Drought Watch Remains for Dauphin County

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced a drought watch remains for 20 counties, including Dauphin County. For more information, click here.

Recycle Right

Click here for information on what should and should not be put in your recycle bin. Please visit www.wm.com/recycleright for more information on recycling.

 

PennDOT Reminds Candidates that Campaign Signs Are Prohibited Within State Right-of-Way

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is reminding candidates for political office that no campaign signs can be placed within the PennDOT right-of-way along state roads, interstates, expressways, and other limited access highways. Political signs cannot be attached on light or signal posts, guide rail or other PennDOT traffic control devices.

It is illegal to install, erect or place any sign of any nature, including a temporary sign, within the PennDOT right-of-way. Illegal signs can be removed at any time by PennDOT.

When PennDOT workers must remove campaign signs, it takes them away from working on important highway maintenance and safety projects.

Campaign signs placed along roadways may pose the following risks:

  1. Reduced sight distance at intersections;
  2. Possible harm to animals (wire posts could cut animals, and the plastic signs could be mistakenly eaten by animals);
  3. Plastic signs that blow off their posts could clog drains; and
  4. Wire posts left behind may cause safety hazards to PennDOT employees when they mow roadside vegetation

Signs posted in the right-of-way will be removed and stored at the PennDOT county maintenance office for 30 days prior to disposal.

Motorists can check conditions on major roadways by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras.

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts.

Subscribe to PennDOT news and traffic alerts in Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York counties at PennDOT District 8.

Information about infrastructure in District 8, including completed work and significant projects, is available at District 8 Results. Find PennDOT’s planned and active construction projects at PennDOT Projects.

Follow PennDOT on Twitter and like the department on Facebook and Instagram.

Pennsylvanians Encouraged to Protect Themselves Against Tick-Borne Diseases When Venturing Outdoors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 8, 2022

 

Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvanians experiencing “spring fever,” that perennial urge to venture outdoors to hike, hunt, fish and explore, should plan now to protect themselves and their families against potentially serious tick-borne diseases—including Lyme disease and the rare but dangerous Deer Tick Virus (DTV), which has been found in ticks at high levels for the first time in multiple locations around the state.

 

“Lyme Disease has been present in all 67 counties for some time, and unfortunately, the prevalence of the very serious Deer Tick Virus appears to be increasing in some tick populations,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.

 

“Pennsylvanians should learn about the threats posed by tick-borne diseases and take commonsense precautions so they can enjoy our abundant natural resources—and the many wonderful physical and mental health benefits of outdoor recreation—as safely as possible,” said Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn.

 

DEP’s Tick Surveillance and Testing Program has detected unusually high infection rates of the dangerous and rare Deer Tick Virus in adult tick samples recently taken from three sites: Fisherman’s Paradise public fishing area on Spring Creek in Centre County; Iroquois Trail near Tunkhannock in Wyoming County; and Lawrence Township Recreational Park in Clearfield County. At each of these three locations, the infection rate exceeded 80% of ticks sampled. DTV has been detected in a total of 15 Pennsylvania counties, and the statewide infection rate outside of the three “hotspot” locations is currently 0.6% of ticks sampled.

 

“By learning where ticks live, seeking treatment if experiencing symptoms, and following the best practices for prevention, we can avoid cases of Lyme disease and other tick borne illnesses,” Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson said. “The Department of Health estimates that there is at least one Lyme disease case for every 100 people in Pennsylvania every year. Lyme disease can cause flu-like symptoms and a rash in the early stages, but the infection could spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system if not addressed. If you are experiencing symptoms, I encourage you see your health care provider right away.”

 

“In addition to bringing about increased outdoor recreation overall, springtime plays host to one of Pennsylvania’s most-anticipated hunting seasons, the spring turkey season,” Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said. “Hunters and other users of Pennsylvania’s state game lands system are among those who should always be sure to take protective measures against ticks.”

 

“Treating clothing and gear with tick repellent, and thoroughly checking for ticks after returning from the field, are among the steps hunters can take to prevent tick bites and stay safe while enjoying their favorite pursuit,” Burhans said. “Days spent in the spring woods are exceptionally enjoyable, and even more so for those who know they’ve safeguarded against ticks.”

