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