Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

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

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Senate bill would encourage use of coal mine water to frack

A bill that would encourage the use of coal mine water to frack natural gas wells was approved by the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee on Monday. Senate Bill 875 limits potential liabilities for producers who would use the polluted mine water, instead of cleaner fresh water, in the drilling process. Using acid mine drainage [...]

DEP issues permits to Shell for possible ethane cracker

Shell Chemical moved a step closer to the possible construction of a major petrochemical plant in western Pennsylvania on Friday when it received four permits for air quality and water management from the state’s Department of Environmental Protection. Four years after announcing it was considering building the multi-billion-dollar plant in Beaver County about 25 miles [...]

DEP plans new fracking chemical disclosure site, promises more transparency

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection is developing several tools to make information on natural gas drilling more accessible to the public. This includes a new fracking chemical disclosure site, a web portal for information on each natural gas well, and opportunities for the public to comment on proposed DEP policies. DEP Secretary John Quigley says [...]

DEP seeks record fine of $8.9 million from Range Resources

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced a record fine today against the Texas-based Range Resources, which the agency says has failed to fix a gas well that polluted groundwater and a stream in Lycoming County. The DEP announced Tuesday that it will assess an $8.9 million fine against Range for refusing to fix the [...]

Pennsylvania case studies mirror EPA’s national fracking report

A federal investigation into links between fracking and drinking water contamination in Bradford and Susquehanna Counties found some private water wells had been damaged by methane and ethane migration caused by nearby fracking. But the report found no evidence that homeowners’ private water wells and springs had been affected by frack fluids or waste water. In [...]

Critics say EPA fracking study offers little to advance public debate

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s long-awaited report on fracking and drinking water is short on new research, and avoids discussing some high-profile cases where gas development is alleged to have contaminated water, analysts said. The report, issued on June 4, some four years after the EPA began its investigation, was immediately hailed by both the [...]

Pennsylvania lawmakers seek answers on oil train safety

As the shipment of oil by train has skyrocketed in Pennsylvania and around the nation, lawmakers in Harrisburg want to weigh in on safety issues. Unfortunately they have little authority, since the rail industry is regulated almost exclusively by the federal government. Every week between 60-70 trains carrying crude oil from North Dakota travel through [...]

Quigley confirmed as DEP secretary

The state senate confirmed Governor Wolf’s nominee, John Quigley, to head the state Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday in a 44-4 vote. Quigley has served as acting DEP secretary since January. He previously headed the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) during the Rendell administration. During his confirmation hearing Tuesday, some Republican senators [...]

Panel moves Quigley nomination to full senate, without recommendation

A panel of state senators declined Tuesday to endorse Governor Wolf’s pick to head the state Department of Environmental Protection. Without the committee’s official approval or disapproval, acting secretary John Quigley’s nomination now heads to the full senate. The official word from the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee was “no recommendation,” but the Republican chair, [...]

New water-quality rule expected to affect energy companies

Pennsylvania’s energy companies are expected to be among businesses that will be affected by a new federal rule extending the protection of the Clean Water Act to small tributaries and other waterways that feed major rivers supplying drinking water to millions of people. Operators of natural gas rigs or builders of pipelines will likely have [...]

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