December 18, 2009

Friends Of Delaware Start Major Stream Restoration Project: The first stage in a massive stream restoration project, a Friends of the Upper Delaware River funded study recently completed by LandStudies Inc. lays out plans for the total rehabilitation of Sands and Cadosia Creeks in the Town of Hancock. This project will benefit habitat for the fishery, mitigate flooding for inhabitants of the watershed, and serve as a pilot program for streams throughout the region.
Click Here to watch a video overview of the project.

December 9, 2009

Tour Marcellus Shale Drilling Site. The December edition of Focus on Pennsylvania follows Sen. Mary Jo White (R-Venango) and Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) as they tour Chief Oil & Gas Marcellus Shale natural gas operations in Lycoming County.
The program covers topics such as the economic benefits and job creation from Marcellus Shale development as well as the environmental precautions and safety measures taken by the industry. Click here to watch video.

December 6, 2009

Carbon Benefits For PA Forest Land Owners. The Nature Conservancy-PA recently launched a model forest conservation program that aims to protect forests and fight climate change through an agreement with Blue Source to jointly develop market-based incentives that reward landowners who demonstrate exceptional forest management practices.
"Working Woodlands" is a new model of conservation that puts the growing market for carbon credits to work as a means to promote high quality forest conservation strategies on private lands," said Dylan Jenkins, the Pennsylvania director of forest conservation for The Nature Conservancy.
Building on the Conservancy and Blue Source's combined experience with land protection, forest certification and carbon finance, Working Woodlands uses an innovative combination of long-term working forest conservation agreements, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) forest management certification, and carbon market payments to make conservation a more attractive proposition for landowners. Click here for more information.

December 3, 2009

Lancaster County Energy From Waste Facility Tour. Senators Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon) and Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster) recently took a tour of the energy from waste facility built by the Lancaster County Solid Waste Authority.
The facility, operated by Covanta Energy, processed 379,000 tons of waste in 2008 producing 219 million kilowatts of electricity.
Going into service in 1991, the facility was built because the county wanted to reduce its dependence on landfilling as its primary waste disposal method as part of an integrated waste management system for the county. The system emphasizes waste reduction, recycling and energy generation with the final option being landfilling. Click here to watch the tour.

November 23, 2009

MCCC Sustainable Buildling Advisor Program. In keeping with the growing demand for green building technology and practices, Montgomery County Community College is offering a nine-month Sustainable Building Advisor Program starting January 2010.
The new program will provide the training and information for participants to become leaders in their careers, organizations and communities in the sustainable building field. The program is beneficial for a wide-range of building professionals and interested others.
The non-profit organization National Sustainable Building Advisor Program develops the comprehensive criteria for the program, which is offered at the College’s West Campus in Pottstown as part of its Continuing Education offerings.
Watch this video from NSBAP on the program and what a Sustainable Building Advisor does. Click here for complete announcement.

November 11, 2009

Dimock, Pa Pays Price For Gas Drilling. In the Dimock area of Susquehanna County, the drinking water well of a 66-year-old retired nurse exploded earlier this year after methane seeped into her water supply and those of eight other homes.
Drillers in this area were fined $56,650 by the state in September after three spills of drilling chemicals into a stream caused a fish kill and damaged wetlands.
The drilling company "made us think we were all going to get rich," said the Dimock resident, Norma Fiorentino. "But they didn't say anything about our land being ruined or my water being ruined."
On November 4 DEP and Cabot reached agreement to prevent natural gas migration and restore water in over 9 square miles in the Dimock area. Click here for more on Marcellus Shale drilling from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

November 10, 2009

Transferable Development Rights (TDR) allow for communities to both preserve open space and meet the need for additional development. In most cases, the use of TDR benefits both the developer and the conservationist. This video was produced by the Montgomery County Lands Trust in Pennsylvania to describes how TDRs work from a variety of perspectives.

November 4, 2009

TreeVitalize Pittsburgh. The Western PA Conservancy, DCNR and other partners are encouraging Western PA residents to plant trees through the TreeVitalize Pittsburgh Program
The goal of the program is to plant 20,000 trees throughout the Pittsburgh region by 2012. This effort is part of the statewide TreeVitalize Program.

