Friday, October 31, 2008

Nov. 3 PA Environment Digest Headlines

Full copy at (click here to print a full copy)

CBF To EPA - Lawsuit Coming Over Mission Chesapeake Bay Deadline
Rendell Administration Urges YES Vote On Clean Water Referendum
Fair Share Coalition Voters' Guide On Clean Water Referendum
PA Environmental Council Supports Clean Water Ballot Initiative
Fish and Boat Commission Says Support Clean Water Referendum
Aqua Pennsylvania Encourages Voters to Support Referendum
Local Govts., Economic Development Assn. Supports Referendum
Last Opportunity To Vote In Special Election
Update On The PA Assn. Of Environmental Educators, Conference
Gov. Rendell $311 Million Budget Freeze, Deficit Could Be $1.7 Billion
PA Council of Trout Unlimited Announces Annual Award Recipients
Brandywine Assn. Presents Clayton M. Hoff Award To Dan Greig
SRBC Results of Water Quality Assessment Of Border Streams
Foundation For Pennsylvania Watersheds Accepting Applications
Proposals Due For Connecting Communities To Creeks Conference
Walnut Creek Watershed Protection, Restoration Plan Meeting Nov. 6
DEP Invites Comments On Draft TMDL Watershed Plans
State of the Water Resources in Spring Creek Watershed
Appalachian Reforestation Initiative Looking For A Few Good Sites
Dredging Permit To Protect Salamander Mussel In The Allegheny River
Celebrate America Recycles Day at “Hard to Recycle” Event Nov. 15
EPA’s Trailblazer Awards Honor Four Philadelphia-Area Hospitals
World Champion Phillies, Others Receive EPA Green Energy Awards
Comment Period On Energy Conservation, Electric Market Issues
PUC Changes Date Of Alternative Energy, Conservation Hearing
Apply for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Now
Insurance Department To Hold Climate Change Forum
DEP Climate Change Advisory Committee Meets November 5
Make a 2009 Green Chemistry Award Nomination
100+ Businesses Endorse Proposal For Allegheny National Forest
Crawford District Invites Logging Industry to Nov. 6 Workshop
DCNR Grants For Johnstown, Northampton, Lehigh Nature Center
PA Environmental Council Receives Take Me to the River Grant
Game Commission Removes Protection On Feral Swine In 3 Counties
Proposal- National Wildlife Refuge in Monroe County, Meetings Set
Fish & Wildlife Conference Presentations, Sponsor Opportunities
Bayer, UN Environment Programme Student Painting Competition
Abandoned Mine Reclamation Bid Opportunity In Lackawanna County
Manure-to-Compost Project Shows Commercial Success In Lancaster
DEP Employees’ Work on Flight 93 Memorial Highlighted
Small Business: First Priority Is Saving Money, Not Mother Earth

October Revenues Down, $1.7 Billion Deficit Possible

The Department of Revenue reported late today Pennsylvania collected $1.6 billion in General Fund revenue in October, $283.4 million, or 14.7 percent, less than anticipated. Fiscal year-to-date General Fund collections total $7.4 billion, which is $564.8 million, or 7.1 percent, below estimate. (See announcement)
If this trend continues, the state could see a $1.7 billion deficit for the fiscal year. (See analysis)

Task Force: $35.6 Billion Water Infrastructure Needs

The Governor's Sustainable Water Infrastructure Task Force issued a report today (not yet online) saying there is a $36.5 billion drinking water and wastewater infrastructure need in the state.
Gov. Rendell urged voters to approve the Clean Water Referendum on the November 4 ballot. (See report announcement)

Possible New National Wildlife Refuge in Monroe County

The findings in a report released today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service evaluate the potential for a new national wildlife refuge in Monroe County, Pennsylvania.
The agency is accepting comments through December 5 on the proposed actions presented in the report, titled the Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge Draft Feasibility Study and Environmental Assessment. Two public meetings have been scheduled in the area. (Click here for more)

Friday NewsClips

Vote YES on Clean Water Referendum--

Editorial: Vote Yes On Clean Water
Editorial: Vote Yes On Ballot Question
Op-Ed: Rendell: Repairs To Water Infrastructure Sorely Needed
DEP Restricts Dredging On Part Of Allegheny River
Gardens Absorb Water, Protect Waterways
Interest In Natural Gas Fades For Now
Editorial: School Energy Audit Holds Promise Of Benefit
Energy Efficiency Prison To Be Built
New State College Kohl's To Go Green

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Gov. Rendell Itemizes $311 Million in Spending Freezes

Gov. Rendell today released a list of $311 million in current-year budget spending cuts, and called on the Legislature, courts and PHEAA to reduce their spending this year by about $39 million, to match the departments under his control or influence.
Most of the items frozen were from the personnel line items of state agencies. With respect to environmental programs affected, here are the totals from these agencies: Department of Agriculture - $3,492,000, Conservation and Natural Resources - $5,117,000 and Environmental Protection - $9,733,000. (Complete list online)

