Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

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Energy extraction’s impact on air quality, water supply, and community infrastructure.

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EPA releases first part of frack study, an analysis of chemical disclosure

The Environmental Protection Agency released an analysis of frack water on Friday, based on data that drillers supplied to the website FracFocus. The EPA’s report is just one part of the agency’s long awaited fracking study, which will assess the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water supplies. The full report is due out this [...]

Preparing for the worst, Delco first responders simulate oil train accident

The increasing number of rail cars carrying crude oil through Pennsylvania means a rising risk of accidents. Recent derailments caused trains to explode and incinerate areas along tracks in Illinois and West Virginia, threatening waterways. So far, Pennsylvania has been lucky. Within the past year and a half, oil trains traveling through the state derailed [...]

Measuring the climate trade-off between coal and natural gas

President Obama’s plan to combat climate change relies heavily on replacing coal with natural gas as a way to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide electric power plants pour into the atmosphere. But natural gas comes with it’s own climate problems.     Methane, the main component of natural gas, is also a powerful greenhouse [...]

Kane: gas royalties fraud investigation ‘wrapping up’ soon

State Attorney General Kathleen Kane says her investigation into allegations of underpaid gas royalties will be concluded in the near future. “I can’t comment on where it is right now,” she told a Senate Appropriations committee Tuesday. “But I can tell you we’re almost wrapping it up.” More than a year has passed since former [...]

Railroad chief says oil companies need to do more for rail safety

The head of the Federal Railroad Administration says oil companies need to do more to insure the safety of crude by rail shipments. FRA acting administrator Sarah Feinberg says that the railroad companies carrying the highly volatile crude oil from the Bakken shale fields in North Dakota have done all they can do and the [...]

Pennsylvania DEP trying to forge new strategy for pipelines

John Quigley, Acting Secretary for the Department of Environmental Protection, says he wants to try to incorporate planning strategies for what some say is now a maddening and chaotic rush to build new natural gas pipelines across every county in Pennsylvania. “We’re not under any illusion to reduce impact to zero,” Quigley told StateImpact. “There’s [...]

Large reserve of Utica Shale gas could lie beneath state forest land

Tapping the Utica Shale in north central Pennsylvania could become the state’s next natural gas drilling boom, at least once the pipelines get built. Seneca Resources has announced the successful completion of a well on state forest land in Tioga County. Seneca, a subsidiary of National Fuel Gas Company, says its test well generated 22.7 [...]

Wolf’s budget would restore bulk of funding for Delaware River Basin Commission

In a reverse from the previous administration’s budget, Governor Tom Wolf’s proposed plan would restore much of Pennsylvania’s share of funding to the Delaware River Basin Commission. Former governor Tom Corbett had slashed in half Pennsylvania’s contribution to the multi-state commission in last year’s budget. Corbett cut the DRBC’s funding while maintaining funds to the [...]

Wolf budget includes $100K for Marcellus Shale health registry

In his budget plan unveiled Tuesday, Governor Wolf proposed a $100,000 funding increase to the state Department of Health to create a registry to monitor people who live near natural gas drilling sites. After New York State banned fracking late last year, citing public health concerns, Wolf said he planned to create a registry to monitor health [...]

USGS: Fracking water quality data “scarce”

Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey say there’s just not enough data to figure out the impact of fracking on water quality. The American Geophysical Union’s Water Resources Research published an article about the USGS study today.   “We mined the national water-quality databases from 1970 – 2010 and were able to assess long-term trends in [...]

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