Friday, February 22, 2019

DEP Outlines Flood Prevention Benefits Of Restore PA For Luzerne County

On February 22, Department of Environmental Protection Regional Director Mike Bedrin joined Rep. Mike Carroll (D-Luzerne) and local leaders to discuss Avoca Borough’s challenges with flood control and how the bipartisan Restore Pennsylvania infrastructure proposal will help prevent future flooding.
“Like other municipalities across Pennsylvania, Avoca faces a flood control problem, with recurring flooding on Mill Creek bringing damage to local businesses,” said DEP Regional Director Bedrin. “With the increased frequency of extreme weather, the problem isn’t going away anytime soon. The community needs a lasting solution. Restore Pennsylvania gives us that solution, on the scale we need.”
Restore Pennsylvania, the $4.5 billion bipartisan proposal funded through a commonsense severance tax to rebuild Pennsylvania’s infrastructure, will increase resources for storm preparedness and disaster recovery.
Avoca has a history of floods and ice jams near the York Avenue bridge on Mill Creek. DEP dam safety expert Doug Hill discussed a proposed two-part, public-private project to create a floodplain and then raise the bridge and modify the channel.
The floodplain work is underway, with $150,000 in grant support from DEP, but additional funding is needed to support the project’s estimated remaining $1.5 million cost.
If passed, Restore Pennsylvania would be able to fund this project and others like it around the state.
Restore Pennsylvania is a statewide plan to aggressively address the commonwealth’s vital infrastructure needs. Funded through a commonsense severance tax, Restore Pennsylvania is the only plan that will help make Pennsylvania a leader in the 21st century.
To learn more, view the full Restore Pennsylvania plan.
(Photo: Mike Bedrin, DEP Regional Director.)
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PA Resources Council Launches Glass Recycling Pop-Up Collection Events In Allegheny County

On February 22, the PA Resources Council announced it will hold a series of 8 “pop-up” glass recycling collection events in Allegheny County in response to the sudden removal of glass from many of the region’s residential curbside recycling programs.
“Based on overwhelming demand from residents, local governments and the glass industry, PRC is announcing a new alternative for glass recycling,” according to PRC Co-Executive Director Justin Stockdale.  “This exciting new program will ensure that glass is not trash, even if it can no longer be put out for curbside recycling in numerous municipalities due to recent changes in waste haulers’ contracts.”
Residents can drop off all colors of glass bottles, jars and jugs at no cost.  PRC staff and volunteers will be on-site to assist recyclers.
“PRC is excited to introduce this new opportunity for glass recycling in the Pittsburgh area that will not only provide a solution for residents but that keeps the supply of recycled glass flowing to the mills that consume it as a raw material,” said Stockdale.
The pop-up glass recycling network is sponsored by CAP Glass, Owens Illinois and Straub Brewery in conjunction with several local municipalities impacted by recent changes in curbside recycling regulations.  
“We commend the municipal governments who helped PRC develop this network for their strong commitment to recycling and leadership, and we thank Oxford Development, Quaker Valley School District and Avonworth Park for serving as site partners,” said Stockdale. “PRC hopes to expand this service by partnering with additional municipalities who also recognize that glass remains a valuable commodity with vibrant demand in the regional/national recycled materials marketplace.”
Pop-Up Schedule
The initial schedule of glass recycling events will be held from 9:00 to 2:00--
-- March 9: Village Square Mall, sponsored by Municipality of Bethel Park
-- March 30: Edgeworth Elementary School, sponsored by Edgeworth Borough
-- April 6: South Fayette Municipal Complex, sponsored by South Fayette Township
-- April 13: Dormont Pool, sponsored by Borough of Dormont
-- April 27: Avalon Borough Park, sponsored by Borough of Avalon
-- May 11: Village Square Mall, sponsored by Township of Upper St. Clair
-- June 1: Avonworth Park, sponsored by Kilbuck Township
-- June 8: [location to be announced] sponsored by Municipality of Mt. Lebanon
For more information, visit PRC’s Glass Recycling webpage or send email to: glass@prc.org.
Why Recycle Glass?
-- Glass bottles and jars are 100 percent recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without any loss in purity or quality.  
-- Recycled glass containers are always needed because glass manufacturers require high-quality recycled container glass to meet market demand for new glass containers.
-- Glass containers returned for recycling can be made into new glass bottles and jars that constitute up to 95 percent recycled content.
-- Your glass bottles and jars can go from your recycling bin to the store shelf in as little as 30 days.
-- 1 ton of carbon dioxide is reduced for every 6 tons of recycled container glass used in manufacturing.
Where Will The Glass Go?
Pennsylvania is home to three glass mills that depend on our recycled glass bottles and jars as the raw material to produce glass containers. In addition several other glass mills operate in neighboring states resulting in one of the strongest markets for glass recycling in North America.
PRC will ship all collected glass to our partner CAP Glass who will prepare it to the mill specifications. This glass will be used to make beer and liquor bottles, pickle and mayonnaise jars and many other consumer products.
For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the PA Resources Council website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates, follow PRC on Twitter or Like them on Facebook.  Click Here for PRC’s Events Calendar.  Click Here to support their work.
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DEP Citizens Advisory Council Urges Senate, House To Adopt Funding Source For Hazardous Sites Cleanup Program Before It Becomes Insolvent

