Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

Background

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

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Wolf says he would ‘restore trust’ in health department drilling policies

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf says he wants to restore public trust in the state Department of Health. The agency was recently accused by former employees of having policies aimed at muzzling its workers on the issue of natural gas drilling. As StateImpact Pennsylvania has previously reported, two retired state health department workers claim employees [...]

Industry group promotes new ‘good neighbor’ policies for drillers

The nations largest oil and gas trade group has unveiled a new set of community relations guidelines–aimed at improving interactions between drillers and the people who live near hydraulic fracturing sites. The American Petroleum Institute released the 9-page document today, calling it a set of “good neighbor” policies. In a telephone press conference Wednesday with [...]

How are energy boom states dealing with drilling-related health complaints?

Is heavy drilling making some people sick? It a question doctors, public health researchers and regulators in oil and gas-producing states are still struggling to answer roughly six years into the American shale boom. So far, one thing is clear: different states approach the issue of public health and drilling in different ways. StateImpact Pennsylvania [...]

Intersex fish found in three Pa. rivers; DEP sampling waterways

The LA Times reports the state Department of Environmental Protection has begun sampling waterways in response to a recent study by the U.S. Geologic Survey which found intersex fish in three Pennsylvania river basins. Male fish carrying eggs were found in the Delaware, Susquehanna and Ohio River systems. The USGS said the findings show that [...]

Aggressive Tactic on the Fracking Front

For the last eight years, Pennsylvania has been riding the natural gas boom, with companies drilling and fracking thousands of wells across the state. And in a little corner of Washington County, some 20 miles outside of Pittsburgh, EQT Corporation has been busy 2013 drilling close to a dozen new wells on one site. It [...]

Family of worker killed in southwest Pa. gas well fire sues Chevron

The family of a worker who was killed in a February explosion at a Chevron natural gas well site in Greene County has filed suit against the company. Ian McKee, 27, was a contract worker with Texas-based Cameron International. On the morning of Feb. 11, McKee was participating in a safety meeting on the site in [...]

Governor’s office denies involvement with health department drilling policies

At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Governor Tom Corbett refused to answer questions about allegations state health department employees were silenced on the issue of natural gas development. A StateImpact Pennsylvania investigation has revealed that in 2012, employees were sent a list of drilling-related “buzzwords” as part of a guidance for how to handle drilling-related health complaints. The [...]

In Colorado, a public database for drilling-related complaints

In Pennsylvania, the state Department of Health’s Bureau of Epidemiology logs complaints related to natural gas development in a database that the agency says is not available to the public. StateImpact Pennsylvania has reported that department employees were also given a list of drilling-related “buzzwords” as part of a guidance on how to handle complaints. [...]

Pa. confirms drilling “buzzword” list; says it’s meant to guide, not silence employees

Did Pennsylvania health department officials circulate a list of drilling-related “buzzwords” and a meeting permission form that led department staff to believe they were being silenced on the issue of natural gas development? Two weeks ago, when StateImpact Pennsylvania first reported on the buzzwords list and meeting form, the department’s answer to that question was [...]

Federal court dismisses doctor’s lawsuit over Act 13 “gag rule”

Capitolwire reports a federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit from a Luzerne County doctor over an aspect of Pennsylvania’s drilling law (Act 13) that deals with health professionals’ access to information about the chemicals used in fracking. More from Capitolwire: Federal District Judge Richard Caputo found Dr. Alfonso Rodriguez lacked standing to sue the Department [...]

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