Monday, August 15, 2022

Reviving The ‘Lost’ Higbee Map Of Pennsylvania’s 86,000 Miles Of Streams

By Alexandra McLaughlin,
Penn State News

Interested in exploring new fishing, boating or hiking spots? Curious about how water connects throughout the state? A map featuring Pennsylvania’s 86,000 stream miles is available from Penn State Extension.

The map includes major and minor streams, rivers, lakes, and other water features with labels clear enough to trace the flow of water throughout Pennsylvania.

“This highly detailed map of all the stream miles in Pennsylvania is a really cool and unique resource,” said Jennifer Fetter, water resources extension educator and team leader.

Pennsylvania has more stream miles than any other state apart from Alaska. “It’s hard to walk around Pennsylvania without tripping over a stream,” Fetter said. “It took quite a bit of effort to find, identify and map all of these streams.”

The map details originally were hand-drawn by Howard Higbee, professor of soil science in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences from 1935 to 1966. 

Fetter explained that while Higbee’s primary goal was mapping the soil resources of Pennsylvania, he understood the important role that water plays in soil science.

Higbee struck out to map all of Pennsylvania’s streams. He confirmed the distances by driving around the state with his calibrated car odometer. 

Initially published in 1965, the map was lost for some time, and copies became collector’s items and historical treasures. Vivid Publishing eventually put the map back into print with Penn State Extension offering copies for purchase.

The map could benefit sportfishing enthusiasts, boaters, outdoor explorers and map lovers. It measures approximately 35 inches by 57 inches and folds down to 9 inches by 11 inches.

Along with helping recreational water users and outdoors enthusiasts, the map also could serve as a teaching tool, Fetter pointed out. 

Teachers and environmental educators could use the map to help people better understand their relationship with water by teaching them about the water where they live and the boundaries of their watersheds.

While the map includes other features, such as cities, the streams are the focal point. According to Fetter, this stands in contrast to many maps.

“Most maps are not featuring the streams, but something else — where the roads are, where the cities are, where landmarks, parks and forests are,” she said. “Oftentimes, the little bit of water included in mapping is more of a reference point. Waterways have been fractured and details are missing. It’s not as good of a picture of where streams really are.”

The map is available for $19.95 on the Penn State Extension website.

[How Clean Is Your Stream?

[Professor Higbee’s 1965 count of 86,000 miles of Pennsylvania streams was very, very close to the official 85,568 today.

[To find out how clean all those streams are near you, visit DEP’s 2022 Water Quality Report webpage and zoom in on your watershed.]


(Reprinted from Penn State News.)

[Posted: August 15, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

Allegheny County Health Dept. Releases Air Quality Annual Review Covering 2021

On August 15, the
Allegheny County Health Department released an Air Quality Annual Review covering accomplishments in 2021.

Dr. Debra L. Bogen wrote this introduction to the report--

In 2021, ACHD expanded and implemented new technology and programs and completed some long-term studies that will inform our future. These initiatives appear in this report, and here are some of the accomplishments I am particularly proud of:

--  Conducted a study to identify the sources of hydrogen sulfide after noticing increased concentrations in certain communities. Portable hydrogen sulfide monitors were deployed around the impacted areas to provide important data.

-- Added a new section to the county’s Air Pollution Control Regulations, the Mon Valley Air Pollution Episode Rule. This regulation requires local industrial facilities to implement emission reduction plans when alerted to surface temperature inversions or any event that can cause high levels of PM2.5 to collect for at least 24 hours.

-- Created more accessible public hearing processes that enabled more public participation while COVID-19 restrictions were in effect.

-- Increased the number of asbestos demolition and renovation projects evaluated for compliance. This work has led to asbestos survey reporting being required in the City of Pittsburgh’s permitting process.

This work does not happen on its own. The ACHD relies on community engagement to improve the region’s air quality. We hope that you will join us in our efforts to improve the health of our current and future residents.

Additionally, I extend thanks to our staff, whose dedication, passion, and flexibility have been inspirational, particularly in the face of the unique and critical challenges we face today. 

The team works continuously to ensure that equipment is working efficiently, data are accurate, and that the Air Quality Program is always preparing for tomorrow’s challenges, while actively addressing today’s issues.

