Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Bucknell University Agnes Revisited - The Performance: Learning to Live with Floods - History, Change, Remembrance, and Resilience April 22

Nearly 50 years ago, Tropical Storm Agnes descended on the Susquehanna River Basin, upending lives, devastating homes, and transforming the Susquehanna Valley. 

In this performance, Bucknell students join with local residents to revisit Agnes and the lessons it has for today.  

It will transform more than 30 interviews, hundreds of photographs, and dozens of newspaper articles from the days of Agnes into songs, monologues, scenes, dances, and more.

The program will not only be based on experiences of area community residents -- the cast will feature community leaders and Agnes survivors as well.

This performance draws on the historical research of Presidential Fellow Bethany Fitch (‘23) and Prof. Andrew Stuhl (Environmental Studies and Sciences), which includes more than 20 oral histories with Pennsylvanians who lived through the storm and resulting recovery. 

It also reflects the creative direction of Prof. Elaine Williams (Theater and Dance) and Storyteller-in-Residence Jerry Stropnicky, who have worked with Bucknell students in the spring semester to transform research into performance. 

Sandy Spieler is the Director and Designer of the program.

Bucknell students Bethany Fitch, Katrien Weemas, Clare McGowan, Lydia Palumbo, Orli Bernstein, Megan Munter, Mesa Ashton, John Owen, Tatumn Kohlbrenner and Cam Kittell are part of the performance.

They are joined and directed by Gerard Stropnicky (Founding Member, Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble; Director of FLOOD STORIES and FLOOD STORIES, TOO)

Come for an evening of story and performance, come to remember Agnes, or come to share your own story in a “talk back” segment at the conclusion of the evening.

Funding for the program is provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Bucknell University Humanities Center.

Co-sponsors of this special event include-- CommUnity Zone; Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way; Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce; Lewisburg Neighborhoods Corporation; Newsradio 1070 WKOK; Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers; SEDA-COG Flood Resiliency Program; Stories on Tap; Susquehanna Life Magazine; Susquehanna Life Out Loud Podcast; and Susquehanna Valley Mediation.

Click Here to register. Visit the Bucknell University Humanities Center Facebook event page for more.

(Photo: Out-of-control fire rages near Public Square in Wilkes-Barre cut off during Agnes flooding as the only thing onlookers could do is watch.  Wilkes-Barre Times Leader.  It was not the only fire to start in towns and cities up and down the Susquehanna.)

Resource Links:

-- Hurricane Agnes - Wikipedia

-- PaHistory.org - Inundation Of The Heartland Tropical Storm Agnes

-- WBRE-TV: Hurricane Agnes Documentary

-- Times Leader: Agnes Still On People’s Minds

-- PennLive: Tropical Storm Agnes Devastated PA In 1972

-- PennLive: Tropical Storm Agnes - Video

-- Tropical Storm Agnes - Video Of Damage

[Posted: April 14, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

Penn State Environmental Resources Management Program Alumni Wayne Kober Celebrating 50 Years Of Impact, Inspired By First Earth Day

By Amy Duke,
Penn State News

Earth Day 1970 spurred Wayne Kober, then a college sophomore at Penn State McKeesport, to become one of the trailblazers in a new bachelor’s degree program at Penn State — environmental resource management.

“I was inspired by Earth Day events and wanted to make a difference via a multidisciplinary environmental career,” said Kober, who, as a youth, spent summers at Pymatuning Lake in northwestern Pennsylvania. “On the advice of my academic adviser, later that year I switched my major and was among the first students in the brand-new Environmental Resource Management program at Penn State.”

After graduating from the College of Agricultural Sciences in 1973, he embarked on a long career in environmental program leadership positions in the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

In 2000, he transitioned to national transportation environmental consulting as president of Wayne W. Kober, Transportation and Environmental Management Consulting. 

In 2010, he retired from consulting as he continued his volunteer services in a wide variety of local, state and national conservation-related organizations.

“I am extremely proud of and grateful for the opportunity to be prepared by Penn State to be among the first multidisciplinary environmental professionals in Pennsylvania and the U.S.,” said Kober, of Dillsburg. “The program’s graduates are among the pioneers in the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act and the President’s Council on Environmental Quality.”

The Environment Resource Management program — referred to as ERM — was established in 1971 to meet the demand for people with the scientific and leadership skills needed to address the enormous environmental challenges that had become so apparent in the 1960s, according to Robert Shannon, who is the program’s current coordinator.

