Friday, December 30, 2011

Jan. 2 PA Environment Digest Now Available

Jan. 2 PA Environment Digest now available.  Click Here to print this Digest.

Major Environmental Legislative Issues In 2012, Same As 2011

Following his 12 minute inaugural address last January, Gov. Corbett did not start his administration with the usual laundry list of "to-dos" like most Governors.  He only had one-- bring in an on-time budget without raising taxes.
            He accomplished that goal with the help of his Republican colleagues in the Senate and House literally at the 11th hour in June 30 with very painful cuts reducing the size of state government by 4.1 percent.
            The new FY 2011-12 budget preserved the disastrous Rendell cuts to environmental programs,  but at least didn't make too many more.  The bright spots were the Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) Farm Conservation Tax Credit Program, which was restored to its full $10 million in funding, and a transfer of $15 million from the PA Infrastructure Investment Authority to the H2O Water Infrastructure Program administered by the Commonwealth Financing Authority.
            After the budget, Marcellus Shale legislation was the top environmental priority for the year, which ultimately did not make it to the Governor's desk and is now in conference committee.

DEP, PSATS Offer Stormwater Management-MS4 Training January-March

The Department of Environmental Protection and the PA State Association of Township Supervisors will host a series of three training sessions in January dealing with stormwater management and the MS4 permit process.
            The courses are part of a sixteen session package of training to be offered through March.
            The first workshops will be held January 5: Berks County Agricultural Center; January 19: Monroeville, Allegheny County; and January 24: Trevose, Bucks County.
            For the remainder of the workshop dates and locations and to register, download the workshop brochure.

Friday NewsClips

Sen. Mary Jo White Retiring In 2012
Op-Ed: Legislators Would Be Wise To Start Over On Marcellus Bill
West Virginia's New Marcellus Shale Law
Small Town Takes On Gas Driller Over Road Repairs
Range Resources Appeals South Fayette Zoning Laws
Relentless Pump Prices A Pain In Pocket
Draeger Has Name Recognition In Mining Industry - Part 6
Op-Ed: Urban Farms Offer Way To Dig Gardening
Click Here for PA Capitol Digest

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sen. Mary Jo White Announces She Will Not Run For Re-Election

Sen. Mary Jo White (R-Venango), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, announced Thursday she would not seek re-election in 2012.
            "Today I am announcing that I will not be a candidate for re-election to the Senate of Pennsylvania in 2012. After a career in the private sector, I never expected to have an opportunity to enter political life," said Sen. White.  "It has been an exciting and challenging time, and I would not have missed it for the world. I have worked with talented and dedicated people in and out of government. I sincerely thank the people of the 21st District for their confidence and support."
            Sen. White has served in the Senate for 14 years and chaired the Senate Environmental Committee for 12 years and has been involved in every major environmental law passed since 1999, including the Environmental Stewardship and Watershed Protection (Growing Greener) Act, the Water Resources Planning Act and has been in the middle of the debate over Marcellus Shale legislation.
            She became the first woman elected to Senate Republican Leadership as Caucus Administrator in 2001.
            Prior to becoming Senator she served as a public defender in Venango County and was Vice President for Environment/Government Affairs for Quaker State Corporation.

Governor's Environmental Excellence Award Applications Due January 30

The Department of Environmental Protection is encouraging environmentally-conscious businesses and organizations to apply for the 2012 Governor's Environmental Excellence Award.  Applications are due January 30.
            "This award is a gem because it recognizes environmental innovation, which makes a business or organization more competitive and efficient," DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. "The winners are creating a brighter and cleaner future for all Pennsylvanians. We want to showcase them as role models and say, 'Thank you.'"
            The award is open to any Pennsylvania business, government agency, educational institution, individual or farm that has created or participated in the development of a project that promotes environmental stewardship and economic development in the state.
            Eligible projects include environmental technology innovation, clean energy innovation, pollution prevention and resource efficiency, community revitalization, environmental education or outreach, watershed stewardship, and mine safety, among others.
            Projects will be evaluated based on applicants' demonstration of how their project will protect the environment, teamwork, public service, environmental education and outreach, pollution prevention, economic impact - including potential job creation, and the use of innovation technology.
            The project must have been completed between August 1, 2010, and July 31, 2011. While each candidate may submit only one application for a particular project, companies with multiple facilities may submit an application for each facility.
            Projects that have previously received a Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence are not eligible for this award, though past winners may submit applications for new projects for consideration.
            Each project will be reviewed by a committee of DEP employees. Recipients of the award will be honored during an evening reception and the winning projects will also be listed on DEP's website.
            For more information, visit the Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence webpage.  Projects should be submitted by email to:   For assistance with completing the application, please call 717-783-8727.

