Learn what the Brodhead Watershed Association has found in your streams at March 31 meeting

Would you like to know what the Brodhead Watershed Association (BWA) has found in your streams? Pollution levels in the lower Brodhead watershed have made the streams unsafe for swimming or other water contact. BWA will present a report to municipal partners and the community at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, at the Stroud Township Municipal Building on North Fifth Street. The meeting will cover information regarding the health of the Brodhead, McMichael, and Pocono Creeks as they flow through the municipalities of Stroudsburg, East Stroudsburg and Stroud Township. The BWA has received funding to track sources of the pollution and develop plans to reduce pollution in these streams. (read more)

PennFuture and FracTracker introduce interactive map to show shale gas development on Pennsylvania public lands

Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture) and FracTracker Alliance have created a unique GIS map that enables the public to investigate how shale gas development is changing the face of our public lands. The map shows, in one place: ■ Pennsylvania’s State Forests, Parks and Game Lands; ■ State Forest tracts containing active oil and gas leases; ■ State Forest areas where the oil and gas rights have been “severed” from the surface lands and are owned by third parties; (read more)

DEP accepting applications through March 31 for Pennsylvania state ‘Clean Diesel’ grants

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced that applications are now being accepted for the Pennsylvania state Clean Diesel grant program. School districts, municipal authorities, political subdivisions, state agencies, nonprofit entities, corporations, and limited liability companies or partnerships incorporated or registered in Pennsylvania that operate diesel fleets are eligible to apply. (read more)

State departments of Environmental Protection and Agriculture respond to EPA assessment of Pennsylvania’s animal agriculture program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) assessment of Pennsylvania’s animal agriculture program acknowledges the need for continued commitment from all the stakeholders involved in conserving Pennsylvania’s resources, say the leaders of two Commonwealth agencies. Reacting to EPA’s assessment of Pennsylvania’s animal agriculture regulations and programs, released today, Acting Environmental Protection Secretary John Quigley (DEP) and Acting Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding agree that the report shines a light on opportunities for improvement and highlights the need for renewed focus on the Chesapeake Bay. (read more)

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)

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