Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

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

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House approves budget bill with controversial energy provisions

The Republican-controlled state House approved a budget bill Tuesday that has drawn criticism from Democrats and environmental groups over language that affects new oil and gas regulations and federal efforts to combat climate change. The fiscal code acts as a set of instructions, directing money for the overall state budget. Last month it was approved [...]

DEP finalizes new oil and gas drilling regulations

State environmental regulators are finalizing updates of new oil and gas regulations, which include more stringent rules around permitting, waste handling, water restoration, and identifying old wells. The new rules from the state Department of Environmental Protection come at a time when Pennsylvania is already nearly a decade into the Marcellus Shale boom. “The process [...]

No link between fracking and smallmouth bass decline

There is no link between Pennsylvania’s surge in gas drilling and the startling decline of the smallmouth bass population in the Susquehanna River, say two state environmental officials. Speaking Tuesday on WITF’s Smart Talk John Quigley and John Arway, who lead the state Department of Environmental Protection and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission respectively, say [...]

Report revives debate over risks of radiation from drilling waste

Concern over whether oil and gas drilling waste emits radiation at unhealthy levels in Pennsylvania has resurfaced with the publication of a report alleging the Department of Environmental Protection ignored hazardous radioactivity from the industry when it issued its own study on the issue almost a year ago. The environmental group Delaware Riverkeeper Network said [...]

State Auditor General to investigate where drilling impact money is going

State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale (D) plans to investigate how local governments are spending the millions of dollars they’ve received from gas drilling impact fees. The fees have brought in more than $854 million to Pennsylvania since 2012. The majority of that money gets sent back out to local governments. But so far, $33.1 million [...]

DEP testing was flawed, no danger of radioactivity in western Pa. creek

The state Department of Environmental Protection says its initial test results were flawed, and there is no danger of elevated radioactivity in Tenmile Creek, Greene County. The waterway feeds into the Monongahela River, which is a source of drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people in western Pennsylvania, including parts of Pittsburgh. As StateImpact Pennsylvania previously [...]

Environmentalists say budget bill would delay compliance with Clean Power Plan

Nine environmental groups attacked a budget-related bill that was passed by the Pennsylvania Senate Thursday, saying it would “gut” environmental regulations and delay the state’s implementation of the federal government’s ambitious Clean Power Plan to cut emissions from power plants. The groups said amendments to the fiscal code, which would enable passage of the long-delayed [...]

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 [...]

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