Saturday, May 27, 2017

Saturday PA Environmental NewsClips

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Friday, May 26, 2017

May 29 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The May 29 PA Environment Digest is now available.  Here are just a few of the headlines--

The PA Growing Greener Coalition Wednesday applauded the introduction of legislation-- Senate Bill 705-- that establishes an updated framework for renewed and increased investment in the state’s Growing Greener program.

Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell Thursday released a letter he sent to Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation warning that the Trump administration’s proposed cuts to environmental protection and clean energy programs will threaten Pennsylvania residents and businesses.

President Trump Tuesday released a more detailed budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018 recommending severe cuts to the Department of Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency, among other areas.
If enacted, these reductions would result in the elimination of funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Chesapeake Bay Program, and other geographic watershed programs, as well as the National Estuary Program and critical water quality research and support grants that go directly to the states.

Gov. Tom Wolf Monday presented Governor’s Awards for Excellence to 10 state Bureau of Forestry wildfire fighters for their role in combatting a forest blaze last spring that spread for 15 days, threatening lives and property on the Pike-Monroe county line.

Four environmental programs from Western Pennsylvania were honored by Dominion and the PA Environmental Council for their innovation and effectiveness in making a positive impact on the environment at a special Western PA Environmental Awards program in Pittsburgh Wednesday.

By Diane Huskinson, Stroud Water Research Center
Earlier this month, 38 Master of Landscape Architecture students from the University of Pennsylvania visited Stroud Water Research Center in Chester County to learn about protecting clean fresh water through land use and best management practices (BMPs).

In recognition of Earth Day, GIANT and MARTIN’s Food Stores donated 25 benches made from recycled plastic bags to schools in 15 counties participating in Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful's Litter Free School Zone Program.

Exelon Corporation Wednesday announced its Three Mile Island [Dauphin County, PA]  and Quad Cities [Illinois) nuclear plants did not clear in the latest PJM capacity auction, highlighting the challenge nuclear energy continues to face without compensation for its ability to produce electricity without harmful carbon and air pollution and to contribute to grid resilience.

The Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for Alternative Fuels Incentive Grants.  The are two rounds of grant deadlines-- July 14 and December 15.  (formal notice)

The Indiana Gazette recently reported the Indiana County commissioners gave their blessing to a new Sustainable Economic Development Task Force focused on developing regional initiatives in the areas of clean energy, sustainable agriculture, eco-tourism, energy efficiency and the emerging field of using green chemistry to transform manufacturing.

New and experienced hikers can again pick their pace and path through Pennsylvania's bountiful outdoors in more than 50 hikes planned across the state during Hiking Week 2017.

The PA Parks and Forests Foundation released a new video about the value of volunteerism in Pennsylvania’s State Parks and Forests to the individuals volunteering and the invaluable contribution they make to improving and maintaining recreational opportunity across the state.

By Jennifer Miller, College of Health & Human Development, Penn State University
Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly consider parks, trails and open space to be an essential component of the health care system, according to a Penn State University study.

To read the Digest, visit:  Click Here to view or 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.

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Penn State: Pennsylvanians Consider Parks An Essential Part Of The Health Care System

