Tuesday, April 30, 2024

May 10-12 Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Celebrates 90 Years; Global Raptor Conservation Symposium May 11

Did a small Pennsylvania sanctuary overlooking two tiny rural towns launch the environmental movement?  
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary offers a resounding yes.

Recognized worldwide as the first refuge for birds of prey, the nonprofit that operates Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, between Drehersville in Schuylkill County and Kempton in Berks, and this year celebrates 90 years. 

The Sanctuary will host a May 10-12 celebration starting Friday evening with its first “Benefit for the Birds” held under a big tent on the Sanctuary property and coinciding with its first-ever trainee reunion and 1934 Challenge fundraiser..

“Historically, our benefit was held offsite at a catering facility, but people want to be here at Hawk Mountain and the 90th anniversary offered the perfect occasion to do so,” says President Sean Grace.

On Friday evening the Sanctuary will host its annual Benefit with a twist, celebrating with its local and global community on top of the Mountain and enjoying a late spring evening with good food, live music, avian ambassadors, and a raffle of unique prizes all to benefit the Sanctuary. 

Earlier that day, Hawk Mountain will launch its inaugural 1934 Challenge, prompting the community to support the Sanctuary with donations of $19, $34, or $90 over the course of 1934 minutes, or just over 32 hours. 

The challenge will kick off at 11 a.m. and conclude at 7:14 p.m. on Saturday. Donations will be collected via an online link that will be posted at launch

Global Raptor Symposium

On Saturday, a full day of talks from graduates of the Sanctuary’s international training program will focus on the status of global raptor conservation. The symposium will take place in the amphitheater. 

Cost is $10/person and includes trail admission as well as the chance to come and go throughout the day and take advantage of a food truck. 

Click Here to register.

Hawk Mountain’s acclaimed International Trainee Program is a three-month-long residential and fully immersive experience that his produced some of the most impressive names in conservation today. 

To date, more than 500 up-and-coming conservationists from 78 countries on six continents have graduated the program.

An invite-only Mimosa Morning will wrap up the weekend, allowing current and past trainees, staff, volunteers, board members, and supporters to mingle and enjoy a spring morning on the mountain while discussing raptor conservation opportunities and more.

For more information on programs, initiatives and upcoming events, visit the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary website or call 610-756-6961.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Sanctuary, Like them on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, visit them on Flickr and visit their YouTube ChannelClick Here to support Hawk Mountain.

[Posted: April 30, 2024]  PA Environment Digest

EDF: US House Passes Bill To Locate Abandoned/Orphaned Conventional Oil & Gas Wells, Improve Well Plugging Technology

On April 30, the US the House of Representatives passed the
Abandoned Well Remediation Research and Development Act by a vote of 333 to 75. The bipartisan bill now moves to the US Senate, where it is expected to also receive bipartisan support.

“Orphaned oil and gas wells threaten public health and safety, the water we drink and the climate,” said Environmental Defense Fund director and senior attorney for energy transition Adam Peltz. “This essential bipartisan bill will fund the research necessary to improve well plugging practices, find unregistered orphan wells in hard-to-reach places like streams, forests, farmland and backyards, and develop beneficial clean energy uses for end-of-life wells. This bill will create jobs and benefit public health, particularly for communities overburdened by legacy oil and gas development – and now the Senate should take up this bill so that President Biden can sign it into law.”

This important bipartisan legislation would invest more than $150 million over the next five years to help find an estimated 800,000 undocumented orphan wells, reuse those we can for beneficial purposes and ultimately close the rest more effectively and affordably.

AWRRDA provides funding to research how to improve well plugging, locate undocumented orphan wells and study potential uses for both orphan and end-of-life wells. 

While responsible well operators promptly plug their oil and gas wells when they run dry, many orphan wells have been improperly abandoned for decades or more. 

Hard-to-reach locations coupled with unknown well architecture, crumbling steel casings and unexpected objects downhole like telephone poles, rolled up carpets and even cannon balls make orphan well plugging especially challenging.