Thursday NewsClips

Penn State Scandal, Flooding Top PA's News Stories In 2011
Lycoming Twp Official Drops Trees To Block Drilling Company
PA Power Plant To Convert To Natural Gas
PA Coal-Fired Plants Looking To Run On Gas
Chesapeake Energy To Sell $865 Million In Pipelines
With Gas Drilling Next Door, New York Gets Economic Lift
Editorial: Upgrade Flood Forecasting
Environmental Lawsuits Could Hit U.S. Agriculture In 2012
Brownsville Barge Plant Investing In Its Future - Part 5
More NFG, Penelec Customers Without Heat This Year
Midstate College Offers Electrical Engineering Lab
Column: More PA Enviro-Insanity?  C'mon Man!
Editorial: Clear The Air With New Emission Regulations
State Bureau Of Forestry Offers Christmas Tree Recycling
Click Here for PA Capitol Digest

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Read About Hundreds Of Award-Winning Environmental Stewards From 2011

Individuals, businesses, farmers, schools, local governments, students of all ages, nonprofit groups and organizations just like you are doing great things to protect and restore Pennsylvania's environmental all the time and in every corner of the Commonwealth.
            If you don't believe us, read about these award-winning performances in the following 92 stories included in the PA Environment Digest in 2011.
            You've got NO excuse!

PennVest, DEP Announce First Nutrient Credit Trading Auction For March 21

The PA Infrastructure Investment Authority and the Department of Environmental Protection announced Wednesday they will host an auction March 21 for the sale and purchase of nutrient credits in the Susquehanna and Potomac watersheds.
            The auction will be a “forward” auction, where certified credits will be sold at auction, delivered later and applied to 2012 and future compliance years. The auction will afford wastewater treatment plants in these two watersheds the opportunity to purchase credits as a means of meeting their nitrogen and phosphorus discharge limits for the compliance years.
            PennVEST is hosting the auctions to encourage the trading of nutrient credits in the Susquehanna and Potomac watersheds. DEP’s nutrient credit trading program provides a cost-effective means for facilities that are subject to nitrogen and phosphorus limits to meet those limits by working with other facilities, non-point sources or both.
            PennVEST has chosen Markit Inc. to provide the platform for enrollment and eligibility, auctions and registry services. Markit, a financial information services company, has provided operations and infrastructure services to environmental programs worldwide.
            PennVEST anticipates charging buyers and sellers 2.5 cents per credit to offset administrative costs.
            For more information, visit PennVEST's Nutrient Credit Trading Program webpage or call 717-783-6776 (PennVEST) or 717-772-4785 (DEP).

Foundation For PA Watersheds Sets Grant Application Deadlines

The Foundation for PA Watersheds Tuesday set deadlines for its 2012 grant application rounds: February 13 and August 24.
            Spring letters of intent are due February 13 with applications due March 12.  Decisions will be made at the April 24 Board meeting.  Fall letters of intent are due August 24 and applications September 28 and decisions made at the November 13 Board meeting.
            Click Here for details on the application process.

Wednesday NewsClips

Blog: Top Political Stories: #5- Transportation Funding
Penn State Faculty Member Captures Faces Of Marcellus Shale
Truck Collision Spills Marcellus Drilling Mud Into Lycoming Creek
Delaware River Master Parts The Water
Butler County Cranks Up Gas Processing Plant Construction
Rex Energy Gets OK For Cryogenic Gas Plant In Butler
LaFarge Receives $300,000 Grant To Convert To Gas
Region Hosts Cutting-Edge Coal Research - Part 4
Hurricane Irene Didn't Stir Up Much Trouble In Chesapeake Bay
Foundation For PA Watersheds Grant Application Schedule
CMU Designed Disaster App Could Speed Assistance
Rainfall Adds To Record Year In Lehigh Valley
Editorial: Utilities Should Learn Lesson From 2011 Weather
Click Here for PA Capitol Digest

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dec. 26 PA Environment Digest Now Available

Dec. 26 PA Environment Digest now available.  Click Here to print this Digest.

