News from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

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DEP Calendar of Events

Oct. 2
Low-Level Waste Advisory Committee (LLWAC) meeting, 10 a.m., Room 105, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg. Contact: Rich Janati, 717-787-2147.

Oct. 5
Clean Power Plan Listening Session, 2 p.m., Crystal Ballroom, White Rose Event Center, Wyndham Garden York, 2000 Loucks Rd. York. Contact Jen Swan, 717-783-8727.

Oct. 8
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.

Oct. 13
Water Systems Technical Assistance Center Board meeting, 9 a.m., Room 105, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market Street, Harrisburg. Contact: Dawn Hissner, 717-772-2189.

Oct. 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.

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

Oct. 20
LED Street Lighting Workshop for municipal officials, 9 a.m., Tom Ridge Environmental Center, 301 Peninsula Dr., Erie. Contact Geoff Bristow, 814-332-6681.

Oct. 21
DEP Agricultural Advisory Board meeting, 9 a.m., DEP South-central Regional Office, 909 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg. Contact: Tom Juengst, 717-772-5646.

Oct. 21
LED Street Lighting Workshop for municipal officials, 9 a.m., Cranberry Highlands Golf Course, 5601 Freshcorn Rd., Cranberry Township. Contact: Geoff Bristow, 814-332-6681.

Oct. 22
Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board (MRAB) meeting, 10 a.m., Room 105, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg. Contact: Daniel E. Snowden, 717-783-8846.

Oct. 22
Clean Power Plan Listening Session, 6 p.m., Trumbower 130, Muhlenberg College, 2238 Chew St., Allentown. Contact Jen Swan, 717-783-8727.

Oct. 26
EPA Brownfields Grant Writing Workshop for FY16 Guidelines, 1-4 p.m., Susquehanna Room A, DEP South-Central Regional Office, 909 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg. Contact: Kim Hoover, 717-787-8623.

Oct. 27
Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board meeting, 10 a.m., Room 105, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg. Contact: Kurt Klapkowski, 717-772-2199.

Oct. 28
Small Business Compliance Advisory Committee meeting, 10 a.m., 12 Floor Conference Room, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg. Contact: Susan Foster, 717-772-3369.

Oct. 28
Pennsylvania Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force meeting, 1 p.m., Susquehanna Conference Rooms A & B, DEP South-central Regional Office, 909 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg. Contact: Karyn Yordy, 717-787-2814.

Oct. 28
Clean Power Plan Listening Session, 6 p.m., John E. Morgan Auditorium, Penn State Schuylkill, 200 University Dr., Schuylkill Haven. Contact: Jen Swan, 717-783-8727.

Oct. 29
State Board For Certification of Water and Wastewater Systems meeting, 10th Floor Conference Room, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg. Contact: Cheri Sansoni, 717-772-5158.

Oct. 29
Conventional Oil and Gas Advisory Committee (COGAC), 10 a.m., Room 105, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg. Contact:Kurt Klapkowski, 717-772-2199.

Oct. 29
Clean Power Plan Listening Session, 6 p.m., Hirt Auditorium at Blasco Library, 160 East Front St., Erie. Contact Jen Swan, 717-783-8727.

Oct. 30
Clean Power Plan Listening Session, 9 a.m., Gemmell Student Center Multi-Purpose Room, 2nd Floor, Clarion University, Corner of Payne St. and Wilson Ave. Clarion. Contact Jen Swan, 717-783-8727.

Oct. 30
Clean Power Plan Listening Session, 2 p.m., 7 Hiller Building Auditorium, Penn State Dubois, One College Pl.  Dubois. Contact Jen Swan, 717-783-8727.

Oct. 30
LED Street Lighting Workshop for municipal officials, 9 a.m., Celebration Hall, 2280 Commercial Blvd., State College. Contact: Geoff Bristow, 814-332-6681.

Public Input

Oct. 13
Deadline to comment on the Proposed Rulemaking: Control of VOC Emissions from Miscellaneous Metal Parts Surface Coating Processes, Miscellaneous Plastic Parts Surface Coating Processes and Pleasure Craft Surface Coatings. Contact: Kirit Dalal, 717-772-3436.

Oct. 13
Deadline to comment on the Proposed Rulemaking: Control of VOC Emissions from Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coating Operations and Heavier Vehicle Coating Operations. Contact: Kirit Dalal, 717-772-3436.

Oct. 14
Deadline to comment on the Modification of Residual Waste General Permit WMGR052. Contact: 717-787-7381.

Oct. 26
Deadline to comment on the Nutrient Credit Trading Program Certification Request: Energy Works, Adams County; CAFO layer manure from Hillendale Farms. Contact: Jay Braund, 717-772-5636.

Nov. 4
Deadline to comment on the 2015 Pennsylvania Climate Impacts Assessment Update. Contact: 717-783-8727.

Nov. 12
Deadline to comment on Pennsylvania's Path to Compliance with EPA's Final Rule for Carbon Pollution Emissions Guidelines for Existing Sources: EGUs (Clean Power Plan). Contact:ecomment@pa.gov.