I am proud to present “2021 Air Quality Annual Review: The Process of Progress.” As is clear from this inaugural report, the Air Quality Program is working diligently to address air quality challenges in our county.

Click Here for a copy of the report.

Dr. Bogen became Director of the Allegheny County Health Department on March 4, 2020, less than two weeks before Pennsylvania’s schools were shut down at the beginning of the COVID pandemic.

The Allegheny County Health Department not only is responsible for traditional public health programs, but is specifically delegated authority to regulate air pollution by state law.

[Posted: August 15, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

Washington & Jefferson College Hosts Oct. 4 Exploring Local & Regional Opportunities For Hydrogen In Appalachia

The Washington & Jefferson College
Center for Energy Policy and Management is hosting another in its series on Harnessing Hydrogen on October 4 - Exploring Local and Regional Opportunities In Appalachia

This in-person event will be held at the James David Ross Family Recreation Center from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  There is no online option.

While hydrogen energy and carbon capture utilization/storage present tremendous opportunities for the tri-state region, the path forward is unclear. 

Several economic, regulatory, and technological challenges to development and deployment exist. Furthermore, local and regional governmental bodies lack a knowledge base to assess the costs and benefits of the burgeoning industry. 

Harnessing Hydrogen is a day-long event that will feature individual talks, panel discussions, and interest-specific breakout sessions related to the deployment of hydrogen energy within the Pennsylvania-Ohio-West Virginia area. 

The event will be held by the Center for Energy Policy & Management, which strives to provide credible, impartial, and accessible information on the region's most salient energy topics. 

The event will feature several talks by thought-leaders and professionals who are at the forefront of the hydrogen and carbon capture discussion, three panel discussions, and two break-out group sessions centered around the following subjects:

-- Panel 1: Fundamentals of Hydrogen Energy and Carbon Capture,

-- Panel 2: Challenges, Opportunities, and Barriers to Entry,

-- Panel 3: Governance Issues and the Regulatory Landscape,

-- Breakout Group 1: Discussion on local and regional governmental bodies' roles in hydrogen development, and

-- Breakout Group 2: Discussion on industry affairs, finance, and technological deployment of hydrogen energy

Harnessing Hydrogen is free to attend and will be held October 4 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. in-person at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Click Here for all the details and to register.

Related Articles:

-- House Hearing: Development Of Hydrogen Hub In Western PA Offers Benefits, Obstacles [PaEN]

-- Gov. Wolf Announces Aggressive Push To Secure Clean Hydrogen Hub In PA [PaEN]

-- Environmental Health Project: Public Health Impacts Of Blue Hydrogen Production, Health, Environmental Protections Needed [PaEN]

[Posted: August 15, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

Natural Lands Partners To Preserve Forest Around Historic Isabella Furnace In Chester County

The 26-acre
Isabella Furnace complex in West Nantmeal Township, Chester County, is an incredibly well-preserved remnant of the region’s iron and steel heritage. 

In addition to several historic buildings—some of which have been converted to a private residence—the property includes 18 acres of forest bisected by Perkins Run. 

The woodlands and floodplain of Isabella Furnace are now permanently protected through a conservation easement with Natural Lands.  

The original charcoal iron furnace was built in 1835 and went out of blast in 1894, the last furnace in Chester County to operate. 

In 1973, Daniel and Patricia Lieberman purchased the 26-acre property and began restoration of many of its structures. They also converted two attached buildings—the crusher house and the charging house—into a private residence. 

Ted and Debby Flint purchased the property in 1986 and continued its stewardship. 

In 1991, much of the complex was added to the National Register of Historic Places. 

When Ted Flint passed away in 2016, his wife Debby began to explore options to preserve the unique site and its natural resources. 

Ultimately, she decided to place most of the property under conservation easement, which is a legally binding agreement that permanently limits a property’s use for all present and future owners of the land. 

Debby Flint spoke of the property’s unique attributes, a place she has called home for 36 years. 

“The land we’ve preserved is a beautiful combination of floodplain and rocky hillside. Perkins Run, which runs through the property, is clear and fresh. The stream is what remains of an old, 10-acre lake that once supplied power to the furnace, so the area is a significant part of the history of the furnace.” She added, “Our area is experiencing rapid growth and I felt the property must be preserved from development.” 

