Saturday, June 22, 2024

Saturday PA Environment & Energy NewsClips - 6.22.24

“The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania's public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.”

-- Article I, Section 27 Pennsylvania Constitution  [It’s Not A Suggestion]

House next voting day June 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

-- Committee Schedule

Senate next voting day June 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

-- Committee Schedule

TODAY’s Calendar Of Events 

June 24-- NEW. Agenda Posted. House Environmental Resources & Energy Committee hearing on House Bill 2277 (Otten-D-Chester) Governor’s PA Reliable Energy Sustainability Standard.  Room G-50 Irvis Building. 10:00 a.m.  Click Here to watch liveRead more about agenda here.

June 25-- NEW. House Environmental Resources & Energy Committee meets to consider House Bill 589 (Kinkead-D-Allegheny) establishing a state landslide insurance program;  House Bill 2393 (Friel-D-Chester) establishing a permit program for food waste disposal.  Room G-50 Irvis Building.  Call of the Chair.  Click Here to watch live.

June 25-- NEW. House Consumer Protection, Technology & Utilities Committee meets to consider Senate Bill 831 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) geologic carbon sequestration primacy bill.  Room G-50 Irvis Building.  10:00 a.m.  Click Here to watch live.

June 25-- Agenda Posted. DEP Climate Advisory Committee meeting.  Room 105 Rachel Carson Building. 10:00 a.m. Visit the Committee webpage for options to join the meeting remotely. Contact: Lindsay Bryon

June 26-- NEW. Legislative Budget & Finance Committee meets on House Resolution 131 (Steele-D-Allegheny) requiring the Legislative Budget & Finance Committee to conduct a study comparing the Act 13 shale gas drilling impact fee revenues with a natural gas severance tax.  Room 8E-B East Wing. 9:00 a.m.  Click Here to watch live.

June 26-- Agenda Posted. DEP Solid Waste Advisory Committee meeting. Room 105 Rachel Carson Building. 10:00 a.m. Visit the Committee webpage for options to join the meeting remotely.  Contact: Laura Henry, at  or (717) 772-5713.

-- State Budget: Growing Greener Coalition Urges Lawmakers To Support $80 - $100 Million Healthy Outdoors For All Program; Contact Your Legislator  [PaEN]  

-- State Budget: Chesapeake Bay Foundation Urges PA Lawmakers To Reinvest In Clean Streams Fund; Citizens To Contact Their Legislators  [PaEN] 

-- State Budget: PA Environmental Council Sends Budget, Policy Recommendations To PA House, Senate Members  [PaEN] 

-- State Budget: PA Parks & Forests Foundation: Pennsylvania Residents Overwhelmingly Support Investments In Trails  [PaEN]

-- PA Oil & Gas Industrial Facilities: Permit Notices, Opportunities To Comment - June 22 [PaEN] 

-- DEP Posted 53 Pages Of Permit-Related Notices In June 22 PA Bulletin  [PaEN]

-- DEP Hearing, Special Comment Period Notices For Projects In Jefferson (Solar), Lehigh (Warehouse), Lycoming (Gas Pipeline) and York (Air Permit) Counties  [PaEN] 

-- DEP Permitting Efficiency: Since Nov. 2023, DEP Received 15,705 Permit Applications, 3,740 Pending, Only 9 Did Not Meet Review Deadlines And Are Eligible For PAyback  [6.22.24]

-- DEP Oil & Gas Program: Zero Conventional Permits Received, Zero Conventional Permits Under Review, Zero Conventional Permits Issued; 6 Shale Gas Permits Received, 5 Under Review, 24 Permits Issued Week Ending June 14, 2024

-- Observer-Reporter: Cecil Township Puts Off Hearing On Shale Gas Drilling Ordinance In Washington County

-- The Allegheny Front: An Extension Of The Mountain Valley Gas Pipeline Might Be The Next Big Energy Fight

-- EPA Forecasts Code Orange Air Quality Action Day Saturday, June 22 In Philadelphia Region 

-- DEP Issues Code Orange Air Quality Action Day Alert For Saturday, June 22 In Philadelphia Region

-- TribLive: Allegheny County Fines US Steel Nearly $80,000 In Latest Round Of Air Pollution Penalties 

-- StateImpactPA: Amid Heat Wave, PA Can Meet Its Energy Demand, PJM Grid Operator Is Concerned That  Might Not Always Be True

-- Tribune-Democrat: PA’s Mine-Scarred Land Presents Challenges For Solar Development Despite Financial Incentives 

