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Pa. environmental chief waiting to see what Trump administration will bring

Acting DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell speaks at an event in the Capitol Rotunda in June.

President-elect Donald Trump is solidifying his cabinet, and he appears poised to reverse of many of the Obama administration’s energy and environmental initiatives—including its signature climate change initiative, the Clean Power Plan. A lot of attention is now turning to how states and local governments will address climate change. Trump recently tapped Oklahoma Attorney General Scott [...]

DEP ignores concerned citizen, while discussing improving public outreach

Under Governor Tom Wolf, the state Department of Environmental Protection pledged to renew its focus on environmental justice. The idea is to protect marginalized communities, such as minorities and people in poverty, who often bear the brunt of industrial development. However, in a bizarre episode at a public meeting in Harrisburg Wednesday, two DEP advisory [...]

DEP unveils permit requirements to curb air pollution at gas sites

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is taking steps to curb harmful air emissions from natural gas sites. At an advisory committee meeting Thursday, regulators unveiled new draft permit requirements. “Shortly, we’ll be formally publishing the draft documents in the Pennsylvania Bulletin,” says Krishnan Ramamurthy, DEP’s acting Director for Air Quality. ”We’ll be opening it for [...]

Climate-change-denier may be named to head EPA

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) President-elect Donald Trump is expected to nominate Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, a source close to Pruitt has told The Associated Press. Pruitt has been a booster of the fossil fuel industry and an outspoken critic of what he derides as the EPA’s “activist agenda.” The 48-year-old [...]

Rice Energy fined $3.5 million for wellsite and pipeline violations

State environmental regulators announced $3.5 million in penalties against gas driller Rice Energy, for violations related to its well sites and pipelines. The state Department of Environmental Protection says the issues spanned several years and included failures to secure proper permits, maintain erosion and sedimentation controls, and wastewater releases. “Minimizing the impacts that drilling activity [...]

DEP appeals court’s hold on sections of new drilling rules

Pennsylvania is appealing a court ruling that temporarily blocked sections of new gas drilling regulations, saying they are “commonsense” rules designed to protect the public and took years to develop with the help of the industry. The Department of Environmental Protection filed the appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday after a Commonwealth Court [...]

Federal government blocks Dakota Access oil pipeline route

CANNON BALL, N.D. (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Sunday that it won’t grant an easement for the Dakota Access oil pipeline in southern North Dakota, handing a victory to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its supporters, who argued the project would threaten the tribe’s water source and cultural sites. North [...]

Gas power plants face $97,000 in fines for water use

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission is considering $97,000 in penalties against a Dallas, Texas based private equity firm building three natural gas power plants in Pennsylvania. At its December 8th meeting in Annapolis, Maryland, the SRBC will consider proposed settlement agreements with Panda Power Funds, for mishandling water usage at its plants in Lycoming, Bradford, [...]

Two decades of competitive electricity in Pennsylvania

Twenty years ago, Pennsylvania enacted the Electricity Generation Customer Choice and Competition Act of 1996, shattering the long-held paradigm of monopolistic energy distribution. The act allowed Pennsylvanians to shop for competitively priced electricity from the source, choosing how it is generated it and who supplies it, essentially creating a la carte energy delivery rather than [...]

New methane rules coming for Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry

Pennsylvania regulators are soon planning to introduce new regulations to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, despite expectations President-Elect Donald Trump may seek to roll back new federal rules. Methane is the main component of natural gas and a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global climate change. The state Department of Environmental [...]

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