October 27, 2009

County Conservation District Watershed Specialists have been a vital force in Pennsylvania’s watershed movement for nearly 10 years, providing much needed environmental services in their counties and saving the state millions of dollars in project costs, in part by locating matching funding and in-kind contributions for environmental projects.
Whether it’s fighting Abandoned Mine Drainage, restoring streamside vegetation, or reducing water pollution caused by agricultural or urban runoff, our Watershed Specialists have been instrumental in many of Pennsylvania’s environmental successes.
As part of a campaign to increase awareness of our county Watershed Specialists, WPCAMR Video Diaries pays a visit to the Westmoreland Conservation District to talk to Watershed Specialist, Rob Cronauer about his work and the future of the Watershed Specialist positions.
The county watershed specialist program is funded by the Growing Greener Program that is due to end in 2010. Without a new source of funding, the good work done by these dedicated people could also end. Contact your House and Senate member to urge them to reauthorize the program.

October 15, 2009

Make A Splash In The Brandywine Watershed. Watch this promotional video highlighting all the events and activities promoted by the Brandywine Valley Association in Chester County, Pa.

October 7, 2009

Developing Environmentally Responsible Farming Practices. The Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center works to facilitate ecosystems based management across the state. Listen to Penn State researchers, Matt Ehrhart from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Susan Marquart, PA Association of Conservation Districts, Paul Swartz, Susquehanna River Basin Commission and many others discuss nutrient run-off and its effect on local watersheds, as well as the downstream waters of the Chesapeake Bay.
Also learn about environmentally responsible farming practices. This video was produced by WPSU in State College.

Perkiomen Volunteers Clear Invasive Species. The Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy recently organized volunteers to remove European Water Chestnut aquatic plants from Lake Delmont in Montgomery County.
Kelly Germann, Conservation Coordinator for the Conservancy, explains there was nothing exotic about removing the invasive specie. Volunteers simply cruised the lake with canoes and hand pulled the plants and then took them to a composting area for disposal.

October 2, 2009

HACC Wins Midstate Recycle Bowl. David Shelek, Harrisburg Coca-Cola Bottling Company based in Lemoyne, PA, announces Harrisburg Area Community College win a competition with Gettysburg College and Lebanon Valley College Recycle Bowl by recycling 13,650 plastic and aluminum containers in the one week competition during September. Gettysburg recycled 5,700 containers and Lebanon Valley recycled 5,500 containers for a total of 14,850.
The containers will be shipped to Coca-Cola's South Carolina recycling facility to be turned into new drink containers.
HACC students Jonathan Lebo and Nicole Huber represented the school at the awards program.

September 23, 2009

The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. unveiled the largest green wall in North America as an innovative way to make its headquarters building more energy-efficient.
The 2,380 sq. ft., soil-based wall - similar in size to a doubles tennis court - features a variety of regional plants grown into living art on the south-facing wall of One PNC Plaza at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Wood Street in downtown Pittsburgh.
It is estimated that each of the 602 panels, with 24 plants in each 2x2 sq. ft. space, will offset the carbon footprint of one person. The vertical garden, similar to a green roof, will help to cool the 30-story building. Preliminary studies show the south-facing living wall will be 25 percent cooler behind the wall than ambient temperatures. Click here for full story.

September 22, 2009

House Members, Groups Oppose Budget Deal. Members of the House and representatives of 30 environmental and sportsmens' groups held a press conference today opposing the budget deal agreed to by Senate and House leaders and Gov. Rendell which would lease up to 100,000 acres of State Forest land for natural gas drilling and significantly cut funding for environmental agencies.
"We cannot balance the budget on the back of the environment," Rep. Vitali said. "First, the current agreement would require that far too much state forest land be open for Marcellus Shale drilling."
Rep. Vitali said the group also opposed the elimination of the Oil and Gas Lease Fund into which revenues from all mineral leasing are deposited for land owned by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, supports the adoption of a severance tax on natural gas production and restoring $56 million in cuts to the Department of Environmental Protection. Click here to read article on event.
Other speakers at the event--
Jan Jarrett, President & CEO of PennFuture,
Rep. David Levdansky, Majority Chair of the House Finance Committee
Jeff Saunders, PA Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs
Kathy Davis, Quality Deer Management
Judy Swank, 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania

