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

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Pennsylvania confirms first fracking-related earthquakes

Pennsylvania officials say they’ve confirmed the state’s first fracking-related earthquakes took place last year in Lawrence County, northwest of Pittsburgh. As a result, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is stepping up its requirements for drilling in that part of the state, which is known for seismic activity. In April 2016, Texas-based Hilcorp Energy Company [...]

Atlantic Sunrise pipeline opponents begin encampment

Opponents of the Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline are officially launching an encampment in Lancaster County this weekend. The pipeline was approved by federal regulators earlier this month, although it still awaits permits from the state Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Williams, the company behind the project, expects construction to [...]

Mariner East 2 pipeline still waiting on U.S. Army Corps permits

As the issue over construction of the Mariner East 2 plays out in court, Sunoco is also waiting on a number of permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Army Corps requires permits under section 404 of the federal Clean Water Act whenever dredging material would be discharged into waterways or wetlands. The [...]

GOP lawmaker reintroduces controversial royalties bill

Representative Garth Everett has called himself as a “sometimes marathoner” who is in it for the long haul. He’s now on his third attempt to pass legislation ensuring Pennsylvania landowners are paid a minimum royalty for natural gas development. On Thursday Everett (R- Lycoming) introduced House Bill 557– an effort to address complaints that some gas [...]

PA DEP approves water permits for PennEast pipeline

PennEast pipeline company says it has received a significant water quality permit from Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection, suggesting confidence by state regulators that the pipeline can be built while minimizing impacts to waterways during and after construction. The 401 Water Quality Certification indicates the company has met requirements under the Clean Water Act, a [...]

Study: Methane levels increase as well sites decline

A new study shows that background levels of methane in Northeast Pennsylvania increased significantly at a time when well drilling activity decreased, pointing to leaks of natural gas during production and transportation. Researchers from Drexel University found that atmospheric levels of the potent greenhouse gas increased by 100 parts per billion between 2012 and 2015. [...]

DEP’s McDonnell meets with Mariner East pipeline opponents

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection held a hastily arranged meeting on Monday with several opponents of the proposed Mariner East 2 pipeline in an apparent attempt to calm public concerns over the project which may soon get its final environmental approvals. Acting DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell plus two other DEP officials and a legislative liaison [...]

Wolf renews call for natural gas tax

Governor Tom Wolf is renewing his call for a severance tax on Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry. It was among his central campaign pledges three years ago, but so far he’s been unsuccessful getting it through the Republican-led legislature. In his annual budget address Tuesday, Wolf didn’t mention the tax at all– instead focusing on efforts [...]

Data trove offers new details on complaints to DEP during shale boom

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection received 9,442 public complaints about environmental problems in areas where unconventional natural gas development occurred from 2004 to the end of November 2016, an investigation reported, unveiling a trove of documents from the state’s natural gas boom. The three-year investigation conducted by the Pittsburgh-based Public Herald watch-dog website, said 4,108 of [...]

Senator Casey calls for more marches and activism

Pennsylvania’s Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Casey is encouraging more people to get out in the streets and march against the policies of newly elected President Donald Trump. Casey spoke to a packed house Thursday night about climate change at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Topping off a day of protests in Philadelphia that accompanied a visit [...]

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