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Take at-home environmentalism to the next level by celebrating National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day on April 2nd.

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[ Go Green-Scaping ]

March is when we typically begin to think of springtime, — lawns, flowers, and being outdoors. Get ideas and useful tips for greenscaping — environmentally friendly practices to improve the health and appearance of your lawn and garden at http://www.epa.gov/wastes/wycd/homeandgarden.htm

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[ Shailene Woodley’s Pointers On How To Save The Earth ]

Nylon magazine’s April 2015 cover girl Shailene Woodley, star of the Divergent movie series and The Fault in Our Stars, doesn’t want to be labeled an environmentalist, but she gave the mag some great pointers on how to save our planet:

The eco-conscious lead of The Fault in Our Stars also gave some pointers on how to save the Earth from future implosion. “Everyone could and should do a lot for the planet,” Woodley explained. “I think you should find one small thing that works for you and dedicate and commit to that one thing every single day.”

Her tips include the usual measures: “When you leave the house just unplug your toaster, coffee machine, your TV, which doesn’t need to be on all day.”

She also gave some additional pro tips to fans.…

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[ Drought Watch for 27 Pennsylvania Counties ]

Despite the recent surge of surface water caused by snow melt, parts of the state have below-average groundwater levels. The lack of groundwater recharge has caused the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to issue a drought watch for 27 counties across Pennsylvania. Low groundwater levels can cause well-fed water supplies, both private and public, to go dry.

The very dry fall and below-normal precipitation in January and February have contributed to low groundwater levels in the northeast and central portions of the state.…

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[ Resistance to Gas Pipelines Spreading ]

Huge pipelines intended to carry Marcellus and Utica natural gas to eastern markets are running into spreading resistance from landowners.

Richmond-based Dominion Resources and its partners have filed about 100 lawsuits against landowners who are resisting surveying crews for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Now landowners in the path of a different pipeline, the Mountain Valley Pipeline, have filed preemptive suits to stop surveying crews hired by the Pittsburgh-based EQT energy company and its partners.

Isak Howell is an attorney with Appalachian Mountain Advocates, a non-profit organization that represents dozens of landowners along each line.…

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[ Guarded Praise for New Pennsylvania Fracking Regulations ]

Citizen and environmental groups are giving cautious praise to proposed revisions of the regulation of Pennsylvania natural gas drilling, better known as fracking.

New rules coming from Governor Tom Wolf and the Department of Environmental Protection would tighten air pollution and water regulations for the gas industry.

John Norbeck, acting president and CEO with PennFuture, says the new regulations are the result of an open process that included 24,000 comments. While some segments of the industry have been critical of the new rules, Norbeck says the revisions are rather modest.…

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[ Online Live Video Stream of Harrisburg Falcons ]

untitledIn what’s become a sure sign that spring’s not far away, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced it will begin the live video stream of the pair of peregrine falcons that nest on a ledge of the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg. The feed is available at http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/falcon/default.htm

“This season marks 15 years since the first pair of peregrine falcons produced eggs at this nest,” DEP Acting Secretary John Quigley said. “Over the years, tens of millions of people from across the globe have followed their story, and more importantly, learned the important environmental lessons they teach us about how pollution affects wildlife.”

DEP works with Commonwealth Media Services to provide the live three-camera high definition feed during the nesting season and until the young falcons eventually fledge from the nest in June.…

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[ EPA Issues Report on Pennsylvania Animal Agriculture Programs ]

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today it has completed an evaluation of Pennsylvania’s animal agriculture programs. The assessment is one of six that the agency is conducting of state animal agriculture programs within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. EPA conducts periodic reviews of state programs as part of its oversight responsibilities under the Clean Water Act.

EPA’s assessment evaluated Pennsylvania’s implementation of programs to reduce the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution going to waterways within the Bay Watershed, as called for under the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load or TMDL.…

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[ Fix a Leak Week 2015 ]

Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide, so each year the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency asks you to hunt down drips during Fix a Leak Week.  Fix a Leak Week 2015 is March 16–22,  but remember that you can race over to your plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems, fix the leaks, and save valuable water and money all year long.

Common types of leaks found in the home are worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves.…

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[ DCNR Head Honored for Protecting PA’s Wild Places ]

Helping Pennsylvanians connect to and protect the state’s wilderness has earned an award from a national conservation group for the acting head of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

The National Wildlife Federation is honoring DCNR Acting Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn as a “conservation champion.” Collin O’Mara, president and chief executive of the federation, said Dunn has a vision for the agency that brings people into the wild, and so helps protect those landscapes.

“The leadership that she’s demonstrated in Pennsylvania – whether it’s land conservation or promoting outdoor recreation, or improving water quality, or reducing carbon pollution – it puts her among the top female conservationists across the entire country,” he said.…

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[ Wolf Budget “Investments Toward $6 Billion Clean Water Payoff” ]

Part of Governor Tom Wolf’s proposed budget is an investment toward saving Pennsylvanians $6 billion a year, according to a clean water group’s analysis. Wolf’s fiscal year spending blueprint budgets more for the environmental protection, natural resources and agriculture departments.

Harry Campbell, executive director with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, says that would help those agencies do urgently needed work on cleaning up the Chesapeake. He says their economic analysis found getting the bay’s many Pennsylvania tributaries healthy would be worth $6 billion a year in the state.…

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[ DEP Extends Comment Period for Keystone Landfill permit application ]

The Department of Environmental Protection 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, 2015.