(Written by Adam Peltz, Director and Senior Attorney, Environmental Defense Fund)

Resource Link:

-- Congressmember Summer Lee: House Passes Bipartisan Abandoned Wells Remediation, Research And Development Act

Resource Links:

-- Shapiro Marks Plugging 200th Abandoned Conventional Oil & Gas Well: These Companies Will Do Anything To Avoid Paying For Plugging; It’s Not Okay Some In The Legislature Are Shielding Them; Text Well Locations  [PaEN]

-- DEP Imposed $422,365 In Penalties On 14 Conventional Oil & Gas Well Operators In 2023 For Abandoning Wells, Spills, Venting Gas; 93 Operators Cited For Abandoning 271 Wells  [PaEN]  

-- DEP: 89% Of Conventional Oil & Gas Well Owners Did Not Comply With Well Integrity Reporting For 34,455 Wells In 2023  [PaEN]

-- DEP: 86% Of Conventional Oil & Gas Well Owners Did Not Comply With Waste Disposal, Production Reporting For 33,505 Wells In 2023  [PaEN] 

-- EDF: Pennsylvania Has 55,000 Oil/Gas Wells At High Risk Of Being Abandoned; 51,000 Wells At Risk Of Being Transferred To Low Solvency Owners; Current Conventional Well Owners Abandon 561 Wells A Year, On Average  [PaEN] 

-- DEP Declares 101 Medina Res Dev Co. LLC Conventional Oil & Gas Wells Abandoned, Not Plugged In Crawford, Erie Counties On March 5  [PaEN] 

-- Witness At Senate Hearing On Oil & Gas Wastewater Road Dumping Reports Her Home  Has Been Surrounded By Dumping; Dumping Again On The Upswing In 2024  [PaEN]

-- DEP Reports ZERO Shale Gas Well Permits Under Review; DEP May Have Only 20% Of The Revenue Needed To Fund Its Oil & Gas Regulation Program  [PaEN] 

-- Clean Air Council/Sierra Club: PA Falling Behind In Conventional Oil & Gas Well Plugging Bonding; Burden Falls On Taxpayers  [PaEN] 

PA Oil & Gas Industry Public Notice Dashboards:

-- PA Oil & Gas Weekly Compliance Dashboard - April 27 to May 3 - Hunting Abandoned Quaker State Wells; Conventional Well Dumpster Fire; Multiple Water Withdrawal Violations  [PaEN]

-- PA Oil & Gas Industrial Facilities: Permit Notices, Opportunities To Comment - May 4 [PaEN] 

-- DEP Posted 73 Pages Of Permit-Related Notices In May 4 PA Bulletin  [PaEN]  

Related Articles This Week:

-- Senate Republicans Pass Bill Authorizing An Authority To Take Over Permitting Large-Scale Energy Projects; Eliminating Public Comment; Waiving Any Regulation; Providing Immunity From Prosecution; Barbers Reviewing Permits?  [PaEN]

-- Bill Reported Out Of Senate Committee Would Allow Pipelines Like Mariner East To Apply For Waivers Of Any PUC Regulation, Law Or Policy  [PaEN] 

-- Conventional Oil & Gas Industry Says It’s A ‘Terrific Lie’ To Say It Is Responsible For Abandoning Thousands Of Wells; Industry To Change Definition So They Can Avoid Responsibility  [PaEN] 

-- EDF: US House Passes Bill To Locate Abandoned/Orphaned Conventional Oil & Gas Wells, Improve Well Plugging Technology [PaEN] 

-- The Allegheny Front: New Book Takes On Radiation Dangers In Oil & Gas Industry  [PaEN]

-- PJM Interconnection Anticipates Adequate Electric Generation Resources To Meet Summer Demand Under 'Anticipated Conditions'  [PaEN]

-- Utility Dive Guest Essay: FERC, NERC Review Of Winter Storm Gas Infrastructure Failures Lacks Transparency, Provided Insufficient Scrutiny On Impacts - By Union Of Concerned

-- Reuters: US Oil, Gas Production Rebounds In Feb. After Extensive Winter Storm Disruptions


-- Capital & Main: US Oil/Gas Production Is Booming; So Are The Industry’s Donations To Its Republican Allies [PA Will See A ‘Flood Of Money From The Industry’]

-- PennLive: PA Senate Republicans Pass Bill Allowing Large-Scale Energy Projects To Bypass State Agencies

