Here's where we regularly inform you about recent developments at Earth Wise Consulting.
Earth Wise Participates in Project Meeting:
Rosebud Mining is undertaking an ambitious, and expensive project to address the St. Michael's discharge, a mine drainage problem in Sidman, PA. The project is underway with building permits secured, and final discharge permitting underway. Once completed, the facility will be able to process 10,000 gallons per minute, and reduce pollution loadings into the Little Conemaugh by more than 33 percent. Mike Kane of the Community Foundation said, "This is exactly what Johnstown needs. It will help with our river efforts--i.e. clean-up--which we see as blight removal."
Broad Top Township Receives Honor:
Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds and Earth Wise Consulting nominated Broad Top Township for Pennsylvania Land Trust Association's 2012 Government Conservation Leadership Award. The township was honored for strides in abandoned mine drainage, trail development, and being municipal innovators. Branden S. Diehl, Earth Wise CEO said, "They are an example of how all municipalities should operate. They see opportunities--funding and development--that most municipalities don't. They are calculated risk takers."
Earth Wise Health Project Completed:
The $1.4M project we worked so hard to consummate is now complete. Hyndman Area Health Center's Bedford Office officially opened on April 30, 2012. This facility will server the community, and surrounding areas health and dental needs into the future. Earth Wise is a provide contributor, and the main reason the project happened.
Pennsylvanian's Have a Chance to Help the Military:
The state Department of Revenue recently provided a press release outlining how military personnel could apply for emergency funding. The program that is provided by tax refund donations makes it possible for military members that meet the program criterion to receive a $3,500 assistance grant. To learn more click here.
Hyndman Area Health Center (HAHC) Receives More Good News:
On Friday, September 23, 2011, HAHC learned that the PEDA grant written by Earth Wise Consulting was approved. The $300,000 grant was approved by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Finance Authority, and will support energy efficiency upgrades at their new Bedford facility.
Hyndman Area Health Center (HAHC) Lands Grant:
Through collaboration with EWC and numerous other partners, HAHC was awarded an Appalachian Regional Commission grant of $250,000. The funds will assist with their rehabilitation project. The project will culminate more than three years' effort, and have a $1.4M price tag. The new location is expected to open late 2011, and is located at 220 South Thomas ST, Bedford, PA. HAHC provides medical and dental services on a sliding-fee scale--you pay based on your income. Dental emergencies can often be scheduled and fixing within 24 hours.
Diehl Moderates Marcellus Discussion:
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 more than 100 residents participated in an informational session relating to Marcellus Shale. The event was sponsored by numerous local groups--both business and environmental. Diehl said, "The meeting is intended to be informational in nature--and not promoting an agenda for or against development." Diehl participated as a moderator for client Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds (FPW). FPW is neither for nor against industry--they ARE against environmental degradation.
Keep Huntingdon County Beautiful Event a Success:
Fall Saturdays are usually reserved for football and yard work. Yet, on Saturday the 17th more than a dozen volunteers showed-up at the Huntingdon County Fair Grounds for a tire recycling event. The event was sponsored by Keep Huntingdon Beautiful, and collected more than 1,100 tires--many of which were on rims or were farm tractor tires. All material collected will be recycled. Earth Wise Consulting was proud to participate, and provide sponsorship dollars for this project! Learn more about Keep Huntingdon County Beautiful.
Bedford County Chamber of Commerce Energy Luncheon:
EWC's Branden S. Diehl participated in the Chamber event that focused on renewable energy. The event focused on Whispering Creek's Renewable Energy Facility--a former client of EWC. This facility implemented solar, geothermal, wind, LED, and energy conservation strategies via a $190,000 PA DEP grant. Participants learned about the challenges of energy efficiency projects, about funding strategies, and about how to integrate these technologies into their businesses. Earth Wise was proud to be an event sponsor.
Earth Wise Presents at 13th Annual AMR Conference:
On August 5, 2011, Earth Wise's Branden Diehl presented to the group on grant making strategies, and maximizing grant opportunities. The workshop focused on 'tricks of the trade', and provided an overview of common grant application mistakes. For conference information click here.
EWC Client Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds Gets $3.5M:
In an out of court settlement, Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds (FPW) received $3.5M for water quality improvements within the Kiski-Conemaugh Basin. The overall settlement was $5M--$250,000 EPA fine, $1.25 legal fees, $3.5M FPW. The settlement was a result of a citizens' suit again GenOn for more than 8,600 violations to the Clean Water Act. FPW will start drawing down project funds as early as November 2011.
Six Mile Run Advertises Bids:
The fire company advertised for design services, and held a November 1, 2010 pre-bid meeting. Design bids are due back to the company by November 22, 2010. Earth Wise Consulting wrote the Station Construction Grant that was awarded for $2.2M. Funds will be used to complete the construction of a LEED certified structure that meets both NFPA and OSHA requirements.
