Friday, May 29, 2009

June 1 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The June 1 PA Environment Digest is now available.
Click here to print this Digest.
Selected Headlines--
Linda McKenna Boxx Receives Western PA Lifetime Environmental Award
Winners Of 2009 Western PA Environmental Award Recognized
June 20 Deadline For Next $250 Grants To Celebrate 10 Years Of Growing Greener Watersheds
House Environmental Committee Holds Hearing On PA Power Authority Legislation
DCNR And Sen. Mary Jo White Exchange Letters Again On Budget Issues
REAP Farm Conservation Tax Credit Applications To Be Accepted Starting August 3
Sen. Brubaker, Local Leaders Meet With EPA, DEP To Discuss Chesapeake Bay Cleanup
SRBC Assessing Water Resource Availability, Challenges In Morrison Cove
Study Will Begin Restoration Of Flood-Ravaged Cadosia, Sands Creeks
Delaware River Basin Partners Announce Enhanced Protections For Wildlife And Water
Upper Delaware Council Accepting Technical Assistance Grant Applications
Sign Up Now For The North Branch Susquehanna Sojourn June 18-23
Wildlands Conservancy Transfers 12 Acres Of Protected Land To Game Commission
DCNR Offers Grants For Protecting Non-Game Species
Harrisburg’s Peregrine Falcons Produce Four Females, One Male
Construction Of Premier Elk Viewing Facility Begins
Wild And Scenic Environmental Film Festival Set For June 25
Pittsburgh's Green Convention Center To Be Site Of G20 Economic Summit
Exelon's Renewable Energy Education Center Dedicated
2009 Sustainable Energy Conference Coming To Lehigh Valley July 27-August 1
DEP Climate Change Advisory Committee Endorses Bill Extending Plan Deadline
DCNR To Collect Seismic Data For Suitable Carbon Sequestration Geology
Bellefonte High School Wins GreenSylvania Recycling Competition
Opinion - Don’t Be Penny Wise And Pound Foolish On Environmental Budget

REAP Farm Conservation Tax Credit Applications Accepted Starting August 3

The State Conservation Commission will begin accepting applications for the next round of Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) farm conservation tax credits beginning August 3.
The guidelines and application forms will be posted on the REAP webpage beginning June 8. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Any applications with a postmark prior to July 30 will be returned.
All applicants who applied in the previous fiscal year funding round, but were not approved because the REAP credits were exhausted, will once again be mailed a short “Addendum Application.” These applicants will not be given any priority in the first-come, first-served process, however, and must submit this application along with the other new applicants.
Mary Bender, Director of the REAP Program, will be hosting a Webinar during the week of June 8-12 to review the new application, and answer questions regarding the guidelines and application process. Stay tuned for an email which will provide the exact time and date of the Webinar and the login procedure.
At this point in the budget process, it is not yet certain whether the REAP Tax Credit Program will be kept at the existing $10 million level or changed.
Last year, the Commission received enough applications to use up the entire $10 million appropriation in the first few hours of the first day applications were accepted. (Pa Environment Digest 8/11/08)
For more information, visit the REAP Program webpage or contact Mary Bender at 717-787-8821 or by sending email to:
Link: REAP Farm Conservation Tax Credit Benefits Environment, Farmers
DEP Will Bring No New Financial Resources To Cleanup Chesapeake Bay

Western PA Environmental & Lifetime Achievement Award Winners Announced

Snakes and salamanders, wildlife and watersheds, and brownfields with a green future comprise the five area environmental programs that have been named as the winners of the 2009 Western Pennsylvania Environmental Awards, announced Wednesday by Dominion and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.
These five programs address a wide range of local and regional environmental issues, including land and watershed conservation, wildlife protection and brownfield development and were chosen from entries submitted earlier this year. They include a student-run conservation group working to raise awareness of the environmental threat to reptiles; community initiatives to preserve and protect two major watersheds in Cambria and Indiana counties; the redevelopment of downtown Ambridge, which had been in decay after the decline of the steel industry; and a remarkable program that teaches private landowners the importance of creating wildlife sanctuaries.
With these awards, each winner will designate a $5000 cash prize to be used in support of a nonprofit environmental program of their choice. The winners are:
-- Bartramian Audubon Society Sanctuaries Program- Slippery Rock
-- Northern Ambridge Redevelopment Project - New Brighton
-- Stonycreek Conemaugh River Improvement Project - Johnstown
-- TASOW, Inc. (The Awesome Spirit of Wildlife) - Slippery Rock
-- Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Watershed Conservation Program - Blairsville
Additionally, Linda McKenna Boxx, the president of the Allegheny Trail Alliance and the driving force behind the creation of the Great Allegheny Passage, a 150-mile trail connecting Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland., received the lifetime achievement award. (Click here for full announcement)

