Growing Greener program, pollutants market bill strike up feud between admin, House

Growing Greener program, pollutants market bill strike up feud between admin, House

A hearing on an amended, omnibus environmental bill, which includes a nitrogen procurement plan to ease waterway pollution, brought up questions of funding and interbranch cooperation Thursday.

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee heard testimony on the bill, SB 799 by Sen. Richard Alloway (R-Franklin). Originally, the bill only set up a procurement program to use public dollars to purchase nitrogen credits from the agricultural industry to keep runoff from heading into the commonwealth’s streams and rivers and into the Chesapeake Bay.

Then, in late January, the Senate amended the bill to include a reauthorization of the Growing Greener program, first set up under former Republican Gov. Tom Ridge in 1999.

Thursday, August 16, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Environmentalists release state lawmaker rankings, turn eye to fall session, election

Environmentalists release state lawmaker rankings, turn eye to fall session, election

Ahead of the general election, state environmental groups released their rankings of Harrisburg lawmakers earlier this week based on their perception of green votes— and hinted at a bill they think might get pushed through ahead of November.

Ranked on a scale of zero to 100 — with 100 representing the most eco-conscious and 0 representing the least — the report card released by Conservation Voters of PA, PennEnvironment, the Sierra Club's Pennsylvania Chapter and Clean Water Action gave both session and lifetime ratings to all 253 members of the General Assembly.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
O'Neill announces end to reelection bid as Dems formalize four ballot replacements

O'Neill announces end to reelection bid as Dems formalize four ballot replacements

One last state House Republican is out, and four Dems were officially put on the ballot this week as the lineups for state legislative elections are formalized two months prior to Election Day.

Rep. Bernie O’Neill (R-Bucks) withdrew from his race Aug. 13. The deadline for parties to file a replacement candidate is Aug. 23.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
High speed rail or hyperloop? One lawmaker says Pennsylvania should give new transit tech a look

High speed rail or hyperloop? One lawmaker says Pennsylvania should give new transit tech a look

Home to the Steamtown National Historic Site, Scranton is better known for its antique locomotives, a memento of the age of steam, than for sleek, electrified high-speed rail.

But Rep. Aaron Kaufer (R-Luzerne) knows that despite years of chatter, the Lackawanna Valley is no closer to a proposed rail connection to New York City to update that image. So, he is looking to the future.

Last month, Kaufer floated a co-sponsorship memo to ask the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to study the feasibility of a hyperloop to connect Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, with a branch route up to Wilkes-Barre and the Electric City as well.

Monday, August 13, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Municipalities tire of rockets' red glare, bombs bursting in air, after first summer of legal fireworks

Municipalities tire of rockets' red glare, bombs bursting in air, after first summer of legal fireworks

The scream of bottle rockets, roar of roman candles and pop-pop-pop of firecrackers were all available to everyday Pennsylvanians this summer for the first time, but the state’s municipalities have already had enough.

From Wilkes-Barre to Williamsport to Altoona, local governments have floated their own plans to cut down on the use of fireworks within their jurisdictions, even if they have outstanding concerns about whether their restrictions will even be legal.

Monday, August 13, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
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