Saturday, November 30, 2019

Saturday PA Environment & Energy NewsClips 11.30.19

Saturday PA Capitol NewsClips 11.30.19 -- Click Here
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Click Here for latest PA Capitol NewsClips & News (Daily Subscriber Email 2:00)
[Posted: November 30, 2019]

Friday, November 29, 2019

DEP Posts 38 Pages Of Permit-Related Notices In Nov. 30 PA Bulletin

The Department of Environmental Protection published 38 pages of public notices related to proposed and final permit and approval/ disapproval actions in the November 30 PA Bulletin - pages 7093 to 7131.
Sign Up For DEP’s eNotice: Did you know DEP can send you email notices of permit applications submitted in your community?  Notice of new technical guidance documents and regulations? All through its eNotice system. Click Here to sign up.

DEP Holds Hearing Jan. 14 [If Needed] On ArcelorMittal RACT II Air Quality Plan, Harrisburg

The Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled a January 14 hearing [if needed] on the RACT II Air Quality Plan for ArcelorMittal Steelton, LLC facility in Steelton Borough, Dauphin County (Nov. 30 PA Bulletin, page 7107).
The hearing will be held at the DEP Southcentral Regional Office, 909 Elmerton Avenue in Harrisburg starting at 10:00.
To register to speak at the hearing, please contact Thomas Hanlon by calling 717-705-4862.  The last day to register is January 7.
Read the entire PA Bulletin notice for more information (Nov. 30 PA Bulletin, page 7107).
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[Posted: November 29, 2019]

Hearing Set For Jan.. 3 [If Needed] On Proposed Johnstown Area Ozone Attainment Maintenance Plan

The Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled a January 3 hearing [if needed] on the proposed Johnstown Area Ozone Attainment Maintenance Plan. (Nov. 30 PA Bulletin)
The hearing will be held at the DEP Southwest Regional Office, Waterfront Drive in Pittsburgh starting at 10:00 a.m.
Persons wishing to present testimony should contact Amanda Rodriguez, P.O. Box 8468, Harrisburg, PA 17105,  call 717-787-9702 or send email to: to reserve a time.
If by Noon on December 30 no person has expressed an interest in testifying at the hearing, the hearing will be canceled.
Read the entire PA Bulletin notice for more information.
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[Posted: November 29, 2019]

Ann Swanson Receives Lifetime Achievement Award From Chesapeake Conservancy

Ann Swanson, Executive Director of the interstate Chesapeake Bay Commission, recently received the Chesapeake Conservancy Champion of the Bay Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her 31 years of service in that position.
The Chesapeake Bay Commission is a tri-state legislative advisory body serving the states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. It is the Commission’s responsibility to sponsor legislation at the state level and to work with state legislators, members of the U.S. Congress, and the federal and state regulatory agencies to coordinate programs aimed at restoring the Chesapeake Bay.
Although Ann operates in a highly political environment, she is trained in the sciences. A trained wildlife biologist and forest ecologist, she graduated with honors from the University of Vermont and Yale University. She holds an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Vermont.
Ann has been recognized regionally, nationally and internationally for her work. 
She delivered a keynote address at the Stockholm Water Festival, chaired the University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources for 11 years, and has been recognized with awards by her colleagues in the Bay watershed, the governors of the region and the General Assemblies of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Among her many awards, in 2001, she was awarded the Bay region’s highest Conservation Award, Conservationist of the Year, in 2008 was recognized by general assembly resolutions in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, in 2011 was awarded the YMCA Outstanding Women in Industry Twin Award, in May 2012 received an honorary doctorate from the University of Vermont, in 2013 received the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Leadership Award, and in 2015 she was recognized as an Admiral of the Chesapeake Bay in the state of Maryland. 
Ann has been married for 32 years, is a published illustrator, an accomplished gardener, backpacker and sea kayaker, and is a mother of two boys.
Visit the Chesapeake Bay Commission website for more information on its initiatives and upcoming events.
Visit the Chesapeake Conservancy website for more information on their programs, initiatives and upcoming events.
For more information on what Pennsylvania is doing to meet its Chesapeake Bay cleanup obligations, visit DEP’s Pennsylvania Chesapeake Bay Plan webpage.
[Posted: November 29, 2019]

Opportunity To Bid On DEP Mine Reclamation Projects In Cambria, Lackawanna Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of the opportunity to bid on mine reclamation projects in Cambria and Lackawanna counties in the November 30 PA Bulletin. 
The Department of Environmental Protection has available a current list of Abandoned Mine Reclamation, Acid Mine Drainage, Surface Mine Reclamation, Cleaning Out and Plugging Oil and Gas Wells, Waterways Engineering (Concrete Dams/Concrete Lined Channels, Walls and Box Culverts, etc.), Hazardous Site Remediation, Removal and Disposal of Underground Storage Tanks, and Wetland Restoration projects available for bidding.  Click Here for the list.
            The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has a current list of bid proposals for construction projects in State Parks and State Forests available online.  Click Here for the list.
[Posted: November 29, 2019]

