Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Crown Packaging To Set Science-Based Sustainability Climate Targets In Early 2020

As the next step in its sustainability journey, Crown Holdings, Inc., a Bucks County based packaging developer and manufacturer, has signed onto the Science-Based Targets Initiative, a project that aims to spur corporate climate action in the transition to a low-carbon economy. 
To join the initiative, Crown will set specific goals for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in alignment with the Paris Agreement of 2015, through which international governments collectively pledged to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
In preparation for setting these ambitious new targets, Crown's Chief Executive Officer, Timothy Donahue, has signed the commitment letter confirming Crown will develop new goals to be reviewed and approved by the SBTi committee. 
Crown plans to announce its goals in early 2020 and report on progress annually. 
In the interim, the Company continues to work toward achieving its 2020 Sustainability Goals and making additional strides in its ongoing commitment to the RE100 initiative.
"We have made tremendous progress toward our 2020 Sustainability Goals, which include a 10 percent GHG reduction goal," said John Rost, Ph.D., Vice President, Global Sustainability and Regulatory Affairs at Crown. "Committing to and striving to achieve science-based targets is the next natural progression for the Company. Our culture of safety, efficiency and resource conservation as well as the unrivaled sustainability profile of our primary product – metal packaging – will continue to play a critical role in our ability to meet our next set of milestones."
Additional information about Crown's future strategy will be available in the Company's next sustainability report, which will be issued in late 2019.
For more information, visit Crown’s Sustainability webpage.

Lebanon Valley Conservancy Needs Volunteers To Plant 1,000 Trees This Fall

The Lebanon Valley Conservancy is seeking volunteers to help plant 1,000 trees in Lebanon County as part of the Keystone 10 Million Tree Partnership administered by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA
Volunteers are needed at these tree planting events--
-- September 29: Lion’s Lake, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
-- October 5: Private property near Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area, 9:00 to Noon
Click Here if you would like to volunteer or call 717-273-6400.  Questions should be directed to Laurie Crawford at 717-273-6400 or send email to: lvconserve@lebanonvalleyconservancy.org
For more information on programs, initiatives, other upcoming events and how you can get involved, visit the Lebanon Valley Conservancy website.
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Tuesday PA Environment & Energy NewsClips 9.17.19

The Guardian Carbon Countdown Clock: The clock marks how long it will take, if the rate of greenhouse gas emissions stays the same, before 2 degrees celsius of warming is likely.
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Monday, September 16, 2019

Delaware River Basin Commission Announces Summer Photo Contest Winners

At the Delaware River Basin Commission’s third-quarter Business Meeting last week, Assemblywoman Carol Murphy (NJ-7) presented Joint Legislative Resolutions from the State of New Jersey for the winners of the Commission’s 2019 Summer Delaware River Basin Photo Contest.  
Assemblywoman Murphy, a hobbyist photographer, was the guest judge for this season, which included a public contest and one run concurrently for DRBC staff.
The photo contest judging team, in addition to the Assemblywoman, included DRBC staff.  
They chose Carl LaVO’s photograph, titled Easy Chairs on a Hot, Summer Day, as the winner of the public contest, and chose DRBC Water Quality Intern Scott Jedrusiak’s The Light Within as the winner of the staff contest. 
“I am pleased to be able to present these Joint Legislative Resolutions from the State of New Jersey recognizing Carl and Scott as the summer photo contest winners,” said Assemblywoman Murphy.  “This photo contest is a great way to connect with those that live, work, and play in the river basin and share what they love about it. The winning photos represent the beauty of our water resources that the DRBC works to protect for current and future generations.”
Carl LaVO was unable to attend in person to accept his certificate, but is very appreciative of the honor.  
“My buddy and I came across this scene during a bike ride on N.J.’s Delaware and Raritan Canal towpath one hot July day,” said LaVO, an author, columnist, journalist, and former Bucks County Courier Times Editor from Levittown, Pa.  “We so wanted to cool off in those chairs, but access prevented us, so we continued on.”
“Carl’s photograph stood out for its contrasts: the rushing water versus the peaceful image of the easy chairs, as well as the juxtaposition of dark and light,” said Assemblywoman Murphy.  “It evokes a story just waiting to be told, perhaps while relaxing in those chairs being cooled by the water’s flow.”
Mr. Jedrusiak has been an intern with DRBC for almost two years and is in his junior year at Temple University studying Environmental Science; unfortunately, class prevented him from attending the meeting to accept his resolution.  
“I enjoy exploring the tri-state area and taking photos in 35mm with my Pentax K1000,” said Jedrusiak.  “I always have my camera with me, so when a colleague suggested paddling the Crosswicks Creek, a N.J. Delaware River tidal tributary, I was pleased to be at the right place and time to capture this sunset scene.”
“Scott’s photo captured the serenity of twilight, when the sun’s last rays beam through the clouds,” said Murphy.  “It reminds us that even as the sun sets, our waterways are always there, awaiting the new day.” 
DRBC Executive Director Steve Tambini accepted the resolutions on behalf of Mr. LaVO and Mr. Jedrusiak.  Their winning images will be featured on the Commission’s website and on DRBC’s Twitter, Instagram, and Flickr social media sites.  
The photos will also be published in the commission’s 2019 annual report, and the winners will receive certificates of recognition.
The Commission thanks everyone who submitted photos this season.  The contest’s purpose is to highlight photography representing the beauty, diversity, function, and significance of the water resources of the Delaware River Basin, a 13,539-square mile watershed.  
For more information on programs, initiatives and upcoming events, visit the Delaware River Basin Commission website.  Click Here to sign up for regulator updates.  Follow DRBC on TwitterVisit them on YouTube.
(Photos: Easy Chairs On A Hot, Summer Day by Carl LaVO and The Light Within by DRBC intern Scott Jedrusiak.)

