Saturday, August 31, 2019

Football, Sports Visitors To Penn State & Other Areas: Help Stop Spread Of Spotted Lanternfly To, From, In Quarantine Areas

This is the time of year when thousands of students, families and football fans are coming to University Park [and many other football and sports venues around the state], and Penn State officials want to make sure those visitors are not transporting the spotted lanternfly, an invasive insect that is threatening the northeastern U.S., especially southeastern Pennsylvania.
[Visitors to, from, in the quarantine area designated by the Department of Agriculture need to be especially vigilant for hitchhikers.  The quarantine area includes: Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and Schuylkill counties.]
The spotted lanternfly, native to Asia, has the potential to seriously harm Pennsylvania's economy by damaging crops, landscapes and natural ecosystems, including the grape, tree-fruit, hardwood and nursery industries.
Vigilance is especially important as the pest’s egg-laying season is quickly approaching, noted Heather Leach, Penn State’s spotted lanternfly extension associate.
“With the volume of visitors heading to campus now, we are concerned that they may unknowingly spread the insect during their travels,” she said. “And keeping this pest from reaching beyond the current 14-county quarantine zone is critical while we work toward control solutions."
Check Your Vehicle, Equipment
To share that message, Penn State has launched a multimedia public-awareness campaign asking visitors to campus, especially those coming from southeastern Pennsylvania, to take the following precautions before traveling:
-- Walk around your vehicle and check closely for any spotted lanternfly adults and/or nymphs; particularly check the windshield wiper area, bumpers and wheel wells. In fall and winter, also look for egg masses, which have the appearance of mud splatters.
-- Check any piece of equipment or item that you will be transporting that has been outdoors in the quarantine area — such as grills, tents, tables or yard games.
-- Do not park your RV or other vehicles under trees. Keep your windows up at all times.
-- Check yourself before getting into any vehicle to make sure there are no spotted lanternfly nymphs or adults on you.
Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences and Penn State Extension are leading a multistate, interdisciplinary task force consisting of government, industry and agriculture representatives who are working together to identify specific strategies to combat the spotted lanternfly.
For more information about how to identify and control spotted lanternfly, how to report an infestation and how to comply with quarantine regulations, visit the Penn State Extension Spotted Lanternfly webpage.
Visit the Department of Agriculture’s Spotted Lanternfly webpage for information on quarantine permits needed to transport certain items, compliance checklists for individuals and more. 
[Note: Penn State is highlighted because on football weekends, State College becomes the 4th largest city in Pennsylvania.]
(Reprinted from Penn State News.)

Friends Of Allegheny Wilderness Invite Volunteers To Be Part Of Allegheny River Cleanup Sept. 9 & 10

It’s that time of the year again! For the eleventh year in a row-- ever since the very first year of the event-- Friends of Allegheny Wilderness is inviting volunteers to participate in the Allegheny River Cleanup to help remove unwanted refuse from the National Wild & Scenic Allegheny River and environs.
The Allegheny River Cleanup runs from September 7 to 14 in the upper parts of the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania and into New York. 
If you want to volunteer on a section of the Allegheny River containing islands permanently protected from all forms of development under the Wilderness Act of 1964, the September 9 portion of the cleanup will focus on a length of the Allegheny including the 96-acre Crull’s Island and the 60-acre Thompson’s Island in Warren County.
These expansive alluvial islands, and five others stretching almost all the way down to Tionesta, are part of the Allegheny Islands Wilderness, designated by the U.S. Congress in 1984 under the Pennsylvania Wilderness Act.
The September 10 portion of the cleanup will also include a stretch of the Allegheny with designated wilderness islands in Warren County.
  When you register, you will need to know how many people are in your party in order to reserve your canoes. Limited space is available, so don’t delay. If you do not want to canoe, we still need lots of help on shore.
  Canoers and kayakers will pick up trash as they paddle downriver. Sometimes they will need to get out along the shore to pick up objects on the shore or riverbanks-- this is where muck boots or old boots or shoes will come in handy. 
When the boat is full of garbage, float to the nearest clearly marked trash drop-off point. On-shore volunteers will be needed at these points to unload the boats full of “treasures,” sort recyclables from trash, and stack tires.
Other volunteers will be needed to transport all of these goodies to designated dumpsters, trailers, and storage units.
  Be sure to show up on the right day and at the correct time and place designated for your trip. Please don’t be late as tardiness can set off a chain-reaction of delays reverberating throughout the day. 
Volunteers will be briefed about trash hot spots and other information at the launch site, before boarding their boats. Volunteers should plan to spend at least 5 to 6 hours each day.
Finally, all volunteers are invited to the volunteer recognition and awards party, the River Riot, complete with free food (at least for the first 80 attendees), beverages, live music, and the annual “Trashy Awards” presentations. 
This free event will be held September 14 at 6:00 p.m. This year, Allegheny Outfitters and Bent Run Brewing Company will co-host the event at their new, adjacent storefronts on Clark Street in Warren.
Learn more about the cleanup by visiting the Allegheny River Cleanup website or visit the Allegheny River Cleanup Facebook page.
For more information on programs, initiatives, other upcoming events and how you can get involved, visit the Friends of Allegheny Wilderness website.
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PUC Expects Natural Gas-Fired Electric Generation To Increase From 30 To 45% Of Capacity By End Of 2022 In PA

