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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
March 13, 2023 - Issue #973
(3/13/2023)
* 75 New Stories - REAL Environmental & Conservation Leadership In PA

Here are 75 new stories in the PA Environment Digest about individuals, groups, local governments, farmers, businesses, watershed groups and many more working all across Pennsylvania to restore and protect the environment and show others the beauty that surrounds us.

* This Week’s Examples Of Going The WRONG WAY On Environmental, Energy Issues

Below are examples of going the WRONG WAY on environmental and energy issues from last week’s articles and NewsClips--

* Weekly List Of PA Environment & Energy Articles & NewsClips By Topic

PA Environment Digest Put Links To The Best Environment & Energy Articles and NewsClips From Last Week Here By Topic.

* Gov. Shapiro’s Budget Proposes Major Initiative To Speed Up DEP Permit Reviews/ Inspections; Double Oil & Gas Fund Investment In State Parks/Forests Infrastructure

On March 7, Gov. Shapiro unveiled his first proposed state budget that includes $5.75 million for the Department of Environmental Protection to speed up permit reviews and expand the agency’s oversight inspections, conduct more responsive air sampling, increase the number of dam safety inspections and implement the CO2 Budget Trading Program.

* Rep. Greg Vitali Named Majority Chair Of House Environmental Committee; House Appoints Committee Members

On March 7, House Democrats named Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware) Majority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.  

* Rep. Fiedler, Labor Leaders, Educational, Environmental Leaders Announce Bill To Create Grant Program To Invest In Solar Energy Facilities At Schools

On March 8, Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler (D-Philadelphia) announced she will introduce legislation to create a grant program to expand the use of solar energy at school facilities across Pennsylvania.

* Bill Setting Decommissioning Rules For Utility-Scale Solar Energy Facilities Passes The Senate

On March 8, the Senate passed Senate Bill 211 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) sets decommissioning rules for utility-scale solar energy facilities by a vote of 36 to 13, largely along party-lines-- Republicans supporting.

* U.S. EIA: 'Increasing Electricity Generation From Renewable Sources Contributes To Lower Power Prices' In 2023

The U.S. Energy Information Administration March 7 Short-Term Energy Outlook forecasts a drop in wholesale electricity prices in 2023 that "reflects the forecast drop in natural gas prices from 2022 to 2023."

* The Guardian: One Of The Worst Global Methane Leaks In 2022 Was In PA - Equitrans In Cambria County; Routine Abandonment, Non-Compliance Of Conventional Gas Wells

On March 6, The Guardian published a two-part series revealing the 1,000 worst super-emitting methane leaks around the world in 2022 that are increasing the risk of triggering climate tipping points. They were mostly from oil and gas facilities.

* Scranton Times Editorial: Lower Boom On Natural Gas Leaks, Audit Abandoned Gas Well Capping

This editorial first appeared in the Scranton Times on March 10, 2023--

* DEP Methane Overflight Research Study Resulted In Voluntary Reductions In Oil & Gas, Landfill Facilities; Coal Industry Uncooperative

On March 9, DEP made a presentation on the results from a research study on detecting and measuring methane emissions sources and rates from aircraft overflights in Pennsylvania to the DEP Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee.

* Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Weekly Compliance Dashboard - March 4 to 10; Big Week For Spills

From March 4 to 10, DEP’s Oil and Gas Compliance Database shows oil and gas inspectors filed 545 inspection entries that resulted in reporting 87 violations of environmental regulations--  54 violations by the conventional oil and gas industry and 33 violations by the unconventional shale natural gas industry.

* PA Oil & Gas Industrial Facilities: Permit Notices/Opportunities To Comment - March 11

The following DEP notices were published in the March 11 PA Bulletin related to oil and gas industry facilities.  Many of the notices offer the opportunity for public comments.

* DEP Oil & Gas Advisory Board Meets March 13 To Hear Updates On Regulation Of Natural Gas Storage Areas, Chapter 78 Regs; Federal Well Plugging Program, Carbon Capture, Hydrogen Development

DEP’s Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board is scheduled to meet March 13 to hear updates on a variety of issues, including the regulation of natural gas storage areas and a progress report on the new federal Well Plugging Program.