Friday NewsClips

World Leaders To Meet In Pittsburgh Green Convention Center
Author Preaches Building Green In Wilkes-Barre
Group Proposes Beaver County Nuke Plant Re-Licensing Delay
Technology Could Help Manage Road Congestion
State Reveals $15 Million On Smart Transportation
Fayette County Takes Comments On Wind Turbine Zoning
State Studies Coal Plant Carbon Traps
Op-Ed: Eminent Domain Only Way To Resolve Flight 93 Memorial Impasse
Black Bear Continuing Tour Through Bucks County

Pittsburgh's Green Convention Center To Be Site Of G20 Economic Summit

The White House this week announced Pittsburgh's David L. Lawrence Convention Center will be the site for the world G20 economic summit in September.
In announcing the selection of Pittsburgh, the White House pointed to the city's "commitment to employing new and green technology to further economic recovery and development." Officials noted that the David L. Lawrence Convention Center holds LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, and is the largest convention center in the world to earn that distinction.
"Pittsburgh has a lot of which it can be very proud and the G20 Summit offers a great opportunity to showcase how Pittsburgh has reinvented itself while creating new opportunities for its residents," Gov. Rendell said. "I'm honored that a Pennsylvania city has been selected to host this important meeting of the world's economic superpowers. Any doubts that Pittsburgh is a world class city with a bright future should be erased by this choice."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Upper Delaware Council Accepting Grant Applications

The Upper Delaware Council is now accepting applications for its 2009 Technical Assistance Grants program. Applications are due July 3.
Since the non-profit organization’s inception in 1988, the UDC has awarded $639,692 to help subsidize 180 non-construction projects related to implementation of the River Management Plan for the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River.
Eligible to participate are the UDC’s eight New York town members, five Pennsylvania township members, and their encompassing counties. Buckingham and Manchester Townships in Wayne County, PA could also apply if they joined the Council. (click here for more information)

Wednesday NewsClips

Flood, Stream Projects Aired
Gas Firm Pushes Cheaper Way to Cross Brandywine
Allegheny Advisory Committee Deadlocked Over Air Toxic Policy
Coal Removal Plan Causes Concern In North Fayette
Student Wind Turbine Project Wins Innovation Contest
Op-Ed: A Better Path To Clean Energy Is Needed
Company Sees Sludge As Clean Energy
Swattie Group Hooks Grant

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

DCNR Offers Grants For Protecting Non-Game Species

Applications are being accepted by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for grants to protect Pennsylvania's non-game animals, native plants and their habitat. Applications are due June 30.
For more than 25 years the Wild Resource Conservation Program has helped to protect Pennsylvania's native biodiversity by supporting research, conservation, and education projects.
This year WRCP is soliciting grant applications in five areas: effects of climate change on biodiversity; Internet-based educational tools; wildlife protection plan priorities; wild plant management; and general biodiversity projects.
For more information, visit the Wild Resource Conservation Program webpage. Questions on the grants program can be directed to Greg Czarnecki at 717-783-1639.

Tuesday NewsClips

Marcellus Shale Formation Drilling Spurs Road Bond Debate
PennDOT's Green Efforts Include Fly Ash
WQED-FM Pledges To Go Green
Op-Ed: Taking Chemical Plant Security In Pittsburgh Seriously
Laurel Hill Creek On Endangered List
Pennridge Schools Pass Green Initiative
Committee Helps Warminister Go Green With Solar Power
Bringing Green Rhetoric Into A Reality
Lansdale Getting Sun Power
Editorial: Skip The Bottle, Drink From Tap

Friday, May 22, 2009

May 25 PA Environment Digest Now Available

Visit PA Environment Digest for this week's issue.
(Click here to print this Digest)

Selected Headlines--
Dr. Devra L. Davis, Montour Run Watershed Association Win 2009 Karl Mason Award
Team from Delaware County Wins 2009 Pennsylvania State Envirothon
REAP Farm Conservation Tax Credit Benefits Environment, Farmers
Video Blog - 2009 Swatara Creek Sojourn And Cleanup Has Another Successful Year
June 20 Deadline For Next $250 Grants To Celebrate 10 Years Of Growing Greener Watersheds
House Environmental Committee Hears Comments On Alternative Energy/Climate Bill
DRBC Eliminates Review Thresholds For Natural Gas Drilling Operations
Gas Assn. Study Shows Marcellus Shale Drilling Activity Had Minimal Impact On Monongahela
Fish & Boat Commission Hosts June 3 Shad Fry, Fish Stocking In Clinton County
May 23, June 7 Declared Fish For Free Days
Pennsylvania Student Wins EPA Sun Safety Poster Contest, Don't Fry Day Coming Up
EPA Exhibit Showcases Properties Turned From Brownfields And Blight To Community Assets
PECO First PA Utility To Meet PA Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards
Community College Of Allegheny County Launches The Green Institute In Pittsburgh
Fuels For Schools Program To Hold Meeting On May 30
DCNR Now Has Draft Outdoor Recreation Plan Available, Subject Of Upcoming Meetings
Johnstown Flood Trail Guide Now Available For 120th Anniversary May 31
Invasive Giant Hogweed Confirmed In Butler County, Dept. Of Agriculture Issues Warning
Help Wanted: PROP Seeks Candidates For Executive Director Position