 

“Anglers and boaters should take note of this warning as they make plans for the start of trout season and other adventures on the water this spring,” said Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Executive Director Tim Schaeffer. “Just as we urge boaters to always wear a life jacket, you can further protect yourself by wearing tick repellant clothing or keeping a bottle of tick repellant spray in your tackle box.”

 

Blacklegged ticks, also called deer ticks, are active even in winter when temperatures are in the mid-30s and above. DEP has posted signage to alert the public and will conduct control measures and additional testing to reduce and monitor the number of ticks present in the recreational areas with high positivity rates for DTV.

 

Recommended precautions for anyone venturing outdoors include:

  • Apply tick repellents containing permethrin to clothing, and EPA-registered insect repellents such as DEET to exposed skin before entering the outdoors. Reapply as needed according to product label instructions.
  • Wear light colored outer clothing and tuck shirts into pants, and pants into socks.
  • Walk in the centers of trails, and avoid wooded and brushy areas with low-growing vegetation and tall grasses that may harbor ticks.
  • After returning home, remove all clothing, take a shower, and place clothing into the dryer on high heat to kill any lingering ticks. Examine gear such as backpacks for ticks.
  • Conduct a full-body tick check using a hand or full length mirror, including hidden areas such as the scalp, ears, armpits, belly button, and between the legs.
  • Check over any pets exposed to likely tick habitats each time they return indoors.
  • If a tick is found attached to your skin, use tweezers to remove it carefully, including the head. Monitor for symptoms and contact your doctor with any questions.

 

For more information about tickborne disease prevention, visit the Department of Health’s Tickborne Diseases website.

 

The DTV-positive ticks were discovered during routine testing as part of DEP’s active tick surveillance program, a five-year pilot program that began in 2018. Surveys are conducted in every county in Pennsylvania to track ticks’ habitats, life stages and peak activity levels, and to test them for human pathogenic diseases. Fall and winter surveillance focuses on analyzing adult blacklegged ticks for emerging and changing disease burdens in public use habitats across Pennsylvania, such as parks, playgrounds, recreational fields, and state game lands.

 

The previous highest DTV infection rate found at a single location in Pennsylvania was 11%, and the highest infection rate reported nationally in scientific literature was approximately 25%. The statewide average infection rate for DTV was 0.6% in 2021 when adult tick samples were collected.

 

The Deer Tick Virus, which is a type of Powassan virus, is rare in the United States, but positive cases have increased in recent years. It is spread to people primarily by bites from infected ticks and does not spread person-to-person through coughing, sneezing, or touching.

 

Powassan virus can be transmitted from tick to human in as little as 15 minutes after a bite occurs, while other tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme Disease, take much longer to cause infection, often 24 hours or more after the tick attaches to the host. There are no vaccines to prevent or medicines to treat Powassan viruses. Preventing tick bites is the best way to reduce risk of infection and disease.

 

Initial symptoms of a DTV infection may include fever, headache, vomiting, and weakness. Some people who are infected with DTV experience no symptoms, and therefore infection may go undetected. However, 91% of patients treated for DTV infections develop severe neuroinvasive disease.

 

Those who exhibit severe disease from Deer Tick Virus may experience encephalitis or meningitis and require hospitalization, with symptoms including confusion, loss of coordination, difficulty speaking, or seizures. About 12% of people with severe disease have died, and approximately half of survivors of severe disease have suffered long-term health impacts. For more information about the health impacts of DTV, visit the CDC Powassan Virus website.

Public Notice | Consideration of Ordinance No. 2022-01 | Establishment of On-Lot Sewage Management Program

The Board of Supervisors of Middle Paxton Township hereby gives public notice that it will consider enactment of Ordinance No. 2022-01 on April 4, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. in the Township Municipal Building, 10 Elizabeth Avenue, Dauphin, Pennsylvania, 17018. Ordinance No. 2022-01 would establish an On-Lot Sewage Management Program for Middle Paxton Township. Please review the following documents –

Ordinance Advertisement – On-Lot Sewage Management Program (1)

FINAL Draft Ordinance 2022-01

PPL | Stay warm with these winter electrical safety tips

With winter now in full swing, we can expect to see more snow and, of course, cold temperatures.