Merry Christmas And A Happy New Year From Crisci Associates!

Tony, John, Ron, Lauren, Donna and Dave want to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

House Unanimously Nonconcurs In Marcellus Shale Legislation Sending Bill To Conference

House Republicans and House Democrats combined Tuesday, for different reasons, to vote unanimously to nonconcur in Senate changes to House Bill 1950 (Ellis-R-Butler) which would amend the Oil and Gas Act to include additional environmental protection measures relating to Marcellus Shale drilling and a statewide drilling fee.

End Of Fiscal Year Deficit Of $500 Million Expected, More Spending Cuts Coming

Budget Secretary Charles Zogby Tuesday said during his mid-year budget briefing the Corbett Administration expects an end of fiscal year deficit of $500 million.  As a result, Secretary Zogby said his office is preparing a list of current year spending cuts the Governor will consider before the end of the year.
            Secretary Zogby said the bottom line is the Governor is likely to need about $750 million to bring the FY 2012-13 budget into balance.  He said the Governor is not going to make up this shortfall with tax increases.
            State agencies have already been asked to submit a budget assuming a further 5 percent reduction in spending, with no exemptions, but Secretary Zogby said no decisions have been made on any line items.

Corbett Signs Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Bill Into Law

Gov. Tom Corbett Thursday signed into law House Bill 344 (Baker-R-Tioga) establishing regulatory oversight of natural gas pipelines in the Commonwealth to the Public Utility Commission.

House Votes To Approve Largest Bond Issue In State's History

The House Monday took final action on two bills which would authorize $6.2 billion in new state bonds be issued, the largest bond issue ever for the Commonwealth.
            Why isn't there a similar commitment to passing a reasonable Marcellus Shale drilling fee and funding billions of dollars of much needed green infrastructure repair and upgrades?

Friday NewsClips

Corbett Touts Johnstown Marcellus Frack Tank Plant
Shale Gas Operator Fined By PA Regulators
Pittsburgh Bill Could Hold Gas Companies Liable
Drilling Company Faces Suit In Fatal Crash
Williams Partners To Buy Marcellus Pipelines For $750 Million
Shale Turns Natural Gas Into Bargain
Editorial: New Gas Rules May Aid WV
Refinery Closings May Mean $4 Gasoline
Months Later, East Flood Victims Remain Displaced
For Flood Victims, Trailers Become Home
Duquesne University First In PA To Get Energy Award
EPA Tightens Air Pollution Regs
Click Here for PA Capitol Digest

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

PennFuture Returns $138,000+ In State Grant Funds

By DONALD GILLILAND, The Harrisburg Patriot-News
One of Pennsylvania’s leading environmental groups has returned more than $138,000 in taxpayer money because it violated the terms of the contract.
           Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future — better known as PennFuture — received a two-year grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development in 2009 to provide information on energy conservation to school districts and municipalities.
           Click Here for full story.

Wednesday NewsClips

Pennsylvania Budget Cutting May Get Painful
Outlook Bleak For Next Year's State Budget
PA Plans To Freeze Some Spending to Keep Budget In Balance
PA Expects $500 Million Budget Deficit
House Votes Down Senate Drilling Impact Fee
Allegheny County Twp Budgets For Drilling Legal Fight
Encana Refutes EPA Study Linking Fracking To Water Pollution
Gas Pipeline Would Run Through Somerset, Bedford
Feds OK $420 Million For Pennsylvanians Affected By Flooding
200 Flooded Properties Proposed For Federal Buyouts
Luzerne County Flood Board OKs Budget
Funding Cuts Put Emergency Preparedness At Risk
Congress OKs $300 Million For Great Lakes Cleanup
Great Lakes States Can't Agree On Asian Carp Controls
Column: Tunkhannock Schools Go Green
Click Here for PA Capitol Digest

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