Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

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

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Pennsylvania lacks resources to enforce safe water standards, says EPA

Federal officials are warning the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection that it lacks the necessary staffing and resources to enforce safe drinking water standards, which could be grounds for taking primacy away– costing the state millions of dollars in federal funding. “Pennsylvania’s drinking water program failed to meet the federal requirement for onsite review of [...]

Senate panel approves royalty bills (again)

It felt a bit like déjà vu in Harrisburg Tuesday, as a state Senate committee unanimously approved a pair of bills aimed at providing more protections for people who receive royalty money from oil and gas drilling. The vote comes almost exactly two years after the same committee approved nearly identical bills, which were then passed by the [...]

A new year, a new round of gas severance tax proposals

State lawmakers are back in Harrisburg this week, and not surprisingly, they’re looking at levying new taxes on Marcellus Shale natural gas drillers. As StateImpact Pennsylvania has previously reported, this tax has been debated for years, as lawmakers of both political parties have looked to the gas industry to help alleviate the state’s fiscal woes. This [...]

New pipeline rule requires quicker reporting of accidents

Federal pipeline regulators are requiring operators to report accidents more quickly, and they are tightening rules on conducting drug and alcohol tests after an accident. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is also setting up a new procedure for recovering its costs for reviewing the design of some new pipelines, and is requiring operators [...]

Delaware basin conservation law resilient to any Trump rollbacks, supporters say

Supporters of a new law that provides federal support for conservation in the Delaware River Basin predicted that the measure won’t be derailed by any efforts by the incoming Trump administration to roll back environmental protections. Despite concerns in the environmental community that Trump will dismantle major initiatives such as the Clean Power Plan and [...]

Beaver County township green-lights ethane cracker

Shell moved another step closer toward building its massive chemical plant near Pittsburgh. Supervisors in Potter Township approved the company’s conditional use permit to build an ethane cracker on the site of a former zinc smelter. Supervisors voted 3-0 in favor of the permit. Shell needs the permit to build a plant that will make [...]

Feds tighten rules for hazardous liquids pipelines such as Mariner East 2

Federal regulators published a new set of rules on Friday to strengthen the safety of pipelines carrying hazardous liquids such as crude oil and the natural gas liquids that would be pumped across Pennsylvania by the planned Mariner East 2 pipeline. The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration said operators of the approximately 200,000 [...]

Wolf hoping third time’s the charm on severance tax

After failing to pass a natural gas severance tax for the last two years, Governor Tom Wolf is hoping this year, the legislature will get on board with his proposal. Following an event at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia Tuesday evening, Wolf said he plans to ask for a tax on Marcellus Shale [...]

Under proposal, DEP would lose control of revenue from drilling penalties

A Republican state senator wants the legislature, rather than state environmental regulators, to control the money generated by oil and gas violations in Pennsylvania. Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R- Venango) recently sent out a co-sponsorship memo seeking support for new legislation. He sees it as a separation of powers issue. “Traditional legislative powers have drifted toward the [...]

DEP revising erosion and sediment control permits for oil and gas

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is updating the way it handles erosion and sediment control permits related to oil and gas development. A recent internal audit by the department raises questions about the efficacy of its expedited permit review process, which was established in 2012, and allows under certain conditions, a 14-business-day review for an [...]

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