Friday NewsClips

Loyalhanna Watershed Assn. Will Buy Nine Acres For $300,000
DEP Awards Contract To Reclaim Mine
Fish Are Jumpin' Into PA Waters
Bethlehem Considering Wind Farm On Carbon County Watershed Property
Duke Energy To Acquire PA Wind Farm
Preliminary Approval Given By Schuylkill For Another Wind Farm
Lackawanna County Shows Off Hybrids During Expo
Johnstown Flood Trail Getting National Attention

Thursday, May 21, 2009

REAP Farm Conservation Tax Credit Benefits Environment, Farmers

The Department of Agriculture this week released an annual report on the Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) farm conservation tax credit program which said in the first two years, the program reduced nitrogen pollution by 162,176 pounds, phosphorus runoff by 14,939 pounds and sediment by 18,210 tons.
“Every Pennsylvanian is charged with adopting conservation practices to protect our soils and our water supply…The state’s 63,000 farm families have a special responsibility to be good stewards of the land, keeping their agricultural operations and the industry viable for the next generation," Gov. Rendell. "The REAP program’s success proves our farmers’ commitment to fulfilling these important ideals.”
Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff said, “Pennsylvania is committed to helping farmers maintain viable businesses, and toimproving conservation practices that protect water quality . . . Farmers need support in this time of rising production and energy costs, and programs like REAP provide a win-win situation for everyone.”
“The tremendous response to REAP demonstrates that farmers continue to make strides in protecting water quality on their farms, but need help to go even farther," said Matthew Ehrhart, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania office of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. "REAP is a practical solution that is helping farmers achieve the highest levels of stewardship while making those improvements economically feasible.”
“The Department of Revenue knows how important agriculture is to the commonwealth’s economy, which is why we are pleased to play a part in implementing the Resource Enhancement and Protection Tax Credit program," said Secretary of Revenue Stephen H. Stetler. "We will continue to work diligently with the State Conservation Commission to process credit applications in a manner that ensures farmers and businesses benefit from this worthwhile program.” (Click here for report)

Thursday NewsClips

Lifetime Environmental Award Goes To Latrobe Trailblazer
Budget Issues Could Close Some State Parks
Feds Get To Work On Plan For Chesapeake Bay
Delaware River Basin Commission Issues Gas Extraction Ruling
DRBC Stiffens Control Over Gas Drilling
Proposed Pumping Sites For Natural Gas Drilling Listed
Lehigh Authority To Ban Non-Essential Water Use
Editorial: When It Rains, It Pours
Clearfield Authority Will Lose Revenue Due To DEP Regulations
Project Aims To Create One Western PA Regional Vision
Johnstown Flood Trail Map Now Available
Penns Valley School Looks Into Biomass Boiler
Montoursville Discusses Geothermal Well Field At School
Warren County Landfills Could Give Rise To Solar Field
Column: Despite PPL Rate Hikes, Savings Possible
Bird-Watching As A Contract Sport

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Gas Assn. Study Says Drilling Had Minimal Impact On Monongahela River

A study completed by international environmental engineering and consulting firm Tetra Tech, Inc. on behalf of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of PA found natural gas development was only a minor contributor to elevated levels of Total Dissolved Solids in the Monongahela River last fall.
Tetra Tech found that the primary TDS load in the Monongahela River came from abandoned mine discharge, which was realized in high sulfate concentrations. Drilling activity accounted for approximately seven percent of the total TDS concentrations detected in the Monongahela River in October 2008 and decreased to less than one percent by December 2008.
Increases in river flow rates and reductions in discharges from abandoned mines appear to be the most significant factors that contributed to the reductions in TDS concentrations between October and December 2008. Changes in TDS levels associated with restricting the discharges of drilling wastewater at municipal wastewater treatment plants along the Monongahela River were negligible compared to these other factors. (Click here for full report.)

Penncrest High School Wins PA Envirothon

The team from Penncrest High School in Delaware County is the winner of the 2009 Pennsylvania State Envirothon held May 19 at Bald Eagle State Park, in Howard, Centre County.
High school students from 65 Pennsylvania counties participated in this year’s event. Second place finishers were members of the Future Hope Homelearners of Snyder County and the team from Warren Area High School, Warren County, finished third. (Click here for full announcement.)