Thursday NewsClips

Countdown to Nov. 4 Clean Water Referendum--

Voters To Decide On Statewide Sewer Improvements
DEP Supports Clean Water Referendum
Coaltion To Sue EPA Over Chesapeake Bay Cleanup
Chesapeake Bay Foundation Plans To Sue EPA
Carbon Trading Now Big Business
Natural Gas Leases Drive Up Land Value
NE Environmental Partners Laud Joint Efforts
Cumberland Animal Shelter To Use Green Elements
Seminar Explains Need For Conservation Bond in Adams County
Penn State Program To Explore Challenges of Wind Energy
Turning Mollusks Into Fuel - Shell Game
Editorial: Updating Fuel Standards

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Insurance Dept. to Hold Climate Change Forum

The Department of Insurance has invited insurance leaders, policymakers, financial and scientific experts to meet in Harrisburg November 6 to discuss how climate change will impact many segments of business and industry.
"The insurance industry is the first in line to face the financial hazards related to climate change," Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario said. "Insurers must play a lead role in measuring the risks of climate change, and helping to mitigate those risks through their investments and product offerings." (click here for more)

CBF, Others Notify EPA of Lawsuit On Missing 2010 Deadline

(ANNAPOLIS, MD) -- The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), the Virginia State Waterman’s Association, the Maryland Watermen’s Assoc iation, the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen’s Association, former Maryland Governor Harry Hughes, retired Maryland Senator Bernie Fowler, former Virginia legislator and Natural Resources Secretary Tayloe Murphy, and former Washington D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams today notified the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that they intend to go to federal court to force EPA to require pollution reduction in the Chesapeake Bay.
Today’s notice letter is required for any citizen lawsuit against EPA to enforce the Clean Water Act.
“Over the last 25 years Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts have been littered with promises broken and commitments unfulfilled,” said CBF President William C. Baker. “CBF and our partners are suing EPA to hold the agency legally accountable for its failure to comply with the law. We seek to force EPA to fulfill its commitment to reduce pollution so that the Bay may be removed from the federal “dirty waters” list by 2010.”
“When I signed the Chesapeake 2000 Agreement, I believed that the goal of removing the Bay and its tidal tributaries from the Clean Water Act impaired waters list by 2010 was a binding commitment of all the signatories including the United States,” Anthony Williams said.
EPA has admitted that with current programs and policies in place, the goal will not be achieved. Officials are now discussing pushing the Bay clean-up goal back another 12 years. (click here for more)

Wednesday NewsClips

Keep up on environmental news here--

Clean Water Referendum Will Help Repair Aging Infrastructure
Voters To Decide On Water, Sewer Funds
Op-Ed: Pennsylvania's $400 Million Question
Chesapeake Bay Foundation Plans To Sue EPA On Not Meeting Deadline
Chesapeake Bay Faces More Woes
PA Climate Will Warm Up
Nesquehoning Zoners Approve Solar Panel Park

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Vote Yes For Clean Water - Fish & Boat Commission

The Fish and Boat Commission Executive Director Dr. Douglas J. Austen today urged citizens to vote “Yes” on Election Day for a $400 million referendum to help upgrade the Commonwealth’s aging wastewater and drinking water infrastructure.
“Fish cannot vote, but anglers and boaters can. By voting ‘Yes’ for the Clean Water Referendum on November 4, every Pennsylvanian who values clean water will be investing in our future and helping to protect and improve the waterways that make Pennsylvania such a special place to live, work and visit,” said Dr. Austen.(click here for more)

Tuesday NewsClips

A selection of environmental NewsClips from around PA--

Editorial: One Vote For Certain, Yest To Water-Sewer Referendum
Editorial: Vote Yes On Bond Referendum On Nov. 4
Pottstown Authority Urges Voters To Approve $400M Borrowing
PEC Supports PA Clean Water Ballot Initiative
Editorial: Bond Referendum, Vote No
Plant To Process Natural Gas
Manure-To-Compost Project Shows Commercial Success
State College Eatery Goes Green

Monday, October 27, 2008

Game Commission Removes Protection for Feral Swine

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today rescinded protection on feral swine found in the wild in Butler, Bedford and Cambria counties.
The Game Commission has determined that the eradication of feral swine from Pennsylvania is necessary to prevent further harm to public and private property, threats to native wildlife and disease risks for wildlife and the state’s pork industry. (click here for more)

Gov. Rendell Urges Yes Vote On Clean Water

Gov. Rendell today announced the Commonwealth's investment of $66 million in 15 brownfields, drinking water and wastewater projects in 14 counties and used the occasion to urge voters to approve the Clean Water referendum.
"On election day, voters will have the chance to take another step forward with a much needed investment of an additional $400 million in our communities that are facing costly improvements to their deteriorating water and wastewater systems. The clean water ballot question sounds complex, but it's really quite simple: Will you support a $400 million investment to clean up Pennsylvania's waterways and provide safer, more dependable drinking water and sewer services?" Gov. Rendell said.(Click here for more)

Phillies Among Winners of EPA Green Power Award

The Philadelphia Phillies, the University of Pennsylvania, and ING based out of West Chester, Pa. are among the 16 national winners of the Green Power Leadership Awards - - our World Series in green power.
"We need energy users and energy producers to tap into power generated from renewable resources - - solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro," said Donald S. Welsh, mid-Atlantic regional administrator. "These leaders are making a commitment to a sustainable energy future and helping accelerate renewable energy capacity nationwide." (click here for more)
All Green Power Award Winners