September 15, 2009

State Park, Forest Groups Express Concern Over Budget Cuts, Natural Gas Leasing. Groups supporting State Parks, State Forests and recreation facilities around the state this week highlighted the damage proposed budget cuts would do to recreation resources and expressed concern about the accelerated leasing of State Forest land for Marcellus Shale drilling.
Marci Mowery, PA Parks and Forests Foundation, said the groups game to the Capitol to both celebrate the legacy of the State Park and Forest system and protest its proposed demise.
She said the budget cuts being proposed are equal to returning the size of the State Park system to what it was in 1965, before Maurice Goddard began his initiative to put parks within 25 miles of all Pennsylvanians.
"While closures have not yet happened, we are seeing a loss of services," said Mowery. "Almost 200 wage staff in the Bureau of Forestry are on leave without pay-- rangers, maintenance staff and forest fire suppression staff.
"The same thing is occurring in State Parks-- over 100 wage positions were not filled, parks are carrying 42 salaried staff vacancies, 100 wage staff were cut early and an anticipated 100 will be cut in the Spring. We are seeing campgrounds closing early, portions of parks closing and programs being reduced."
She noted since 1955 revenue from oil and gas leasing on State Forest lands has been dedicated to the maintenance and operation of State Parks and Forests. However, she said, this legacy from Maurice Goddard now stands threatened by taking revenue from Marcellus Shale leases in State Forest and using the funding to balance the budget.
Other speakers at the event include:
Professor Andy Mowen, Penn State University
Patricia Tomes, Rails-To-Trails Conservancy
Curt Ashenfelter, Keystone Trails Association
Judith Schwank, 10,000 Friends of PA
Cynthia Carrow, Western PA Conservancy
Donna Morelli, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
Robert Griffith, PA Recreation and Parks Society
Click here for more information.

September 2, 2009

Tips For Elk View Season From Game Commission. With Commonwealth’s elk viewing season fast approaching, Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe is offering some guidance on where to go, as well as encouraging those planning to travel to “elk country” to be respectful of local residents.
An estimated 75,000 to 100,000 people visit the Elk viewing area on Winslow Hill in Benezette Township, Elk County during September and October.
The Game Commission is offering Top Ten Tips For Elk viewing to make your visit more enjoyable. You can also watch a video on Elk viewing from the Game Commission by clicking here.

August 18, 2009

Giant Eagle Recognized With Recycling Award. Giant Eagle, Inc. in Pittsburgh was recently recognized with a Business Leadership Recycling Award from the American Forest and Paper Association.
The company was featured in a video and web case study reviewing how the company recycled over 42,555 tons of mixed paper and cardboard at its headquarters, supermarkets, fuel states and retail support centers. (click here to watch video)
In 1972 Giant Eagle recognized the need for a paper recycling program throughout its corporately owned facilities. That same year the corporately owned supermarkets began baling corrugated cardboard for recycling. After achieving marked success, the program expanded in 1986 to include computer paper at corporate headquarters.
Today Giant Eagle recovers mixed office paper and corrugated cardboard at all of its offices, retail support centers, corporately owned supermarkets, and select fuel stations.
To further its commitment to recycling, Giant Eagle established the Utility and Recycling Initiative in 2007 to educate their supermarket team members on how to increase recycling volumes and reduce energy usage. Efforts to increase recycling volumes included capital expenditure technology improvements and a training and education program.
The video and more background are available on the Giant Eagle Case Study webpage. For more information, contact Nancy Day, Giant Eagle, 412-963-5900 or send email to:

July 16, 2009

Groups Oppose Cuts, Support Severance Tax on natural gas production. Environmental, sportsmen and conservation groups oppose drastic cuts in environmental funding and urge adoption of a severance tax on natural gas. Jan Jarrett, PennFuture, outlines the position of the groups. (click here for press release)
Watch other remarks from the press conference
Rep. Levdansky, Majority Chair House Finance Committee
Lamonte Garber, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Fred Bohls, Pa Trout Unlimited
Bob Griffiths, PA Recreation & Parks Society
Steve Schmidt, Game Commission
Cathy Davis, PA Quality Deer Management Assn.

