PA Environment Digest: June 28, 2010


Governor, Legislators Consider $453 Million In Cuts To Environmental Programs, Layoffs

Senate Republicans and House Democrats exchanged budget proposals of $27.5 billion and $28.2 billion respectively this week and then they began to talk to Gov. Rendell about their budget ideas.


Groups Urge Governor, General Assembly Not To Retreat On Environmental Funding

The PA Environmental Council, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Western PA Conservancy and the PA Organization of Watersheds and Rivers issued this statement this week on the proposed diversion of $132 million in environmental funding from Growing Greener, the Keystone Fund and other sources to balance the state budget--

* Renew Growing Greener: Who's Fighting For Pennsylvania's Environmental Future?

Andrew Heath, Executive Director of Renew Growing Greener, a statewide coalition of conservation, recreation and environmental organizations, today strongly encouraged the Senate and House to stand up for Pennsylvania's future by not accepting the recent list of "one-time" transfers being offered by Gov. Rendell's administration as part of the budget negotiations.

* DEP Citizens Advisory Council Opposes Diversion Of Environmental Funds

The Citizens Advisory Council to the Department of Environmental Council sent this letter to every member of the General Assembly urging them to reconsider diverting money from environmental funds to help balance the state budget--

* PA Parks&Forests Foundation: Cuts Would Harm Tourism Industry In State

The PA Parks and Forests Foundation sent this action alert on proposed diversions of money from environmental funds saying it would further reduce the $9 in economic benefit State Parks and Forest make to the state's economy for every $1 spent--


County Conservation Districts Oppose Further Cuts To Environmental Funding

The PA Association of County Conservation Districts sent this letter to all members of the Senate and House opposing further cuts to environmental funding and supported the adoption of a natural gas production severance tax--

* Coalition: Severance Tax Must Include Significant Funding For Growing Greener

A coalition of 22 of the state’s leading conservation, recreation and environmental organizations, strongly supports a tax on natural gas extraction that includes a significant portion of the revenues being allocated to the Environmental Stewardship Fund for future Growing Greener projects.


Another Natural Gas Severance Tax Reported To House Floor

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee today voted 17-9 to report out House Bill 1489 (George-D-Clearfield) which includes yet another version of a severance tax on natural gas production and includes a tax credit to help drilling companies hire Pennsylvania workers.

* Group: Lawmakers Shouldn't Give Away The Store With Severance Tax Exemptions

* Did You Know You Can Search Nearly 6 Years Of Digests On Any Topic?

Did you know you can search nearly 6 years of back issues of the PA Environment Digest on dozens of topics, by county and on any key word you choose. Just click on the search page.

* Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule/Bills Introduced
Note: It's now the time of year when House and Senate Calendars, Committee meeting schedules and other activities can change without a moment's notice.  Be flexible and check the PA Environment Digest Daily Blog and Twitter for the latest news.

* Bills On Governor's Desk

The following bill was given final approval and is now on the Governor's desk--


Senate/House Bills Moving

The following bills of interest saw action this week in the House and Senate--

* Senate Committee Reports Green Building, Energy Office And Other Bills

Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee reported out several bills this week setting high performance, green building standards, creating a State Energy Office and setting permit fees for non-coal mining operations by regulations.

* Senate Passes Bill To Give Local Communities A Share Of Air Pollution Fines

The Senate this week passed Senate Bill 1250 (Pileggi-R-Delaware) requiring the sharing of air pollution fines with local governments.

* Rep. Mundy Unveils Package Of Bills To Mitigate Gas Drilling Health, Environmental Risks

* Rep. Houghton Bill To Encourage Solar Energy Passes House

* June Environmental Synopsis Features Composting, Geothermal Energy

The June issue of Environmental Synopsis by the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee features articles on composting, geothermal energy, EPA's green project funding, converting vehicles to natural gas and more.   Click here to view a copy online.

* House Environmental Committee To Consider Bill To Save Heating Oil Customers $86 Mil


PEC Presents Lifetime Achievement Awards To Jane G. Pepper, J. Blaine Bonham Jr.

* Williamsport Agrees To Cleanup Sewage Discharges Into Susquehanna River

* Penn State: Marcellus Shale Well Accident Reinforces Need To Guard Water Quality

The recent eruption of a Marcellus shale gas well in Clearfield County, Pa., has triggered investigations by state agencies. A Penn State Cooperative Extension water specialist said it also should remind Pennsylvanians that drilling can impact surrounding water resources, and well owners near any drill sites should take steps to monitor their drinking water.

