DEP Public Comment
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently opened a public comment period to accept input on two permits and an inspection protocol for reducing methane at well sites and compressor stations associated with natural gas drilling and transport. The comment period runs through March 21 and the proposal can be found by clicking here.
The proposals were drafted after discussions with industry stakeholders, environmental professionals and residents over the past year. The proposed General Permit 5A (GP-5A) and the revised General Permit 5 (GP-5) establish updated Best Available Technology requirements for the industry regarding air emission limits, source testing, leak detection and repair, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements for the applicable air pollution sources.
Facilities that would be regulated under the new GP-5A include unconventional natural gas well site operations and remote pigging stations above the exemption threshold, which are used for maintenance on pipelines and are not located at another natural gas facility. The proposed GP-5 revisions would affect compressor stations, transmission stations, and processing plants.
Anyone interested in submitting written comments on this draft proposal can do so by 4 p.m. on March 21 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted. All comments including comments submitted by electronic mail must include the originator’s name and address. Written comments should be submitted to:
The Policy Office
Department of Environmental Protection
Rachel Carson State Office Building
P.O. Box 2063
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2063
Grants to Reduce Underage and Dangerous Drinking
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (LCB) is accepting applications from schools, community organizations, municipalities, law enforcement organizations, non-profits, institutions of higher education, and for-profit institutions, for two-year grants aimed at reducing underage and dangerous drinking.
Grants are intended to fund programs that focus on proven strategies to discourage and reduce both underage and dangerous drinking. The grant cycle is for up to two years, from July 2017 through June 2019, with a maximum award of $20,000 per year and $40,000 over two years. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis and are subject to the availability of funds, and grant amounts will be determined by the Bureau of Alcohol Education.
The deadline to apply is 4 p.m. on March 31 and applications must be submitted through PLCB+, an online system developed to streamline licensing and alcohol education functions. More information on this system and on the grant is available by clicking on the “Alcohol Education Grants” tab at www.lcb.pa.gov or by clicking here.
The LCB sets aside roughly $2 million per grant cycle, and initiatives funded in previous years include increased police patrols, social norms campaigns, Parents Who Host Lose the Most campaigns, college alcohol assessment surveys, online alcohol education programs, peer training, and more. There is no limit to the number of organizations from a single county or municipality that may apply for grants, but each must be a separate entity and only one grant will be awarded per organization.
Restitution for Scam Victims
I want to remind anyone who may have been a victim of fraudulent wire transfers that Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro recently announced a settlement with the Western Union Company, requiring the company to install strong anti-fraud measures to protect consumers from being victimized by scams requiring them to send money to third parties through Western Union. In addition to Pennsylvania, 48 other states and the District of Columbia participated in the settlement.
As part of the settlement, Western Union has agreed to pay a total of $5 million to the states for states’ costs and fees. Pennsylvania will receive a portion of that total. In addition to this settlement with the states, Western Union also settled claims related to fraud-induced transfers with the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice. As part of those settlements, Western Union has agreed to pay $586 million to a fund that the U.S. Department of Justice will administer to provide refunds to victims of fraud induced wire transfers nationwide, including victims in Pennsylvania. Of the $586 million, Pennsylvania consumers may be eligible for up to $21.5 million in restitution.
If you were a victim of this type of scam and want to learn more about whether you are eligible for restitution, please visit https://www.justice.gov/criminal-mlars/remission or click here.
Individuals who believe they have been contacted by a scam artist are encouraged to call the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection at 1-800-441-2555 or visit www.attorneygeneral.gov to file a complaint online.
Table Games Revenue Increases in January
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced last week that revenue from table games play in Pennsylvania during January increased more than two percent over January 2016. Gross revenue from table games in January was over $72.6 million compared to just over $71 million in January 2016. Total tax revenue from table games play during January was nearly $11.7 million.
The state’s gaming industry employs 18,000 people and generates roughly $1.4 billion in tax revenue from slot machines and table games. To read more about gaming in Pennsylvania please visit the Gaming Control Board’s website at http://gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov/.
Mobile Health Unit in Beechview
The Squirrel Hill Health Center (SHHC) is bringing its Mobile Unit to Beechview tomorrow for an open house. The Squirrel Hill Health Center’s Mobile Unit will be parked in front of my Beechview satellite office, located at 1660 Broadway Avenue, from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. The open house provides an opportunity to view the Mobile Unit, meet their medical provider and learn about available services.
Special thanks are in order to the Pittsburgh Hispanic Development Corporation for their efforts in coordinating with the SHHC to bring these services to Beechview on a regular basis. The SHHC mobile medical program was launched in 2010 and works collaboratively with community partners to provide primary and preventative health care for patients who would otherwise have difficulty getting to their office.
To learn more about the SHHC’s Mobile Unit, consider stopping by the Open House. Cookies and beverages will be served. You may also visit them online at https://squirrelhillhealthcenter.org/mobile-unit/.
Did You Know…
Did you know there are currently around 2,000 mobile health clinics operating in the United States, hosting roughly 6.5 million patient visits and that for every one dollar invested in a mobile health clinic, twelve dollars are saved?
Exciting Project at Nova Place
Last week at an event at the new Nova Place (formerly Allegheny Center) on the City of Pittsburgh’s Northside, a group of private developers, businesses, and foundations came together to announce an $8.8 million investment into the facility’s concourse. The final result will be a new space available to the public and entrepreneurs that will provide free WiFi access and options for Internet access as well as a series of collaboration pods that will exist throughout the open floor design.
I commend Faros Properties for their vision and leadership on this initiative as well at the Buhl Foundation, Comcast, and Urban Innovation 21 for their financial commitments and services. This unique, private, partnership affords a tremendous opportunity to showcase our region’s innovativeness and ability to work together for the betterment of everyone. Congratulations to everyone involved! You can read more about this exciting project authored by Next Pittsburgh by clicking here.
Civic Leadership Academy
The City of Pittsburgh’s Civic Leadership Academy (CLA) program is accepting applications through next Tuesday from city residents or business owners that are interested in participating. CLA is an engaging 10-week program that opens the doors of local government to the community and was created to foster informed, effective, and inspired community leadership. The program includes tours, hands-on demonstrations, and other fun activities that give participants an insider view on how the City of Pittsburgh operates.
For more information on the program please click here or visit http://pittsburghpa.gov/servepgh/cla. You may also contact Corey Buckner, the CLA coordinator, for more details by calling 412-255-2694 or emailing email@example.com.
Last week the Pittsburgh Pirates opened spring training for 2017 season in Bradenton, Florida. The Pirates have used 16 different training sites since 1900 and have been in Bradenton since 1969. In 1900, the Pirates trained in both Selma, Alabama and Thomasville, Georgia. Over the years the Pirates also trained in Arkansas, Kentucky, California, Texas, Indiana and in 1953 trained in Havana, Cuba.
Offices of State Senator Wayne D. Fontana
| Brookline District
932 Brookline Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15226
Weekdays – 9 am – 5 pm
543 Main Capitol |
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Weekdays – 8:30 am – 5 pm
524 Pine Hollow Road
Weekdays – 10 am – 4 pm
| Beechview Satellite
1660 Broadway Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15216
|Northside (Mobile Office)
Carnegie Library |
1230 Federal Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212