Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday PA Environmental NewsClips

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Friday, February 24, 2017

Feb. 27 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The February 27 PA Environment Digest is now available.  Here are just a few of the headlines--

The independent Citizens Advisory Council Tuesday unanimously approved the text of a letter to Senate and House Appropriations Committee Chairs expressing serious concerns about current funding levels at the Department of Environmental Protection saying, in part, “consistent cuts to DEP over the last 2 decades has reached an unsustainable level.”

The Altoona Mirror reported on February 19 the Public Utility Commission is facing a major decision on whether to reverse the flow of the Buckeye Laurel Pipeline that runs between the Philadelphia area and Midwest refineries.  Now gasoline, jet fuel and heating oil flows west through the Laurel Pipeline from refineries in the Philadelphia area to points in Western Pennsylvania.

The Allegheny Watershed Alliance and the Allegheny County Conservation District are excited to announce the launch of the Allegheny Chapter of the Senior Environment Corps (SEC).

The PA Resources Council Thursday presented its second annual Zero Waste Awards to 10 Pittsburgh-area organizations in recognition of their commitment to adopting sustainable environmental practices and diverting waste through recycling, compost and reuse.

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and local affiliates working in 14 Pennsylvania counties earned national recognition from Keep America Beautiful at its national conference recently.

The PA Sustainable Energy Board, in conjunction with the Public Utility Commission, held its annual meeting in Harrisburg Thursday to update Commonwealth agencies and other interested groups on activities of the regional Sustainable Energy Funds.

The PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship is now taking nominations for the Champions of the Wilds Awards. The deadline for nominations is March 27.

The Game Commission is now accepting orders for its Seedlings For Schools Program which provides tree seedlings to classrooms so students can plant them as part of projects to improve wildlife habitat.  Orders placed as part of the Seedlings for Schools Program are being accepted through March 24.

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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Bruce Mansfield Coal-Fired Power Plant Expected To Restart Next Week

FirstEnergy Corp. announced Friday the two units at its coal-fired Bruce Mansfield Power Plant in Shippingport, Beaver County. are expected to restart early next week following a short out-of-service period that began mid-February.
Restart activities at Units 1 and 3, each with a capacity of 830 megawatts, will begin this weekend.  While the units were offline, Bruce Mansfield's 350 employees completed routine daily maintenance work that supports ongoing safe and reliable operation.  
Unit 2, also with an 830-megawatt capacity, will remain out of service as maintenance on plant equipment is completed.
The Bruce Mansfield Plant is FirstEnergy’s largest coal-fired power plant.

President Trump Orders Agency By Agency Regulatory Reform Task Forces

President Trump Friday issued another Executive Order affecting federal regulations requiring each agency to establish Regulatory Reform Task Forces to evaluate existing regulations to identify costly, unneeded and unnecessary regulations.
This Order is in addition to his earlier Executive Order requiring agencies to eliminate two existing regulations for every new regulation they promulgate.
Click Here for the announcement.  Click Here for the text of the Order.
To keep up with all of President Trump’s executive actions, visit the Presidential Actions webpage.
Trump Signs Another Order To Reduce Regulation

DEP Shuffles Senior Staff To New Positions, Brings Back Field Operations Deputy Position

Acting DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell announced a series of senior staff changes late Thursday in an internal email to agency employees.  The changes included--
-- Kelly Heffner was appointed Executive Deputy Secretary for Programs, after serving most recently as Special Deputy Secretary for Water Resources Planning;
-- John Stefanko returns to doing only the Deputy Secretary for Active and Abandoned Mining Operations responsibilities, after also serving as Executive Deputy Secretary for Programs;
-- Dana Aunkst will serve as Deputy Secretary for both the Water Programs and Water Resource Planning, after serving as Deputy for just Water Programs and before that Deputy for Field Operations.
The current organizational chart for DEP dated February 23, 2017 includes a returning Deputy Secretary for Field Operations position which McDonnell’s announcement did not cover.  The last organizational chart in December 15, 2015 eliminated that position.

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