Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced 21 organizations across the Commonwealth will receive the prestigious 2017 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for 16 projects that represent the very best in innovation, collaboration, and public service in environmental stewardship.
StateImpact reported Friday a U.S. Federal District Court Thursday threw out a lawsuit by a group of Wayne County landowners who said the Delaware River Basin Commission lacks the authority to review and approve natural gas facilities on land owned by the group. The ruling ends one legal threat to a de-facto moratorium by DRBC on shale gas development in the basin that has stood since 2010.
The Trump administration’s proposed 21 percent cut to the U.S. Department of Agriculture could cause significant harm to Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry and rural communities, according to state Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding.
The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday ordered Nulife Glass NY (Nulife) to remove all 17 million pounds of stored CRT materials from all five warehouses it uses in Pennsylvania within a year.
Philadelphia Schools Superintendent Dr. William R. Hite, Philadelphia City Council President Darrell L. Clarke, Councilman Bobby Henon, Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr., the Philadelphia Energy Authority, and representatives of labor met at Lankenau High School Monday to announce the launch of an energy efficiency pilot program.
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Thursday joined Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Kathy Manderino and Student Conservation Association representatives in announcing applicants are being sought to expand the highly successful PA Outdoor Corps to work in state parks and state forests across the state.
PECO will power down its iconic LED Crown Lights system for Earth Hour 2017 on March 25 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Earth Hour is the world’s largest annual voluntary environmental action event to raise awareness about climate change.
Prior to “going dark” a special message will appear from 5 to 8:30 p.m. on the lights atop the company’s Main Office Building at 2301 Market Street in Philadelphia.
In addition to turning off nonessential lights during Earth Hour, PECO customers can take a number of steps to save energy and money and the environment year-round with PECO Smart Ideas, including:
-- Schedule an energy assessment or audit at peco.com/smartideas. An energy efficiency expert will evaluate insulation, heating and air cooling systems, lighting, appliances and more;
-- Use a programmable thermostat;
-- Caulk and weather strip windows and doors;
-- Turn lights off when you leave a room;
-- Close blinds/shades/drapes in the summer and leave them open in the winter; and
-- Use energy-efficient appliances: When shopping for appliances such as refrigerators, look for the EnergyStar label, and purchase the most affordable energy efficient unit.
Before customers turn their lights back on this Earth Hour, they should take a moment to replace energy-wasting incandescent light bulbs with new LED lightbulbs, which typically use 75-90 percent less energy and last about 25 times longer.
PECO provides discounts for energy-efficient bulbs, which can be found at hundreds of local retail stores.
The Department of Agriculture, in conjunction with Penn State Extension and Berks County Conservation District, will host a series of April public meetings to train volunteers to assist in eradicating the invasive Spotted Lanternfly.
This destructive insect pest poses a significant threat to the state’s $16.1 billion hardwoods industry, as well as grape and tree fruit industries, which collectively add more than $170.2 million annually to Pennsylvania’s economy, and support thousands of jobs.
The public meetings will be held:
-- Berks County
-- April 5, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. – Berks County Ag Center, 1238 County Welfare Road, Leesport
-- April 8, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. – District Township Municipal Building, 202 Weil Road, Boyertown
-- April 15, noon - 2 p.m. – Center at Spring Street, 200 West Spring Street, Boyertown
-- April 26, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. – Brandywine Heights Middle School, 200 W. Weis St., Topton
-- April 27, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. – Ruscombmanor Township Office, 204 Oak Lane, Fleetwood
-- April 22, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. – Lehigh County Ag Center, 4184 Dorney Park Road, Allentown
-- Montgomery County
-- April 12, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m., Montgomery County 4-H Center, 1015 Bridge Road, Collegeville
At the meetings, PSU Extension educators will train residents to recognize and to help eliminate these invasive insects.
With warm weather approaching, the department is seeking volunteers to place sticky bands on Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) trees to kill adult insects that live on the trees. Volunteers will be trained and equipped with tree-banding supplies at the meetings.
