Dating back to May 2015, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) has produced a monthly television talk show on environmental issues that is broadcast on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) one Sunday afternoon per month. Titled “Environmental Focus,” the show centers on a different environmental topic each month and features guests and roundtable discussion with particular insights and expertise on the issues.
Episode 1: Pennsylvania Capital Budget
The May episode focused on the Pennsylvania capital budget and featured former Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Dave Hess, now a director of policy and communications at Crisci Associates in Harrisburg. A one-on-one interview with Hess was followed by a roundtable discussion on the budget with R. John Dawes, executive director of the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds, Harry Campbell, Pennsylvania director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and Davitt Woodwell, president of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.
Episode 2: Outdoor Recreation on Pennsylvania’s Waterways
The second episode in July centered around the topic of outdoor recreation on Pennsylvania’s waterways. Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn was the featured guest. It was one of her first one-on-one interviews since beginning her tenure as secretary.
The program’s roundtable discussion included National Park Service Outdoor Recreation Planner Jackie Kramer, Eric Martin, owner of Wilderness Voyageurs, and Patrick Starr, executive vice president of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.
Episode 3: Pennsylvania Pipeline Infrastructure Taskforce
The August edition focused on the Pennsylvania Pipeline Infrastructure Taskforce. The show included featured guest and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Quigley, along with a roundtable discussion consisting of PEC President and CEO Davitt Woodwell along with Nels Johnson, Director of North America Energy at the Nature Conservancy.
Episode 4: Delaware River Conservation Program
September’s show discussed the Delaware River Conservation Program and featured Andrew Johnson, program manager for watershed protection at the William Penn Foundation. William Penn is leading a three-year initiative to cleanup and conserve the 13,000 square mile watershed. A roundtable discussion on the challenges facing the river included Kelly Heffner of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and PEC Executive Vice President Patrick Starr.
Episode 5: Climate Change in Pennsylvania
The October edition examined the topic of climate change in Pennsylvania, and the accelerated rate of warming and the related impacts that come along with it. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary John Quigley was the show’s featured guest, marking the first time a guest on “Environmental Focus” participated in discussion throughout the entire episode.
Episode 6: Illegal Dumpsite Cleanups
November’s show examined illegal dumpsites in Pennsylvania, along with the efforts being made to clean them up. Shannon Reiter, executive director of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful (the state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Inc.) was welcomed as the featured guest, while a roundtable discussion was led by former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful board member David Hess, Keep York Beautiful executive director Tom Smith, and PEC vice president Janet Sweeney.
Episode 7: Polluted Stormwater in Pennsylvania’s Waterways
December’s episode investigated the steps being taken throughout Pennsylvania to keep stormwater in check and reduce the flow into natural waterways. Representative Kate Harper of Pennsylvania’s 61st District, Chair of the House Local Government Committee was the show’s featured guest, while a roundtable discussion featured Kate Keppen, Watershed Coordinator of the Berks County Conservation District; Three Rivers Wet Weather Executive Director John Schombert; and Sue Myerov, PEC’s Program Director for Watersheds.
Episode 8: Pennsylvania Trail Networks
The January edition discussed the benefits of connecting the over 1,700 miles of hiking and biking trails in Pennsylvania to create regional trail networks. The show featured former Pittsburgh Mayor and Pennsylvania State Representative Tom Murphy, now a fellow at the Urban Land Institute in Washington, D.C. Murphy played a leading role in developing Pittsburgh’s trail networks into what they are today. Following Murphy’s interview, a roundtable discussion will be led by Tom Sexton of the Rails to Trails Conservancy, Christopher Linn of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, and PEC’s Frank Maguire.
Episode 9: Smallmouth Bass on the Susquehanna River
February’s show took an in-depth look at the problem surrounding smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna River being affected by hazardous conditions that make them unsuitable for sportsmen. The show featured John Arway, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and the person tasked with addressing the problem. A roundtable discussion was led by Harry Campbell of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Susquehanna River Fishing Guide Rod Bates of the Koinonia Guide Service, and PEC President Davitt Woodwell.
Episode 10: Methane Emissions
April’s show discussed methane emissions, the main component of natural gas and a highly potent greenhouse gas — and their consequences for Pennsylvania in the natural gas age. Methane, 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a near-term time frame, is responsible for about one-fourth of the global warming today. The show welcomed Andrew Place, Vice Chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, as its featured guest, while a roundtable discussion composed of Sam Robinson from Governor Tom Wolf’s Office of Policy and Planning, Andrew Williams of the Environmental Defense Fund, and PEC’s John Walliser continued the discussion.
Episode 11: Legacies of Abandoned Mines and Wells
June’s episode explored the environmental legacies of Pennsylvania’s industrial past and the challenge of remediation and restoration. The show featured Joe Pizarchik, the director of surface mining reclamation and enforcement at the U.S. Department of the Interior. A roundtable was composed of Kurt Klapkowski, the director of oil and gas planning and program management at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and PEC President Davitt Woodwell.
About the Pennsylvania Environmental Council
Founded in 1970, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council is the leading environmental organization in the state, and was instrumental in the passage of nearly every major piece of legislation and regulatory initiative affecting clean air, clean water, land use and conservation, hazardous materials, and other major public policy actions since that time. Today, the organization is heavily engaged in a number of critical initiatives surrounding the development of the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, trail and green space development, green energy and climate change programs, water quality, and watershed protection projects.
PEC serves the entire state with programs and staff spanning the Commonwealth.
About the Pennsylvania Cable Network
PCN (the Pennsylvania Cable Network) is a Government-access television cable television network dedicated to 24-hour coverage of government and public affairs in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It features live coverage of both Houses of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, as well as other forms of informational and educational programming.
The bulk of PCN’s operations are located in Harrisburg, the Commonwealth capital, but it also has bureaus in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
For more information, visit www.pcntv.com.