Friday, December 21, 2012

Dec. 24 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The Dec. 24 PA Environment Digest is now available.  Click Here to print entire Digest.

Survey Shows 78 Percent Support More Funding For Conservation, Recreation

The Growing Greener Coalition Thursday pointed to a newly released statewide survey as clear evidence of strong public support for state funding to preserve farmland and open space, provide parks and trails and protect rivers and streams.
Overall, the survey found that more than 92 percent of the 608 Pennsylvanians surveyed think that state funds dedicated to preserving farmland and open space, providing parks and trails and protecting rivers and streams should continue to be used for these purposes.
In addition, the survey found that nearly 78 percent of respondents support increasing state funds to conserve and protect open space, clean water, natural areas, wildlife habitats, parks, historic sites, forests and farms even if would cost the average household $10 more annually.

New State Website Confirms DEP Lost Over 22% Of Positions Over Last 10 Years

Gov. Corbett Thursday launched a new website-- PennWATCH-- designed to provide the public with more information on how taxpayer dollars are spent.
The website confirmed the Department of Environmental Protection has lost 615 permanent positions-- nearly 20 percent-- since the 2002-03 fiscal year.  The agency’s permanent complement fell from 3,211 to 2,596.
But these numbers include over 105 positions added by DEP to regulate Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling.  When these are added in, DEP lost over 22 percent of its permanent positions over the last 10 years.
The numbers also do not include the 50 to 100 vacancies resulting from normal turnover of staff and the freeze on additional hiring Commonwealth wide.
“Pennsylvanians deserve to know how their tax dollars are being allocated and spent,” Corbett said.  “PennWATCH gives citizens unprecedented access to information on the state budget, revenues, spending and workforce.

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