April 15, 2016

April 18 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The April 18 PA Environment Digest is now available.  Here are just a few of the headlines--

Commonwealth Court Judge James Gardner Colins Friday denied a request by groups representing conventional oil and gas drillers to invalidate DEP’s final Chapter 78 (conventional) and 78a (unconventional, Marcellus Shale) drilling regulations updates because they violated the provisions of a 2014 amendment to the Fiscal Code.
This action now clears the way for the regulatory review process to continue and for the Independent Regulatory Review Commission to consider the regulations on April 21.

Philly.com reported Friday evening DEP Secretary John Quigley told a Villanova University law school symposium “years of relentless budget cuts” have left DEP ill-equipped for its role to monitor the tens of thousands of miles of natural gas pipelines to be build in Pennsylvania over the next decade.  Quigley said an estimated 2,000 major pipeline projects are in some stage of planning or construction in Pennsylvania.

Resource Recycling reported Thursday Closed Loop Refining and Recovery, a major recycler of CRT televisions and monitors collected by electronics waste programs, including many in Pennsylvania, is “on the brink of closing and leaving more than 90 million pounds of stockpiled CRT material in its wake.”

At a hearing of the House Democratic Policy Committee Monday, Liz Robinson, Executive Director of the nonprofit Energy Coordinating Agency in Philadelphia, promoted energy efficiency as the cheapest, cleanest and safest form of energy that eliminate building energy waste and creates more jobs.  Here is the text of her remarks before the Committee--

The Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Bloomberg New Energy Finance this week released its 2016 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook showing Pennsylvania is well-positioned to accelerate its clean energy deployment, is a leader in energy efficiency and receives significant economic benefits from these investments.
The report notes Pennsylvania, like much of the country, is already shifting to low-cost, lower-carbon natural gas as a result of cheap natural gas driven by in-state production.  The state is scheduled to retire another 18 percent of its coal generating capacity by 2020.
In fact, Bloomberg found Pennsylvania is already halfway to achieving compliance with the EPA Clean Power Climate Plan as a result of the increased use of natural gas.

As Pennsylvania renews efforts to clean the state's waterways and the Chesapeake Bay, Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is helping to craft a strategy in which farmers spearhead clean-water initiatives.   Agriculture has high standards for conservation, with roots in a culture of stewardship, and farmers are ready to lead and be the solution for clean water, according to Matthew Royer, director of the college's Agriculture and Environment Center.

The Keep PA Beautiful’s annual Beautiful newsletter highlighting 2015 program accomplishments and initiatives.  In her cover letter, Shannon Reiter, President of KPB, said--  In 2015, we celebrated twenty-five years of building clean and beautiful communities by giving away 25 grants in 25 days in support of grassroots community improvement efforts. We loved watching these projects come to fruition and were astounded that these projects brought back more than $250,000 in community match.

Methane emissions, the main component of natural gas and a highly potent greenhouse gas — and their consequences for Pennsylvania in the natural gas age — are the topic of April’s “Environmental Focus.”  This edition of the PA Environmental Council’s monthly environmental affairs television program airs on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) on April 17 at 4 p.m.  Check Here for local listings.

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