Speakers' Bureau

 

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DEP Issues Update on Chemical Release into Water Supply in Potter County

HARRISBURG -- DEP has issued a Notice of Violation to JKLM Energy after the chemical release from JKLM's Reese Hollow 118 well pad on Sept. 18, 2015. The wellpad is located in Sweden Township.

The Notice of Violation includes:
     Failure to prevent pollution of fresh groundwater; 
     Drilling through fresh groundwater with a substance other than air, freshwater or freshwater based drilling fluids; and 
     Violations of Pennsylvania's Clean Streams Law.

DEP has had representatives in the area almost daily since Sept. 21, collecting samples, meeting with property owners affected by the release, and overseeing operations at the gas well. More than 60 individual water samples have been taken from residential water supplies through Sept. 29, 2015. DEP is continuing to test and analyze residential and municipal water supplies for evidence of contamination.

Read more.

DEP Completes 7 of 14 Listening Sessions on the Federal Clean Power Plan

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Nearly 100 people turned out for the second of DEP's Clean Power Plan Listening Sessions in Pittsburgh. Secretary Quigley stressed that public participation is important as the agency begins work on Pennsylvania's Clean Power Plan.

HARRISBURG -- DEP has conducted half of the 14 listening sessions on the federal Clean Power Plan (CPP) to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. DEP Secretary John Quigley has chaired each session.  DEP is soliciting comments on the Clean Energy Incentive Program component of the CPP and on the EPA-proposed federal plan that serves as a model rule for states developing their state plans.

Times and locations of the next seven sessions to be held in York, Lehigh, Schuylkill, Erie, Clarion, Clearfield and Lycoming counties are listed in the calendar of events.

Read more.

DEP Offers Municipal LED Street Lighting Workshops for FirstEnergy Customers

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The Borough of Tarentum converted its streetlighting to fixtures with dimmable photocells, saving nearly $40,000 a year.

HARRISBURG -- DEP is helping municipalities take advantage of light-emitting diode (LED) street lighting through a series of workshops for local municipal officials in the FirstEnergy electric utility territories of Penelec, West Penn Power, Penn Power, and Met-Ed.

Recently, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission approved new rates for utility-owned LED street lighting service in the FirstEnergy electric utility territories. This allows those utility companies to offer LED street lights for the first time to their municipal street lighting customers. LED technology can replace the existing, less efficient high pressure sodium lights currently installed in most municipalities. In most cases, lighting can be replaced with no upfront costs to the municipality.

"DEP is pleased to partner with local governments to teach them about the cost savings, energy reduction, and lighting benefits of the LED street lights," said DEP Secretary John Quigley. "This technology will help our local governments save money, reduce energy use, and prevent crime."

Read more.

DEP Revokes Accreditation for Southeast Pa. Laboratory

HARRISBURG -- DEP announced on Sept. 24 that it has revoked accreditation in-full for Cedar Grove Environmental Inc., an environmental laboratory in Chester County.

DEP's Laboratory Accreditation Program (LAP) conducted a regularly scheduled assessment of the facility in July 2015, and found repeat violations from 2012, 2009, and 2007 on-site assessments. These violations were in spite of claims from Cedar Grove that corrective measures had been taken and despite previous suspensions.

"Revoking the accreditation of a facility like Cedar Grove is not an action taken lightly," said Dr. Martina McGarvey, director of the Bureau of Labs for DEP. "However, given the pattern of violation, and apparent lack of ability or intent to rectify the violations, DEP was left with little alternative."

Read more.

DEP Reaches Settlement with Northampton County Company for Air Quality Violations

WILKES-BARRE -- DEP has reached an agreement with Keystone Cement Company of East Allen Township, Northampton County for the payment of a civil penalty in the amount of $197,203.00 for numerous air quality violations during a four-year period.

Quarterly emissions reports submitted to the Department by Keystone showed that the company exceeded permitted emission limits for certain pollutants and that it failed to satisfy data availability requirements for their continuous emissions monitoring system (CEMs). In addition, from September 2013 through June 2014, Department inspectors identified pressure drop violations related to the operation of air pollution control equipment at the facility.

Read more.

DEP Grants Air Quality Plan Approval for Natural Gas-Fired Power Plant in Luzerne County

WILKES-BARRE -- DEP has approved an air quality plan approval for Moxie Freedom Energy, LLC of Virginia to construct and operate a 1050-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant in Salem Township, Luzerne County. The approval was granted by DEP's Air Quality Program on Sept. 1.

"The application received a thorough review by the Department and we determined that Moxie's proposal satisfies applicable emissions control requirements, including use of Best Available Control Technology and Lowest Achievable Emission Rate", said Mike Bedrin, Director of DEP's Northeast Regional Office in Wilkes-Barre. "This plant will also have emissions testing, recordkeeping and continuous emission monitoring requirements to assist DEP in monitoring emissions from the facility to help ensure compliance."

Read more.