“The program was a significant innovation within the college, and it was among the first of many environmental programs initiated at that time,” said Shannon, associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering. “The faculty and administrators responsible for establishing the ERM program had the foresight to predict a growing market both in the public and private sectors for graduates trained broadly and deeply in the environmental sciences and related disciplines.”

Shannon added that those visionaries also recognized that environmental problems and issues crossed over traditional disciplinary boundaries, so they developed the program as an interdepartmental, multidisciplinary major. 

The program was successful immediately, with the number of graduates increasing from 23 in 1973 to 104 by 1980. The program now boasts 3,000 graduates.

One of those graduates is Dennis Zabaglo, the aquatic resources program manager and principal environmental specialist for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. He also serves on a federal advisory committee on aquatic invasive species.

The 1994 alumnus grew up camping, hiking and fishing with his father, also a Penn State alumnus. While those experiences helped him to develop a respect for natural resources, it was a television special on climate change that proved transformative. 

“The show was hosted by Carl Sagan, who is one of my heroes,” Zabaglo said. “That’s when I knew I wanted to focus my career on protecting the environment.”

That goal led the Pittsburgh native to Penn State and the ERM major. “The program enabled me to understand myriad environmental issues along with ensuring I became well rounded in disciplines outside of natural resources,” he said.

The course that influenced him the most focused on environmental problem-solving. “The required text was ‘Consider a Spherical Cow,’ which I have on my bookcase to this day,” Zabaglo said. “The course opened my mind to a new way of thinking and allowed me to search for solutions outside the box.”

Like Kober and Zabaglo, Melissa May, a 2008 graduate, has had a lifelong fascination with nature. “As a kid, I collected feathers, rocks, shells — and probably to my parents’ horror — cool bugs,” said May, who, as a high school student, helped to restore a stream in her hometown of Pittsburgh.

She found her environmental niche after meeting a watershed specialist in an ERM class. 

“It clicked for me at that moment,” May said. “I decided to focus on watershed management, where the human side of water resources intersected with various scientific disciplines.”

Consequently, the Schreyer Honors College student complemented her primary degree with minors in geography and in watersheds and water resources and conducted undergraduate research on stream pollution. The experience led her to pursue a master’s degree in wildlife and fisheries science.

May is district manager of the San Juan Soil and Water Conservation District in Aztec, New Mexico. The agency was named the 2020 Outstanding District of the Year by the state of New Mexico. “I believe my education at Penn State has fed our district’s success in planning projects and securing funding,” she said.

April 20 Alumni Event

ERM alumni and students are invited to participate in ERM alumni events in 2021, the first of which is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. April 20. 

The “ERM Virtual Game Night” will feature introductions by ERM advisers, a brief history overview by program leadership, and trivia about the ERM program led by current students in the ERM Society.

Click Here to register, and follow the program’s Facebook page to learn more.


(Reprinted from Penn State News.)

Related Article:

-- Earth Day 50 PA: Wayne Kober: Impact & inspiration From First Earth Day

[Posted: April 14, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

Wednesday PA Environment & Energy NewsClips 4.14.21

House
returns to voting session April 19, 20, 21

Senate returns to voting session April 19, 20, 21

Senate Budget Hearing Schedule

Click Here for LATEST Updated PA Environment & Energy NewsClips

TODAY’s Calendar Of Events

 

TODAY 11:00: Washington & Jefferson College Center for Energy Policy & Management webinar What Is RGGI and Why Should PA Participate? 

AP: PA Voters To Weigh In On PA Government COVID Pandemic Power Struggle

Republican Rep. Keefer: To Introduce Bill To Prohibit Stay At Home Orders, Restrictions On Businesses Or Curfews Based On Public Health Concerns

Bill Introduced To Allow Citizens To Exercise The Power We Have To Directly Amend The State Constitution, Make New Laws, Repeal Laws [PaEN]

PA Council Of Churches To Join Interfaith Partners In Special April 20 Observance Of Earth Day [PaEN]

Talen Energy Announces $2 Billion Joint Venture With Pattern Energy To Grow Renewable Energy Generation Portfolio [PaEN]

MCall: Allentown’s Talen Energy Partners On $2 Billion Investment In Solar Power Projects

Project Canary, Chesapeake Energy Announce Partnership To Produce Certified Responsibly Sourced Natural Gas [PaEN]

