In this Edition:
Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine Expanded
The Spotted Lanternfly quarantine has been expanded. Please review the municipal list below to find out if your municipality is located in the quarantine:
Berks County: Alsace, Amity, Centre, Colebrookdale, Cumru, District, Douglass, Exeter, Hereford, Longswamp, Lower Alsace, Maidencreek, Maxatawny, Muhlenberg, Oley, Pike, Rockland, Richmond, Robeson, Ruscombmanor, Washington, and Union Townships. Bally, Betchelsville, Birdsboro, Boyertown, Centreport, Fleetwood, Kutztown, Lyons, Laureldale, Mount Penn, St. Lawrence, and Topton Boroughs. Reading City.
Bucks County: Bedminster, East Rockhill, Haycock, Hilltown, Milford, Richland, Springfield, and West Rockhill Townships. Dublin, Perkasie, Quakertown, Richlandtown, Sellersville, Silverdale, Telford, and Trumbauersville Boroughs.
Chester County: East Coventry, East Pikeland, East Vincent, North Coventry, South Coventry and Warwick Townships. Spring City Borough.
Lehigh County: Heidelberg, Lower Macungie, Lower Milford, Lowhill, South Whitehall, Upper Saucon, Upper Macungie, Upper Milford, Weisenberg and Whitehall Townships. Alburtis, Coplay and Macungie Boroughs. Allentown and Bethlehem City.
Northampton County: Bethlehem City and Bethlehem Township.
Montgomery County: Douglass, Franconia, Limerick, Lower Frederick, Lower Pottsgrove, Marlborough, New Hanover, Salford, Skippack, Upper Frederick, Upper Hanover, Upper Pottsgrove, Upper Providence, Upper Salford and West Pottsgrove Townships. Collegeville, East Greenville, Green Lane, Pennsburg, Pottstown, Red Hill, Royersford, Schwenksville, Souderton, Telford, Trappe Boroughs.
The Spotted Lanternfly is an invasive species native to China, India and Vietnam and was first discovered in Berks County in September 2014. The insect has the potential to destroy high-value crops including grapes, tree fruits and hardwood lumber. Early detection is vital to the effective control of this pest and the protection of PA agriculture and natural resources-related businesses.
The quarantine order, which has been supported by the affected communities, means that any item that could hold any life stage of this insect may not be moved outside the quarantined area without inspection and compliance. That includes firewood, vehicles, outdoor household items and any items stored outside during the fall, as well as building materials and plants or plant parts.
Additional information can be found here.
Consumer Financial Protection Unit Begins Operation
A Consumer Financial Protection Unit is being set up within the Bureau of Consumer Protection of the PA Office of Attorney General.
The newly-created unit will focus on financial matters, such as unscrupulous lenders who prey on seniors, families with students, and military members, including for-profit colleges and mortgage and student loan services.
Safeguarding Your Charitable Donations
Over 11,000 charities and some 400 professional solicitors and fundraising counsels operate within Pennsylvania, according to the Bureau of Charitable Organizations for the PA Department of State, and are subject to the Stateís strict laws for registration and operations, from raising dollars to fulfilling the charitiesí missions.
Requests received through the U.S. Postal Service, email, websites, phone and door-to-door solicitations do not necessarily require an immediate decision on making a donation. You can take advantage of online resources to determine legitimacy and a shared vision for the use of your charitable dollars. Tips for charitable giving can help you make informed decisions before you donate.
You can review the monthly list of disciplinary actions or see the comprehensive list of sanctioned charitable organizations, professional solicitors and professional fundraising counsel. You can also search the Bureauís online database or call 1-800-732-0999 to determine if the charity is legally registered with the Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations or to report fraudulent or deceptive solicitation practices.
DEP Implements Plan to Improve Drinking Water Quality Inspections
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced plans to expedite the filling of vacancies and the training of new staff to bolster program resources for the Safe Drinking Water (SDW) program.
DEP has already hired 2 new staff, with 4 additional vacancies currently in the process of being filled. DEP will also open a 30-day comment period on August 26, 2017 to solicit public feedback on a fee package for public water systems that would provide additional resources for the program.
DEP proposed the fee package to the Environmental Quality Board in May 2017. Through the fee package, new annual fees would be instituted for all public water systems based on the number of people they serve. In addition, the one-time permit fees for new water systems or modifications to existing systems would also be increased. The proceeds of the fees, once implemented, are expected to be approximately $7.5 million per year, and would go to the Safe Drinking Water Program. This would supplement the $7.7 million from the general fund and $12 million in funds from the EPA.
The comment period will close on September 25, 2017. Comments may be submitted using DEPís eComment system. Written comments may also be submitted by email at eComment@pa.gov or mailed to the Department of Environmental Protection, Policy Office, Rachel Carson State Office Building, P.O. Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2063. Comments submitted by fax will not be accepted.
Roundabouts Reducing Injuries and Deaths
Roundabouts are preventing injuries and savings lives, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).
Examining Pennsylvaniaís first modern roundabouts, PennDOT witnessed a reduction in minor and moderate-injury crashes. At the same time, major-injury crashes and fatalities were eliminated where roundabouts replaced traffic signals and stop signs.
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