Tuesday, August 31, 2021

DEP Launches Nation’s 2nd State-Led Climate Leadership Academy, With More Than 150 Enrolled

On August 31, the Department of Environmental Protection announced Pennsylvania became the second state in the nation to provide state-sponsored climate training with the recent launch of its
Pennsylvania Climate Leadership Academy.

The Pennsylvania Climate Leadership Academy provides free online programs to leaders in state and local government offices, business and industry, agriculture, infrastructure, and community organizations who want to help Pennsylvania meet the challenges of climate change.

More than 150 participants enrolled in its first program, “Climate Leadership Activator,” which began last week. The academy joins the DEP Local Climate Action Program in climate change education resources from the agency.

“DEP is committed to climate-related educational outreach and technical assistance to meet the growing need among leaders statewide for an understanding of climate change impacts and planning to reduce risk here in Pennsylvania,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “How will more intense heatwaves affect our community? How will extreme rainfall and flooding events affect our farmers and supply chains? What can we put in place to lessen disruption? Are there potential opportunities for benefit? These are some of the questions being asked by leaders working to protect Pennsylvanians’ health, safety, and livelihoods and the natural resources we all depend on.”

Climate Leadership Activator will be followed by a Certified Climate Change Professional program in October, and both programs will be offered again in 2022. 

Climate Leadership Activator provides participants a foundational understanding of the risks and potential opportunities that climate change presents in Pennsylvania. 

It examines impacts on organizational mission, operations, and stakeholders and identifies opportunities to advance readiness and solutions grounded in economic vitality, public health, and security.

Climate impact knowledge can provide a sound base for local climate action planning. The DEP Local Climate Action Program, also free and online, trains municipalities to create an inventory of their greenhouse gas emissions. 

They determine their climate change-related vulnerabilities and, with community input, draft a local climate action plan based on recommendations from the DEP Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan.

The program pairs municipalities with college students from around the state who help research emissions and other plan components.

The Local Climate Action Program began its third year in August, with the following 12 participants representing 121 municipalities:

-- Borough of Swissvale in Allegheny County

-- Camp Hill Borough in Cumberland County

-- Carnegie Borough in Allegheny County

-- Delaware County

-- Lehigh Valley Planning Commission

-- Lewisburg Borough in Union County

-- Milford Borough in Pike County

-- Millersville Borough in Lancaster County

-- Rutledge Borough in Delaware County

-- Township of O'Hara in Allegheny County

-- Warrington Township in Bucks County

-- West Bradford Township in Chester County

Since it launched in 2019, the Local Climate Action Program has had 53 local government participants, representing over 380 counties, cities, townships, and boroughs statewide.

Pennsylvania’s average temperature has risen almost 2 degrees Fahrenheit since 1900. 

DEP’s Pennsylvania Climate Impacts Assessment 2021 uses federal, state, and local data to show that, unless greenhouse gas emissions are cut significantly, Pennsylvania will likely be another 5.9 degrees hotter by midcentury. 

Increased heatwaves and extreme rainfall events will have considerable consequences for the health and safety of Pennsylvanians, especially those living in Environmental Justice communities, and for ecosystems, agriculture, infrastructure, and other areas.

DEP provides information on statewide greenhouse gas emissions and projected climate change impacts, as well as the Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan, updated every three years.

The 2021 Climate Action Plan will be issued this fall.

DEP supports the Pennsylvania Climate Leadership Academy and Local Climate Action Program with federal funding from the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program.

In its role as a co-chair of the GreenGov Council, DEP provides programmatic support for the Pennsylvania Climate Leadership Academy. The academy is managed by the Association of Climate Change Officers.

Maryland was the first state to offer a Climate Leadership Academy.

[Posted: August 31, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

Register Now For 2021 Virtual Watershed Congress Sept. 20-24

Registration for the
2021 Watershed Congress, presented by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, is now open. The event, which will be held virtually from September 20 - 24, will share with participants information, tools, and practices for watershed protection and restoration. 

