DEP News for March 19, 2015



News from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

DEP Calendar of Events

March 20
Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) workshop -- TMDL Plan/Chesapeake Bay Pollutant Reduction Plan, 9 a.m., Inn at Leola Village, 38 Deborah Dr., Leola. Contact: Joyce Rivers, 717-901-7055.

March 20
Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board meeting, 10 a.m., Room 105, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrsburg
Contact: Jen Swan, 717-783-8727.

March 24
Environmental justice public meeting on Original Fuels Inc.'s bituminous surface mining permit application to mine the Lower Freeport Coal Seam in Jefferson County, 5-7 p.m., Peterson Room, Punxsutawney Community Center, N. Jefferson St., Punxsutawney.​ Contact: Kim Morewood, 717-787-9731.

March 25
Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) workshop -- TMDL Plan/Chesapeake Bay Pollutant Reduction Plan Session, 8:30 a.m., The Woodlands Inn, 1073 Highway 315, Wilkes-Barre.  Contact: Joyce Rivers, 717-901-7055.

March 25
DEP public hearing on application by Waste Management of Pennsylvania Inc. to renew its solid waste permit for Tullytown Landfill in Bucks County, 6-9 p.m., Falls Twp. Building, 188 Lincoln Highway, Suite 100, Fairless Hills. Contact Jonathan Bower, 484-250-5753.

March 26
Conventional Oil and Gas Advisory Committee meeting, 10 a.m., Room 105, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg.​ Contact: Kurt Klapkowski, 717-772-2199.

April  1
Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) workshop -- TMDL Plan/Chesapeake Bay Pollutant Reduction Plan Session, ​8:30 a.m., Pittsburgh Marriott North, 100 Cranberry Woods Dr., Cranberry Twp. Contact: Joyce Rivers, 717-901-7055.

April 2
Radiation Protection Advisory Committee meeting, 9 a.m., 14th Floor Conference Room, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg.  Contact: Joseph Melnic, 717-783-9730.

April 2
Solid Waste Advisory Committee meeting, 10 a.m., Room 105, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg​​
Contact: Richard Ashley, 717-787-0120.

April  14
DEP public hearing on cleanup of Kuhn's Landfill in Beaver County, 5-7 p.m., Darlington Township Municipal Building, 359 Darlington Rd., Darlington. Contact: John Poister, 412-442-4000.

April 15
Meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee on Diesel-Powered Equipment, 8 a.m., Fayette Room, DEP New Stanton Office, 131 Broadview Rd., New Stanton.  Contact:  Allison D. Gaida, 724-404-3147.

April 15
DEP Agriculture Advisory Board meeting, 9 a.m., DEP South Central Regional Office, Susquehanna Room A; 909 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg.  Contact: Tom Juengst, 717-772-5646.

April 15
State Board for Certification of Water and Wastewater Systems Operators meeting, 10 a.m., 10th Floor, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg.​ Contact: Cheri Sansoni, 717-772-5158.

April 16
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.

April 21
Environmental Quality Board (EQB) meeting, 9 a.m., Room 105, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg.  Contact: Jen Swan, 717-783-8727.

April 21
Citizens Advisory Council meeting, 10 a.m.,  Room 105, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisurg.  Contact Jen Swan, 717-783-8727.

April 22
Cleanup Standards Scientific Advisory Board meeting, 9 a.m., Room 105, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg.​ Contact: Mike Maddigan, 717-772-3609.

April  22
Small Business Compliance Advisory Committee meeting, 10 a.m., 12th Floor Conference Room, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg.​ Contact: Susan Foster, 717-787-7019.

Upcoming Webinars

March 20
Oil & Gas Technical Advisory board meeting -- morning session, 10 a.m.  Click here to register.

March 20
Oil & Gas Technical Advisory Board meeting -- afternoon session, 12:45 p.m.Click here

 to register.

March 26
Conventional Oil and Gas Advisory Committee meeting -- morning session, 10 a.m. Click here to register.

March 26
Conventional Oil and Gas Advisory Committee meeting -- afternoon session, 12:45 p.m. Click here to register.

Public Input

March 23
Deadline to comment on the draft Technical Guidance Document for the Acid Mine Drainage Set-Aside Program: Program Implementation Guidelines. Contact Pamela Milave, 814-472-1832.

April 10
Deadline to comment on application by Waste Management of Pennsylvania Inc. to renew its solid waste permit for Tullytown Landfill in Bucks County. Contact Jonathan Bower, 484-250-5753.

Speakers' Bureau



Acting DEP Secretary Says Gov. Wolf's Budget Invests in Pennsylvania's Future

Acting DEP Secretary John Quigley answers questions from lawmakers about Gov. Wolf's budget proposal. 

HARRISBURG  DEP Acting Secretary John Quigley told members of the House Appropriations Committee on March 11 that Gov. Wolf's 2015-16 proposed spending plan for the agency creates historic investments in clean energy while boosting support for DEP's core mission of protecting Pennsylvania's environment.

