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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
November 9, 2009
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* DEP/Cabot Agreement To Prevent Natural Gas Migration, Restore Water Over 9 Square Miles

* Drilling Started On 38 New Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Wells, Drillers Add More Leases
The Department of Environmental Protection reports companies started drilling 38 new Marcellus Shale natural gas wells during the month of October. In September 70 new Marcellus Shale wells were started and in August 50 wells.

* Susquehanna Commission Seeks Real-Time Monitoring Partners In Marcellus Shale Areas
The Susquehanna River Basin Commission is seeking partners to help start up a monitoring network to constantly record water quality conditions of smaller rivers and streams in areas where Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling is taking place in Pennsylvania and New York.

* Opinion- The Marcellus Shale Play - What’s In Store For PA’s Natural Resources?
Robert M. Pennell,Secretary - PA Council of Trout Unlimited
* Sen. Mary Jo White, Secretary John Hanger Respond To DEP, DCNR Budget Cut Stories
Both Sen. Mary Jo White (R-Venango), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, and Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger this week responded to stories about the significant cuts in the budgets for environmental programs. Here are their responses--
* Waste, Recycling, Growing Greener Fees Collected By DEP Continue Decline In 2008-09
The Department of Environmental Protection reported collecting a total of $104.7 million in fees from landfills, resource recovery facilities, hazardous waste transporters, and hazardous waste treatment and storage facilities for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009.

* Get Daily Updates On PA Environment Daily Blog, Twitter

* On the Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule

Here's the latest session schedule, Senate and House Calendars and Committee schedules--

* Port Of Pittsburgh-Ohio River Watershed Celebration Attracts Over 800 People
This year's 2009 Port of Pittsburgh - Ohio River Watershed Celebration exceeded all expectations by attracting about 800 people to sail the Monongahela River on the Gateway Clipper Majestic and Empress riverboats. Both Watershed and Environmental Awards were given out during this special event.

* Susquehanna Basin Commission Releases Findings From 4 Monitoring Programs
The Susquehanna River Basin Commission this week announced the findings from four separate river monitoring programs providing biological and water quality data used to assess streams and rivers and identify changes in stream health over time.

* DEP Has Renewed Watershed Specialist Funding Through 2012
The Western PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation announced Friday, the Department of Environmental Protection has renewed funding for county Watershed Specialists through June of 2012.

* Western PA Watershed Mini-Grant Applications Now Being Accepted

* Growing Greener Anniversary Grant Applications Due November 20

The Growing Greener Watershed Restoration Program will be ten years old in December and to help celebrate 10 groups have come together to invite watershed groups to share their success stories on a special Growing Greener website.

* Save The Date: December 3 Workshop On Dam Removal For Watershed Groups
American Rivers and the Fish and Boat Commission are sponsoring a workshop for watershed groups, local conservation organizations, land trusts and municipal environmental planners for dam removal project managers on December 3 in Harrisburg.

* Watershed Implementation Plan For Pine Creek Finalized
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council has completed a Watershed Implementation Plan for the Pine Creek Watershed located in Allegheny County.

* WPC Protects Valuable French Creek Property
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, as a member of the French Creek Joint Venture, has permanently conserved nearly two miles of land along the globally significant French Creek through a voluntary conservation easement.

* Trail Work Continues Along Wissahickon At Devil's Pool
The Friends of the Wissahickon have been working on trails leading to Devil’s Pool, a project that includes the lower trail between Valley Green Road and Livezey Lane, crossing at Devil's Pool, along with a section of the upper trail from Livezey Lane to the switchback near Cresheim Creek.

* Fish & Boat Commission Seeking Applications For Boating Facilities, Clean Vessel Programs
The Fish and Boat Commission is encouraging local governments and nonprofit groups which are interested in providing or improving public boating facilities to apply for funding through the agency’s Boating Facilities Grant Program and the federal Clean Vessel Program.

* Video Blog- TreeVitalize Pittsburgh, How You Can Participate
The Western PA Conservancy, DCNR and other partners are encouraging Western PA residents to plant trees through the TreeVitalize Pittsburgh Program.

* OSM Proposes Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative

* Keystone State Park Goes In For A Green Touch-Up By Planting Trees
A lot of hard work has resulted in a greener Keystone State Park with the addition of 102 additional trees and shrubs.

* DCNR Proposes 4,248 Acre Land Exchange In Northwest, Public Meetings Scheduled
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published notice of a proposed exchange of 4,248 acres of land in Crawford, Jefferson, Clarion, McKean and Elk counties.

* Westmoreland Conservation District Offers Low-Impact Development Workshop Dec. 4
On December 4, the Westmoreland Conservation District is sponsoring a workshop “Saving Time & Money with Low-impact Development.”

* Go Green at Wildlands Conservancy’s Green Gala November 20
Join the Wildlands Conservancy community on November 20 at Brookside Country Club when more than 250 supporters celebrate conservation in the Lehigh Valley region at the organization’s Green Gala.

* Save The Date: 2010 Professional Recyclers Conference July 27-29
The Professional Recyclers of PA has announced their Twentieth Annual Conference that will be held at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College from July 27 – 29, 2010.

* Colleges Can Sign Up Now For EPA's 2010 RecycleMania
RecycleMania, with the support of multiple partners and sponsors including the Coca Cola Company, is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to use to promote waste reduction and recycling activities on their campuses.

* PPL Electric Utilities Launches Refrigerator, Freezer Recycling Program
PPL Electric Utilities on Thursday launched its new refrigerator and freezer recycling program with the pickup of the first unit at the home of Mary Ann Smeltz.

* Central PA Conservancy Sponsors Two Cleanups On November 7, And Tree Planting
The Central PA Conservancy will hold cleanups in two areas-- Greg's Woods and Vince's Meadow- on November 7.

