Monday, August 31, 2015

EPA Hearing On Oil & Gas Methane Proposal In Pittsburgh Sept. 29

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will hold a hearing on its proposed methane emissions reduction rule for oil and gas operations on September 29 at the William S. Moorhead Federal building, 1000 Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh. Click Here to register to speak at the hearing no later than September 25.

Tuesday Air Quality Action Day In Philadelphia Area

The Department of Environmental Protection and its regional air quality partnerships have forecast a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for ozone on Tuesday, September 1, for Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties.  Click Here for details.

Brodhead Watershed Assn Autumn Hike To Bowers Run/Fall Creek Sept. 20

The Brodhead Watershed Association invites you to put aside the long, hot summer for a refreshing autumn exploration of the beautiful, wild headwaters of McMichaels Creek in Monroe County.
From 1 to 4:30 p.m. September 20, naturalists Don Miller and Jim Connor will lead a hike through a portion of Pohoqualine Fish Association property, one of the oldest private fish associations in the country and the oldest of the Pocono area’s historic fishing clubs.
A conservation easement held by Pocono Heritage Land Trust protects the three primary McMichaels Creek headwater streams – Hypsy Creek, Fall Creek, and Bowers Run – and the watershed surrounding them, and provides for public access to 500 of the club’s acres for passive recreation, including hiking and hunting.
Participants should meet in the parking area of Pohoqualine’s clubhouse, between Tannersville and Brodheadsville at the intersection of Route 715 and Hypsy Gap Road in McMichaels.
The walk will be held rain or shine, and will be both on and off trail on level-to-moderate streamside terrain. Dress for outdoor adventuring with hiking boots or sturdy walking shoes, and be comfortable in a wild environment for several hours.
Pre-registration is suggested; call PHLT at 570-424-1514 (leave your contact information in a message). Additional walk information and directions can be provided upon registration.
There is a suggested donation for the walk of $10 for nonmembers and $5 for BWA and PHLT members; children under 12 walk for free.
For information about this and other upcoming events and activities, visit the Brodhead Watershed Association or Pocono Heritage Land Trust websites.

DEP OKs Johnstown Sanitary Sewer Overflow Abatement Plan

The Department of Environmental Protection Monday approved a Sanitary Sewer Overflow  Abatement Plan for the City of Johnstown, to relieve the overload conditions that are the main cause of sanitary sewer overflows in heavy rains.
“Johnstown is to be commended for devising a stormwater control plan that will serve the city and surrounding communities for years to come,” said Susan Malone, DEP’s Southwest Regional Director. “Eliminating sewer overflow is one of the best ways to ensure clean water for the people of Johnstown and their neighbors downstream.”
During rainy weather, water can leak into the sewage system through leaks in pipes and deteriorated connections. The extra water overwhelms treatment facilities, forcing bypasses that result in raw sewage flowing into waterways.
Federal and state regulations mandate that all communities drastically reduce or eliminate sewage treatment bypasses. Johnstown was required to develop the plan under a Consent Order and Agreement signed in July of 2010.
The Abatement Plan is intended to relieve the heavy water runoff conditions and eliminate SSOs from the city’s system, and the system owned by the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority, which provides water treatment for the city and 20 surrounding communities.
Portions of the system will be completely rebuilt, while other sections will be refurbished. Under the Abatement Plan all construction must be completed by November 30, 2022 and all SSOs must be eliminated by December 31, 2022.
When construction is complete, the system’s flow will be monitored to ensure that the reconstructed system meets the flow levels outlined in the plan.
The City and the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority determined that the complete replacement of the sewer system, including private connections, was the most cost effective long-term solution to eliminate SSOs.
For more information, visit the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority CSO/SSO webpage.

Chesapeake Bay Commission Gets Milestone Update Sept. 10, What Will PA Do?