Indeed, according to the Chester County Planning Commission, an estimated 46,000 new residents are anticipated by 2045—a population increase of 30 percent. This influx of people brings increased demands on housing and other services, including schools, roads, and police and fire protection.  

Development often means the destruction of forests that offer essential climate mitigation services like storing carbon, cooling the atmosphere, soaking up floodwaters after heavy rainfall, filtering drinking water, absorbing carbon dioxide, and generating oxygen. 

Woodlands also provide essential habitat for insects, birds, and other wildlife. 

“We are grateful to Debby Flint and the other partners who helped fund this conservation project,” said Oliver Bass, president of Natural Lands. “The acres of forest in her care will now be protected forever. Those trees are working for all of us, every day, even if we can’t always see it.”  

Debby Flint donated the value of the conservation easement and additional funds to support its perpetual monitoring and enforcement. Additional funds came from the Conservancy Grant Program – Commissioners of Chester County, PA; the Virginia Cretella Mars Foundation; and WeConservePA

Commenting on the County’s partnership on this conservation project, Chester County Commissioners Marian Moskowitz, Josh Maxwell, and Michelle Kichline said, “Preservation of land can often overlap with preservation of our historic resources, and this project is a perfect example of that. Preserving acreage and, at the same time, our heritage doubly contributes to our county’s quality of life, enhancing our economy, and maintaining our character. We thank Debby Flint and Natural Lands for their appreciation of this and their contributions to conserving the Isabella Furnace complex.” 

For more information on programs, initiatives and upcoming events, visit the Natural Lands website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from Natural Lands and Like them on FacebookClick Here to support their activities.

Natural Lands has preserved more than 125,000 acres, including 42 nature preserves and one public garden totaling more than 23,000 acres.

[Posted: August 15, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

Monday PA Environment & Energy NewsClips 8.15.22

Are You Telling Your Story?

House returns to session September 12, 13, 14

     -- Committee Schedule

Senate returns to session September 19, 20, 21

     -- Committee Schedule

TODAY’s Calendar Of Events


-- August 15 PA Environment Digest Now Available  [PaEN]


-- PA Grade Crude [Oil] Development Advisory Council Meets Aug. 18 On Road Dumping Drilling Wastewater; Methane Regs, Conventional Regs, Well Plugging, More  [PaEN]

-- Erie Times: 15-Year Oil Rig Worker With Cancer Fired, Gas Field Specialists Must Pay $184,000 In Equal Opportunity Employment Commission Settlement

-- PA PUC: 4 Major Electric Utilities Have Double Digit Electric Price Increases Coming Sept. 1 Caused By Spike In Natural Gas, Energy Costs, Hot Weather  [PaEN]

-- Inquirer Guest Essay: Philadelphia’s Biggest Barrier To Climate Action Is The Philadelphia Natural Gas Works

-- Chesapeake Bay Journal: Protecting The Water While Harvesting Sunshine, Researchers Say Stormwater From Solar Energy Fields Needs Careful Management

-- Feature: Lenape Nation Travelers Journey Hundreds Of Miles Seeking PA Recognition, To Renew A Years-Old Treaty With Lenape Sipu (Delaware River) Communities   [PaEN]

-- Gettysburg Connection: Adams County Planting Partnership Offers Free Native Trees, Shrub Seedlings

-- Erie Times Guest Essay: Toxic Pollution In Great Lakes Remains A Colossal Problem - Western Michigan University Professor

-- WHYY: From Trash To Treasure: Magic Gardens Event Encourages Recycling Thru Creativity In Philadelphia

-- PennLive Guest Essay: Every Litter Bit Matters In Keeping Pennsylvania Beautiful - Gov. Tom Wolf


-- Altoona Mirror: Little Bug, Big Trouble: Spotted Lanternflies ‘A Nuisance To The Public’


-- WHYY: PA Horticultural Society Pop Up Garden With ‘Gritty Margs,’ Mojitos, More Plants Than You Can Count


-- WHYY: $20.8 Million Push To Save 208 Acres Of Crebilly Farm In Westtown Twp., Chester County Will Be On The Ballot In November 


-- TribLive - Mary Ann Thomas: $3.5 Million Purchase Of Bridge, Rail Line, Opens Path To Armstrong Trail Expansion