Lamonte Garber, Chesapeake Bay Foundation PA Office, expressed great concern today over drastic cuts to environmental funding that have been proposed during the budget process. Some of the cuts will threaten key pollution-reduction programs that the Commonwealth committed to implementing over the next two years, and which are mandated by federal law. (click here for full announcement)

June 11, 2009

Legislators, Groups Push Natural Gas Severance Tax. Jan Jarrett, PennFuture, leads a group of legislators, agencies, local government and environmental groups in supporting enactment of a natural gas severance tax that includes dedicated funding for environmental programs. Click here for more information. Also speaking at the event were:
Rep. Todd Eachus, House Majority Leader
Rep. Bud George, Majority Chair House Environmental Committee
Rep. David Levdansky, Majority Chair House Finance Committee
Rep. Greg Vitali
Sen. Andrew Dinniman
Doug Austen, Fish and Boat Commission
Ed Troxell, PA State Assn. of Boroughs

Out Of The Ground Documentary. Andy McAllister, Watershed Coordinator with the Western Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation, not only does a great job working with watershed groups in Western Pennsylvania, he has also developed a second skill-- film making.
His new film "Out of the Ground," documents how Pittsburgh and its neighboring regions in western Pennsylvania have been profoundly shaped by coal mining for over 100 years. For more information, visit the Out Of The Ground Facebook page.

May 15, 2009

Sewickley Creek in Westmoreland County and Bob Hedin’s Iron Oxide Recovery, Inc. receive the 2008 Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence.
This installment of the Western Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation Video Diaries by Andy McAllister, Watershed Coordinator, presents the award ceremony honoring the Sewickley Creek Watershed Association for all their hard work and success.
The two organizations became partners in 1999 when company owner Robert Hedin approached the association about supporting iron oxide recovery experiments at the abandoned Marchand Mine site in Lowber, Westmoreland County. The mine has discharged thousands of gallons-per-minute of iron-polluted water to Sewickley Creek for decades.
The collaboration has resulted in the Lowber site becoming Pennsylvania's first and only commercially successful resource recovery project. So far, the project has resulted in:
-- The recovery and recycling of 4,000 tons of wet iron sludge that would have otherwise been landfilled, avoiding at least $150,000 in disposal costs;
-- Successful treatment of 1,400-2,200 gallons per minute of mine water containing 70-85 milligrams per liter of iron;
-- Retention of about 400 tons of iron solids that otherwise would have ended up in Sewickley Creek and the Youghiogheny River;
-- Compliance of Sewickley Creek in Lowber (downstream of the system) with the DEP's in-stream iron limit of 1.5 milligrams per liter for the first time in at least 60 years; and
-- Successful incorporation of a 1.6-acre wetland into the system and creation of 13 acres of open water and wetland habitat that has already been colonized by fish, amphibians and aquatic insects, and has become a refuge for water fowl.
This treatment system can be maintained through eight hours of labor per month. Iron Oxide Recovery has taken on that responsibility and has committed to maintaining the system in the future. The company will fund its long-term maintenance with revenue produced by sludge recovery.

May 13, 2009

Green Building Benefits Report. A comprehensive plan to make our nation’s buildings more efficient could save enough energy by 2030 to power all of the nation’s cars, homes and businesses for a year and a half, while saving Americans more than $500 billion, according to a new report by PennEnvironment.
In this video David Masur, PennEnvironment, provides an overview of the new report.
Also watch Sen. John Rafferty (R-Montgomery) as he talks about the benefits of green building techniques.
Click here for the full announcement.

May 10, 2009

When They Drill, Who Pays The Bill? Webinar May 11 & 13. On May 11 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. and May 13 from noon to 1:00 p.m., the PA Land Trust Association is hosting an online webinar on the impacts of natural gas drilling and information on the proposed natural gas severance tax.
The proposed natural gas severance tax could provide millions of dollars to land, water and wildlife conservation and to local communities. Over the next two months the Governor and legislature will be considering enactment of this tax.
This webinar will provide participants with the information they need to work to boost conservation funding and reinvest in Pennsylvania’s natural resources.
If we fail to establish a severance tax to invest in our natural resources as PA’s gas boom progresses, we will have missed an historic opportunity to advance conservation. We will have missed the opportunity to ensure that our descendants will receive a natural wealth equal to our own.
To register and reserve your place, visit the May 11 webinar page or the May 13 webinar page.
For more background, visit the webinar webpage.

May 2, 2009

State Police HQ Rain Garden. Andy Gavin, Chief of the Restoration Section at the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, talks about the installation of a rain garden project at the State Police Headquarters Building in Harrisburg. The project is part of several in the Paxton Creek Watershed aimed at encouraging stormwater infiltration, reducing stormwater and nutrient runoff. Homeowners and farmers can use the same technique on water from downspouts around their buildings. Visit the Paxton Creek Stormwater Project webpage for more information.

