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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
April 20, 2020 Issue #825
* DEP Will Continue To Enforce Environmental Laws; 10 COVID-19 Related Waivers Granted

On April 15, DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell wrote to a coalition of environmental groups from across the state saying in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, DEP will continue its work to enforce all environmental laws saying-- “we cannot allow one public health crisis [to] lead to another.”

* Rep. Metcalfe 'Demands' DEP Stand Down On Environmental Regulations During COVID-19 Shutdown

On April 14, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), Majority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, sent a letter to DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell demanding DEP stand down on environmental regulations during the COVID-19 shutdown.

* House Republicans Find A New Way To Stop Environmental Regulations

On April 17, Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming) introduced House Bill 2416 which would stop any proposed or final environmental or other state agency regulation from being finalized until at least 90 days after the March 6 COVID-19 emergency declaration by the Governor is terminated.

* DCNR Answers Questions On Grant Applications, Ongoing Projects During COVID-19 Emergency

DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation released a Frequently Asked Questions document that answers common questions about how the coronavirus pandemic affects the currently open grant round and existing grant projects.

* Joint Conservation Committee: The Benefits Of Nature During The COVID-19 Quarantine

The Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee published this article on the benefits of nature during the coronavirus quarantine in their latest newsletter--

* PA Infrastructure Investment Authority Funding Recipients Can Request Payment Deferral For Up To 3 Months

In response to the unprecedented financial strains on local governments, authorities and individual borrowers, the PA Infrastructure Investment Authority has available up to a temporary three month payment deferral for funding recipients.

* Gov. Wolf: State Faces Up To $5 Billion In COVID-19 Budget Deficit

Gov. Wolf last week estimated the Commonwealth faces a budget deficit of between $4.5 billion and $5 billion it will have to make up to cope with drastically reduced state revenues.  He made the estimate as he and other state Governors requested more aid from the federal government.

* Gov. Wolf Unveils Broad Plan For Pennsylvania's COVID-19 Recovery, More Details Next Week

On April 17, Gov. Tom Wolf announced a broad Plan for Pennsylvania that will provide citizens and businesses relief, allow for a safe and expedient reopening, and lay a road to recovery from the challenges and hardships created by the 2019 novel coronavirus.

* Dept. Of L&I Now Accepting Unemployment Applications From Self-Employed, Independent Contractors, Gig Workers, Others Not Previously Eligible

On April 18, the Department of Labor and Industry announced it is now accepting Pandemic Unemployment Assistance applications for self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, and others not eligible for regular unemployment compensation (UC) within the next few days.

* Delaware River Named River Of The Year By American Rivers

On April 15, the Delaware Highlands Conservancy is pleased to announce the Delaware River has received national recognition as River of the Year by American Rivers.

* Schuylkill Action Network Announces Winners Of 2020 Schuylkill Student Street Art Contest

The Schuylkill Action Network recently announced the winners of its 2020 Schuylkill Student Street Art Contest from Berks, Chester, Montgomery and Schuylkill counties.

* American Rivers Names Lower Youghiogheny River To Top 10 List Of Endangered Rivers

On April 15, American Rivers named the Lower Youghiogheny River in Southwest Pennsylvania as one of the top 10 list of endangered rivers in the United States.

* DEP Climate Change Committee To Hear Presentation On Public Health Impacts Of Climate Change At April 30 Virtual Meeting

On April 30, DEP’s Climate Change Advisory Committee will hear a presentation on the public health impacts of climate change as well as an update on the Act 129 Energy Efficiency Program.

* Counties, DEP Began Surveillance For Disease Carrying Mosquitoes, Ticks This Week; Longhorned Tick Expands Into 7 Counties

Cooperating counties and the Department of Environmental Protection began monitoring and surveillance activities this week for mosquitoes and ticks that carry West Nile Virus, Lyme and other diseases affecting people, according to Matt Helwig from DEPs Vector Management Program.

* Penn State Extension: Help Shape Tick Awareness Outreach By Taking Online Survey

Penn State Extension has established a new vector-borne disease team that focuses on diseases transmitted by ticks and mosquitos.

* Keep PA Beautiful Announces Pick Up Pennsylvania To Be Held Sept. 1 To Nov. 30

On April 15, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful announced it will hold its annual Pick Up Pennsylvania cleanup and community beautification program September 1 to November 30.  Registration will tentatively open on August 1 for groups organizing cleanups.

* Lens On Litter Photo Contest Entries Now Being Accepted By PA Resources Council

The PA Resources Council is now accepting entries to the 2020 Lens On Litter Photo Contest to bring awareness to the problem of litter blight across Pennsylvania.  The deadline for entries is October 31.