The Public Utility Commission released its annual assessment of generation, transmission and distribution capacity in Pennsylvania last week which projected a significant increase in natural gas-fired electric generation capacity from 30 percent to as much as 45 percent of capacity by the end of 2022.
The Electric Power Outlook for Pennsylvania 2018-2023 report also concludes regional generation capacity and reserve margins of the mid-Atlantic will be satisfied through 2028, “provided planned generation and transmission projects will be forthcoming in a timely manner.”
The assessment includes the announced retirements of 15 individual units of nuclear, coal, diesel and landfill gas generation facilities made during 2018 (page 48).
Overall, the report says natural gas generation capacity is expected to increase from 30 percent of generation now to about 45 percent by 2022 (it was 23.2 percent in 2009) (page 49).  
Both coal (from about 30 to 24 percent, it was 36.2 percent in 2009) and nuclear (from about 23 percent to 17 percent, it was 20.8 percent in 2009) are projected to decline (page 49).  
This compares to the current PJM regional fuel mix of 40.2 percent natural gas, 32.7 percent coal, 17.6 percent nuclear, 6.1 percent hydro, wind and other. (page 49)
The report says Pennsylvania has 21 natural gas-fired power plants under construction with a generation capacity of 6.413 GW (page 47) for a total of 11.467 GW of generation in the que (active and under construction) (page 48).
There are also 37 active solar energy projects with a generation capacity of just over 1 GW in the que with 8 under construction (54.7 MW) (page 47) for a total of 1.081 GW of generation in the que (active and under construction) (page 48).
Three wind energy projects are considered active with a capacity of 38.5 MW with 8 under construction (85 MW) (page 47) for a total of 149 MW of generation in the que (active and under construction) (page 48).
Other active generation projects in the que included 2 hydroelectric projects with a capacity of 500 MW and 10 active storage energy projects with a generation capacity of 143.8 MW (page 47).
The report said there were announced retirements 76.1 MW of Pennsylvania generation  in 2018, compared to 14 MW in 2017, and 177 MW in 2016 (page 48). 
PJM received 12 new Pennsylvania Deactivation Notices in 2018, totaling 4,391.5 MW. The retirements in 2018 included 15 individual units of nuclear, coal, diesel and landfill gas generation facilities. (page 48)
The PUC forecasts a nearly 1 percent decrease in electric energy use over the next 5 years, with residential use decreasing 1.4 percent and commercial use decreasing 2.15 percent.  Industrial use is expected to increase by 0.7 percent (page iii).
The report says electric distribution companies are complying with the minimum requirements of the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards law (page 13).  The AEPS law requires electric distribution companies to have 8 percent Tier I (solar, wind, etc.) and 10 percent Tier II (waste coal, hydropower, energy-from-waste, etc.) generation by May 31, 2021.
The report indicated all electric distribution companies are on their way to meeting their 5-year electric consumption and peak demand reduction requirements under the Act 129 energy efficiency law, but noted final annual reports for Program Year 10 are due to the Commission by November 15, 2019 (page 15).
The report also includes a helpful list of generation facilities (page 49) and lots of other data on each electric distribution company in the state (starting on page 22).
Click Here to read the reportClick Here to read past reports.