PennLive: 2 Chesapeake Energy Natural Gas Well Pads In PA Getting Methane Monitors In Pilot Project

ScrantonT: Worker Injured At Cabot Gas Well Drilling Site In Susquehanna County Dies

PA Business Report: Pittsburgh Regional Building Trades Council Opposes Wolf’s Push For RGGI Participation

Bradford White Water Heater Manufacturer, 5 Other PA Companies Receive 2021 EPA ENERGY STAR Partner Of Year Awards [PaEN]

GreenPhilly: How Philadelphians Are Innovating With Trees To Fight Climate Change, Improve Water Quality & Mental Health

Forbes: How Appalachia Can Survive A Post-Industrial America [Reimagine Appalachia]

PUC Judge’s Opinion Orders Sunoco To Improve Public Safety, Emergency Outreach Measures, Rebury Pipelines Related To Mariner East Pipeline Project, Full PUC Approval Needed [PaEN]

DEP Works Thru Pandemic: 722 More Permits, 2,034 More Inspections Since Last Week [PaEN]

Conservation Districts, DEP Host EPA Section 319 Watershed Restoration Project Implementation Meeting [PaEN]

NRCS-PA Encourages PA Farmers To Apply For Conservation Assistance Thru 2 County-Specific Regional Conservation Projects By May 14 [PaEN]

SRBC Lower Susquehanna Source Water Protection Partnership Meets May 13 [PaEN]

Op-Ed: PA Must Stem Pollution Flowing To Chesapeake Bay - PennFuture

Op-Ed: Rethinking Earth Day Through The Lens Of Climate Justice

Independence Conservancy To Hold Tire Collection Events In Allegheny, Beaver Counties [PaEN]

PA Resources Council To Host Spring Electronics Recycling Collections In Delaware, Allegheny Counties [PaEN]

PG: Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority Seeking To Increase Rates

WHYY: Chester Urban Farm Begins 2nd Year Of Feeding Public Housing Residents In Delaware County

Anya Litvak: CNX Resources’ New Philanthropy Is Beefier, Hyper Local And Focused On The Return

KYW: DCNR Says Humans Pose Greatest Threat To Forests In Wildfire Season

ErieT: Presque Isle State Park Beaches Benefit From Lower Water

ScrantonT: New Scranton Parks And Recreation Director Appointed

Susquehanna Greenways Partnership Feature: Indigenous Names Of The Susquehanna Greenway [PaEN]

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Hosts Virtual Watershed, Forest Bright Storytime, Rain Barrel Programs In April [PaEN]

PennLive: U.S. Product Safety Commission Issues Warning About Youth ATVs Because They May Go Too Fast For Children

ABC27: Dauphin County Twp. Taking Steps To Address Dirt Bike/ATV Problem

Fish & Boat Commission: Highlights From April 12 Board Of Commissioners Meeting

Marcus Schneck: Chronic Wasting Disease Rate In Hunters’ Deer Climbs To 14% In PA’s Hardest Hit Area

AltoonaM Editorial: Combining Deer Seasons Makes Sense

Marcus Schneck: Hungry Bears Are On The Move Across PA, Maybe In Your Backyard

John Hayes: What To Do If You See A Bear, And Why You Don’t See More Of Them

Click Here For This Week’s PA Coronavirus NewsClips

Wednesday - PA Capitol & Coronavirus NewsClips 4.14.21-- Click Here

National/International

Ceres: 310 Businesses And Investors Representing Over $3 Trillion In Annual Revenue Urge Biden Administration To Set Ambitious Federal Climate Target 

AP: Business Leaders Urge Biden To Set Ambitious Climate Goal

NYT: Biden Wants World Leaders To Make Climate Commitments For Earth Day

The Hill: Federal Appeals Court Backs Drilling Protections Reinstated By Biden

E&E News: Shell, BP Back Democrats’ Bid To Restore Methane Rules

The Guardian: Wisconsin Poised For Devastating Wildfire Season As Hundreds Of Blazes Rage

NPR: Japan To Dump Wastewater From Wrecked Fukushima Nuclear Plant Into Pacific Ocean

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FairDistrictsPA: Fix Our Broken Redistricting Process 

[Posted: April 14, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

DEP Works Thru Pandemic: 722 More Permits, 2,034 More Inspections Since Last Week

From March 16, 2020 to April 13, 2021 Department of Environmental Protection employees have been teleworking and using COVID-19 mitigation measures to continue to fulfill its mission.  DEP staff have--

-- Conducted 93,495 inspections - 2,034 more than last week;

-- Processed 37,759 permit applications and authorizations - 722 more than last week;

-- Processed 94 percent of Permit Decision Guarantee applications and authorizations; and

-- Responded to 303 environmental emergencies, seven more than last week.