"This budget is about investing in Pennsylvania's future -- investing in both energy development and heavily in environmental protection," Quigley told lawmakers.  "These two concepts are inextricably linked, and will pay dividends for our state and local ecomomies.  The budget also allows us to take the next steps toward modernizing the DEP's activities and policies, something that is long overdue."

Governor Wolf’s budget proposal includes $147 million from the General Fund, a more than 5 percent increase over FY 14-15.  In addition, a 5 percent severance tax will generate $225 million in revenue, investing $10 million for additional inspection and oversight of oil and gas operations.

Quigley will provide budget testimony before members of the Senate Appropriations Committee on March 25. 

Video from the hearing as well as transcripts of Quigley's testimony are available here.

DEP Releases Revised Rulemaking Proposal for Environmental Protection Performance Standards at Oil and Gas Well Sites        

HARRISBURG  DEP recently announced the latest draft revisions of the Environmental Protection Performance Standards at Oil and Gas Well Sites, continuing DEP’s record of modernizing and strengthening the environmental controls employed by this industry to assure the protection of public safety.

“These proposed revisions focus on the need to protect public safety and the environment while enabling drilling to proceed,” said Acting DEP Secretary John Quigley.

Read more.

DEP Announces the Members of the Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board

HARRISBURG  DEP has announced the members of the Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board (TAB). TAB’s mission is to increase transparency and communication about regulating the unconventional oil and gas drilling industry.

TAB is authorized under the 2012 Oil and Gas Act to advise DEP in the formulation, drafting, and presentation stages of all regulations relating to unconventional oil and gas extraction. TAB will be given the opportunity to review and comment on all regulations of a technical nature prior to submission to the Environmental Quality Board.

Read more.

DEP Acts to Clean Up Contaminated Sludge at Indiana County Coal Refuse Disposal Site   

CONEMAUGH TWP.  DEP is taking action to protect nearby residents and the water quality of a recovering river by removing untreated water and Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (TENORM) from a water pond on the site of the former Tunnelton Liquids Company (TLC) in Conemaugh Township, Indiana County.
TLC specialized in treating leachate from a nearby coal refuse disposal site and wastewater from oil and gas drilling activities.

Read more.

Area Residents Attend Open House on Plans for Natural Gas-Fired Power Plant

Residents talk with DEP staff about Invenergy's plans for a natural gas-fired plant in Lackawanna County.  

PECKVILLE -- Staff from DEP's Northeast Regional Office answered questions from the public about Invenergy Corp.'s plans to build a natural-gas-fired power plant in Jessup, Lackawanna County, during a meeting March 4 near Scranton.

Staff from the region's Clean Water, Waterways and Wetlands, Waste Management and Air Quality programs answered questions about the proposed 1300 megawatt facility.  The plant would be one of the largest built in Northeast Pennsylvania and would use locally-produced natural gas from the Marcellus Shale region. 

DEP is still reviewing four different environmental permits the Chicago-based company would need to build the facility.  The plant would sit on top of 80 acres, some of which is part of an old landfill.  Many residents had questions about what would happen with the old trash, along with questions about wetlands protection, air quality emissions and water treatment plants at the facility..

DEP plans to hold a public hearing on the permits later this year.

DEP, Agriculture Respond to EPA Assessment of Pennsylvania’s Animal Agriculture Program

HARRISBURG  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) assessment of Pennsylvania’s animal agriculture program acknowledges the need for continued commitment from all the stakeholders involved in conserving Pennsylvania’s resources, say the leaders of two commonwealth agencies.

Reacting to EPA’s assessment of Pennsylvania’s animal agriculture regulations and programs, released today, Acting Environmental Protection Secretary John Quigley (DEP) and Acting Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding agree that the report shines a light on opportunities for improvement and highlights the need for renewed focus on the Chesapeake Bay.

Read more.

Chesapeake Bay Management Strategies Open for Public Comment  Since the signing of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement last June, Pennsylvania has been working with federal partners as well as the states of Delaware, Maryland, New York, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. to create 25 Chesapeake Bay Management Strategies. The management strategies are now open for public comment.

These strategies expand upon the 31 outcomes of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement and outline plans for implementation, monitoring and assessing progress to meet the agreement’s 10 goals.

The management strategies address abundant life, clean water, climate change, conserved lands, and engaged communities.

For more information, or to submit a comment, click here.

IllegalDumpFreePA Website Aims to Curb Illegal Dumping

The new website provides municipalities with tools to combat illegal dumping.

GREENSBURG  Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, with financial support from DEP, has launched a new innovative program called IllegalDumpFreePa that will provide surveillance kits, training and online support to Pennsylvania municipalities to help them battle illegal dumping.

