Thursday, January 18, 2018

Thursday PA Environmental NewsClips

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

2nd Annual PA Wilds Made Buyer's Market March 3 At Clarion University

The second annual PA Wilds Buyer’s Market will be held on March 3 at the Gemmell Student Complex, Multi-Purpose Room, Clarion University in Clarion.
The one-day tradeshow connects retail establishments with quality wares, gifts, foods and beverages crafted in the Pennsylvania Wilds. PA Wilds Made products can be purchased in bulk at wholesale pricing for qualified buyers.
Hosted by the PA Wilds Center and the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania, in partnership with the Small Business Development Center, Clarion University, the Buyer’s Market is a “made local, sell local” themed event.
“Customers are looking for locally made, high quality products – this show gives retailers and businesses the opportunity to meet producers creating high value products right here in the Pennsylvania Wilds.” Abbi Peters, Managing Director, PA Wilds Center, overseeing the Wilds Cooperative.
The tradeshow format allows buyers to browse product offerings and make purchase selections on the spot if desired.
The show is open exclusively to retailers from 9:00 a.m. to Noon for wholesale buying (registration is required). A free public showcase will be held from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. (no registration required).
Producers in the PA Wilds making art, wares, gift items, food and beverage that want to sell their goods to retail outlets. Producer exhibitors must be members of the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania.
If you are not a member, producers can apply for membership to The Wilds Cooperative first.
“The Buyer’s Market is where we determine the lines we will be carrying in the PA Wilds Conservation Gift Shops; last year we spent $80,000 on inventory from PA Wilds producers and we are gearing up to grow that number,” said Peters.  “It’s a great investment, and we see a return in our sales as our shoppers look to take home a piece of the PA Wilds.”
The PA Wilds Region includes the counties of Warren, McKean, Potter, Tioga, Lycoming, Clinton, Elk, Cameron, Forest, Clearfield, Clarion, Jefferson and northern Centre.
For more information and to register for the event, visit the PA Wilds Buyer’s Market website.

DEP: Lackawanna County Water Treatment Operator Agrees To Surrender Certifications After 130 False Water Reports

The Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday announced it has entered into a consent order and agreement with J. Robert DeSandis of Clarks Summit, Lackawanna County to surrender his operator certifications as a Water and Wastewater Systems Operator.
DeSandis has admitted to submitting, on 130 separate occasions, false water and wastewater treatment reports from public drinking water systems and sewage waste facilities that he operates.
DeSandis was the systems operator at facilities in Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Pike, Susquehanna, and Wyoming County and was responsible for monitoring, testing, and reporting water quality to DEP. The suspension of his certification is for an indefinite period.
“As soon as we discovered the falsification of these records, we took the actions necessary to protect public health and public resources from this operator,” said Mike Bedrin, Director of DEP’s Northeast Regional Office in Wilkes-Barre. “There is no place in Pennsylvania for fraudulent reporting of the quality of resources that have a real effect on the public health. We will continue to work with the affected community to make sure that everyone has a safe, reliable source of water.”
In 2015, DeSandis as the operator of the drinking water system at the Village of Four Seasons in Herrick Township and the Dallas Mobile Home Park in Dallas Township, revealed to DEP staff that on 27 separate occasions, he knowingly reported false test results for chlorine levels in drinking water samples.
At least one of those samples would have resulted in a boil-water advisory to residents.
DeSandis also operated eight wastewater facilities, including Deer Haven in Palmyra Township; Edgewood Mobile Home Park in Glenburn Township; Outhouse Springs, LLC of Benton Township; Village of Four Seasons in Herrick Township; St. Gabriel’s Monastery in South Abington Township; Stillwater Sewer Corporation in Coolbaugh Township; Stone Hedge Sewer Company in Tunkhannock Township; and Tall Timbers Village in LaPlume Township.
In 2016, DeSandis admitted to filing false discharge monitoring reports. Those reports indicate the volume of sewage wastewater being discharged from treatment facilities and the level of contaminants.
As part of the agreement, DeSandis has agreed to not seek reinstatement of his operator certification or apply for a new one.
The false sample reports are a violation of the facility’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, DeSandis’s operating certificate, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Clean Streams Law.
Questions should be directed to Colleen Connolly, DEP Northeast Regional Office, 570-826-2035 or send email to:

