August 31, 2012

Sept. 3 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The Sept. 3 PA Environment Digest is now available.  Click Here to print the entire Digest.

DEP Citizens Advisory Council: DEP Update On Program Changes

Each month the Department of Environmental Protection provides a report policy initiatives and the status of program and regulation changes to the DEP Citizens Advisory Council for its information.  In the past this more than 20 page report has not been routinely made available to the public.
The report covers a variety of topics and their latest status.  Some information in the updates has not changed in a while because the information is the last status reported.  Other information is quite new.
Here’s a summary of the topics covered in the 22-page August Report prepared by DEP:
-- Water Management
-- Water Quality Standards Triennial Review
-- NPDES MS4 Permit (PAG-13)
-- NPDES Pesticide General Permit (PAG-15)
-- NPDES Large & Small Vessel General Permits (vGPs)
-- State Water Plan: Development of Critical Area Resource Plans
-- Water Resource Technical Assistance Center
-- Marcellus O&G Water Management Plan Activities
-- Chesapeake Bay TMDL/Watershed Implementation Plan
-- PA’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan (Milestones, Nutrient Trading,
         Wastewater Plants, Agriculture Updates, Revisions to construction stormwater general
         permit (PAG-02), E&S Control Manual training
-- Stormwater Offsetting Workgroup
-- Riparian Buffer Waivers
-- E&S Control Pollution Manual
-- Safe Drinking Water Unregulated Contaminant Rule 3
-- Waste Management
-- Recycling Fund & Solid Waste Advisory Committee agenda
-- Municipal & Residual Waste Regulation Revisions
-- Land Recycling Program Technical Guidance Manual
-- Energy Initiatives: Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant, PA Energy Development Authority, PA Sunshine Program, Small Business Ombudsman, Federal Stimulus Funded Projects, ISO 50001 Workshops, Department of Corrections CHP Project, Energy Symposium.
-- Oil & Gas Issues
-- Latest on implementation of Act 13 Marcellus Shale provisions; White Paper on proposed Chapter 78 changes required by the law, Act 13 Roll-Out, draft Erosion and Sedimentation Control General Permit (ESCGP-2), policy on addressing spills and releases from oil and gas wells and related operations.
-- Oil and Gas Workload Report
-- Spud well report submitted to the PUC
-- Implementation of Act 9 of 2012 related to emergency response at well sites
-- Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board meeting summary
-- Mining/Reclamation/AMD Issues
-- Abandoned Mine Surface/ Bond Fund Discharge Treatment
-- Status of Proposed Coal Permit and Non-Coal Permit Fees
-- NPDES Permitting For Mine Sites
-- Act 54 Mine Subsidence Impact Report
-- Pending Policy Guidance Documents
-- PA Office of Homeland Security - requested list of contacts for trade associations
-- Environmental Education
-- Environmental Education Grants Program
-- EE Outreach, Workshops, Conferences, Board meetings, Upcoming Outreach Events
-- Green Schools
-- Falcon Outreach/Education
-- Office of Program Integration
-- Project Syllabus permit review improvement process
A copy of the report is available online.

Friday NewsClips

PA Voter ID Opponents Appeal Brief
PA Aids Dozens Unable To Supply Birth Certificate
Amazon Buyers Shrug At Sales Tax
Disciplinary Court Stops Pay For Justice Melvin
Labor Supporters Protest Outside Romney’s HBG Office
LCB Brings In $2.1 Billion In Revenue
LCB Sets Record $1.65 Billion In Sales
Gettysburg Giant Store Begins Beer Sales
AG Candidates Want To Review Sandusky Case
California University Enrollment Drops 9.2 Percent
Editorial: New Leader Brings Cal U Change
Editorial: Call For Turnpike Changes Blatantly Hypocritical
Payment Glitches Leave PA Caregivers In The Lurch
Column: State Capital Will Lose Daily Paper Or Will It?
Click Here for today's Environmental News

August 28, 2012

Harrisburg Patriot-News To Publish 3 Days A Week

The publisher of the Harrisburg Patriot-News announced today the paper would publish print editions only three days a week, one of them Sunday, and rely on the website to distribute news and advertising in the future.  Click Here for the full story.