-- Wilkes-Barre Times: Group Helps Those With Mobility Impairments Stay Active At Frances Slocum State Park


-- TribLive: PHMC Officials: Bushy Run Staff Must Consult With Native Groups Before Staging Reenactments


-- TribLive: Woman Dies In Ohiopyle Rafting Accident


-- Reading Eagle: American Kestrels Studied At Rentschler Arboretum In Berks County


6th Oil/Natural Gas Spike: True Energy Independence Means Renewables

[There Is No Limit To What Oil/Natural Gas Industry Can Make You Pay]


-- Bloomberg: World Embraces Dirtier Fuels As Natural Gas Prices Hit Exorbitant Heights 


-- Bloomberg: Key European Power Price Doubles In 2 Months Due To Record Natural Gas Prices


-- Bloomberg: European Natural Gas Rises As Heat, Drying Rivers Drive Demand


American Rescue Plan Funding


-- Wilkes-Barre Times: Luzerne County To Start Accepting Federal American Rescue Plan Funding Requests This Week


-- $11 Billion In Federal American Rescue Plan Funding To PA State Government, Local Governments Has Yet To Be Invested.  What’s Your Community Doing?


Other States/National/International

-- Bloomberg: Much Of U.S. Will Be An ‘Extreme Heat Belt’ By The 2050s

PA Politics - Everything Is Connected

-- Daily Item: County Commissioners Assn. Votes Down Proposal To Prioritize Repeal Of PA’s Mail-In Voting Law

-- WPost: Attempts To Inappropriately Access Voting Machines Spurred Investigations, Including In PA, CO, Georgia 

-- Scranton Times Editorial: Urgent Case For Open Primary Elections

-- WESA: Problematic Rules For Covering Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Mastriano Campaign Event Featuring Florida Governor Pose Ethical Quandary For Media

-- NBC10: U.S. Army Contacts Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Mastriano Over Use Of Military ‘Imagery’ In Campaign

-- York Dispatch Editorial: Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Mastriano, Republican PA Cong. Scott Perry Giving PA A Black Eye

-- PennLive: Dr. Oz Campaigned At Bethlehem’s Musikfest Against Its Policy, Organizers Say

-- Post-Gazette: Voting Machine Company To Subpoena Fmr PA Secretary Of State Boockvar In Lawsuit Against Fox News

-- TribLive: Monkeypox Case Confirmed At YMCA Camp In Beaver County

-- PennLive - Jan Murphy: Liquor Control Board Weighs Change In Liquor Lotteries To restore Confidence In Their Integrity

-- Spotlight PA: Penn State Spent $500,000 On Police Overtime At Football Games In 2021

Click Here for latest PA Environmental News

Like PA Environment Digest on Facebook

Follow PA Environment Digest on Twitter

Read Weekly PA Environment Digest

[Posted: August 15, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

August 15 PA Environment Digest Now Available

August 15 PA Environment Digest is now available.

Click Here To View Or Print The Entire August 15 PA Environment Digest

82 New Stories - REAL Environmental & Conservation Leadership In PA

This Week’s Examples Of Going The WRONG WAY On Environmental, Energy Issues

All Articles & NewsClips In This Week’s Digest By Topic

PA Grade Crude [Oil] Development Advisory Council Meets Aug. 18 On Road Dumping Drilling Wastewater; Methane Regs, Conventional Regs, Well Plugging, More

Environmental Health Project: Setback Distances And The Regulations We Need To Protect Public Health From Oil & Gas Facilities

Ohio River Valley Institute: 6% Population Loss, 3.3% Job Loss In PA's 'Natural Gas' Counties Show Misplaced Faith In Economic Benefits Of Oil & Gas

PUC: 4 Major Electric Utilities Have Double Digit Electric Price Increases Coming Sept. 1 Caused By Spike In Natural Gas, Energy Costs, Hot Weather

PA Solar Center Aug. 19 Webinar: A Brighter Future - Solar Energy For PA Schools; Save Millions, Avoid Energy Cost Spikes

Congress Gives Final Approval To Climate, Energy, Healthcare Bill Sending It To President Biden

Guest Essay: Investments In Clean Pennsylvania Air, Land And Water Will Pay Off For Decades