* Foundation For PA Watersheds Developing Grant Program On Drilling Impacts

* Owner Of Clearfield County Gas Well Gets DEP OK To Resume Fracking

* DEP Clarifies Exemption For Oil And Gas Well Drilling

* PUC Sets Two Hearings In Susquehanna County On Marcellus Pipeline Application

The Public Utility Commissionhas scheduled two hearings to receive public comment on the proposal by Laser Marcellus Gathering Co. to become a public utility under the Public Utility Code. (formal notice)

* Operation FracNET Focuses On Trucks Hauling Drilling Wastewater

* Scranton Times Series On Drilling Covers Issues Affecting Environment, Communities

The Scranton Times this week published a series of articles over several days covering Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling issues involving the environment, communities and public safety. Here are links to those articles--


Crisis Alert: On 1st Day Of Summer, Delaware River Trout Are At Peril

* Clean Water, Drinking Water Funding Intended Use Plan Hearing July 20

* PUC Urges Consumers To Conserve Energy On Hot, Humid Days

* United Natural Foods York, PA Distribution Center Awarded LEED Gold

* Tasty Baking Company Fully Completes World’s Largest Green Bakery

* DEP Now Accepting Nitrogen Tire Inflation System Grant Applications

* DEP Sets Climate Change Work Group Meetings Through End Of 2010

The Department of Environmental Protection Climate Change Advisory Committee will hold several adaptation Work Group meetings through the remainder of 2010.

* DEP Seeking Applications For Power Plant Pollution Control Technology Grants

* Philadelphia Recycling Kicks Off More Rewards For Philly Recyclers


Monroe County Man Charged With Dumping 6,700 Tons Of Contaminated Soil

* New Grant To Support Integrated Pest Management In Pennsylvania

* South Mountain Partnership Seeks Applicants For Grants

The South Mountain Partnership is seeking applications for up to $25,000 in grants for local projects that protect and promote the natural or cultural resources of the South Mountain region, working to sustain its sense of place.

* HeritagePA Receives Highest Honor From Keystone Society For Tourism

Gov. Rendell inducted HeritagePA, a resource network for Pennsylvania’s officially designated state and national Heritage Areas, into the Keystone Society for Tourism. 

* State Parks' Estelle Ruppert Receives National Award For Teaching

This spring, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy celebrated the success of its “Trail to Every Classroom” program with an awards gala at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., honoring teachers and program partners from five states, including Estelle Ruppert of DCNR’s Bureau of State Parks.

* Family Paddling Day Set For July 17 In Luzerne County

* New DCNR Webpage Helps Hunters Find Information

* Residents Encouraged to Participate in Appalachian Bat Survey

Game Commission biologists are seeking assistance from residents in a regional monitoring effort to collect bat maternity colony data this summer. This monitoring is especially important due to the mortalities in bat populations throughout the northeastern United States, including Pennsylvania, being caused by White-Nose Syndrome.


Allegheny County Nonprofit Offering Grants For Biodiversity Projects

* Sites Needed For New South Mountain GeoTrail

* PHMC Environmental Heritage Internship Will Focus On Maurice K. Goddard

For the fourth consecutive year, the Heritage Society and the PA Historical and Museum Commission will have a summer environmental heritage intern through the financial support of the PA Association of Environmental ProfessionalsGannett FlemingMcCormick Taylor and CHRS, Inc.

* Cathy Myers To Head Bucknell University Environmental Center

* In Memoriam: Peggy Knight, PA Senior Environment Corps

* Opinion- Clearfield County Marcellus Gas Well Blowout: Costly Omen Or Lesson Learned?

Rep. Camile "Bud" George

* Feature- Q&A With John Dawes, Foundation For Pennsylvania Watersheds

By Lexi Belculfine and Carmen J. Lee

* Feature- DCNR Conservation Leaders Summit Sets Stage For Conservation Leadership

Urging people to “stand up and demand change because we are in serious trouble,” Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, offered a unique, historical perspective on conservation in Pennsylvania at the midpoint of a two-day Conservation Leaders Summit held June 17-18 in Valley Forge.

* Feature- Bald Eagles Now Nesting In 50 Counties, State Threatened Species Continues Its Ascent

By Joe Kosack, Wildlife Conservation Education Specialist, Game Commission

* Grants&Awards

This section gives you a heads up on upcoming deadlines for awards and grants and other recognition programs. NEW means new from last week.

* Quick Clips

Here's a selection of NewClips on environmental topics from around the state--

* Marcellus Shale NewsClips

* Watershed NewsClips

* Regulations, Technical Guidance & Permits

* Calendar Of Events

Note: It's now the time of year when House and Senate Calendars, Committee meeting schedules and other activities can change without a moment's notice.  Be flexible and check the PA Environment Digest Daily Blog and Twitter for the latest news.

* Stories Invited


* Supporting Member PA Outdoor Writers Assn./PA Trout Unlimited

PA Environment Digest is a supporting member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers AssociationPennsylvania Council Trout Unlimited and the Doc Fritchey Chapter Trout Unlimited.

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