Monday, December 31, 2018

PA Resources Council: Looking Back At 2018 Accomplishments

As 2018 comes to a close, the PA Resources Council would like to thank all of its supporters, patrons and partners for contributing to their work of protecting Pennsylvania's natural resources.
From collection events to classrooms PRC continued to connect people to their environment with practical tools and knowledge.The lasting impacts of PRC's diverse programs is made possible through the generosity of donors and volunteers.
Here are just a few of the accomplishments during 2018--
-- Hard To Recycle Collection Events: 348,842 pounds of electronics, 1,394 tires – enough to outfit 77 eighteen-wheeler trucks, 2,100 CFL bulbs and 2,363 Fluorescent tubes, 5,544 Cubic feet of expanded polystyrene, 355 Freon contain appliances and 525 small appliances;
-- Household Chemical Collection Events: 355,574 pounds of material collected from 4,010 families;
-- Watershed/Stormwater Management: Completed 107 property audits under PRC’s Stream Smart House Call Program; built new demonstration rain gardens at Academy Park High School, Darby Township School, and Morton Borough Hall, and assisted the Hav-a-Raingarden program in Haverford Township, Delaware County with 10 residential rain garden installations.  
Students assisted with the digging and planting of the school rain gardens, learning about watershed stewardship and potential career paths in Green Stormwater Infrastructure.
PRC continues its partnership in the William Penn Foundation’s Delaware River Watershed Initiative.  Phase II of the program was launched in 2018, with PRC’s work focused on the Naylors Run portion of the Cobbs Creek Watershed west of Philadelphia.  PRC is a key partner in Green Stormwater Infrastructure initiatives and intensive water quality monitoring in this area.
-- Conservation Workshops: Over the course of 19 Backyard Composting Workshops 404 participants learned about backyard composting and 285 bins were distributed. During these workshops participants learned how to expand their recycling efforts to include kitchen scraps and yard debris, while generating natural, home-made compost for their lawn and gardens.
Through eleven Rain Barrel Workshops across the state 325 participants learned how to collect and use rainwater. Additionally, 270 barrels were distributed. These workshops teach residents how to reduce their contribution to combined sewer overflow, flooding, and polluted urban runoff by learning how to practice watershed protection and conservation in their own backyards!
-- Zero Waste PA: This year alone, PRC’s Zero Waste Pennsylvania program has diverted over 38 tons of recycling and organic material from landfills through its zero waste event program. The service was provided for over 50 event days throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania with an average diversion rate of 79 percent.
-- In School Education: PRC’s school education programs bring environment and ecology to life both in the classroom and on field trips.  In 2018 we enhanced the educational experience of 3389 students during 260 programming days  across PRC’s Eastern, Central, and Western PA service areas.
-- Litter Prevention: The Litter? Not in Philly! online block adoption program recruited over 1,300 volunteers to help clean up litter in their neighborhood each week.  The program is currently being expanded to new neighborhoods, including Southwest Philadelphia.
The 34th Annual Gene Capaldi Lens on Litter Photo Contest attracted many great entries depicting the problems of litter and illegal dumping in Pennsylvania.  The contest was renamed for longtime a dedicated PRC volunteer who ran the contest for many years and who passed away in 2017.
-- Annual Events: PRC and many partners also host a series of annual events--
  -- Reuse Fest promoting the reuse of household and many other items
  -- PRC Annual Awards Celebration honored Wawa, Philadelphia Media Network LLC, Falk School of Sustainability at Chatham University, and Eldredge, Inc.
Click Here for a complete list of 2018 accomplishments.
For more information on programs, initiatives, special events and how you can get involved, 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.

Stroud/Farm Credit: Healthy Soil, Healthy Water Film About Local Farmers Improving Their Bottom Lines Jan. 17

The Stroud Water Research Center and Farm Credit in Chester County will host a January 17 showing of Lay Of The Land: Healthy Soil, Healthy Water documentary about local Pennsylvania farmers sharing their experiences of how best management practices improve their bottom line and improve water quality.
The film is produced by Natural Light Films in partnership with the Stroud Center, Lancaster County Conservancy, and the Pennsylvania No-Till Alliance.
Click Here to watch a trailer for the film.
The program will be held at the Stroud Water Research Center, 970 Spencer Road, Avondale, Chester County starting at 6:00 p.m.  RSVPs appreciated.
Click Here to RSVP and for all the details.
For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the Stroud Water Research Center website, Click Here to subscribe to UpStream.  Click Here to subscribe to Stroud’s Educator newsletter.  Click Here to become a Friend Of Stroud Research,  Like them on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, include them in your Circle on Google+ and visit their YouTube Channel.

Catch Up On Last Week's PA Environmental NewsClips

The December 31 PA Environment Digest lets you catch up on last week's PA Environmental NewsClips on a variety of topics.  Click Here to see what's happening around the state on environmental, energy, recreation and wildlife issues.

Explore The PA Environment Digest Calendar Of Events

The December 31 PA Environment Digest has a Calendar of Events listing upcoming conferences, House and Senate Committee meetings and other public participation opportunities.  Click Here to find out more.