-- Tribune-Democrat: Sites Other Than Farmland More Feasible For Solar 

-- Tribune-Democrat: Companies Buying, Leasing Land Have Varying Goals For Directing Solar Energy 

-- Tribune-Democrat: Health Agencies Encourage Solar Panel Recycling

-- Utility Dive: NERC 2023 Report - Aging Coal Power Plants Are Increasingly Unreliable Due To Cycling Increases And Deferred Maintenance

-- Inaugural Agriculture Conservation Assistance Program Conference Recap; Award Winners Recognized  [PaEN] 

--  Chesapeake Bay Program: Experts Forecast Bay Dead Zone To Be Near Average In Summer 2024

-- Chesapeake Bay Foundation: Bay Dead Zone Predicted To Be Slightly Larger Than Average This Summer

-- Scranton Times: Instead Of Fines, DEP Agrees To PA American Water Cleanup Of Silt In Roaring Brook, Lackawanna River; Creating Fish Habitat, Natural Enhancements Worth $300,000

-- PA American Water Files Application With PUC To Acquire East Dunkard Water Authority In Greene County 

--  Tribune-Democrat: Greater Johnstown Water Authority To Increase Noncompliance Sewer Fee

-- York Daily Record: Stewartstown Boro Asks Customers To Conserve Water After Recent Spike In Use In York County

-- PEMA Reminds Residents Of June 28 Deadline For SBA Loans For Flood Recovery In Southwest PA

-- Philadelphia, Delaware, Bucks Counties Among Worst In US For Flooding 

-- Post-Gazette: US Army Corps Takes Safety Precautions During Demolition Of Monongahela Dam Near Elizabeth In Pittsburgh

-- Lackawanna Historical Society June 28 Webinar Features Prof. Allen Dietrich-Ward On An Environmental History Of Pennsylvania  [PaEN]

-- Agriculture Secretary, Sen. Comitta Visit Chester County’s Jenkins Arboretum, Highlighting Bill To Protect Pollinators, Boost Agriculture  [PaEN]

-- Agriculture Secretary Joins Local Ag Educator To Climb Tallest Tree In Bedford County; Promote Jobs In Forestry

-- Finite Carbon Expands Forest Carbon Offset Program To Northeastern US

-- DCNR Celebrates Expanded Access To Pine Creek Rail Trail With Completion Of Whitetail Recreation Area Parking Area

-- June 21 Take Five Fridays With Pam, PA Parks & Forests Foundation  [PaEN]

-- LancasterOnline - Ad Crable: Historical Finds Can Be Dug Up Along Susquehanna River With Help From Blue Rock Heritage Center

-- National Park Service: Paddling The Beautiful Conowingo Islands In The Susquehanna River

-- Wilkes-Barre Times: Riverfest Set To Begin After Storm-Delayed Launch

-- Tribune-Democrat: Cambria County Conservation & Recreation Authority Secures Final Grant To Finish East Coast Rail Trail Loop

-- TribLive: Long-Delayed Pittsburgh Park Projects Cause Frustration

-- TribLive: Parks Conservancy Revitalizing Riverview Park’s Valley Refuge Shelter

-- TribLive: Pittsburgh Parks, Recreation Director Paid Contractor With Municipal Credit Card In Violation Of Policies

-- Game Commission Seeks Feedback From Hunting License Buyers

-- The Allegheny Front: Swissvale, First ‘Bird Town’ In Allegheny County Commits To Creating Bird-Friendly Community

-- LancasterOnline: Birders In Lancaster County Offer Trips And Tips

-- The Allegheny Front/WHYY: Beekeeper At Delaware’s Winterthur Museum & Garden Wants You To Consider Raising Bees

Train Derailments

-- The Allegheny Front: NTSB Set To Vote On Investigation Of Norfolk Southern Train Derailment Tuesday

-- AP: Norfolk Southern Said Ahead Of The NTSB Hearing That Railroads Will Examine Vent and Burn Decisions

-- Norfolk Southern To Establish Rail Accident Vent & Burn Workgroup Required As Part Of EPA Settlement


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

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

-- AAA Gasoline Prices:  PA - $3.63  National- $3.45   Ohio - $3.38

-- Bakers Hughes: PA Natural Gas Drilling Rigs, No Change From Last Week - 21

Other States/National/International

-- White House Releases Agency Climate Adaptation Plans To Build Climate Resilience

-- Post-Gazette/Bloomberg: Key Electric Vehicle Battery Material Graphite Can Come From Methane

