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PA Could Be Carbon-Free by 2050

The Keystone State could get all its power from renewable energy sources and generate thousands of jobs by the middle of this century, according to a new report.

Titled "Envisioning Pennsylvania's Energy Future," the report outlines a plan for increased investments in wind and solar power and energy efficiency that would virtually eliminate reliance on fossil fuels. According to Tracy Carluccio, deputy director of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, electricity consumers would see savings of $134 billion over 35 years.

"Also, as a result of these policies," she said, "the report calculates that we will see a net increase of nearly 500,000 jobs over this same period of time."

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network sponsored a free webinar on the report at 1 p.m....

10/21/2016 10:19:44am
Gov. Wolf Announces Multimodal Transportation Grants - Including Trail & Bike Projects

Gov. Tom Wolf and PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards announced 37 highway, bridge, bike and pedestrian projects will receive $40 million in Multimodal Transportation Fund grants from the Department of Transportation. Locally this is the project related to trails and bike paths:

— Lackawanna County: Heritage Valley Partners, Inc. — $463,179 to create safe, ADA-compliant access from existing Lackawanna River Heritage Trail to Lackawanna Avenue, providing a direct link to downtown commerce, government services, historical and cultural venues, and educational institutions....

10/20/2016 10:29:50am
Alternatives to Single-Use Plastic

Think about how long you used that straw to sip the drink you purchased today from your favorite beverage shop.  It was probably less than an hour..if that.  What about the plastic fork you used to eat the salad you purchased from the fast food place?  Ten minutes maybe?  Even though you used it for a few minutes, that straw or fork could last forever in a stream or ocean.  The solution is having an alternative to these throw away items.  ...

10/18/2016 09:54:01am
Senate Bill Called Threat to PA Wilderness Areas

Pennsylvania has two federally designated wilderness areas, where human intrusion on nature is limited to hiking trails, but a bill in the U.S. Senate could change that.

Called the Human-Powered Travel in Wilderness Areas Act, Senate Bill 3205 would direct forest rangers to designate trails to be opened for use by cyclists, who currently are not allowed. Kirk Johnson, executive director of Friends of Allegheny Wilderness, said he fears the introduction of mountain biking could ruin the wilderness experience for everyone else....

10/14/2016 10:17:18am
Pennsylvania’s Burpee Company Funds Permanent White House Kitchen Garden

Pennsylvania-based home gardening company W. Atlee Burpee Company has made a $2.5 million gift to establish a permanent White House Kitchen Garden to maintain and further develop an initiative started by First Lady Michelle Obama. The donation will be made by The Burpee Foundation.
According to George Ball, chairman and CEO of the 140-year old Pennsylvania based Burpee, establishment of a formal vegetable garden at The White House resurrects a tradition that goes back to John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
The gift will be made to the National Park Foundation which is responsible for the Garden, and will be made over a 17 year period to cover direct costs to expand and maintain the Garden....

10/14/2016 09:29:07am
Global Agreement on Aircraft Emissions a Milestone

Almost 200 countries have agreed to a United Nations plan to cut carbon pollution from aircraft, but environmentalists say the agreement doesn't go far enough.

By 2050, emissions from civilian aircraft could constitute a quarter of the world's remaining carbon budget, the maximum allowable to avoid the worst effects of global climate change. Sarah Burt, a staff attorney with Earthjustice, said the plan adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization is an important milestone.

"This is the first time that a majority of countries around the world got together to agree to do something," Burt said....

10/11/2016 08:57:38am
Best Buy Gift Cards Go Green

Best Buy recently released a gift card that can be recycled at home – with your paper, cans and bottles.

Because the “Go Green” gift card is made out of paper, it can go right into your recycling bin at home.

The traditional gift card is made out of polyvinyl chloride, also known as PVC, a material that is not usually accepted in city recycling programs. By using paper, Best Buy will help to reduce the amount of plastic that’s thrown out....

10/10/2016 11:23:10am
PA Gets Critical Funds to Reduce Pollution from Farms

Pennsylvania will receive almost $29 million of new federal and state funding to help reduce pollution flowing into Chesapeake Bay.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Agriculture and the state of Pennsylvania committed the additional funding at the Chesapeake Executive Council's annual meeting.

Harry Campbell, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Pennsylvania, notes that the Commonwealth has fallen behind on its commitment to cut pollution.

"This new investment of resources from the state and federal governments represents a down payment, if you will, to jump start our efforts toward clean water initiatives across the state," he states....

10/07/2016 10:22:27am
2017 PA River Of The Year Nominations Are Now Being Accepted

The PA Organization for Watersheds and Rivers is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Pennsylvania River of the Year. Nominations are due October 28, 2016.

River of the Year is an honor designed to elevate public awareness of specific rivers and recognize important conservation needs and achievements. River of the Year designations have been presented annually since 1983.

Pennsylvania’s 2016 River of the Year is the North Branch Susquehanna River in northeast Pennsylvania.

POWR administers the River of the Year program with funding from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources....

10/05/2016 03:14:05pm
Energy Efficiency Tricks to Stop Your Energy Bill from Haunting You

It has long been said that on All Hallows’ Eve, ghosts and goblins roam the earth, witches take to the sky on their broomsticks, and vampires rise from the dead. Whether you believe in paranormal activity or not, this Halloween don’t let your energy bill give you a scare.