-- PA Capital-Star: PA Senate Committee Advances Bill To Allow Utility Companies To Request A Waiver For Any Law Or Regulation Enforced By The PUC [Senate Bill 1174

-- ABC27: Environmental Advocacy Groups Rally At Capitol For Action On Gas, Oil Industry

-- Sen. Muth, Environmental Advocates Join Author Justin Nobel At Capitol To Discuss Oil/Gas Industry Hazardous Waste

-- The Allegheny Front: New Book Takes On Radiation Dangers In Oil & Gas Industry

-- Center For Coalfield Justice, Partners Host May 4 Book Signing In Washington County With Justin Nobel, Author of Petroleum 238: Big Oil's Dangerous Secret  [PaEN] 

-- Better Path Coalition: On Demand: Brown Bag Briefing By Justi Nobel On His New Book Petroleum 238: Big Oil’s Dangerous Secret And the Grassroots Fight To Stop It

-- Post-Gazette - Anya Litvak: Ohio AG Wants PA’s Austin Master Services CEO Jailed For Failing To Cleanup Oil & Gas Waste Plant In Martins Ferry 

-- The Allegheny Front: Ohio AG Wants PA Company Held In Contempt For Failing To Cleanup Radioactive Oil & Gas Waste 

-- Beaver County Radio: Study: PA Ranks High For Health Impacts Of Oil & Gas Flaring Emissions 

-- Post-Gazette Guest Essay: State Agencies Aren’t Listening To The People Who Produce Energy As The Develop Policy - By Mark Caskey, Steel Nation [Gas Industry-Related Business] 

-- The Hill: Biden’s Pause On New LNG Gas Export Facility Permits Could Complicate Pennsylvania Strategy  [LNG Export Capacity Will Double During Pause; PA Shale Gas Coalition Wants To Export PA Gas To China, Our Competitor]

-- Williamsport Editorial: LNG Gas Permit Ban Is Simply Unreasonable  [The Pause-- Not Ban--  Is On NEW Export Projects, LNG Export Capacity Will Double During Pause; PA Shale Gas Coalition Wants To Export PA Gas To China, Our Competitor]  

-- Inside Climate News: Shell Petrochemical Plant In Beaver County Promised Prosperity, But To Some Residents It’s Become A ‘Shockingly Bad’ Neighbor  

-- WHYY - Susan Phillips: Green Hydrogen: A Climate Change Solution Or Fossil Fuel Bait And Switch?

-- Reuters: Texas Gas Producers Turn To Flaring To Dispose Of Excess Natural Gas Amid Weak Prices  [Will PA Producers Do The Same?]

-- Reuters: US Stands To Lose Canadian Natural Gas When LNG Gas Canada Terminal Starts Up  

-- Bloomberg: Federal Trade Commission Alleges Shale Producer Scott Sheffield [Pioneer]  Tried To Collude With OPEC To Prop Up Crude Oil Prices By Coordinating Production Levels 

-- Financial Times: Federal Trade Commission OPEC Collusion Claim Against US Shale Oil Producer Sets Off Tremor In Oil Patch

-- Bloomberg: Texas Utility Makes Case Pipeline Prices Unfairly Drove Up Gas Prices In 2021 Storm 

-- WSJ: In America’s Biggest Oil/Gas Field, The Ground Is Swelling And Buckling

[Posted: April 30, 2024]  PA Environment Digest

Keep PA Beautiful 2024 Summit For Community Stewardship In Scranton Oct. 16-17

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful 2024 Summit for Community Stewardship will be held in coordination with the departments of Environmental Protection, Transportation and Community and Economic Development on October 16 and 17 at the Hilton in the City of Scranton. 

The theme of this year's Summit is-- Bridging Action, Infrastructure, Policy and Innovation.

The Summit provides state agencies, participating stakeholders and concerned residents of Pennsylvania an opportunity to convene and reflect on past work, share experiences, and learn together. 

In addition to repeating breakout sessions on marine debris and policy levers for stewardship and education, attendees will hear from national community stewards about the link between community activism and stewardship from Kristine Zieglar, Planet Women and the Power of Beauty from Dave Forsell, Keep America Beautiful. 

