Friday, September 23, 2016

Sept. 26 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The Sept. 26 PA Environment Digest is now available.  Here are just a few of the headlines--

The PA Growing Greener Coalition Monday unveiled its blueprint for $315 million in new investments in a Growing Greener III Program to provide annual funding for clean water, parks and trails, green open spaces, and locally grown food.
The proposal would dramatically expand the number of programs included in the present Growing Greener Program to fund 27 different initiatives, but does not propose a source of revenue necessary to add $315 million to the existing $57 million Growing Greener funding.

The PA Environmental Council and other groups this week put a spotlight on House attempts to rollback protections now in DEP’s drilling regulations, kill regulations with a single vote from a single committee in the House or Senate and possible attempts to reduce protection for endangered species.

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee has scheduled a meeting for September 27 to vote on Senate Resolution 385 (Brooks-R-Crawford) directing the Joint State Government Commission to identify environmental laws and regulations more stringent than federal law as a first step to rolling back environmental protection in Pennsylvania (sponsor summary).  Only a vote by the Senate is needed to direct the Joint Commission to undertake this study, not the House.

Harry Campbell, PA Director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Monday provided an update on CBF-PA’s efforts to have the lower Susquehanna River designated as impaired for aquatic life by the Department of Environmental Protection.  His update said--  This past week, we delivered 6,204 signatures to the Acting Secretary of the DEP.   Click Here to learn more about the critical importance of the Susquehanna River.

Pennsylvania watershed and conservation organizations may be eligible for free technical assistance to effectively assess, monitor, and restore their local water resources.  The Consortium for Scientific Assistance to Watersheds (C-SAW) is offering both organizational and scientific assistance, made possible by a Growing Greener grant from the Department of Environmental Protection.

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday invited nonprofits, local governments, schools and universities, and other organizations to apply for 2017 Coastal Zone Grants to be used for projects that benefit Pennsylvania’s coastal resources in the Lake Erie and Delaware Estuary watersheds.   The deadline for applications is October 17.

The Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition September Catalyst newsletter included this feature on generating electricity from mine drainage treatment systems-- Research, education programs, and demonstrations of innovative mine drainage treatment and land reclamation technologies have been ongoing at the Jennings Environmental Education Center passive treatment system for over 20 years in Butler County.

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is pleased to announce Elena Prenovitz of Erie has been selected by Keep America Beautiful as one of 10 high school students from across the country to serve for another year on its national Youth Advisory Council (YAC).  Selections for the Council were based on a rigorous application and interview process.

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Friday announced the point and observation area on the Susquehanna River at Shikellamy State Park in Northumberland County will be now be called “Kury Point” to honor former Sen. Franklin Kury who authored the section of Pennsylvania’s Constitution popularly known as the Environmental Rights Amendment.

The Public Utility Commission this week issued its 2015 Annual Report on implementation of the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act which found 67 percent of the sources certified to generate the credits needed to meet the AEPS standard come from outside Pennsylvania.
Fifty-three percent of the Tier II credit generators are also from outside Pennsylvania.
In terms of credits retired to meet the AEPS standard in 2015, 35.8 percent of Tier I credits, 62.3 percent of Tier II credits and 74.1 percent of the solar credits came from Pennsylvania.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Thursday posted its first Fall foliage report showing expected dates when the best forest colors can be found.  Fall foliage visitors can also get suggestions about the best spots to view foliage on DCNR’s Penn’s Woods Fall Foliage Story Map.

To read the Digest, visit: www.PaEnvironmentDigest.com.  Click Here to print the entire Digest.

PA Environment Digest is edited by David E. Hess, former Secretary Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and is published as a service of Crisci Associates.


Additional Tools--
Click Here to sign up to receive the Digest directly by email.
Click Here for a Calendar of Upcoming Events.
Click Here to search back issues of the Digest.
PA Environment Digest Twitter Feed: Update on PA environmental issues.
PA Environment Daily Blog: Update on PA environmental issues.
Green Works In PA Google+ Circle: Update on PA environmental issues.
Questions?: Send email to David Hess at: DHess@CrisciAssociates.com

Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition: Electricity Generated From Mine Drainage? Yes!

The Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition September Catalyst newsletter included this feature on generating electricity from mine drainage treatment systems--
Research, education programs, and demonstrations of innovative mine drainage treatment and land reclamation technologies have been ongoing at the Jennings Environmental Education Center passive treatment system for over 20 years in Butler County.
Jennings staff is excited to demonstrate the generation of electricity by a new off-grid, first-of-its-kind, nano/pico- hydropower facility using partially-treated mine drainage.
The electricity generated, although very limited due to the 15- to 20-gpm mine drainage flow rate, is currently powering light in the Foltz School-house, which is under renovation by the JEEC for educational programs.
The electricity generated by the hydropower facility is currently the only source of electricity to the historic, one-room, Foltz Schoolhouse. (Photo)
This project was made possible through Commonwealth Financing Authority funding via a grant to the nonprofit Stream Restoration Incorporated, and partnerships with Josh Matheny, a graduate student in mechanical engineering at West Virginia University, and AquaFix Systems, Inc., based in Kingwood, WV.
Components that would come in contact with the corrosive, partially-treated, abandoned mine drainage were constructed using stainless steel.
AquaFix Systems/Preston Machine Inc. facilitated the design, manufacture, and installation of the electricity-generating components, with installation also handled by BioMost, Inc. An onsite AquaFix® waterwheel is incorporated into the design of the hydropower facility.
Construction consisted of three main phases: retrofitting the AquaFix® waterwheel with the hydropower generating facilities (“Trickle Charger”); diverting water from the Jennings VFP outlet pipe to the AquaFix® waterwheel and returning the water to the passive treatment system; and installing the electric wiring from the hydropower generator to the Foltz Schoolhouse with installation of a switch-operated light fixture.
Josh delivered and assisted in assembling and connecting the “Trickle Charger” to the AquaFix® System in mid-June of this year.
The “Trickle Charger” includes not only the 24-volt generator, but also the batteries to be charged by the electricity generated as well as the charge controller, isolation switch, diode, and transformer.
Two, 12-volt, batteries continuously charged by the “Trickle Charger” are used to provide electricity to the Foltz Schoolhouse.
Partially-treated mine water was diverted to the AquaFix® waterwheel by excavating a trench to the existing PVC outlet pipe from the Jennings VFP and installing a “penstock” to the waterwheel.
Two, PVC, ball valves were installed to control the flow to the waterwheel. The diverted water operates (spins) the waterwheel to generate electricity.
The water is then discharged from the waterwheel into an upgraded rock-lined channel which conveys the flow to a culvert pipe which outlets to the existing channel wetland.
As thousands of people including local students, out-of-state visitors, and international professionals participate in the educational opportunities at the site, JEEC signage and educational programs will be used to demonstrate the generation of electricity by this unique pico-hydropower system!
For more information on programs, initiatives, upcoming events and volunteer opportunities, visit the Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition website.  Click Here to sign up for your own copy of The Catalyst newsletter.
Clean Creek Products
Looking for a holiday gift that will please the most discriminating taste and help the environment? Consider pottery products from Clean Creek.
Clean Creek Products, a division of Stream Restoration Inc., a nonprofit watershed restoration organization, was formed to market the metals recovered in treating abandoned mine drainage.  One of the uses for these metals is in ceramic pottery glazing.
Every product you purchase from Clean Creek will not only support the artists that create them, but also helps support watershed groups doing local projects to help restore Pennsylvania's over 16,500 miles of polluted waterways.

Annual Westminster College Student Symposium On The Environment Dec. 1

Come one, come all! Come to the Annual Student Symposium on the Environment December 1 at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Lawrence County.  Applications for student presentations are now being accepted.
Join the Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition, environmental professionals, educators, and watershed organizations for an evening at Westminster College showcasing student research and creative works.
The Student Symposium on the Environment is held each December to highlight environmental study, research, artistic expression, and service work by students in the region.  Students from all disciplines, ranging from high school through graduate school, are encouraged to participate.
Research posters, art work, oral presentations, and even performances will be showcased for all interested in learning about and celebrating students’ accomplishments.
Student Applications
The SRWC is now accepting applications for student presentations.   Please contact Cliff Denholm at 724-776-0161 if you would like to present at the Student Symposium. SRWC looks forward to seeing the always-excellent presentations by our area’s many talented young people!
For more information on programs, initiatives, upcoming events and volunteer opportunities, visit the Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition website.  Click Here to sign up for your own copy of The Catalyst newsletter.
Clean Creek Products
Looking for a holiday gift that will please the most discriminating taste and help the environment? Consider pottery products from Clean Creek.
Clean Creek Products, a division of Stream Restoration Inc., a nonprofit watershed restoration organization, was formed to market the metals recovered in treating abandoned mine drainage.  One of the uses for these metals is in ceramic pottery glazing.
Every product you purchase from Clean Creek will not only support the artists that create them, but also helps support watershed groups doing local projects to help restore Pennsylvania's over 16,500 miles of polluted waterways.

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