Friday, July 21, 2017

Keep PA Beautiful: Do It Yourself Cleanup Toolkit Available To Boaters, Marinas

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful welcomes all Pennsylvania boating facilities, boating groups, sailors, fishermen and water enthusiasts to protect our aquatic ecosystems by holding a Marina or boating facility cleanup during the International Coastal Cleanup September 1 to October 31.  
The Ocean Conservancy, which organizes the cleanup worldwide, will provide a cleanup toolkit to get you started on your way to keeping trash from reaching our oceans.  The toolkit provides:
-- Trash bags;
-- Trash Data Cards ;
-- Blue mesh boaters’ trash bags that can be hooked onto  a boat or kayak (Additional mesh boaters’ trash bags are available to participants who report their cleanup information within 60 days of their cleanup.);
-- Good Mate boating resources: brochures, posters and manual;
-- “What Will You Find?” ocean trash poster; and
-- Educational materials.
Cleanups on the water, underwater or on foot are welcome.
“Marine debris is a global problem. I want to encourage anyone who has experienced the joy of Pennsylvania’s lakes, rivers and streams to coordinate or participate in a marina or boating facility cleanup to help keep trash from entering our oceans,” said Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.  
Click Here to sign up and add your marina or waterway to the map! Let them know how many volunteers you expect and Ocean Conservancy and the North American Marine Environment Protection Association will send you a Marina Cleanup Toolkit to get the job done.
For more information, contact Sarah Kollar at Ocean Conservancy by sending email to:
Keep PA Beautiful invites all Pennsylvanians to participate in the International Coastal Cleanup.  Click Here to learn more.
For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful website. Click Here to become a member.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from KPB, Like them on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, Discover them on Pinterest and visit their YouTube Channel.
Also visit the Illegal Dump Free PA website for more ideas on how to clean up communities and keep them clean and KPB’s new Electronics Waste website.

Take Five Fridays With Pam Now Available From PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The July 21 Take Five Fridays With Pam is now available from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation.  For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the PA Parks & Forests Foundation website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Foundation,  Like them on Facebook or Follow them on Twitter.  Click Here to become a member of the Foundation.
(Photo: The marina at Pymatuning State Park in Mercer County on the largest lake in the Commonwealth - 17,088 acres.)

Philadelphia Eagles Expand On Green Efforts With Installation Of Food Waste Digester

The Philadelphia Eagles Friday announced they will team up with environmental partner, Waste Masters Solutions, on the installation of a food waste digester and data analytics platform at Lincoln Financial Field.
The eco-friendly mechanism is designed to optimize efficiency and properly dispose of food waste during the pre- and post-consumer periods.
Waste Masters Solutions will work closely with BioHiTech Global – a green technology company that develops and deploys innovative and disruptive waste management technologies – on the design, construction and operation of the stadium's Eco-Safe Digester® and analytics platform.
"Waste Masters Solutions is a global leader in the environmental industry, providing exceptional care and high-quality service for all of our team's waste-handling needs," said Jason Miller, Eagles senior vice president of operations. "As an organization that takes our ecological efforts very seriously, we are constantly evaluating and fine-tuning our sustainability model so that we can continue to reduce our overall impact. Thanks to Waste Masters Solutions, I am fully confident that the implementation of this new bio-digester will help make our waste program more efficient."
In September 2016, a waste digester was installed at the team's practice facility, the NovaCare Complex, to help decompose pre-consumer food waste. Since the installation, more than 9 tons (18,100 pounds) of food waste has been decomposed and, thus, diverted from landfills.
"Actions always speak louder than words," said Steve Masterson, Waste Masters Solutions President & CEO. "Waste Masters is privileged and honored to partner with such world-class organizations that care so much about our environment."
Based on the core belief that the path to sustainability is a journey and not a destination, Eagles Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie spearheaded the team's Go Green program in 2003 with the opening of Lincoln Financial Field.
What started out with blue recycling bins under each employee's desk has turned into a comprehensive environmental program that features the elements of green energy production, recycling and composting, energy and water conservation, reforestation and sustainability partnerships.
The organization recycles more than 850 tons of material each year and through their energy-from-waste program, virtually 100 percent of waste is diverted from landfills.
For more information the team’s environmental initiatives, visit the Eagles' Go Green Program webpage.

