply with the MS4 Stormwater pollution prevention program for its member municipalities.
As of June 22, the Authority has heard from only one of the 36 communities who said they do not want to join the regional program.  Two other municipalities--  Dallas Borough and Dallas township have said they plan to join another multi-municipal efforts lead by the Dallas Area Municipal Authority.
Under its program, the Authority estimated the cost to property owners would be from $36 to $54 per year or $3 to $4.50 per month, depending on the impervious area on a property.  This estimate is more than half the cost of complying with the requirements if the communities went on their own.
The Authority will take the responsibility for--
-- Preparation of a Regional Chesapeake Bay Pollution Reduction Plan (PRP) and Watershed Based PRPs to reduce sediment pollution from each municipality by 10 percent, phosphorus by 5 percent  and nitrogen by 3 percent for submission by municipalities to Department of Environmental Protection (due September 2017).
-- Design, implementation and ownership of Best Management Practices (BMPs) outlined in the PRP (implementation of BMPs must be complete by March 2023).
-- Operation and maintenance of BMPs installed by WVSA.
-- System-wide mapping of separate stormwater infrastructure (including Pollution Control Measures (PCMs) included as part of Appendix A and Appendix C of various MS4 permits held by individual municipalities).
-- Completion of all efforts necessary for municipalities to comply with Minimum Control Measures (MCM) #1(Public Education), #2 (Public Involvement) and #6 (Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping).
-- Completion of mapping activities and regional training for municipal staff related to MCM #3 (Illicit Discharge Detection)
-- Development of standard ordinances relative to MCM #5 (Post-Construction Runoff Control).
-- Provision of emergency operation and maintenance support to municipalities relative to separate storm sewer system operation.
-- Provision of funding to municipalities to support repair, rehabilitate and replace existing stormwater infrastructure, or the implementation of local BMPs (currently assumed to be $10/year/ERU).
-- Development of two to four regional stormwater parks in the Wyoming Valley Region.
-- Provide documentation to municipalities relative to BMP implementation of MCMs completed by WVSA for use by the municipalities in submitting annual MS4 Status Update Reports. Provide additional guidance to municipalities relative annual MS4 reporting requirements.
Advantages Of Regional Approach - 50% Savings
The Authority notes under a “per municipal” approach to MS4 permit compliance, each municipality would bear the cost of developing their own pollution reduction plans and siting BMPs within their municipality, and within the drainage area of impaired waterways, in order to ensure the required pollutant load reductions-- 10 percent sediment, 5 percent phosphorus and 3 percent nitrogen-- are met.
Under a regional approach in Wyoming Valley, DEP will accept a single Chesapeake Bay pollution reduction plan for all 36 municipalities and six watershed based plans for the Region.
If a municipality were to complete Pollution Reduction Planning and implementation on their own, they are limited to the available land in their municipality and, in many cases, in the drainage area of an impaired stream.
A regional plan provides significant flexibility in that the BMPs may be located anywhere within the watershed.
This provides the opportunity to site and select BMP’s in ways which provide the greatest pollutant reduction for the lowest cost.
In the case of the Wyoming Valley Region, regional Pollution Reduction Planning results in a reduced number of required BMP’s for permit compliance which cuts the average cost per municipality by more than half.
To learn more about the Wyoming Valley’s regional approach to MS4 Stormwater compliance, visit the Authority’s Stormwater webpage.
Other Innovative Approaches
In Lycoming County they have adopted their own local nutrient credit trading program to promote cost effective solutions to nutrient and sediment reduction.  York County has also taken a county-wide approach and created an Integrated Water Resources Plan to comply with not only MS4 Stormwater requirements, but to comply with all Chesapeake Bay and local TMDL impaired stream nutrient and sediment reductions.
The City of Lancaster established a Green Infrastructure Program to install stormwater pollution reduction measures throughout the City.  A similar green infrastructure plan is being finalized by the Capital Region Water Authority for the City of Harrisburg.
The Philadelphia Water Department’s Green City, Clean Waters Program is now into its sixth year of implementing its green infrastructure program and the City of Pittsburgh is now proposing its own green infrastructure program along with the 3 Rivers Wet Weather Project to promote green infrastructure on a regional basis.
What do all these approaches have in common?  Low-tech, cost-effective best management practices that work to prevent pollution from stormwater and reduce nutrients and sediment getting into our rivers and streams.
For more information on stormwater requirements, visit DEP’s Municipal Stormwater webpage.
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Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional Certification Training July 24-25 In Lancaster