Local Governments, Non-Profits Encouraged to attend Brownfields Workshop

HARRISBURG -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 3 Brownfields team invites representatives of local governments and nonprofit organizations to participate in its upcoming Brownfields Proposal Guidelines Workshop. The workshop is designed to explain the proposal criteria and selection process for EPA's Brownfields assessment, cleanup, and RLF grants. The anticipated release date of the Fiscal Year 2016 proposal guidelines is Fall 2015, with proposals being due 60 days after release date.

The following topics will be addressed during the workshop:
     Different EPA Brownfield grant types and candidates eligible to apply; 
     Grant application process and threshold and ranking criteria; and
     Proposal tips and strategies.

The workshop will be held at 1 p.m., Oct. 26 at DEP's South Central Regional Office, Susquehanna Room A, 909 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg.

Registration is free. Please RSVP to nevshehirlian.stepan@epa.govto attend.

DEP Announces Regional Keystone Energy Education Program Workshop in Philadelphia

NORRISTOWN -- DEP invites middle school teachers, administrators, and building managers to training workshop on Oct. 20 in Philadelphia on the Keystone Energy Education Program (KEEP) to teach and track energy efficiency in school buildings and homes.

KEEP is primarily for teachers of grades 4 through 8, administrators, and building maintenance managers. Workshop participants will explore energy conservation, efficiency, energy basics, student energy teams, and benchmarking the school building using the free Energy Star Portfolio Manager program through presentations, tours, and hands-on activities.

The workshop is offered free of charge and will be from 8:20 a.m.. to 3:45 p.m.. at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, 500 W. Willow Grove Ave. Pre-registration is required. Interested participants can find more information and register here.

State Wind Energy Forum to be Held Oct. 14

HARRISBURG -- The American Wind Energy Association will hold a one-day wind energy forum from 8 a.m.to 5 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 14 at Penn State Harrisburg.

Staff from DEP will join other state officials and state energy experts to discuss topics like wind/natural gas integration, the federal Clean Power Plan and the future of wind energy in Pennsylvania.

State Secretary of Policy and Planning John Hanger will deliver the opening plenary followed by a full day of panel discussions.

Landowners, county officials, rural bankers, agricultural producers, policy makers, manufacturers, developers, educators, researchers, advocates, utilities, economic development specialists, energy specialists, government officials, analysts, and regulatory personnel are encouraged to attend.

Register here.

DEP Reminds Pennsylvanians to Maintain Home Heating Oil Tanks

HARRISBURG -- With cooler temperatures approaching, DEP encourages residents to take precautions before filling their home heating oil tanks. Poorly maintained or leaking home heating oil tanks can pose a fire risk, diminish indoor air quality, or contaminate groundwater.

One in five Pennsylvania homes uses heating oil to stay warm in the winter. Owners of home heating oil tanks should consider inspecting indoor and outdoor home heating oil tanks for potential problems prior to refilling them. Preventing leaks will save owners energy and money, in addition to protecting owners' health.

Read more.

SepticSmart Week Emphasizes Maintenance

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DEP staff provided information about the proper maintenance of septic systems at this booth in the State Capitol.

HARRISBURG -- DEP marked SepticSmart Week (Sept. 21-25) by reminding Pennsylvanians about the importance of onlot septic system maintenance. This annual initiative, led by DEP and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), encourages residents to learn about and properly maintain their septic systems.

"More than 29 percent of Pennsylvanians rely on a septic system," said DEP Secretary John Quigley. "It's so important that these systems are maintained properly to prevent failure and to protect the public health and environment."

Read more.

DEP Wins Two Awards at the National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs Annual Conference

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From left to right: DEP's John Curley, Victor Gazella and Mike Korb, David Berry from OSMRE, DEP's Riyad Barkawi, John Stefanko and Eric Cavazza.

SANTA FE -- DEP's Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation received the 2015 Excellence in Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Appalachian Regional Award from the U.S. Department of Interiors Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) for its work on the Simpson Northeast Coal Refuse Fire in Fell Township, Lackawanna County in 2014. The award was presented at the National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs Annual Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico on Sept. 28.

This is the ninth in the last 10 years that a Pennsylvania project has won the Appalachian Regional or National AML Reclamation Award. The project was developed, designed, and supervised during construction by the staff from BAMR's Wilkes-Barre Office.

Details about the project are here.

Also honored at the conference was DEP's Richard Beam who won the 2015 Dave Bucknam Outstanding Instructor Award. Beam was given the award for his exemplary performance as an instructor for OSM's National Technical Training Program (NTTP). The award is given annually to an OSM-NTTP instructor who exhibits dedication, leadership, compassion, and commitment in promoting the training of fellow public employees. OSM-NTTP has hundreds of instructors located around the country that include current or retired state, tribal, or federal employees certified to instruct by OSM-NTTP.

"Rich has a breadth of experience and passion that he brings to the workplace," said DEP Deputy Secretary for Active and Abandoned Mine Operations John Stefanko. "In his capacity as an instructor, he has and will continue to foster important mine reclamation projects in Pennsylvania and beyond."

More information about Beam's award is here.

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