On February 21, DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council sent letters to members of the House and Senate urging them to act now to find a funding source for DEP’s Hazardous Sites Cleanup Program before it becomes insolvent.
“The HSCF [Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund] will become insolvent as early as fiscal year 2019-2020 because of the expiration of the Capital Stocks and Franchise Tax in 2015. It is important to act now to find a revenue stream for the HSCF to avoid cessation of cleanup activities and grant programs and to allow enough lead time for money to be allocated before potential insolvency.
“Public health, welfare, and the environment will be jeopardized and economic development will be thwarted if the HSCF becomes insolvent.
“Whether it is water supply replacement for citizens with contaminated drinking water or the redevelopment of blighted properties in depressed communities, citizens across this Commonwealth benefit from the activities carried out under the HSCF.
“Many of these contaminated sites are legacy sites with no responsible party to fund remediation activities.
“Cleanup of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination is just one example of the work that will be forced to stop if the HSCF runs out of funding.
“DEP is currently responding directly under HSCA at 3 sites where PFAS is threatening human health and is overseeing investigations by the military at 10 other sites where PFAS has been detected, all with money from the HSCF.
“Efforts to protect drinking water sources at these and additional sites and coordinate with the federal government on PFAS contamination will cease or become severely restricted if the HSCF becomes insolvent.
“The Hazardous Sites Cleanup Program is a perfect example of the legislative and executive branches of our government working together as Constitutional trustees of the Commonwealth’s public natural resources for the benefit of all citizens, including generations yet to come. I urge you [on behalf of the Council] to continue this cooperation by passing legislation that will fully fund this vital program.”
The 18-member Citizens Advisory Council is appointed equally by the Senate, House and Governor to advise DEP on its programs.
For more information, visit the DEP Citizens Advisory Council webpage.  Questions should be directed to Keith Calador, Executive Director, 717-787-8171 or send email to: ksalador@pa.gov.
More information on the program is available at DEP’s Hazardous Sites Cleanup Program webpage.  Click Here to read the FY 2017-18 Annual Report on the program.
(Photo: From DEP's 2017-18 Annual Report on the program.)
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Keystone Tree Fund Bills In Senate, House Gain DEP Citizens Advisory Council Support

On February 21, DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council sent letters to members of the House and Senate urging them to support legislation creating a Keystone Tree Fund to support DCNR programs to plant riparian stream buffers.
House Bill 374 was introduced by Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming) and is now on the House Calendar for action.  The companion bill-- Senate Bill 108-- introduced by Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) is in the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.
“The Commonwealth is faced with hard decisions and difficult obstacles in complying with the Chesapeake Bay TMDL. The Keystone Tree Fund, however, is just the kind of initiative that can raise a significant amount of money that will go directly towards a proven method of improving water quality without placing further strain on the state budget—truly a win-win.
“The sooner this bill is passed the sooner we will begin to see measurable water quality gains.
“Cleaner streams mean better aquatic habitats, drinking water sources, and recreational uses. A citizen-driven volunteer fund that supports these goals and can help the Commonwealth comply with the Chesapeake Bay TMDL should be a legislative priority.”
The legislation would create a voluntary $3 checkoff on driver and vehicle registrations to support DCNR’s TreeVitalize and Riparian Forest Buffer Grants programs.  Click Here for a copy of the bill summary.
Click Here for a copy of the letters which support the respective House and Senate bills.
The 18-member Citizens Advisory Council is appointed equally by the Senate, House and Governor to advise DEP on its programs.
For more information, visit the DEP Citizens Advisory Council webpage.  Questions should be directed to Keith Calador, Executive Director, 717-787-8171 or send email to: ksalador@pa.gov.
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PA Resources Council Honors 23 Organizations With Zero Waste Awards In Western PA

On February 21, the PA Resources Council presented its fourth annual Zero Waste Awards to 23 environmental leaders in recognition of their commitment to adopting sustainable environmental practices and diverting waste through recycling, composting and reuse.
The award winners were recognized at a special reception at Construction Junction in Pittsburgh. Stephanie Barger, Director of Market Transformation & Development at TRUE Zero Waste Certification, served as keynote speaker.  Event sponsors were Straub Brewing, Gateway Recycling and Construction Junction.
“PRC’s Zero Waste Pennsylvania program provides special events, commercial businesses and institutions with vital waste reduction assistance,” said PRC Co-Executive Director Justin Stockdale.  “We’re pleased to recognize the accomplishments of those committed to preserving the environment, and we applaud the efforts of this year’s class of honorees for their outstanding leadership, innovation and dedication.”  
In 2018, PRC’s Zero Waste team assisted dozens of events, businesses and institutions with sustainable waste management solutions.  Last year, Zero Waste efforts diverted nearly 38 tons of materials to be recycled/composted and reached nearly 750,000 individuals directly and indirectly through waste audits as well as public and private zero waste services.
“Our Zero Waste team members provide technical expertise and hands-on assistance to enable a wide variety of organizations to pursue the ultimate goal of producing zero waste,” said Stockdale.  “Each year many successful partnerships result in diverting tons of material to become valuable compost and recycled products.”
At the fourth annual PRC Zero Waste Event & Business Awards Celebration, the 23 honored events and businesses received recognition of their commitment to zero waste principles.  
The 2018 Zero Waste Award recipients are--
Zero Waste Excellence Awards
-- Food Recovery Heroes: University of Pittsburgh  
Event Achievement Awards -Recognizing events/institutions that diverted a significant percentage of waste in 2018
Platinum - 95 percent or greater waste diversion
-- Environmental Charter School 10th Anniversary Campfire: Donna Bour Associates
-- Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh Impact 2018: Donna Bour Associates
-- Richard S. Caliguiri Great Race: City of Pittsburgh Office of Special Events
Gold - 90-94 percent waste diversion
-- Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon: Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc. (P3R)  
-- EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler: Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc. (P3R)
-- Grand Opening Party: Patagonia Pittsburgh
-- Hollow Oak Brewhaha: Hollow Oak Land Trust
-- Mt. Lebanon Earth Day: LeboGreen.org
Silver - 75-89 percent waste diversion
-- Alcosan Open House: Alcosan
-- Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival: Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
-- Kickball For A Cause: PUMP
-- Steel City Big Four: Construction Junction
-- Triboro Ecoblast Pool Party: Triboro Ecodistrict
Bronze - 60-74 percent waste diversion
-- Colfax Carnival:  Pittsburgh Colfax PTO
-- Night In The Tropics: National Aviary
For more information on the Zero Waste Program and the services available, visit PRC’s Zero Waste Pennsylvania webpage or call 412-488-7490.
For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the PA Resources Council website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates, follow PRC on Twitter or Like them on Facebook.  Click Here for PRC’s Events Calendar.  Click Here to support their work.
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Feb. 22 Take Five Fridays With Pam, PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The February 22 Take Five Fridays With Pam is now available.  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: Laurel Mountain Ski Area, Somerset County.)

DEP Posts 45 Pages Of Permit-Related Notices In Feb. 23 PA Bulletin

The Department of Environmental Protection published 45 pages of public notices related to proposed and final permit and approval/ disapproval actions in the February 23 PA Bulletin - pages 850 to 895.
Sign Up For DEP’s eNotice: Did you know DEP can send you email notices of permit applications submitted in your community?  Notice of new technical guidance documents and regulations? All through its eNotice system. Click Here to sign up.

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