While we all do our best to stay warm during this time of the year, we may occasionally need a little extra help to keep ourselves, and our homes, cozy. This may mean using anything from a plug-in, portable space heater to, in the event of a severe storm, a portable generator.

Winter is no different than any other time of the year. And even though it may seem easier to take a shortcut when trying to stay warm, you should always keep safety top of mind. Here is some information on the dangers associated with three common pieces of electrical equipment used during winter, as well as tips on how to use them safely.

Space Heaters

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), heating equipment — like portable space heaters — are the second leading cause of home fires in the United States and more than 65,000 home fires are attributed to heating equipment annually. It’s important to use these devices sparingly, and only when needed, to prevent something from going wrong. Here are some tips to ensure you’re being safe:

  • Before using a space heater, read the manufacturer’s instructions in full.
  • Don’t plug space heaters into extension cords or power strips.
  • Be sure to give space heaters plenty of room and keep them on a level surface away from flammable objects and foot traffic.
  • Remember to only use a space heater when needed and don’t leave a heater unattended while in use. Make sure you turn it off and unplug the cord when you’re not using the device.
  • It may be advantageous to ditch your older space heater for a new one that has built-in safety features like a tip-over switch.

Generators

If the power goes out during a winter storm, you may turn to a generator. While the ability to keep the essentials running is certainly amazing, generators can pose a serious risk to your health. In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that 50% of all generator-related carbon monoxide deaths occur during the winter months. Follow these tips before firing up your generator:

  • Be sure you are reading, and following, the manufacturer’s guidelines for operation and take heed of any warnings. This includes making sure you use the proper fuel for the generator and only add fuel when the generator is cool.
  • Before each use, inspect the generator to ensure it’s in good working order.
  • Generators should never be used in an enclosed area or placed inside a home or business. Be sure to also keep them away from windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to sneak inside.
  • Even though you will be using the generator outside, make sure that your home has battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors that are in good, working condition.
  • Make sure you never backfeed power from the generator into your home. Doing so can create serious safety hazards for our linemen working to restore your service by sending power back outside of your home.

Electric Blankets and Heating Pads

Both electric blankets and heating pads can provide some relief from the cold. While they may seem harmless, they cause almost 500 fires each year, according to ESFI. Here are some helpful tips to keep you safe:

  • Heating pads and electric blankets are not designed to be used interchangeably or at the same time.
  • Always be sure to inspect the device before using it. Start by checking the electrical cord and replace the item if you find any damage.
  • Do not place other objects or blankets on top of an electric blanket while it’s in use as it can easily overheat.
  • Do not tuck an electric blanket into the mattress and avoid folding it. Both can cause the blanket to overheat.
  • Never leave these devices unattended or use them while you are sleeping.

Remember, with a little preparation and a few precautions, you can keep you, your family, and your home safe and warm this winter. For more information about how we promote safety in the communities in which we all live and work, visit PPLElectric.com/Safety.

DEP Encourages Pennsylvanians to Winterize Their Homes for Savings on Utility Bills

Winterization increases energy efficiency, reduces energy use, and saves money 

With colder winter weather on the way, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ​(DEP) and Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) offers tips for Pennsylvanians to save money on utility bills by winterizing their homes. Home winterization can keep homes warmer while using less energy and costing less money.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average Pennsylvania family consumes more than 10,000 kWh of electricity annually and spends more than $2,000 per year on energy bills. Half the energy consumed in Pennsylvania homes is for space heating. Fortunately, homeowners can take small steps to make their home safe and more efficient. 

“Taking the time now to prepare for the weather ahead is important. Making simple changes to your home can help you to stay warm, save money, and save energy,” says DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. 

