Jon Hurdle

Jon is an experienced journalist who has covered a wide range of general and business-news stories for national and local media in the U.S. and his native U.K. As a former Reuters reporter, he spent several years covering the early stages of Pennsylvania’s natural gas fracking boom and was one of the first national reporters to write about the effects of gas development on rural communities. Jon trained as a general news reporter with a British newspaper chain and later worked for several business-news organizations including Bloomberg News and Market News International, covering topics including economics, bonds, currencies and monetary policy. Since 2011, he has been a freelance writer, contributing Philadelphia-area news to The New York Times; covering economics for Market News, and writing stories on the environment and other subjects for a number of local outlets including StateImpact. He has written two travel guidebooks to the European Alps; lived in Australia, Switzerland, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, and visited many countries including Ethiopia, Peru, Taiwan, and New Zealand. Outside of work hours, Jon can be found running, birding, cooking, and, when weather permits, gardening in the back yard of a Philadelphia row home where he lives with his partner, Kate.

Latest by Jon Hurdle


Mariner East 2 pipeline construction crews work in the backyards of homes on Lisa Drive in West Whiteland Township, Chester County, on May 2. Sinkholes that opened in the area prompted the state's Public Utility Commission to order that an existing pipeline nearby, the Mariner East 1, be shut down until it could be determined that the sinkholes didn't threaten its safety. PUC on May 3 approved a re-start of Mariner East 1.
Updated: October 18, 2018 | 4:53 pm

Sunoco: Mariner East 2 delayed to 2020, so company will join three pipes as substitute

The cross-state natural gas liquids pipeline Mariner East 2 was supposed to begin operation by the end of September. Now, the company has come up with a workaround after acknowledging another lengthy delay in its pipeline project.

By Jon Hurdle

Workers installing the Mariner East 2 pipeline August 22, 2018 in Lebanon County. Energy Transfer Partners, parent company of Sunoco Logistics, had told investors that the line would be operational by the end of September. But regulatory issues have held it up.

‘Regulatory issues’ delay opening of Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 pipeline

The company missed its deadline of opening the line by the end of September. The Public Utility Commission said there are several issues with the project that still need to be resolved.

By Jon Hurdle

Energy Transfer Partners, the parent company of Mariner East 2 pipeline builder, Sunoco, works at Snitz Creek in West Cornwall Township, Lebanon County after a drilling mud spill during the summer.

Mariner East 2: Sunoco’s incidents, fines and shutdowns fuel residents’ safety concerns

As part of the “Mariner East 2: At what risk?” series, StateImpact Pennsylvania reports how pipeline opponents say Sunoco’s construction makes them worried about the volatile liquids flowing through the line. The data can be useful, but there may be more to the story, two experts said.

By Jon Hurdle

The Horsham Air Guard Station in Bucks County, Pa. where the use of PFAS chemicals in firefighting foam has been linked with contamination of local water supplies.

Wolf sets up government panel to study PFAS chemicals

Contamination has been found at sites including Montgomery, Bucks and Franklin counties. Pennsylvania doesn’t have health limits on the chemicals, and a Wolf administration spokesman said the governor wants the state to establish such limits.

By Jon Hurdle

This February 2018 photo shows the most recent proposed route for the PennEast pipeline through Albertine Anthony's farm in Palmerton, Pennsylvania. The route cuts through a triangle of unfarmed wetland that is the source of Anthony's home water supply.
Updated: September 13, 2018 | 4:36 pm

FERC urged to block tree-cutting before final decisions on PennEast pipeline

The Delaware River Basin Commission said it thinks the company might want to start clearing trees before its project gets all necessary approvals. In part, the commission is worried about problems that could occur if the pipeline never gets built.

By Jon Hurdle

An example of the solid chemicals and brine that are removed from fracking fluid.
Updated: September 14, 2018 | 3:51 pm

More than half PA gas wells used ‘secret’ chemicals for fracking or drilling, report says

Companies are allowed to protect trade secrets, and the health risks of unidentified chemicals are unknown. Advocates push for disclosure, saying the public needs to know about the chemicals in order to help protect drinking water.

By Jon Hurdle

The contaminated Bishop Tube former industrial site in Malvern, Pa. Environmentalists say DEP has neglected the cleanup over many years.

Court rejects developer’s effort to block protest against town homes plan

Delaware Riverkeeper Network says suit tried to silence its right to free speech
By Jon Hurdle

The Schuylkill river at dusk in Philadelphia. The river is a popular fishing spot. New Jersey DEP has begun testing fish for the family of chemicals known as PFAS and issued fish advisories. New Jersey has stricter limits on PFAS exposure than Pennsylvania.

As public concern on PFAS rises, EPA urged to set enforceable health standard

At Congressional hearing, advocates say federal government needs to address contamination concerns
By Jon Hurdle

An environmental clean-up crew works to remove gasoline fuel from an ETP pipeline spill in Darby creek in Tinicum Township, Pa. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Sunoco’s 12-inch pipeline leaked 33,000 gallons of gasoline into creek, PHMSA says

Ageing pipeline, which has leaked before, will be used to temporarily carry natural gas liquids
By Jon Hurdle

Construction on the Mariner East 2 pipeline has faced myriad problems, including damaged water supplies and sinkholes in a residential neighborhood in Chester County.

Risk assessment quantifies Mariner East hazards for residents in two counties

The study says a pipeline “release” such as a small leak or a major rupture was likely to occur once every 79 years along a 35-mile stretch of pipeline such as that through Chester and Delaware counties.

By Jon Hurdle
LOAD MORE