News from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

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DEP Calendar of Events

June 17
Citizens Advisory Council meeting, 9 a.m., Room 105, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg.  Contact: Jen Swan, 717-783-8727.

June 18
State Board for Certification of Water and Wastewater Systems Operators meeting, 10 a.m., 10th Floor Conference Room, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St. Harrisburg. Contact: Cheri Sansoni, 717-772-5158.

June 18
Small Water Systems Technical Assistance Center Board meeting, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Room 105, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg. Contact: Tom Fridirici, 717-787-2172.

June 26
DEP Waterways and Wetlands Activities Open House, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., DEP South-central Regional Office, 909 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg. Contact:  Lisa Kasianowitz, 717-787-1323.

June 26
DEP public hearing on HSCA Prompt Interim Response at the McQuaid Property and Nearby Areas in the Borough of Aspinwall and O'Hara Township in Allegheny County, 6:30 p.m., Aspinwall Borough Building, 217 Commercial Ave., Aspinwall. Contact: John Poister, 412-442-4000. 

July 9
Technical Advisory Committee on Diesel-Powered Equipment meeting, 10 a.m., Fayette County Health Center, 100 New Salem Rd., Uniontown. Contact: Allison D. Gaida, 724-439-7289.

July 15
Environmental Quality Board meeting, 9 a.m., Room 105, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market Street, Harrisburg. Contact: Jen Swan, 717-783-8727.

July 15
Citizens Advisory Council meeting, 10 a.m., Room 105, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market Street, Harrisburg. Contact: Jen Swan, 717-783-8727.

July 23
Small Business Compliance Advisory Committee meeting., 10 a.m.-1 p.m., 12th Floor Conference Room, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg.  Contact: Susan Foster.

Upcoming Webinars

June 24
[[ECWebinar to assist potential applicants for PEDA grants for advanced energy projects and for businesses interested in locating or expanding their alternative energy manufacturing or production operations in Pennsylvania. 2-3 p.m. Registration is required. 

Public Input

June 13
Deadline to comment on the proposed State Implementation Plan Revision: Redesignation Request and Maintenance Plan for the Pennsylvania Portion of the Philadelphia-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE Nonattainment Area for the 1997 Annual and 2006 24-Hour Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards.  Contact Nancy Herb, 717-783-9269.

June 17
Deadline to comment on the proposed Administration of the Land Recycling Program rulemaking.  Contact Troy Conrad, 717-783-7816.

June 23
Deadline to comment on Pennsylvania Function Based Aquatic Resource Compensation Protocol Technical Guidance Document (DEP ID:310-2137-001). Contact Kenneth Murin, 717-787-7411.

June 23
Deadline to comment on Pennsylvania Wetland Condition Level 2 Rapid Assessment Protocol Technical Guidance Document (DEP ID: 310-2137-002). Contact Kenneth Murin, 717-787-7411.

June 23
Deadline to comment on Pennsylvania Riverine Condition Level 2 Rapid Assessment Protocol Technical Guidance Document (DEP ID: 310-2137-003). Contact Kenneth Murin, 717-787-7411.

June 23
Deadline to comment on Pennsylvania Lacustrine Condition Level 2 Rapid Assessment Protocol Technical Guidance Document (DEP ID: 800-4000-002).  Contact Kenneth Murin, 717-787-7411.

June 30
Deadline to comment on Proposed Rulemaking: Additional RACT Requirements for Major Sources of NOx and VOCs (25 Pa. Code Chapters 121 and 129).  Contact: Kirit Dalal, 717-772-3436.

June 30
Deadline to comment on the Intended Use Plans for the EPA FY14 Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund Capitalization Grants.  Contact:  Veronica Kasi, 717-772-4053.

July 7
Deadline to comment on the Blaster's License Suspension and Revocation Procedure.  Contact Richard Lamkie, 814-472-1885.

July 30
Deadline to comment on the Pennsylvania Energy Development Plan.  Contact David Althoff, 717-783-8411.

Speakers' Bureau

 

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Governor Corbett Announces $12.5 Million Available for Energy Development Authority Grants & Loans

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A $1 million PEDA grant helped fund Keystone Solar's 5 megawatt solar project in Lancaster County.

HARRISBURG – Governor Tom Corbett and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority (PEDA), an independent public financing authority created in 1982, will offer an estimated $12.5 million in grants and loans beginning June 14 for alternative and renewable energy projects, along with projects deploying technologies such as solar energy, wind, hydropower and biomass.

“This funding is an opportunity for companies, municipalities, schools and organizations to deploy alternative energy projects or construct new facilities related to alternative fuels,” Corbett said. “Such projects further our goal to develop a diverse and robust energy sector here in Pennsylvania, in a manner that protects our environment and uses our resources smartly and efficiently.

Those eligible to apply include non-profit corporations; Pennsylvania schools, colleges and universities; any Pennsylvania municipality, and public or private corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, associations and other legal business entities.

Grant or loan funds will be awarded on a competitive basis.  PEDA anticipates awarding approximately $10 million specifically for alternative and renewable energy projects, deploying technologies such as solar energy, wind, hydropower and biomass.