* CBF: Environmental Education Comes Home For Students During COVID-19 Pandemic

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has launched a new online environmental learning series designed to be a resource for teachers, parents, and students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

* Manada Conservancy Hosts Creating Wildlife Habitat Using Native Plants Webinar April 23

Dauphin County-based Manada Conservancy will host a Creating Wildlife Habitat Using Native Plants Webinar on April 23 at 7:00 p.m.

* Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Offers New Virtual Ed Programs, Previous Programs Available On Demand

The Hawk Mountain Sanctuary has added new programs to its series of virtual environmental education programs  Previous programs are also now available on demand on the Sanctuary’s YouTube Channel.

* Game Commission Now Accepting Entries To Spring State Game Lands Photo Contest To Celebrate 100th Anniversary

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the State Game Lands System, the Game Commission is sponsoring a season-based  State Game Lands Photo Contest. The deadline for entries for the Spring contest is June 30

* Bay Journal Forum: Revive Earth Day's Roots: Celebrate Its 50th Anniversary By Planting A Tree

By Ryan Davis, Alliance For The Chesapeake Bay

* CBF, Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership Offer Tree Seedlings To Celebrate 50th Earth Day

CBF and the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership are offering to ship five tree seedlings to your home for planting to help celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.

* WITF Holds Virtual Earth Day Screening Of Penn's Woods: Cradle Of Conservation April 22

WITF and its partners will hold a virtual Earth Day screening of the documentary Penn's Woods: Cradle of Conservation on April 22 at 7:00 p.m. with a Q&A session following.

* South Mountain Partnership, Penn State Mont Alto Host Earth Day 50 Webinar Generations Yet To Come April 20

The South Mountain Partnership, Penn State Mont Alto School Of Forestry and other partners will host an April 20 webinar celebrating Earth Day’s 50th anniversary with a special screening of the WITF documentary Generations Yet To Come: Environmental Rights In Pennsylvania from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

* PA Horticultural Society Hosts How Grassroots Activism Became Part Of Our National Consciousness Webinar April 20

The PA Horticultural Society and the Philadelphia Free Library are hosting a special Earth Day 50 webinar on April 20 on How Grassroots Activism  Became Part Of Our National Consciousness from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

* Green Amendments For The Generations Holds Special Preview Of The Environmental Rights Amendment Story April 22

Green Amendments For The Generations is hosting a special online preview of the PBS Program Here's The Story: The Green Amendment on April 22 with special events from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

* Celebrate The 50th Anniversary Of Earth Day Thru These Virtual Events Hosted By 4 Philadelphia Groups

Celebrating Earth Month this year might seem next to impossible since we are all staying indoors as much as we can. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways we can connect with each other and the world around us without leaving the safety of our homes.

* DCNR Good Natured Blog: Earth Day At Home

At DCNR, we like to say Earth Day is every day.

* DCNR Good Natured Pennsylvanians: Teddi Stark, Riparian Forest Buffer Coordinator

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Teddi Stark, 32, Harrisburg, was recently featured as part of the next generation that is carrying on Pennsylvania’s rich conservation legacy.

* Celebrating 50 Years Of Earth Day With PA’s Next Generation Of Conservationists

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the Department of Community and Economic Development recently highlighted five fresh young citizens playing significant roles in resource management, wilderness preservation, and environmental protection in Pennsylvania.  Here are their stories--

* PA Capitol & COVID-19 Report: Clash Continues Over When, How To Reopen The State

Senate and House Republicans will shortly put their suggestions for reopening businesses now shutdown by the COVID-19 virus on the Governor’s desk in the form of Senate Bill 327 (Argall-R-Schuylkill).

* Senate/House Bills Moving Last Week

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

* Bills On Governor's Desk

The following bills were given final approval by the Senate and House and are now on the Governor's desk for action--

* Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule [Updated]/Bills Introduced

Here are the Senate and House Calendars for the next voting session day and Committees scheduling action on bills of interest as well as a list of new environmental bills introduced--

* NRCS-PA: USDA Awards 3 Regional Conservation Partnership Grants Totaling $13 Million+ In PA

On April 17, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service-PA announced the award of more than $13 million in Regional Conservation Partnership Grants for three projects in Pennsylvania.

* Audubon Society Of Western PA, Partners Announce Award Of $1.17 Million NRCS Grant To Improve Water Quality In Buffalo Creek

On April 16, Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania announced it has been awarded a $1.17 million award from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service 2019 Regional Conservation Partnership Program.

* NRCS Deadline For Conservation Stewardship Program Now June 1

On April 14, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services-PA announced a new deadline for Conservation Stewardship Program applications to be considered for funding in Pennsylvania is June 1.

* PennFuture, Partners Celebrate PA Clean Water Week With Webinar, Now On Demand

The Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed, Choose Clean Water Coalition, PennFuture and other partners held a webinar on April 17 celebrating PA Clean Water Week.