April 30, 2009

White-Nose Syndrome in Bats is explained by this video produced by the Game Commission. (click here to view video)
First documented in New York in the winter of 2006-07, White-Nose Syndrome is believed to have surfaced in Pennsylvania in 2008 and began killing cave bats in 2009. WNS refers to a white fungus on the muzzles and wing membranes of affected bats.
The fungus may be a symptom and not the cause of the mortality occurring in hibernating bat colonies throughout the states of Northeast. Bats affected with WNS do not always have the fungus, and do leave hibernacula in winter and usually die on the landscape. It is unclear at this point if or how WNS is transmitted.
Visit the Game Commission website for more information.

Tire Collection Events. The Independence Conservancy in Southwest PA sponsors a series of waste tire collection events each year that properly disposes of thousands of tires covering 25 communities in four counties. In this video, Vicky Michaels, Independence Conservancy, talks about an April 25 tire collection event in Findley Township, Washington County.
The Conservancy is looking to expand its tire collection events to other municipalities. If you would like to sponsor an event, visit the Independence Conservancy website.

April 26, 2009

Stream Buffer Project near Palmyra, Pa draws volunteers to help improve water quality on the Jim Hess Farm. Ron Laughlin, Tri-County Conewago Creek Association, talks about the project and other steps the Association is taking to reduce water pollution in the watershed. The project was put together with the help of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation using the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program.
Watch these other videos from the tree planting--
Ashley Spotz, Chesapeake Bay Foundation CREP Field Staff
Eugene Lee, KPMG Volunteers
Tracy Buchholz & Megan Charles, Volunteers
Kim Patten, Chesapeake Bay Foundation Grassroots Coordinator

Dave Miller, Advanced Solar Industries of Lancaster, Pa, talks about the solar and wind turbine installation his company recently made on the Jim Hess Farm near Palmyra, Pa.

April 24, 2009

Don Welsh, President & CEO of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, makes introductory remarks at the celebration for the 2009 winners of the Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence.
Also watch the video of DEP Secretary John Hanger's keynote address.

April 23, 2009

Larry Myers, PA Resources Council, talks about accomplishments and recommendations for PA's Recycling Program in testimony before the Joint House/Senate Conservation Committee.

April 20, 2009

Learn About Single Stream Recycling from RecycleBank. View the next videos in this series by going to TheCycle/EcoFootprint webpage.

April 15, 2009

Learn Outside With The Chesapeake Bay Foundation. For more than 30 years, CBF's environmental education programs have been a cornerstone of CBF's efforts to improve water quality and the Bay's health. CBF's teacher professional development initiatives, student leadership program, and classroom curricula are designed to support state standards and help students Learn Outside. The application deadline for this year's programs is May 1. (click here to see how teachers and students can be part of the program.)

Chesapeake Bay Given 28 Out Of 100 In Health Report. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation this week released its 10th annual State of the Bay report, scoring the Chesapeake again this year a 28 on a scale of 100. Because the report showed no significant progress, CBF is challenging the federal Environmental Protection Agency to use its regulatory authority immediately to take aggressive new action to reduce pollution. (click here for full announcement)

April 6, 2009

Gateway to PA Trash Sweep. On April 4 nearly 45 volunteers, along with local sponsors, PennDOT and even 5 inmates from the Beaver County jail, helped cleanup a section of Beaver Creek in and around Lock 57 Park in Ohioville. Here Vicky Michaels, Executive Director of Independence Conservancy, a sponsor of the event, talks about the event and its accomplishments.

April 2, 2009

StormwaterPA Provides Solutions. The StormwaterPA website this week unveiled a new blog designed to share information about innovative ways to help reduce and manage stormwater.
Partnering with the Brandywine Conservancy Environmental Management Center, GreenTreks, Inc. will add a weekly post on issues related to stormwater management inviting readers to offer comments and their own suggestions.
Also this week, a new video case study was added to the site detailing a pervious pavement project at the Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia.
This online video shows how a permeable surface course and a stone bed to help encourage the infiltration rather than runoff of stormwater. For more information, visit the StormwaterPA website.
EnergyStar@Home. Click here to watch a series of seven online videos from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's EnergyStar@Home Program offering energy saving tips for every room of the house.
The first video features Tom Kraeutler, host of the Money Pit Radio Show, talking about simple things you can do around the home to save energy. Following automatically are videos on Energy Star appliances, home heating, kitchen appliances and ways to save electricity.
So take a look and start learning how you can save money and the environment! Visit the PPL Electric Video Center to watch more online videos on how to save energy.

