While the commission’s jobs include managing water quality, water withdrawals and flood mitigation, one of its most salient responsibilities in the last five years has been to come up with regulations for natural gas drilling in the basin. That’s something the commissioners - the governors of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Delaware and the federal government – are still struggling to agree upon.
“We are pleased to welcome Steve Tambini as the DRBC Executive Director,” said Commission Chair Pro Tem Michele Siekerka, who represents New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, in a statement. “Steve’s background and experiences are sure to be of great benefit to the ongoing work of the commission.”
Tambini has had a long career with American Water, a major North American water and sewer utility, working previously in Missouri and New Jersey. He currently serves as Vice President for the company’s Pennsylvania operations.
Scroggins has to research where Cabot holds leases at the Susquehanna County courthouse, to figure out where she can and can't go.
A judge has signed off on an order which bars an anti-fracking activist from setting foot on more than 300 square miles–or nearly 40 percent–of Susquehanna county. It’s all the land owned or leased by the area’s biggest driller, Cabot Oil and Gas.
Although Cabot asked for the court order, a spokesman for the company says it didn’t mean for it to be so broad.
On Feb. 13 and 14, the Bureau of Radiation Protection collected samples from three spots in Dunkard Township to make sure methane releases from the fire did not result in elevated radiation above normal, background levels, according to the department’s summary report released Friday.
“There is a certain amount of radon in natural gas,” says Scott Perry, DEP’s Deputy Secretary for Oil and Gas Management.
The former Exelon Generating Station in Eddystone, Delaware County is being converted to a rail terminal for crude oil.
As many as 500 people have been working around the clock to turn an old coal-fired power plant in Eddystone, Delaware County into a terminal for crude oil. By the end of April, trains hauling 80,000 barrels of crude will arrive every day from North Dakota to help feed refineries along the Delaware River.
“That was the opportunity… to see if we could be part of the solution to save the refineries in the Philadelphia area,” says Jack Galloway, CEO of Canopy Prospecting Inc.
Galloway’s company has teamed up with North American energy distributor Enbridge to form the new Eddystone Rail Company.
“We welcome the industrial businesses coming in, we understand the benefits of the economic growth,” says William Stewart, President of the Eddystone Borough Council. “However, we want to make sure we’re educated so in the event something was to happen, our first responders are prepared to do what they need to do.”
Two trains carrying crude oil derailed recently in Pennsylvania. They join a string of similar accidents across North America, including one last summer that killed 47 people in the town of Lac-Megantic, Quebec.
At a packed legislative committee hearing this week in Delaware County, former Congressman Curt Weldon – a former mayor and fire chief in Marcus Hook – warned state lawmakers that state and local first responders may not be prepared for accidents.
In December, the state Supreme Court struck down portions of the 2012 law that restricted the ability of local governments to zone oil and gas development, but the justices left a number of matters unresolved and sent the case back to the lower Commonwealth Court .
The court is now reviewing, among other things, whether the rest of Act 13 can stand without the sections that were struck down.
A 12,000-gallon gasoline spill from a ruptured pipeline in Westmoreland County in 2008 could cost Sunoco Logistics Partners more than $2.3 million in civil penalties from the state.
The Department of Environmental Protection filed a complaint Friday with the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board asking it to impose a fine of at least $2.38 million against Sunoco Logistics and its subsidiary Sunoco Pipeline.
The November 2008 spill in Murrysville contaminated Turtle Creek and killed nearly all of the aquatic life in a three-mile stretch of the waterway, triggered evacuations of homes and businesses, and shut down U.S. Route 22 for hours in the community 20 miles east of Pittsburgh. Mistakes during maintenance on the 8-inch interstate pipeline caused a plug to blow out, which “forced the gasoline to fountain twenty (20) to thirty (30) feet into the air” and rain “down onto and into nearby businesses, parking lots, and the surrounding soils and surfaces,” DEP said in its complaint. Federal pipeline regulators said the incident caused $1.1 million in property damage but no injuries.
In an opinion released Friday, the Court of Special Appeals weighed the meaning of ten crucial words in the most recent version of the agreement, which Dominion, Sierra and another group signed in 2005. The agreement permits “receipt by tanker and the receipt or delivery by pipeline” of natural gas at the site.
The opinion by Judge Michele Hotten even includes the full dictionary entry for the word “by” as part of the court’s efforts to parse the phrase.
According to Sierra, this clause means that Dominion can receive shipments of gas by sea and over land, via pipeline, at the site, and that the company can make deliveries over land to domestic buyers. However, the group argues, Dominion is not permitted to make deliveries by sea.
Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley sat down with StateImpact Pennsylvania recently to talk about how the Corbett administration is handling allegations of fraud against the state’s biggest natural gas driller– Chesapeake Energy.
The state agency that oversees Pennsylvania’s utilities has received numerous complaints from residents who say their electric bills have unexpectedly and dramatically increased this winter. The Public Utility Commission says it’s gotten 2,580 complaints since January 1, the Associated Press reports.
The PUC and the state attorney general’s office say they are investigating the spikes to see if customers are being overcharged. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review recently reported that most of the complaints come from consumers who’ve switched to variable-rate plans based on the wholesale price of electricity.
Most electric consumers in the state — the 3.4 million who still buy from utility companies — are likely unaffected because their rates are frozen for long periods and regulated by the commission. There are 2.2 million customers who buy service from deregulated suppliers, and it’s an unknown number of them who have variable-rate plans and could be affected.
The PUC does not keep a tally of how many have variable-rate plans. Some people signed up directly for rates that could go up and down based on the market’s whims. Others were switched automatically when their fixed-rate deals expired.
Electricity prices spiked as the regional power grid saw record winter demand from people turning up the heat and staying indoors during extreme cold that hit the area during the past seven weeks. Variable-rate plans jumped as high as 38 cents per kilowatt hour compared with 8 cents for people who stuck with their default utility company, according to the Office of Consumer Advocate.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announces Monday at City Hall that UIL Holdings Corp. of New Haven, Conn., plans to purchase Philadelphia Gas Works.
Today, Philadelphians don’t get their natural gas from the Marcellus Shale. But under a proposed deal announced Monday to privatize the city’s gas works, Mayor Michael Nutter says that could change.
At a press conference, Nutter introduced the city to UIL Holdings Corp., a Connecticut-based energy company that has agreed to buy Philadelphia Gas Works for $1.86 billion.
Under the deal, UIL would take over the 178-year-old natural gas distribution company, keep rates flat for three years, offer jobs to PGW’s roughly 1,650 employees, maintain programs for low-income residents and seniors, and replace aging cast-iron pipes.
Nutter also said the deal “positions PGW to take full advantage of the abundant supply of natural gas in Pennsylvania, offering our city and our region the opportunity to become the prime energy hub in the U.S.”
The utility is owned by the city and run by the nonprofit Philadelphia Facilities Management Corporation. Kenney says the operating agreement between the PFMC and the city limits PGW’s ability to work with pipeline companies operating in the Marcellus.