Earth Wise Clients Win:
Three clients received favorable consideration, and were added into the 2011 Capital Budget. The projects will benefit rural Pennsylvania communities, and provide valuable funds aimed at addressing infrastructure needs. Being included in the budget entitles the clients to funds when they become available. Earth Wise provided 50 percent of the Bedford County projects that were selected for 2011 Capital Budget projects.
Diehl Named As a Force:
PA Business Central named Earth Wise CEO Branden Diehl as one of its Foremost Under 40. The publication will print their entire list with associated stories in their November 18th printing. This honor recognizes Earth Wise's commitment to excellence, and their community business ethos.
PA Ag Secretary Russell Visits Bedford:
On October 29, 2010, Secretary Russell presented his thoughts on the future of agriculture, its challenges, and opportunities to a group at the Bedford County VoTech. The meeting was led by county members of FBLA.
Earth Wise Presents to Bedford Nonprofits:
On October 29, 2010 Earth Wise Consulting was a special guest of Wessel & Company, and provided 'grant writing strategies and capacity building information' to meeting participants.
Diehl Presents to Watershed Specialists:
On October 13, 2010, Earth Wise CEO Branden Diehl gave a presentation to Watershed Specialists. The event held in State College, PA focused on informing the conservation district employees with information concerning Renew Growing Greener efforts. Diehl gave the presentation on behalf of Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds.
Hyndman Health Get Award:
Earth Wise Consulting is pleased to announce they were successful in obtaining funding for Hyndman Health's Bedford Project. The Penelec Sustainable Energy Fund approved $25,000 for LEED certification at their recent meeting. These funds are part of a larger $1.8M project.
Dieh to Present:
Branden Diehl will give a presentation on non-profit capacity building and project funding to local non-profits in Johnstown on October 1, 2010. For more information or to register contact Wessel Company, and ask for Christine Britton.
The redevelopment plan for the Everett Hardwoods Business Park is nearing completion. Additionally, ARRA dollars procured for site work is also nearing completion.
AFS Presentation Success:
The presentation provided by Branden Diehl to the American Fisheries Society was a succes, and discussion is evolving on making the presentations into a peer-reviewed paper.
National Drug Take-Back Day:
The first-ever national drug take-back program is being coordinated by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and state and local law enforcement partners. The National Take-Back Day, September 25th, provides an opportunity for the public to dispose of expired, unwanted, or unused pharmaceutical controlled substances and other medications for destruction. Although targeted at controlled substances, the program will accept all prescription and over the counter solid dosage medications - tablets and capsules. Improper disposal of unused medicines (such as flushing) can contaminate streams, groundwater and drinking water supplies.
Visit the website http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/takeback/ and enter your zipcode to find a take-back location near you.
Six Mile Run VFD Moves Closer:
Station Construction Grant funds will soon flow to Earth Wise Consulting's client. The environmental clearances have been approved, and a construction RFP will likely be completed within the next 30 to 60 days.
Earth Wise CEO to Present:
Branden S. Diehl will present at the American Fisheries Society's Conference in Pittsburgh on September 15. Diehl will provide an overview of Philanthropies Role in Restoring Waterways. The presentation was developed for Foundation for PA Watersheds, and outlines how their specific foundation has restored more than 600 miles of mine-impacted streams, and leveraged millions in state and federal funds.
Client Receives Spotlight:
Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds (FPW) was recognized by the Heinz Endowments as being a leader in Pennsylvania's watershed movement. As such, FPW was in the "Spotlight" for two weeks. During that time, Branden S. Diehl, CEO of Earth Wise Consulting wrote several, informal blogs highlighting what it is that FPW does so well, and why they are a leader in empowering grass roots, creating policy change, and working with business/industry, government, and environmental groups to achieve success. Visit the blog site and learn more (click on the left navigation bar to read more blogs).
HBO to Premiere Gasland:
Josh Fox--a Pennsylvania, self-taught, 'environmental detective'--tells his story about his lease offer for gas rights. The movie premieres on HBO June 21, 2010. Click here for more information.
Earth Wise Clients Get Funds:
Thomas Shipley, a Bedford County farm, will soon be receiving federal United States Department of Agriculture funds for his farm. The funds will assist with a feasibility study that will explore developing on-farm businesses. Foundation for PA Watersheds receives funding for independent work on Marcellus Shale issues. an initial payment of $50,000 was received, and $250,000 more is pledged. These private, foundation, funds will assist in developing online tools for property owners, legislators, and regulators. Additionally, the funds will assist with providing mini-grants for independent research on issues surrounding Marcellus drilling.
