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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
June 8, 2020 Issue #832
(6/8/2020)
* House Committee To Consider Bill Taking Away DEP’s Authority To Enact Carbon Pollution Reduction Programs For Power Plants June 9

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to meet on June 9 to consider House Bill 2025 (Struzzi-R-Indiana) to take away DEP’s authority to enact any program to reduce carbon pollution emissions.

* House Environmental Committee Meets June 10 On Bill Exempting A 1,600 Ton/Day Garbage Processing Plant From DEP Waste Regulations

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to meet on June 10 to consider legislation-- House Bill 1808 (Mackenzie-R-Lehigh)-- to exempt a garbage processing plant from DEP’s waste facility regulations.

* Republican Senate Committee Set To Consider Bills On June 10 To Block Regulations Because They Have Too Many Words; Promote 3rd Party Permit Reviews

The Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee is scheduled to meet on June 10 to consider several bills putting more roadblocks into adopting needed environmental and other regulations and establishing a third party permit review program. 

* Target DEP: Republican Senate Bill Would Block All Regulations, Shut Down Citizen Advisory Committee Meetings During A Declared Emergency

On June 5, Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, introduced Senate Bill 1147 which would block all proposed and final regulations from publication and prohibit any state agency citizens advisory committee meetings for the duration of a disaster emergency declared by the Governor.

* DEP Works Thru Pandemic: 914 More Permits, 1,677 More Inspections Since Last Week

From March 16 to June 2, Department of Environmental Protection employees have been teleworking and using COVID-19 mitigation measures to continue to fulfill its mission.  DEP staff have--

* DCNR Moves To Open Remaining State Park, Forest Facilities

On June 4, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced the phased reopening of state parks and forest facilities continues Friday, June 5, in southeast and northeast Pennsylvania in line with Gov. Tom Wolf’s direction to ensure Pennsylvanians have opportunities to safely enjoy outdoor recreation and help maintain positive physical and mental health.

* DCNR Good Natured Blog: Outdoors For All

By Cindy Adams Dunn, DCNR Secretary

* PA Parks & Forests Foundation Launches New Protect Our Parks And Forests Website

The Parks and Forests Foundation recently unveiled a new website: Protect Our Parks and Forests.

* PA Envirothon Week: More Than 300 High School Students Take The Natural Challenge

On June 1, Pennsylvania Envirothon announced the 2020 Pennsylvania Envirothon Week winners who took the Take The Natural Challenge after the regular Envirothon events for high school students were canceled.

* Minsi Lake Habitat Improvements In Northampton County Recognized By National Fish Habitat Partnership

The National Fish Habitat Partnership recognized the habitat work at Minsi Lake in Northampton County was on the nations' Top 10 Waters to Watch In 2020.

* PA Capitol & COVID-19 Weekly Report: George Floyd Protests, Primary Election, COVID-19

[ Because Everything Is Connected To Everything Else ] George Floyd protests, COVID-19 and Tuesday’s Primary election all dominated last week’s news in Pennsylvania.

* 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--

* May PA Tax Revenue $439.7 Million Below Estimates; $2.9 Billion Below For Fiscal Year

On June 1, the Department of Revenue reported state revenue in May was $439.7 million, or 17.3 percent, less than anticipated. Fiscal year-to-date General Fund collections total $29.6 billion, which is $2.6 billion, or 8.2 percent, below estimate.

* PA Septage Management Assn. Hails Signing Of Alternative Septic System Bill

On June 6, the PA Septage Management Association, which represents firms which install and maintain on-lot septic systems, applauded Gov. Wolf's signing of legislation-- Senate Bill 1030 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) that allows continued access to non-traditional/non-conventional, alternate on-lot septic systems by property owners during the sewage facility planning process.

* Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Delaware RiverKeeper Slam EPA Rule Limiting Section 401 Water Quality Reviews Of Pipeline, Other Projects

On June 1, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation condemned the water quality permitting rule the Trump administration finalized as “an egregious assault” on states’ ability to protect waters within their borders.

* Chesapeake Bay Foundation Condemns Trump Order Undermining NEPA, Endangered Species Reviews Of Pipeline, Other Projects

On June 5, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation denounced the Trump administration’s emergency executive order allowing federal agencies to waive the consultation requirements of bedrock environmental laws to speed up the permitting process for major construction projects like pipelines and highways.

* PEC Blog: PEC, Partners Overcame COVID-19 Obstacles To Plant 76,000 Tree Seedlings, Reforest Over 62 Acres Of Abandoned Mine Lands

By Hannah Clemenson, PA Environmental Council

* 750+ Trees Planted So Far This Spring By Lebanon Valley Conservancy, Volunteers

The following article was first appeared in the LebTown online news June 4 written by Joshua Groh--

* Western PA Conservancy, Dominion Energy Award 24 Grants To Western PA Watershed Groups

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation recently awarded 24 grants, totaling $30,000, to 23 local environmental organizations in 12 counties across Pennsylvania as part of their 2020 Watershed Mini Grant Program.

* ARIPPA Anthracite & Bituminous Regions Reclamation Mini Grant Program Now Accepting Applications

The Anthracite Region Independent Power Producers Association has again partnered with the Eastern PA Coalition For Abandoned Mine Reclamation and Western PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation to award mini grants for local mine reclamation projects.

