Pennsylvania

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

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DEP fines pipeline company $1.5 million for damaging Butler County wetlands

A company constructing a pipeline system in Butler County to connect gas wells to a processing plant will pay $1.5 million for causing a landslide into a stream, and discharging sediment in to a wetland. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection says Stonehenge Appalachia has entered a consent order with the agency and agreed to [...]

Health study shows connection between asthma attacks and gas drilling

People with asthma face a larger risk of asthma attacks if they live near heavy gas drilling activity in Pennsylvania, compared to those who don’t, according to research by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, published Monday in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA Internal Medicine. The report “Association Between Unconventional Natural Gas Development in the Marcellus Shale and [...]

Commonwealth court upholds eminent domain in Sunoco pipeline case

A state appeals court dealt a blow to property owners fighting eminent domain takings by Sunoco Logistics on Thursday. Commonwealth Court ruled that in the case of the Mariner East 2 pipeline, Sunoco is a public utility subject to regulation by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, which it says granted the company a certificate of [...]

Feds propose new safety rules for oil trains

Two federal agencies have proposed new safety regulations for oil trains. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration, both divisions of the Department of Transportation, announced the proposals Wednesday, which are aimed at sharing information with state emergency management agencies. The agencies also want to require a new test [...]

PA cities headed for more ‘danger days’ as summer temperatures climb, report warns

Pennsylvania will face more “danger days” of high heat and humidity in future when climate change pushes “real-feel” temperatures above 105 degrees F, a climate-research group warned in a national report published Wednesday. The state has five of the 50 cities nationwide that have seen the biggest increase in atmospheric moisture since 1970, Climate Central [...]

Fracking opponents dump on Democratic Party platform

Kimberly Paynter/WHYY Tamara Clements with Food and Water Watch places fake dung beneath one of the Democratic National Convention ‘Donkeys Around Town’ statues in Philadelphia. This donkey is located at City Hall and represents the state of Georgia. The Democratic Party’s draft platform, advanced by a committee last weekend, calls for a tax on carbon [...]

EPA raises concerns about Atlantic Sunrise pipeline

The Environmental Protection Agency is raising concerns about the potential impacts of the proposed Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline. In a letter sent last week to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) the EPA criticizes FERC’s draft environmental impact statement, which found the pipeline would not create significant adverse impacts. Although FERC is charged with [...]

Study: CO2 emissions from coal mine drainage higher than expected

Carbon dioxide emissions from mine water could be greater than previous estimates, according to new research from West Virginia University. The study calculated that CO2 emissions from 140 coal mine drainage sites in Pennsylvania could equal those from a small power plant. “The numbers are higher than I expected to see,” said Dorothy Vesper, associate [...]

DEP launches investigation into Doylestown-area private water well contamination

Last month, the federal Environmental Protection Agency instituted more rigorous health advisory levels for chemicals called polyfluorinated compounds or PFCs. Suddenly, a well on Easton Road in Bucks County known to contain PFC’s was above the new, stricter cutoff. As of 2016, the new recommended lifetime exposure level in drinking water for two PFCs — known [...]

Lawsuit accuses Range Resources and lab of doctoring water test results

A water testing company that worked with Range Resources to evaluate whether or not residential water supplies were contaminated is defending itself against a lawsuit that claims the company allowed the gas driller to alter a print out of the test results, which Range then submitted to the Department of Environmental Protection. The DEP used [...]

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