February 12, 2016

Feb. 15 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The February 15 PA Environment Digest is now available.  Here are just a few of the headlines--

Davitt Woodwell, President and CEO of the PA Environmental Council, and Harry Campbell, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Office of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, issued the following statement in response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget address Tuesday:
Today Gov. Wolf delivered his 2016 budget address, despite the fact that Pennsylvania still does not have a complete operating budget in place for the current fiscal year. While the state government’s failure to deliver a budget has adverse ramifications across the Commonwealth, it is particularly ominous for Pennsylvania’s environment.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA believes that Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed $32.7 billion budget for 2016-17 lacks the resources to implement Pennsylvania’s new, improved clean water strategy. Unless the Commonwealth invests more in clean water, Pennsylvania will not meet its clean water commitments.
“Pennsylvania’s new strategy for cleaning up polluted waterways requires the necessary investments from Gov. Wolf, the legislature, as well as a unified effort across the Commonwealth to implement the plan it announced in January,” CBF Pennsylvania Executive Director Harry Campbell said. “While this ‘rebooted’ effort establishes a framework for success, we do not see enough resources in the Governor’s budget proposal to ensure that success.”

The Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center, DEP and other partners are hosting Pennsylvania In The Balance on March 1-3 in Hershey to bring together leaders in the agriculture and environmental community to identify innovative solutions to meeting Pennsylvania’s commitments to cleaning up its portion of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

In a 5 to 4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday issued an order putting a hold EPA’s Clean Power Climate Plan until challenges to the regulation can be heard by the Federal Appeals Court.  Court arguments are set to begin June 2.
The Allegheny Front radio program Tweeted Wednesday morning DEP “will continue planning and engagement with stakeholders on the Clean Power Plan” and DEP Secretary John Quigley said Thursday DEP will have a plan done by the September 6 deadline with a draft plan going out for public comment on or about Memorial Day.

An analysis of public water systems in Pennsylvania cities with high lead exposure rates shows  drinking water is not the source of the lead.
Out of the more than 150 public water systems reviewed by the Department of Environmental Protection none had exceeded EPA standards for lead in the drinking water. The water systems tested serve more than 6 million people – nearly half of the residents of the state.

Dr. Bill Strosnider, an Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering at Saint Francis University (Cambria County), has been working to correct acid mine drainage problems in Bolivia since 2006 when he as a graduate student at the University of Oklahoma.
He recently led a group of four volunteers from BioMost, Inc.-- Tim Danehy, Margaret Dunn, Ryan Mahoney and Buck Neely-- to complete preliminary design work on a water treatment project in Potosi, Bolivia, the second-poorest nation in our hemisphere.
[Note: BioMost, Inc. personnel have been involved in the design of more than 230 passive treatment components of all types which are successfully treating a combined total of over 1 billion gallons per year. In addition, thousands of acres of active and abandoned mine lands have been successfully reclaimed using Growing Greener Watershed Restoration funds and many other resources]

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful received the 2015 Keep America Beautiful President’s Circle Award recognition at Keep America Beautiful’s recent National Conference in Orlando, Florida.
The President’s Circle Award recognizes exemplary performance made by certified affiliates of the national nonprofit in creating clean, green and beautiful communities.

With the help of 450 volunteers in four Northeast counties, the PA Environmental Council and its partners were able to clean up nearly 50 tons of trash and over 3,645 tires at illegal dumpsites in Pike, Potter, Susquehanna and Wayne counties in 2015.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is now accepting applications for its 2016 round of Community Conservation Partnership Grants.  The deadline for applications is April 13.  (formal notice)
Grant assistance from the Department helps, communities and organizations in this Commonwealth plan, acquire and develop recreation, park and trail facilities, and conserve open space.

The PA Parks and Forests Foundation Monday announced it is displaying the winning photographs from its 2015 Through the Seasons photo contest in the East Wing Rotunda of the State Capital until February 26.

Love is in the air in Harrisburg as the city’s famous pair of peregrine falcons have returned to their nest on the 15th floor ledge of the Rachel Carson State Office Building just in time for Valentine’s Day.

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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Questions?: Send email to David Hess at: DHess@CrisciAssociates.com