Apply Now For These Grants, Awards To Support Your Projects

The December 31 PA Environment Digest has an updated list of Grants and Awards you can apply for to support your projects.  Click Here to find out what's available.

Monday PA Environmental NewsClips

Monday PA Capitol NewsClips - Click Here
Click Here for latest Environmental NewsClips & News (Daily Subscriber Email 1:00)
Click Here for latest PA Capitol NewsClips & News (Daily Subscriber Email 1:00)

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Updated: Feds Reverse Course, Will Now Sell New, Renewals Of National Flood Insurance Policies During Govt. Shutdown

On December 28, state Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman alerted consumers the Federal Emergency Management Agency has limited the ability of the National Flood Insurance Program to issue new and renewal flood insurance policies due to the federal government partial shutdown.
UPDATE: FEMA announced it has reversed its decision and will now sell new and renewed National Flood Insurance Policies after pressure by states, realtors and property owners.
FEMA had previously announces policies that were in force before midnight on Dec. 21, 2018 remain in force, but that it would not sell new policies or renew existing policies.
The NFIP will process and pay claims under those policies as usual from the National Flood Insurance Fund and the National Flood Insurance Reserve Fund until depleting these funds, but will not have authority to borrow any additional funds from the U.S. Treasury.
Existing flood insurance policies remain valid regardless of FEMA’s capacity to pay claims.
Homeowners who live in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) with federal-government backed mortgages, and most other mortgages, are required by their lenders to have flood coverage.
“Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Purchasing flood insurance is required for some property owners and may be a wise investment for anyone regardless of their property location, and so the government shutdown could impact consumers who are in the process of closing on a home or property,” Altman said. “I advise realtors and consumers alike to be aware of the latest developments regarding the government shutdown and its impact on the NFIP.”
The NFIP provides flood insurance to homeowners, renters and businesses located in a flood zone, but flood insurance is also available to any property owner or renter, regardless of their location, through private insurers, including surplus lines insurers.
The government shutdown has no impact private flood insurance policies.
For more information on flood insurance, visit the Insurance Department’s Flood Insurance webpage.

PA’s Most Penalized, Controversial Natural Gas Pipeline Now In Service- Mariner East 2

Late Saturday evening (December 29), Energy Transfer LP (Sunoco) announced its Mariner East 2 natural gas liquids (NGLs) pipeline is in service, available for both interstate and intrastate service.
The 350-mile NGL pipeline transports domestically produced ethane, propane and butane east from processing plants in Ohio across West Virginia and Pennsylvania to Energy Transfer’s Marcus Hook Industrial Complex in Delaware County, PA, where the NGLs are stored for distribution to local, domestic and waterborne markets.
Mariner East 2 is part of Energy Transfer’s Mariner East system of pipelines designed to provide much-needed NGL takeaway capacity for the Marcellus and Utica Shale production areas in Eastern Ohio, West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania.
The Mariner East 2X pipeline, which parallels Mariner East 2, is expected to be in service in late 2019.
The Mariner East system will provide both operational flexibility and enhanced security of NGL supply from producing areas to key markets in the region and beyond.
Troubled History
DEP has taken high-profile enforcement actions against the Mariner East 2 Pipeline, including collecting a record $12.6 million penalty for water quality and other violations and completely shutting down construction at one point.
The PUC has also taken a number of other actions against the Mariner East Pipelines on construction and safety issues during 2018, including most recently a proposed $225,000 penalty for an ethane/propane leak from Marine East 1.
A complaint filed with the Public Utility Commission by Sen. Andy Dinniman (D-Chester) on construction and safety issues surrounding the Mariner East 2 Pipeline resulted in a temporary order ceasing construction, but the bulk of the case is still making its way through the Administrative Law Judge process.
The Mariner East 2 Pipeline was the subject of a Senate hearing in March pointed to the need to hold pipeline companies accountable for impacts, providing for the safety of nearby residents and for better regulation of the routes taken by pipelines.
At  a Senate Committee meeting in June, Sen. Don White (R-Indiana) took the highly unusual step of singling out one pipeline company by name.  He said if the issues raised at the Senate hearing are only about one company [Sunoco Mariner East Pipelines] “we should be able to deal with that company and put them out of business.”
A House hearing in July saw both the head of DEP and the vice-chair of the Public Utility Commission say there needs to be a “serious conversation” about how Pennsylvania can have a meaningful role in siting pipelines in the state.
Earlier in December, the District Attorney in Chester County announced he was opening a criminal investigation into Mariner East Pipelines construction practices.
In September, another Energy Transfer LP natural gas pipeline exploded in Beaver County.
The PUC’s investigation of the Beaver County explosion is still active and ongoing.  DEP inspections in November found unreported landslides on the right-of-way and other issues.

Sunday PA Environmental NewsClips

Sunday PA Capitol NewsClips - Click Here
Click Here for latest Environmental NewsClips & News (Daily Subscriber Email 1:00)
Click Here for latest PA Capitol NewsClips & News (Daily Subscriber Email 1:00)

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner