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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
May 10, 2010
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* House Passes State Forest Leasing Moratorium, Moves Natural Gas Severance Tax, But

The House this week passed House Bill 2235 (Vitali-D-Delaware) imposing a 3 year moratorium on Marcellus Shale natural gas leasing in State Forests and requiring certain studies by a vote of 157 to 33.  The Senate is not expected to take up the bill.

* Delaware River Basin Commission Imposes Moratorium On New Gas Wells, Pending Study

On May 5 the Delaware River Basin Commission directed commission staff to draft regulations for natural gas well pad projects in shale formations in the Delaware River Basin. The commissioners will consider specific natural gas well pad applications after the new regulations are in place. 

* Video Blog: League Of Women Voters Has Concerns About Marcellus Shale Development

The PA League of Women Voters this week expressed serious concerns about the cumulative, long-term consequences of Marcellus Shale natural gas development after a year-long study of the benefits and costs of extraction.

* State Budget Deficit Now $1.1 Billion, Rendell To Revise Budget Proposal

Gov. Rendell this week said he will revise his 2010-11 budget proposal to help deal with the estimated $1.1 billion deficit saying he will work with the General Assembly to look for additional budget cuts, look for one-time sources of revenue from special funds that have healthy balances, including the legislative account balances, and look at options for new revenues.

* Gov. Rendell Opens Special Session On Transportation Funding, Outlining Options

In his speech to the joint legislative session, Gov. Rendell outlined four potential solutions and a menu of possible revenue sources. Below is an excerpt in which he outlines those options:

* 19,000 Miles Of Streams Polluted In PA, Billions Needed To Meet Clean Water Standards

More than 19,000 miles of Pennsylvania streams and rivers do not meet clean water standards for drinking or fishing, according to the 2010 Pennsylvania Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report.

* Watershed Summit Attracts Over 125 Promoting The Renewal Of Growing Greener Program

Over 125 people attended the day-long 2010 Watershed Summit to sharpen their skills at watershed restoration and protection and to see how they can become involved in renewing a retargeted, refocused Growing Greener Program.

* Did You Know You Can Search Nearly 6 Years Of Digests On Any Topic?

Did you know you can search nearly 6 years of back issues of the PA Environment Digest on dozens of topics, by county and on any key word you choose. Just click on the search page.

* Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule/Bills Introduced

Here are the Senate and House Calendars and Committee meetings showing bills of interest as well as a list of new environmental bills introduced--

* On The Governor's Desk

The following bills were given final legislative approval and are with the Governor for his action--

* Senate/House Bills Moving

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

* Partner Groups Celebrate Improvements to West Branch Susquehanna River

Twenty years of coordinated efforts to restore life to the West Branch Susquehanna River in north-central Pennsylvania have led to marked improvements in water quality, as well increases in fish populations and diversity that are detailed in a benchmark study announced this week by Trout Unlimited.

* An Insider's Guide To The Joint Mining Reclamation Conference In June

The 12th Annual PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference has joined forces with the 27th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mining and Reclamation and the 4th Annual Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative Mined Land Reforestation Conference.  

* May Is Wetlands Month

* Kim Pizingrilli Honored With James McGirr Kelly Award

The National Association of Water Companies, Pennsylvania Chapter this week recognized former Public Utility Commissioner Kim Pizzingrilli with its James McGirr Kelly Award for Excellence

* Video Blog- Penn State: Biofilters Could Clean Dirty Water

* Lock Haven Receives Grant To Study Drilling Impact In Beech Creek Watershed

* DCNR Hosts May 11 Webinar On Forest Resources Assessment, Strategy

* Delaware River Sojourn Set For June 20-26

The week-long Delaware River Sojourn will take place on June 20-26 and offers a wonderful way to experience the wild and scenic nature of the river.

* Kiski Area High School Wins Westmoreland County Envirothon

* EPA Announces Winners Of Student Earth Day Poster Contest

* May PA Center For Environmental Education Newsletter Now Online

The May issue of the EE Connections newsletter from the PA Center for Environmental Education is now available online. PCEE is also asking you to evaluate this newsletter.  This month's newsletter highlights these stories:

* PAEE Sponsors July 16 Environmental Education Picnic

The PA Association of Environmental Education invites members, family and friends to a summer picnic on July 16 at McDanel's Launch, Moraine State Park.

* Teachers, Students Invited To Peregrine Falcon Banding Event Online May 27

The Department of Environmental Protection and Game Commission will hold its annual Peregrine Falcon banding event from 12:30-2 p.m. May 27 in the Rachel Carson State Office Building’s auditorium in Harrisburg.  

* Reminder: 2010 Waste Watchers Recognition Program Applications Due May 14

* Whole Foods, PA Resources Council May 22 Pittsburgh Recycling Event

* Centre County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Nets 37,800 Pounds

* Southwest HHW Task Force Collects 2 Millionth Pound Of Household Chemicals

* Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center Elects New Chair And Secretary

* PA Chamber, PA Environmental Council Sponsor Climate Change Summit June 8

* Penn State Receives $2.5 Million For Alternative Energy Projects

* Sandy Ridge Wind Project In Blair, Centre Counties Receives DEP Permit

* Fluorescent Light Bulbs Prove Popular With PPL Customers

* Demand Response To Play Significant Role In Meeting PJM's Higher Summer Electricity Use

* Experts To Address Water/Energy Sustainability At National Event In Pittsburgh Sept. 26-29

* PA Chamber Announces PA Chamber Green Initiative

* Philadelphia Nursing Student Wins National Award On Greening Hospitals

* Academy of Natural Sciences Honors Naturalist Scott Weidensaul

The Academy of Natural Sciences this week announced Scott Weidensaul, 51, of Schuylkill Haven, will receive the Richard Hopper Day Memorial Medal for his lifelong contributions to interpreting and communicating natural science and discoveries for the general public. 

* Stakeholders Invited To Meetings On Fishing, Boating Access In May, June

* Wildlife For Everyone Partners At Pymatuning Wildlife Area

* ClearWater Conservancy Purchases, Protects Wildlife Corridor

* DCNR Awards $204,000 To City Of Connellsville For Improvements To Yough River Park

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources this week announced a $204,000 grant to improve Youghiogheny River Park in Connellsville, Fayette County.

* Gypsy Moth Populations Plummet Across PA, Reduces Need For Spraying In 2010

* Report On Northcentral DEP, DCNR Citizens Advisory Council Visits Released

* Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation Becomes Affiliate The Senator John Heinz History Center

The Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation in Somerset County is now an official affiliate of the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, the largest history museum in Pennsylvania and home of the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum and the Library & Archives.

* Opportunity To Bid On DEP Project In Lawrence County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of an opportunity to bid on a mine reclamation project in Lawrence County.

* Grants & Awards

* Quick Clips

Here's a selection of NewClips on environmental topics from around the state--

* Marcellus Shale NewsClips

* Watershed NewsClips

* Regulations, Technical Guidance & Permits

Updated. The May 19 Environmental Quality Board meeting has been changed to May 17.  The agenda includes final rulemaking on Chapter 102- Erosion and Sedimentation, Chapter 95- Total Dissolved Solids Wastewater Treatment requirements, a new proposed rule on oil and gas well casing and cementing and consideration of a stream redesignation petition for Silver Creek in Susquehanna County.

* Calendar Of Events

Upcoming legislative meetings, conferences, workshops, plus links to other online calendars. Meetings are in Harrisburg unless otherwise noted.  NEW means new from last week.  Go to the online Calendar webpage.

* Stories Invited

Send your stories, photos and videos about your project, environmental issues or programs for publication in the PA Environment Digest to:

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

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

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