PA Politics - Everything Is Connected

-- Spotlight PA: Right-Wing Group Sues Over Errors In PA Voter Registration Records

-- PA Capital-Star: PA Lawmakers Who Survived Catholic Child Sexual Abuse Push For Long-Sought Amendment Before Leaving Office

-- AP: Democrats Put Spotlight On More Than 1 Million Pension Saved Under 2021 Federal Law [Bob Casey]

-- AP: Ex-President Will Address Influential Evangelicals Who Back Him But Want To See A National Abortion Ban

-- AP: Biden, Allied Republicans Are Trying To Rally Republican Women In Swing-State Suburbs Away From Ex-President

-- The Center Square - Anthony Hennen: PA School District Taxes Expected To Rise Almost 5%

-- Dept. Of Labor & Industry: May Unemployment Rate 3.4%, 8th Consecutive Month

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[Posted: June 22, 2024]  PA Environment Digest

Agriculture Secretary, Sen. Comitta Visit Chester County’s Jenkins Arboretum, Highlighting Bill To Protect Pollinators, Boost Agriculture

On June 20, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Sen. Carolyn Comitta (D-Chester), Minority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, met at
Jenkins Arboretum and Gardens in Chester County to discuss and see how Senate Bill 1193, the Plant and Pollinator Protection Act, will benefit food production, plant nurseries, and beekeepers, as well as Pennsylvania's economy.

Pennsylvania's nursery and landscaping industry generates $4.1 billion for the state economy and is responsible for more than 63,000 jobs. More than 80% of flowering plants must be pollinated to reproduce. 

This includes apples, peaches, tomatoes, berries, pumpkins, grapes, and many other high-value Pennsylvania crops.

“Some of our favorite foods rely on pollinators," Secretary Redding said. “In so many of our communities, our jobs and livelihoods revolve around producing those foods. Protecting pollinators is more than just making sure we have beautiful flowers,  butterflies, and honey – it's making sure we can produce food in the future."

Pennsylvania has had a Bee Law since 1921 and a Plant Pest Law since 1937. Both laws include measures to protect pollinators from disease, and Pennsylvania's nurseries and retail plant businesses from costly pests and disease. 

Senator Comitta, who serves on the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, is prime sponsor of Senate Bill 1193, which combines these outdated laws, replacing them with measures that reflect today's environmental and economic climate and risks.

“Pollinators have a mighty impact in helping keep our families healthy, our farms strong, and our local gardens flourishing. The way we view and protect them has changed. Now, it's time to update and improve our laws to follow suit," said Senator Comitta. “I am glad to join our partners in introducing this legislation to better protect bees and all pollinators from harmful pests, pathogens, and other threats."

"Native pollinators are the unsung heroes of our ecosystems, ensuring the health and diversity of our plants and crops," said Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens Executive Director Tom Smarr. “Public gardens like Jenkins support pollinators by offering a haven of native plants that protect biodiversity, secure our food sources, and enhance the health and well-being of our communities."

The bill would:

-- Help reduce pesticide use;

-- Broaden protections for pollinators beyond honeybees to consider butterflies, bats and other valuable pollinators threatened by disease and pests;

-- Enable state quality assurance verifications, increasing domestic and international trade opportunities for Pennsylvania businesses;

-- Base business inspections on threats posed by specific pests and disease – taking a proactive, preventative approach based on risk, and;

-- Adjust inspection, certification, and testing fees to reflect current costs and increase customer service.

-- Pennsylvania's agriculture and food industry contributes $132.5 billion annually to our state economy and supports more than 593,000 jobs across the state.

-- Pennsylvania leads the nation in the number of floriculture businesses – those that produce garden and bedding plants, potted plants, and cut flowers. The state ranks fourth in the nation in apple and peach production.

Click Here for the complete announcementClick Here for Sen. Comitta’s release.

Resource Links:

-- Pollinator Gardens: Help Encourage Ecological Diversity In Your Own Backyard  [PaEN]

-- Pollinator Vehicle License Plate Now Available From PennDOT To Support Pollinator Habitat Fund  [PaEN]

Related Article:

-- Penn State Extension Is Celebrating Pollinator Week June 17-21! [PaEN]


-- TribLive: Freeport Post Office Adds Garden To Support Native Pollinators 

-- The Allegheny Front/WHYY: Beekeeper At Delaware’s Winterthur Museum & Garden Wants You To Consider Raising Bees

[Posted: June 22, 2024]  PA Environment Digest

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