CBLP is a new, voluntary, regional credential for professionals who design, install, and maintain sustainable landscapes in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  
CBLP offers two levels of training and certification:
-- Level 1 is a baseline certification in design, installation, and maintenance of sustainable landscapes, with emphasis on how to properly maintain stormwater best management practices (BMPs).  Click Here to register.
-- Level 2 is an advanced credential in design or installation, focusing on stormwater BMPs
Level 1 training consists of one two-day class that combines classroom learning about conservation landscaping and stormwater best management practices, with a field-based maintenance practicum.
CBLP’s active learning program focuses on critical thinking, problem solving, and collaborative practice.
Candidates also receive unlimited access to CBLP’s online webinar series on sustainable landscaping topics, and may participate in a live exam preparation webinar.
Level 1 Certification
The Level 1 package, which includes training and exam, administered by CBLP, is $425.  Click Here for more information and to register for Level 1 training.
Candidates for Level 1 must have a degree, certificate, or certification in a related field, or have professional experience in landscape design, installation, or maintenance. In order to qualify for Level 2, professionals must complete Level 1 and demonstrate experience designing or installing stormwater BMPs.
Level 1 certification exams will be given in several locations, August 2017-January 2018.
A Level 2 seminar will be held November 9-11, 2017, in Arlington, VA. Registration will open this summer.
Click Here for a searchable, online directory of over 100 CBLP landscape professionals certified during the pilot program is available at http://cblpro.org/directory/
For more information on the full program, visit the Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional webpage or contact Beth Ginter, CBLP Coordinator, by sending email to: beth@chesapeakelandscape.org.

PennDOT Announces PA’s First Nationally Designated Bike Route - Route 50

The Department of Transportation Wednesday announced the designation of Pennsylvania’s first nationally designated bicycle route - U.S. Bicycle Route 50.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials officially approved the route in May making Pennsylvania the 25th state to join the developing U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS).
“We are very proud to have, along with our partners, developed more than 160 miles of trails and roadway for U.S. Bicycle Route 50,” said Leslie S. Richards, Department of Transportation Secretary. “We expect the designation of U.S. Bicycle Route 50 to result in significant transportation, health, and economic benefits to the region.”
The 163-mile route mostly follows off-road trails, including the popular Great Allegheny Passage, Montour Trail (photo), and the Panhandle Trail and connects Maryland to West Virginia through a variety of natural and agricultural landscapes, historical sites, thriving small towns, and recreational hot spots.
Cyclists can visit restored rail stations; Ohiopyle State Park, which has some of the best white water rafting on the East Coast; Point State Park in Pittsburgh; and the nearby Fort Pitt Museum.
“What an honor to have sections of the Montour Trail -- our 2017 Trail of the Year -- the Great Allegheny Passage and other trails comprising much of this first nationally designated bicycle route,” said Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “Trails connect communities and destinations to each other; people to the outdoors and healthy exercise; and attract visitors who spend money. They also serve as testament to the commitment of so many incredible volunteers who help them grow.”
Additionally, Amtrak’s Capitol Limited route parallels U.S. Bicycle Route 50 between DC and Pittsburgh and offers the opportunity for cyclists to carry their bikes on or off the train at any station.
This multimodal option allows for more flexibility to plan bicycle trips without a car.
To see the placement of USBR 50 in Pennsylvania visit “Statewide Bike Routes” at PennDOT’s Ride a Bike webpage.
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