News from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

DEP Calendar of Events

Nov. 18
Citizens Advisory Council meeting, 10 a.m., Room 105, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St. Harrisburg.  Contact: Jen Swan, 717-783-8727. 

Dec. 9
Climate Change Advisory Committee meeting, 10 a.m., Room 105, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St. Harrisburg.  Contact:  Mark Brojakowski, 717-772-3429.

Dec. 10
Coal and Clay Mine Subsidence Insurance Fund Board meeting, 10 a.m., Room 105, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St. Harrisburg.  Contact: Lawrence Ruane, 717-783-9590.

Dec. 10
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.

Dec. 11
Laboratory Accreditation Advisory Committee meeting, 9 a.m.-noon, Room 206, Bureau of Laboratories Building, 2575 Interstate Drive, Harrisburg.  Contact Aaren Alger, 717- 346-8212.

Dec. 11
Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee meeting, 9:15 a.m., Room 105, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg.  Contact:  Nancy Herb, 717-783-9269.

Dec. 15
State Board for Certification of Sewage Enforcement Officers 2014 Examinations, registration starts at 8:30 a.m., exams start at 9 a.m., Susquehanna Room A and B, DEP South-central Regional Office, 909 Elmerton Ave. Harrisburg. Contact:  Patricia Hodgson, 717-720-4811.

Dec. 16
Environmental Quality Board meeting, 9 a.m., Room 105, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400
Market St., Harrisburg.  Contact: Jen Swan, 717-783-8727.

Dec. 16
DEP public hearing on the Redesignation Request and Maintenance Plan for the Pittsburgh-Beaver
Valley Nonattainment Area for the 1997 and 2006 Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 1 p.m., DEP Southwest Regional Office, 400 Waterfront Dr. Pittsburgh.  Contact: Nancy Herb, 717-783-9269.

Dec. 17
Cleanup Standards Scientific Advisory Board meeting, 9 a.m., 14th Floor Conference Room, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St.,Harrisburg

Dec. 17
Agricultural Advisory Board meeting, 10 a.m., Susquehanna Room A, DEP Southcentral Regional Office, 909 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg. Contact:  Steven Taglang, 717-783-7576.

Dec. 18
Small Water Systems Technical Assistance Center Board meeting, 10 a.m., Room 105, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St. Harrisburg.  Contact: H. Thomas Fridirici, 717-787-2172.

Dec. 22
State Board for Certification of Sewage Enforcement Operators meeting, 10 a.m., Conference Room 11
B, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg. Contact: Patricia Hodgson, 717-720-4811.

Upcoming Webinars

Dec. 17
Act 162 webinar, 11 a.m.  To register, click here.

Public Input

Nov. 18
Deadline to comment on the proposed Standards and Guidelines for Identifying, Tracking and Resolving Oil and Gas Violations (DEP ID: 550-3000-001). Contact John Ryder, 570-327-3636.

Nov. 24
Deadline to comment on Proposed Rulemaking:  Land Reclamation Financial Guarantees and Bioenergy Crop Bonding.  Contact Thomas Callaghan, 717-787-5015.

Dec. 1
Deadline to comment on Turbidity and LT2 ESWTR Reporting Instructions for Public Water Systems Using Filtered Surface Water or GUDI Sources (DEP ID: 383-3301-106).  Contact Pauline Risser-Clemmens, 717-772-5970.

Dec. 15
Deadline to comment on the Proposed Request for Delegation of Authority to Implement the Federal Hospital/Medical/Infectious Waste Incinerators Plan.  Contact Jay Braund, 717-772-5636.

Speakers' Bureau



RACT Final Rulemaking Will Impose More Stringent Requirements to Protect Air Quality

HARRISBURG -- DEP has announced it has revised its Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT)
final rulemaking to impose more stringent requirements than originally proposed in April to improve air quality, while still protecting grid reliability.

The rulemaking establishes additional requirements for existing major stationary sources of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as electric generating units (EGUs) and combustion units. As defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), RACT is the lowest emissions limitation that a particular source is capable of meeting by the application of control technology that is reasonably available, considering technological and economic feasibility.

Read more.

Pennsylvania Making Progress in Clean Up of Tire Piles

Tire piles like this one in Southwestern Pa. are an economic, environmental and health blight.

