Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

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

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New study links gas drilling to migraines, fatigue and chronic sinus symptoms

A new study published today in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives shows an association between living near heavy gas drilling activity and common ailments like chronic nasal and sinus symptoms, severe fatigue, and migraines. The report is part of an ongoing collaboration between the Geisinger Health System and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public [...]

Air pollutants from Pa. oil and gas sites continue to rise

Air pollutants from Pennsylvania’s natural gas production sites increased from 2013 to 2014, according to data released Wednesday by the Department of Environmental Protection. The air inventory data for shale gas production relies on information submitted by the industry, and includes emissions from compressor stations that utilize gas from coal beds, conventional, and unconventional wells. [...]

Water quality in lower Delaware River mostly meets standards of protection program

A plan to maintain water quality in the Lower Delaware River is broadly meeting its goal of “no measurable change”, the Delaware River Basin Commission said, in the first report on its Special Protection Waters program. The interstate regulator this week released results of testing at 24 sites along a 76-mile stretch of the river [...]

Spectra expects to pay $100 million after pipeline blast

The company operating an interstate gas transmission line that exploded last spring outside Pittsburgh expects to pay between $75 to $100 million to inspect and repair its pipeline system. The April 29 incident in Westmoreland County happened on the Texas Eastern pipeline, operated by Spectra Energy. The explosion blew a 12-foot-deep, 1500-square-foot hole and scorched 40 [...]

Attorney General reaches agreement with XTO over criminal charges

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office has reached a settlement with XTO Energy, a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil, over criminal charges filed in 2013 for a wastewater spill that occurred in 2010. The AG’s office has used a rehabilitation program primarily reserved for drunk drivers with no prior record, to avoid trial. Under the program, known [...]

Obama instructs FERC to review climate impacts of pipelines

The Obama Administration instructed federal agencies to factor climate change impacts into required environmental reviews of large projects. The White House Council on Environmental Quality released its guidance this week, six years after the original draft proposal. The move clarifies reviews required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Under NEPA, projects such as interstate [...]

DEP declares four miles of Susquehanna River “impaired”

Four miles of the Susquehanna River are being downgraded by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection. DEP says a stretch between Enola and Capital City Airport and another around the Route 462 bridge in Columbia don’t meet water quality standards for recreation use. Environmental regulators reached the conclusion based on data from intensive monitoring over the [...]

Energy and climate change discussions at the DNC

It’s not simply activity on the convention floor that make up a political convention. In addition to the speeches, caucuses and roundtable discussions are all part of the DNC this week in Philadelphia. Leaders of environmental groups, politicians and business people gathered at a hotel in Center City Philadelphia to discuss how the Democratic Party [...]

Clean energy advocates urge DNC to ban fracking, promote renewable fuels

Thousands of campaigners for clean energy marched through the center of Philadelphia on the eve of the Democratic National Convention on Sunday, urging the party to adopt policies that would ban fracking and promote the use of renewable energy. In an event that mixed national politics with local opposition to specific energy projects, some demonstrators [...]

Philly faces four-foot flooding in some areas as seas rise, study warns

Rising seas and future storms are likely to flood some areas of greater Philadelphia to a depth of four feet or more above the current high tide line by 2040, according to a new climate report released on Thursday. The report by Climate Central, a Princeton, NJ-based research group, said the projected floods would be [...]

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