Controlled Plant & Noxious Weed Committee Adds 5 Plants To Noxious Weed List

The Department of Agriculture’s Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Committee added five plants to the Noxious Weed List at its October 24 meeting (Nov. 30 PA Bulletin).
The plants include--
-- Brazilian water weed (Egeria densa) - Class A noxious weed;
-- Water soldier Stratiotes aloides) - Class C noxious weed;
-- Parrot feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum) - Class B noxious weed;
-- Yellow floating heart (Nymphoides peltata) - Class A noxious weed; and
-- Wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) (except for non-wild cultivated varieties) - Class B noxious weed
For more information, visit the Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Committee webpage.  Questions should be directed to Triby Libart by sending email to: or calling 717-787-4843.
(Photo: Water soldier Stratiotes aloides.)
[Posted: November 29, 2019]

Nov. 29 Take Five Fridays With Pam, PA Parks & Forests Foundation

-- Purchase a Special Gift Membership To PPFF For Fun People On Your Holiday List!
-- Picture Of The Week: Tale Of Skiing Adventures To Come At Black Moshannon State Park
For more information on programs, initiatives, special events and how you can get involved, visit the PA Parks & Forests Foundation website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Foundation,  Like them on Facebook or Follow them on TwitterClick Here to become a member of the Foundation.
(Photo: Canyon Vista at Worlds End State Park, Sullivan County by Kyle Fawcett.)
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[Posted: November 29, 2019]

Op-Ed: Sunday Deer Hunting Is Not The Apocalypse For Hikers

By Jim Foster, Active Hiker

The Pennsylvania Senate passed Senate Bill 147 (Laughlin-R-Erie) on November 27, and Governor Wolf has signed it into law.  Among other changes, the new law directs the Pennsylvania Game Commission to permit hunting on Sundays starting in 2020.  
So, does this new law mean that hikers, bird watchers, and other non-hunters will be forced indoors on the Sabbath?  Absolutely not!
Let me try to talk my fellow hikers back from the ledge with a few facts. 
First, the new law will only open hunting for just three Sundays each year.  The law directs that one of these will be during rifle deer season, one will be during archery deer season and one will be on another Sunday.  
The Game Commission will select the three Sundays and announce them. Of course, that means that on 49 Sundays during the year there will be no widespread hunting in the Keystone State. 
I say “widespread” because, believe it or not, hunting is currently legal on Sundays in Pennsylvania.  Coyotes, crows and foxes can currently be hunted on Sunday, although these are not very popular game species.
Second, Pennsylvania has been an extreme outlier when it comes to Sunday hunting.  
Now that Pennsylvania is going to allow widespread hunting on some Sundays, only Maine and Massachusetts remain among states with an extensive ban on Sunday hunting.  Delaware approved extensive Sunday hunting in 2018. Virginia approved it in 2014. West Virginia approved Sunday hunting on public lands in 2018.  
It is safe to hike, birdwatch, etc. in the woods with hunters.  Non-hunters in 47 states already use the woods with hunters on Sunday.  The vast majority of hunters are extremely careful with firearms.  
There are almost no recorded instances of a hunter shooting a hiker.  Almost all hunters had to take a hunter safety course before they could get a license. Don’t believe the stereotype that all hunters are gun toting fools.
It is a good idea to take some precautions when enjoying the woods with hunters.  
I follow a simple rule when hiking on a State Game Land or other woods where hunting is permitted.  I wear some blaze orange. I don’t worry about what game is in season, I always wear a blaze orange hat or vest.  
There is always some game species that is legal to hunt in Pennsylvania.  Also, even I decline to hike on State Game Lands at certain times. The best example is the popular two-week regular firearm deer season, which starts right after Thanksgiving.  
Even then, I don’t feel especially nervous, if I have blaze orange on.  But I enjoy the solitude of the woods, and there’s not much solitude during that period. 
Beyond the subject of safety in the woods, I want to point out that most hunters are environmentalists too, and you have a vested interest in their continued viability.  Why is that?  
Many of our best hiking trails are on State Game Lands, in whole or in part.  That includes the very popular Appalachian Trail.  These precious wild spaces are protected and maintained by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.  
Who provides the funding for the Game Commission’s extensive protection operations:  hunters, almost entirely. The lion’s share of funding for the Commission comes from hunting license fees and an excise tax on firearms and ammunition, commonly known as Pittman-Robertson.  
The Commission uses these funds to protect countless wildlife species, many of which are NOT hunted by sportsmen.  And, that doesn’t even count the amazing work done by hunting environmental groups like Ducks Unlimited.
So, here is my message to my fellow hikers and other non-hunter lovers of the outdoors.  Don’t hide inside on Sundays. Get a blaze orange hat and vest and enjoy the outdoors just as you have in the past.  
If you happen upon a hunter in the woods, ask her or him if they’ve had any luck.  Who knows, maybe one of them will give you some venison steak.  
Trust me, it’s really good.

Jim Foster is a retired attorney who thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail several years ago.  He is a life member and active maintainer with Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Keystone Trails Association, Cumberland Valley Appalachian Trail Club and several other trails organizations.  He serves on the Governor’s Advisory Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation.  He lives with his wife in suburban Harrisburg.
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[Posted: November 29, 2019]

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