Susquehanna River Basin Commission Proposes Changes To Rules For Consumptive Use Mitigation; Webinar, Hearing Set

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission is inviting comments on proposed changes to its regulations governing consumptive water use mitigation and a related consumptive water use mitigation policy.  
These rules are designed to enhance and improve the Commission's existing authorities to manage the water resources of the basin.  
The accompanying Consumptive Use Mitigation Policy offers implementing guidance for the Commission’s mitigation rules.
Among the changes proposed in the regulation are--
-- Reduce Standard For Consumptive Use Mitigation To 45 Days: The proposed revisions in § 806.22(b)(1) and (2) lower the 90-day standard for consumptive use mitigation to 45 days and require that any alternative water source or storage will not likely impact nearby surface waters. The purpose of these changes is to reduce the barriers to project sponsors providing their own mitigation. Analysis of the past 100 plus years of river flow records show that the overwhelming majority of low flow events in the Basin are adequately covered by a continuous 45-day consumptive use mitigation standard. Further, the prior standard that alternative supplies or storage have no impact was too rigid for projects to find suitable alternative supplies.
-- Discontinuance: Section 806.22(b) is also revised to clarify that discontinuance includes reduction of water consumption to less than 20,000 gallons per day (gpd). This was the Commission's policy from 1992 until 2006 when the present rule was adopted. In practice, complete discontinuance was found to be impractical and unrealistic for many projects; however, some projects have demonstrated the ability to reduce usage to 20,000 gallons per day when necessary. This practice allows continued operations at a locally de minimis consumptive use level while reducing mitigation demand on either the project or the Commission. Accordingly, this change is designed to increase the feasibility of projects being able to select discontinuance as a mitigation option. Discontinuance of use is the most effective method of mitigation because it reduces and/or eliminates the water use during Commission designated low flows periods and does not depend on any further action by the Commission or project sponsor to be effectuated.
-- Reuse Of Stormater/Wastewater: Section 806.22(e) is amended to allow a project sourced by reuse of stormwater, wastewater or other reused or recycled water to be eligible for an Approval by Rule for consumptive use.
Click Here for a copy of the proposed regulation changes.  Click Here for a copy of the proposed policy.
Oct. 1 Webinar
To inform the regulated community and the public about these changes, the Commission is hosting a webinar explaining the proposed rulemaking on October 1 starting at 10:00. Click Here to register for the webinar or for more information.
Oct. 31 Hearing
The Commission has scheduled a public hearing on the proposed rulemaking and policy to be held on October 31 in Harrisburg at the Commission Headquarters, 4423 N Front Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110-1788. 
Those wishing to testify are asked to notify the Commission in advance, if possible, at the regular address listed below or by email to: joyler@srbc.net
Submitting Comments
The deadline for comments is November 12.  Comments may be mailed to: Jason E. Oyler, Esq., General Counsel, Susquehanna River Basin Commission, 4423 N Front Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110-1788, submitted by email to: regcomments@srbc.net or through the SRBC’s public comment webpage. 
For more information on programs, training opportunities and upcoming events, visit the Susquehanna River Basin Commission website.  Click Here to sign up for SRBC’s newsletter.   Follow SRBC on Twitter, visit them on YouTube.
(Photo: Billmeyer Quarry Consumptive Use Mitigation Project, SRBC.)