* Successful Stream Bank Planting At Slippery Rock Campground, Butler County

April 2nd was a pleasant, warm and sunny spring day for the 10 staff, family and Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition Volunteers who worked to plant hundreds of trees and shrubs along Slippery Rock Creek in Butler County.

* PA Resources Council To Host Recycling & Waste Reduction Webinar On April 22

The PA Resources Council will host a Recycling and Waste Reduction webinar on April 22-- Earth Day-- starting at 2:00 p.m.

* PA Resources Council ‘The Bugfeed’ Blog Offers Advice On Recycling As You Stay At Home, Celebrating Earth Day 50 PA

Visit The Bugfeed Blog on the PA Resources Council website to learn how you can recycle during your COVID-19 stay at home, how to celebrate Earth Day 50 PA and much more.  Here are examples of some recent blog posts--

* DEP Fines Range Resources $198,920 For Air Quality Violations In Washington County

On April 14, the Department of Environmental Protection executed a Consent Assessment of Civil Penalty with Range Resources-Appalachia, LLC (Range Resources) in the amount of $198,920 for violations of state regulations and the Air Pollution Control Act.

* DEP Invites Comments On Proposed Water Quality Certification For National Fuel Gas Pipeline Project In Cameron, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk McKean, Potter Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection is inviting public comments on proposed Section 401 Water Quality Certification for a National Fuel Gas pipeline project crossing Cameron, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, McKean and Potter counties.  (April 18 PA Bulletin page 2134)

* DEP Proposes Changes To General Permit Allowing Beneficial Use Of Oil & Gas Liquid Waste To Develop Or Frac Oil & Gas Wells

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the April 18 PA Bulletin of proposed changes and renewal of the Residual Waste General Permit WMGR123 related to the processing, transfer and beneficial use of oil and gas liquid waste to develop or hydraulically fracture an oil and gas well.  (formal notice)

* Environmental Advisory Council Network Conference Now Virtual On May 2-3

The PA Land Trust Association has reimagined the 2020 Environmental Advisory Council Network Conference on May 2-3 as a virtual conference.

* Andrew Place Ends His Tenure On The Public Utility Commission

On April 16, Andrew Place announced he is resigning his position as a Commissioner on the Public Utility Commission after serving for five years.

* PUC Offers Storm Tips, Report Outages, Stay Safe During Severe Weather

On April 13, with another wave of spring storms moving toward and across the Commonwealth, the Public Utility Commission reminded households of the steps they can take to prepare for, and recover safely from, storm-related power outages.

* PA Family Forest Carbon Program Webinar April 30

The American Forest Foundation and The Nature Conservancy will host an April 30 Introduction To The Family Forest Carbon Program webinar starting at 1:00 p.m.

* 2019 PPL Sustainability Report Highlights 56% Cut In Carbon Emissions Since 2010

On April 16, PPL Corporation released its 2019 Sustainability Report, which highlights how the company is advancing its sustainability commitments related to energy and the environment, social responsibility, and governance and management.  

* Widener & Columbia Universities: New Model Laws For Deep Decarbonization Website Launched

On April 14, a new Model Laws for Deep Decarbonization in the United States website was launched to help accelerate a sustainable U.S. transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

* French Creek Valley Conservancy Receives 110-Acre Donation To Protect Habitat In Erie County

On April 17, the French Creek Valley Conservancy announced it recently received a 100-acre donation of land in Washington Township, Erie County from Ed and Sally Scarlett of Edinboro through a life estate.

* Brodhead Watershed Assn. Posts Virtual Hike To Cresco Heights In Monroe County

While large-group hikes have become a temporary casualty of the coronavirus, Brodhead Watershed Association offers an armchair adventure to Cresco Heights in Monroe County.

* April 15 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The April 15 Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* April 17 Take Five Fridays With Pam, PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The April 17 Take Five Fridays With Pam from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation featuring articles on--

* PA Parks & Forests Foundation Welcomes New Board Members Eric Williams, Eric Madden

On April 15, the PA Parks and Forests Foundation welcomed new Board members Eric Williams and Eric Madden.

* Environment & Energy NewsClips

Click Here: Week’s Worth Of PA Environment & Energy NewsClips - Support Local Journalism

* Public Participation Opportunities/Calendar Of Events

Click Here for a list of public participation opportunities and a calendar of events.

* Grants & Awards

Click Here for grants, awards, recognition programs and contest deadlines.

* Regulations, Technical Guidance & Permits

Here are highlights of actions taken by agencies on environmental regulations, technical guidance and permits.

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* NEW Date! PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference Oct. 28-29 In State College

The PA Environment Digest is a proud sponsor of the 2020 PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference will now be held on October 28-29 in State College.

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

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

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