April 1, 2009

Briefing On Green Project Reserve Funding. Paul Marchetti, PennVEST, provides a briefing on the Green Project Reserve "Green Infrastructure" Program that's part of the federal stimulus funding Pennsylvania is receiving. This is Part 1 of the Briefing. Click here for Part 2.
There is a May 18 deadline for submitting projects. More information will be available on the PennVEST website.
Documents From the briefing:
Green Project Reserve Summary
Green Project Reserve PowerPoint
Green Project Reserve Questions/Answers
EPA Green Infrastructure Fact Sheet
Overview Article On New Green Infrastructure Funding

March 31, 2009

Agriculture Budget Restoration Vital. The Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee held a hearing on dramatic cuts recommended to the Department of Agriculture Budget by Gov. Rendell.
Matt Ehrhart, PA Director Chesapeake Bay Foundation, talks here about why increased funding, particularly to conservation districts, is vital to restoring water quality in Pennsylvania watersheds and the Chesapeake Bay. (click here for written testimony)
Watch these other videos from the hearing--
Matt Ehrhart, Chesapeake Bay Founding, full testimony
Brenda Shambaugh, PA Assn. of Conservation Districts, full testimony

March 27, 2009

DEP Completes State Water Plan. Joe Powers, Executive Deputy Secretary at DEP, thanks members of the statewide and regional water advisory committees for their work in completing the State Water Plan at a special ceremony. Watch these other videos from the event--
Rep. Kate Harper On What The Plan Means
Don Bluedom, Chair of the Statewide Advisory Committee
Tom Kuhn, Thanks Members on Behalf of Rep. Camille George
John Hines, DEP Office of Water Management
(click here for full announcement)

March 24, 2009

The PA Association of Environmental Educators presented awards and special recognition to the following individuals and programs for their outstanding contributions to the field of environmental education--
Keystone Award - Dede Long, Briar Bush Nature Center: The Award was presented by Mike Weilbacker. Dede has served as the Executive Director of the Center since 1979 overseeing education programs at the Center's 12-acre grounds, as well as outreach to teachers, other environmental centers in the Philadelphia Region and conservation managers. Programs under her supervision reached 66,000 last year. The Center recently celebrated its 100th anniversary.
Other awards presented--
Outstanding Educator - Steve Wasiesky, Asbury Woods Nature Center
Outstanding Environmental Program - Asbury Woods Nature Center
Outstanding Contribution - Integrated Pest Management Program
Government Partner - Sarah Hopkins, DCNR Bureau of State Parks
Business Partner - Crisci Associates - PA Environment Digest
Program Endorsement - Outdoor Adventures
Special Recognition - Ruth Roperti, President PAEE

The House Republican Energy Task Force this week unveiled the "Energize PA" plan to expand natural gas drilling on 390,000 additional acres of state forest land during the next three years.
Here, Rep. Sam Smith provides overview of proposal.
The proposal would provide an additional $260 million per year for state and local governments and conservation districts while promoting the creation of 7,000 new private-sector jobs in Pennsylvania's emerging Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling industry.
Watch these other videos from the event--
Rep. Tina Pickett outlines economic potential of marcellus shale
Rep. David Reed talks about the proposal details

March 17, 2009

87% Support Natural Gas Tax For Environment. A coalition of environmental, sportsmen and local government groups this week announced their support for a proposal to enact a severance tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas production to benefit the environment. (click here for full announcement)
View these vidoes from the press conference--
Andy Loza, PA Land Trust Assn., overview of the initiative
Rep. Bud George, Majority Chair of the House Environmental Committee
Rep. David Levdansky, Majority Chair of the House Finance Committee
Jan Jarrett, President, PennFuture