Monday NewsClips

Top environmental stories from around PA--

Editorial: Yes On Clean Water Question
Op-Ed: Vote To Invest In State's Water, Sewer Systems
Op-Ed: Water, Sewage Question Deserves Your Support
Sewer Referendum Draws Political Support, Criticism
Senior Environmental Corps To Mark 10th Anniversary
Panel To Think Like A Watershed
Tohickon Creek Making A Comeback
Potter, Tioga Commission Address Natural Gas Drilling Issues
DEP Adopts Registries For Businesses To Track Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Energy Costs Spur Demand For Alternatives
Better Mapping Might Avert Landslides
Wayne Township Landfill Recognized For Reducing, Reusing, Recycling
Outdoors: Praying Mantis Will Eat Any Small Creature
White-Tailed Deer Examined In Lesson Plans

Friday, October 24, 2008

October 27 PA Environment Digest

Headlines from this week's issue Pa Environment Digest. Click here to print out a full copy.

Acting DEP Secretary Hanger Urges Support Clean Water Referendum
Chesapeake Bay Foundation Urges Vote Yes on Clean Water Referendum
Two More Candidates Profiled In Special Election
October Environmental Synopsis Features Waste Tire Recycling Update
In Memoriam - Friends, Colleagues Mourn Sen. James Rhoades
Westmoreland Conservation District Awards Dinner November 14
DEP Invites Comments on TMDL Watershed Plans
TreeVitalize Partners To Plant 1 Million Trees Statewide Over 5 Years
WITF-FM, DCNR, Lancaster County Parks Support TreeVitalize
Game Commission Board Approves Additional Urban Deer Option
Six State Wildlife Grants Approved By Game Commission
Groundbreaking Held For Nature Inn At Bald Eagle State Park
Game Commission Uses Growing Greener to Improve Shooting Ranges
Game Commission Approves Land Donations, Mineral Leases
DCNR Secretary Meets With Hunting Groups
PUC Solicits Comments On Plan for House Bill 2200
Energy Development Authority OKs Nearly $12 Million In Funding
PUC Releases Agenda For Hearing On Wholesale Electricity Markets
Electric Power Generation Association Urges Support For Competition
Grants To Expand Green Jobs Programs In Southeast, Southwest
DEP Accepting Applications For Biodiesel Production Incentive Payments
Agriculture Tourism, Update To Agriculture Education Websites
Educators' Workshop On Waggoner's Gap Hawk Watch October 29
Game Commission 2009 Calendar Now On Sale
DEP Open House On Mine Subsidence Insurance In Allegheny County
Spotlight - It's Hawk Watching Season! Time To Get Out!
Feature - Hammer Creek: In Harm's Way

Friday NewsClips

NewsClips on environmental issues around PA--

Editorial: Voters Could Improve Water Infrastructure
Acting DEP Secretary Says Water, Sewer Funding Needed
Gong To The Voters On Water Infrastructure Funding
SRBC Told Of Gas Drilling Dangers
PUC Doesn't Buy Industry's Explanation Of Rising Electric Prices
Troy School Districts Hires Energy Educator
PA Produces 1 Percent Of World's Greenhouse Emissions
Bradford Commissions Take Clean & Green Question On Drilling To State
Experts Trying To Avoid Another Centralia in Pottsville

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

PUC Releases Agenda For Nov. 6 Hearing

The Public Utility Commission today released the final agenda for a special public hearing scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 6, to discuss the current and future wholesale electricity markets. The hearing will be on similar topics as those addressed during the previously announced PUC en banc hearing on October 23, although different speakers and viewpoints will be represented.
The hearing will be held at 12:30 p.m. in Hearing Room 1 of the Commonwealth Keystone Building in Harrisburg. (click here for agenda)

Wednesday NewsClips

Stories from around PA on environmental issues--

Natural Gas Drilling Raises Water Concerns
Susquehanna Commission's Rules Aimed At Protecting Basin's Water
Erie Farm Helps Bring Wetlands Preservation Total To 2 Million Acres
Lycoming County Wants To Regulate Natural Gas Development
87 Turbines To Be Built In Four Townships
Flood Levee Fees May Be Imposed In Luzerne County
Audubon Innovation Grants Help Conserve Birds Coast To Coast

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

DEP Acting Secretary Says Vote Yes on Nov. 4 Clean Water Referendum

Without repairs and upgrades to its water treatment systems, some Schuylkill County residents will see the quality of their drinking water compromised, the state’s top environmental official cautioned today.
“On Nov. 4, Pennsylvania voters have an opportunity to provide vital funding that our municipalities and communities need to complete costly improvements to their water and wastewater facilities,” Department of Environmental Protection Acting Secretary John Hanger said. “By approving the $400 million bond issue, Pennsylvanians will be making an important investment to rebuild the commonwealth’s water treatment systems.” (Click here for more)
Links: PA Fair Share For Clean Water Coalition Vote Yes webpage.