Applications Now Being Accepted For PECO Green Region Open Space Grants

Municipalities and recreation authorities could receive grants of up to $10,000 as part of PECO’s Green Region Open Space Program administered by Natural Lands.  The deadline for applications is October 31.
“PECO remains committed to increasing the environmental sustainability of the communities we serve by supporting projects that will positively impact the region by creating and revitalizing new, green spaces across southeastern Pennsylvania,” said Mike Innocenzo, PECO president and CEO.
The grants, which have a 50 percent match requirement, can be used with other funding sources to cover expenses related to open space projects, such as consulting fees, trail construction, land acquisition, habitat improvement and the cost of creating and implementing an open space plan.
Eligible applicants include municipalities and regional recreational authorities within PECO’s suburban service territory, including portions of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and York counties. 
Within the City of Philadelphia, eligible applicants are limited to incorporated nonprofit organizations.
Since the program’s inception in 2004, the PECO Green Region Program has awarded more than $2 million for nearly 300 projects. 
Grant projects have resulted in 400 acres of open space being saved; 100 park upgrades; and the improvement of 14.5 miles of trails.
Click Here for all the details.

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Friday, August 30, 2019

Alliance For The Chesapeake Bay Honors Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership Founder John Cox, Other Award Winners Sept. 26

By Kate Fritz, Chesapeake Bay Journal

On September 26, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay will recognize John Cox, former CEO and Chairman of the Board of Lancaster-based Turkey Hill Dairies, with the Frances H. Flanigan Environmental Leadership Award for his work in building the Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership
The Rev. Patricia Gould-Champ, Katherine Antos and Kimberly Hickey will also be honored with 2019 Watershed Champions Awards. 
For the last 48 years, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay has believed that the best results come from bringing people together to find common ground, then working to deploy “boots on the ground” to bring clean water projects to fruition. 
Building partnerships is in our DNA. We are privileged to honor four incredible champions this year at our 14th Annual Taste of the Chesapeake, September 26 in Annapolis.
John Cox - Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership
Each year, the Alliance selects an individual to recognize with our Frances H. Flanigan Environmental Leadership Award. This award was established in 2001 in honor of Flanigan’s 23-year career of leadership and partnership-building throughout the watershed as executive director of the Alliance. 
The award recognizes a person whose longstanding commitment to the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake reflects the Alliance’s mission of fostering diverse partnerships and building local action to inspire environmental stewardship.
This year, we are honored to present the 2019 Flanigan award to John Cox, former CEO and chairman of the board of Turkey Hill Dairy.
In partnership with the Alliance and the Maryland Virginia Milk Producers’ Cooperative Association (MDVA), John was a driving force in building the Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership. 
The partnership was created to support efforts by farmers in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County to improve the health of Lancaster’s rivers and streams. 
Through this initiative, Turkey Hill is leading the way for the private sector to do its part for clean local streams and rivers in the Lancaster area.
In 2018, the Alliance met John at a Businesses for the Bay networking forum that we hosted in coordination with the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce. Our Pennsylvania state director, Jenna Mitchell, asked him how many of the farmers supplying milk to Turkey Hill had conservation plans. 
He took that question back to Turkey Hill, then worked with their dairy supplier, MDVA, to include financial incentives. Turkey Hill pays farmers a premium for their milk once they come into compliance with conservation plans.
The Alliance has helped leverage about $1.5 million in funding from the Natural Resource Conservation Service and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to help MDVA farmers providing milk to Turkey Hill with implementing practices on the ground. 
With more than 140 farmers participating, this partnership, driven by Cox’s vision and energy, is driving major improvements to local water quality in Lancaster County.
This project demonstrates that leadership in the private sector can accelerate conservation actions-- leadership John has been vocal in helping to replicate in other CEOs and businesses. 
Turkey Hill has made information about their practices freely available to motivate other businesses to adopt similar approaches. As the partnership has grown, its successes have shown that the effort is replicable in other agricultural industries.
The Alliance is proud to honor John with the Fran Flanigan Leadership Award for his significant strides in creating innovative public-private partnerships that make a big impact on the land and water in the Lancaster area as well as the Chesapeake Bay watershed. 
Thank you, John, for your leadership in the restoration movement!