USDA Awards Regional Conservation Partnership Program Grants To 2 Projects In PA Totaling $17.8 Million

Chesapeake Bay Program Blog: Alliance For The Chesapeake Bay Develops Corporate Partnerships To Tackle Agricultural Pollution Along Susquehanna River

PA American Water Helps Plant Nearly 2,000 Trees In Recognition Of Customers’ Switch To Paperless Billing

Feature: Lenape Nation Travelers Journey Hundreds Of Miles Seeking PA Recognition, To Renew A Years-Old Treaty With Lenape Sipu (Delaware River) Communities

Our Pocono Waters To Release Report On Economic Benefits Of PA's Special Protection Streams In The Poconos Aug. 16

Penn State Calls For Taking Next Step To Demonstrate Technology For Recovery Of Rare Earth & Critical Minerals From Mine Drainage, Coal Refuse - Build A Processing Facility

U.S. DOE Invites Comments On Implementing A Rare Earth & Critical Materials Research, Development, Demonstration & Commercialization Program

EQB Approves Final Reg. Setting Manganese Toxics Water Quality Standard, RACT For Major Sources Of Nitrogen Oxides

DEP Sets Virtual Hearings On Consol Harvey Mine, Enlow Fork Underground Coal Mine Expansions In Greene County

House Hearing: Development Of Hydrogen Hub In Western PA Offers Benefits, Obstacles

PA Environmental Professionals Now Accepting Nominations For Karl Mason & Walter Lyon Awards

Keep PA Beautiful To Work With PennDOT To Reduce Cigarette Litter At State Welcome Centers

PA Resources Council Erie ReuseFest Set For Sept. 10, Donate Used Items To Local Nonprofit Groups

PA Parks & Forests Foundation Blog: What Is The Economic Value Of Protected Open Space In Pennsylvania?

Rockenbeck And Umberger Families Partner With ClearWater Conservancy To Preserve 8.78 Acre Property In Centre County

DCNR Acquires 5,600-Acre Property in Schuylkill, Luzerne Counties For Motorized Recreation Area

PA Groups Urge Individuals & Organizations To Participate In, Host Volunteer Events To Celebrate First-Ever Healthy Lands Week Sept. 24 to Oct. 2

Temple University Invites Families Living Near Their Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Ambler Campuses To Join HOOT - Healing Ourselves Outdoors Together

Northwest Commission Seeking Public Input On NW PA Greenways/Recreation Plan Update; Aug. 18 Virtual Meeting

DCNR Blog: Digging Into History In State Parks & Forests - PA Outdoor Corps Cultural Resources Crew

August 12 Take Five Fridays With Pam From PA Parks & Forests Foundation

Fish & Boat Commission Receives Grants For Habitat Projects At Raystown, Somerset Lakes

Game Commission Celebrates Another Successful Piping Plover Nesting Season In Erie

Environment & Energy Educational Opportunities For Students & Adults

PA Organization For Watersheds & Rivers Hosts Aug. 31 Virtual Local Government Engagement Conversation Café

Call For Abstracts For The PFAS Specialty Conference Nov. 10 In Cumberland County

American Chestnut Foundation 2022 American Chestnut Symposium Accepting Student Poster, Talk Proposals; Hunting Chestnut Trees!

Fish & Boat Commission Awards Grants To Support Fishing & Boating Education Programs

Penn State City Semester Students Become Architects Of Sustainability With Pittsburgh Businesses

PA Interfaith Power & Light, Jewish Earth Alliance Host Aug. 17 Program On Dangers Of Particulate Air Pollution

Pittsburgh To Host National Ambient Air Monitoring Conference Aug. 22-25

News From PA House & Senate

The Feds

Public Participation Opportunities/Calendar Of Events

Grants & Awards

PA Bulletin

Stories Invited - About PA Environment Digest

Supporting Member PA Organization For Watersheds & Rivers; PA Outdoor Writers Assn.; PA Trout Unlimited

Additional Tools--

Click Here to sign up to receive the Weekly Digest directly by email

PA Environment Digest Twitter Feed: Update on PA environmental issues.

PA Environment Daily Blog: Update on PA environmental issues.

Click Here for a Calendar of Upcoming Events.

Click Here to search back issues of the Digest.

Questions? Email:

[Posted: August 15, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner