News from the Pennsylvania Department of 

Environmental Protection

Pennsylvania Department 

of Environmental Protection

DEP Calendar of Events

Nov. 5
Keystone Energy Education Program Workshop, 8:30 a.m., Monroe County Conservation District, Stroudsburg

Nov. 6
Keystone Energy Education Program Workshop, 8:30 a.m., DEP South-Central Regional Office, Harrisburg.

Nov. 6
Delaware River Basin Commission Flood Advisory Committee meeting, 10 a.m., Nurture Nature Center, Easton.

Nov. 6
Sewage Advisory Committee meeting, 10:30 a.m., Rachel Carson State Office Building, Harrisburg.

Nov. 7
Solid Waste Advisory Committee meeting, 10 a.m., Rachel Carson State Office Building, Harrisburg.

Nov. 12
State Conservation Commission meeting, 1 p.m., Pa. Dept. of Agriculture, Harrisburg.

Nov. 13
Environmental Justice Advisory Board meeting, 8:30 a.m., Rachel Carson State Office Building, Harrisburg.

Nov. 14
DEP Northwest Regional Roundtable meeting, DEP Northwest Regional Office, Meadville.

Nov. 19
Citizens Advisory Council meeting, 11 a.m., Rachel Carson State Office Building, Harrisburg.

Nov. 20
Water Resources Advisory Committee meeting, 9:30 a.m., Rachel Carson State Office Building, Harrisburg.

Nov. 26
Keystone Energy Education Program Workshop, 8:30 a.m., Allegheny Intermediate Unit, Homestead.

Upcoming Webinars

Nov. 15
Public Participation Center Overview, 9:30 a.m. To register, click here.




Public Input

Nov. 25
Comment deadline on the draft Policy for the Consideration of Community Environmental Projects in Conjunction with Assessment of Civil Penalty

Dec. 4
Comment deadline on the Policy for Implementing DEP's Permit Review Process and Permit Decision Guarantee 


Innovative Partnership Produces Dramatic Results in Cleanup of Acid Mine Drainage

ADAMS TWP., CAMBRIA CO. -- The operation of a newly constructed acid mine drainage treatment facility in Adams Township, Cambria County, is having a dramatic and visible impact on the water quality of the Little Conemaugh River. The once-orange waterway that was spoiled by acid mine drainage is showing significant improvement thanks to a groundbreaking and historic partnership among government, industry, watershed groups and the local community.

In 2012, DEP signed a consent order and agreement with Rosebud Mining to treat the St. Michael discharge to eliminate a major source of acid mine drainage while allowing the company to safely mine a significant coal reserve adjacent to the discharge.

Because the treated water would still contain relatively high levels of sulfates and Total Dissolved Solids, it would not meet federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. This roadblock threatened to kill the entire project until DEP staff worked with EPA and the company to come up with a groundbreaking agreement for a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit for the St. Michael facility.

The result was the first mining permit issued in Pennsylvania to require Rosebud to document that its treatment of the St. Michael drainage discharge and others, as part of its mining operation, is improving water quality. It is also the first agreement to provide a method to calculate and report acid mine drainage load reductions on the river.

Construction of the plant is now complete and the test period of operation began in mid-July.

Gov. Corbett Thanks DEP Refinery Team

NORRISTOWN -- In 2011, Sunoco and ConocoPhillips announced plans to sell or close their aging refineries in the Philadelphia metro area. The economic implications for the region were profound.

As ideas for saving and repurposing these resources began to emerge, DEP joined an aggressive effort to make the facilities attractive to new investors and operators. The agency was prepared to work at the speed of business without sacrificing environmental protections.

To date, DEP's Southeast Regional Office has expedited approvals needed to close down old refinery operations and construct new projects.

The projects include:
- Philadelphia Energy Solutions' plans to off-load and process Bakken crude oil from North Dakota at Sunoco's Philadelphia facility;
- Retrofits and new construction at the former Sunoco refinery in Marcus Hook to support Braskem America and Sunoco Logistics Partners LP, for the production of plastics, and the processing and storage of 70,000 barrels per day of propane and ethane from Marcellus shale in western Pennsylvania; and
- The transfer of ConocoPhillips refinery at Trainer to Monroe Energy for the production of jet fuel for the airline industry.

At the heart of DEP's refinery turn-around effort was a team of six members of the region's air quality program and an attorney, who worked long hours and under tight deadlines to transfer permits, review new applications, obtain emissions reduction credits and ensure compliance. The team worked closely with buyers and sellers to reallocate refinery assets with minimal disruption to operations the kind of essential effort that often goes unrecognized.

That was not the case for this team, however, who were personally thanked by Gov. Tom Corbett during an Oct. 24 visit to the department's Norristown office. Calling their work exceptional, Gov. Corbett thanked Jim Rebarchak, Sachin Shankar, George Eckert, Xiaoyin Sun, Janine Tulloch-Reid, Heather Henry and Doug White for making the refinery transitions, then joined Acting DEP Secretary Chris Abruzzo and Regional Director Cosmo Servidio in thanking the regional management team for its good work.

Register Now for Pa. Brownfields Conference Dec. 9-11

HARRISBURG -- Early bird registration is now available for this year's Pennsylvania Brownfields Conference to be held Dec. 9-11 at the Radisson Valley Forge Hotel in King of Prussia, Montgomery County. The conference is a collaborative effort of DEP and the Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania.

"Positioning for the Future" will highlight building community partnerships, incorporating sustainable design into projects, accessing financial assistance and keeping abreast of regulatory changes. There will also be mobile workshops at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and Conshohocken waterfront, a video showcase of success stories, technical updates on market trends and treatment options, and a tiered track of courses that will provide continuing education credits for professionals attending the conference. The popular Extreme Makeover competition will also take place.

Attendees will have the chance to network with local, state and federal government officials, private developers, economic development agencies and consultants. New to this year's conference will be an optional opportunity to meet one-on-one with the directors of DEP's regional offices and members of their environmental cleanup and local government staff.

To register, visit the conference website.

New Educational Video Features DEP Labs
DEP Bureau of Laboratories

HARRISBURG -- The operations and staff at DEP's Bureau of Laboratories in Harrisburg are featured in a new educational video on the department's new YouTube channel. The goal of the video is to highlight and explain the complex technical work of this nationally-accredited laboratory and how it supports DEP's mission of protecting public health and the environment.

The YouTube channel is available on DEP's new online Public Participation Center that was launched earlier this month.

Click here to view the video.


Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection 400 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17105