The Chesapeake Bay Commission will hear a midpoint assessment of the progress states are making toward meeting their 2017 Chesapeake Bay cleanup milestones at its next meeting on September 10-11 in Alexandria, Virginia.
In addition to the progress report, there will be several presentations on stormwater management and other Bay Program issues.
Pennsylvania has 481 days (as of September 7) to put the best management practices on the ground needed to eliminate 10 million pounds of nitrogen and 212 million pounds of sediment from going into our rivers and streams to meet the 2017 Chesapeake Bay cleanup milestones.
Pennsylvania is even further behind because we did not meet the 2013 pollution reduction milestones.
In June 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported Pennsylvania exceeded its 2013 Chesapeake Bay cleanup milestone for phosphorus by 242,000 pounds, but fell short in meeting the nitrogen goal by 2 million pounds and sediment reduction milestone by nearly 116 million pounds.
If Pennsylvania doesn’t meet the milestones, it leaves EPA free to come up with its own plan on how the state can meet them, and as Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming) said during DEP’s budget hearing, “It isn’t pretty.”
At his budget hearing in March, DEP Secretary John Quigley acknowledged, to his credit, Pennsylvania is not meeting its commitments to clean up Pennsylvania watersheds contributing water to the Bay and promised a plan to reboot the program to get it back on track.
Quigley and Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding reiterated their commitment to reboot Pennsylvania’s plans to meet Bay cleanup milestones at the July Chesapeake Bay Executive Council meeting.
Even by any rough measure, Pennsylvania will need to ramp up its watershed restoration programs significantly to meet its commitments.  
Using the Commonwealth’s reported average rate of Chesapeake Bay Program implementation from 2009 to 2013, here’s an estimate of how much each of key measures would have to increase to meet the 2017 milestones:
— Forested stream buffers on farms: from 6 acres per day to over 38 acres;
— Farm conservation plan development: from 46 acres a day to over 589 acres;
— Rotational grazing practices: from 8.5 acres to roughly 135 acres a day;
— Urban stormwater infiltration practices: from 7 acres to 368 acres per day;
— Stormwater treatment wet ponds & wetlands: from 0.4 acres to 28 acres a day; and
— Dirt & gravel road repair: from 334 feet per day to over 1,411 feet per day.
Since most of the 2015 work season is now gone, this means these best management practices must get done in 2016, because only those measures put on the ground by December 31, 2016 will count toward meeting the 2017 milestones.
The question remains, what is Pennsylvania’s plan?
The Commission meeting will be held in the Courtyard Alexandria Pentagon South, 4641 Kenmore Avenue in Alexandria.
Related Story:
Analysis: Will PA Show Leadership On Water Cleanup Issues, Or Surrender To Feds?

Friends Of Wissahickon To Host Scott Weidensaul Sept. 24

Friends of the Wissahickon is hosting a Valley Talk on September 24 with nationally-renowned naturalist and writer Scott Weidensaul, who will give a talk about migratory birds and the importance of preserving their habitat in the Delaware Valley.
The talk will be held at 6 p.m. at Valley Green Inn, Valley Green Road at Wissahickon in Philadelphia. Sponsored by Valley Green Bank, the event is free and open to the public. A complimentary wine and cheese reception will be offered after the event.
Weidensaul will discuss the wonder and mechanics of migrating birds and the simple, effective ways we can preserve them, from what we plant in our backyards to what we pour into our morning mug of coffee.
Weidensaul is the author of more than two dozen books on natural history, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist “Living on the Wind,” about bird migration. He is also the author of “Return to Wild America,” and “The First Frontier: The Forgotten History of Struggle, Savagery and Endurance in Early America.”
His newest book, “The Peterson Reference Guide to Owls of North America and the Caribbean,” will be published in October.  Weidensaul is a contributing editor for Audubon and writes for a variety of other publications. He lives in the mountains of eastern Pennsylvania, where he studies the migration of hawks, owls and hummingbirds.
Register for the lecture by contacting Sarah Marley by sending email to: or call 215-247-0417 x109.  Spaces are limited.
For more information on programs and activities, visit the Friends of the Wissahickon website.

International Coastal Cleanup: Kiski River Cleanup Sept. 26-27 Volunteers Needed

The Roaring Run Watershed Association and Kiski Watershed Association are looking for volunteers for their Kiski River cleanup event on September 26-27 at the Avonmore Bridge on Route 156 in Westmoreland County as part of the 2015 International Coastal Cleanup.
Other sponsors include: Bridgestone and Firestone, Liberty Tire, Ocean Conservancy, Keep PA Beautiful and the Great American Cleanup.
           If you are interested in volunteering, contact John Linkes at 724-845-9420 or send email to:
Click Here to organize you own International Coastal Cleanup event.  Click Here to find cleanups coming up.

