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Pollution Reporting Tool Released for Concerned Residents

A new online tool released by the state’s nonprofit Clean Air Council will give local residents another way to contend with pollution in the future.

The new shale gas infrastructure map will make it easy for residents who live near shale gas infrastructure in Pennsylvania – including the dozen spots in Armstrong County -to view nearby facilities as well as report pollution problems directly to state and federal environmental agencies.

The map is now available online at: http://tinyurl.com/gasmapPA

“In Pennsylvania, we have had a persistent problem with state agencies not
following up on complaints by residents who live near shale gas facilities,” Outreach Director Matt Walker said. “This new mapping tool creates an accurate record of facilities and pollution complaints in Pennsylvania and will establish a new level of public accountability for how the Department of Environmental Protection responds to and resolves complaints about
pollution from gas infrastructure.”

Using the Clean Air Council’s map, members of the public can see compressor stations, dehydration stations, gas processing plants, natural gas liquid pumping stations, power plants, and pipelines in the state. They can also report pollution issues from nearby facilities directly to regulatory agencies-  including the Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry -by filling out some basic information about the problem they are experiencing.

As far as we know, this is the most accurate set of data on compressor
stations and other gas infrastructure in the state of Pennsylvania,” Clean Air Council Executive Director Esq. Joseph Otis Minott said. “We
hope that this map will set a new standard for accuracy of infrastructure
locations.”

With the shale gas infrastructure map, residents can see an aerial photo of
facilities by switching to satellite imaging, review basic information about a
facility, and report problems all from the same page. There is a crowd-sourcing
function, where people can make comments, and notify the Council of missing data or infrastructure.

Users can also upload photos, video, and audio files of a facility
in order to document more detailed information about the impacts to the local
environment and quality of life due to the facility.

“This is a new tool for documenting environmental and health problems due to
shale gas infrastructure in Pennsylvania,”Minott said. “Our goal is for
residents to be heard directly by the state agencies that have until this point
often ignored the voices of impacted people.”

Residents who live near shale gas infrastructure and are experiencing air and water
pollution are encouraged to use the tool. Users must choose a username and enter an email address in order to access the map.

This map is not designed as a replacement for emergency services. In the case of an emergency such as an explosion or fire at a facility, residents should use emergency hotlines provided by the Department of Environmental Protection – which in Armstrong County would be by calling 412-442-4000

The Council has fought for more than 40 years to improve air quality across Pennsylvania, and has more than 8,000 members throughout the Commonwealth.

Regional Hunter Could Set State Record

Maddi Fink, 10 years old, took her first buck in Madison Township Armstrong County on a mentor hunt accompanied by her father Micki Fink at 11AM Monday, December 1, 2014. Maddi lives in the village of Tidal. (submitted photo)

Allegheny County hunter Jeff Lenzi, who harvested a massive 10-point buck October 10 that could be a State record, is scheduled to bring the rack to the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s headquarters on Tuesday, December 16, to have it officially scored.

Most big-game animals can be measured officially to see where they rank all-time. Pennsylvania launched its Big Game Records Program in 1965, and today, records are kept of all official measurements recorded for white-tailed deer, black bears and elk that meet minimum qualifications for entry into Pennsylvania’s records book.
Records are split into a number of categories, based on things such as the configuration of a deer’s or elk’s rack, and whether the animal was taken with a firearm or archery gear. A successful hunter must take his or her trophy to an official scorer.
It appears likely that Lenzi’s buck will be scored in the typical category, meaning its rack does not have many abnormal points. While Lenzi’s buck was an archery harvest, but he has said unofficial measurements taken on the rack might make it bigger than any of the typical record-book bucks in the firearms category, as well.
It could be the top typical deer of all time in Pennsylvania.
To date, the top buck in the typical firearms category was taken way back in 1943 in Bradford County by Fritz Janowsky, of Wellsburg, N.Y. That buck scores 189 inches, based on the Boone & Crockett Club measuring system.

Minimum qualification for the Pennsylvania Big Game Records book is 140 inches for typical bucks taken with firearms, and 115 inches for typical bucks taken with archery equipment.
Lenzi’s buck will be scored by Bob D’Angelo, who coordinates Pennsylvania’s Big Game Records Program.
D’Angelo, who said he’d been hearing about the buck long before scheduling the scoring session with Lenzi, said he’s excited to score the rack. The potential new No. 1 has been drawing a lot of interest, too, D’Angelo said.
“We are getting plenty of calls from hunters who have heard about the trophy buck, or have seen photos of it,” D’Angelo said. “It does not surprise me a buck of this caliber was taken in Allegheny County. Allegheny County has the second most entries in the Pennsylvania Big Game Records book, behind only Bradford County.
“This trophy also could meet the minimum score for inclusion in the Boone & Crockett Club’s records book, which is very difficult to do, and a testament to the trophy deer potential we have in the Keystone State,” D’Angelo said.

Successful hunters who are looking to have their trophies officially scored can do so at a public, big-game scoring session to be held on February 14, 2015, from 9AM-5PM  at the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s headquarters in Harrisburg.
Deer, bear and elk that have been harvested in Pennsylvania are eligible for entry into the Pennsylvania Big Game Records book.
Deer and elk racks cannot be measured until after a 60-day drying period from when the skull plate was removed from the animal. For bears, the 60-day drying period begins after the skull is thoroughly cleaned by boiling or from the use of beetles.