“Spotted Lanternfly has the potential to devastate Pennsylvania’s grape harvests and damage hops, nursery plants, fruit trees and hardwoods,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “Our staff and partners are working hard to eradicate the insects and limit their spread, but volunteers can magnify those efforts significantly.”
The Spotted Lanternfly is an inch-long black, red and white spotted pest native to China, India, Japan, and Vietnam. It is an invasive species in Korea, where it has attacked 25 plant species that also grow in Pennsylvania.
The first U.S. detection of the pest was in Berks County in late 2014, shortly before the department began to coordinate efforts to eradicate it.
Parts of six Pennsylvania counties where egg masses have been found — Berks, Bucks, Chester, Lehigh, Montgomery and Northampton — are under quarantine. The quarantine restricts movement of materials or objects that can spread the pest by transporting egg masses.
Once egg masses hatch in mid-May, insects hop or crawl from one woody plant to another until reaching the Tree of Heaven, their preferred food source. Grapevines, fruit trees, nursery plants and hardwoods in infested areas are susceptible to damage.
Click Here to register for the meetings or by calling 610-489-4315.
StateImpact reported Friday a U.S. Federal District Court Thursday threw out a lawsuit by a group of Wayne County landowners who said the Delaware River Basin Commission lacks the authority to review and approve natural gas facilities on land owned by the group.
The ruling ends one legal threat to a de-facto moratorium by DRBC on shale gas development in the basin that has stood since 2010.
The Department of Environmental Protection reported in January to DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council that staff from its Oil and Gas Management and Water Resources Planning offices attended a special meeting of the Delaware River Basin Commission November 29 to discuss draft regulations covering oil and gas development activities in the watershed.
The DEP report said, “All jurisdictions reviewed draft regulatory language for oil and gas management and provided direction to the Commission related to the next steps for regulatory actions.
“DRBC will be providing additional edited language for certain sections of the proposed regulations to the jurisdictions as follow up actions. Commissioners from all the jurisdictions will continue to discuss future actions concerning oil and gas activities in the basin.”
No timeline was given on when the Commission might take action on the oil and gas regulations.
Interested people should pre-register for one of the four pick-up events being held around Philly in April (walk-ins will be accepted, but while supplies last). In addition, each resident will receive a free bag of mulch.
There, you’ll be able to pick from a dozen types of yard trees, including black gum, red oak, gray birch, ironwood, red buckeye, Robin crabapple, staghorn sumac, witchhazel, sourwood, apple, apricot, and sweet cherry.
These are the four dates and locations for tree pick-ups:
-- April 1: from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Congreso de Latinos Unidos courtyard (216 W. Somerset St.);
-- April 2: from 12 to 2 p.m. at South Philadelphia High School (2101 South Broad St.);
-- April 8: from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Roxborough TD Bank Store (5501 Ridge Ave.); and
-- April 9: from 12 to 2 p.m. at Frankford Avenue TD Bank Store (6635 Frankford Ave.).
The National Brownfields Training Conference is the largest event in the nation focused on environmental revitalization and economic redevelopment.
Held every two years, the Conference attracts nearly 3,000 stakeholders in brownfields redevelopment and cleanup to share knowledge about sustainable reuse and celebrate the EPA brownfields program’s success.
Whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned professional, Brownfields 2017 offers something for you!
Registration for the Conference opens June 1. Click Here for all the details.
This Blog is a companion to www.PaEnvironmentDigest.com, the weekly online newsletter published by Crisci Associates, Harrisburg, PA.
I can be contacted at 717-576-0420 or by sending email to: DHess@CrisciAssociates.com.
I served as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection from 2001 to 2003, Executive Deputy at DEP from 1995 to 2001, as staff to the PA Senate Environmental Committee and various positions in the former Department of Environmental Resources, working on environmental issues for nearly 40 years.