Watershed Champions
The Alliance will also honor three Watershed Champions at our Taste celebration for their outstanding contributions to the Chesapeake watershed through innovative thinking, initiative, and the development of inspiring and impactful partnerships to advance stewardship in the region.
Katherine Antos had an impressive start to her career at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program, where she crafted a 15-year plan in partnership with the six Bay states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government that was instrumental in establishing a road map for pollution reduction goals in the Chesapeake Bay for 2025.
In addition, as an ambassador for the Anacostia River under the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, Katherine worked with government, watershed and community-based organizations to restore the river and enhance opportunities and access for underserved neighborhoods. 
She aspired to deepen community organizations’ engagement around the future of Anacostia Park, climate adaptation and watershed restoration.
Katherine is the branch chief for the DC Department of Energy and Environment “Partnering and Environmental Conservation Branch,” which brings together District and federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, businesses and residents to restore and preserve the District’s waterways. 
She works to improve water quality, manage stormwater, reduce litter and enhance the District’s resilience. 
The Alliance is thrilled to be honoring Katherine as a Watershed Champion at this year’s Taste for her work to activate District residents in environmental projects and enhancing community resilience.
Kimberly Hickey, one of the founding members and leaders of the Stormwater Disciples at Asbury Broadneck United Methodist Church, was the backbone and driver of an extraordinary effort that brought together watershed groups, government agencies and practitioners to address the severe flooding issues at the church’s hallowed and historical cemetery.
Throughout the project, Kimberly collaborated with both internal and external partners to facilitate discussions around the issues, brainstorm solutions and shepherd a stream and wetland restoration project from conception to completion. 
She even spearheaded a community volunteer day to install plants in the wetland portion of the project.
Kimberly serves as the treasurer for Asbury Broadneck United Methodist Church and is an Anne Arundel County Watershed Steward (class of 2017). 
Because of Kimberly’s championship efforts-- along with the efforts of the rest of the Stormwater Disciples-- the church’s stream and wetland restoration project protects the cultural and natural resources that are so very important to her community and the region. 
The Alliance is honored to be celebrating Kimberly as one of our 2019 Watershed Champions!
The Rev. Patricia Gould-Champ of Faith Community Baptist Church has been a driving force behind an extraordinary project that quickly outgrew the initial concept and soon became something much more important. 
In 2016, the Alliance received funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to form partnerships with the faith community to engage congregants in our RiverWise program in Virginia. 
The program’s goal was to link creation care with stormwater pollution reduction on church properties with hopes that congregants would carry the ideas and principles of these practices into their personal lives and begin making changes at home.
But when the Alliance began working with the Rev. Gould-Champ and Faith Community Baptist Church, something much more powerful began to take place. 
Rather than just installing stormwater practices, the Alliance’s funding was able to help support Faith Community’s larger goal of addressing food justice issues in the East End of Richmond. 
Faith Community installed a solar-powered rainwater harvesting system, fruit trees, a berry patch, a native plant and meditation labyrinth, six raised gardens in which eggplant, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, basil and other vegetables are planted, and an African keyhole composting garden. 
These gardens, named the Garden of Hope by the congregation, became the beginning of a much larger effort to create a local farmer’s market in the heart of a community with high impervious cover, and little access to affordable fresh locally grown food.
The Alliance is excited about the direction that this project is headed, and would like to honor the Rev. Gould-Champ, and the entire congregation of Faith Community Baptist Church, for their inspirational leadership in creating a sustainable and healthy community.
Our environmental award winners are representative of many others whose dedication inspires all of us every day.
We invite you to join us at our 2019 Taste of the Chesapeake on September 26 in Annapolis to celebrate these inspiring environmental leaders and champions, and to support the Alliance’s critical work to bring together communities, companies and conservationists to improve the lands and waters of the Chesapeake Bay. 
More information is available on programs, initiatives and special events on the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Alliance, Like the Alliance on Facebook, Follow them on Twitter, and visit the Alliance’s YouTube ChannelClick Here to support the Alliance’s work.
(Photo: Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership founder John Cox.)
(Reprinted from the Chesapeake Bay Journal.)
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