Susquehanna Greenways: Winners Of 2017 Photo Contest, Vote On People’s Choice Winner

The Susquehanna Greenways Partnership Friday announced the winners of its 2017 Photo Contest.  You can also vote on who the People’s Choice winner will be by going to the Partnership’s Facebook page and voting by July 28.
The winners by category are--
-- Landscape: 1st - John Beatty, Holtwood; 2nd - Brinkley Sprunt, Winfield; 3rd - Dana Rockwell, Susquehanna County;
-- River Towns: 1st - Mark Nance, Williamsport; 2nd - Terry Wild, Harrisburg; 3rd - Rita Kurtz, Sunbury;
--  Susquehanna Adventures: 1st - Rita Kurtz, Selinsgrove; 2nd - Debbie Kintner, Meshoppen; 3rd - Pattie Hinkle, Wrightsville;
-- Youth: 1st - Tess Becket, Lancaster; 2nd - Devin DePamphilis, Harrisburg; 3rd - Devin DePamphilis, Harrisburg.
The Winners will receive a cash prize, will be featured in the August e-Connections newsletter, and will be printed, framed and added to our traveling Photo Contest Gallery for the rest of the 2017/2018 fiscal year.  Click Here for a list of galleries and the schedule.
For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Partnership or  Like them on Facebook.  Click Here to support their work.
(Photo: Youth Category 1st Place Winner Tess Becket, Lancaster.)

Trump Administration Releases New Regulatory & Deregulatory Agenda

The Trump Administration Thursday released its first revised Unified Regulatory and Deregulatory Agenda listing regulations that will move forward and those that will be put on a “long-term” track as part of President Trump’s deregulation initiative under Executive Orders 13771 and 13777.
On the list, as expected, was the withdrawal of EPA’s Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule, which were moved to EPA’s  “long-term” category.
Regulations affected included a whole range of issues: climate, air quality, energy efficiency, transportation, drilling and land management, water, coal and mining, agriculture, chemicals, endangered species, parks and oceans.
E&E News did one of the better quick summaries of regulations delayed or on the change list.  
For more information, visit the federal Unified Regulatory and Deregulatory Agenda webpage.

GASP Files Notice Of Intent To Sue Armstrong Cement For Air Violations In Butler County

The Pittsburgh-based Group Against Smog and Pollution Tuesday announced it had provided notice that it intends to file a citizen suit under the federal Clean Air Act and Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act against Armstrong Cement & Supply, Inc., for violations of the Title V Operating Permit for its cement manufacturing facility located in Cabot, Butler County.
GASP believes that Armstrong Cement has not been operating continuous emission monitors for sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, as it is legally required to, since at least mid-December of 2015.
The last submitted report by Armstrong Cement regarding the results of its continuous monitoring of these air pollutants occurred in November 2015. This report indicated Armstrong was violating limits on sulfur dioxide emissions from its kiln exhaust stacks frequently.
In a January 2016 monitoring report submitted to the Department of Environmental Protection, Armstrong stated that its kilns were not operated in late 2015 so that new pollution controls required by federal regulations could be installed.
Armstrong apparently installed those controls but neglected to re-install the continuous emission monitors for sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides that its operating permit requires. Because no monitoring reports have been submitted since November 2015, it is impossible to know whether Armstrong is complying.
Sulfur dioxide is a gas with a pungent, offensive odor. It reacts easily with other substances to form harmful compounds such as sulfuric acid, sulfurous acid, and sulfate particles. Nitrogen oxides include the gases nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
Nitrogen oxides react with other chemicals in the air to form particulate matter and ozone (both of which are also harmful when inhaled). Longer exposures to elevated levels of NO2 may contribute to development of asthma and increase susceptibility to respiratory infections.
Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxides irritate the nose, throat, and airways, causing coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Those at greater risk of developing problems if exposed to these pollutants are people with asthma or other respiratory conditions, as well as children and the elderly.
“Without the emission monitors required by Armstrong’s operating permit, it is impossible to know whether Armstrong is complying with limitations on its emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides,” said John Baillie, an attorney for GASP.
The notice of intent to sue is the first step in initiating a citizen lawsuit to enforce emissions standards under the Clean Air Act. If the violations remain unresolved 60 days after giving notice, the citizen suit can proceed in federal district court.
For more information, visit the Group Against Smog and Pollution website.

Gov. Wolf Signs New Law Promoting Use Of Cleaner-Burning Natural Gas In Larger Vehicles

Senate Bill 589 introduced by Sen. Wayne Langerholc (R-Bedford) to promote the use of cleaner-burning natural gas in larger vehicles was signed into law Thursday as Act 31 of 2017.
Sen. Langerholc’s proposal increased the maximum allowable weight for motor carrier vehicles that are powered by natural gas from 80,000 pounds to 82,000 pounds to accommodate the heavier equipment needed for natural gas-burning vehicles.
Vehicles powered by natural gas typically weigh more than gasoline- or diesel-powered trucks simply because of the heavier fuel tanks and related equipment needed to accommodate this different type of fuel.
“Pennsylvania is fortunate to have an abundance of natural gas, and this new law helps us take advantage of this tremendous resource in transporting a variety of different goods throughout the East Coast,” Sen. Langerholc said. “The law not only bolsters our Commonwealth’s status as a major hub for transportation, but also helps us reduce air pollution and promote a healthier environment.  I want to make sure I thank my friend and colleague, Rep. Carl Walker Metzger, for his leadership in championing this bill through the House of Representatives.”
A companion bill-- House Bill 603 (Metzgar-R-Bedford)-- passed the House on May 31 and was not considered by the Senate Transportation Committee.
“Federal lawmakers passed the FAST Act in 2015 that allows states to increase their allowable weights for natural-gas-powered vehicles. Dozens of states have already taken advantage of this provision in federal law, and many other states are considering similar measures,” Sen. Langerholc said.
Rex McQuaide, of W.C. McQuaide, Inc. in Johnstown, has already converted the majority of his trucking fleet to run on natural gas and has been waiting for the law in Pennsylvania to mirror what the FAST Act intended.
“I am elated that Senator Langerholc made this issue a priority so soon into his term,” he said.  “It is an important issue for the local economy and Pennsylvania as a whole.”
Sen. Langerholc’s district, which includes all or part of Clearfield, Cambria and Bedford Counties, has a number of CNG fueling stations with more sure to follow. CamTran in Johnstown opened their new facility in April, and Langerholc was there to tour the facility.
“It showed me the potential that we now have with being able to use our abundance of natural gas to power our vehicles,” he said.  “It’s important that we passed this bill to allow heavier trucks, which are the most harmful to the environment, to not have to sacrifice payload in order to convert to Natural Gas.”
The legislation will go into effect in 60 days.

DEP Published 45 Pages Of Permit Action Notices In The July 22 PA Bulletin

DEP published 45 pages of public notices related to proposed and final permit and approval/ disapproval actions in the July 22 PA Bulletin - pages 3995 to 4040.

PEC To Legislators: Oppose Diversion Of Monies From Local Environmental Project Funds

