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


The former Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove and present day Horsham Air Guard Station is shown Thursday, March 10, 2016, in Horsham, Pa. The military is checking whether chemicals from firefighting foam might have contaminated groundwater at hundreds of sites nationwide and potentially tainted drinking water, the Defense Department said.
Updated: June 21, 2018 | 2:40 pm

Toxic chemical study EPA is accused of blocking just came out. It calls for stricter drinking-water limits

The chemicals have been linked to hypertension, liver damage, elevated cholesterol, increased risk of thyroid disease, decreased fertility and some types of cancer. One environmental group wants the state to “re-evaluate whether there are more people at risk than they previously understood.”

By Jon Hurdle

The Delaware River basin: Officials say proposed new rules would strengthen protections against contamination from fracking waste water brought into the basin.

Pull the Mariner East permit, environmental group urges Delaware River Basin Commission

Delaware Riverkeeper Network says “severe and ongoing” permit violations are causing “significant harm” to the river basin. It wants the commission to suspend Mariner East 2 construction.

By Jon Hurdle

A farm in Wayne County sits on top of the Marcellus Shale formation. Drilling has not begun in the area of the state that drains into the Delaware River because the Delaware River Basin Commission has not allowed it.

Delaware basin land owners welcome committee approval of compensation bill

Fracking opponents call bill a 'preposterous' attempt to boost industry at the expense of public health
By Jon Hurdle

Workers and contractors for Sunoco Pipeline have been investigating sink holes behind homes at Lisa Drive, West Whiteland Township, Chester County where the company has been drilling for construction of the Mariner East 2 and 2X pipelines. The company offered to relocate residents of the five homes whose yards are crossed by the pipeline right of way.

Suit accuses Sunoco of violating federal Clean Water Act

Even though the oil and gas industry is exempt from obtaining the permits – unlike other kinds of industrial construction such as powerlines — that exemption disappears when a water violation occurs, argued Aaron Stemplewicz, senior attorney for DRN.

By Jon Hurdle

The former Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove and present day Horsham Air Guard Station is shown Thursday, March 10, 2016, in Horsham, Pa. The military is checking whether chemicals from firefighting foam might have contaminated groundwater at hundreds of sites nationwide and potentially tainted drinking water, the Defense Department said.

Public-interest groups raise pressure on feds to release toxic chemical study

Fifty-three organizations say the federal Department of Health and Human Services must publish recommendations for health limits on hazardous PFAS chemicals.

By Jon Hurdle

About 150 people showed up at a rally in West Chester on Jun 9 to urge the state's Public Utility Commission to shut down Sunoco's Mariner East pipeline project.

As PUC decision nears, Mariner East foes rally to call for total shutdown 

Sunoco has said the project is nearly finished. Demonstrators said the project’s violations — and the fact that the line was recently struck by a contractor — are reasons to shut it down.

By Jon Hurdle

Mariner East 2 pipeline construction in Delaware County

Officials: Water main contractor struck Mariner East 2 in Delaware County

Damage was minor, but critics say incident highlights public safety risks
By Jon Hurdle

Mariner East 2 pipeline construction in Chester County
Updated: June 6, 2018 | 11:24 am

Chester County commissioners slam Sunoco for ‘appalling’ lack of pipeline information

In a letter to the PUC, the commissioners said local officials haven’t seen some key emergency information, and are learning about “the majority of issues” regarding the Mariner East project from media and residents.

By Jon Hurdle

Drilling impact fees have generated $854 million for Pennsylvania over the past four years, but local governments have had trouble accounting for how they've spent the money.

State Supreme Court warns municipalities on natural gas permits

The court’s decision said a township, for example, can’t issue a permit for oil and gas development unless the site is zoned to allow for that use. Landowners in Lycoming County had sued over a well pad permit issued in an agricultural-residential zone.

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.

Sunoco urges PUC to overturn judge’s order halting pipeline construction in Chester County 

The company said that the judge’s decision means a utility would have to prove a project is safe even if no “credible evidence or properly-supported expert testimony” has been offered to show a project threatens public safety.

By Jon Hurdle
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