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The laws and regulations dictating how energy is extracted and transported.

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Federal court rejects township’s waste water disposal ban

A federal court has struck down efforts by a small community in western Pennsylvania to ban oil and gas waste disposal wells. It also refrained from ruling on whether or not an ecosystem had “personhood” status with the courts, and reiterated previous court decisions that struck down parts of the state’s new oil and gas [...]

Pennsylvania study finds link between gas drilling and premature births

Women are more likely to have premature babies and high-risk pregnancies the more they are exposed to unconventional natural gas development, according to a new study based on more than 10,000 babies born in the shale-gas region of Pennsylvania. The study, released by Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health on Thursday, found that [...]

Wolf signs bill pushing mine water to fracking

Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law Thursday a bill that could clear the way for more oil and gas companies to use treated mine water for fracking. The idea has been encouraged by the state Department of Environmental Protection, but there have been relatively few companies using the water to frack. Drillers have been reluctant to [...]

EPA sets tougher ozone standard, but not tough enough for some greens

After years of delay and court battles, the Obama administration released a final update to its regulation on ground-level ozone, or smog Thursday. The EPA set the standard at 70 parts per billion (ppb) of ozone, an irritant that can exacerbate asthma and other heart and lung conditions. The new rule is a reduction from [...]

EPA hears comments on proposed methane rule for oil and gas

Supporters and opponents of the EPA’s proposed methane rules gathered in Pittsburgh Tuesday for a hearing on federal efforts to cut methane emissions from oil and gas production. Methane is up to 84 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. The oil and gas industry is [...]

New EPA rules will cut refinery emissions

Oil refineries will have to curb toxic air emissions under new rules announced Tuesday by the Environmental Protection Agency. The new regulations will also give neighboring residents more information about potential pollution exposures. For the first time, fence line pollution monitors will be required, and oil refiners will have to disclose the pollution in a [...]

Pennsylvania holds its first ‘listening session’ on Clean Power Plan

Friends and foes of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants welcomed or deplored the proposal, and sparred over how or whether Pennsylvania should implement it, at the state’s first “listening session” on the program on Tuesday. Twenty-seven speakers representing interests ranging from job creation to clean air, building [...]

Federal air rules force coal plants to clean up or shut down

John and Maureen Vilcek have lived exactly one mile from the coal-fired Homer City Generating Station in Indiana County, Pa. since the 1970s. They raised their children here, and hardly notice the constant rumble emanating from the plant up the road. “I’d much rather it be coal-fired than nuclear,” Maureen Vilcek said. “In the beginning, [...]

DEP seeks public input for drafting Clean Power Plan

Pennsylvania’s environmental regulators say they need extensive public input before putting together a plan to reduce carbon emissions. The call for comments comes on the heels of the recent federal mandate that states reduce climate-warming carbon dioxide from power plants. Last month, the EPA announced standards to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector by [...]

DEP delays deep injection well decisions

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has delayed decisions on controversial deep injection well permits, while waiting for rulings from the federal courts. The siting of the deep injection wells became federal cases after local municipalities passed ordinances to ban the drilling waste disposal wells. It’s the first time DEP has taken such a position and [...]

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