Wednesday NewsClips

Delaware River Basin Commission Issues New Rules On Gas Extraction
Pittsburgh Airport To Help Pay For Dam Removal
Editorial: Stonycreek Conemaugh River Cleanup Projects Benefit All In Region
Lancaster Topsoil Will Help Plants Grow On Coal Lands
Montgomery County Community College Receives EPA Grant

Delaware Basin Eliminates Permit Threshold For Natural Gas Drilling

Delaware River Basin Commission Executive Director Carol R. Collier announced she has issued a determination notifying natural gas extraction project sponsors that they may not commence any natural gas extraction project located in shale formations within the drainage area of the basin’s Special Protection Waters without first applying for and obtaining commission approval.
“This determination explains DRBC regulatory requirements on an interim basis and asserts commission review over all aspects of natural gas extraction projects in shale formations within the drainage area of the basin’s Special Protection Waters, regardless of the amount of water withdrawn or the capacity of domestic sewage treatment facilities accepting fracking wastewater,” Collier said. “The commissioners intend to adopt regulations pertaining to the subject matter contained in this determination after public notice and a full opportunity for public comment, but this rulemaking process can be lengthy. In the meantime, DRBC will apply this determination in combination with its existing regulations.”
In taking this action, Collier considered and determined that as a result of water withdrawals, wastewater disposal, and other activities, natural gas extraction projects in shale formations may individually or cumulatively affect the water quality of Special Protection Waters by altering their physical, biological, chemical or hydrological characteristics. (Click here for full announcement)

Friday, May 15, 2009

May 18 PA Environment Digest Now Available

Read this week's PA Environment Digest

Click here to print this Digest

Selected Headlines--
Connecting Communities To Creeks Conference Attracts 395 Attendees
DEP Now Accepting Applications For Growing Greener Grants
Sewickley Creek, Iron Oxide Recovery, Inc. Receive Governor's Environmental Award
May 20 First Deadline For $250 Grants To Celebrate Growing Greener
Legislators Express Concern Over Lack Of State Park Lifeguards At Hearing
DEP Secretary, Sen. White Spar Over Environmental Funding Cuts
35 State Parks Would Close Under GOP Budget, Sen. White - Use Drilling Funds
House Environmental Committee To Take Testimony On Climate Change Bill
EPA To Help Lead New Era Of PartnershipIn Chesapeake Bay Restoration
Executive Council Sets New Goals for Reducing Chesapeake Bay Pollution
DEP Will Bring No New Financial Resources To Cleanup Chesapeake Bay
Chesapeake Bay Commission Highlights Successes, Urges More Action
Water Resources Education Network Awards Grants For Education Projects
Ohio River Watershed Celebration Set For September 24
Sponsorship Opportunities: Lehigh Valley Watershed Conference October 9
Paddle On The Lehigh River With Wildlands Conservancy This Summer, Fall
EPA Visits West Philly High Students Who Designed Award-Winning Hybrid Cars
EPA Recognizes Students For Environmental Projects, Including A Moscow, PA Student
First-Ever Center For Green Technology Established At HACC
Video Blog - Report: Green Buildings Could Save $500 Billion, Cut Global Warming Pollution 30 Percent
DEP Now Accepting Applications For Solar Photovoltaic, Hot Water System Rebates
Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania: John Frederick Resigns To Pursue Other Interests
Kathleen Paul PA Center For Environmental Education To Have Heart Surgery
Feature - Philadelphia Zoo-Hatched Eaglet Put Into Active Wild Nest... Again

Friday NewsClips

Budget Shortfall Could Close 35 Parks
Obama Wants To Pump $474 Million Into Great Lakes Cleanup
Watershed Project Earns State Award
Earth Conservancy Readies Requests On Reclamation Project
Editorial: Clean Water Restoration Act Restores Correct Emphasis
Bellefonte Pays Homage To Its Big Spring
Milton Council Adopts Wastewater To Energy Resolution
DEP Could Get Power To Block Development
Allegheny Energy Gets OK To Accelerate Buys
Energy Saving Message Sent To Carbon County Builders
Powers Needs Energize Advisers
Efficient Use Of Energy Efficiency Stimulus Grants Eyed
Easton's Riverwalk Plans Collapse
Editorial: Clear The Air On Clean And Green
West Nile Virus Reported Earlier Than Ever In PA
Additive Foe Vows Court Fight
Green Technology Center Planned At HACC
Zoo's Eaglet Is Placed In The Wild

DEP Now Accepting Growing Greener, Flood Protection Grant Applications

The Department of Environmental Protection this week announced it is now accepting applications for watershed protection and restoration as well as flood protection grants under the Growing Greener Program. Applications are due July 17. (formal notice)
For the upcoming grant round, the Department will invest in projects that will ultimately protect and/or restore this Commonwealth's watersheds from impairment due to nonpoint source pollution.
Through the same application process, applicants can also apply for funding through the Department's Flood Protection Grant Program and Section 319 Nonpoint Source Grant. Flood protection grants are for communities that operate and maintain State and Federal flood protection projects.
Applications and guidelines will be available online at the Growing Greener webpage or send email to: or contact the Growing Greener Grant Center at 717-705-5400.