Tuesday NewsClips

Corbett Takes A Hit In New Inquirer Poll
Poll: Democrat Kane Leading Fee In AG’s Race
GOP U.S. Senate Candidate: No Abortion For Rape Victims
GOP Senate Candidate: Out Of Wedlock Pregnancy, Rape Similar
Corbett: Delegates Should Look To PA As Budget Model
Corbett Leads Delegation, But Won’t Speak
Voter ID Safetynet Cards Available At PennDOT
New PA Voter IDs Issued
Right To Know Group Opposes Poll Access Limits
McNeill Picked To Replace Brennan On Ballot
Rep. Brennan’s Legal Troubles May Not Be Deal Breaker
Bucks Congressional Race Could Be Burbs’ Best
Specter In Hospital With Serious Illness
Editorial: Big Step For Fair Taxation Online
Editorial: Corbett Needs To Shift Gears On Transportation Funding
Western PA Colleges Exceed $1 Billion In Research
State Awards Lehigh Health Information Exchange Grant
Pittsburgh Area Jobless Rate Up
Lehigh Valley Unemployment Rate Spikes
Erie Region’s Jobless Numbers Increase
NE Unemployment Jumps As Workers Seek To Return
PA Manufacturers Worry Over Labor Shortages Overstated
Harrisburg Ordered To Double Income Tax
Judge Approves Harrisburg Income Tax Increase
Judge Orders HBG Income Tax Increase, No Bond Bailout
HBG Mayor, Controller Spar Over Income Tax
HBG’s New Public Works Director Has Arrest Record
Click Here for today's Environmental News

August 24, 2012

August 27 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The August 27 PA Environment Digest is now available.  Click Here to print entire Digest.

Have You Registered For Ohio River Watershed Celebration Sept. 27?

It’s that time of year again to register for the Ohio River Watershed Celebration to be held on the Three Rivers in Pittsburgh on September 27.
This year the main cruise will feature presentations by Michael Krancer, Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, and John Arway, Executive Director of the Fish and Boat Commission.
Join the fun as hundreds of people interested in protecting and restoring the watersheds around Western Pennsylvania come together to network, learn new skills, share their success stories and enjoy a cruise on the Gateway Clipper Fleet leaving from Station Square in Pittsburgh.
Online registration is available.
Poster Contest/Cash Prizes
As in the past years, the organizers of the Celebration would like to recognize the positive efforts and impacts of small local organizations on their watershed by offering cash prizes of $500.00 and $250.00 for winning displays in each of four categories-- Community Outreach and Education, Most Innovative, Best Example of Partnership and Best Overall Display.  
These awards are for formal or informal associations, alliances, environmental groups or like-minded organization in the Ohio River Watershed.  (They do not include local, state or federal agencies or private businesses.)
The theme this year is “Our Rivers – Get to the Point” and we would like you to try to incorporate this somewhere in your display.  Tell us how you “got to the point” with your project!
If your organization would like to participate in the contest this year register for the event, check off Poster Option when you register online.
Please send an email to Sylvia Danehy at: and confirm that you want to enter the poster contest and then your display will be placed on the list to be judged.

Friday NewsClips

Court Sets Sept. 13 Hearing On Voter ID
Court Moves Voter ID Appeal Up On Its Schedule
Colleague Slaps Voter ID Sponsor
Editorial: Corbett Tells DOJ To Mine Own Business
Judge Combines Trials For Justice Melvin, Janine Orie
Judge Orders One Trial For Justice Melvin, Janine Orie
Judge Rejects New Corruption Trial For DeWeese
Rep. Brennan Is Off The Fall Ballot
Stilp Uses 8-Foot Proper To Offer Medicine To Barletta
Green Party Gets Its Ticket On PA Ballot
Poll: No Ryan Bump For Romney In PA
State System Will Start Classes Without Faculty Contract
ACT Scores Up Among PA High School Students
Corbett Looking For Charter School Reform This Fall
Editorial: School Rules On Drinking
Opportunity Scholarship Program Funds Not Yet Available
Eichelberger Discusses Report On Local Mandate Relief (Podcast)
Judge Hears Arguments Over HBG Tax Case
Harrisburg Receiver Takes Tax Fight To Court
Does State Have Right To Force HBG To Raise Taxes?
Click Here for today's Environmental News