* Senate Passes Bill Blocking Local Elected Officials From Moving To Cleaner Energy Sources To Combat Climate Change

On March 8, the Senate passed Senate Bill 143 (Yaw-R- Lycoming)--  that would block the ability of local elected officials from moving to cleaner sources of energy to address climate change by a bipartisan vote of 40 to 9.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Meets March 16 On 6 Natural Gas Drilling Water Uses; 4.5 MGD Out-Of-Basin Transfer

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission is scheduled to hold a business meeting March 16 on proposed water withdrawals, including an out-of-basin diversion for the Ironwood natural gas power plant in Lebanon County and six other natural gas drilling water uses.  (formal notice)

* Republicans On Senate Committee Report Out Bill Allowing General Assembly To Kill Regulations By Doing Nothing

On March 8, Republicans on the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee reported out two bills “reforming” the regulatory review process; one would allow the General Assembly to kill final regulations by doing nothing.

* DEP Posts Updated List Of Technical Guidance In Development To Promote Public Involvement

On March 11, the Department of Environmental Protection posted an update to its Non-Regulatory Agenda showing the status of technical guidance in development.  (formal notice)

* Pennsylvania State Actions Responding To Ohio/PA Train Derailment - Week Of March 6

Here are highlights of Pennsylvania state government actions responding to the Ohio/PA train derailment from the week of March 6.

* House Democratic & Republican Policy Committees Hold March 14 Joint Hearing On Impact Of Ohio/PA Train Derailment In Beaver County

On March 10, the House Democratic and Republican Policy Committees announced they will hold a joint hearing March 14 on the impact of Norfolk Southern train derailment in Beaver County.

* Norfolk Southern CEO To Appear March 20 Before PA Senate Committee To Answer Questions About Ohio/PA Train Derailment; Committee Subpoenas Documents

On March 8, Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Adams), Majority Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, announced Alan Shaw, CEO of Norfolk Southern will appear before the Committee on March 20 to answer questions about the Ohio/PA train derailment.

* Moms Clean Air Force: Impacted Parents From Ohio, PA Will Raise Concerns About Chemical Pollution From The Train Derailment, Petrochemical Industry In The Ohio Valley During U.S. Senate Hearing

On Thursday, March 9, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. ET, the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) will hold a full committee hearing on addressing the environmental and public health threats from the Norfolk Southern train derailment and chemical release in East Palestine, Ohio.

* Sen. Bob Casey Testifies Before U.S. Senate Committee On Ohio/PA Train Derailment

On March 9, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works about protecting public health and the environment in the wake of the Norfolk Southern Train Derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, right across the Pennsylvania border from Beaver and Lawrence counties.

* U.S. Senate Hearing: Energy, Environmental Impacts Of Cryptocurrency Mining In Pennsylvania

On March 7, the U.S. Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee held a hearing on proposed federal legislation cryptocurrency mining operations.

* DEP Hosting 6 Regional Engagement Sessions On Climate Action For Environmental Justice Communities Starting April 5

The Department of Environmental Protection is hosting six regional engagement sessions on Climate Action for Environmental Justice Communities starting April 5 both in-person and virtual meetings.

* DEP Receives $29.35 Million In Federal Funding To Support Abandoned Mine Land Economy Revitalization

On March 9, the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement announced the award of FY 2023 of $135 million in Abandoned Mine Land Revitalization (AMLER) grants to states.

* CFA Now Accepting Applications For Act 13 Watershed Restoration, Mine Reclamation, Sewage, Flood Mitigation, Recreation Grants

The Commonwealth Financing Authority is now accepting applications for Act 13 Program watershed restoration, abandoned mine drainage abatement, baseline water quality data, orphaned or abandoned well plugging, sewage facilities, flood mitigation programs and recreation grants.

* NRCS-PA Announces Additional Application Deadline For Conservation Security Program

On March 7, Pennsylvania’s Natural Resources Conservation Service announced it is now accepting additional applications for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).

* Susquehanna University Freshwater Research Institute, Chesapeake Conservancy Formalize Relationship On Watershed Restoration Projects

On March 7, the Freshwater Research Institute at Susquehanna University in Snyder County and the Chesapeake Conservancy formalized their ongoing relationship through an agreement that ensures the organizations’ continued cooperation on restoration projects within the Susquehanna River watershed.

* Coalition For Delaware River Watershed: Bipartisan Bill Introduced In Congress To Expand Equity In Delaware River Conservation Program

On March 7, the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed announced U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), and U.S. Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) took another major step forward in protecting the drinking water, state wildlife, and restoration sites across the watershed by introducing the bipartisan Delaware River Basin Conservation Reauthorization Act.