TreeVitalize To Plant 1 Million Trees Statewide

Building on the success of TreeVitalize in southeastern Pennsylvania, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is launching a statewide tree planting program in metropolitan areas, with a goal of planting one million trees over the next five years. (Click here for more.)

Tuesday NewsClips

Here are NewsClips from around PA on environmental topics--

Repairs, Energy-Saving Jobs Keep Plumbers Busy
In A Former Mining Town, A Shrine Still Shines
Debate Over Fairmount Park Referendum
Central Bucks School District Parting With Green To Go Green
Compressed Natural Gas Could Be Fuel Of The Future

PEDA Awards Nearly $12 Million Clean Energy Grants

The PA Energy Development Authority awarded nearly $12 million in financial assistance to clean and renewable energy projects across the state. Click here for a list of projects.
Energy Grant Boosts Manufacturers In Clearfield, Elk Counties
Grant Will Help Montoursville Biofuel Plant Expand
Coal Township Alternative Energy Project Gets $150,000
Tobyhanna Army Depot Contractor Gets State Money For Energy Project

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sen. James Rhoades Dies Of Injuries From Car Accident

Seven-term Senator James Rhoades (R-Schuylkill) died early Saturday of injuries from an automobile accident Friday night, according to a joint statement by Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) and Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware).
Sen. Rhoades was Majority Chair of the Senate Education Committee and a member of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.
NewsClip: State Senator James Rhoades Dies After Car Crash

Saturday NewsClips

Get outside and enjoy these great Fall days!

Rendell Urges Voters To Approve $400 Million Water, Sewer
Editorial: Infrastructure Needs Attention
Schuylkill County To Watch Energy Cost Projections
Armstrong County Seeks Water Trails Inclusion

Friday, October 17, 2008

October 20 PA Environment Digest Headlines

Read this week's PA Environment Digest or Print This Whole Issue

Gov. Rendell Signs Bill Requiring Electric Customers To Save Energy
PA Fair Share For Clean Water Coalition: Vote Yes! Nov. 4
Two More Candidates Profiled In iConservePA Special Election
Environmental Legislative Accomplishments For 2008
Environmental Issues Leftover For 2009
SW Household Hazardous Waste Task Force President's Award
Chesapeake Bay Trust Has Fish Habitat, Education Grants Available
Pike, Monroe, Wayne County Stormwater/Flood Summit November 20
Highmark Urges Others To Follow Their Lead And Build Green Roofs
ClearWater Conservancy Receives Education Grant From Dominion
New DEP Grant Program To Help Combat Illegal Dumping
EPAForum To Focus On Issues In Hispanic, Asian Communities
Small Business Energy Efficiency, Waste Reduction Grants Announced
Rendell Announces $280 Million For Low-Income Energy Assistance
PUC Urges Utilities To Help Consumers 'Prepare Now,'
Second PUC Hearing On Trends In Wholesale Electricity Markets
Energy Coordinating Agency Holds Conservation Forums
PA's Newest Wind Farm In Somerset County Will Produce Clean Energy
2008 PA Wind Energy Symposium At Penn State November 17-18
Penn State Wants To Know, 'What's your 20?'
Carnegie Mellon U. Selected For $900,000 EPA Brownfields Grant
PA Geologists To Hold Underground Storage Tank Town Hall Meetings
Board Acts To Protect More Than 2,200 Acres Of Farmland
Game Commission Youth Essay Contest Deadline Approaches
DCNR Urges Safeguards to Protect Woodlands Against Wildfires
Historical and Museum Commission To Preserve Communities
Gov. Rendell Makes Appointments To DEP Citizens Advisory Council
Bid Opportunity For Plugging Abandoned Wells In McKean County
Spotlight - PennDOT Celebrates Pennsylvania Archaeology Month
Feature - Squirrels Abound In Pennsylvania's Forests And Woodlots

PA Fair Share For Clean Water Coalition: Vote Yes! For Clean Water Nov. 4

The PA Fair Share For Clean Water Coalition today said Pennsylvania voters have the opportunity to do their fair share to help clean up Pennsylvania rivers and streams by supporting the Clean Water referendum on the November 4 general election ballot.
The referendum asks voters if they support allocating $400 million to help communities throughout the Commonwealth fund necessary upgrades to wastewater and drinking water facilities. In many cases these upgrades are needed in order to meet federal and state clean water mandates.
Learn more about the Clean Water Referendum.

