News from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

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DEP Calendar of Events

April 30
DEP public hearing on Chapters 78 & 78a, 6 p.m., Warren County Courthouse, 204 Fourth Ave., Warren.
Anyone who wants to testify is asked to register in advance by contacting DEP's Policy Office at 717-783-8727.

May 4
DEP public hearing on Chapters 78 & 78a, 6 p.m., Klump Academic Center, Pa. College of Technology, One College Ave.,  Willi?amsport.? Anyone who wants to testify is asked to register in advance by contacting DEP's Policy Office at 717-783-8727.

May 5
DEP public hearing on Proposed Interim Response for the General Alloy Site in Rochester Township, Beaver County, 5 p.m., Rochester Twp. Municipal Building, 1013 Elm St., Rochester. Contact: John Poister, 412-442-4000. 

May 5
DEP public meeting and hearing on Shell Chemical Appalachia Air Quality Plan Approval. 6 p.m.,  Central Valley High School Auditorium, 160 Baker St. Extension, Monaca. Contact: John Poister, 412-442-4000.

May 5
Mine Families First Response & Communications Advisory Council meeting, 10 a.m., DEP New Stanton Office, 131 Broadview Rd., New Stanton. Contact: Allison D. Gaida, 724-404-3147.

May 13-15
2015 Pennsylvania Brownfields Conference, Erie Bayfront Convention Center, Erie.  Contact Kim Hoover, 717-787-8623.

May 19
Environmental Justice Advisory Board meeting, 8:30 a.m., Delaware Conference Room, 16th Floor Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg. Contact: Alice Wright-Bailey, 484- 250-5818.

May 20
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.

May 20
Citizens Advisory Council meeting, 10 a.m., Room 105, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg. Contact: Jen Swan  717-783-8727.

May 20
DEP public meeting on Hatfield's Ferry Coal Combustion Landfill permit application, 6 p.m., 
Carmichaels Area Junior-Senior High School Auditorium, 300 W. Greene St., Carmichaels.
Contact: John Poister, 412-442-4000.

May 28
Certification Program Advisory Committee (CPAC) meeting, 9 a.m., Room 105, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg.  Contact: Cheri Sansoni, 717-772-5158.

June 2
Storage Tank Advisory Committee meeting, 10 a.m., 14th Floor Conference Room, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg. Contact: Charles M. Swokel,  717-772-5806.

June 3
Coastal Zone Advisory Committee meeting, 9:30 a.m., 10th Floor Conference Room, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg. Contact: Stacey Box, 717-772-5622.

June 4
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.

June 4
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.

Public Input

May 4
Deadline to comment on the Federal Consistency Under the Coastal Zone Management Act; Maintenance Dredging at Presque Isle and Erie Bluffs State Parks.  Contact:  Matthew Walderon, 717-772-2196.

May 4
Deadline to comment on Pennsylvania's Capability Enhancement Program Technical Guidance.  Contact
Kevin Anderson, (717) 783-9764.

May 19
Deadline to comment on the Advance Notice of Final Rulemaking: Environmental Protection Performance Standards at Oil and Gas Well Sites.  Contact: Kurt Klapkowski, 717-772-2199.

May 20
Deadline to comment on the Riparian Buffer or Riparian Forest Buffer Equivalency Demonstration Technical Guidance.  Contact: Jennifer Orr, 717-787-3411.

May 20
Deadline to comment on the Riparian Buffer or Riparian Forest Buffer Offsetting, Technical Guidance. Contact: Jennifer Orr, 717-787-3411.

May 20
Deadline to comment on the Nutrient Credit Trading Program; Credit Certification.  Contact: Jay Braund, 717-772-5636.

Speakers' Bureau

 

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DEP, PEC Honor Winners of 2015 Environmental Excellence Award

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DEP Acting Secretary John Quigley delivers the keynote address recognizing the Governor's Award winners. 

HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Wolf this week announced the winners of the 2015 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence.  The winners were honored at a dinner sponsored by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council in Harrisburg on April 28.

