Wednesday, May 31, 2023

DCNR Bureau Of Forestry Forest Focus Newsletter Now Available: New Bureau Structure, Cultural Resources Management, Beech Leaf Disease, Forest Fridays Sign Up

Spring/Summer edition of Forest Focus from DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry is now available featuring articles on--

-- From The Pinchot Desk - Ellen Shultzabarger, State Forester

-- Bureau Of Forestry’s New Leadership Structure

-- Invasive Plant Awareness

-- The Research Report - Wild Leeks

-- Cultural & Historical Resources Management

-- Beware Of Beech Leaf Disease

-- Sign Up For Forest Fridays! Send email to: 

Click Here to read the entire Forest FocusClick Here to sign up for your own copy.

  For more information, visit DCNR’s Bureau Of Forestry webpage.

Visit Explore PA Trails and Get Outdoors PA for recreation areas near you.

  For more information on state parks and forests and recreation in Pennsylvania, visit DCNR’s website, Visit the Good Natured DCNR Blog,  Click Here for upcoming events, Click Here to hook up with DCNR on other social media-- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

[Posted: May 31, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

Fairmount Park Conservancy Announced It Received $10 Million Grant For $250 Million Project To Transform Philadelphia's FDR Park

Fairmount Park Conservancy recently announced it has received a $10 million grant from the William Penn Foundation to support the implementation of the $250 million plan to dramatically transform FDR Park in Philadelphia.

With this grant, the Conservancy has officially passed the $100 million mark for FDR Park, and only four years after the initial release of 2019’s FDR Park Plan.

“Community members laid out a clear vision to build a future-proof, flood-resistant FDR Park that serves the needs of South Philadelphia youth and families, and we are committed to realizing that vision,” said Maura McCarthy, Ph.D., CEO of Fairmount Park Conservancy. “Every day, park users — from youth sports leagues to hikers and naturalists to vendors at the world-class Southeast Asian Market — bring this historic patch of South Philadelphia to life. We’re proud to help lift up FDR’s long-term ecological and recreational value, and are committed to ensuring that the park remains equitable and accessible for all who want to take advantage of its hundreds of acres of green space and natural assets.” 

With the support of this grant, Fairmount Park Conservancy will be well positioned to complete the Nature Phase of the FDR Park Plan, including Shedbrook Creek, the Sedge Meadow Wetland, Wildflower Meadow, and the Forested Wetland. 

These projects will prepare the park to respond to the challenges of climate change — not just in the future, but right now, as rain currently causes flooding in the park, rendering many of its spaces unusable. 

In addition, the plan addresses the overwhelming unmet need to balance active and passive recreation space in South Philadelphia. 

The Conservancy is the nonprofit partner leading implementation of the FDR Park Plan. 

“FDR Park has been a place to gather and experience nature and recreation for over 100 years, but because of ecological and environmental issues, sections of the park become unusable even after a modest or mild storm,” explained Shawn McCaney, Executive Director of the William Penn Foundation. “WPF’s $10 million investment in FDR Park’s natural areas will help mitigate these issues by establishing 100 acres of accessible natural lands that community members can utilize and enjoy for years to come.”

The William Penn Foundation’s $10 million grant was leveraged with public and private investment and community support, and brings the FDR Park Plan’s fundraising total to $100 million. 

Through 2026, FDR Park’s users will see the following unveiled: 

-- Completing the design and engineering work of the Nature Phase of the FDR Park Plan.

-- Restoration of Shedbrook Creek, the Forested Wetland, and the Sedge Meadow Wetland, a project that will establish unfragmented high-quality wetlands, and restore thousands of linear feet of streams.

-- Continued community engagement and public information updates about the FDR Park Plan.

-- Expanding the quality and quantity of environmental education programming available to the public at FDR Park.

-- Hiring a Parkforce Manager responsible for connecting the vast maintenance requirements of a large urban park with existing workforce development opportunities.

-- Establishing an operations and maintenance headquarters on-site. 

-- Developing an annual park maintenance program to provide critical support for the improvements implemented through the FDR Park Plan.

“Thanks to this tremendous commitment of support from the William Penn Foundation, FDR Park will be able to serve so many more Philadelphians for many years into the future,” said Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell. “FDR Park is a jewel of the Philadelphia parks system, and thanks to the vision put forward through this community-based planning process, FDR is poised to be a model for environmental restoration that is well used and well loved by a diverse cross section of Philadelphians.” 