Friday NewsClips

News from around the state on environmental issues--

Editorial: New Stimulus Could Rescue Deteriorating Infrastructure
Township Spends More To Save Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Earth Conservancy's Blueprint For Mine-Scarred Land
Word Of The Day: Imperviousness
Environment Friendly In Shamokin Creek
For Utility Customers, Times Are A-Changing On Energy Conservation
Energy Efficiency Law Will Save Taxpayers
Editorial: Energy Plan Still Needed
Aquetong Watershed Association Plans Workshops
Award Winning River Conservation Author To Speak October 29
DuBois Asks For Voluntary Water Conservation
Minersville Looks To Curb Storm Flow In Sewer System
Heating Oil Prices Vary In Midstate
Brownfield Redevelopment Funding Urged
Research Team Probes Wind Turbines Effect On Bat Population
Bradford County Commissioners Stick By Gas Drilling Policy
Gas Drilling Forum Attendees: Big Changes Coming
Editorial: Energy Efficiency Law Will Save Taxpayers
Temperatures Consistent With Climate Change Theory
Green Building Firm Opens Its Doors In Collegeville

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Southwest PA Household Hazardous Waste Task Force Award Winner

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Donald S. Welsh today honored the Southwestern Pennsylvania Household Hazardous Waste Task Force with the President’s Volunteer Service Award in recognition of the group’s work to organize hazardous waste events in western Pennsylvania.
The Task Force is administered by the Pennsylvania Resources Council.
The all-volunteer task force was formed in 2002 to organize household hazardous waste collection events and to date has held 27 of these events in seven western Pennsylvania counties: Allegheny, Cambria, Lawrence, Butler, Beaver, Westmoreland, and Venango Counties. The task force has provided more than 14,000 residents a safe, responsible, and economically easy way to dispose of nearly 1.5 million pounds of hazardous materials that may have otherwise ended up polluting the environment. (Click here for more)

Thursday NewsClips

Environmental NewsClips from around Pennsylvania--

Rendell Signs Energy Conservation Bill
New Income Limits On PA Heating Program To Help More
PA Expands Energy Assistance Program
Oil Price Half What It Was In July
New Wind Turbine Site May Hold Key For Bat Deaths
Erie Zoning Board Turns Down Tire-To-Energy Plant
Specter Joins Fight Against Chester County Natural Gas Pipeline
Neighbors Worry What Rails-T-Trails Might Bring
PA Schools, Governments Feel The Economic Misery

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

2nd PUC Hearing On Wholesale Electric Markets

The Public Utility Commission today announced it will hold a second special en banc hearing on November 6, to discuss trends in the wholesale electricity markets.
The hearing will be on similar topics as those addressed during the previously announced PUC en banc hearing on October 23, although different speakers and viewpoints will be represented.
The hearing will be held at 12:30 p.m. in Hearing Room 1 of the Commonwealth Keystone Building in Harrisburg. The public is welcome to attend.
More details will follow soon on the Announcements page of the PUC website as it is available.

New DEP Illegal Dumping Grant Program

The Department of Environmental Protection today announced it will invest $500,000 in a new Illegal Dump Cleanup Grant program for communities and nonprofit groups.
The program will focus on the cleanup of illegal dumps; site restoration and beautification; surveillance of existing dump sites and remediated sites; enforcement of littering and illegal dumping ordinances; and public awareness and education to inform local citizens about illegal dumping, littering and clean-up activities.
Grants of up to $25,000 will be awarded with a match of at least 50 percent of the grant amount by the grantee. No deadline was announced for applications. (click here for more)

Vote For Montrell and Clean Water!

Montrell, a candidate in the Elect To Conserve special election on, wants to protect water quality in Pennsylvania.
Outlining his position in a special video interview, Montrell talks about water resource protection, water quality indicators, water conservation and about his involvement in activities at his school's wetland.
Vote for clean water, vote for Montrell.
Video Blog: Montrell's Campaign Interview

Wednesday NewsClips

NewsClips around the state on environmental issues--

Editorial: Voters Should Say Yes To Sewer-Water Ballot Question
Highmark Unveils Environmentally Friendly Green Roof In Pittsburgh
Federal Money Helps Increase LIHEAP Funds
Turning Up The Heat? You Might Get Help With The Bill
Landowners Sue Agent Over Natural Gas Leases
Officials Outlines Perils Of Taking Drilling Wastewater
Luzerne County Looks To Natural Gas For Cash
The Politics Of Natural Gas Drilling
Editorial: Natural Gas Boom Can Easily Go Bust
State College School District Passes Green Building Measure
Loyalsock Volunteeer Fire Company Goes Green
Couple Turns To Solar Panels To Cut Spending In Long Run
Editorial: Cheap Electricity Promise Unkept
Nature's Navigator: New Trail System Near Scranton

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

2008 PA Wind Energy Symposium In November

The 2008 Pennsylvania Wind Energy Symposium: Power For The Future will be held at Penn State University on November 17-18.
Symposium attendees will be able to network with experts, wind energy companies and other participants to learn the latest on wind energy generally and developments in Pennsylvania specifically.
Plenary and breakout sessions will be held on topics ranging from project case studies, reauthorization of the federal wind energy tax credits, technology challenges, siting and project implementation, financing strategies, transmission and distribution and regulatory and policy issues. A detailed agenda is available online.
For more information and to register, visit the 2008 PA Wind Energy Symposium website.

Chesapeake Bay Fish Habitat/Education Grants

Two grant programs are now available for organizations within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed through the Chesapeake Bay Trust and the FishAmerica Foundation:

Fish Habitat Grants: The Trust and FishAmerica Foundation announce the fifth year of their partnership. Grants are available for a wide range of activities that improve fish habitat in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Proposals must be received in the Trust’s office no later than December 5. To learn more about the Fisheries Grant Program, or to apply, click here.