Consider these tips this winter to keep your home running efficiently:

  • Set back the thermostat; each degree lowered can save up to 3 percent on heating. A programmable thermostat, which costs as little as $20 at a local hardware store, can be programmed to be set back automatically at designated timeframes, saving you more energy and money.
  • Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators regularly and make sure they are not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes.
  • Weather-strip windows and exterior doors where you can feel leakage. Check the bottom of the door to see if there’s a gap. If there is a gap of a quarter inch or more, significant air can flow in and out of the house. Install a door sweep on the bottom of the door. Weather-stripping for the windows and doors is available in foam, rubber, vinyl and metal. For homes without storm windows, consider purchasing a window insulator kit (plastic window coverings). Install insulating drapes or curtains for windows that still feel drafty after weatherizing. 
  • Use the sunlight to heat your home by opening the curtains on south-facing windows during sunny days and close all curtains at night. 
  • Check the door to the attic to make sure it seals well and closes tightly; some manufacturers make insulated attic covers.
  • Do not heat unused spaces, other than as needed to prevent freezing of pipes. Close vents in unused rooms. 
  • If you have a wood stove, be sure to clean the flue vent and inside of the stove regularly.
  • If you have a fireplace, reduce heat loss from the fireplace by keeping the damper closed; when open, warm air goes up the chimney. Install tempered glass and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room. Check the seal on the fireplace damper and ensure it is snug and add caulking around the hearth. It is a good idea to have a carbon monoxide monitor, as well.

If you have a furnace, have it checked by a heating professional. This will make the unit more efficient, and provide peace of mind that it is running safely. A heating professional should check the exhaust flue and venting to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Be sure to replace the air filter as directed to keep the air in your home clean and the unit running well. A properly maintained furnace can result in a 10 percent reduction in fuel consumed.

The most cost-effective way to save energy in the home is to air seal and insulate.

  • Be sure to air seal before insulating as insulation material will not block leaks. Find and seal air leaks with caulk around windows, doors, gaps around chimneys, and recessed lights in insulated ceilings.
  • Fill larger cracks with spray foam. Always follow the directions on the caulking and spray foam containers to ensure proper adherence and safety.
  • After all the cracks are filled, you can install the insulation. Use the U.S. Department of Energy’s insulation page to determine what kind of insulation you should use and how to put it in your home.

For more information about home weatherization, visit www.dep.pa.gov.

Here’s a list of helpful resources to learn more about energy efficiency:

PPL Electric Utilities offers multiple programs to help customers struggling to pay their electric bills this winter

With energy usage and costs on the rise, PPL Electric Utilities is ready to assist its customers who need help

With colder temperatures set to increase energy usage — and inflation impacting the cost of energy supply sources — PPL Electric Utilities wants to remind customers of multiple assistance programs for those struggling to pay their energy bills.

It’s estimated that nearly half of a U.S. households’ annual energy bill is spent on heating costs. And, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, families will spend more money on energy this winter than last winter.

“We understand that these market conditions could potentially create additional financial strain for our customers over the coming winter,” said PPL Electric Utilities President Steph Raymond. “We want our customers to know we are here to help during these difficult times. I would encourage anyone who needs assistance paying their electric bill to connect with us to see what programs are available to them.”

From programs like the Winter Relief Assistance Program (WRAP) that can help customers find ways to save energy, and in turn lower their bills, to the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), which has millions of dollars to help eligible customers with their rent and utilities, there is likely an assistance program that fits the needs of most struggling customers.

Income-eligible programs available to customers include:

  • Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) — a federal program that helps renters affected by financial hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic with free money to cover rent, utility bills, fees and past-due balances.
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) — a federal program that provides grants to income-eligible households to help with home energy bills or to pay off past-due balances.
  • OnTrack payment plan — a program that makes managing energy bills easier with lower fixed monthly payments and debt forgiveness for qualifying customers.
  • Operation HELP — a fuel fund supported by donations from PPL Electric Utilities employees and customers that provides grants to help customers with their energy bills.
  • Winter Relief Assistance Program (WRAP) — a program that offers free energy-efficiency products, such as LED bulbs, to income-eligible customers to help them reduce the amount of energy they use, and in turn, reduce their bill.

All customers, regardless of income, can also take advantage of other bill help services, including budget billing or choosing a payment due date that works for their budget.

Thousands of customers have already received help through these programs over the years. Even if a customer doesn’t think they’d qualify, but is struggling to pay their bill, PPL Electric Utilities encourages them to reach out to find what may work for them.

Additionally, PPL Electric Utilities is urging all its customers to share this information with anyone they think may benefit from these programs.