The Watershed Congress has evolved since 1998 to advance the best available information and techniques for protecting and restoring watersheds. 

The focus on networking across disciplines means that the Watershed Congress melds science, policy, and practical applications into one program. The 2021 Watershed Congress features the great presentations participants have come to expect.

The event will begin on September 20 with the keynote, “A Fishable, Swimmable, Delaware River.”  A group of organizations is actively petitioning the Delaware River Basin Commission to upgrade the standards for the lower Delaware River from secondary to primary contact, and the keynote will explore these efforts and discuss how the lower Delaware River can truly become a swimmable and fishable River. Read more about the keynote here. 

The Watershed Congress Planning Committee also seeks to advance justice and inclusion as part of our mission, as we continue to protect and restore watersheds. The Watershed Congress can be a vehicle to advance justice and inclusion, and bridge diversity divides as well as to present the best new watershed science. 

Sessions being offered in 2021 include “How Behavioral Science Can Inform Environmental Outreach and Communication,” “Justice, Inclusion, and Difficult Conversations in the Environmental Field,” “The Lower Delaware River: An Ecosystem in the Balance, Delaware River,” and “A Path to Equitable Water Infrastructure”. 

Three registration levels will be offered at this event. For details about speakers, the schedule, and tickets, visit the Watershed Congress website.

[Posted: August 31, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

DEP Storm And Flood Recovery Fact Sheets And Information

The Department of Environmental Protection has a variety of useful information for individuals, farms and businesses to help in dealing with the impacts of flooding.  Here are just some of the fact sheets available--

-- Storm Response: Managing Debris (pdf)

-- Recommendations on Disposal of Flood Debris and Emergency Removal of Debris from Streams (pdf)

-- Post Flooding Information & Resources (pdf)

-- Post Flooding Information & Resources (pdf) (Spanish version)

-- Tips for Safe Flood Cleanup (pdf)

-- Disinfection of Home Wells and Springs (pdf)

-- What to Do with Your Septic System After a Flood (pdf)

-- Tips for Dealing with Flood-Related Storage Tank Problems (pdf)

-- Permitting Options for Flood-Damaged Bridges and Other Water Obstructions and Encroachments (pdf)

-- Flooding And Maintenance Of PA’s Streams

-- Drinking Water Emergencies - Public Preparation and Response

-- State Conservation Commission Flood Response and Recovery Manure Related FAQ's (pdf)

Visit DEP’s Storm and Flood Recovery webpage for more information.

Related Articles:

-- National Weather Service - State College: Updated Rainfall Forecast

-- PUC: Offers Safety Tips As Remnants Of Hurricane Ida Approach 

[Posted: August 31, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

National Weather Service - State College: Updated Rainfall Forecast For PA


Related Articles:

PUC Offers Safety Tips As Remnants Of Hurricane Ida Approach

As the remnants of Hurricane Ida continue to move toward the Mid-Atlantic region-- bringing the threat of heavy rain, high winds and potential flooding-- the Utility Commission reminds households of the steps they can take to prepare for, and recover safely from, storm-related power outages.

“Severe weather can bring down trees, branches and wires, disrupting utility service,” said PUC Chairman Gladys Brown Dutrieuille. “Time spent on planning and preparing before a storm can go a long way toward keeping you and your family safe when severe weather hits.” 

Additionally, the PUC cautions residents to give utility crews ample room to perform their repair work – for your protection as well as theirs – and to use extra care when traveling, watching for utility crews working along streets and roads and slowing down in work areas.

Click Here for updated rainfall forecast for Pennsylvania.

The PUC encourages residents to consider the following tips before storm strikes:

-- Know Your Utility Hotlines - Write down, print or save toll-free outage hotlines for your electric utility and/or your natural gas utility, which are listed on your monthly bills and posted on the PUC website.

-- Save Utility Website Address - Your utility’s outage reporting system can provide updates on repair and restoration efforts. Bookmark these electric utility outage sites and natural gas company websites.