By Jennifer Miller, College of Health & Human Development, Penn State University

Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly consider parks, trails and open space to be an essential component of the health care system, according to a Penn State University study.
Findings show that 73 percent of adults surveyed across Pennsylvania and 68 percent of primary care clinic visitors in Hershey, Pennsylvania, consider parks, trails and open space to be a critical part of the health care system.
This belief was widespread across a variety of different demographic groups including age, race and income status. Results demonstrate the potential for parks and recreation to be an innovative approach to improving public health.
“While residents believe parks are a key part of our health care system, local, state and federal officials continue to perceive they are discretionary services, often making parks a target for budget cuts,” said lead investigator Andrew Mowen, professor of recreation, park and tourism management at Penn State. “However, this study suggests that parks, trails and open space are perceived by the public to be a valuable health asset — one that should receive greater funding and investment priority among health policymakers, advocates and organizations.”
Data for this study came from two Pennsylvania surveys. The first was a mail questionnaire distributed to a random sample of 12,000 adults in 2014 as part of Pennsylvania’s Outdoor Recreation Plan. Researchers received 2,240 responses from this statewide survey effort.
A second survey was conducted with outpatients at a general internal medicine clinic managed by one of the study’s co-investigators, Christopher Sciamanna, professor of medicine and public health services at Penn State College of Medicine.
“In the near future, doctors will be paid more for keeping people healthy rather than just for seeing patients when they're sick. Parks are a potentially very important tool for keeping people healthy and for building social connections, and, from this survey we can see that patients already understand that,” Sciamanna said.
Based on the widespread agreement in both the statewide and clinic samples, this study provides compelling evidence that parks, trails and open spaces are part of the larger health care system. Engaging with these areas could very well be a viable preventive-health solution.
The findings appeared in a recent issue of Preventive Medicine Reports and is publicly available.
Other co-authors included Austin Barrett, doctoral candidate in recreation, park and tourism management at Penn State; Alan Graefe, professor of recreation, park and tourism management at Penn State; and Jennifer Kraschnewski, associate professor of medicine and public health sciences at the Penn State College of Medicine.
For more information on state parks and forests and recreation in Pennsylvania, visit DCNR’s website, Click Here to sign up for the Resource newsletter,  Click Here for upcoming events.  Click Here to be part of DCNR’s Online Community,  Click Here to hook up with DCNR on other social media-- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

Reminder: PA Centers For Dairy, Beef Excellence Offering Farmers $1,000 Compliance Grants

The Pennsylvania Center for Dairy Excellence and Center for Beef Excellence are jointly offering $1,000 grants for dairy and beef farms to meet baseline agriculture conservation compliance.
Grant funds must be used before June 30.  The grants are made possible through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Ag Excellence funding.
The grants assist with the cost of hiring professional plan writers to develop Nutrient Management, Manure Management or Agriculture Erosion and Sediment Plans.
Once approved, farms can receive up to $1,000 to reimburse them for professional services associated with environmental planning.
Farms must demonstrate that their needs cannot be met through services provided at the Environmental Compliance Workshops being sponsored by the Centers for Dairy and Beef Excellence.
Farms already using a Dairy Profit or Transition Team grant are not eligible to apply for this separate grant. Instead, farms enrolled in the team programs must elect the environmental grant option on the “On Farm Resource Team” application.
The funds may be used for business planning or environmental compliance through the Dairy Profit Team Program.
To apply to receive the $1,000 grant, farms should complete the application form and submit it, along with a $25 application fee, to the Center for Dairy Excellence at 2301 North Cameron Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110.
Any questions related to the Environmental Planning Grants should be referred to Ann Nogan with the Center for Beef Excellence at 717-705-1689 or send email to: or Melissa Anderson with the Center for Dairy Excellence at 717-346-0849 or send email to:
PA Offers $1,000 Grants To Aid Dairy, Beef Farm Environmental Compliance

National Law Journal: Lawsuit Over Trump’s 2-For-1 Executive Order On Regs. Will Go Forward

The National Law Journal Tuesday reported U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss denied a Trump Administration request to freeze action on the lawsuit challenging President Trump’s Executive Order requiring agencies to eliminate two regulations for every new one they propose.
The lawsuit targeting Trump’s 2-for-1 regulatory order was filed by Public Citizen, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Communication Workers of America.
They contend the order exceeds the president’s constitutional authority, violates his duty under the Constitution’s take care clause, and orders federal agencies to engage in unlawful actions that will harm Americans, including those organizations’ members.
Thirteen public health organizations have filed an amicus brief supporting the challengers. The Trump administration has drawn a supporting brief from 14 states led by West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Click Here to read the entire article.
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