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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
October 26, 2020 Issue #852
* Northeast PA Environmental Partners Announce 2020 Award Recipients; Awards Program Nov. 19

On October 21, the Northeast PA Environmental Partners announced the winners of their 2020 environmental awards.

* Westmoreland Conservation District Announces 2020 Conservation Award Winners

On October 19, the Westmoreland County Conservation District announced the winners of its 2020 Conservation Awards.

* PA Organization For Watershed & Rivers: 2021 PA River Of The Year Nominations Now Being Accepted

The PA Organization for Watersheds and Rivers is now accepting nominations for 2021 PA River of the Year from nonprofit organizations.  The deadline for submissions is November 16.

* DCNR Invests $673,700 In 93 Acres Of Streamside Buffers In PA's Part Of Chesapeake Bay Watershed

On October 23, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced grants to fund planting trees along streams to improve water quality in Pennsylvania, and eventually the Chesapeake Bay.

* PennVEST Invests $181 Million In Water Infrastructure, Nonpoint Source Pollution Reduction Projects In 12 Counties

On October 21, Gov. Tom Wolf announced the investment of $181 million for 16 drinking water, wastewater and nonpoint source projects across 12 counties through the PA Infrastructure Investment Authority.

* DEP Grants Available To Help Farmers Reduce Nutrient Pollution, Small Businesses With Energy Efficiency Projects

The Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for grants to help farmers reduce nutrient pollution and small business owners and farmers increase energy efficiency under the Small Business Advantage Grant Program.

* DEP Accepting Applications For Farm Conservation Planning Grants In Chesapeake Bay Watershed

The Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for farm conservation planning grants.  The deadline to register is April 1, 2021.

* DEP October Newsletter Updates Chesapeake Bay Program Implementation

The October Chesapeake Bay Implementation newsletter is now available from the Department of Environmental Protection featuring these articles--

* Conservation Districts, Join Wildlife, Environmental Groups In Opposing Bill Redefining Water Pollution, Letting Companies Decide When They Report Spills

On October 19, the PA Association of Conservation Districts sent an email to members of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee expressing their opposition to Senate Bill 619 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) that changes the definition of water pollution and changing spill reporting requirements.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Nov. 5 Hearing Includes Proposed Policy Setting Incentives For Reuse Of Abandoned Mine Drainage, Treated Wastewater

On October 20, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission released a proposed policy to update the Commission’s existing policy and resolution that encouraged the use of impaired waters, specifically, the policy addresses fee and timing of review incentives for the use of waters impaired by abandoned mine drainage or treated wastewater for recycling or reuse.

* DEP Works Thru Pandemic: 946 More Permits, 1,572 More Inspections Since Last Week

From March 16 to October 20, Department of Environmental Protection employees have been teleworking and using COVID-19 mitigation measures to continue to fulfill its mission.  DEP staff have--

* DEP Climate Committee Meets Oct. 27 To Discuss Abandoned Oil & Gas Wells, Outline of Impacts Assessment, List Of GHB Reduction Strategies

DEP’s Climate Change Advisory Committee is scheduled to hold a virtual meeting on October 27 to discuss abandoned oil and gas wells, an outline of the climate impacts assessment report and a tentative list of greenhouse gas reduction strategies.

* PEDF: Court Decision Approves Diverting $110 Million In Drilling Revenue From State Forest Land To Pay DCNR Operating Costs, Ignoring PA Supreme Court Decision

On October 22, Commonwealth Court issued a decision approving the diversion of $110  million from DCNR's Oil and Gas Fund in FY 2017-18 and 2019 to pay the operating expenses of the agency instead of using it for conservation purposes and projects in clear violation of a 2017 PA Supreme Court decision, according to the PA Environmental Defense Foundation.

* DCNR’s 5th Fall Foliage Report Shows Fall Colors Moving South Across PA

On October 22, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources issued its fifth weekly Fall Foliage Report for October 22 to 28 which shows fall colors moving south across Pennsylvania.

