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Court backing for zoning change could spur wider gas development, critics say

Reid Frazier Nichole Mazurek, of Middlesex Township, at an anti-fracking protest with her three children, Samantha, 8, Ian, 3, and Alyson 6. Environmentalists attacked a county court ruling that backs one township’s change of zoning rules to promote natural gas development, saying the decision is likely to encourage other municipalities in Pennsylvania to open up [...]

Gas processing plants reach settlement with EPA over alleged violations

The owners of five Pennsylvania natural gas processing plants have reached a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for allegedly failing to take measures to guard against spills and leaks on their sites in McKean and Warren Counties, the EPA said on Thursday. Elkhorn Investments and Elkhorn Gas Processing, both based in Oklahoma, have [...]

Task force debates pipeline recommendations

At a recent press conference, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Quigley joked with reporters that he’d assembled “the world’s largest committee” to try to deal with the state’s building boom of natural gas pipelines. He was in a decidedly less jovial mood Wednesday as he tried to corral the 48-member group. Quigley didn’t want them [...]

EPA hearings in Pittsburgh bring out climate activists

The EPA’s plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants should be as strong as possible to curtail the worst impacts of climate change. That was the message coming from a stream of speakers at a public hearing on the plan in Pittsburgh on Thursday. Thursday’s hearing was the first of four to be [...]

Pipeline Task Force report as massive as scale of expected buildout

Updated with comments from DEP Secretary John Quigley The number of additional gas pipelines projected for Pennsylvania in coming years was always impressive, and now the number of proposals for how to manage them is equally striking. Gov. Tom Wolf’s Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force has produced no fewer than 184 sets of ideas for how [...]

Pennsylvania Supreme Court to hear more arguments on Act 13

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments related to its December, 2013 decision regarding the state’s comprehensive update to its oil and gas law, known as Act 13. In an order published this week, the court determined that it would take up several unresolved issues, but it would not revisit its interpretation of [...]

New EPA rule would require natural gas processing plants to report toxic emissions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will propose a rule that would require natural gas processing plants to report their emissions of toxic chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde and hexane. The decision followed a request in 2012 by the Environmental Integrity Project and 17 other environmental groups for the EPA to include the oil & gas [...]

DEP advances new drilling regulations

Pennsylvania’s newly proposed oil and gas drilling rules have been written and re-written for the past four years. They’re now one step closer to being finalized. “This is our near-final rule-making,” says Kurt Klapowski, Director of Oil and Gas Planning and Program Management at the state Department of Environmental Protection. “It’s been a monumental effort from [...]

EPA ‘encouraged’ by states’ responses to Clean Power Plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Thursday that most states are actively engaged in planning for implementation of the new federal Clean Power Plan that aims to make deep cuts in carbon emissions from power plants to curb climate change. The day before the final version of the rule is published in the Federal [...]

Lawyers say FERC hinders appeals on pipeline projects

Environmental lawyers say they may have to craft new legal strategies to effectively challenge interstate pipeline construction decisions by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Activists continue to accuse FERC of acting as a rubber stamp when it comes to approving pipeline projects. They argue the agency does not do an adequate environmental review that includes [...]

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