PA Sunshine Solar Rebates Begin May 18

The Department of Environmental Protection announced today it will be accepting applications for the PA Sunshine Program which will provide $100 million in rebates to homeowners and small businesses installing solar photovoltaic and hot water systems.
The Department will publish the guidelines and begin accepting applications on May 18. Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis. (formal notice)
An eligible residential applicant must be a Pennsylvania resident and the owner of the home where the project will be installed. All residential projects must be completed on the homeowner's primary residence.
Small business applicants must be a for-profit business located within this Commonwealth. To qualify for small business funding, the applicant must be a separate legal entity with no more than 100 full time employees.
The program rebates will be available for the purchase and installation of qualifying solar PV and solar hot water equipment by qualified installers. Only projects completed after the program opening date of May 18, 2009, will be eligible.
The program guidelines will be available on the program's webpage. Applications must be submitted online at

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sen. White Asks DCNR To Use Existing Revenues From Marcellus Shale Leases To Help Close Funding Gaps

In response to a press release today from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources on the Senate Republican budget passed last week, Sen. Mary Jo White (R-Venango) wrote to ask Acting Secretary John Quigley whether he would considering using $7 million from Marcellus Shale lease revenues the agency still has to close DCNR's budget gap.
She also noted DCNR failed to close two leases worth $31 million for Marcellus Shale drilling that were already let.
Sen. White also said the Republican budget appropriated the same amount of funding the Governor did for gypsy moth spraying in the current year and implemented the Governor's proposal to eliminate the Heritage Parks grant program.
Sen. White serves as Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. (click here for a copy of the letter)

Pennsylvania Brings No New Resources To Chesapeake Bay Cleanup

Unlike the states of Maryland and Virginia, Pennsylvania has not made a commitment to bring new financial resources to cleanup watersheds feeding into the Chesapeake Bay in the wake of President Obama's Executive Order this week renewing the federal commitment to water quality improvement in the Bay.
In an announcement today, DEP Secretary John Hanger cataloged the efforts made by the Commonwealth to date. (click here for the announcement)
In concert with the President's announcement, the Executive Council announced a series of two-year milestones for reductions in nitrogen and phosphorus pollution that cause murky water and algae blooms that block sunlight from reaching bay grasses and dramatically reduce oxygen levels for aquatic life.
In Pennsylvania, the cost of complying with the nutrient and sediment reduction requirements for Chesapeake Bay cleanup is over $2 billion-- $1.4 billion for wastewater treatment plants, according to a Legislative Budget and Finance Committee report and over $650 million for agriculture, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.
"Pennsylvania has taken a leadership role in the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay since the signing of the original Chesapeake Bay Agreement in 1983," Secretary Hanger said. "All of the steps we have taken in the past to reduce the pollution entering the bay from Pennsylvania, and the steps we will take in the next few years, are putting Pennsylvania in a good position to comply with the EPA's forthcoming TMDL for the entire watershed and to keep our commitment to do our part to restore the Chesapeake Bay."
Pennsylvania is responsible for 50 percent of the fresh water entering the Chesapeake By through the Susquehanna and Potomac rivers.

DCNR Says It Would Close 35 State Parks Under Senate GOP Budget

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Acting Secretary John Quigley said the budget adopted by Senate Republicans would force the agency to close at least 35 state parks and 1,000 miles of state forest roads, which would sharply reduce access for anglers, hunters and hikers.
Under Senate Bill 850, an additional $19 million would be cut from DCNR's budget beyond the difficult but prudent reductions Governor Edward G. Rendell proposed in February which itself cut $6.9 million from the proposed 2009-10 budget.
"Families that cannot afford to take a vacation because of the tough economic times could always count on enjoying a little rest and relaxation at a nearby state park or forest," said Acting Secretary Quigley. "However, if the Senate's budget proposal is enacted, there would be even fewer of those opportunities as we would have to close a number of state parks. That means less traffic and fewer dollars being spent in the rural communities with businesses and jobs that count on these parks and forests.
"The Senate's proposal would be absolutely devastating to these rural areas and to our efforts to preserve our natural resources for present and future generations. In contrast, the Governor's budget proposal reflects the difficult economy we now face and would still allow us to provide a quality outdoor experience for our citizens and visitors," said Acting Secretary Quigley, also noting that closing 35 state parks would turn away more than 3 million visitors and wipe out at least $57 million in visitor spending on products and services in nearby communities. (click here for full announcement.)