* PA Capitol & COVID Weekly Report: Senate, House Leave Town After Taking No Action On Key Issues

[ Because In Politics Everything Is Connected To Everything Else ] The Senate and House left town Wednesday leaving all the critical issues they should have dealt with on the table for when they are scheduled to return November 10, after the election. 

* Senate/House Bills Moving Last Week

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

* Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule

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--

* House Committee Hears Comments On Bill Authorizing Local Solar Energy Subscriber Programs

On October 21, the House Consumer Affairs Committee held a hearing House Bill 1970 (Mizgorski-R- Allegheny) authorizing electric utilities to establish local solar energy subscriber programs (sponsor summary).

* Groups Launch Effort Asking Legislators And Candidates For State Legislature To Sign Pennsylvania Climate Pledge

On October 21, Clean Air Action Fund, Clean Air Moms Action, and Environmental Defense Fund Action announced the Pennsylvania Climate Pledge, a nonpartisan campaign to secure support for key climate change policies from current members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly and candidates currently running to serve in the state legislature.

* NRCS-PA Offers Support To Urban Farmers In Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh

The U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Conservation Service-PA has developed a new funding opportunity for individuals or groups producing agricultural crops in designated urban areas in Pennsylvania.  Applications due December 18.

* DEP Invites Data On Water Quality For Watersheds In Adams/Franklin, Susquehanna Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection invites the public to submit information on water quality in Toms Creek in Adams and Franklin counties and Jones Creek in Susquehanna County.  (formal notice)

* Bay Journal: Use Of Switchgrass Growing In Popularity For Farm Conservation

By Ad Crable, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* Bay Journal: On Chesapeake Bay Cleanup, Field Studies, Computer Predictions Don't Always Agree

By Karl Blankenship, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* Learn More About DCNR’s Converting Your Lawn To Meadow Or Woods Program, Funding

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources now has a Lawn To Meadow webpage to help landowners of all types convert their lawns to be a more environment-friendly and beneficial place.

* Help Penn State Extension Master Watershed Stewards Plan Future Programs

The Penn State Master Watershed Steward program was established to educate and empower volunteers to protect environmental resources, and we need your feedback to better understand how we can meet the needs of you and your community.

* Penn State Extension: Water Education Remains A Priority In Distance Learning

By Jennifer R. Fetter, Penn State Extension

* Partnership For Delaware Estuary Hosts Urban Waters Webinar Series Nov. 2, 10, 17

The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary will host an Urban Waters Webinar Series - Connecting Youth To Urban Water November 2, 10 and 17.

* Hershey Medical Center Tree Planting Part Of Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership Initiative

By Penn State News

* To Harvest Or Not To Harvest: Recent Insight On Riparian Buffers

By Dr. Tyler A. Groh, Penn State Assistant Research Professor

* Agricultural Impacts Of Current PA Drought Conditions

By Nicole Santangelo, Penn State Extension

* Managing Your Water Well During a Drought

By Bryan Swistock, Penn State Extension

* Penn State Extension Webinar Series On Private Drinking Water Supply & Management

Penn State Extension is hosting an 8-part water webinar series on Private Drinking Water Supply and Management through November 25.  Although the series has started, participants who register will get links to previous webinars.

* PUC Joins 6th Annual Imagine a Day Without Water To Raise Awareness About The Value Of Water

On October 21, the Public Utility Commission joined elected officials, water utilities, community leaders, educators, and businesses from across the country on October 21 as part of the sixth annual Imagine a Day Without Water, a nationwide day of education and advocacy about the value of water.

* Keep PA Beautiful Adoption Program Helps Reduce Local Litter Cleanup Costs

Many of the costs associated with cleaning up litter falls to the local municipality. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s Adoption Program helps mitigate those costs by providing residents the tools and resources needed to be stewards of their communities.

* PA Resources Council Sets November Composting, Recycling Webinar Schedule

On October 22, the PA Resources Council announced its November schedule of four backyard composting and a recycling and waste reduction conservation webinars.