Jan. 23 Water Insights Seminar: Matt Royer, Penn State Agriculture And Environment Center

The January 23 Water Insights Seminar will feature a presentation by Matt Royer of Penn State’s Agriculture and Environment Center on the topic Pennsylvania and the Chesapeake Bay: Emerging Policy and Practice Innovations to Improve Water Quality.
Nutrient and sediment pollution from nonpoint sources and land use and land management alterations are among the most persistent unsolved environmental problems we face today.
Several decades of effort to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution to the Chesapeake Bay has resulted in progress but not at the pace necessary to meet water quality goals.
Innovative approaches in policy and practice are emerging in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to accelerate clean water efforts.
This seminar will discuss progress and approaches to date and the challenges to meeting clean water goals when dealing with nonpoint-dominated pollution sources.
New and emerging innovations will also be discussed, including ideas promoted at the Pennsylvania in the Balance Conference (March 2016), and successful development and deployment of necessary delivery mechanisms in priority watersheds through community-based watershed engagement and partnerships.
The Seminar will be held from Noon to 1:00 p.m. in Room 102 of the Forest Resources Building at Penn State University in State College.  Click Here to attend the Seminar by webinar (sign in with your name and email).
Click Here for the full schedule of Water Insights Seminar series from Penn State’s Environment and Natural Resources Institute.

Apply Now To TreeVitalize Pittsburgh For Free Trees For Fall Planting In Allegheny County

TreeVitalize Pittsburgh is now accepting applications for free trees to support street, park and riverfront tree plantings in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.  Applications are due March 16.
TreeVitalize Pittsburgh has been increasing emphasis on tree maintenance and monitoring after reaching the milestone of planting 20,000 trees, though community tree planting continues to be an incredibly important aspect to improve Allegheny County’s neighborhoods.
For your application to be considered, you must contact the TreeVitalize director, Jeff Bergman, by February 16 at 412-586-2396, or send email to:
Click Here for all the details and an application.
TreeVitalize Pittsburgh is a partnership administered by the Western PA Conservancy.
More information is available on programs, initiatives and special events at the Western PA Conservancy website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Conservancy, Like them on Facebook, Follow them on Twitter, add them to your Circle on Google+, join them on Instagram, visit the Conservancy’s YouTube Channel or add them to your network on Linkedin.  Click Here to support their work.

Delaware Highlands Conservancy Eagle Photo Workshop Bus Tour Feb. 3

Learn to take photos of eagles and their habitat! Join the Delaware Highlands Conservancy on February 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for a special bus tour and workshop with eagle watching, sightseeing, and photography instruction.
On this tour, participants will learn about eagles in our region, how they returned from the brink of extinction, and the habitat they need to thrive while taking a scenic drive on a heated bus and looking for eagles.
Local photographer Sandy Long will also provide instruction on taking great photos of eagles and their habitat, and the Conservancy’s Land Protection Associate Avery Siler will give a brief presentation on art history and the conservation movement.
Bus tour participants are invited (but not required) to submit their photos to the Conservancy’s winter 2018 photo contest, Sharing Space: Eagles and Their Environs. Complete contest rules are available online.
Be sure to dress warmly in layers and wear waterproof boots. Bring binoculars, camera, and snacks.
Seats are $20 for Conservancy members or $25 for non-members.  Seats are limited and advance reservations are required; call 570-226-3164, 845-583-1010, or send email to: to reserve your spot and receive directions to the meeting location in Milford, Pike County.
Snow date for the trip is February 4. Refunds are not given in the event of cancelled reservations.
For more information on programs, initiatives and other special events, visit the Delaware Highlands Conservancy website or call 570-226-3164 or 845-583-1010.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Conservancy, Like on Facebook and Follow on Twitter.   Click Here to support their work.

