Thursday, October 20, 2016

Gov. Wolf Names Members Of Advisory Council For Hunting, Fishing And Conservation

Gov. Tom Wolf Thursday announced he had chosen twenty individuals to serve on his Advisory Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation. The Governor appointed former House member Dan Surra to serve as Council Chair.
First formed in 1985, the council provides a forum through which a distinguished group of outdoor recreation and conservation-minded citizens can provide recommendations about Pennsylvania’s wildlife and natural resources, and on ways to protect, promote and enhance our outdoor heritage.
Among the council’s specific duties will be to recruit, screen and recommend nominees for the boards of the Fish and Boat Commission and the Game Commission.
The following individuals have been appointed to volunteer in this capacity: William Andahazy – Luzerne County; Doug Austen – Cumberland County; John Bane – Dauphin County; Charles Burchfield – Clearfield County; Jolene Connelly – Snyder County; Elizabeth Daugherty – Clarion County; Jay Delaney – Luzerne County; Mike Dillon – Mifflin County; Jim Foster – Cumberland County; Michele Kittell – Union County; Skip Klinger – Lebanon County; Leo Lutz – Lancaster County; Carolyn Mahan – Blair County; Ben Moyer – Fayette County; Paula Piatt – Bradford County; Spencer Simon – Allegheny County; Michael Steele – Luzerne County; Dan Surra, Elk County; Jose’ Taracido – Washington County; and Don Williams – Erie County.
The Council and a Youth Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation were re-established by Gov. Wolf by Executive Order in 2015.
Robb Miller, of Perry County, serves as the Governor’s Advisor for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation, and will oversee administration of council activities.  Contact Miller by sending email to:

Fifth DCNR Foliage Report: Leaves Will Start Peaking All Over Next Week

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Thursday posted its fifth Fall foliage report showing forest colors are expected to peak all over Pennsylvania in the next week, except for in the Southeast.
Fall foliage visitors can also get suggestions about the best spots to view foliage on DCNR’s Penn’s Woods Fall Foliage Story Map.
For more information, visit DCNR’s Penn’s Woods Fall Foliage webpage.

Reimagining Our Westmoreland, Nov. 2 Meeting On A New County Comprehensive Plan

The Westmoreland Land Trust and the Loyalhanna Watershed Association will host a special Reimagining Our Westmoreland event on November 2 in Ligonier.
Come to the meeting and share your thoughts, hopes, and suggestions for how our county should use our land, what kind of transportation infrastructure we should have and other important quality-of-life topics.
Your input will help shape Westmoreland County’s new Comprehensive Plan — a guiding document for the future of the county for the next 10 to 20 years.
The event will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at The Watershed Farm, home of the Loyalhanna Watershed Association, 6 Old Lincoln Highway West, Ligonier.  Light refreshments will be served.
The event is free, but space is limited to allow everyone time to participate. To RSVP, call 724-238-7560, ext. 1#.
For more information on programs, initiatives and other upcoming events, visit the Westmoreland Land Trust and Loyalhanna Watershed Association websites.

Apply For Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Starting Nov. 1

The Department of Human Services will begin accepting applications for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance starting November 1.
LIHEAP, helps low-income families pay their heating bills. LIHEAP is a grant that offers assistance in the form of a cash grant, sent directly to the utility company, or a crisis grant for households in immediate danger of being without heat.
Individuals can apply for LIHEAP by using COMPASS the online benefits website, by visiting your local county assistance office or call the LIHEAP hotline at 1-866-857-7095 Monday through Friday (individuals with hearing impairments may call the TDD number at 1-800-451-5886).
Additional information about weatherizing your residence and other assistance that may be available can be obtained by visiting DHS’ Low-Income Home Energy Assistance.

Groups Petition EPA On Adequacy Of Allegheny County Air Permitting Program

The Clean Air Council, on behalf of itself and PennEnvironment, Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future, and Clean Water Action, has petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to find a deficiency in the Allegheny County Health Department’s administration of the Title V air permitting program.
In late September, the Group Against Smog and Pollution reported approximately 30 percent of the major sources of air pollution in Southwestern PA are operating with either an expired Title V Air Quality Permit or have never been issued one at all.
The petition also requests that EPA sanction the Department and ultimately strip it of its authority to administer this program, if it does not make progress on its decades-old problem of not timely processing Title V permit applications for large industrial facilities.
The Title V permit program was created by Congress in 1990 to improve compliance with and enforcement of Clean Air Act requirements.
The Title V program allows community members to more easily determine all the requirements that an industrial facility must meet, including such things as emissions limitations, technologies to reduce emissions, and emissions monitoring.
In addition, the program provides important opportunities for the public to comment and raise concerns about the adequacy of permit conditions, including compliance concerns.
The Health Department is required to consider and respond to comments and concerns, and if commenters feel that the Department is not adequately addressing their concerns, they can ask EPA to object to a permit proposed by the Department.                    
In the petition, the groups are asking EPA to publish a Notice of Deficiency in the Federal Register.  The Clean Air Act requires the Allegheny Health Department to make a decision on a Title V permit application within 18 months.  
The petition alleges that the Department has failed to meet this deadline for the majority of industrial sources that are currently subject to this program, with some delays lasting over 20 years.  
“The Title V program provides a unique opportunity for concerned residents to carefully review how the Department is regulating a major polluting facility,” said Christopher Ahlers, a Staff Attorney for the Clean Air Council.  “By delaying the processing of permits for up to two decades, the Department has deprived the residents of Allegheny County of important information that impacts their health and welfare.”
Joe Minott, Executive Director and Chief Counsel of the Clean Air Council, added-- “After approving the authority of a local agency to administer the Title V program, EPA continues to play an important role in evaluating the administration of that program, and in addressing the issue when it is inadequate..”  
"Local residents should not have to hold their breath waiting for the Health Department to renew outdated and expired air pollution permits," noted PennEnvironment Executive Director David Masur. "We owe it to our kids and families to have air permits updated in a timely fashion, and to require the best available pollution technology. Not wait for months or even years while expired permits collect dust in some backroom at the Health Department."
"Compliance with air pollution limits has been a huge problem for industrial facilities in Allegheny County, with violations often going on for years. By issuing operating permits on time, ACHD could be making sure that all major air pollution sources are ending illegal actions. This would be a breath of fresh air for neighbors to these plants," said Myron Arnowitt, Pennsylvania Director for Clean Water Action.
For more information, contact Joseph Otis Minott, Esq., Executive Director and Chief Counsel, 215-567-4004 ext. 116 or Christopher Ahlers, Esq., Senior Attorney, 215-567-4004 ext. 125
Related Story:
GASP: ⅓ Of Major Air Pollution Sources In Southwest PA Don’t Have Current Permits