March 12, 2009

Nutrient Credit And Carbon Trading Workshop Videos. In February, the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council and the Capital Resource Conservation and Development Area Council jointly hosted two one-day seminars on nutrient credit and carbon trading in State College and Lancaster.
PACD now has available for online viewing each of the presentations from that workshop.
-- PA Nutrient Trading Program - Ann Smith DEP
-- PA Nutrient Trading Program - Scott Van de Mark PEC
-- Red Barn Consulting/ Red Barn Trading - Peter Hughes
-- The Mount Joy Project: Successful Nutrient Trading - Mike Brubaker & Dr. Douglas Beegle
-- Opportunities for Carbon Trading - H. Grant Troop
-- The No-Till Alliance - Susan Perry & Karl Kroeck
For more information, visit the PACD Nutrient Credit and Carbon Trading seminar webpage. Photo: no-till farming

March 3, 2009

New KeystoneHELP Energy Conservation, Rebate Program. The Commonwealth this week unveiled an expanded $17 million Keystone HELP energy conservation loan and Energy Star rebate program. Deadline for applications is June 30.
In this video Acting Secretary Hanger announces the new program.
Acting Secretary DEP John Hanger was joined by State Treasurer Robert McCord, Rep. Sheryl Delozier and Peter Krajsa, AFCFirst, to talk about the new Keystone HELP Residential Energy Efficiency Loan and Rebate Program at the home of David and Jennifer Schlegel in Lower Allen Township, Cumberland County.
Other videos from the announcement--
Acting Secretary Hanger Talks With The Schlegel's
Treasurer Robert McCord
Rep. Sheryl Delozier
Peter Krajsa, AFCFirst

February 26, 2009

Student Leadership Program for Chesapeake Bay. For 12-year-old Sarah Wendt, the road to environmental activism began with one small step: a class field trip, and making this video urging action to cleanup the Bay watershed.
As she and her classmates from Harrisburg Academy tested the water quality along Pennsylvania's Conodoguinet Creek last spring, Sarah was horrified by the trash and broken glass that filled the stream—and even more upset by the fact that "this was happening in an area close to my home, and that the people actually living on the creek were not cleaning up their own environment."
The experience convinced Sarah to apply for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Student Leadership Program, which prepares middle and high school students to be advocates for the environment.
Learn how to apply.

Carbon Capture and Sequestration Video. This new online video, made available by the Carbon Capture & Sequestration Project and the Department of Environmental Protection, includes experts discussing the role carbon capture and sequestration can play in achieving needed reductions in carbon dioxide emissions in order to mitigate global climate change.
Carbon capture and sequestration provides a means to dramatically reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere from industrial facilities or when electricity is generated by fossil fuel power plants. Although carbon dioxide is neither toxic nor inherently dangerous, the overabundance of atmospheric CO2 is believed to be a major contributor to global climate change. (Click here to watch video)

February 19, 2009

TV Program On Climate Change Features Penn State Faculty. The first episode of the National Science Foundation's "To What Degree? What Science is Telling Us About Climate Change" television series will feature Penn State climate researchers Richard B. Alley, Evan Pugh professor of geosciences and Michael E. Mann, associate professor of meteorology and director of the Earth System Science Center.
The program will explore the fundamentals of climate change and peer into the treasure trove of the deep past to see what might lie ahead in a warmer world.
How do we know the climate is changing? Is it just a natural cycle, or do humans have something to do with it? Some of the world’s leading climate scientists explore these questions, laying out the line of reasoning that has led the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and many other scientific groups to conclude that humans are very likely the cause of the majority of current warming. (Click here to watch video.)
Private Drinking Water Well Videos. Five new online videos are now available from the Penn State Extension Service to help the more than 1 million private water well owners properly maintain and identify well problems.
Three million people in Pennsylvania are served by private wells, with 20,000 new wells drilled each year in the state. However, Pennsylvania is one of only a few states with no regulations covering the construction and safety of water coming from those wells. As a result, well owners should learn to identify problems and properly maintain their wells.
The videos cover water supply basics, water supply and conservation, water supply construction and maintenance, water supply testing and protection and solving water problems. (Click here for more water resource information.)

February 18, 2009

Wildlands Conservancy Environmental Education Programs. This video provides an overview of the Wildlands Conservancy’s environmental education department which offers programming to assist local schools in meeting state academic standards. It also offers innovative and exciting programs for families, schools, scouts and other groups at Pool Wildlife Sanctuary and other locations throughout the Lehigh River watershed including the popular “Go Wild” summer camps which take place June through August.
A half a million individuals have participated in Wildlands Conservancy’s education programs since the beginning of the organization, with an average of 16,000 school students participating each year.