* Western PA Conservancy Offering Free Trees For Cleaner Water In Juniata River, West Branch Susquehanna River Watersheds

The Western PA Conservancy is offering free trees to landowners in the Juniata River and West Branch Susquehanna River watersheds.

* Pike Conservation District: How Your Backyard Activities Affect Your Lake Webinars

To help residents keep local lakes clean, the Pike County Conservation District is hosting a free, three-part webinar series titled How Your Backyard Activities Affect Your Lake.  The webinars include--

* PA Trout Unlimited: Keystone Coldwater Conference Put Focus On Conservation, Education

 The following article appeared in the Spring PA Council of Trout Unlimited newsletter and was written by Rachel Kester, PATU Program Director--

* Penn State Master Watershed Steward Program Training Available In Armstrong, Indiana, Westmoreland

The Penn State Master Watershed Steward Program in Armstrong, Indiana and Westmoreland  counties will be training a new class of volunteers this coming fall.

* Root Cause Gardening, Homesteading Support Organization Takes Root In Pittsburgh

On June 1, Root Cause, a full service garden and homesteading support organization based in Pittsburgh is now available to be a resource for planning, creating, maintaining, harvesting and preserving a sustainable food future, one community at a time.

* Cumberland County 4-H, Penn State Extension Offer Virtual Camp Series For Youth

The Cumberland County 4-H and Penn State Extension are excited to offer a Virtual Summer Camp Series with “Learn By Doing” activities.

* Rodale Institute To Host Virtual Organic Farming Field Day July 13-17

Each year, Rodale Institute in Berks County hosts a full day of demonstrations, Q&A's, and tours on our 333-acre organic farm. But in the midst of a public health crisis, it's our priority to ensure the safety and health of our community—so our annual Field Day has moved 100 percent online.

* PASA Sustainable Agriculture: June 11 COVID-19 Webinar: Reopening? Update Your Farm Safety Protocols

PASA Sustainable Agriculture will host another in its series of COVID-19 Farmer Forums on June 11, this time on Reopening? Update Your Farm Safety Protocols from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

* PA Assn. Of Environmental Educators: Check Updated List Of Teacher Education Programs Now Available

The PA Association of Environmental Educators now has available an updated list of teacher education programs coming up with Act 48 credits.

* PennVEST, DEP Invite Comments On Clean Water/Drinking Water Funding Intended Use Plans

The PA Infrastructure Investment Authority and DEP are inviting comments on the FY 2020 Intended Use Plans for federal Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Programs.  (formal notice)

* PA Resources Council Announces 6 Household Chemical Collection Events In Western PA

On June 2, the PA Resources Council announced a schedule of six Household Chemical Collection Events in Western PA, starting June 27 in Washington County.

* New Webinars On Composting, Rain Barrels, Recycling, More Scheduled By PA Resources Council

Don't let social distance slow down your commitment to the environment!  The PA Resources Council has adapted our adult workshop program to a webinar format.

* PA Resources Council Moves Eastern Office To Rose Tree Park, Delaware County

On June 5, the Pennsylvania Resources Council, the Commonwealth's oldest grassroots non-profit environmental organization, moved its eastern headquarters to Rose Tree Park in Delaware County.

* Hershey Company Releases 2019 Annual Sustainability Report

On June 2, the Hershey Company released its 2019 Sustainability Report, highlighting Hershey’s progress to date in key areas of focus, such as sustainable cocoa, responsible sourcing, climate change and human rights.

* 8th Annual PA Firefly Festival Goes Virtual June 27; Limited In-Person Viewing Programs

The 8th Annual PA Firefly Festival based in Tionesta, Forest County will hold a Virtual Stay-At-Home PA Firefly Festival on June 27, in light of COVID-19 restrictions.

* Meet PA/NJ Chapter American Chestnut Foundation Intern Sean Patrick Freidhof

The following article on PA/NJ Chapter American Chestnut Foundation intern Sean Patrick Freidhof was written by Jean Najjar for the latest Chapter newsletter--

* PA Parks & Forests Foundation Welcomes Friends Of Ole Bull State Park In Potter County

On June 1, the PA Parks and Forests Foundation welcomed the Friends of Ole Bull State Park in Potter County.

* June 5 Take Five Fridays With Pam, PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The June 5 Take Five Fridays With Pam is now available from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation featuring articles on--

* PA Great Outdoors Visitors Bureau In Northcentral PA Accepting Entries For Summer Sunday Drives Photo Contest

The PA Great Outdoors Visitors Bureau is pleased to announce their new Sunday Drives Photo Contests running from June through August.  The deadline for entries is August 31.

* Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Moving Mountains Newsletter For The Birds Now Available

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary’s latest Moving Mountains newsletter is now available featuring articles on--

* In Memoriam: Gary R. Brown, RT Environmental Services, PEC Board Member

The following remembrance is reprinted from the PA Environmental Council website--

* Environment & Energy NewsClips

Click Here: Week’s Worth Of PA Environment & Energy NewsClips

* 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.

* CLICK HERE To View Or Print Entire PA Environment Digest

CLICK HERE to View or Print the 60 page PA Environment Digest.

* Stories Invited - About PA Environment Digest

Send your stories, photos and links to videos about your project, environmental issues or programs for publication in the PA Environment Digest to: PaEnviroDigest@gmail.com.

* 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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