-- Keep Your Cell Phone Charged – A well-charged phone will keep you in contact with your utility, other emergency services and family members during any power outage.

-- Secure Supplies – Keep necessary food, medicine and other supplies on-hand, including batteries for flashlights.

Power Outage Tips

Should you lose power during a storm, keep the following points in mind:

-- Call Your Utility Hotline to Report Outages - do not assume that the utility already knows about your outage or that others have already called.

-- Keep Clear of Wires - do NOT touch or approach any fallen lines.

-- Stay Away from Objects or Puddles in contact with downed power lines.

-- Do NOT Try to Remove Trees or Limbs from power lines.

-- Do NOT Call 9-1-1 to Report Power Outages – report those to your utility. Calling 9-1-1 to report non-emergency issues like service outages can take resources away from other emergencies. SPECIAL NOTE: If you see a downed power line, immediately call your electric utility and/or 9-1-1.

Safety While Waiting for Power to be Restored

Households should consider the following tips to help stay safe until power is restored:

-- Use Flashlights or Battery-Operated Lanterns for emergency lighting - do not use candles or other potential fire hazards.

-- Turn Off Lights and Electrical Appliances except for the refrigerator and freezer. When power comes back on, it may come back with momentary "surges" or "spikes" that can damage equipment (leave one light on to alert you that power has been restored).

-- Use Generators Safely - If you use a generator, do NOT run it inside a home or garage or anywhere close to a window or vent. Also, connect the equipment you want to operate directly to the outlets on the generator, not your home's electrical system, which could shock or injure utility crews working on nearby power lines. Additional generator tips are available here.

-- Check on Elderly Neighbors and those with special needs who might need assistance.

Flooding and Electric Power

The threat of flooding from heavy rains is also possible in some parts of Pennsylvania.  The PUC urged homeowners and businesses to consider the following flood-related electric safety tips:

-- Avoid flooded homes or businesses – submerged wires, power outlets or appliances may energize standing water.

-- Do not touch electric panels, outlets or appliances if you are wet or standing in water.

-- If your basement floods, do not enter unless you are sure the water is not in contact with a source of electricity. Call a qualified electrician to disconnect the power before you enter a flooded basement.

-- Utilities will inspect flooded areas and will assess when it is safe to restore service to their systems – but homeowners and businesses should work with licensed electricians regarding repairs to customer-owned lines and appliances.

-- The utility may require you to have your system inspected by a licensed electrician before it restores power if the utility removed your electric meter and cut power to your home due to flooding (contact your utility for any clarification).

-- Do not attempt to plug in or turn on any water-damaged appliances until they have been inspected by a qualified electrician and determined to be safe.

-- Consult professionals regarding the need to repair or replace water-damaged devices.

Natural Gas Safety Tips

Consumers using natural gas appliances can also be impacted by storms:

-- Check Gas Appliances - electric power outages can affect home appliances that operate on natural gas. If they do not function properly when power is restored, call a professional for service.

-- Evacuate if You Smell Natural Gas - get everyone out of the building immediately.

-- Leave the Door Open and Do NOT Use Phones: do NOT switch lights or appliances on or off; and do NOT take any other action while inside the building.

-- Call 9-1-1 from a safe location - after you are safely outside, call 9-1-1 from your cell phone or neighbor’s home.

Flooding and Natural Gas Safety

Natural gas service can also be impacted by flooding, homeowners and businesses are reminded of the following flood-related safety tips for natural gas service:

-- If you are outside a building and you smell gas, do not enter the building - call 9-1-1 and your gas company from a safe location.

-- If you are inside a building and you smell gas, leave immediately - call 9-1-1 and your gas company from a safe location.

-- Contact a licensed professional to clean, repair and test all appliances and pipes if your home or business has flooded and any of your natural gas appliances (including furnaces, boilers, water heaters and dryers) have been affected.