Illegal dumping is a state-wide concern, according to a recent study commissioned by Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful (KPB), the state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful and sponsored by DEP. Dumpsites can be found in every county – 6,500 at last count. Cleanups conducted by local municipalities are costly, averaging about $600 per ton, or roughly $3,000 per site, siphoning off tax dollars and staff resources.

To learn more, visit

DEP, Police Search for Missing Nuclear Gauge

PITTSBURGH  DEP and police are searching for a missing portable gauge containing sealed sources of radioactive material that belongs to Solar Testing of Pennsylvania.

The company is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the recovery of the gauge. It was reported missing on March 13 during a routine inventory check. DEP investigators are inspecting the facility where it is usually stored and interviewing management and employees.

Read more

Erie Landfill Project Wins Award

A major component of the reclmation proect was the restoration of West Branch Cascade Creek

HARRISBURG  A project spearheaded by DEP and Michael Baker International received the Diamond Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) at a reception held March 2 in Hershey.

The award was for the site redesign of the former Currie Landfill, a 32-acre Hazardous Site Cleanup Act site in Millcreek Township, Erie County.

Contaminants from the landfill, such as sediment and organic and inorganic hazardous substances, had spilled into the nearby Cascade Creek. DEP, along with Michael Baker International, implemented a design to remove and consolidate waste, reconstruct riparian buffers and wetlands, and repurpose land into a lacrosse field. 

The Currie Landfill Site was recognized by ACEC for being an excellent example of using creativity, innovation, dedication, and cooperation between municipalities, stakeholders, contractors, and DEP to turn a former brownfield area into a desirable facility.

South Korea Sends Second Wave of Scientists to Study Mercury Recycling

Visitors from Yonsei University in South Korea tour Bethlehem Apparatus in Lehigh County.

HELLERTOWN -- Staff from DEP’s Hazardous Waste Program and Bethlehem Apparatus hosted two scientists from Yonsei University in the Republic of Korea on March 18. Dr. Tai Gyu "Teddy" Lee and Dr. Yong-Chil Seo are working as part of a research team tasked with developing new regulations and finding business solutions for mercury recycling and disposal to conform with the Minimata Convention. 

The group toured Bethlehem Apparatus, a third generation family-owned mercury recycling and glass making business in Lehigh County. Owner Eve Metzger explained the retort, recycling, and distillation processes and protocols for the Hellertown facility. The research team plans to continue working with DEP and Pennsylvania businesses as they develop their regulatory framework and explore possible business collaborations. 

The tour included DEP Director of External Affairs Katherine Hetherington Cunfer; Solid Waste Supervisor Kevin Bauer, Regional Waste Management Compliance & Enforcement Chief Dean Fisher, and Regional Waste Management Environmental Engineer Nsobiari Warmate.

Strategy to Assist Municipalities in Evaluation of LED Street Lighting

MEADVILLE  Staff from DEP's Office of Pollution Prevention and Energy Assistance are developing a technical assistance program to help municipalities in First Energy territories to evaluate and implement LED street lighting technology as a way to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy costs.

Municipal street lighting is often cited as a municipality’s highest utility cost, but it is also one of the best opportunities for cost-effective technology upgrades.

Currently, there is no coordinated effort outside of Philadelphia to help municipal officials evaluate or implement LED street lighting. On March 10, representatives from FirstEnergy, PennFuture, the Pennsylvania Association of Boroughs, Northwest and Southwest Planning commissions, and the Pittsburgh  Green Building Alliance met at DEP's Northwest Regional Office to provide input and solicit advice on the scale and scope of a potential LED lighting program.

The meeting resulted in a strategy and outline for municipal workshops and a preliminary plan for providing lighting system analyses for individual municipalities to serve as case studies.

The Public Utility Commission is expected to approve widespread availability of LED street lights by May 2015.

Shippensburg Latest to Join Partnership for Safe Water  The Shippensburg Borough Authority’s Gunter Valley Water Treatment Plant, located in Cumberland and Franklin counties, recently became the newest member of the Partnership for Safe Water Treatment Program, a voluntary effort to provide safe drinking water. Presently, the water system provides drinking water service to approximately 14,004 people.

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

Currently, 119 surface water treatment plants serving over 6.1 million people are now involved in Pennsylvania's Partnership for Safe Water Treatment Program.

For more information, visit DEP's website (Keyword: "filtration").

Harrisburg's Peregrine Falcons Produce "Clutch" of Eggs

Three eggs appear in the scrape atop the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg. 

HARRISBURG  The pair of peregrine falcons that nest on a ledge of DEP's headquarters in Harrisburg have produced three eggs so far.  The first egg arrived Saturday, March 14.  The female typically lays an egg every other day until the "clutch" is complete.

Incubation time increases with the addition of each egg. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins, typically around Mother's Day in May.  The fledglings usually take their first flights around Father's Day in June.

Watch the drama unfold in high definition live on DEP's website and follow the falcons on Twitter.



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