PROP: Become A Certified Recycling Professional

The nationally recognized PA Recycling Professional Certification Program has developed its program to provide all interested parties with a cost-effective method to become nationally certified as a Recycling Professional.
The Penn State accredited Recycling Certification Program is currently offering a certification which can be completed in less than one year.       
The Program has been designed to meet the standards of the National Standards Certification Board. These standards meet all learning objectives and  promote the establishment of high professional standards for recycling, sustainable resource management, organics, and solid waste managers in both the public and private sectors, as well as providing a career track for new professionals entering the field.
Click Here for a description of the first training session on October 22-23 in State College. Click Here to register.
Visit the PROP Recycling Certification Program webpage for more information.  Questions?  Contact Michelle Frey Glenny, PROP Certification Coordinator by sending email to: or call 814-937-6041.  Ask about scholarship opportunities.
Click Here to sign up for the PROP newsletter.

Updated DEP Schedule For Mosquito Spraying

The Department of Environmental Protection and West Nile Programs across the state announced mosquito spray dates in the coming week.  They include--
-- August 31: Lancaster County* (parts of Pequea Township and West Lampeter Township);  Philadelphia County (parts of Philadelphia City); Westmoreland County (parts of North Huntingdon Township); York County (parts of York City);
-- September 1: Allegheny County (parts of Pittsburgh City); and
-- September 2: Lancaster County* (parts of Manheim Borough and Penn Township); Philadelphia County (parts of Philadelphia City).
Click Here for a list of spray dates.  For more information, visit the West Nile Virus website.

Monday PA Environmental NewsClips

Click Here  for PA Capitol Digest NewsClips

Friday, August 28, 2015

August 31 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The August 31 PA Environment Digest is now available.  Here are just a few of the headlines--

A five-member team of high school students from Penncrest High School in Media, Delaware County, earned second-place honors early this month at the 2015 International NCF-Envirothon.

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Thursday announced that over 128,157 volunteers participated in the 2015 Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Great American Cleanup of PA and collected 300,186 bags, or 6,003,720 pounds of trash, cleaned 11,943 miles of roads, railroad tracks, trails, waterways, and shorelines, and 6,422 acres of park and/or wetlands and planted 13,050 trees, bulbs, and plants in an effort to keep Pennsylvania beautiful.

Voting members of DEP’s Conventional Oil and Gas Advisory Committee Thursday continued to raise objections to the final draft of Chapter 78 drilling regulations presented to the Committee for their review and said litigation would be pursued by conventional drillers challenging the legality of the rulemaking.

The PA Environmental Council Environmental Policy Conference on October 13 in Harrisburg will feature key decision makers on Pennsylvania’s foremost policy challenges in 2015 and beyond.

Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program is a way for businesses to enrich educational opportunities for students and earn tax credits by donating to an Educational Improvement Organization.  

In partnership with the PA Recreation and Park Society, the Department of Conservation and Resources will again be offering free, in-person grant workshops at six locations across Pennsylvania in November.

To read the Digest, visit:  Click Here to print the entire Digest.

PA Environment Digest is edited by David E. Hess, former Secretary Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and is published as a service of Crisci Associates.

Additional Tools--
Click Here to sign up to receive the Digest directly by email.
Click Here for a Calendar of Upcoming Events.
Click Here to search back issues of the Digest.
PA Environment Digest Twitter Feed: Update on PA environmental issues.
PA Environment Daily Blog: Update on PA environmental issues.
Green Works In PA Google+ Circle: Update on PA environmental issues.
Questions?: Send email to David Hess at:

Help Wanted: Susquehanna Greenway Partnership Hiring For 2 Positions

The Susquehanna Greenway Partnership is seeking qualified candidates for two positions: Development Associate and a River Towns Planner--
-- Development Associate: Candidates should be a mission-driven individual to manage programs that identify, cultivate and steward donors. Plan and conduct membership and corporate sponsorship programs, including incentives and merchandise. Assist with donor related events. Must exhibit a positive attitude and professional appearance at all times.    Click Here for a full position description.
-- Rivers Towns Planner: This positions is to develop and implement programs that build the capacity of local partners to envision, plan, construct and sustain riverfront parks, walking and biking trails, river accesses, green infrastructure, and greenway signs. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture or Community Design is required. Relevant experience in community engagement strategies, community assessments, conceptual renderings, landscape design, historic preservation, graphic design, and project management is needed.  Click Here for a full position description.
The deadline for applications for both positions is September 14.  To submit an application, please email: your cover letter, resume, and short writing samples. PLEASE PUT “Development Associate” or “River Towns Planner” IN THE SUBJECT OF YOUR MESSAGE.

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