-- Do not attempt to restart natural gas appliances yourself – contact a professional.

-- Contact your gas utility to inspect your gas meter and regulator if flood waters rose above those systems.

During storm emergencies, the PUC continuously monitors utility issues and works closely with the Governor’s Office and the other state agencies involved in Pennsylvania’s coordinated storm response. 

Across the state, there is extensive behind-the-scenes work when storms are forecast, focused on quickly addressing problems and restoring service as rapidly as possible. 

Utilities are putting their severe weather plans into motion; crews and equipment are being positioned for quick response to outages; and communication with emergency management coordinators is enhanced. 

Related Articles:

-- National Weather Service - State College: Updated Rainfall Forecast

-- DEP: Storm And Flood Recovery Fact Sheets And Information [PaEN]


-- Gov. Wolf: Remnants Of Hurricane Ida Expected To Bring Rain, Flooding To Much Of PA

-- StateImpactPA - Rachel McDevitt: Ida Expected To Bring Heavy Rain, Flash Floods To PA

-- Inquirer: Ida Remnants May Threaten Philly With First Significant Delaware River Flooding In 10 Years

-- TribLive: Remnants Of Hurricane Ida To Bring Heavy Rain, Potential Flooding To Western PA

-- AltoonaM: Bedford County Braces For Heavy Rains From Ida

-- WBTimes: Flood Gates Closed At Riverfront Park In Wilkes-Barre

-- CitizensV: Luzerne County Closes Flood Gates Along Susquehanna River

-- U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers: To Draw Down Reservoirs At Francis E. Walter Dam, Blue Marsh Lake In Advance Of Hurricane Ida

-- NPR: How Climate Change is Fueling Hurricanes Like Ida

[Posted: August 31, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

Tuesday PA Environment & Energy NewsClips 8.31.21

returns to session September 20, 21, 22

     -- Committee Schedule

House returns to session September 27, 28, 29

     -- Committee Schedule

TODAY’s Calendar Of Events

September 1-- Agenda Posted. Independent Regulatory Review Commission meets on final Carbon Pollution Reduction Program covering power plants [RGGI].  10:00 a.m.  Click Here to watch live online.   Click Here for comments received by the IRRC.   Click Here for more information on the issue.

-- StateImpactPA - Rachel McDevitt: Study Finds Drilling Wastewater No Best Option For Road Treatment

-- Warren Times: Conventional Drillers Advisory Group Talks Road Dumping Of Brine; DEP Willingness To Permit Spreading Of Brine On Roads

-- 19th Annual York Watershed Week Set For September 16 to 25  [PaEN]

-- York Conservation District Holds Annual Sporting Clays Fundraiser Sept. 17 To Benefit York County Envirothon  [PaEN]

-- Save The Date: Lancaster-Lebanon Watershed Forum & Science Symposium Set For Nov. 19-20  [PaEN]

-- Brodhead Watershed Assn: Members & Friends Celebration Sept. 24 At Shawnee’s River Sanctuary

-- Chesapeake Bay Journal: Trends In U.N. Climate Report Point To An Altered Chesapeake Bay

-- ReadingE:  Reading Will Drain Bernhart Dam Due To Hazard Risk

-- PPL: On Track To Achieve 70% Reduction In Greenhouse Gases By 2035, 80% Reduction By 2040 On The Way To Net-Zero Carbon Emissions By 2050  [PaEN]

-- PG - Anya Litvak: With So Much Utility-Scale Solar On The Horizon, PA Landowners Learning About A New Type Of Lease 

-- PG - Anya Litvak: Westinghouse Won’t Be Prosecuted Over Failed Nuclear Project, Will Pay Out Over $21 Million

-- PUC PA One Call Damage Prevention Committee Imposes $62,650 In Penalties  [PaEN]

-- CourierT: Why Has PFAS Health Study Been Delayed In Bucks County?