Environmental Education Grant Program: The Trust seeks to increase environmental stewardship though hands on education and public involvement in the Bay and its rivers by providing grants that build and expand K through 12 environmental education programs and increase student access to Meaningful Watershed Experiences. Proposals must be received in the Trust’s office no later than December 5. To learn more about the Environmental Education Grant Program, or to apply, click here.

Tuesday NewsClips

NewsClips from around PA on environmental topics--

State Farm Insurance - Chance Of Deer-Vehicle Collisions 1 in 97 in PA
Growers Rush To Fill Biofuel Niche
Natural Gas Leasing Being Cut Back
Op-Ed: Balance Climate Concerns With Jobs, Economic Growth

Friday, October 10, 2008

October 13 PA Environment Digest

A few of the headlines from the latest PA Environment Digest--
CLICK HERE to Print This Week's Digest

Energy Conservation Bill Passed, Electric Rate Cap Mitigation Left
State Budget Deficit Could Reach $3 Billion Next Year
Vote Yes For Clean Water - Free Information Kit
Election Video - Vote For Montrell and Watershed Protection
Video Blog - The Miller Farm In Adams County Protects Its Watershed
On The Governor's Desk
Northeast PA Environmental Partners Announce Award Winners
Cindy Dunn Receives Leadership Award For Watershed Work
Proposals For 2009 Connecting Communities To Creeks Conference
PA Center For Environmental Education Newsletter Now Available
Air Products Hydrogen Fueling Station, Two Hydrogen Powered Buses
DEP Forms Stakeholder Groups On Alternative Energy Programs
Federal Bailout Bill Includes Incentives for Biomass, Waste-to-Energy
Wiconisco Creek Watershed Tour Shows Off Accomplishments

DEP Forms Alternative Energy Program Stakeholder Groups

The Department of Environmental Protection this week announced the formation of two stakeholder groups to help the agency develop the grant and financial assistance programs for businesses and consumers adopted in July as part of Special Session House Bill 1 (DePasquale-D-York).
The groups include:
-- A Residential Consumer Energy Conservation Projects stakeholder group to discuss the creation of a consumer energy conservation program to provide incentives for the purchase and installation of residential energy conservation measures. The first meeting of this group is on October 17 in Room 105 Rachel Carson Building at 9:00. Contact Libby Dodson 717-772-8907 or send email to: for more information.
-- A Consumer and Small Business Solar Energy Projects Stakeholder group to discuss creation of a loan, grant, reimbursement or rebate program for solar energy projects. The first meeting of this group is on October 27 in Room 105 Rachel Carson Building at 9:00. Contact Rebecca Campbell 717-783-8411 or send email to: for more information.
No details are available yet on the members of each group.

NE Environmental Partners Announce Award Winners

The Northeast Pennsylvania Environmental Partners today announced the recipients of their Environmental Partnership Awards for 2008 and plans for their October 29 awards dinner at the Woodlands Inn & Resort in Wilkes-Barre.
The Environmental Partnership Awards and Dinner is an annual event. In presenting these awards, the Partners: Wilkes University, Pennsylvania Environmental Council's Northeast Office, Northeast Pennsylvania Alliance, Procter & Gamble Paper Products Company, PPL Corporation and departments of Environmental Protection and Conservation and Natural Resources join together to recognize outstanding accomplishments and teamwork in achieving excellence in environmental protection or conservation in NEPA. (Click here for more)

Friday NewsClips

Thursday, October 9, 2008

PUC Wastes No Time Starting To Implement New Energy Conservation Law

The Public Utility Commission today unanimously approved a Motion to begin implementation of House Bill 2200, which expands the PUC's oversight responsibilities and imposes new requirements on the Electric Distribution Companies (EDCs), with the overall goal of enhancing procurement; reducing energy demand and consumption; and expanding alternative energy sources.
"Yesterday, both the Senate and the House overwhelmingly passed House Bill 2200, which now is on the Governor's desk for signature," said the Joint Motion offered by Commissioners Kim Pizzingrilli and Robert F. Powelson. "As with the passage of any significant piece of legislation, the Commission will convene an internal working group to develop an implementation plan to ensure that guidance is provided to EDCs and that consumers realize the benefits of energy efficiency and conservation measures. The Commission recognizes the importance of implementing this law in a prompt manner, and will move forward with all deliberate speed, while allowing for stakeholder participation and input." (click here for more)

Thursday NewsClips

Energy Conservation Bill Goes To Governor

The General Assembly gave final approval to energy conservation legislation, but did not come to agreement on additional steps to mitigate the impact of electric rate caps expiring in 2010.
House Bill 2200 (George-D-Clearfield) requires utilities to develop energy conservation programs with the goal of reducing peak demand by 4.5 percent by 2013, gives utilities flexibility in procuring electric supplies, requires installation of smart meters, includes certain hydropower facilities and biomass energy facilities in the state's Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards and directs the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to conduct a study of carbon sequestration opportunities in the state.
A summary of the bill is available online.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Game Commission Deer Management Program Earns Praise

