December 5, 2014

Dec. 8 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The Dec. 8 PA Environment Digest is now available.  Click Here to print entire Digest.

Budget Secretary: Fiscal Year Will End In Balance, No Additional Drilling Anticipated
During his mid-year budget briefing Wednesday, Budget Secretary Charles Zogby said the state is still projecting to end the FY 2014-15 budget year in balance with perhaps a slight $1 million surplus.
Secretary Zogby said fiscal year-to-date General Fund collections total $10.6 billion, which is $109 million, or 1 percent, above estimate.  He noted an additional $80 million in revenue is expected in transfers to the General Fund from the Liquor Control Board.  (Click Here for more information on state revenues through November.)
The non-partisan Independent Fiscal Office reported in November Pennsylvania faces a $1.85 billion shortfall in revenue-- $171 million for FY 2014-15 and $1.679 million in FY 2015-16.  Click Here for a copy of the full report.  Click Here for a copy of the presentation.

Gov.-Elect Wolf: We Don’t Know What The Real Budget Deficit Is
Gov.-Elect Tom Wolf and Josh Shapiro, co-chair of his Budget Deficit and Fiscal Stabilization Task Force, told reporters Wednesday we do not know the real size of the state’s budget deficit-- whether it’s $2 billion or likely more-- and that is Wolf’s first order of business before decisions are made on how to address it.
Wolf also said Gov. Corbett should hold off on making key decisions-- like implementing HealthyPA and deciding the future of the York School District receivership-- until he takes office.  Wolf repeated his position he will undo HealthPA and seek to expand Medicaid when he takes office January 20.

Gov.-Elect Wolf Expects To Name Agency Transition Committees Within 10 Days
In a conference call with media on Thursday, Gov.-elect Tom Wolf and Transition Steering Committee Chair John Fry said they are in the final stages of vetting agency transition committee members and should be in a position to name them in seven to 10 days.
Members of the Transition Steering Committee will be assigned agencies and oversee  agency transition committees that will be asking what the most pressing issues are for each agency and ways they can be addressed.  The goal is to have agency reports delivered before the inauguration.

House GOP Leader: EPA Carbon Standards Would Devastate Power Plants, Destroy Jobs
Rep. Dave Reed (R-Indiana), the newly elected House Republican Majority Leader, sent a letter on November 24 to Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, explaining his opposition to the agency’s plan to enact President Barack Obama’s proposed emission regulations for power plants.  

Officials Renew Commitment To Cleaner Water In Delaware Estuary
Officials from environmental agencies across the Delaware River Estuary region celebrated a unique partnership Friday with the signing of an agreement renewing their commitment to cleaner water in the tidal Delaware River and Bay.
Once so polluted that fish could not survive in its urban reaches much of the year, the Delaware River has made a remarkable recovery over the last several decades.  Today it hosts over 200 species of fish, a sustainably managed oyster fishery, and the world’s largest breeding horseshoe crab population.  

PRC, ECOvanta, Partners Collect Almost 250,000 Pounds Of E-Waste In 2014
During 2014, the PA Resources Council and its partners collected and recycled nearly 250,000 pounds of electronic waste in eastern Pennsylvania.