* Chesapeake Bay Foundation Now Accepting Entries To 2023 Save The Bay Photo Contest

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is now accepting entries for the 2023 Save The Bay Photo Contest.  The deadline is March 31.

* Keep PA Beautiful Invites Teachers, Students To Participate In Litter Free School Zone Program

Schools in Pennsylvania can keep their school grounds litter free with Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s Litter Free School Zone Program.

* Keep Chester County Beautiful Volunteer Beth Intoccia Encourages Others To Make Their Communities Stronger, Cleaner And Better Places To Live

In January, Keep PA Beautiful recognized Beth Intoccia of Chester County as one of their 2022 volunteers of the year.

* PA Environmental Council In Case You Missed It In February Now Available

The PA Environmental Council In Case You Missed It In February is now available featuring articles on--

* PA Director Of Outdoor Recreation Announces Statewide Stakeholder Meetings Starting March 29

On March 6, the PA Director of Outdoor Recreation announced a series of statewide stakeholder meetings on efforts to unite, grow, and strengthen Pennsylvania’s outdoor economy -- a sector that adds nearly $14 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy.

* PA Wilds Accepting Nominations For PA Wilds Champion Awards; Awards Celebration July 27

The PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. is now accepting nominations for the 2023 PA Wilds Champion Awards-- Artisan of the Year, Best Brand Ambassador, Business of the Year, Conservation Stewardship, Event of the Year, Great Design, Great Places, Inspiring Youth, and Outstanding Leader Awards.

* Mountain Watershed Assn. Preserves 186 Acres Along One Of The Few Class A Wild Trout Streams In PA

Rasler Run is a scenic mountain stream that flows into Indian Creek, a few miles upstream from the Youghiogheny River in Fayette County.

* March 10 Take Five Fridays With Pam Now Available From PA Parks & Forests Foundation

The March 10 Take Five Fridays With Pam from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation featuring articles on--

* Environment & Energy Educational Opportunities For Students & Adults

Opportunities to learn more about environmental and energy issues affecting Pennsylvania for students and adults--

* DCNR State Parks Environmental Education Update - Vernal Equinox Edition

DCNR’s Bureau of State Parks Vernal Equinox edition of its Environmental Education newsletter is now available and includes articles on--

* Better Path Coalition Hosts March 24 Program: ‘In the Footsteps of Rachel Carson: Lessons for Our Time’ Discussion With Author Patricia DeMarco, Ph.D

The Better Path Coalition and Pennsylvania Climate Convergence Network are hosting a book discussion and signing with Pittsburgh-based author Patricia DeMarco on March 24 at 7:00  p.m. at the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg, 1280 Clover Lane.

* Save Our Streams PA Hosting April 28-30 Abandoned Well Weekend Workshop In Bradford County

Save Our Streams PA is hosting an Abandoned Well Weekend Workshop April 28-30 to explore the historic Bradford Oil Field in Bradford County.

* PA Solar Center Hosts March 17 Webinar On Opportunities For PA In Solar Supply Chain, Solar Recycling And Reuse

The PA Solar Center is hosting a March 17 webinar on Opportunities for Pennsylvania In The Solar Supply, Solar Recycling and Reuse from Noon until 1:15 p.m.

* Penn State PA Technical Assistance Program Hosts March 23 TEC Talk On Trends On Industry Decarbonization At Hazleton Campus

The Penn State’s PA Technical Assistance Program for business is hosting an in-person March 23 TEC Talk On Industry Trends On Decarbonization at Penn State's Hazleton Campus in Luzerne County from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

* Future Scientists Wanted: Land Health Institute Accepting Applications For Future Environmental Scientists, Stewards Program

The Philadelphia-based LandHealth Institute's  Program for Future Environmental Scientists and Stewards (ProFESS) is now accepting applications.  The deadline is May 15.

* News From PA House & Senate

The information you need to follow legislation in the House and Senate- starting with articles and NewsClips from last week--

* The Feds

Articles and NewsClips about federal actions impacting Pennsylvania--

* 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.

* PA Bulletin Public Notices

Highlights of the environmental and energy notices in the March 11 PA Bulletin--

* 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.

* Supporting Member PA Organization For Watersheds & Rivers; PA Outdoor Writers Assn.; PA Trout Unlimited

PA Environment Digest is a supporting member of the PA Organization for Watersheds & Rivers, PA Outdoor Writers Association, PA Council Trout Unlimited and the Doc Fritchey Chapter Trout Unlimited.

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