Defend yourself from unwanted spirits and high energy bills by sealing air leaks around windows, doors, and air ducts. Before air sealing, conduct a visual inspection to detect leaks or hire a professional for a more thorough measurement of your home’s airflow....

10/05/2016 08:29:25am
Refrigerator Cools With Magnetism, Not Freon

Some metals do a remarkable thing when they’re placed within a magnetic field: They heat up. Remove the magnetic field, and they grow cold.

It’s not difficult to see how this heating and cooling, known as the magnetocaloric effect, might be put to good use. Refrigerators and air conditioners could not only become more energy efficient but also be freed from century-old technology that relies on environmentally harmful refrigerants.

Researchers with Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Building Equipment Research Group are working with General Electric Appliances to produce a refrigerator based on the magnetocaloric effect....

09/28/2016 11:53:16am
Cleaning the Air and Boosting the Bottom Line

States challenging the president's Clean Power Plan claim it would raise electricity prices and cost jobs, but two separate new studies say implementing the plan could do just the opposite. The Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is hearing arguments today in a suit brought by 24 states and several corporations challenging the plan.

But according to Jennifer Kefer, the executive director of the Alliance for Industrial Efficiency, their report shows that putting the plan into action would be a win for business, workers, and the climate....

09/27/2016 09:56:12am
Mayfield to participate in tire cleanup program

Mayfield borough will participate in a countywide tire cleanup program next month, cosponsored by the Lackawan­na County commissioners and the office of environmental sustainability.

Residents may drop off tires at the Mayfield DPW site from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13.

Tires 13 to 16 inches will be accepted at a cost of $2 each; 17- to 20-inch tires will be accepted at $3 each. All tires must be free of debris and off the rim.

No truck tires will be accepted....

09/26/2016 03:14:30pm
Extreme Weather Threatens Monarch Butterfly Habitat

Illegal logging is on the decline, but severe weather events continue to degrade Mexico’s forests

Extreme weather is now a primary driver of forest degradation in key wintering habitat for monarch butterflies in Mexico, according to a new report.

Excessive winds and storms that knocked down trees played a significant role in the degradation of 178.7 acres of forest in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve between 2015 and 2016. Felled trees made up 74.6% of the causes of degradation, followed by illegal logging at 16.4% and drought at 9%, according to the report by the WWF-Telmex-Telcel Foundation Alliance, the National Commission of Protected Natural Areas, and the Institute of Biology of the National Autonomous University of Mexico....

09/23/2016 02:12:40pm
Queen Guitarist Brian May Protests Japanese Dolphin Hunts

Brian May, guitarist of British rock group Queen, is taking a stand against Japan’s dolphin killing, saying the slaughter of animals should end in the same way society has turned against slavery or witch-burning.

“Every species, and every individual of every species, is worthy of respect,” May told The Associated Press on Friday while in Tokyo for Queen’s sell-out concerts at Budokan arena.

“This is not about countries. It’s about a section of humanity that doesn’t yet understand that animals have feelings, too.”

View article...

09/23/2016 10:28:38am
Toxic Ocean Slime Is Spreading Quickly Across the Earth

Algae blooms known to poison marine wildlife are getting worse in seas around the world, possibly accelerated by warming and other climate shifts.

See where the deadly blooms happen....

09/22/2016 11:48:08am
Giant Panda No Longer Endangered

Iconic species is one step further away from extinction

In a welcome piece of good news for the world’s threatened wildlife, the giant panda has just been downgraded from ‘Endangered’ to ‘Vulnerable’ on the global list of species at risk of extinction, demonstrating how an integrated approach can help save our planet’s vanishing biodiversity.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced the positive change to the giant panda’s official status in the Red List of Threatened Species, pointing to the 17 per cent rise in the population in the decade up to 2014, when a nationwide census found 1,864 giant pandas in the wild in China....

09/22/2016 10:01:30am
Neil Young Protests Dakota Access Pipeline With New Song

Neil Young is joining the protest against the four-state Dakota Access pipeline with his new song, “Indian Givers.” The music video for the song shows clips of Young driving his car and footage of the recent anti-pipeline protests, including a man who chained himself to construction equipment last week.

View article......

09/21/2016 09:24:21am
Walmart Makes Home and Personal Care Products Safer

This summer, Walmart released a list of ten high priority chemicals they’ve removed from home and personal care products, with details as to how the reductions were achieved, and the total volume of the chemicals removed. In total, 23.26 million pounds of these chemicals were removed from thousands of products. The clean-up was the long-awaited fruit of Walmart’s 2013 Sustainable Chemicals Policy, developed in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund.

Get the full story here....

09/21/2016 09:16:29am
Hershey Named To Dow Jones Sustainability World Index For 4th Consecutive Year

The Hershey Company announced it has been named again to the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America Indices.
Hershey is one of only 11 companies from the Food, Beverage and Tobacco Industry in the World Index and ranked in the 91 percentile overall. The company received top scores in health and nutrition, packaging environmental impact, and water related risks categories.
This is the fourth consecutive year that Hershey has been included in the World Index and the fifth year for the North American Index....

09/20/2016 02:05:20pm