News from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

DEP Calendar of Events

Dec. 15
DEP South-central Regional Roundtable meeting, 10 a.m., Room 309, Department of Agriculture Building, 2301 N. Cameron St. Harrisburg.  Contact Lisa Kasianowitz, 717-787-1323.

Dec. 15
State Board for Certification of Sewage Enforcement Officers 2014 Examinations?, 8:30 a.m. registration, 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
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, 717-787-9495. [/EC]]

Dec. 17
Cleanup Standards Scientific Advisory Board meeting, 9 a.m., 14th Floor Conference Room, RCSOB, 400 Market Street, Harrisburg. Contact: Mike Maddigan, 717-772-3609.

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: Kristen Szwajkowski, 717-772-2186.

Jan. 14
Meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee on Diesel-Powered Equipment, 10 a.m., Westmoreland Room, DEP New Stanton Office, 131 Broadview Rd., New Stanton. Contact: Allison D. Gaida, 724-404-3147.

Jan. 15
Solid Waste Advisory Committee meeting, 10 a.m., Room 105, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg. Contact: Richard Ashley, 717-787-2553.


Upcoming Webinars

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

Public Input

Dec. 16
Deadline to comment on the Proposed State Implementation Plan Revision - Redesignation Request and Maintenance Plan for the Pittsburgh-Beaver Valley Nonattainment Area for the 1997 Annual and 2006 24-Hour Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards.  Contact: Nancy Herb, 717-787-9495.

Jan. 6
Deadline to comment on the Proposed Modifications to General Plan Approval and/or General Operating Permit No. 5 for Natural Gas Compression and/or Processing Facilities (BAQ-GPA/GP-5). Contact: Virendra Trivedi, 717-772-3979.

Jan. 9
Deadline to comment on the Proposed Request for Delegation of Authority to Implement the Federal Hospital/Medical/ Infectious Waste Incinerators Plan. Contact: Craig Evans, 717-772-3995.


Speakers' Bureau



Hundreds of Lehigh County Residents Attend DEP Radon Information Meeting

DEP Bureau of Radiation Protection Director Dave Allard talks to residents about the risks of radon.

HARRISBURG -- Several hundred residents from the Center Valley/Coopersburg region of Lehigh County attended a Dec. 4 DEP information meeting about record high levels of radon detected in the area.  DEP identified a home there with the highest residential radon level ever measured in Pennsylvania.

The concentration in the affected home measured 3,715 picocuries per liter (pCi/L).  Additionally, several other homes in the area have had measured concentrations over 1,000 pCi/L. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that that any dwelling or structure with a radon concentration of more than 4 pCi/L be remediated to lower the radon concentration.

In this circumstance, DEP recommended the occupants vacate the home until the measured radon concentration was verified and remediated to a level less than 4 pCi/L A radon mitigation system was successfully installed on Dec. 6 allowing the homeowners to return.

Elevated radon levels in homes in this area were initially observed in September. In response, DEP sent letters to more than 500 Center Valley area residents and included a coupon for a free test kit to encourage the residents to test their homes. The residents of the home with this highest measured radon concentration responded to that letter by testing their home. In addition, DEP is working with several other residents to conduct follow-up testing, as well as taking soil and rock samples in the area that will undergo additional testing.

DEP has created a web page with radon information for residents in the Center Valley/Coopersburg region.  In addition, people can call DEP's toll-free radon hotline at 800-23-RADON for more information.

DEP Fines Fredericksburg Sewer and Water Authority, Contractors $75,000 for Environmental Violations        

HARRISBURG — DEP has announced a settlement agreement with the Fredericksburg Sewer and Water Authority, Joao and Bradley Construction Company, and Steckbeck Engineering and Surveying, Inc. to resolve multiple violations of the Clean Streams Law and the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act that occurred during the construction of the Fredericksburg Sewer Main Project in Bethel Township, Lebanon County.

Joao and Bradley Construction Company served as the project’s general contractor and Steckbeck Engineering and Surveying, Inc. provided daily project oversight. The settlement includes $75,000 in civil penalties.

Prior to beginning construction in early 2013, the parties failed to obtain the necessary permits for the full scope of the project. Additionally, in areas where permit coverage was obtained, the parties failed to conduct work in accordance with permit conditions and/or failed to follow the approved plans.

Read more.

DEP Fines Cabot $120,000 for Susquehanna County Storage Tank Explosion and Spill         

WILLIAMSPORT -- DEP recently fined Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. of Pittsburgh $120,000 for a January storage tank explosion and production fluid spill at the Reynolds well pad in Jessup Township, Susquehanna County.

“This was a serious incident that injured an employee and resulted in a spill of approximately 2,835 gallons of production fluid from a 21,000-gallon storage tank,” DEP Director of District Oil and Gas Operations John Ryder said. “Some of this fluid escaped containment and impacted soil off the well pad.”

Ignited vapors in the headspace of the tank caused the Jan. 11 explosion and subsequent rupture of the tank.

Read more.

Chesapeake Bay Program Seeking Technical Assistance Support -- DEP urges Pennsylvania entities experienced in various aspects of fisheries, watershed science and policy, watershed stewardship, local leadership, wetlands, toxics, and other watershed issues to submit proposals for consultant services technical assistance to support the Chesapeake Bay Program. 

The Chesapeake Bay Trust will accept the RFPs until Jan. 5, 2015. The trust has been designated to receive federal funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources as part of the Bay Program Goal Implementation Team Project Initiative.

The work to be supported should advance outcomes from the Chesapeake Bay Agreement. Ten specific outcomes from 10 management goals have been identified as top priorities. The request also includes nine components separated into nine individual scopes of work. Three focus on fisheries issues, two focus on citizen stewardship topics, one each focuses on wetlands, toxics, local leadership, and healthy watersheds.

Applicants can bid on one or more of the individual scopes of work, with each scope of work addressed in a separate proposal.

For more information, visit

[[EC]]2015 Pa. Brownfields Conference Seeks "Best of Land Recycling" Projects -- DEP and the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania are seeking nominations for the “Best of Land Recycling” contest to be held in conjunction with the 2015 Pennsylvania Brownfields Conference to be held May 13-15, 2015 at the Erie Bayfront Convention Center, Erie. 

The conference will commemorate the 20-year anniversary of Pennsylvania’s Land Recycling Act. Applicants are encouraged to nominate 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 6 months old.

Submittals may be considered for verbal presentations, poster display or recognition at the conference. The projects will also be featured on the conference's "Transformation Tuesday"  Twitter feed.

Signed into law in 1995, the voluntary cleanup legislation known as Act 2 fosters reuse of former commercial and industrial sites. Pennsylvania’s approach to brownfields redevelopment has proven to be a national model for helping to restore environmentally-challenged properties back to useful life and economic prosperity.

The deadline for submittals is Jan. 31, 2015. To submit a nomination, visit the conference website


"Pick it Up, Pa." PSA Wins National Award

The PSA featured a cleanup of one of Harrisburg's parks. 

HARRISBURG -- Pennsylvania's public service announcement promoting the annual Great Pennsylvania Cleanup initiative has won the "Best Statewide Promotion" award from Keep America Beautiful.

The PSA, produced by DEP, PENNDOT and Commonwealth Media Services, highlighted the annual cleanup event held in partnership with Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. 

Keep America Beautiful annually recognizes the outstanding work of its affiliates, volunteer groups, nonprofit and government organizations, leading corporations and individuals who have committed to delivering cleaner, greener and more vibrant communities.

To view the PSA, visit DEP's YouTube Channel.



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