EXPLAINER | Delaware Watershed
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Delaware Watershed

The crew on the Drillboat Apache brings in lines tied to explosives used to break up rocks at the bottom of the Delaware River near Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania. It’s one of the final stages of a controversial project to deepen the river’s shipping channel.

Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

The crew on the Drillboat Apache brings in lines tied to explosives used to break up rocks at the bottom of the Delaware River near Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania. It’s one of the final stages of a controversial project to deepen the river’s shipping channel.

StateImpact Pennsylvania, Newsworks.org, WHYY and NJ Spotlight are collaborating on a series of stories about the Delaware River Watershed.

The watershed stretches from upstate New York through Pennsylvania and New Jersey, emptying out in the Delaware Bay. It supplies water to more than 15 million people, or about 5% of the nation’s population. Its natural lands both protect clean water and provide a habitat of regional and hemispheric importance.

The story of the river includes stories of its people and wildlife that depend on it for survival; the threats to continued sources of clean water; and the river as an economic engine.

The project is funded by The William Penn Foundation. Below are contributions from StateImpact Pennsylvania.

Latest stories


Several C-5 Galaxies sit on the flightline during the morning sunrise at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, home to the 436th Airlift Wing. Photo used under creative commons license (https://bit.ly/1jNlqZo).

A fire burns at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery hours after a series of early morning explosions at the 150-year-old industrial complex at 3100 W. Passyunk Ave. on June 21.

Philadelphia Energy Solutions' refinery.
Updated: July 11, 2019 | 3:34 pm

Philadelphia Energy Solutions extends pay for refinery workers

Majority workers will now get paid until the end of August.
By Emily Pontecorvo, WHYY

Philadelphia Energy Solutions workers leave the South Philly plant Wednesday. The plant, scheduled to close next month, employs about 1,000 people.

Refinery workers watch protestors outside the PES refinery Tuesday.

Jessica Cutaiar never liked the taste of the well water at her Sellersville home. Now she knows it is contaminated with PFAS, a chemical used in fire retardant foam.

Residents with PFAS-contaminated private well water in limbo as DEP investigates cause

Those with private wells close to bases where PFAS chemicals were used have received bottled water. But some places are too far away for the contamination to be the direct result of training exercises, and too far away to have been tested by the Environmental Protection Agency.

By Dana Bate, WHYY

Philadelphia Energy Solutions workers leave the South Philly plant Wednesday. The plant, scheduled to close next month, employs about 1,000 people.
Updated: June 28, 2019 | 5:48 pm

Lawsuit claims Philadelphia Energy Solutions failed to give workers ample warning of layoffs

Federal law: Certain employers must give 60 days notice, or provide severance pay 
By Susan Phillips

Philadelphia firefighters gather at the entrance to Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refinery, while a large flare burns off fuel to prevent it from feeding the massive fire at the refinery.

The Philadelphia skyline is seen along the banks of the Delaware River.

A fire burns at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery hours after a series of early morning explosions at the 150-year-old industrial complex at 3100 W. Passyunk Ave. on June 21.
Updated: June 26, 2019 | 5:36 pm

Philadelphia refinery damaged by fire will close, city says; union calls layoffs a ‘disgrace’

The explosion and fire took a day and a half to extinguish and destroyed the unit that turned crude oil into gasoline. Four employees were hurt.

By Susan Phillips
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