Fairmount Park Conservancy hosts hikes, kayak tours, volunteer opportunities, scavenger hunts and more year-round at FDR Park. Click Here for a list of events at FDR.


-- Inquirer: $100 Million Raised For FDR Park Redevelopment; About $150 Million To Go

[Posted: May 31, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

Independent Fiscal Office Reports PA Natural Gas Production Peaked In 4th Quarter 2021

On May 31, the
Independent Fiscal Office released its first quarter 2023 report on unconventional shale gas production in Pennsylvania showing quarterly production is down 118 billion cubic feet since the fourth quarter peak in 2021.

Shale gas production peaked in Pennsylvania during the fourth quarter of 2021 at 1,956 billion cubic feet.  The IFO reported first quarter production in 2023 was 1,838 billion cubic feet.

The first quarter of 2023 represented the fifth consecutive quarter with no year-over-year increase in production, in fact there was a 0.7 percent decrease.

During the spike in natural gas prices in 2022 caused by international market conditions, Pennsylvania production was 1,852 in Q1, 1,852 in Q2, 1,879 in Q3 and 1,856 in Q4-- still significantly below the peak of 1,956 in Q4 of 2021.

The last time shale gas production was this low in Pennsylvania was the fourth quarter of 2020 when it was 1,827 billion cubic feet.

The IFO also reported the average Pennsylvania spot price plunged 45.7 percent in the last year due to “a mild winter and the commensurate increase in inventory throughout the country.”

The current price of $1.59 for Pennsylvania represents the lowest quarterly price since the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the IFO. 

[Note: Pennsylvania natural gas prices have been influenced significantly by international markets and Russia’s war on Ukraine. When exports of LNG natural gas were in demand by Europe, prices spiked there and in Pennsylvania.  

[Currently, European natural gas prices have plunged and are now at the lowest levels in over two years. [Read more here]  Pennsylvania prices are following that general trend. ]

“The data show that Pennsylvania was the only state to record a production decline in 2023 Q1 compared to the prior year,” according to the IFO.

“Pennsylvania and Ohio were the only states to record a decline in annual production for 2022,” according to the IFO.

“There were 120 new horizontal wells spud, a decrease of 27 new wells (-18.4 percent) from the prior year. 

“After solid drilling gains in late 2021 and early 2022, there has been a significant slowdown.

“Preliminary data for April and May 2023 show that new wells spud declined 51.1 percent from the same period in 2022.” 

[Note: Baker Hughes reports the number of natural gas drill rigs working in Pennsylvania has increased from 19 in January 2022 to a steady 24 or 25 during May 2023.]

The IFO explains the report only covers unconventional shale gas production and not production from conventional gas wells because unconventional wells account for “over 99 percent of total [natural gas] production” in Pennsylvania. 

Click Here for a copy of the report.

NewsClips This Week:

-- Bloomberg: European Natural Gas Price Drops Again To Lowest Levels In Over 2 Years, Solar Energy Power Hits Record 

-- Bloomberg: Natural Gas Price Plunge Brings Relief To Europe After Energy Panic; Some Traders Predict Short-Term Prices Could Even Go Negative At Times This Summer  [Updated]

Related Articles:

-- Senate Hearing: Wholesale Electricity Prices Too Low To Support Coal, Natural Gas Power Plants In Market; Natural Gas Reliability Issues Will Continue  [PaEN]

-- Senate Hearing On Electric Grid Reliability: Natural Gas Continues To Have Reliability Problems; Renewables Aren’t Coming Online Fast Enough; Energy Office To Be Proposed  [PaEN]

-- PJM This Week Sends Penalty Assessments Of Up To $2 Billion To Electric Generators That Failed To Perform During December’s Winter Storm Elliot; Natural Gas Power Plants Had 63% Of Outages    [PaEN]

PA Oil & Gas Public Notice Dashboards:

-- DEP Moves To Enforce Order To Plug 4 Abandoned Conventional Gas Wells Leaking Methane In Allegheny County Owned By Michael Harju & Economy Natural Gas, Inc.  [PaEN]

-- Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Weekly Compliance Dashboard - May 27 to June 2 -- Conventional Operators Fail To Start Plugging, Fail To Cleanup Spills; More NOVs For Abandoning Wells  [PaEN]

-- PA Oil & Gas Industrial Facilities: Permit Notices/Opportunities To Comment - June 3   [PaEN] 

-- DEP Posts 59 Pages Of Permit-Related Notices In June 3 PA Bulletin  [PaEN]


-- PA Capital-Star: Lawmakers Are Clawing Back State’s Power To Prevent The Abandonment Of Conventional Oil/Gas Wells