DEP Hosts Oct. 16 Hearing On Tri-County Landfill Application To Re-Open A Closed Municipal Landfill In Mercer County

On September 16, Department of Environmental Protection will host a public hearing on October 16 to take public comments on a permit application from Tri-County Landfill, Inc. to re-open the existing closed municipal waste landfill in Liberty and Pine townships, Mercer County.
The hearing will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Grove City High School, 511 Highland Avenue in Grove City.
The application [ID No.101678] seeks approval to develop and operate new waste disposal areas within the previous 99-acre permit boundary of which approximately 44.5 acres were used as disposal area. 
The waste in old unlined disposal areas (approximately 1,551,000 cubic yards) would be excavated and relocated onto newly lined disposal cells. The landfill would operate 24 hours a day, six days a week (Monday to Saturday). 
It is proposed to conduct landfill operations in such a manner that putrescible waste will only be disposed of during nighttime hours. This nighttime operation is being proposed to address the potential concern of the landfill creating a bird hazard to aircraft using the nearby Grove City Airport.
The landfill application proposes to operate with the same average daily volume and maximum daily volume of 4,000 tons/day of waste received, and a total proposed capacity of 10,289,100 cubic yards or approximately 7,565,515 tons. 
DEP requests that individuals wishing to testify at the hearing submit a written notice at the address below or email their intent to Tom Decker at thomadecke@pa.gov.  This notice should include the person's name, address, telephone number and a brief description as to the nature of the testimony. 
Individuals who submit notice of their intent to testify will be given priority on the agenda. If time permits, DEP will allow individuals who have not submitted a notice of their intent to testify to present their comments. 
The public may also submit written comments. The written notice and comments of any length should be sent to Tom Decker, Community Relations Specialist, Department of Environmental Protection, Northwest Regional Office, 230 Chestnut Street, Meadville, PA 16335. If choosing to email, please submit your notice to: thomadecke@pa.gov
Following the public hearing, a comment response document will be prepared and made available to the public.
For more information, contact Tom Decker, DEP Northwest Regional Office, at 814-573-3709 or send email to: thomadecke@pa.gov.

NFWF Now Accepting Proposals For Local Govt. Installation Of Nutrient, Sediment Reduction Practices In 8 Priority Chesapeake Bay Watershed Counties; Webinar Sept. 17

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Environmental Protection, is now accepting proposals for local government projects to implement one or more high-priority nutrient and sediment load reduction practices within 8 counties, consistent with Pennsylvania’s Phase 3 Watershed Implementation Plan and the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).
All projects must occur in one or more of the following counties: Adams, Bedford, Centre, Cumberland, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York.
Proposals are due October 22.
Proposals for the Pennsylvania Local Government Implementation funding opportunity will be accepted from eligible local governments and entities specifically authorized by local governments in Pennsylvania to support local government implementation. 
NFWF estimates awarding roughly $2.4 million in grants through the PA-LGI with funding made available by the EPA
Sept. 17 Webinar
An informational webinar has been scheduled for September 17 to provide an overview of this funding opportunity. Applicants are strongly encouraged to participate, and can register online for the webinar.
FieldDoc Tool Training Sept. 19
In addition, NFWF will provide training on the online FieldDoc tool for calculating nutrient and sediment load reductions from proposed PA-LGI projects on September 19.  All applicants are strongly encouraged to participate. Registration for the FieldDoc webinar is available online.
Both webinars will be available on demand within about 48 hours after they are webcast on the NFWF Grantees Tools webpage.
For more information, visit the NFWF PA Local Government Implementation Grants RFP webpage.  Questions should be directed to Jake Reilly by sending email to: jake.reilly@nfwf.org,  Stephanie Heidbreder by email to: stephanie.heidbreder@nfwf.org or Syd Godbey by email to: sydney.godbey@nfwf.org or by calling 202-857-0166.