* November PA Center For Environmental Education Newsletter Now Online
The November issue of the EE Connections newsletter from the PA Center for Environmental Education is now available online. This month's newsletter highlights these stories:

* PA Songbirds Teacher Workshop December 10
The Carbon County Environmental Education Center is hosting a PA Songbirds Teacher Workshop on December 10.

* Educators: PA Integrated Pest Management Program Wants Your Opinions
The PA Integrated Pest Management Program is partnering with the Northeastern Integrated Pest Management Center to assess teachers’ interest and need for curricula that apply science, math, and language arts to environmental and human health issues associated with pests and pesticides. The NE IPM Center is a non-profit organization funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

* EPA SunWise Poster Contest Now Accepting Entries

* Nominations Open For 2010 Richard C. Bartlett Environmental Education Award

* Natural Gas Utilities, Suppliers And Experts Brief PUC On Reliability For Winter
The Public Utility Commission held its annual Winter Reliability Assessment Meeting this week where presenters reported that natural gas companies across Pennsylvania are equipped to meet the conditions forecasted this winter.

* PA's Solar Capacity Doubles Under Sunshine Solar Rebate Program
The new PA Sunshine Solar Program is performing better than expected and has helped to double the state's solar generating capacity in less than 6 months, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.

* PUC Seeks Comments On Addressing Barriers To New Solar Development In PA
The Public Utility Commission this week issued for comment a proposed policy statement to address possible barriers that prevent new solar projects from becoming a reality in Pennsylvania.

* PPL Receives FERC Approval To Expand Holtwood Hydroelectric Plant
Approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission of a request by PPL Holtwood, LLC, is a significant milestone in the plan to increase generation of clean, renewable energy and improve migratory fish passage, the company said.

* Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station Receives 20-Year License Extension
FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company announced this week the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved a 20-year license extension for the Beaver Valley Power Station Unit 1 and Unit 2 in Shippingport, Pa.

* PUC OKs Met-Ed, Penelec Electricity Supply Plan For After Expiration Of Rate Caps

* Allentown Enters EPA Sustainability Pact
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the City of Allentown became partners in the EPA Region 3 Sustainability Partnership Program to help the city prevent pollution, minimize waste, and conserve resources while saving money.

* Giant Eagle Honored With Green Grocer Award for Environmental Practices
Pittsburgh-based supermarket retailer Giant Eagle, Inc. this week celebrated the receipt of a Green Grocer award from the supermarket industry's Progressive Grocer magazine.

* Save The Date, Call For Papers: 2010 Business Of Brownfields Conference
The Engineers' Society of Western PA will hold their 2010 Business of Brownfields Conferencein  Pittsburgh April 19-21 at the Sheraton Station Square.

* Campaign Targets Diesel Vehicle Idling In Philadelphia
The Clean Air Council and Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission are partnering on a new program to reduce diesel engine idling in Philadelphia.

* EPA Soliciting Applications For Environmental Justice Grant Funding
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is accepting grant applications for a total of $1 million in funding for projects aimed at addressing environmental and public health issues in communities.

* Penn State: Spider Mite Predators Serve As Biological Control
The control of spider mites, which damage tree leaves, reduce fruit quality and cost growers millions of dollars in the use of pesticide and oil spraying, is being biologically controlled in Pennsylvania apple orchards with two tiny insects known to be natural predators, according to Penn State researchers.

* Shawn M. Garvin Named EPA Region 3 Administrator
President Barack Obama this week selected Shawn M. Garvin to be the agency’s new Regional Administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region (Region 3). This region encompasses Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

* George Jugovic Named New Southwest DEP Regional Office Director
Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger this week named George Jugovic Jr. director of the DEP’s southwest regional office in Pittsburgh.

* DEP’s Northwest Regional Roundtable Seeking New Volunteer Members
The Department of Environmental Protection is seeking northwestern Pennsylvania residents who are concerned about the environment and want to help the state improve the policies and programs that keep the air, land and soil clean.

* DEP Bid Opportunity: Mine Drainage Abatement In Clearfield, Elk Counties
The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of an opportunity to bid on a mine acid abatement project in Clearfield and Elk counties.

* Spotlight- Pocono Region Meeting Charts Course For Conservation Landscape Initiative
Looking out at a firehouse floor crowded with listeners, Elaine Evans ticked off the reasons why she’s proud to call the Pocono Mountains area her home: sprawling state park and forestlands; abundant wildlife; fertile wetlands; clean, cold waterways. All surrounding a community where lifestyles are linked closely to the land.

* Spotlight- Glimpse At The Chesapeake Bay Forestry For The Bay Program

* Grants & Awards

This section gives you a heads up on upcoming deadlines for grants and financial assistance as well as nominations for awards and other recognition programs.  NEW means from last week— 

* Quick Clips
Here’s a selection of NewsClips on environmental topics from around the state--

* Watershed NewsClips
Read a sampling of NewsClips on watershed topics from around Pennsylvania.

* Regulations, Technical Guidance & Permits
The Environmental Quality Board  published notice of proposed changes in regulations related to the beneficial use of coal ash,  proposed changes to hazardous waste identification, proposed changes to Air Quality requirements for paper, film and foil surface coating processes and  proposed changes in Total Dissolved Solids regulations related to oil and gas well drilling.
* Calendar Of Events

Upcoming conferences, meetings, workshops, plus links to other online calendars.  Meetings are in Harrisburg unless otherwise noted. NEW indicates new from last week.   Go To: PA Environment Digest Calendar Page 

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

Send your stories about environmental issues, programs and positive actions to PA Environment Digest - 

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