DEP continues to prioritize field inspections that are critical to public health and safety. DEP staff are working remotely, and responding to complaints related to issues critical to public health and safety.

DEP will continue to respond in the field to environmental emergencies that present an immediate threat to public health and safety.

To report environmental emergencies, please call 1-800-541-2050.

Visit DEP’s Alert webpage for more information and updates. 

For more information on environmental programs in Pennsylvania, visit DEP’s website, Click Here to sign up for DEP’s newsletter, sign up for DEP Connects events, sign up for DEP’s eNotice, visit DEP’s BlogLike DEP on Facebook, Follow DEP on Twitter and visit DEP’s YouTube Channel.

[Posted: April 13, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

Project Canary, Chesapeake Energy Announce Partnership To Produce Certified Responsibly Sourced Natural Gas

On April 13,
Project Canary and Chesapeake Energy Corporation launched a pilot partnership to produce certified responsibly sourced natural gas (RSG) at select well pads in the Marcellus and Haynesville shales, the companies announced.

In Pennsylvania, the well pads will be in Bradford and Wyoming counties and have a total of nine wells.  Read more here.

Chesapeake Energy will produce RSG using Project Canary's continuous on-site emissions monitoring technology and TrustWell™ certification process, which provides third party verification that the operator has utilized the highest standards and practices in all phases of their operations.

The practices include--

-- Priority to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout the natural gas supply chain;

-- Confirmation of responsible water stewardship throughout all phases of operations;

-- Risks associated with operational impacts are understood and mitigated; and

-- Understanding of the local community’s needs and best interests.

"Leading a responsible energy future is foundational to Chesapeake's success," said Chesapeake's Chief Executive Officer Doug Lawler. "Through this two-basin partnership, we will be able to further demonstrate our commitment to generating shareholder value and ESG excellence. We are excited to work with Project Canary as we continue to expand our sustainability efforts and deliver top operating performance."

The initial agreement between Chesapeake and Project Canary includes select well pads in northeast Pennsylvania and northwest Louisiana, though the partnership may be expanded based on initial findings and market conditions. 

Using real-time, continuous emissions monitoring at well pads, the pilot project aims to validate the high environmental standards by which natural gas is produced and that a market exists for differentiated RSG products.

A Denver-based B-Corp, Project Canary provides emissions monitoring data and related technologies, and has developed a unique wellhead to burner-tip pilot that can be used across the energy value chain – from the production, transmission and marketing of RSG.

"With our innovative technology and independent certification process, Project Canary aims to meet the market demand for sustainably developed resources and real-time emissions monitoring," said Project Canary co-founder & CEO Chris Romer. "Chesapeake is an industry pioneer and top producer, and we're proud to help them reach the highest environmental standards."

This project marks more than two-dozen agreements Project Canary has entered with exploration and production companies, reflecting the strong and growing demand for the company's innovative environmental performance solution based on trusted, independent data.

Visit the Project Canary website for more information on responsibly sourced natural gas.

Related Article - Chesapeake Energy:

-- DEP, EPA, DOJ Reach $1.9 Million Agreement With Chesapeake Appalachia For Failure To Identify, Protect Wetlands At 76 Gas Well Drilling Sites

NewsClips:

PennLive: 2 Chesapeake Energy Natural Gas Well Pads In PA Getting Methane Monitors In Pilot Project

E&E News: Shell, BP Back Democrats’ Bid To Restore Methane Rules

Ceres: 310 Businesses And Investors Representing Over $3 Trillion In Annual Revenue Urge Biden Administration To Set Ambitious Federal Climate Target 

Related Articles:

-- PA Conservative Energy Forum: Harvesting Pennsylvania Clean Energy 'Land & Liberty Coalition' Grassroots Initiative

-- Business, Environment, Energy Groups Praise Introduction Of Bipartisan Bills Increasing Solar Energy Mandate From 0.5% To  5.5% In PA

-- Talen Energy Announces $2 Billion Joint Venture With Pattern Energy To Grow Renewable Energy Generation Portfolio 

[Posted: April 13, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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