August 21, 2012

Corbett Appoints Kaiser To Gaming Board, Carusone To Legislative Affairs

Gov. Tom Corbett Tuesday announced he appointed Annmarie Kaiser, currently his Secretary of Legislative Affairs, to serve as a member of the Gaming Control Board. The board oversees the 11 casinos now operating statewide.
Gov. Corbett also named Christopher Carusone to succeed Kaiser as Secretary of Legislative Affairs. Carusone is currently Executive Deputy General Counsel in the Office of General Counsel. Previously, he was a Chief Deputy Attorney General when Corbett served as Attorney General of Pennsylvania.
"Annmarie Kaiser has done a tremendous job to help me achieve some of my administration's key legislative accomplishments," Corbett said. "She helped to secure the enactment of historic education and tort reforms as well as two on-time state budgets. I am grateful for her service to my office and to the commonwealth."
Kaiser has had a long association with Gov. Corbett. When Corbett was Pennsylvania's Attorney General prior to being elected governor, Kaiser served as the acting Chief of Staff and the Director of Legislative Affairs for the Office of Attorney General.
She previously served as Executive Director of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, a position she held from May 1997 until April 2005.
Kaiser also served as the Director of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Institute, the training affiliate of the organization. Kaiser served as a Deputy District Attorney in Dauphin County, specializing in child abuse prosecution and sexual assault cases. She also previously served as law clerk for the Dauphin County Argument Court.
Kaiser earned her bachelor's degree from Loyola College and her law degree from the Widener University School of Law.
The seven-member Gaming Control Board was established through the passage of Act 71 of 2004, also known as the Race Horse Development and Gaming Act. The board oversaw the creation of a casino industry offering both slot machine and table gaming.
The 11 casinos now in operation in Pennsylvania offer both slot machine and table game gambling, employ more than 16,000 people, and collectively have generated more than $6.5 billion in tax and license fee revenue since the first casino opened in November 2006.