Bob Anderson from Closed Loop Partners will provide valuable insights on the evolution of community recycling infrastructure and how to empower communities to recycle more.

Plan to join Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, affiliates, volunteers and state agency and community partners as they shine a spotlight on Scranton and build on and celebrate our collective efforts to improve our communities across Pennsylvania.    

Sponsorship Opportunities

Information is available on sponsorship opportunities for the Summit. Contact Deb Woolley to learn more: dwoolley@keeppabeautiful.org

Visit the KPB’s 2024 Summit for Community Stewardship webpage for updates.

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.

The 2024 Pick Up Pennsylvania Initiative continues through May 31!  Questions should be directed to Michelle Dunn at 1-877-772-3673 Ext. 113 or send email to: mdunn@keeppabeautiful.org.

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

Related Articles:

-- PA Resources Council Glass Recycling Program Honored With Governor's Award For Environmental Excellence  [PaEN] 

-- Keep PA Beautiful 2024 Summit For Community Stewardship In Scranton Oct. 16-17  [PaEN]

-- Centre County Recycling & Refuse Authority Reports Nearly 48,000 Pounds Of Household Hazardous Waste Collected  [PaEN]

-- PA Resources Council Encourages Participation In 40th Anniversary Of Litter Photo Contest - The Earth Is Not Your Garbage Can  [PaEN]


-- TribLive Guest Essay: Pick Of The Litter In The Suburbs

[Posted: April 30, 2024]  PA Environment Digest

Centre County Recycling & Refuse Authority Reports Nearly 48,000 Pounds Of Household Hazardous Waste Collected

Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority reported nearly 48,000 pounds of household hazardous waste was collected this past weekend from 848 participants at the free annual drop off event.

Comments from residents were extremely positive and they appreciated continuous traffic flow.  They were in and out of the facility in minutes.  They also valued staff waiting to greet them and were grateful for the opportunity to safely dispose of hazardous items from their homes.

“We were happy to wrap up Earth month with this valued, community event.  Between the Green Community Partnership Luncheon, Watershed Clean Up Day and now our Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event, we are trying to do our part to help keep Centre County a clean, green and safe place to live.” said Mimi Cooper, the Authority’s Recycling Coordinator.   

Explosive Material Safely Disposed Of

On Friday, the event was temporarily halted due to a potentially explosive material that was quickly identified by MXI, the vendor hired to conduct the event. 

Two bottles of diaethylaether diethyl ether and another containing sulfuric acid were deemed unstable by Centre Region HAZMAT team and were safely disposed of on site several hours later.  

College Township residents may have heard an explosion approximately 4:30 Friday afternoon, which was the result of a counter charge explosive utilized to eliminate the potential hazard.  

Other potentially volatile materials such as calcium carbide and acetylene were also brought in by homeowners.  These materials are expensive to dispose of properly and pose a hazard to anyone who may encounter them.  

This collection is done annually to provide residents the ability to dispose of these materials properly and at no cost to residents. 

CCRRA Executive Director Ted Onufrak wants county residents to continue to take advantage of this free service.  

“There are unknown substances like this in many homes, garages and outbuildings. We don’t expect residents to be able to identify every explosive substance but if you have any doubts please contact us.  What happened Friday is exactly the reason we hold this event.  If residents had put some of these materials out for regular trash collection, trash haulers, authority employees and even bystanders could have been seriously injured. Similarly, first responders arriving at these residences for another emergency would also be at risk.”

This event costs approximately $100,000 and is incorporated into the fees the CCRRA charges for the recycling and municipal waste disposal services it provides.

The CCRRA would like to thank the employees of MXI who quickly identified and isolated these materials; Centre Region HAZMAT, the Penn State University Bomb Squad and other first responders for their rapid and professional response; and those homeowners who participated in the two day event. 

Getting these materials out of the waste stream and properly disposed of is something we hope all residents will continue to work with us to achieve.

The event was co-sponsored by Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Agriculture.  

MXI of Langhorne, PA was the successful contractor.

If you missed this collection, look for information early next year.  The Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority will be holding another Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event in the spring of 2025.  

[Posted: April 30, 2024]  PA Environment Digest

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