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Senator Elder Vogel

Dear Friend,

I am pleased to present my electronic newsletter. These e-newsletters enable me to provide information about issues, events and activities in Harrisburg and around the 47th Senatorial District to you in a timely manner while saving postage costs.

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Elder Vogel

2015 Legislative Accomplishments Now Online

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you may have noticed that I’ve been highlighting a few legislative accomplishments each day and including an explanation of why I voted for the bill. These are bills that I either sponsored, co-sponsored, or voted for that were approved by the Senate. Some were passed into law, some still await consideration by the House of Representatives, but all are things that I believe are positive steps forward for our state government. The list will continue to grow by the day and I highly encourage you to periodically check it for updates.

Click here to read the list.

DEP Permitting Transparency Legislation Introduced

Recently, I introduced legislation that would streamline the permitting process and allow permittees to track progress.
Senate Bill 1092 would require the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to create and maintain a secure online permit tracking system available to applicants for tracking the status of permit applications. Here, applicants could follow along with the status of their approvals so that they may be better able to plan the different phases of their projects.

Moreover, as many permits can extend over several years, my legislation would also require DEP to provide electronic notifications to permit holders 60 days before the permit’s expiration date as well as notifications regarding changes in statues, regulations, and fees that may affect a permit. Finally, the bill clarifies that when a permit as part of a project issued prior to the effective date of any legislation or regulation altering the requirements for that permit, the provisions under which the permit was granted shall remain valid until the project is completed.

I understand the need for common-sense regulation and appreciate the work that the DEP does in protecting our environment. It is my hope that by improving the permitting process and providing transparency we can make Pennsylvania a more attractive place to conduct business.

Gasoline Standards Legislation to Be Introduced

In the near future, I will be introducing legislation that will prevent a potential scenario of costlier gasoline in Pennsylvania.

Federal fuel specifications allow for certain exceptions to vapor qualities of gasoline. This exception is set to expire from those fuel specifications in May, 2016. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASMT) standard will not be updated or extended prior to this expiration. My legislation will ensure that Pennsylvania can continue to use the more affordable gasoline we’ve always used.

On a related note, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is in the process of repealing the “summer gas” requirement as a result of my legislation, Act 135, signed into law in 2012.

Special Committee on Senate Address Holds Full Hearing

On January 12th, the Special Committee on Senate Address held the full hearing afforded to Attorney General Kane as required under Article 6, Section 7 of the Pennsylvania Constitution and in accordance with Senate Resolution 256, unanimously passed by the Senate on December 9, 2015. The purpose of this full hearing was to allow the Attorney General to offer testimony, submit a statement, submit third party affidavits, or produce documents related solely to her ability to perform the duties of her office with a suspended law license.

Speaking on behalf of the Attorney General was Mr. Jonathan Duecker, Chief of Staff of the Office of Attorney General and former Governor Ed Rendell.

Click here to watch the entire video of the hearing and read Attorney General Kane’s written response.

Veterans Encouraged to Connect with DMVA for Assistance w/ Obtaining Benefits, Services

I encourage all veterans to connect with the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs via their new online Pennsylvania Veterans Registry at for assistance with obtaining veterans benefits and services.

The Pennsylvania Veterans Registry is an online application that allows veterans to connect with DMVA to request information related to valuable state benefits, programs and services offered by the agency. The registry features responsive design technology to make it accessible on mobile devices and computers. A registrants’ information will be shared with the veteran’s county director for veterans affairs and other relevant Commonwealth of Pennsylvania agencies in order to facilitate local connections that aid in providing service to the veteran.

Congratulations to Beaver County Habitat for Humanity on their recently celebrated 55th home dedication in Beaver County!

PA DCNR Recreation and Conservation Grants Program

The PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) recreation and conservation grants program will be accepting applications beginning January 20 through April 13. The grant program encourages applications that advance local conservation and recreation visions, and implement the 2014-2019 Pennsylvania Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan. Grants are available for projects in the following categories:

- Community Parks and Recreation for the planning and development of safe, clean, accessible and ready-to-use local parks. Projects that address sustainability and rehabilitation of park and recreation facilities, specifically ADA compliance and small community playground upgrades.

- Land Conservation projects that protect critical habitat, forested watersheds, wetlands and riparian corridors, as well as lands that create critical connections with other public lands and expand green space in urban areas.

- Partnerships of collaborative statewide or regional recreation, conservation or heritage projects that convene, education or provide training; build capacity; undertake special purpose studies or implementation projects, and/or; offer mini-grant programs that implement publically identified priorities.

- Rivers Implementation projects that protect and enhance the conservation or recreational value of Pennsylvania’s waterways, including those that implement river conservation plan recommendations; enhance water trails; expand public access to waterways for recreation, or; increase awareness of the state’s system of waterways.

- Trails and Greenways projects that close priority gaps in statewide major greenways and regionally significant trails, and maintain and upgrade existing trails.

Click here for more information and to submit an application for these grants.

Eagle Cam Ready for Newest Residents

Pennsylvania’s Eagle Cam is up and running, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

In anticipation of the bald eagle pair’s arrival, the PGC said one to three eggs will typically appear in a bald eagle clutch between February and April and hatch in 35 days.

During the five months of the eagle cam’s 2015 operation from mid-January through mid-June, some 1.4 million electronic devices captured the daily struggles, through all types of weather conditions, and were rewarded with the sight of the successful fledging of two eaglets.

Click here to check out the Eagle Cam for yourself.

I was able to take a screengrab of the picture to the right just a couple of weeks ago.

Duquesne Light is offering a free electrical safety program to help minimize the danger of working near power lines. 4 dates throughout the year, reservations must be made. See poster for more information.

January is Radon Action Month

Winter is the best time to test your home for radon, a deadly radioactive gas that's the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers in the United States. January is "Radon Action Month," and since your windows and doors are likely to be closed and tightly sealed, conditions are optimal for such testing, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Click here for more information.

Replace Your Smoke Alarms

The State Fire Commissioner recommends replacing smoke alarms older than 10 years. Most folks know that smoke alarms are inexpensive protection that doubles the chances of survival in a fire. Click here for some other useful facts about smoke alarms from the Fire Commissioner.

Follow Me on Twitter!

I have a Twitter account to better connect with my constituents and provide daily updates on my voting record, whereabouts, state government, and local news affecting the 47 S.D. To access my Twitter page, click here

Please contact me to provide input on any state-related matter, or to receive help in dealing with a state agency.

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Contact Me


Senate Box 203047
362 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3047
Phone: (717) 787-3076
FAX: (717) 772-2756

8:30 - 4:30

488 Adams Street
Rochester, PA 15074-1940
Phone: (724) 774-0444
FAX: (724) 773-7384

New Castle
1905 W. State Street
New Castle, PA 16101
Phone: (724) 654-1444
FAX: (724) 656-3182



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