February 6, 2009

Legacy Sediments. Franklin & Marshall College professors Robert C. Walter, Ph.D. and Dorothy J. Merritts, Ph.D. talk about the publication of an article in the journal Science that outlines the contributions thousands of 17th to 19th Century mill dams have made to causing legacy sediment and nutrient pollution in today’s streams with New York Times Reporter Cornelia Dean.
The research published by Drs. Walter and Merritts have lead to changes in public policy dealing with the cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay and other watersheds.
Financial support for the research was provided by the Department of Environmental Protection, the Pennsylvania members of the Chesapeake Bay Commission and Franklin and Marshall College. (Click here for related article.)

January 30, 2009

New Alternative Energy/Climate Bill. A bipartisan group of Senate and House members and the Department of Environmental Protection announced new legislation to expand the Alternative Portfolio Standards and help address climate change by creating a carbon sequestration network in Pennsylvania.
In this video, Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware) introduces the press conference on the bill. Release covering the announcement. Environmental groups express concerns.
Video of those involved in the announcement--
Sen. Ted Erickson (R-Delaware)
Rep. Chris Ross (R-Chester)
Rep. Kate Harper (R-Montgomery)
Acting DEP Secretary John Hanger
Steve Stroman, PennFuture

January 29, 2009

Pittsburgh's Earth Friend Awards honor friends, neighbors, schools, and organizations improving the environment and greening the Pittsburgh Region. The awards are presented by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council and WTAE-TV Channel 4 and supported by Sony.
The Earth Friend Award is presented on a bi-weekly basis to recognize specific efforts being made by persons, schools, groups, organizations, or communities to improve or conserve our environment and communities in the Greater Pittsburgh Region.
To see examples of past winners, watch these videos from WTAE-TV.
To nominate a group or individual, or to learn more about this exciting opportunity, please visit the WTAE-TV website.

January 21, 2009

Low Impact Development In Lebanon County. The Village at Springbrook Farms is a good example of what is possible when a township that takes a long term view works with a developer willing to innovate.
More than 100 storage/infiltration BMPs have been distributed throughout the site. Each was located and sized according to its drainage area, and accounts for both storage volume and the amount of surface area required to "spread out the water" to avoid over-concentrating infiltration. (Click here to watch this Stormwater PA video.)

January 19, 2009

DEP Farm Show Exhibit. Julie Stone from the Department of Environmental Protection talks about the "Feel the Power of Energy Conservation" exhibit at the just completed Pennsylvania Farm Show with a reporter from the York Dispatch. (Click here to see article.)

Audubon Christmas Bird Count In Philadelphia. Keith Russell, Audubon PA Ornithologist, talks about the just completed 109th Christmas Bird Count in Philadelphia.

January 9, 2009

Somerset Summit Highlights Water Quality Improvements. In the newest installment of the Western PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation Video Diaries, we visit the Somerset Watershed Summit and go on a tour of the Casselman River Watershed in southern Somerset County to learn about water quality projects going on there.
Somerset County has a long history of coal mining and numerous environmental problems stemming from the unregulated mining practices of the past. Visit the Casselman River Watershed Association website for more information.
Produced and written by Andy McAllister, WPCAMR Watershed Coordinator

January 5, 2009

Lawsuit To Keep Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Commitment. After 25 years of watching promises broken and commitments unfulfilled, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation this week filed a lawsuit in federal court to require the federal Environmental Protection Agency to enforce the law and reduce pollution sufficiently to remove the Chesapeake Bay from the federal ‘impaired waters’ list. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia following a legal requirement for a 60-day notice of intent to sue period (CBF filed the notice on October 29). (Click here for full announcement.)

January 2, 2009

Welcome To Cosmo's World. The Pennsylvania Wild Resource Conservation Program has a new interactive education program now online featuring Cosmo the flying squirrel and Terra the river otter to help teach students about biodiversity, invasive species, endangered species and climate change.
Cosmo and Terra are featured in four online videos that introduce the topics. Teacher's Guides accompany each video with a lesson plan and related student activities. This video is on biodiversity.
Cosmo's World is produced by the Wild Resource Conservation Program and public television station WLVT Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton (PBS 39) to help classroom teachers and environmental educators teach these elementary school science topics in a fun and engaging way.
Visit the Cosmo's World webpage for more information.