Pennsylvania

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

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Judge blocks mining near stream in Greene County state park

Pennsylvania’s Environmental Hearing Board has temporarily blocked coal mining near a trout stream in Greene County’s Ryerson Station State Park after two environmental groups challenged the permit. The order, issued Friday by Judge Steven Beckman, prohibits Consol Energy from longwall mining within 500 feet of the park’s Kent Run stream, until the board can rule [...]

Ten stories from 2016 worth hearing again

As the year winds down, we’re looking back at some of StateImpact Pennsylvania’s best radio reporting. From an unconventional election season, to continued controversies over pipelines, and a global climate conference, we covered a lot of ground on the airwaves in 2016. Take another listen: Drilling downturn In 2016 Pennsylvania’s drilling industry went through a [...]

EPA says fracking study’s data gaps are an important contribution to science

The EPA says its fracking study, published this month, is the most comprehensive look so far at all the science available on whether or not fracking pollutes drinking water. Critics have pointed to a lack of data in the report, which led to limitations in the agency’s conclusion that fracking “impacts drinking water under some [...]

Pa. still fighting over royalty money from forest drilling

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania continues to haggle with natural gas companies over royalty money it believes it’s owed from drilling on state land. There are 386,000 acres of publicly-owned forest land leased to gas companies, and like private landowners, the state has had problems getting paid properly. In September StateImpact Pennsylvania reported the Department of Conservation [...]

EPA fracking study points to continued lack of data

EPA’s fracking study, published this week, was supposed to be the definitive look at whether or not drilling for shale gas and shale oil impacts drinking water. But instead, the final report concluded that fracking impacts drinking water “under some circumstances,” and qualified that conclusion with a discussion about a lack of definitive data. The [...]

EPA: Fracking can impact drinking water

The Environmental Protection Agency, in a revision from its earlier draft report on hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas, says in its final study that fracking can impact water supplies “under some circumstances.” The report details the circumstances where water has been impacted, and provides guidance on how to avoid water contamination. When the EPA [...]

Charges dropped in Sunoco pipeline case

Charges have been dropped against three people, including a retiree and her daughter, who objected to tree clearing on their family’s Huntingdon County property last spring, to make way for a new natural gas liquids pipeline. Ellen Gerhart, her daughter Elise, and activist Alex LoTorto faced charges including disorderly conduct and contempt of court, for [...]

Wolf aide married to gas industry lobbyist may be violating Pa.’s ethics law

When anti-fracking activist Scott Cannon’s invitation to serve on Governor Tom Wolf’s Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force was rescinded last July, emails soon surfaced showing Gov. Wolf’s special assistant, Yesenia Bane, asking the state Department of Environmental Protection to uninvite him. The move created a stir among environmental activists. It’s still not clear why the activist [...]

Energy Hub vision challenged by Rinaldi’s departure from PES

The Philadelphia Energy Hub, a grand idea that was always longer on rhetoric than reality, took another step back this week when its leading advocate said he will retire early next year as chief executive of the East Coast’s biggest refiner, Philadelphia Energy Solutions. Phil Rinaldi, dubbed “fossil Phil” by environmentalists for his aggressive promotion [...]

DEP says Greene County stream poses ‘no radiation concern’

Testing at a Greene County stream once suspected of contamination shows it has “no radiation concern,” the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced Thursday. In April 2014, tests taken by the state showed Ten Mile Creek had high levels of radium, a radioactive material that is naturally occurring. But in a study released in December [...]

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