Funding is also available for clean alternative fuels, alternative energy manufacturing and alternative energy research.

Funded activities must be conducted entirely in Pennsylvania and be in compliance with applicable laws.

Applications are due by 4 p.m. on August 15th and must be submitted online using the state’s eGrants system - www.grants.dcnr.state.pa.us.  Grants will be awarded in the fall.[[/EC]]

Potential applicants are encouraged to participate in a related webinar, scheduled for June 24 from 2-3 p.m.   Register here.

PEDA is an independent public financing authority created in 1982 by the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority and Emergency Powers Act, revitalized through an April 2004 Executive Order. The authority's mission is to finance clean, advanced energy projects in Pennsylvania.

To register for the webinar, complete the online grant application or learn more about PEDA, visit www.dep.state.pa.us, keyword: Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority.

The availability of funding helps further implementation of Gov. Corbett’s “Energy Equals Jobs” state energy plan released in January. To learn more about the energy plan, click here

Corbett Announces Act 13 Impact Fee County and Municipal Distributions

HARRISBURG -- Governor Tom Corbett announced June 3 that county and municipal allocation amounts from the Act 13 natural gas impact fee are now available for review on the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s (PUC) website.

“These dollars are helping local communities all across Pennsylvania meet their critical obligations to their constituents without the need to raise local taxes,” said Corbett.

In early April, Corbett announced that impact fee revenue totaled over $225 million for calendar year 2013, an increase in revenue of over 11 percent from 2012. To date, the impact fee has generated a total of $630 million in new revenue for the citizens of Pennsylvania since its enactment in February 2012.

This revenue is in addition to nearly $2 billion in corporate and personal income tax revenue paid by oil and gas companies since the onset of significant Marcellus Shale activity in Pennsylvania seven years ago.

Read more.

Success of Monestary Run Abandoned Mine Drainage Cleanup Highlighted During Tour

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Beth Bollinger of St. Vincent College leads DEP Secretary Abruzzo on a tour of Monastery Run Abandoned Mine Drainage Cleanup Site

LATROBE – DEP Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo along with Deputy Secretary for Water Management Kelly Heffner recently visited the Saint Vincent College campus in Latrobe to tour the Monastery Run Abandoned Mine Drainage Cleanup Site.

The Monastery Run Project consists of five separate projects completed through the cooperative efforts of all members of the Loyalhanna Mine Drainage Coalition.  Members of the group include the Westmoreland County Conservation District, the Loyalhanna Creek Watershed Association, and the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation, as well as local businesses, and Saint Vincent College, which owned much of the land where the AMD surfaced. DEP's Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation (BAMR), Bureau of Watershed Conservation and the Greensburg District Mining Office provided assistance and funding for the project iwth suppport from federal agencies, including the former Bureau of mines (now under the Department of Energy), the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and the Office of Surface Mining.

Before the field trip and tour, Secretary Abruzzo attended the Westmoreland County Conservation District’s monthly public board meeting in Greensburg to hear how the district’s innovative stormwater program has benefited local communicates in the area.  Staff also described the partnerships their stormwater program has cultivated over the years and its short and long-term goals.

DEP to Host Open House for Activities in Streams and Wetlands

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HARRISBURG -- DEP will host an open house from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 26, for property owners, homeowners, municipalities and small developers to learn about permitted activities in and along streams and wetlands.

The open house will be held at DEP’s South-central Regional Office on 909 Elmerton Ave. in Harrisburg.

“The open house will provide people with a chance to have ‘face time’ with department permitting staff and ask questions about permitting requirements for stream and wetland activities,” South-central Regional Director Lynn Langer said. “This is an educational opportunity that should not be missed because we often find the public is unaware that certain permits are required.”

Read more.

DEP Awards More than $1 Million for Two Mine Reclamation Projects in Centre County 

WILLIAMSPORT -- DEP has awarded $819,444 for the Coaldale abandoned mine reclamation project in Rush Township and $321,718 for the Moshannon Far North project in Snow Shoe Township. Both projects are in Centre County.

“Pennsylvania has approximately 180,000 acres of abandoned mine sites in need of remediation, and our aggressive program is reclaiming these sites to eliminate harmful acid mine drainage, protect our waterways and return the land to its original condition,” DEP Deputy Secretary for the Office of Active and Abandoned Mine Operations John Stefanko said.

The Coaldale project will reclaim 58 acres of abandoned mine land, last mined prior to 1966 by K&M Kephart Mining Co. One residence and five hunting camps are located within 1,000 feet of the highwalls. The spoil piles and highwalls border Coaldale Road, which provides easy access to the abandoned mine site for ATV riders. Part of the Coaldale site includes an illegal waste dump, and the reclamation work will include removing 10 tons of solid waste along with grading, drain installation and seeding.

Read more.

Contract Awarded for Winslow Township Mine Reclamation Project

MEADVILLE -- DEP recently awarded a Government Financed Construction Contract (GFCC) to P. and N. Coal Company, Inc. of Punxsutawney for a mine reclamation project in Winslow Township, Jefferson County.

