Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

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

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West Goshen tightens zoning laws for pipeline projects

A Chester County town passed a series of amendments to its zoning law Tuesday night – the latest defensive move in West Goshen’s fight to prevent Sunoco Logistics from building a pump station for its Mariner East pipeline in a residential neighborhood. More from the Philadelphia Inquirer: Under the amendments West Goshen Township supervisors approved [...]

Pennsylvania DEP revamps effort to map abandoned oil and gas wells

Pennsylvania environmental regulators are embarking on a project to map about 200,000 abandoned oil and gas wells that are currently unaccounted for in state records, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.   Abandoned wells provide pathways for methane gas to seep to the surface, where it can, under the right settings, trigger explosions. However, as StateImpact Pennsylvania [...]

DEP publishes details on 248 cases of water damage from gas development

For the first time, Pennsylvania environmental regulators are publicly releasing documents about cases when natural gas operations have damaged private water supplies. A list of 248 incidents is now available on the Department of Environmental Protection’s website with links to the letters sent to homeowners when the agency determined their water well was impacted by [...]

New study shows gas workers could be exposed to dangerous levels of benzene

A new study out this month reveals unconventional oil and natural gas workers could be exposed to dangerous levels of benzene, putting them at a higher risk for blood cancers like leukemia. Benzene is a known carcinogen that is present in fracking flowback water. It’s also found in gasoline, cigarette smoke and in chemical manufacturing. [...]

Report: Pa. attorney general widens investigation into gas royalty complaints

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane is reportedly widening her investigation into complaints of fraud from gas royalty owners. So far, the allegations have centered on the state’s biggest gas driller, Chesapeake Energy. Now sources tell Capotolwire that Kane’s office has issued subpoenas “throughout the energy industry” in Pennsylvania. It could suggest investigators are looking for background information or that [...]

State regulators take a closer listen to gas compressor stations

Most of the noise created by natural gas development is temporary. After drilling and fracking, the workers and equipment are gone. A gas well in production is pretty quiet; it’s basically just a bunch of pipes in the ground. But compressor stations can stay noisy for years– even decades. The facilities are necessary to process and [...]

Drilling underway at Pittsburgh International Airport

A major plan to drill for natural gas under Pittsburgh International Airport is underway. Politicians, including Gov. Tom Corbett, and officials from Consol Energy kicked off the project in a ceremony at the airport today. More from the Associated Press: The Monday morning ceremony featured remarks by Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, Democratic County Executive Rich [...]

Maryland takes a public health approach on fracking that Pa. hasn’t tried

Air pollution is among one of the greatest public health concerns related to Marcellus Shale drilling, according to a new health impact assessment released this week by the University of Maryland School of Public Health. Commissioned by the Maryland Department of Public Health through an executive order by Gov. Martin O’Malley, the study assesses potential [...]

Pennsylvania ranks 3rd in statewide CO2 emissions for 2011

Overall, carbon dioxide emissions are decreasing nationally, down 12 percent in 2012 from a pre-recession peak of 6023 million metric tons in 2007. Pennsylvania is following that trend, not leading it, not lagging behind, but landing somewhere in the middle at 10.9 percent CO2 reductions between 2000 and 2011. Still the state ranks third in [...]

Groups call for investigation into health department’s handling of drilling

Despite calls from environmental groups, it is not clear that there will be an investigation into how the Pennsylvania Department of Health handled complaints about Marcellus Shale natural gas development. “At this time, we are not looking to audit the Department of Health on this issue,” said Susan Woods, a spokeswoman for Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. [...]

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