The PA Environmental Council Friday sent a letter to all members of the Senate and House encouraging members to oppose any budget revenue plan that involves diverting monies from the Keystone and Environmental Stewardship (Growing Greener) Funds and the state’s agricultural land preservation program.
House Republican leadership included these diversions in their proposed revenue plan to support the state’s $31.996 billion General Fund budget they passed on June 30, but have not yet fully funded.
Legislators are expected to meet over the weekend to continue discussions on a revenue package.
The text of the letter follows—
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) encourages you to oppose any budgetary revenue proposal that involves the diversion of monies from special funds that support local conservation and recreation projects, or support family farmers, in your district.
Several proposals are being proposed to divert tax and fee monies from going to the Keystone Recreation, Park & Conservation Fund (Keystone Fund), the Environmental Stewardship Fund (Growing Greener), and programs that support family farmland preservation.
These funds are being used to help improve your districts. They address existing pollution and drinking water problems. They revitalize older communities. They provide recreational opportunities for people of all abilities. They foster small business development.
They leverage – by more than a 2 to 1 ratio – private investment. In other words, these funds not only address today’s challenges; they lay the foundation for our Commonwealth’s prosperity in the years to come.
By diverting these special fund revenues from their intended purposes, the state would only be applying a temporary fix to unconnected budget problems – at the expense of Pennsylvanians everywhere.
You should know that communities in your districts have been able to complete more than 2,400 local park projects, complete more than 300 trail projects, and preserve 117,400 acres of green space in municipal parks and greenways because of funding from the Keystone Fund.
You should know that communities, local watershed groups, and family farmers in your districts have cleaned up 1,600 acres of abandoned mine lands, improved water quality with over 400 watershed restoration projects, improved local recreational opportunities, and helped family farmers protect over 78,000 acres through the Environmental Stewardship Fund.
You should know that family farmers in almost every county of the state have been able to stay on their farms thanks in part to financial help provided by Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation Program, which since 1988 has preserved 536,181 acres of farmland in 58 counties; the largest program in the nation.
Voting to transfer money from the Keystone Fund, Environmental Stewardship Fund, and agricultural land preservation programs is taking money away from communities and landowners across Pennsylvania, including those in your district.
We recognize the budget challenges facing the Commonwealth. But decisions today should not be made at the expense of the long-term prosperity of our state and its citizens. We ask that you consider these facts in the days to come.
Thank you for consideration.
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.
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Comments Invited On Revised DEP General Permit On Pesticide Application

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the July 22 PA Bulletin of proposed significant revisions to the NPDES General Permit covering point source discharges from the application of pesticides (PAG-15).  
The draft PAG-15 General Permit includes the following proposed significant changes in comparison to the existing PAG-15 General Permit--
-- Annual Report: The existing General Permit requires submission of an annual report to the Department by January 28th of each year. The draft General Permit would extend the due date to March 1st. In addition, the Department has revised the annual report template.
-- Coverage: The Department is proposing that after coverage under the General Permit is authorized, coverage will continue without the need to submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) for renewal of coverage as long as the permittee complies with the terms and conditions of the PAG-15 General Permit currently in effect, unless the Department specifically requires the submission of an NOI in writing.
-- Fee Increase: The existing General Permit NOI fee is $250. The proposed NOI fee for coverage under the General Permit is $500 per year the permittee operates under the General Permit. The NOI fee will be paid in installments due at the time the annual report is due, with the initial fee of $500 submitted with the NOI for permit coverage and an installment of $500 to be submitted with the annual report, if the permittee does not wish to terminate permit coverage.
A copy of the proposal can be found on DEP’s eComment webpage and comments can be posted to that same page. Comments are due August 21.

DEP Accepting Applications For Small Business Energy Efficiency, Pollution Prevention Grants

The Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for up to $1 million in funding for its Small Business Advantage Grant Program to help fund energy efficiency and pollution prevention projects. (formal notice)
The Program is a first-come, first-served grant program that provides up to 50 percent reimbursement matching grants, up to a maximum of $9,500 for pollution prevention and energy efficiency projects, and up to a maximum of $7,000 for lighting-only projects.
Eligible projects must save the small business a minimum of $500 and at least 25 percent annually in energy consumption or pollution related expenses.
An eligible applicant must have 100 or fewer employees, be a for-profit small business owner and be taxed as a for-profit business located within this Commonwealth. The project to which the grant will apply must be located within the applicant's Commonwealth facility.
For the first time, the application process will be online through the Department of Community and Economic Development's electronic single application website. Paper and faxed applications will no longer be accepted.
For more information, visit DEP’s Small Business Advantage Grant Program webpage or contact DEP’s Small Business Ombudsman Office at 717-772-5160 or send email to:

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