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This page houses archived copies of posts and materials published on the PEC website since 2014. Use the tools below to search or browse legacy content including publications, handouts, maps and trail information, audio and video, blog posts, newsletters, and more.

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Over the past few years, interest in outdoor recreation has soared. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, people have visited parks and trails in record numbers, and their spending on related products increased as well. Many have wondered: as life returns to pre-pandemic routines, will the pattern hold? New data suggest this trend isn’t slowing down any time soon. A report released last month by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that outdoor recreation continues to be a money-maker for Pennsylvania. According to the report, outdoor rec added nearly $14 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy in 2021, a 22% increase from…
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 30, 2022 Voting to Begin for Pennsylvania’s 2023 River of the Year Harrisburg, PA – Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn today announced the public is invited to again vote online for the 2023 Pennsylvania River of the Year, choosing from among four waterways nominated throughout the state. “Honoring the River of the Year has become one of my favorite annual traditions and I am hopeful that we receive a record number of votes for the 2023 competition,” Dunn said. “Pennsylvania has thousands of miles of beautiful waterways, which provide wonderful…
On November 21st, Governor Wolf announced that his administration would pursue an emergency rulemaking to finalize long-overdue VOC and methane rules for the conventional oil and gas industry. This step became necessary when the Chair of the House Environmental Resources & Energy Committee, without public notice or a hearing, utilized a procedural maneuver to block the rule from becoming final before the end of the year – setting off a consequential chain reaction that would adversely impact Pennsylvania’s environment and economy. This VOC and methane rulemaking, which has been in development since Governor Wolf first announced his methane strategy in…
Transition was the theme of the 2022 Laurel Highlands Conservation Landscape Annual Gathering, which took place on November 2nd at the Laurelville Retreat Center, surrounded by an appropriate display of fall colors. Representatives from DCNR, land trusts, conservation organizations, trail managers, and county commissioners attended to discuss the state of the Landscape and future plans. DCNR Secretary Cindy Dunn gave opening remarks about DCNR’s role during an administration change. As the current administration’s tenure comes to a close, she recalled her role in the early stages of the Conservation Landscapes program. She also highlighted partnerships between DCNR and conservation organizations…
PEC and the Environmental Defense Fund submitted the following letter today to the Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee on newly introduced legislation that would task the Department of Environmental Protection with pursuing primacy for Class VI injection wells, which can be used for carbon capture and storage (CCUS). While PEC supports measured CCUS deployment, we have concerns with the legislation as written.   November 14, 2022 To: Members of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Re: Carbon Dioxide Geologic Sequestration Primacy Legislation (SB 1361)   Dear Senators: The Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) and Environmental Defense Fund…
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a new regulatory proposal to substantially reduce oil and gas methane pollution. The new draft builds on, and considerably strengthens, the agency’s initial proposal released last November. Most importantly, the proposal includes new standards for low-producing (but still potentially highly polluting) wells, which are a significant source of emissions in Pennsylvania. “Capturing methane emissions from oil and gas operations is a cornerstone to responsible energy security and development. We are gratified to see the EPA issue a proposed rule that seeks to further address activities that risk releasing this potent greenhouse gas to the atmosphere”…
The PEC team is growing! In October, we welcomed two new staff members: Alexandra Long as Program Coordinator for Trails and Recreation in our Pittsburgh office, and Ryan Kurtz as Mapping/Program Coordinator in our State College office. As Program Coordinator, Alexandra will support the Industrial Heartland Trail Coalition and Laurel Highlands Conservation Landscape initiatives. She has a B.S. in Biology and Chemistry from Point Park University and will wrap up her M.S. in Environmental Science and Conservation Biology from Prescott College in May 2023. Prior to working at PEC, she spent time in Wyoming working at the Teton Science Schools, where she…
If you’ve been following the PEC blog this year, you’ve surely heard us start to talk a lot about “gravel riding.” Gravel (sometimes referred to as “mixed-surface”) riding is a form of cycling that mainly utilizes gravel and dirt roads, but also incorporates paved road connections, rail trails, singletrack and doubletrack to form routes. Gravel riding is currently one of the fastest growing forms of cycling as it is versatile, approachable, and offers a middle ground between road or rail-trail riding and mountain biking. Learn more about what gravel riding entails and its appeal here. As the sport continues to…
PEC joined partners from Riverfront North, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, the City of Philadelphia, and local communities to celebrate the groundbreaking of a segment of the K&T rail trail. The segment will close a gap between Lardner’s Point Park at the base of the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge and the Tacony Boat Launch. Though only half a mile long, this section will be an important link in the Circuit Trails network and the East Coast Greenway. The trail will also help restore riverfront and recreation access to neighborhoods that have been cut off from the Delaware for decades by industrial sites and…