Thursday NewsClips

Air Pollution Rating In Pittsburgh Sparks Jobs Debate
Report Calls For Federal, State Green Policies
Op-Ed: Greenadelphia
Doylestown Rejects Free Green Parking
PA Rejects TVA Coal Ash As Too Contaminated
SRBC Approves 75% Drawdown Of Pine Creek Due To Drilling Water Withdrawals
Blair Mill Community Gathers For Creek Project
Residents Hear Concerns About Wind Turbine Plans
Ashland Will Join Energy Buying Pool
Car Recycling Company Plans To Bring Jobs
Sugar Valley To Represent Clinton County At Envirothon
Kudos To All Who Made Earth Week A Success
Fort Pitt Museum In Pittsburgh To Close Due To Budget Cuts
Great Outdoors Weeek Is Invitation To Use Rivers, Trails
It's Farm Market Time
Feast Seeks To Sustain The Eat Local Message
Digital Billboards Are Called Driving Threat

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wednesday NewsClips

Obama Issues Order On Restoring Chesapeake
Obama Orders EPA To Take The Lead In Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Efforts
Editorial: Bay Cleanup Deserves Greater Federal Support
Editorial: Natural Gas Tax Is The Way To Go
Ocean Futures Society To Partner With RiverQuest In Pittsburgh
Allegheny County Uses Green Roof To Reduce Runoff
Onorato Unveils Plan For city's Rooftop Garden
Somerset County Wind Turbine Project To Be Reviewed
Chester Looks To Recycle
Trail Could Hit Bumps In Bucks
Students Compete In Bradford Envirothon
Pike/Wayne Envirothon A Success
DCNR Probes PA For Carbon Storage
Student Makes Video On Waste Tire Energy Plant Debate
Doylestown Considers Free Parking For Green Cars
Outdoors: Lights Out, Why We Need More Of It
PA Supreme Court Eyes Grant Rules For Nonprofits
State Supreme Court To Consider Rules On Determining Funding For Nonprofits

Sen. White Defends Senate GOP Budget

Sen. Mary Jo White (R-Venango), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, responded to the May 12 press release issued by DEP on the Senate Republican budget proposal calling the statement "outrageous and insulting."
"While the Senate-passed budget contains many difficult funding reductions, it is a plan that requires DEP and other state agencies to do what Pennsylvania families and businesses across the state do on a daily basis: live within their means," said Sen. White. "It transfers $100 million from legislative accounts to help fund state programs, including those within DEP, and reduces funding for the legislature by 10%. This builds upon the $18 million transferred from caucus accounts to fund DEP’s Hazardous Sites Cleanup Program after the Governor defunded the program."
Sen. White responded to each of the items DEP Secretary Hanger said were cut. (click here for the full response)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

EPA to Help Lead ‘New Era’ of Partnership, Accountability in Chesapeake Bay Restoration

President Barack Obama signed an executive order today creating a Federal Leadership Committee for the Chesapeake Bay to be chaired by the Environmental Protection Agency. The executive order calls for EPA and six other federal agencies to coordinate and expand federal tools and resources to help speed cleanup of the nation’s largest estuary.
At a meeting today of the Chesapeake Bay Program Executive Council at Mount Vernon, Virginia, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson presented the executive order, which creates the Federal Leadership Committee for the Chesapeake Bay. The committee will be chaired by EPA and will manage new plans by a team of seven federal agencies to strengthen and bring accountability to efforts to protect and restore the bay.
In addition to the executive order, Administrator Jackson announced that EPA’s renewed commitment to bay restoration will include a bay-wide set of strict pollution caps backed by state action plans and federal consequences to assure progress; sharp reductions in air pollutants that impact the bay; robust use of existing authorities; key funding support, and unrivaled scientific and technical assistance.
“This executive order is a strong signal of the President’s commitment to restoring this national treasure, which is so vital to the environment, the local economies, and the way of life for millions of people,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “We are bringing the full weight of this partnership to bear on this challenge, and I am extraordinarily hopeful about what we can accomplish working together.” (Click here for full EPA announcement)
Chesapeake Bay Foundation President Will Baker issued this statement at the announcement--
"This is good news. It is the first step in what CBF has been encouraging the federal government to do. We also have Virginia Governor Tim Kaine to thank. He has encouraged the President and met with Administrator Jackson as well." At today's meeting, the states released various commitments that they will be held accountable to achieve in the next two years. While the two-year time horizon is exactly what we've been calling for, the "milestones" were overly cautious."