After Century-Long Absence, Freshwater Mussel Found In Kiski River, Armstrong County

Mary Ann Thomas of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review recently reported a Kiski Township, Armstrong County woman's award-winning photograph is evidence that one of the most sensitive indicators of water quality-- the freshwater mussel-- is back in the Kiski River after more than a century.
Renowned scientist Arnold Ortmann noted in a 1909 paper that the Kiski River in Armstrong County was in a “fearful condition” because of pollution from coal mining drainage.
Ortmann, then curator of the Section of Mollusks at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, surveyed for mussels in the early 1900s and reported “in almost all of the drainage basins of the Kiskiminetas fresh-water life is extinct.”
But during an August 2016 river cleanup, Chelsea Walker spied a freshwater mussel as she waded in several feet of water under the Avonmore Bridge to pull out illegally dumped tires.
“It was a treasure amongst the trash,” said Walker, a watershed specialist with the Westmoreland County Conservation District and a volunteer board member of both the Roaring Run and Kiskiminetas watershed associations.
Click Here to read the full article.
(Photo: Freshwater mussel in Kiski River, Armstrong County by Chelsea Walker, Watershed Specialist, Westmoreland County Conservation District.)

EPA Releases Superfund Redevelopment Focus List That Includes 3 PA Sites

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday released its initial list of 30 Superfund National Priorities List sites with the greatest expected redevelopment and commercial potential, including 3 sites in Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania sites include the Metal Bank Superfund Site in Northeast Philadelphia; the BoRit Asbestos Superfund Site in Ambler, Beaver County; and the Crater Resources Inc./Keystone Coke Co./Alan Wood Steel Co. Superfund Site (aka Crater Resources) in Upper Merion Township, Montgomery County.
“EPA is more than a collaborative partner to remediate the nation’s most contaminated sites, we’re also working to successfully integrate Superfund sites back into communities across the country,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Today’s redevelopment list incorporates Superfund sites ready to become catalysts for economic growth and revitalization.”
Superfund redevelopment has helped countless communities reclaim and reuse thousands of acres of formerly contaminated land. Superfund sites on the list have significant redevelopment potential based on previous outside interest, access to transportation corridors, land values, and other critical development drivers.
The Metal Bank Superfund Site currently includes a material recovery business and a nonprofit arts organization. Additional redevelopment opportunities also exist at other portions of the site.  (Click Here for redevelopment fact sheet.)
The BoRit Asbestos Superfund Site consists of three parcels: the Reservoir, Park, and Asbestos Pile. (Click Here for redevelopment fact sheet.)  
The Reservoir parcel is currently being reused as a waterfowl preserve.  Future use plans for the Park parcel include establishing a public park and open space.  The Asbestos Pile parcel is vacant and any future use will require coordination with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
At the Crater Resources Superfund Site, part of the site is currently being used for Renaissance Park, a commercial office park. EPA recently modified the cleanup plan for the site to allow for residential use on a portion of the site.  (Click Here for redevelopment fact sheet.)
In July 2017, the Superfund Task Force released its recommendations to streamline and improve the Superfund program including a focus on redevelopment training, tools and resources towards sites on the NPL.
EPA will work diligently with developers interested in reusing these and other Superfund sites; will identify potentially interested businesses and industries to keep them apprised of redevelopment opportunities; and will continue to engage with community groups in cleanup and redevelopment activities to ensure the successful redevelopment and revitalization of their communities.
EPA Administrator Pruitt has set the expectation that there will be a renewed focus on accelerating work and progress at all Superfund sites across the country. The Superfund program remains dedicated to addressing risk and accelerating progress at all of its sites, not just those on the list.
This is not a complete list of sites in the Superfund program with redevelopment potential. The list is intended to be dynamic. Sites will move on and off the list as appropriate.
Click Here for the complete list of the 30 sites and fact sheets about each site.

Help Wanted: PA Environmental Council Trails & Outdoor Recreation Program Manager

The PA Environmental Council is seeking qualified candidates to fill the position of Trails and Outdoor Recreation Program Manager based in its Philadelphia Office.
The Program Manager is responsible for day-to-day management of specific tasks and projects that help advance greenways and trails projects, particularly East Coast Greenway and the Circuit Trails, Philadelphia’s Regional Trail Network.
Building relationships and maintaining PEC’s leadership presence in various projects is key to the overall success of the program.  
The position requires someone who is detail-oriented, can work independently, meet deadlines, and expects the same of others. A passion for the environment and recreation is strongly encouraged. The position reports to the Program Director.
Click Here for all the details.  The deadline for applications is February 16.
For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the PA Environmental Council website, visit the PEC Blog, follow PEC on Twitter or Like PEC on Facebook.  Visit PEC’s Audio Room for the latest podcasts.  Click Here to receive regular updates from PEC.

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