-- Warren Times Guest Essay: Simple Truth - Conventional Oil/Gas Well Operators Frequently Abandoned Their Wells, Better Bonding Is A Solution To This Ever-Growing Problem - By Sierra Club

-- Observer-Reporter: Environmental Groups Seek Results Of Pitt Health Studies On Impact Of Natural Gas Development

-- Post-Gazette-Megan Tomasic: Elizabeth Twp. Residents Concerned About Planned Shale Gas Drilling Well Pad Near High School In Allegheny County 

-- Warren Times: Environmental Group Announces PA General Energy To Plug Gas Well Proposed As Oil/Gas Wastewater Injection Well In Indiana County  [Read more here]

Related Articles This Week:

-- Independent Fiscal Office Reports PA Natural Gas Production Peaked In 4th Quarter 2021 [PaEN] 

-- UPDATED: Susquehanna River Basin Low Stream Flows Trigger SRBC Water Withdrawal Restrictions On 49 Oil & Gas Drilling Operations & Other Water Users  [PaEN] 

-- DEP Citizens Advisory Council Meets June 13 To Hear Acting DEP Secretary Negrin Outline His Vision For Changing DEP; Enforcement, Customer Service Strategies; Permit Review Changes; Environmental Justice Plans; More  [PaEN]

[Posted: May 31, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

Keep PA Beautiful, DCED Host June 13 Webinar On How Your Community Can ‘Fight Dirty’ - A Review Of Anti-Littering Media Assets, Tools And Resources

Join representatives from
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and the Department of Community and Economic Development for a free webinar on June 13 to learn how Pennsylvania’s new anti-littering campaign-- PA Fights Dirty: Every Litter Bit Matters-- can be used in your community to change behaviors and keep your community clean.

The free webinar will be held from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. and is open to the public and tailored to Pennsylvania municipalities, counties and community improvement groups, including cleanup coordinators.

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful will provide background on litter and the impacts of littering in Pennsylvania, highlighting results of recent research, the Pennsylvania Litter Research Study and The Cost of Littering and Illegal Dumping in Pennsylvania.  Read more here.

The Department of Community & Economic Development will present the anti-littering campaign and how to use the materials in the PA Fights Dirty Toolkit, including examples of local activations, to spread an anti-littering message, change behaviors locally and keep communities clean.  

The goal of PA Fights Dirty: Every Litter Bit Matters is to educate Pennsylvanians on situational littering, such as leaving trash on the ground next to a full can or in a stadium, and to remind Pennsylvanians that litter of all sizes adds up and creates problems.

The webinar is made possible by funding from the Department of Environmental Protection.

Click Here to register and for more information.

Visit the PA Fights Dirty: Every Litter Bit Matters webpage for more about this program and the resources available.

For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from KPB, Like them on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, visit their YouTube Channel.

Keep PA Beautiful helps mobilize over 100,000 volunteers a year to pick up litter, clean up illegal dumping and beautify Pennsylvania.

Related Article:

-- PA Resources Council, Partners To Host Household Chemical Collection Events In Fayette, Washington Counties In June  [PaEN]

[Posted: May 31, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

PA Assn. Of Environmental Educators June 29 Webinar On Implementing JEDI - Environmental Justice In Environmental Education

PA Association of Environmental Educators is hosting a June 29 professional development webinar on Implementing Environmental Justice In Environmental Education from Noon to 1:30 p.m.

The JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) committee will be examining its role in implementing environmental justice into the EE curriculum. It will cover:

-- The importance of creating an Environmental Justice component in EE curriculum

-- Environmental Justice principles that should be included in EE

-- Intertwining environmental justice with Environmental Education in the workplace

-- Working with your local diversity committee or organization to focus on environmental justice in your workforce

-- How does a JEDI committee serve the needs of PAEE, aid in environmental justice and create a sense of belonging? 

There will be breakout groups to get feedback.

​Free for PAEE Members, $5 for nonmembers

Click Here to register and for more information.  Questions should be directed to:

For more information on programs, initiatives, resources and other upcoming events, visit the PA Association of Environmental Educators website.  Click Here to sign up for the PAEE newsletter (bottom of page, left).  Click Here to become a member.  Click Here to support PAEE’s work.

Related Article:

-- House Committee Holds June 5 Hearing On Bill Requiring Environmental Impact Reports On Certain Electric Generation, Waste, Major Air Pollution Sources Locating In Already Burdened Communities  [PaEN]

[Posted: May 31, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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