DEP: Senate GOP Budget Would Do More Damage To Environment, Communities

Pennsylvania’s communities face the prospect of dirtier water, higher electricity bills, weakened flood protection, and swarms of biting insects that could potentially carry the deadly West Nile virus under a budget bill proposed and adopted by the Senate Republicans.
Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger said the caucus’ planned $50 million in additional cuts to his department’s budget would have long-term, negative consequences for the state’s natural resources, public health, and economic viability.
“The Senate Republican plan removes funds that help keep sewage out of the land and water, that help our river basin commissions monitor potentially dangerous activities throughout the state, and that fight potentially deadly mosquitoes that could carry the West Nile virus and the bothersome black flies that are such a nuisance each summer,” said Secretary Hanger. “They also cut much-needed funds that help communities protect themselves against floods and that will make it easier for consumers to avoid higher energy costs by installing insulation and windows or by purchasing more energy efficient appliances.”
In this difficult economy, Secretary Hanger acknowledged the budget proposed by Gov. Rendell already proposed $19 million in difficult, but necessary, cuts to the department’s budget. Those reductions, he said , would minimize the risk to Pennsylvania’s prosperity and progress. (click here for full DEP comments) (click here for Senate GOP budget overview.)

Vote For America's Greenest School, PA Entry

Ten finalists have been selected out of nearly 2,000 essay submissions as part of a search for the most environmentally-friendly school in the United States, including one Pennsylvania school - Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School, Pittsburgh, Pa.
America now has one week to read the essays and vote at America's Greenest School website for its pick to win the title of America's Greenest School. Votes are limited to one per e-mail address per day from May 11-17.
The winning school will receive a plug-in hybrid school bus from IC Bus, which can increase the fuel efficiency of standard school buses by up to 65 percent and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40 percent. The hybrid bus has an estimated retail value of $200,000. The student who submitted the winning essay will win a $5,000 scholarship.
Those who cast a vote are eligible to receive a $200 gift card to, a website for eco friendly products. Three gift cards will be given away each day of voting.

Tuesday NewsClips

Lawmakers Wade Into Unguarded Beaches Issues
Officials Prepared To Set New Target Date For Chesapeake Bay Cleanup
Maryland Governor Sets New Pollution Reduction Goal For Chesapeake Bay
Natural Gas Processing Plant Operational
Carbon May Be Stored In PA Wells, Caves
Land Trust Will Honor Misericordia Head
Editorial: Gang Green Spin
No Bluebird Of Happiness For You, Yet
Pennsylvanians Enjoy Bears, At A Distance
Editorial: Land Fight Sullies Flight 93 Memorial

Mid-Atlantic Invasive Plant Conference August 11-12 In Johnstown

The 2009 Mid-Atlantic Invasive Plant Conference will be held on August 11-12 at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. The theme this year is Complicating Factors In Invasive Plant Management Circumstances Beyond Our Control.
The keynote speaker will be Dr. Cynthia Huebner, Research Botanist/Ecologist at the U.S.D.A. Forest Service presenting on the ecological thresholds, complexities and stressors behind invasive plant establishment and spread.
Download the Conference brochure. The full slate of presentations and activities and to register, visit the Conference website.

Ohio River Watershed Celebration Set For Sept. 24

The Ohio River Watershed Celebration will be held on September 24 starting from Pittsburgh's Gateway Clipper dock.
Last year about 950 adults and students, along with 70 groups, participated in the Celebration which for the first time featured two boats, one for students with educational programs and activities and another for adults to network, take advantage of presentations and displays.
This year the theme for the Celebration will be Energy Efficiency and Watershed Connections and will again feature two boats.
Registration will open May 18 through the Stream Restoration, Inc. website.

Friday, May 8, 2009

May 11 PA Environment Digest Now Available

PA Environment Digest
Print This Weeks Digest

Selected Headlines--
More Severe Environmental Funding Cuts Looming For 2009-10 Budget
$250 Grants Available To Celebrate A Decade Of Growing Greener
Webinar - When They Drill, Who Pays The Bill? May 11, 13
Webinar - Government Roles In Gas Rush May 21
Video Blog - Volunteers Help Install State Police HQ Rain Garden
Video Blog - Peregrine Falcon Banding Event – View it Live! May 27
House Designates Eastern Box Turtle As Official State Reptile
Fish And Boat Commission Presents Annual Report To Committee
House Agriculture Committee Reviews Marcellus Shale, Wind Energy Bills
Rep. George Honored By PA Association Of Water Companies
Middle, High School, Community College Students Honored For Protecting Schuylkill River
Draft Permit Issued For Drilling Water Treatment Plant on West Branch Susquehanna
NRCS Offers Over $880,000 For Organic Practices In PA, 3 Week Sign Up Period
Cambria County 4-H, Conococheague FFA Winners In Grassland Evaluation Contest
Reinvigorated PA Habitat Alliance Meets On Marcellus Shale Drilling
Wildlands Conservancy Hosts Native Plant Sale May 15 - 16
Parks And Forests Foundation Sponsors Native Plant Sale May 17
Conservation Easement Workshops Set For Western PA
DCNR Report Says PA Geology Could Support Storing Carbon Dioxide Underground
PA Resources Council Sponsors May 16 Hard To Recycle Collection Event In Pittsburgh
Department of Agriculture Sets Hearings On Biodiesel Infrastructure
Opinion - Let's Establish Local Revenue Sharing For Communities Impacted By Marcellus Shale