Results of collaborative research conducted by the Pennsylvania Game Commission and U.S. Geological Survey's Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Pennsylvania State University were published in the scientific journals Behavioral Ecology and The Journal of Wildlife Management.
"Publication of these peer-reviewed papers demonstrates recognition of the scientific quality of wildlife research conducted in Pennsylvania," said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. "The findings of this important fieldwork have helped shape the Game Commission's deer management program. (click here for more)

Senators White, Musto Ask DEP To Release Regulations

Senators Mary Jo White (R-Venango) and Ray Musto (D-Luzerne), the Majority and Minority Chairs of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, requested Acting DEP Secretary John Hanger to release for Committee review four regulations so it will have time to consider the rules before the Senate adjourns for the year.
The rules are the:Triennial Review of Water Quality Standards (7-421), Hazardous Waste Amendments (7-409), Diesel Vehicle Idling (7-422) and Clean Air Interstate Rule - Repeal.
During her confirmation hearing last year, former Secretary Kathleen McGinty pledged that, whenever possible, the Department would submit final form regulations to the standing committees in a manner that ensured the committees had the maximum time available to utilize its options under the Regulatory Review Act.
The Department has been reminded of this assurance several times in recent months. We are therefore extremely disappointed in the delay in submitting these regulations to the committee, which appears intended to limit or bypass the options available to the legislature. (click here for more)

Tuesday Environmental NewsClips

Here are NewsClips from around PA on environmental topics--

Bond Issue Referendum May Help Rein-In Rising Sewer Costs
Merck Employees Help Cleanup Wissahickon Watershed
Audenreid Mine Tunnel Treatment System To See Flood Repairs
Group Offers Wetlands Tract Back To Neighbors
New Initiative To Promote Hydrogen Fuel In Lehigh Valley (Online Video)
Time Running Out On Energy Conservation Bill
Utility Shut-Offs Increase
Electric Costs Can Be Controlled At The Switch
Bucks County Community College Announces Green Building
Benton Area School District Counts Energy Savings
Energy Conservation Program Travels Monroe Libraries
Lehigh Valley Solar Tour Features Eco-Friendly Homes (Online Video)
Alternative Home Heat Dangerous
State College Teacher Rides For Climate
Concerns Raised Over Impact of Gas Drilling In Bradford
Company To Survey Centre County For Natural Gas Reserves
Workshop To Focus On Drilling In Centre County
Natural Gas Extraction Changes Water Rules
Editorial Recycling Thrives In Mount Carmal Borough, Stall There
Foundation Plans Research Center For Wildlife
Photographer Wants Minorities To Connect With Natural Treasures
Writers Urged By Ex-Poet Laureate To Defend Wildlife

Monday, October 6, 2008

PUC Hearing On Wholesale Electricity Markets Oct. 23

The Public Utility Commission announced today it will hold a special en banc hearing focused on the current and future wholesale electricity markets on October 23 in Hearing Room 1, Keystone Building, Harrisburg starting at 12:30.
The agenda and invitation to witnesses are available online.
The five PUC Commissioners will conduct the en banc hearing to solicit comments from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; PJM Interconnection; Midwest System Operator; PJM Market Monitor; and Organization of PJM States Inc.
Another en banc hearing on this topic will be held at a later date. More information will be released when it becomes available.

Proposals: 2009 Connecting Communities To Creeks Conference

The PA Land Trust Association is now accepting workshop proposals for the 2008 annual Pennsylvania Land Conservation Conference to be held May 7-9 in State College.
The theme of the conference is, "Connecting Communities To Creeks."
Proposals are due November 21.
Proposals are welcome on land and/or water conservation, organizational development basics, advanced topics, and novel subjects. Workshops will be 90-minute sessions unless otherwise discussed with staff and delivered on May 9.
In recognition of their efforts, conference presenters will receive a free basic registration, limit of one per organization per workshop.
The proposal application is available online.

State Budget Deficit Could Reach $2.5 Billion

At a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing today, Sen. Vince Fumo (D-Philadelphia) said the budget shortfall for the current fiscal year could be as high as $1.3 billion, even if the state used all of the $750 million now in the state's Rainy Day Fund.
Senate Appropriations Committee Majority Chair Sen. Gib Armstrong (R-Lancaster) said the current year deficit could be as high as $2.5 billion.
Budget Secretary Mary Soderberg did not speculate on what the ultimate shortfall may be, but acknowledged a $280 million reduction in state revenues so far. She also catalogued the steps the Rendell Administration has taken so far to reduce costs by $200 million and eliminate or not fill about 2,900 state worker positions.
Secretary Soderberg said she is continuing to work with agencies to cut operating costs by 4.25 percent across the board and freeze state employment.
She also noted that recent investments in alternative energy, sewer and water infrastructure and bridge repairs will help spur Pennsylvania's economy.
NewsClip: Top Lawmakers Predict Massive Budget Deficit
Idea Of A State Tax Increase Is Premature, Rendell Says

EPA Climate Change Action Tools For Students

To honor Child Health Day, U.S. EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection and Environmental Education today launched a campaign to educate middle and high school students about climate change, its effects on children’s health, and actions teens can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and become Climate Ambassadors in their communities.
As part of the campaign, EPA is launching a website for middle and high school students. The website will include many tools for young people, including criteria describing how to become a Climate Ambassador, a downloadable presentation, sample proclamation and daily action steps. The website will also include links to a carbon calculator for young people and blog postings by an EPA intern.
See a Video Podcast on the new campaign.

