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


Ginny Kerslake, an anti-pipeline activist, urged Gov. Tom Wolf to halt construction of the Mariner East pipelines.
Updated: September 19, 2019 | 3:06 pm

Court ruling clears way for Mariner East construction to restart at West Whiteland

PUC will have to lift injunction that blocked work at Chester County site, lawyers say
By Jon Hurdle

Crews work at the site of a sinkhole along the Mariner East pipeline route near the Pennsylvania State Police barracks on Route 1 in Delaware County on Thursday, April 25, 2019. Pipeline builder Sunoco said no pipelines were exposed and that the sinkhole was contained.

The proposed PennEast pipeline would pass through the fields of the Christman farm, seen from the intersection of Station Street and Pohopoco Drive in Lehighton.

Federal appeals court strikes blow to PennEast pipeline project

The Third Circuit decision blocks PennEast from condemning state-owned land in New Jersey
By Susan Phillips

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. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Most of a dangerous toxic chemical at the PES refinery is now neutralized — but risk remains

Exposure to hydrofluoric acid can cause serious injury or death, and the chemical has posed a threat since an explosion and fire ripped through the refinery in June.

By Susan Phillips

In the distance, construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline at Raystown Lake Recreation Area in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania.

Rosemary Fuller, an anti-pipeline activist, urged Gov. Tom Wolf to halt construction of the Mariner East pipelines.
Updated: August 26, 2019 | 10:08 am

Wolf tells pipeline activists he won’t shut down Mariner East

Gov. Tom Wolf met Chester County residents at a pipeline construction site. After one resident expressed concerns about pipeline safety, Wolf said, “I fully agree that we should do a better job but we disagree on whether we should keep doing this or not.”

By Jon Hurdle

‘Great progress’ in South Philly refinery cleanup, fire commissioner says

About half of the original 30,000 gallons of highly toxic hydrofluoric acid remains. “A good week,” Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel says.
By Susan Phillips

A sinkhole that opened up in January was surrounded by orange plastic fencing outside a suburban home at Lisa Drive in West Whiteland Township, Chester County.

Chester County DA files charges against two Sunoco security guards

Hogan says constables overstepped their bounds when patrolling a suburban development
By Jon Hurdle

Sunoco's Boot Road station, site of what the company called a 'backfire on a flare stack' Aug. 5 that residents said sounded like an explosion.
Updated: August 9, 2019 | 7:59 am

Pipeline experts say vapor buildup likely led to explosion at Chester County pump station

It looks like pilot light ignited excess hydrocarbons when it was re-lit, experts say
By Jon Hurdle

Neighbors and activists with Philly Thrive protest  Tuesday outside Preparatory Charter School ahead of the first meeting of the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery advisory group.
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