March 6, 2015

March 9 PA Environment Digest Now Available

March 9 PA Environment Digest Now Available.  Click Here To Print Entire Digest

Wolf Proposes Level Funding For DEP, DCNR, $325M Alternative Energy Bond
Gov. Tom Wolf proposed his first budget Tuesday suggesting part of a new natural gas severance tax be used to fund a $325 million alternative energy bond initiative.  An additional $10 million from the severance tax would go to the Department of Environmental Protection for Oil and Gas Program enforcement and a new abandoned oil and gas well plugging initiative.
There is also mention of a new $500 million revenue bond issued through the PA Infrastructure Investment Authority for drinking water and wastewater system improvements.
Although administrative funding for both DEP and DCNR was essentially flat compared to last year, both agencies would see a complement increase for the first time in several years-- 50 new positions at  DEP for Oil and Gas Program enforcement and 20 new positions at DCNR earmarked for Point State Park and Washington Crossing State Park.

Analysis: PA Environmental Funding: Eat Your Vegetables, Then You’ll Get Dessert
Every parent has said, “Eat your vegetables, then you can have dessert,” trying to convince a reluctant offspring to get the vitamins and minerals they need and only then something they don’t need, but obviously want, sometimes very badly.
The difference between “wants” and “needs” is critical to the state budget discussion that will happen over the next few months.
The budget proposed this week by Gov. Tom Wolf has some “vegetables,” but most of the new environmental funding proposed is by far “dessert.”

DEP Holds Media Webinar March 9 On Chapter 78 Drilling Regulation Changes
The Department of Environmental Protection late Friday announced it would hold a webinar for media on March 9 starting at 10:30 on changes it will propose in a final version of the Chapter 78 drilling regulations.
Acting DEP Secretary John Quigley and Deputy Secretary for Oil and Gas Operations Scott Perry will discuss the changes to the regulations.

DEP Citizens Advisory Council To Hear Testimony On Deep Coal Mining Impact Report
The DEP Citizens Advisory Council is setting aside two hours at its March 17 meeting to hear public comments 2008-2013 Underground Coal Mining Impact Report required by the state’s Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Act (Act 54).

PA League Of Women Voters Honor Franklin L. Kury April 7, Tickets Now Available
The PA League of Women Voters will honor former Senator Franklin L. Kury (D-Northumberland) and author of the Environmental Rights Amendment to Pennsylvania’s Constitution at a reception on April 7 at the Colonial Ridge Country Club, 4901 Linglestown Road, Harrisburg.