DEP Acting Secretary John Quigley delivered the keynote address, thanking all of the award recipients for their dedication and efforts to improve Pennsylvania's environment. 

"Collectively, they demonstrate the essential fact that environmental stewardship and economic development are inextricably linked, as they must be to build a more prosperous, healthier future for Pennsylvania," Quigley said. 

He also talked about Gov. Wolf's proposed budget, calling it a blueprint for Pennsylvania's future.

"A fundamental underpinning of this vision is that we cannot accept where things currently stand, nor can we accept business as usual," Quigley said. 

He also pledged DEP's committment to meeting Governor Wolf's challenge to deliver jobs that pay, schools that teach, and government that works for all Pennsylvanians.

"A government that works is a government that listens.  It's all about dialogue," Quigley said.

The awards are given to Pennsylvania businesses, schools, government agencies, trade organizations, non-profit organizations, or agribusinesses that complete projects that promote environmental stewardship and economic development.

Click here to read more about the winners.

DEP Awards 110 Grants for Environmental Education and Stewardship        

HARRISBURG -- DEP recently awarded $304,137 in environmental education grants to 110 schools, universities, non-profit organizations, and conservation districts across Pennsylvania.

“Funding environmental education projects like these is an important function of government that works,” Acting DEP Secretary John Quigley said. “I am pleased that we can support these initiatives that not only educate our young people about today’s environmental issues, but also realize tangible environmental benefits.”

Read more.

First of Three Additional Hearings Held on Proposed Changes to Chapter 78, 78a

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Fifty people testified at the first of three additional public hearings on proposed regulatory changes for oil and gas sites. 

WASHINGTON – Approximately 200 people attended the first of three additional public hearings to discuss revisions to the Environmental Protection Performance Standards at Oil and Gas Well Sites (Chapter 78 and 78a). The hearings were added to the recently-extended public comment period for the draft final rule.  The first hearing was held April 29 at Washington and Jefferson College, Washington.

Two additional public hearings will be held April 30 in Warren and May 4 in Williamsport.

The public comment period ends on May 19. The additional hearings and extended public comment period will allow more time for citizens to submit written or verbal comments on the changes made to the draft final versions of Chapter 78 and 78a.

The revisions are available at DEP's website.

New Data Reveals Increase in Emissions from Natural Gas Drilling

HARRISBURG -- DEP recently released the 2013 air emissions inventory for the natural gas drilling industry that shows increases in several categories of contaminants. The data is required to be reported to DEP under Pennsylvania’s Air Pollution Control Act.

The inventory represents 2013 emissions from Marcellus Shale natural gas production and processing operations as well as compressor stations that receive gas from coal gas and conventional oil and gas well sites.

Read more.

DEP Approves Air Quality Plan for Modifications at Easton Compressor Station

WILKES-BARRE -- DEP has issued an Air Quality Plan Approval to Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC to modify their existing natural gas compressor station in Forks Township, Northampton County. The company will replace two natural gas-fired turbines and an emergency generator.

“The air quality plan approval application underwent a thorough review by our Air Quality Staff and the department determined that the project satisfies all applicable requirements, including the best available technology for reducing emissions,” said DEP Northeast Regional Director Mike Bedrin.

Read more.

DEP Study Reveals Lyme Disease Risk in all 67 Counties of Pennsylvania

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HARRISBURG -- For the first time, blacklegged (deer) ticks have now been observed in all 67 counties of Pennsylvania, according to researchers at DEP. The range expansion took place in just decades, as similar studies conducted in the mid-1960s found no specimens.

DEP’s Vector Management Program, in collaboration with the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, published the findings on the risk of tick-borne disease in Pennsylvania in the Journal of Medical Entomology on April 14. The study was authored by the DEP Vector Management team of Mike Hutchinson, Maria Strohecker, Andy Kyle, and Matt Helwig and Indiana University of Pennsylvania Professor of Biology Dr. Tom Simmons.

Read more.

DEP Honored for Clarion County Abandoned Mine Reclamation Project

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Carol Varano, John Stefanko, Kevin Giles, Ron Lindemuth, David Fromell, Scott Poborsky and Bill Dadamo (L-R) are honored for their reclamation project in Clarion County.  