For more information on these customer-assistance programs, including how to apply, visit pplelectric.com/billhelp.

PPL Electric Utilities provides electric delivery service to more than 1.4 million homes and businesses in Pennsylvania and ranks among the best utility companies in the country for customer service and reliability. PPL Electric Utilities is a major employer in the communities it serves. It is a subsidiary of PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL). For more information visit www.pplelectric.com.

Customers can follow PPL Electric Utilities on Facebook (Facebook.com/PPLElectric), Twitter (Twitter.com/PPLElectric) and Instagram (Instagram.com/PPLElectric) to get up-to-the-minute news and information, energy efficiency tips, bill help information, storm updates and more.

DEP Releases “Guidelines for Recycling in Your Community” Booklet

Local recycling programs vary; the collection systems, lists of acceptable materials, and local rules are all determined by the entity that operates the program.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has released a simple guide to help residents and businesses understand recycling in Pennsylvania called “Guidelines for Recycling in Your Community.”

Please see the Press Release below –

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 15, 2021

DEP Releases “Guidelines for Recycling in Your Community” Booklet on America Recycles Day to Assist Pennsylvanians and Support Local Recycling Programs

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has released a simple guide to help residents and businesses understand recycling in Pennsylvania called “Guidelines for Recycling in Your Community.” The booklet helps Pennsylvanians to recycle correctly by finding recycling programs in their local area, learning their local rules, and following them to maximize the social, environmental, and economic benefits of recycling.

The booklet is available to download at dep.pa.gov/recycling. Print copies of the booklet will be distributed at upcoming public events such as the 2022 PA Farm Show and will be available through DEP’s six regional offices (dep.pa.gov/regions).

“DEP is committed to supporting successful recycling programs in local communities, and this new booklet will help residents to better understand the rules of recycling and how to connect with local recycling opportunities,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.  “We encourage everyone to find ways to reduce their waste, reuse materials, recycle what they can, and properly dispose of what they must.”

Recycling generates tremendous environmental and financial benefits for Pennsylvania. Because of recycling, nearly 10 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions are avoided every year, or the equivalent of removing 2.15 million (or 25% of) vehicles from Pennsylvania roads annually.

“This booklet will help eager-to-recycle Pennsylvanians cut through any confusion that may arise when encountering differences between and changes within local recycling programs,” said McDonnell.  “It will make them better-educated and more confident recyclers, ultimately benefiting Pennsylvania’s environment and economy for future generations.”

According to a 2017 Recycling Economic Impact study, the recycling marketplace contributed $22.6 billion to Pennsylvania’s gross state product, directly employed over 66,000 people, and contributed to almost 110,000 indirect and induced jobs in 2015. Every dollar of direct activity was matched by another dollar of combined indirect and induced value added.

DEP has overseen Pennsylvania’s statewide recycling program since 1988, when the Municipal Waste Planning Recycling and Waste Reduction Act, known as Act 101, took effect. Among other measures, Act 101 provides the framework for municipal curbside recycling programs, funding for local recycling programs, countywide planning for the management of municipal waste, and more.

While DEP administers the statewide recycling program, all recycling in Pennsylvania is handled at the local level.  Many Pennsylvania municipalities and counties manage local recycling programs, complemented by recycling services offered by private and non-profit organizations. Local recycling programs vary; the collection systems, lists of acceptable materials, and local rules are all determined by the entity that operates the program.

MEDIA CONTACT: Megan Lehman, [email protected], 570-327-3659

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Clearing Your Driveway and Plow Back – Helpful Hint

The Township road crew is working to keep our roadways open and in safe condition.  In addition, everyone is working to clear their driveway.  If you place the snow you are clearing from your driveway on the right side when facing the street, it will greatly minimize the amount of snow that is placed on the end of your driveway when the crews do the plow back.  No one is trying to cause additional work for anyone.

Recycling Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs and Batteries

We are all encouraged to recycle as much as possible.  If you have compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) or batteries, check with the following businesses to see what their current policies are and if there are any fees associated with the service:

  • Batteries + Bulbs
  • Dauphin County Recycling Center
  • Home Depot
  • Lowes