Governor's Manufacturing Council Issues Report

Gov. Tom Corbett Tuesday joined manufacturing leaders to announce the findings and recommendations of his Manufacturing Advisory Council during a visit to Westport Axle in the Lehigh Valley.
“Manufacturing adds more than $70 billion in value each year to our state’s economy and employs more than 570,000 Pennsylvanians,” said Corbett. “Creating a business climate where manufacturers like Westport Axle can prosper will result in a growing economy and more jobs for our citizens. The company we are visiting today will be adding more than 500 new jobs.”
Recognizing manufacturing’s value to Pennsylvania’s economy, Corbett late last year commissioned a private advisory council to identify and prioritize top issues that can help influence, sustain and advance that sector’s statewide growth.
The 24-member Governor’s Manufacturing Advisory Council, or GMAC, led by the Team PA Foundation, today sent its report to Corbett and the General Assembly outlining a list of 15 key recommendations it believes will help Pennsylvania remain competitive in today’s global economy.
“I commend the work of this council and their commitment to this critical Pennsylvania industry,” said Corbett. “I am proud to say my administration has already taken the first steps to address some of the highlighted issues and we look forward to working with industry leaders to address others identified in this report.”
The report focuses on the building blocks of a strong manufacturing sector; new sets of tools to drive innovation and product development; better access to domestic and international markets; strategic public/private collaboration; improved access to capital; and a highly skilled and educated workforce.
The council also found that many companies are having a problem finding workers with the education and skills to fill the growing number of advanced manufacturing positions available.
“We’ve recently seen the largest increase in manufacturing jobs in the state since 1991, but we can do better,” Corbett said. “Bridging the gap between job-seekers and employers will address the great disconnect that currently exists between the number of available jobs and the number of people who are looking for work.”
The GMAC panel, co-chaired by Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary C. Alan Walker and Carlos Cardoso, chairman, president and CEO of Kennametal Inc., gathered information about challenges facing the industry from a variety of experts and manufacturers. The council conducted meetings over a six-month period starting in January.
“Gov. Corbett tasked the council with tackling the issues manufacturers know hinder their ability to grow and pose the biggest threat to a strong manufacturing sector,” said Cardoso. “The group employed a common-sense approach to address manufacturing challenges in a fair and practical way.”
The council consisted of 23 members from a cross-section of manufacturing interests, including heavy machinery, minerals, pharmaceuticals, plastics, steel and textiles. The council also includes three members of manufacturing trade associations and one from the Industrial Resource Center. Team Pennsylvania Foundation funded the council and no taxpayer dollars were used to support this initiative.
Gov. Corbett announced the findings during a visit to Westport Axle, a manufacturer of sub-assemblies for the automotive industry. Westport opened its 516,800-square-foot Lehigh Valley plant earlier this year, becoming the company’s first facility in Pennsylvania. Westport will invest more than $5 million and will create 518 new jobs within three years.
“My goal is straightforward; a healthy economy and a job for every Pennsylvanian that wants one,” Corbett said. “This report provides a solid roadmap for us to work together to achieve that goal in the manufacturing sector.”
The major recommendations in the report include--
Talent & Workforce--
-- Develop an “Adopt a School” Program led by the manufacturing community
-- Industry-led standardization of skill needs and curriculum
-- Better connect job seekers with job openings in manufacturing sector
-- Expand and better support career and technical education in Pennsylvania
-- Support proven strategies to increase workforce pipeline for manufacturers
-- Create measures and support systems for educators and school districts
Opening New Markets--
-- Develop a Statewide Pennsylvania Energy Plan
-- Increase use of existing state services in export & technical assistance
through improved marketing and private sector engagement
-- Invest in infrastructure improvements to ensure cost-effective market
access for manufacturers
Making Government Work Better--
-- Use tax reform to encourage investment, innovation, and job creation
-- Improve Commonwealth communication and processes to maximize
regulatory compliance while reducing cost burden
    -- State regulations should closely mirror and not exceed Federal policy.  The added
costs of compliance due to lack of coordination of these two standards hinder
investment and growth.
    -- Simplify and standardize permitting and regulatory processes to both maximize
compliance while lessening the cost of compliance.
    -- Increase use and marketing of pollution prevention and compliance assistance 012 |
services through DEP and their partners, which provide valuable technical assistance
to many manufacturers as they sought to comply with environmental regulations.
    -- Implement regulatory review and include sunset provisions on all new regulations to ensure periodic review and evaluation for performance.
    -- Support for House Bill 1349 (Pickett-R-Susquehanna) requiring an impact statement on small business and House Bill 2022 (Peifer-R-Monroe) creating a Business Permitting Portal.
-- Develop a Pennsylvania Innovation Marketplace
-- Improve collaboration between business, government, and trade
organizations focused on business innovation and growth
Access To Capital--
-- Provide greater access to information, tools, and training on capital types,
access, and use tailored to unique needs of manufacturers.

The full report is available online.

Tuesday NewsClips

Corbett Aide: U.S. Inquiry Into PA Voter ID Politically Motivated
Corbett Aide Rebukes Justice Dept. Over Voter ID
Pennsylvania Balks On Federal Voter ID Request
Black Groups Focus On Offering Voter IDs
Philly Official Issues Plea For Voter ID Aid
NE Lawmakers To Host Seminar On Voter ID
Editorial: State Ethics Agency Conflicted
Critz, Rothfus Camps Square Off On Twitter
House Panel Considers Action On Alternative Taxes
Settlement Revives PA Mortgage Assistance Program
Editorial: Only Corbett’s Green Light Can Fix Transportation
PA Puts 520 Used Cars On Public Auction Block
Op-Ed: College Students Should Build Their Own Brands
DCED Worker Files Suit Against His Own Agency
HBG Authority Debt Growing $1 Million A Month
Click Here for today's Environmental News