DEP's Our Common Wealth Blog: The Ins And Outs Of Onlot Septic Systems In PA

By: Janice Vollero, Water Program Specialist, Bureau of Clean Water

About 26 percent of Pennsylvania households rely on a septic system located on their property to treat their sewage. Most of these homes also have a private well for their drinking water.
If you use a septic system, be septic smart! If you understand how your system works and how to maintain it, you will:
-- Protect your drinking water supply and your health;
-- Ensure your system’s longevity—and avoid paying thousands for a new system;
-- Protect your property value; and
-- Help protect Pennsylvania’s groundwater, streams, rivers, and lakes.
Because of Pennsylvania’s geology, soils, land development patterns, and aging septic systems, there’s a risk of substandard septic systems contaminating our groundwater and surface waters—our streams, rivers, and lakes.
When surface waters are contaminated with viruses and bacteria from sewage, swimmers are at increased risk of contracting eye and ear infections, acute gastrointestinal illness, hepatitis, or other infectious diseases. 
When groundwater is contaminated, it may pollute your own and others’ drinking water supply and spread disease in people and animals. Did you know viruses can survive in groundwater for more than a year?
In 2016, the Department of Environmental Protection reported that septic system failure was implicated in 202 impaired stream miles and 3,304 impacted lake acres in Pennsylvania.
Here are the ins and outs of septic system maintenance to protect your health, your budget, and Pennsylvania’s waters.
Who Has Oversight of Your Septic System?
In Pennsylvania, local municipalities (for example, boroughs and townships) are responsible for making sure that private septic systems of 10,000 gallons or less meet DEP requirements.
Any time you have any questions about an existing septic system or installation of a new system on your property, you should first call your local government office. 
Many municipalities have a local Sewage Enforcement Officer, who properly sites, permits, and inspects the installation of all septic systems to ensure they meet requirements. 
Some municipalities also have a sewage management program to make sure property owners perform the necessary maintenance of their septic systems.
Soil Is Your Best Friend: How Your Septic System Operates
Your household sends into your septic system not only human waste, but also all other liquid wastes-- bath water, kitchen and bathroom sink water, laundry water, and water softener backwash. So here’s what happens underground when you flush, do laundry, or use the sink or tub.
The heavier solid matter settles to the bottom of the septic tank, where microorganisms feed on the waste and break it down. Lighter fats, oils, and greases float to the top of the tank, forming a scum that may eventually break down or be skimmed during system maintenance.
The liquid that remains is still sewage. As it exits the tank, it contains disease-causing bacteria and viruses, as well as other contaminants. Another treatment step is needed before the sewage reaches the groundwater or surface water.
The sewage flows through a pipe to a bed of gravel or other aggregate, called a drainfield. Here, it’s dispersed to percolate through the soil for further treatment by microbes.
Because of its filtering ability and the microbes it contains, soil is the most important part of a septic system! It is the critical barrier between partially treated sewage and groundwater and surface waters.
The type of septic system you can have depends on many factors—soil depth to bedrock or groundwater, how quickly or slowly the water moves through the soil, and the soil type and texture, just to name a few.  
A general rule of thumb is that the site needs at least 20 inches of good soil.
Keep Things Moving Underground
The average lifespan of a septic system is estimated at 15 to 40 years, but it may last longer if properly maintained. Just like changing the oil in your car, maintaining your septic system extends its life for a small cost compared to the expense of installing a new system, which typically runs $15,000 or more.
Think at the sink, and don’t overload the commode. Consider what you put down your sink and toilet. Limit the use of your garbage disposal. Avoid using common household items that can clog your system or kill the microbes underground that you need to treat the wastewater.
-- “System Cloggers” -- diapers, baby wipes (even ones marketed as “flushable”), cat litter, cigarettes, coffee grounds, fats, grease, solids, feminine hygiene products and prophylactic devices.
-- “Treatment  Killers” -- household chemicals, gasoline, oil, pesticides, antifreeze, paint, and high amounts of anti-bacterial soaps and detergents.
Don’t strain your drain. The less water you use, the less your septic system has to work. Stagger the use of water-based appliances, use high-efficiency plumbing fixtures, and repair any leaks in your home.
Shield your field. Keep anything heavier than your lawnmower off your drainfield. Divert rain and surface water away from it. Plant trees and bushes away from the drainfield, since roots can clog the field and cause the system to fail. Your local garden center will be able to tell you the likely length of tree and shrub roots.
Protect it and inspect it. According to Pennsylvania regulations, solids should be pumped out of the septic tank every three years, or when an inspection shows the tank is more than one-third filled with solids or scum. An inspector will also check that electrical float switches, pumps, and mechanical components are all operating correctly.
Your local sewage management program may have more stringent requirements for inspections and pumping. Call the Sewage Enforcement Officer at your local government office for more information.
Be aware of the following warning signs of a malfunctioning septic system:
-- Wastewater backing up or gurgling into household drains.
-- A strong odor or black ooze around the septic tank or drainfield.
-- Bright green grass or spongy conditions appearing on or near your drainfield.
If your system is malfunctioning, call your local Sewage Enforcement Officer immediately. The sooner you act, the less pollution will occur and the lower the cost of repair work.
With proper operation and maintenance, your septic system will serve your home and help protect the waters of Pennsylvania for years to come. Do your part and be septic smart! 
Visit DEP’s Onlot Disposal System and EPA’s SepticSmart webpages for more information.
[Note: Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), Majority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, has introduced House Resolution 486 designating the week of September 16-20 as SepticSmart Week to highlight the importance of properly using and maintaining onlot septic systems (sponsor summary).
(Reprinted from DEP Our Common Wealth Blog.)

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