Eich Tours Cambria County 911 System:
On June 17, 2010, Earth Wise Consulting coordinated a site visit of the Cambria County Wireless Program. Senator Eichelberger, Communications and Technology Committee member, took time out of his busy schedule to learn how this project could serve as a model for rural Pennsylvania. The system was initially designed for emergency services as a means to improve their communications--addressing safety concerns--but would soon morph into a project that is now providing county-wide, remote, wireless services. Earth Wise, in collaboration with Aerial Communications, hopes this project will create a tide of change throughout the state, and assist communities with gaining highspeed access to the World Wide Web. It is hard to believe that some of our clients are still struggling with dial-up Internet connections. To read about the Senator's impressions click here.
PA Parks Compete for Trees:
Check out DCNR’s new “Plant a Tree” campaign video.
Beginning May 25, Pennsylvania will be competing with the 49 other states in the “Plant a Tree” campaign sponsored by Odwalla fruit juices. Citizens across the nation will be asked to go to the Odwalla website, and vote for their favorite state to have a tree planted. Odwalla is dedicating $200,000 in trees for this campaign. Each vote will count as a dollar, and once all $200,000 are allotted, the campaign will end. The number of votes a state gets will equal the number of dollars it receives to plant trees within state parks.
Please help Pennsylvania become the top vote-getter and score the most dollars for state park trees. Lead the charge by voting on May 25th at Odwalla.com, and passing along this information to your friends, family, and co-workers. Log on early as votes will go fast. It costs nothing to participate and takes only a few seconds to vote for Pennsylvania.
Foundation Calls for Renewing Growing Greener:
Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds in partnership with the Green Team has announced the Renew Growing Greener campaign. To learn more about the campaign click here. Foundation encourages you to read the Renew Growing Greener Fact Sheet, provide an individual support letter or an organizational support letter, and be active in calling for renewed environmental funding. If you have questions please contact Andrew Heath 717.230.8044 x23. To learn more about the Foundation's efforts click here.
Bear Poaching a Concern:
Nescopeck State Park bear poached could have been a record, according to PA Game Commission officials. The 675 pound bear was predicted to reach more than 900 pounds by the fall bear season. Officials said, if the bear were harvested legally it would likely have set state bruin records. The PA Game Commission is asking for your help in bringing the poacher to justice. To read more click here.
Gas Company Calls for Eminent Domain Powers:
A Huston-based gas driller has requested the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) consider it as a public utility within the Commonwealth. Granting this designation would allow the company eminent domain rights. As some residents have bulked at recent easement offers, eminent domain would provide yet another concession to the industry. To read the entire article click here.
Gas Moratorium Passes House:
House Bill 2235 passes! The bill calls for a moratorium on all drilling in State Forests. There is a caveat that, the governor's proposed budget assumptions for drilling are allow for 2010-2011. After that, the bill calls for a five year moratorium until DCNR can provide a report adequately addressing the bill's environmental concerns.
Earth Wise Completes OMB Report:
The federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requested Foundation for PA Watersheds provide testimony on the value of Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Councils' effectiveness. Earth Wise Consulting completed the report providing evidence of how RC&Ds have assisted the Foundation in its restoration mission.
Diehl Attends Town Hall Meeting:
On May 8, 2010, Branden Diehl attended a town hall meeting hosted by Singing Brook Farm. Both PA Ag Secretary and US Department of Agriculture Secretary Vilsack answered audience questions. Vilsack said his greatest angst is the loss of rural America. He quoted that rural areas provide a disproportionate amount of members to armed forces, are responsible for our food supply, and our clean water. He further elaborated that there is a decline of rural America, and that we, as a nation, need to strengthen these areas if we are to grow as a nation. That is exactly what Earth Wise Consulting does daily.
Earth Wise & PA DEP:
On May 6, 2010, Earth Wise Consulting discussed funding options with Deputy Secretary of Mineral Resource's Scott Roberts about how to leverage state and federal abandoned mine funds. Earth Wise Consulting provided services that resulting in $6B for the nation through the Abandoned Mine Lands Fund. Pennsylvania benefitted from the legislation by receiving $1.4B for mine reclamation. DEP has develeoped guidelines for spending these funds, and Earth Wise assisted Schuylkill County groups in procurring grant funds to develop Qualified Hydrologic Units--necessary to access reclamation funds.
Earth Wise Attends Conferences:
In an effort to stay connected to their clients' needs, Earth Wise Consulting's Branden Diehl attended a May 1, 2010 conference on 'nonproift capacity building', and provided programmatic support for its client Foundation for PA Watersheds. The conference assisted nonprofits in learning key tools for creating change, and assisted in developing new funding strategies. Diehl attended May 6, 2010 West Branch Susquehanna conference to learn about recovery efforts focused on abandoned mine drainage.