-- NextPittsburgh: Carrie Furnace Could Go From Industrial Site To Film Studio

-- ReadingE: Fmr Titus Generating Station In Berks Sold For $200,000 To Be Turned Into Plastics Waste Processing Facility

-- YorkDR: Old Farmer’s Almanac Predicts Colder, Drier Winter With Normal Snowfall

-- iHeartRadio: Plant Harboring Deer Ticks With Lyme Disease Growing In PA - Japanese Barberry

-- WITF Smart Talk: DCNR Launches Park Access And Management Plan Laying Out Course For Next 25 Years

-- YorkDR: New Walking Trail Will Connect 2 Parking Lots At Rocky Ridge County Park In York County

-- PG: With e-Bike Use Growing, Pittsburgh Transit Will Allow Them On Transit Vehicles

-- PennLive - Marcus Schneck: Kury Point Susquehanna River Observation Area Opens At Shikellamy State Park

-- Hawk Mountain Sanctuary: To Host Fall Native Plant Sale Sept. 11; Fall Migration In Full Swing  [PaEN]

-- PennLive - Marcus Schneck: If It’s Not Labor Day, When Is The First Day Of Fall?

Hurricane Ida

-- National Weather Service - State College: Updated Rainfall Forecast

-- DEP: Storm And Flood Recovery Fact Sheets And Information [PaEN]

-- PUC: Offers Safety Tips As Remnants Of Hurricane Ida Approach  [PaEN]

-- Gov. Wolf: Remnants Of Hurricane Ida Expected To Bring Rain, Flooding To Much Of PA

-- StateImpactPA - Rachel McDevitt: Ida Expected To Bring Heavy Rain, Flash Floods To PA

-- Inquirer: Ida Remnants May Threaten Philly With First Significant Delaware River Flooding In 10 Years

-- TribLive: Remnants Of Hurricane Ida To Bring Heavy Rain, Potential Flooding To Western PA

-- AltoonaM: Bedford County Braces For Heavy Rains From Ida

-- WBTimes: Flood Gates Closed At Riverfront Park In Wilkes-Barre

-- CitizensV: Luzerne County Closes Flood Gates Along Susquehanna River

-- U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers: To Draw Down Reservoirs At Francis E. Walter Dam, Blue Marsh Lake In Advance Of Hurricane Ida

-- NPR: How Climate Change is Fueling Hurricanes Like Ida


-- CitizensV: Cartwright, Brown Advocate For Congress Investing In Climate Change

-- AP: Wildfire Evacuees Flood Lake Tahoe Roads In Rush To Flee

-- WPost: Federal Judge Throws Out Waters Of U.S. Rule Allowing Filling Of Streams, Wetlands

PA Politics

-- WITF: House Lawmakers Get An Earful On How To Redraw PA’s Congressional Maps: ‘Do No Harm’

-- WHYY - Katie Meyer: Republican Senators Push Forward With Vague Idea of 2020 Election Audit

-- AP: Pennsylvania To Mandate Masks In K-12 Schools, Day Cares

-- PennLive: More Than 9,000 New COVID Cases Reported In PA Over The Weekend

-- PennLive: Cumberland County Schools Tell Dozens To Quarantine After School Open One Week

-- WITF/AP: Extra Federal Unemployment Aid Ending For 640,000 Pennsylvanians

-- PA Cap-Star: Despite U.S. Supreme Court Ruling, Philly City Courts’ Orders Delaying Evictions Remains

-- PG: PA State System Universities Will Offer Emergency Aid Of Up To $1,000 To Students

-- PG: As PA Schools Struggle With Student Mental Health Needs, Lawmakers Look To Remove Barriers

-- ScrantonT Editorial: Legislature Overdoses On Politics And Opioid Epidemic

-- AP: Fmr Rep. Rick Saccone To Run For Republican Nomination For Lt. Gov

-- MCall: Republican Candidate In Northampton County Says He’ll Bring ‘Strong Men’ To Confront Pro-Mask School Board

Helpful Resources:

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[Posted: August 31, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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