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 1-hundred and 65-feet. The department held a public meeting at Dunmore High School on Wednesday, February 25th on the permit application to answer questions from the public.…

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[ Turn Your Loved One Into a Tree? ]

The idea of coming full circle and returning whence we came from is one that appeals to many of us, regardless of our faith (or lack thereof), and this is an idea captured perfectly by a beautiful new burial method developed in Italy. The Capsula Mundi project by designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel has developed an organic, biodegradable burial capsule that will turn the deceased’s body into nutrients for a tree that will grow out of their remains.

After being encapsulated in the fetal position, the deceased is buried and either a tree or tree seed is planted above their capsule.…

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[ Can Walmart Get Us to Buy Sustainable Products? ]

This article was originally posted on hbr.org.  You can read the full article here.

We all want to buy the best products we can find and afford. But what does “best” actually mean? The ones that offer the best bang for the buck, last the longest, or give us the most pride of ownership? How about a product that minimizes its environmental impacts or tries to make the world a better place? Identifying the companies that make these more “sustainable” products has been nearly impossible… until now.…

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[ Report: Solar Job Growth Blazing Hot, But Slowing Some In PA ]

Job growth in the solar industry is blazing nationally, although cooling a bit in Pennsylvania. An annual census by The Solar Foundation found the number of jobs in the industry up by nearly a quarter over the year before and up nearly 90 percent since 2010.

Andrea Luecke, president and executive director of The Solar Foundation, says most of these jobs pay well. She says much of the new work is sales and installation. As solar power becomes more competitive, more people want it installed.…

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[ Apples Top Dirty Dozen List for Fifth Year in a Row ]

Apples, peaches, and nectarines topped EWG’s 2015 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in ProduceTM list of the dirtiest, or most pesticide-contaminated, fruits and vegetables, a new analysis of U.S. government data found. Apples turned up with the highest number of pesticides for the fifth year in a row, while peaches and nectarines moved up to the second and third spots.

Nearly two-thirds of produce samples tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and analyzed by EWG for the 2015 Shopper’s Guide contained pesticide residues – a surprising finding in the face of soaring consumer demand for food without agricultural chemicals, EWG reported. …

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[ Former Grid Regulators: Carbon Rules Don’t Threaten Power Reliability ]

Cutting carbon pollution from power plants shouldn’t threaten electrical reliability according to the folks whose job it was to keep the grid humming in past years.

Critics of the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to cut existing power plant greenhouse gas emissions warn it could cause rolling blackouts.

But a number of former grid regulators say the nation’s electrical system has proven very adaptable. Former Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Marc Spitzer says the current commission knows better than to mix politics with what is really a complex technical question.…

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[ Academy Award-Winning Actor Jared Leto Officially Takes on Global Ambassador Title for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). ]

Academy Award-winning actor, musician and director Jared Leto is now a WWF global ambassador. In this role, Leto will work with WWF to raise awareness of the most urgent, critical issues facing our planet.

Leto recently traveled to South Africa with WWF to learn first-hand about wildlife crime and specifically the rhino poaching crisis and WWF’s efforts to save rhino populations on two continents.

“My latest adventure in South Africa was as mind-blowing as always,” Leto said. “Being that close to majestic creatures like rhinos and elephants reminds me of the deep connection and important responsibility we have to protect and shepherd these fragile species and their habitats.…

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[ Gas Pipeline Hits Resistance ]

Dominion Energy and partners are running into intense resistance in their efforts to survey for a huge pipeline intended to carry Marcellus and Utica natural gas.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline has provoked intense opposition from landowners. Pen Goodall’s sheep farm is straddling the Virginia, West Virginia border. He’s being sued for refusing to allow Dominion surveyors onto his land but says he’d rather go to jail than let them survey.

“I’m going to stand my ground because it will just totally destroy everything I have ever done,” says Goodall.…

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[ Mystery Of Bee Colony Collapse May Have Been Solved ]

Bee hives full of healthy honey bees had suddenly become empty. Apiarists, otherwise known as beekeepers or honey farmers, are confused and worried because of the mystery behind the collapse of the bee colony. A group of scientists from Australia looked into the causes and the study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, an official scientific journal by the National Academy of Sciences.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the apiarists thought that a new disease had taken over the colonies.…

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[ Court Decision Orders BLM to Reconsider Allowing Target Shooting in Sonoran Desert National Monument, Directs Agency to Revise its Management Plan to Better Protect Monument Resources and Visitor Safety ]

Michael Reinemer

Ruling two days after oral arguments closed, the Arizona District Court in Phoenix has ordered the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to re-examine its decision to allow target shooting throughout Sonoran Desert National Monument.


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[ Sustainable Cities: Challenges and Opportunities in Jakarta ]

By Jon Heggie


JAKARTA, Indonesia–Some of Indonesia’s foremost thought leaders on sustainability, energy and environment convened in Jakarta for “Sustainable Cities: Challenges and Opportunities in Jakarta,” a roundtable discussion on how we plan, create and manage the sustainable city of the future from an energy perspective.

The experts were invited by National Geographic and Shell, partners in the Great Energy Challenge, which has been sponsoring gatherings around the world to consider big energy questions. Taking a global view but with a focus on Jakarta and Indonesia, the forum in February 2015 addressed overarching themes of energy demand and reducing carbon emissions, while considering the role of smart planning, including the transformation of infrastructure and transportation and the adoption of new systems and technologies.…

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[ New attacks: Congress tries to sell off public lands ]

Lawmakers are bowing to special interest groups, attempting to forward the sale or transfer of public lands including wilderness areas, wildlife refuges and national forests to state and local governments.


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