“This awarded contract is just one example of the department’s efforts to reclaim abandoned mine sites across the state for the safety of our citizens and the health of our environment,” DEP Mining Engineer Roger Bowman said.

The project will include the incidental removal of coal and the reclamation of 19 acres of abandoned deep mine and subsidence areas. The reclamation work will occur within the Redbank Creek sub basin, and will eliminate safety hazards, promote positive drainage to Fehley Run and contribute to the improved use of the property for wildlife habitat.

Read more.

DEP to Hold Public Hearing on Chemical Contamination Cleanup

PITTSBURGH -- An on-going investigation by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) indicates that a residential area adjacent to the former National Torch Tip plant in O’Hara Township and Aspinwall Borough may have been impacted by industrial chemical contamination.

The investigation into the former Torch Tip facility found tetrachloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE) in soil and groundwater. Testing also shows evidence of indoor air contamination at a vacant property located next door to the former plant.

The extent of the contamination in other nearby buildings will not be known until the investigation is complete. To reduce the buildup of the chemical vapors inside buildings in the vicinity, DEP is proposing to install special systems designed to draw vapors from underneath basement floors.

Read more.

DEP Certifies Exelon Hydroelectric Power Project in Lancaster County as part of Federal Relicensing Process

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Exelon's Muddy Run Hydroelectric Power Plan is located in Lancaster County.

HARRISBURG -- DEP recently issued a water quality (WQ) certification for the continued operation and maintenance of Exelon’s Muddy Run hydroelectric project in Martic and Drumore townships, Lancaster County.

“DEP has determined that the Muddy Run Project is continuing to meet all applicable state regulations and water quality standards,” DEP Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo said. “Exelon has agreed to make substantial commitments to mitigating the aquatic resource impacts of the project and we appreciate the cooperative approach that Exelon brought to the table in development of this water quality certification.”

Muddy Run, owned and operated by Exelon, is an existing 800 megawatt hydroelectric project located on the eastern shore of the Conowingo Pond on the Susquehanna River in Lancaster County. The project has operated since 1966.

Read more.

Ephrata Water Treatment Plant Completes Third Phase of Partnership for Safe Water

http://media.state.pa.us/2238/Users/10612/PFSW%20logo.JPGEPHRATA -- The Ephrata Area Joint Authority Water Treatment Plant in Lancaster County recently completed the third phase of the Partnership for Safe Water program, a voluntary effort to provide safe drinking water.  Presently, the water plant provides drinking water service to approximately 17,937 people.  The Ephrata Area Joint Authority Water Treatment Plant is now one of the 58 water plants to complete this phase of the Partnership in Pennsylvania.

The Partnership for Safe Water is made up of DEP, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Pennsylvania Section American Water Works Association (PA-AWWA) and other drinking water organizations.  Its goal is to implement preventative measures that are based on optimizing treatment plant performance.

Phase III entails a detailed, peer-reviewed report that summarizes the rigorous self assessment portion of the program.  This phase is specifically geared toward identifying weaknesses in plant operation, design and administration that could lead to a breakthrough of waterborne disease-causing organisms into the finished water that is distributed to consumers.  Correcting these weaknesses helps prevent waterborne disease outbreaks from pathogenic organisms like Cryptosporidium and Giardia.

By completing this phase of the program, the Ephrata Area Joint Authority Water Treatment Plant is working to provide an additional measure of protection to drinking water consumers.

Currently, 118 surface water treatment plants serving over 5.9 million people are now involved in Pennsylvania's Partnership for Safe Water program.

For more information, visit www.dep.state.pa.us, keyword:  filtration, or contact Kevin Anderson at 717-783-9764 or keanderson@pa.gov.


New Falcon Watch & Rescue Video on YouTube

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Watch as DEP Director of Environmental Education Jack Farster and team rescues a stranded falcon.

HARRISBURG -- Volunteers this week wrapped up their annual Falcon watch and rescue program as the four young Peregrine falcons have recently fledged from the nest located on the 15th floor ledge of the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg.

Three of the four young falcons fledged successfully.  The fourth falcon, the black-banded male, was discovered dead on a low roof below the nest ledge on June 7.  This fledgling impacted some portion of the building, likely a window or skylight. These hazards have been a significant mortality factor over the past 15 years and are typical of urban nest sites.

The other three fledges are doing well, getting flight lessons from the adults. This includes in-flight food transfers providing them with the challenge of attaining food with reliance on their own flight skills.

DEP received an email on June 3 from FalconCam watcher Judith Smith of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, thanking the voluteers for their assistance to DEP in keeping the fledglings safe.

"...I just wanted to see the peregrine fledge watchers acknowledged publicly for their incredible dedication in rescuing a second fledgling this season, the fledge today being especially fraught with danger for the young falcon who would almost certainly have met an early death if the fledge watchers had not been there at 5:30 in the morning to protect her," Smith said.

DEP made a short video of one such rescue that happened on June when one of the fledglings got stuck on the 16th floor balcony. Watch as wildlife officials rescue the falcon and re-release it on the roof.

 

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

 

 

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