The Senate and House Appropriations Committee hearings on Gov. Wolf’s proposed budget for the Department of Environmental Protection are now complete. Here are five things we learned as a result of those hearings–1. Pipeline Task Force: DEP is in the process of forming a Task Force to look at ways of promoting cooperation and reducing the environmental impacts of the 25,000 to 30,000 miles of natural gas pipelines expected to be developed in Pennsylvania over the next few years. DEP is not looking at expanding its regulatory role over pipelines, or taking over the responsibilities of the Public Utility Commission on safety. The logical questions now are: Who will be on the Task Force? What will their specific charge be? Will their meetings be open to the public?2. Pennsylvania Not Meeting Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Commitments: An open secret for the last six years or more, Acting DEP Secretary John Quigley acknowledged, to his credit, Pennsylvania is not meeting the commitments the Commonwealth made to cleanup our own rivers and streams that will result in a cleaner Chesapeake Bay.