Friday NewsClips

Op-Ed: Let's Establish Local Revenue Sharing For Communities Impacted By Drilling
Volunteers Aplenty For Aquetong Watershed Planting
Green Decisions Net Solar Panel For Brownsburg Park
Haverford Team Wins Award For Energy-Producing Recycled Bike
Charges Dismissed In Schuylkill Mine Blast Death
Government To Take Land For Flight 93 Memorial
Ordinance Regulates Solar Energy Sources

Monday, May 4, 2009

Proposed Senate GOP Budget Cuts Another $77.9 Million In Environmental Funding

Senate Republicans today proposed their own version of the 2009-10 budget which cuts another $77.9 million from environmental spending on top of the $77 million Gov. Rendell cut in his own proposal in February. (PA Environment Digest 2/9/09)
The additional environmental cuts were to the departments of Agriculture ($8.9 million), Conservation and Natural Resources ($19.1 million) and Environmental Protection ($49.4 million).
While the impact on the agencies cannot be detailed at this time, most of the cuts were proposed to line items paying for agency staff.
Senate Republicans also called for a $250 million "suspension" of tax credit programs, however, they did not specify which of the $324.6 million in tax credits would be cut. The $10 million REAP farm conservation tax credit remains in danger as a result. (click here for Senate R budget spreadsheet, click here for Senate R Budget Summary)
Senate GOP May Cut Film Office To Balance Budget

Monday NewsClips

Gas Driller Begins Repairs To Damaged Road
Editorial: Global Warming Dogma
Pittsburgh Nonprofit Wins Green Choice Award
Editorial: Lung Association's Pollution Spin Is Bogus
Recycling Column To Appear Monthly In Centre County
State Grant To Help Clean Up Dumpsites
DEP Awards Cash To Clean Up Trash
Volunteers Pick Up Stacks Of Roses For Cleanup Of Creek
Editorial: Properly Dispose Of Hazardous Waste
Editorial: Finding The Correct Place For Nuclear Waste Disposal
Pike Planning Learns Of Infrastructure Issues
Aquatic Scientist Given National Audience
Op-Ed: Cap And Trade, Europe's System Failed
Green Can Cost Too Much
Abandoned Quarries Are No Place To Play
Environmentally Minded Art Featured In Hamburg
Warren County Farmers, Environmentalists Clash Over Renewable Energy Legislation
Vampire Energy Use Takes Big Bite Out Of Your Wallet

Friday, May 1, 2009

May 4 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The May 4 PA Environment Digest is now available.

Click On This Link:

Selected Headlines--
Marcellus Shale Drillers Do Not Pay Business Tax
Growing Greener Watersheds-Lacawac Is Unique Among Watersheds
Video- Lebanon Stream Buffer Planting Draws Volunteers
192 Municipalities Enact Buffer Ordinances To Protect Streams
RecycleBank Honored As Champion of the Earth By United Nations
Video - Solar, Wind Project On Palmyra Farm
Video- Independence Conservancy Tire Collection Programs
Bill To Encourage Green Building For Schools Moving
New Bill Would Provide Drilling Safeguards For Surface Owners
Deer Management Program Study Underway In The General Assembly
Budget Deficit At $3 Billion, Senate GOP Unveils Their Proposal Next
96 Sewickley Creek Watershed Volunteers Clean Up Illegal Dump
High School Recycling Competition to Begin May 1 In Centre County
May PA Center For Environmental Education Newsletter Now Available
Game Commission Offers Project Wild Programs For Educators
Mayor Nutter Announces Greenworks Philadelphia Sustainability Plan
DEP To Forgo Meaningful Comment Period On Climate Action Plan
EPA Region 3 Environmental Achievement Award Nominations Due
DEP Launches Stay Out, Stay Alive Campaign To Avoid Deaths
PUC Updates Estimates Comparing Current Electric Market Prices
PJM Launches Dashboard On Renewable Energy
PECO Celebrates “Earth Month” With $150,000 In Grants
iCONSERVE PA Encourages Gardeners To Bring Home The Natives
Video - Bat Hibernating Sites Remain Closed
Feature - 2009 Allegheny River Sojourn June 13-14

Friday NewsClips

College Board Hears Of Career Growth From Natural Gas Industries
CromaCollege Teaches People Wastewater Treatment Around The World
New Philadelphia Trash Bins Are Smart, Green-Friendly
Solar-Powered Trash Crushers
Native Plants On Sale At Pennypack Ecological Trust

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