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Energy in 2017: Regulatory rollback and environmentalist angst

The priorities set by a new presidential administration dominated energy news in 2017. President Donald Trump and his cabinet set an agenda to “unleash” America’s energy potential, removing the barriers they perceive to be holding back domestic energy production — often to the dismay of the environmental community. Here’s a compilation of the year’s biggest [...]

Coke plant agrees to $1.5 million penalty for air pollution in western Pa. community

The world’s largest steelmaker has agreed to pay nearly $2 million because of air pollution violations at a Westmoreland County coke plant. In a settlement filed Wednesday in federal court in Pittsburgh, ArcelorMittal agreed to pay $1.5 million to state and federal regulators, and donate $300,000 to a local charity to implement clean air programs. [...]

Former DEP official tapped to lead EPA regional office

The Trump administration intends to name former Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Southeast Regional Director Cosmo Servidio as head of EPA’s Region 3 office, according to two people familiar with the move. Region 3 covers the Mid-Atlantic, encompassing Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Servidio was named DEP Southeast Regional [...]

EPA urges Pennsylvania to move faster on water safety issues

Federal regulators are urging Pennsylvania to act quickly to fix serious staffing shortfalls in the state’s safe drinking water program. In December EPA sent Pennsylvania a letter warning its water program was so under-staffed it was failing to enforce federal Safe Drinking Water Act standards. Pennsylvania responded by saying it planned to hike fees on public water [...]

EPA cuts would leave states with more work, less money

The Trump administration has proposed cutting 2.6 billion dollars from the Environmental Protection Agency. That’s about a third of its budget. It could mean state environmental agencies will have to do more work with less money. But in many places, those agencies are already strapped. Late last year the EPA sent Pennsylvania a letter warning its [...]

Wolf on water safety issues: ‘I’m looking into it’

Governor Tom Wolf is responding to a warning federal officials sent more a month ago, saying staffing shortages are seriously impairing the state’s abilities to enforce safe drinking water standards. Wolf appeared caught off guard Thursday when asked by a reporter about a December 30 letter the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sent to the state Department of Environmental [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Clinton energy adviser predicts Clean Power Plan will survive high court stay

A future Clinton administration would assume that the U.S. Supreme Court is going to uphold both the Clean Power Plan and the Environmental Protection Agency’s responsibility to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, Hillary Clinton’s energy adviser said on Wednesday. Trevor Houser also said that if the Democratic nominee becomes president, her administration [...]

EPA raises concerns about Atlantic Sunrise pipeline

The Environmental Protection Agency is raising concerns about the potential impacts of the proposed Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline. In a letter sent last week to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) the EPA criticizes FERC’s draft environmental impact statement, which found the pipeline would not create significant adverse impacts. Although FERC is charged with [...]

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