April 3, 2015

April 6 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The April 6 PA Environment Digest is now available.  Here are just a few of the headlines--

DCNR Says 1,600 Of 2.2 Million Acres Of State Forest Land Disturbed By Drilling
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources told the Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday about 1,600 acres of DCNR’s 2.2 million acres of State Forest land are now disturbed by Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling pads and pipelines.
In response to a question by Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, Acting DCNR Secretary Cindy Dunn said about $117 million of the expected $130 million in royalties coming from drilling on DCNR lands next fiscal year will be used by the agency to pay administrative costs.  
However, she noted the proposed budget includes an additional nearly $20 million from the General Fund to help wean the agency off of using royalty monies for operational costs.

5 Things We Learned From Senate, House Hearings On DCNR’s Budget
The Senate and House Appropriations Committee hearings on Gov. Wolf’s proposed budget for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources are now complete.  Here are five things we learned as a result of those hearings--

DEP Opens Comment Period For Proposed Final Chapter 78 Drilling Regulations
The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the April 4 PA Bulletin of a proposed final Chapter 78 (conventional) and Chapter 78A (unconventional) drilling performance standard regulations for a 30 day public comment period with no additional public hearings.

Analysis: Myth-- Conventional Oil And Gas Drilling Is Benign
Representatives of the conventional (non-Marcellus Shale) oil and gas industry in Pennsylvania are trying to perpetuate the myth that conventional drilling is “benign” and doesn’t affect the environment.
Last year, legislation-- Senate Bill 1378 (Scarnati-R-Jefferson) and House Bill 2350 (Causer-R-Cameron) -- was introduced to force DEP to adopt separate regulations for conventional well drillers used the word “benign” in the introduction of the bill to describe conventional drilling industry, but they carefully, but inaccurately, added “after the 1984 Oil and Gas Act was passed.”
Let’s look at the facts.

Winners Of 2015 Western PA Environmental Awards Announced
Four environmental conservation and education programs from throughout Western Pennsylvania will share $20,000 from Dominion and the PA Environmental Council for innovation and effectiveness in making a positive impact on the Western Pennsylvania environment.

PA Resources Council Cans For Pets Initiative Recycles 300,000 Aluminum Cans
Cans for Pets” – an initiative encouraging individuals to aid shelter animals through responsible recycling – has reached the milestone of collecting 300,000 aluminum pet food cans in thanks to the support of pet lovers across the United States.  
The program, funded by the Alcoa Foundation and coordinated by the PA Resources Council, has offered a 5 cent donation to a local animal shelter for every aluminum pet food can recycled through the program.

PA Extends Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Deadline To May 1
Gov. Tom Wolf Tuesday announced Pennsylvanians struggling to pay home heating bills will now have until May 1 to apply for financial help through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

To read the Digest, visit: www.PaEnvironmentDigest.com.  Click Here to print the entire Digest.

PA Environment Digest is edited by David E. Hess, former Secretary Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and is published as a service of Crisci Associates.

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