Earth Wise Consulting Gives Recommendations:
A team of experts and consultants were amassed by Aerial Communications to review Bedford County expanses, and give saving recommendations to the county commissioners. Led by Kevin Diehl, Aerial owner, the team is committed to alleviating county budget concerns, save jobs, and promote local businesses.
Bedford County Commissions Get a Check:
Century Link, formerly Embarq, provided the Bedford County Commissioners with a check totalling more than $1,800. The check reimbursed funds appropriated for the downtown wireless Internet service. Earth Wise Consulting wrote the wireless system's grant.
Earth Wise Collaborates on Earth Day Celebration:
A Bedford County, PA Earth Day Celebration will occur on April 24, 2010 from 10 to 2:30 at Shawnee State Park. The event will provide visitors with an opportunity to learn about tree care, the honey bee population decrease, opportunities to test-drive a kayak or a new bike, and an opportunity to take part in a digital scavenger hunt. A group of pre-registered attendees will be assisting with a tree planting. Are you interested in learning more about Earth Day or the environment? If you are, check out these web pages: EPA Earth Day, Planet Pals, and Holiday Kaboose for information, and fun activities.
Earth Wise Client Sponsors Watershed Conference:
Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds will sponsor a conference, in partnership with the PA Department of Environmental Protection, that will highlight how watershed groups can survive these lean times. Additionally, the conference will include remarks from Michael Heath on how the state, through the eyes of the environmental community, will reauthorize the Growing Greener program. To learn more about the conference or to register click here.
Six Mile Run Volunteer Fire Company Completes Project:
The 10,000 gallon stormwater recovery project was completed just in time. Thursday, March 11, 2010 marked the completion of this innovative fire suppression, and health and safety project. Broad Top Township's highway crew completed the project less that eight hours before the rains came. The forecasted 2.5 inches of rain should top-off the tanks that already have 3,000 gallons in them--thanks to fire company training activities. The project will address low flow hydrant conditions, water restrictions during drought, reduce dependence on public water for internal uses and for apparatus washing. Earth Wise Consulting was proud to have procured project funds for this beneficial project.
USDA Unveils New Webpage:
The USDA unveiled a tool intended to assist individuals with learning more about access to healthy food and activity choices. To learn more click here.
Scholarship Available for Mine Reclamation:
The National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs (NAAMLP) announced a scholarship opportunity for parties interested in a career in mine reclamation. To learn more about this opportunity click here.
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Announce Grant Opportunity:
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) announced funding for wildfire suppression. DCNR will provide $667,000 to support local fire suppression efforts. Companies can applied for up to $7,500; provided the local applicant can provide an equal amount of match. To access the application click here.
Friend and Colleague Named New F&B Director:
John Arway, long-time friend of Branden S. Diehl and the environment, was recently named as Acting Director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PA F&B). The environmental community should rejoice knowing this man of impeccable character was named to this position. John is an avid fisherman and lover of the outdoors. His leadership will ensure that PA F&B continues using the best possible scientific methodologies to manage the state’s fishing and water resources. Congratulations John. To read the PA F&B’s press release click here.
Branden S. Diehl Is Guest Speaker:
Earth Wise Consulting owner and CEO Branden S. Diehl, was the guest speaker at the Six Mile Run Volunteer Fire Department's annual banquet. Branden provided remarks commending the department and their allied companies on a job well done at Friday's three-alarm structure fire in Hopewell, PA. Diehl encouraged local elected officials to continue working with Earth Wise Consulting on getting water access for Hopewell. He also challenged Six Mile to grow their department and involve the community with their Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design station construction. Earth Wise Consulting thanks Company 36 for the invitation, and for their service.
Earth Wise Consulting Has Fun:
On Saturday, February 13, 2010, owner Branden S. Diehl hammed it up for attendees at the Saxton Volunteer Fire Department's annual banquet. Branden participated in the evening's entertainment singing in a popular television formatted competition. The entertainment provided laughs for all in attendance. A special thanks to Company 35 for the invitation. Congratulations to all the award winners, and on your newly constructed addition. It's always a pleasure seeing your dedication.
Legislation of Interest:
Pennsylvania legislation under consideration:
HB 1847 would create a review board for coal bed methane disputes,
HB 1390 would allow for stormwater management on a watershed basis,
HB 1772 would allow municipalities to better manage open spaces, and
HB 2180 would extend provisions under state shield law "Recreational Use of Land and Water Act".
Earth Wise Consulting (EWC) is working with its clients, and partners to move prototyped emergency housing into production. The modular units are more accommodating than tents, and are suited for extended use or permanent housing. If you are interested in helping us with this endeavor, please contact us.