Keep PA Beautiful: How Will You Celebrate America Recycles Day Nov. 15?

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is encouraging all Pennsylvanians to get involved on America Recycles Day, November 15.
America Recycles Day recognizes the benefits of recycling while providing an educational platform that helps raise awareness about the value of reducing, reusing and recycling – every day – throughout the year.
KPB invites you to plan your own ARD event by taking advantage of the wide variety of tools and resources KAB offers to make event planning easy and successful.
Once planned, register your event here – this allows your event to become part of the national network of America Recycles Day events!
“America Recycles Day provides the encouragement and ‘know how’ to make recycling a common practice every day of the year,” said Brenda Pulley, senior vice president, recycling, Keep America Beautiful. “We invite you to host an event in your community –  invite your family and friends from work, school, your neighbor to participate in America Recycles Day and to take the #BeRecycled Pledge in a collective national effort to improve recycling in our country.”
“America Recycles Day provides a means to encourage recycling 365 days a year whether it’s at school, home or whole communities,” said Shannon Reiter, President of Keep PA Beautiful. “We are grateful to Keep America Beautiful for providing this resource to our local communities.”
Events can be scheduled at any time during the fall leading into the official America Recycles Day celebration on November 15.
Visit the national America Recycles Day website for more information and ideas for setting up events.
For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from KPB, Like them on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, Discover them on Pinterest and visit their YouTube Channel.
Also visit the Illegal Dump Free PA website for more ideas on how to clean up communities and keep them clean and KPB’s new Electronics Waste website.

Fall BayBound Newsletter From The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA Now Available

The Fall edition of the BayBound newsletter from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA is now available featuring articles on--
For more on Chesapeake Bay-related issues in Pennsylvania, visit the Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA webpage.  Click Here to sign up for Pennsylvania updates (bottom of left column).  Click Here for a copy of CBF-PA’s most recent newsletter.
(Photo: York County farmland.)

Apply Now For Teacher, Student Education Programs By Chesapeake Bay Foundation

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is now accepting applications for its Spring 2017 education programs for teachers and students.  The deadline for applications is December 2.
CBF offers many opportunities for students, teachers, and other adults to get outside and learn about the wonders of our Bay region. Here's everything you need to apply for one of our one-day programs or residential programs.
For more information, visit CBF’s Education Program webpage.  Questions should be directed by email to:
For more on Chesapeake Bay-related issues in Pennsylvania, visit the Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA webpage.  Click Here to sign up for Pennsylvania updates (bottom of left column).  Click Here for a copy of CBF-PA’s most recent newsletter.

DEP Holds Nov. 2 Hearing On Renewal Of Scranton Sewer Authority Permit

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced it will host a public hearing regarding the renewal of a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit application for the Scranton Sewer Authority on November 2 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Council Chambers of Scranton City Hall, at 340 N Washington Avenue.
The renewal would authorize the discharge of treated wastewater from the Scranton Sewer Authority Wastewater Treatment Plant to waters of the Commonwealth.
The Department is holding the public hearing in response to a request from the Scranton Sewer Authority due to anticipated public interest in the draft NPDES Permit.
The purpose of the hearing will be to receive public comment regarding the draft NPDES Permit. Written copies of anticipated oral testimony are requested and can be submitted at the meeting.
The draft renewal permit was submitted to DEP on April 1, 2014. The public comment period for the renewal began on October 1, 2016, and will end on November 1, 2016.
Those persons wishing to comment are requested to register by emailing: Colleen Connolly, Community Relations Coordinator at: or Amy Bellanca, Environmental Engineer Manager, Clean Water Program at:
Those who cannot attend the public hearing can send in the written comments to the email addresses above or can send comments to Amy Bellanca, Clean Water Program, 2 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre, 18701. Written public comments will be accepted until 4 p.m. on November 4, 2016.  
A copy of the draft permit, fact sheet, and application can be viewed at DEP’s Northeast Regional Office located at 2 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre 18701. Those wishing to make an appointment to view the documents can do so between the hours of 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. by calling 570-826-2511.
Individuals in need of an accommodation as provided for in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 should contact Colleen Connolly or make accommodations through the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service at 1-800-654-5984 (TDD).

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