Chesapeake Bay Cleanup on WPSU-TV Oct. 7

On October 7 at 9:30 a.m. Chesapeake Bay Foundation Pennsylvania Executive Director Matt Ehrhart joins Common Ground host Patty Satalia and other guest experts to discuss the science behind the decline in water quality and the loss of habitats vital to wildlife in the region.
Other panelists include Kristen Saacke-Blunk, director of the Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center; Denice Heller Wardrop, assistant director of the Penn State Cooperative Wetlands Center; and Rick Batiuk, associate director of science at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Chesapeake Bay Program Office.
The program will be streamed live online through this webpage.
For more information on Chesapeake Bay and watershed cleanup, visit the PA Fair Share for Clean Water Coalition webpage.

Monday NewsClips

Friday, October 3, 2008

New PA Environment Digest Online

This week's headlines in the PA Environment Digest -- Special Election, Watch Special CNN* Coverage
Video Blog - 90 Groups Participate In Ohio River Celebration
Video Blog - Report Details PA Global Warming Impacts
Video Blog - The Erie Times French Creek Profile
Online Video - Steelhead Run Offers Terrific Fishing in Erie
Guide To The PA Environment Digest Family Of Website Services
EP Needs 68 More Staff To Keep Up With Drilling
Keep PA Beautiful Announce Community Greening Champions
Bush Signs Great Lakes Water Resources Compact Into Law
Gov. Rendell Releases Annual Report On Growing Greener II
DEP Invites Comments on Proposed TMDL Plans
DEP Invites Bids On Butler County Reclamation Project
EPA Awards Grant to Drexel University for Water Research
Environmental Forum to Examine Emerging Water Contaminants
EPA Awards Student Fellowships
Entries Invited For Youth Video Contest
Championing Upper Merion Area School District To Go Green
Carnegie Mellon University Receives AT&T Fellowship Grant
Natural Gas Utilities, Experts Brief PUC On Reliability For Winter
Dollar Energy Fund Assistance Grants for Now Available
PUC: More Details On Alternative Energy, Conservation Hearing
Pennsylvania Energy Summit II Set For December 9
Allegheny Health Dept. Offers to Retrofit Diesel School Buses
DEP OKs Voluntary Registry For Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Lancaster County Waste Authority Wins Battery Recycling Honor
Volunteers Remove Nearly 1,000 Tires In Wyoming County
DCNR, Partners Sign Pennsylvania Water Trail Agreement
The Nature Conservancy Expands Pocono Plateau Area
PA Assn. Of Environmental Education 2009 Conference
October 19 ENVIROFEST, Black Bear Film Festival
Court Decision on Ethics Act Ruling Sides With Gov. Rendell
Municipal Authorities Urge Vote YES! For Clean Water Nov. 4
Western PA Conservancy, Partners Protect Little Mahoning Creek
Opinion - Harvest Time - Sustainable Agriculture
Supporting Member PA Outdoor Writers Assn./PA Trout Unlimited

DEP Designates Climate Change Registry

The Department of Environmental Protection today formally designated The Climate Registry and three other organizations for offset registries to help businesses voluntarily track climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions.
The action follows a recommendation by the Pennsylvania Climate Change Advisory Committee earlier in the week to name registries so businesses can track their success in reducing or offsetting greenhouse gas emissions.
The Committee also selected Sarah Hetznecker of Conergy to serve as chairwoman and state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Michael DiBerardinis to serve as vice chairman. Hetznecker is a project development director for Conergy, the world’s largest solar integration company. (Click here for more)

Friday NewsClips

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Special CNN* Election Coverage

Put off by that divisive and nasty national election? Watch this special CNN* news coverage by Cooper Anderson 180 to learn how you can be part of a creative "special election" on the website by voting for your favorite environmental candidates in the "Elect to Conserve" campaign.
Voters will be eligible to win a home composter or a rain barrel. The winning Pennsylvania environmental program will receive a $5,000 grant. (When did voting in a real election get you anything like that!)
To vote, visit the 2008 Elect To Conserve webpage.
Click here to watch more election coverage by CNN's Cooper Anderson.
This message "approved" by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
*Conservation News Network, of course.

Potential Global Warming Impacts on PA

Climate Change Impacts in PA. John Walliser, PA Environmental Council, talks about a new Union of Concerned Scientists report on potential global warming impacts on Pennsylvania and PEC's Climate Change Roadmap for Pennsylvania at a press conference in Harrisburg.
Watch these other presentations from the press conference:
Lance Pierce, Union of Concerned Scientists Climate Program Director
Ray Najjar, Penn State Associate Professor of Meterorology and Geosciences
Shelby Fleischer, Penn State University Professor of Entomology
Donna Cooper, Secretary of Policy and Planning

Wednesday Clips

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