* DEP Withdraws Proposed Environmental Justice Public Participation Policy For Reworking

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the October 24 PA Bulletin announcing the withdrawal of a proposed Environmental Justice Public Participation Policy technical guidance saying it went “beyond enhancing public outreach during the permit review process.”

* PA Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Accepting Applications Starting Nov. 2

The Department of Human Services will begin accepting applications for the FY 2020-21 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program

* PUC Hosts Berks Be Wise Virtual Human Services Conference Oct. 28 On Prepare Now For Winter Campaign

The Public Utility Commission, the County of Berks and local utilities are virtually hosting the 17th annual Berks County “Be Wise” Human Services Conference on October 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

* PennTAP Hosts Southwest PA Energy Efficiency Roundtable Webinar Nov. 19 On Combined Heat & Power For Commercial Buildings

The Penn State PA Technical Assistance Program will host a November 19 Webinar by the Southwestern PA Energy Efficiency Roundtable Combined Heat and Power for Commercial Buildings from 11:00 a.m. to Noon.

* PUC Seeks Long-Term, Statewide Evaluator For Utility Energy Efficiency And Peak Demand Reduction Programs

On October 22, the Public Utility Commission posted a request for proposal for a statewide evaluator to provide long-term, statewide evaluation of electric distribution company (EDC) energy efficiency and peak demand reduction programs.

* Heritage Conservancy Sets Pioneering Example Of Partnership And Preservation With Manoff Market Gardens, Bucks County

By Freda R. Savana for Heritage Conservancy

* PA Wilds Makers Market Oct. 24-25 Features Online Shopping, Live Demos, Tours, More

If you’re looking for a gift or locally-sourced ware, be sure to tune into PA Wilds Makers Market on October 24-25 hosted by Wilds Cooperative of PA — a network of rural entrepreneurs from across the Pennsylvania Wilds.

* Sinnemahone Ultra Trail Run Continues To Grow In Cameron County

On October 17, 81 runners from across Northeastern United States lined up at West Creek Recreational Trail in Emporium, Cameron County for a chilly start to the Sinnemahone Ultra Trail Run

* Unlikely Partners BalletX And Natural Lands Make Nature Center Stage

What does it look like when the region's oldest and largest land conservation organization and Philadelphia’s Premier Contemporary Ballet Company collaborate?

* Delaware Highlands Conservancy Fall Highlands Journal Now Available

The Fall Highlands Journal is now available from the Delaware Highlands Conservancy featuring articles on--

* Conserving Fallingwater’s Outdoor Art Online Program Oct. 27

Join art conservator Connie Stromberg for a special online program October 27 on preserving the outdoor art of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater home in Fayette County.

* Oct. 23 Take Five Fridays With Pam Now Available, PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The October 23 Take Five Fridays With Pam is now available from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation featuring articles on--

* Manada Conservancy Hosts Nov. 10 Virtual Program By DCNR Wildlife Biologist On The Allegheny Woodrat

The Dauphin County-based Manada Conservancy will host a November 10 virtual program on the Allegheny Woodrat by DCNR Forestry Wildlife biologist Aura Stauffer starting at 7:00 p.m.

* In Memoriam: J. Dixon Earley, Former Chief Engineer For DEP

On October 21, J. Dixon Earley, PE, former Chief Engineer for the Department of Environmental Protection lost his battle with cancer.

* Help Wanted: PA Assn. Of Conservation Districts Administrative & Program Assistant

The PA Association of Conservation Districts is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Administrative and Program Assistant.

* 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.

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* Stories Invited - About PA Environment Digest

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* Virtual! PA Forestry Assn. Exploring Change In Penn’s Woods Symposium Oct. 26-30

The PA Environment Digest is a proud sponsor of the PA Forestry Association’s 2020 Exploring Change in Penn's Woods Symposium October 26-30.  Click Here to register.

* Virtual! PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference Oct. 28-29

The PA Environment Digest is a proud sponsor of the virtual 2020 PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference to be held on October 28-29.   Click Here to register.

* 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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