July 4, 2014

July 7 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The July 7 PA Environment Digest is now available.  Click Here To Print Entire Digest

Budget Briefing: Much More Drilling, No Signed Budget, Senate Returning July 8
At best the new FY 2014-15 state budget is still a work in progress.  Although the Senate and House passed a General Fund budget on June 30, Gov. Corbett has still not signed it.  In addition, work on the follow-along Fiscal Code bill implementing the budget (and more), still isn’t done.  The Senate is returning July 8 to consider what to do with the bill.  Here’s what you need to know.

PEC Opposes End Run On Conventional Oil, Gas Well Regulations In Fiscal Code Bill
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council this week expressed its strong opposition to language included in the Fiscal Code bill-- House Bill 278 (Baker-R-Tioga)-- that fundamentally changes the way conventional oil and gas operations are regulated in Pennsylvania.
The language came from Senate Bill 1378 (Scarnati-R- Jefferson) introduced on May 22 and House Bill 2350 (Causer-R-Cameron) introduced on June 16.

Rep. Miller: House Passes Drinking Water Well Standards Bill
Pennsylvania Friday moved closer to joining 48 other states which have in place drinking water well construction standards, when the House passed House Bill 343, said Rep. Ron Miller (R-York), Majority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, and prime sponsor of the bill.

DEP Citizens Advisory Council: Endangered Species Review, Non-Impact Drilling July 15
The agenda for the July 15 DEP Citizens Advisory Council meeting will feature presentations on DCNR’s new endangered species permit review tool and Gov. Corbett’s Executive Order authorizing non-impact drilling on State Park and Forest Land.
DEP Chief Counsel Dennis Whitaker will also provide Council and update on DEP’s review of the PA Supreme Court ruling in December that declared parts of the Act 13 drilling law unconstitutional.
The July monthly report from DEP features the status of key initiatives within the agency.

PEC Urges Toomey Not To Eliminate Federal Transportation Alternatives Program
The PA Environmental Council Wednesday wrote to U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey urging him to discontinue efforts to eliminate the federal Transportation Alternatives Program which helps fund trail development projects in Pennsylvania and other states.  The text of the letter follows--