DEP extends comment period for Keystone Landfill permit application to April 6

The Department of Environmental Protection on March 5 announced it will extend the public comment period for the permit expansion application submitted by Keystone Sanitary Landfill in Lackawanna County to expand its facility to Monday, April 6. In March of 2014, Keystone Landfill filed a major permit application with the department requesting an expansion of its existing facility in the boroughs of Dunmore and Throop by 165-feet. (read more)

Hazleton Chamber to host breakfast program on ‘Economy of Marcellus Shale’ March 20

The Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce will offer a breakfast program on the “Economy of Marcellus Shale.” The program is being presented by Cabot Oil and Gas, a new member of the Greater Hazleton Chamber. It will be an informational and educational discussion related to the natural gas and oil industry. George Stark, external affairs director and Bill des Rosiers, external affairs coordinator, will present a “Marcellus 101” on how drill operates to extract the gas and the process of moving the gas from drilling operations to the end customers. The session will include discussion on related business opportunities here in northeastern Pennsylvania. (read more)

Frigid February prompts PPL Electric Utilities donation of $250,000 for heating assistance; is the second donation this winter

PPL Electric Utilities is responding to a relentlessly cold winter with its second donation of the season to help less fortunate customers with their energy bills. Company President Gregory N. Dudkin announced March 3 that $250,000 will be donated, with $200,000 of the total going to the utility’s Operation HELP hardship fund that provides emergency financial aid to pay heating bills for families with financial hardship. The remaining $50,000 will be divided among 10 social service organizations. (read more)

Senate committees hold hearing highlighting natural gas impact fee

The state Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, chaired by Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Bradford), and the Senate Local Government Committee, chaired by Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-Clarion) on March 3 held a joint public hearing to discuss the positive benefits of Act 13 impact fee dollars on Pennsylvania communities. The public hearing featured testimony from counties, townships, conservation districts and economic development organizations throughout the state. (read more)

Impact fees to fund $15,000 in regional ShaleNET scholarships

Pennsylvania College of Technology will provide $15,000 in ShaleNET scholarships to veterans, unemployed and underemployed residents of Bradford County. The scholarships are made possible by Act 13 funding — fees levied on each gas well drilled in the Marcellus Shale formation — that were recently approved by the Bradford County Commissioners. In an agreement similar to those enacted for residents of Lycoming and Tioga counties, Penn College will offer tuition-free training — $1,000 for each of 15 qualified Bradford County students — to provide the basic skills and certifications required for entry-level employment in the oil and natural gas industry. (read more)

Join the watershed association’s ‘Spring to the Falls: Where in the Watershed Walk No. 13’ at Fieldstone Farm Tank Creek Preserve March 15

The public is invited to join local naturalist and Brodhead Watershed Association (BWA) and Pocono Heritage Land Trust (PHLT) board member Don Miller and Dawn Gorham, PHLT executive director for an exploration of a PHLT-owned preserve on Tank Creek in Paradise Township. This recently protected natural area and open space property was once a small country farm with a beautiful stone farmhouse, a large barn, numerous outbuildings, a beautiful spring pond and a farm pond all on the banks of Tank Creek. (read more)

Brodhead Watershed Association seeks volunteers to help monitor stream quality

The Brodhead Watershed Association (BWA) is looking for volunteers to help protect the pristine waters in the Poconos by becoming trained Streamwatchers. The BWA is holding two upcoming Streamwatch Training sessions where the public can learn how monitor stream quality and report findings back to the BWA. The volunteer Streamwatch Program is BWA’s first and longest-running program, enlisting the help of more than 50 volunteers from the community. (read more)

Observers: Don’t get accustomed to cheap oil

By Dave Gardner Crude oil pricing has been on a roller coaster ride, creating economic positives and negatives, as well making an accurate forecast of business conditions virtually impossible. In mid-2014, the global selling price of crude oil exceeded $100 per barrel. By mid-January 2015, the price had dropped to below $50 a barrel. Analysts in the oil industry reject conspiracy-theory claims, citing the fact that oil prices are simply a function supply and demand. Rising crude production in non-OPEC countries, such as the United States, coupled with decreasing demand in Europe, Japan and China, stand as the prime reasons behind the volatility. (read more)

DCNR says improvements make state park online reservation more consumer-friendly

Conservation and Natural Resources Acting Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced that the department is upgrading its online system for Pennsylvania state park campsite, cabin and pavilion reservations. The new system on DCNR’s website recently went live. “One of the key new features is the ability for customers to make a state park reservation on a mobile device,” Dunn said. “Many people now seek information and make their travel plans on their smart phones and other devices. This upgrade fits nicely with Gov. Wolf’s effort to highlight government that works, making it a better experience for our visitors to interact with DCNR when making plans to visit a state park.” (read more)

DEP seeks nominations for ‘Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence;’ Deadline to apply is Monday, March 2

Acting DEP Secretary John Quigley invited Pennsylvania individuals and organizations to apply for the 2015 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence. The awards program is open to all Pennsylvania businesses, farms, government agencies, educational institutions, non-profit organizations and individuals who have created or participated in the development of a project that promotes environmental stewardship and economic development in the state. (read more)

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