HARRISBURG -- In March 1996, a catastrophic tire fire engulfed a busy section of I-95 in Philadelphia, damaging the roadway and releasing toxic emissions. The fire drew attention to an environmental issue that had been quietly building in Pennsylvania -- waste tire piles. [/EC]]

Lawmakers took up the issue that same year, passing Act 190 that enabled DEP to begin to assess and remediate tire piles, like the one responsible for the I-95 fire.

In 1996, Pennsylvania had 36 million waste tires in hundreds of piles across the state. Many had been established for decades as a less-expensive way to dispose of unwanted tires. Others believed that they would someday have value, so the tires were stashed in hillsides and valleys.

Since the passage of Act 190, DEP, in cooperation with private industry and willing landowners, has cleaned up 97 percent of these waste tires. Less than a million waste tires remain in the state.

Pennsylvania has proactively addressed this problem by committing $29 million to remediate waste tire piles. Much of that money was raised by tipping fees paid by the waste management industry and not taxpayer dollars.

Waste tire piles are an economic, environmental and health blight on the landscape of Pennsylvania. The state has been a leader in waste tire pile removal, but there is still work to be done. 

To learn more about the waste tire program, or to see a list of upcoming cleanup projects, click here.

Reminder:  Act 13 Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Round Closes Nov. 14 -- Applications for the third round of Natural Gas Vehicle grants that will provide an estimated $6 million to help pay for the incremental purchase and conversion costs of heavy-duty natural gas fleet vehicles are due by 4 p.m., Friday, Nov. 14.

Since 2013, $14 million has been awarded to 44 organizations and companies making the switch to compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) and bi-fuel vehicles weighing 14,000
pounds or more.

Those eligible to apply include non-profit organizations, local transportation organizations, state owned or state related universities, commonwealth or municipal authorities, for-profit companies and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. 

Requests can be no more than 50 percent of the incremental purchase or retrofit cost per vehicle, with a maximum total of $25,000 per vehicle.

Grants will be awarded this winter.

Click here for more information.

DEP Accepting Nominations for New Aggregate Advisory Board

HARRISBURG -- DEP is seeking qualified candidates to join the newly-formed Aggregate Advisory Board. Members of the board will advise DEP on issues related to non-coal surface mining. 

The Aggregate Advisory Board will be comprised of the Secretary of DEP (chair), four representatives from the Citizens Advisory Council, one representative from the county conservation districts, four representatives from the General Assembly, and the three representatives of aggregate surface mining.

Candidates should be willing to serve on the board for a minimum of two years.

For more information about the board, or to apply for board membership, click here.

Nominations Sought for "Best Of" Land Recycling Contest [[/EC]] -- 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of Act 2, Pennsylvania’s landmark Land Recycling Program.  Signed into law in May 1995, this program has been successful in all areas of the Commonwealth, helping to restore environmentally-challenged properties back to useful life and economic prosperity. 

To mark this special annivesary, DEP and the Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania are looking for Pennsylvania's best of the best brownfield projects to be recognized at the 2015 Pennsylvania  Brownfields Conference to be held May 13-15, 2015 at the Bayfront Convention Center, Erie.

Conference organizers are looking for nominations of unique or impactful projects that were completed as a result of Act 2. All types of brownfield projects are encouraged -- big or small, 20
years or six months old. If the project was important to your community, we would like to hear about it.

Submittals may be considered for verbal presentations, poster display or recognition at the conference. Be sure to submit your nominations soon, as we may feature your project on our
Transformation Tuesday Twitter feed.  The nomination form is available on ESWP's website.

Department of Health to Offer Free Potassium Iodide on Nov. 20 for Pennsylvanians who have Tablets Expiring in December 2014[[/EC]]

HARRISBURG -- The Department of Health will provide free potassium iodide, or KI, Thursday, Nov. 20, to Pennsylvanians who currently have tablets with a December 2014 expiration date who live within 10-miles of one of the state’s five nuclear power plants. The department will properly dispose of expired KI that residents bring with them to the distribution sites.

KI can help protect the thyroid gland against harmful radioactive iodine when taken as directed during radiological emergencies. Individuals should only take KI when told to do so by state health officials or the governor.

Each adult will receive four 65-milligram tablets. Children will be given smaller doses based on their age. Individuals can pick up KI tablets for other family members or those who are unable to
pick them up on their own. Directions detailing when to take the tablets and how to store them will be provided with the KI.

Read more.



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