Analysis: 5 Things To Look For In Gov. Wolf’s Budget Address Next Week
When Gov. Tom Wolf presents his first budget to the General Assembly March 3, environmental advocates will be looking to see if he will at least make a downpayment on reversing the 12 year almost steady decline in state environmental funding which has so far claimed over $2.4 billion.
Given the $2.3 billion General Fund deficit, no one is expecting miracles, but will there be some steps in the right direction?
Here are five things to look for-- hope for-- in the Governor’s budget proposal--
IFO Estimates Act 13 Drilling Fee Revenue Down In 2014 To $220.4 Million
The Independent Fiscal Office this week released an update on the Act 13 drilling impact fee revenue saying in 2014 the fee is estimated to generate $220.5 million, down slightly from $225.7 million in 2013. IFO said that equates to a 2.1 percent effective tax rate.
The effective tax rate, calculated by IFO, has been decreasing steadily since the fee was first imposed from an effective rate of 5.3 percent in 2011, 4.6 percent in 2012, 2.5 percent in 2013 to 2.1 percent in 2014.
Wolf Sends Obama Letter Asking For Federal Action To Prevent Oil Train Accidents
Gov. Tom Wolf Thursday wrote a letter to President Barack Obama to express concern and call for action to improve the safety of transportation of crude oil by rail in Pennsylvania. Each week, roughly sixty to seventy trains carrying crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken region travel through the Commonwealth destined for Philadelphia or another East Coast refinery.
CBF, Stroud Water Center Applaud Introduction Of New Stream Buffer Bill
On Wednesday, Sen. John Rafferty (R-Montgomery) introduced Senate Bill 560 which would authorize municipalities to adopt regulations requiring riparian buffers and the Department of Environmental Protection to enforce a 100 foot stream buffer requirement.
WPCAMR: Film About Operation Scarlift Mine Reclamation Program Now Online
The Western Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation made available at film on YouTube produced by the Department of Environmental Resources in 1970 to describe the impact of Operation Scarlift in cleaning up Pennsylvania’s abandoned mines, putting out mine fires and deal with mine subsidence damage.
DEP Citizens Advisory Council Hearing March 27 On Act 54 Mining Impact Report
The Citizens Advisory Council to the Department of Environmental Protection announced Thursday it will hold an additional public hearing to accept testimony on the 2008-2013 Underground Coal Mining Impact Report required by the state’s Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Act (Act 54).
The hearing will take place on March 27, 2015, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at DEP’s California District Mining Office, Monongahela Conference Room, 25 Technology Drive, California Technology Park, Coal Center, PA 15423.
PA Parks & Forests Award Winners Announced, Awards Banquet May 5The PA Parks and Forests Foundation Thursday recognized the outstanding service, programs and exemplary work being done in state parks and forests with the announcement of its 2015 award winners.