EBENSBURG -- The Pennsylvania Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative (ARRI) recently presented its 2014 Excellence in Reforestation Award to DEP’s Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation and contractor Morgan’s Excavating for their work to reclaim dangerously steep waste coal piles in Elk Township, Clarion County.

“This area has languished for nearly 50 years with dangerous highwalls, pits, and erosion issues,” DEP Deputy Secretary for Active and Abandoned Mine Operations John Stefanko said. “The work done at this site has not only enhanced the environment, but created a new, safe area of recreation for area residents and sportsmen alike.”

Read more.

Public Water Line Construction Begins Near Ivy Industrial Park

WILKES-BARRE -- Construction of an approximately $20 million public water distribution and supply system began this month to service residents in four Lackawanna County communities affected by groundwater contamination that impacted privately owned water wells. The work is part of a 2011 agreement between DEP and the companies responsible for the contamination: Bostik, Inc. and Sandvik, Inc., both tenants of the Ivy Industrial Park in South Abington and Scott townships.

The new system will consist of a water supply pumping station and more than 20 miles of main distribution line, which will connect to new water service lines running to approximately 330 properties in Scott, Waverly, South Abington and North Abington townships. Another 70 homes that had the potential to be impacted by the contamination have already been connected to existing water lines.

Read more.

DEP At Home Exhibit Makes Stops at Phillies Game, State Capitol

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DEP’s Heidi Kunka poses with Phillies radio broadcasters Larry Anderson and Scott Franzke.

PHILADELPHIA – A portion of the DEP at Home exhibit was on display on Earth Day, April 22, at the second annual Phillies Red Goes Green event at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

DEP Southeast Regional Attorney Andy Hartzell, and Heidi Kunka and Walt Dinda of DEP’s Office of Pollution Prevention & Energy Assistance talked to visitors about sustainable building materials featured in the exhibit.  They include cork and bamboo flooring, pervious pavers, and low/no VOC (volatile organic compound) paints, as well as energy efficient products such as insulated concrete forms (ICFs) and various kinds of insulation like denim, cellulose and spray foam. 

Many other environmental organizations and nonprofits participated in the green-themed baseball game.  EPA Region 3 Administrator Shawn Garvin threw out the first pitch. 

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DEP's Jack Farster talks with visiting students at the state capitol.

Another portion of the exhibit is on display in the East Wing of the state capitol building this week where lots of school children and employees stopped by to visit.  DEP staff were on hand to answer questions and discuss enviornmentaltopics

The DEP at Home exhibit was made possible through funding from the U.S. Department of Energy. 

DEP Southcentral Regional Employees Conduct Earth Day Cleanup Along Asylum Run

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Volunteers from DEP's Southcentral Regional Office participate in the annual Earth Day Cleanup.

HARRISBURG -- For the third consecutive year, staff from DEP's Southcentral Regional Office conducted an Earth Day cleanup event along Asylum Run on the grounds of the former Harrisburg State Hospital. Approximately 20 individuals participated in this year’s event and collected an assortment of typical litter items such as bottles, cans, wrappers and bags. Big items collected this year included a computer monitor, a mounted automobile tire, and a bed frame.

Take Your Child to Work Day a Success at DEP

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Children of DEP employees take a nature walk around Pittsburgh's Washington's Landing.

PITTSBURGH -- Staff from DEP's central and regional offices participated in the annual Take Your Child to Work Day on April 23. 
At DEP's headquarters in Harrisburg, 50 children of employees participated in hands-on activities such as Frisbee golf to learn about reducing air pollution and a scavenger hunt of the Environmental Education Center to learn about sustainability.  DEP and DCNR staff also conducted sessions about bats, aquatic bugs and water quality, and geology.

In Pittsburgh, more than 30 sons and daughters of DEP employees in the Southwest Regional office toured the offices and operations where their parents work. They enjoyed crafts and coloring as well as a nature walk around Washington's Landing where the office is located.                 

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

 

 

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