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Overall methane emissions from shale industry rise, other air pollutants down

Climate-damaging methane emissions, as well as volatile organic compounds from Pennsylvania’s shale gas industry are on the rise, while other harmful air pollutants have decreased, according to new data released Thursday by the state Department of Environmental Protection. The methane uptick is largely due to growth in the number of facilities filing reports, the agency says, […]

PA, Philadelphia will press on with climate policies despite Trump withdrawal from Paris pact

President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the landmark Paris climate accord isn’t likely to derail Pennsylvania’s efforts to curb methane emissions, and it strengthens Philadelphia’s determination to set its own climate policy, officials said. Trump’s rejection on Thursday of the historic agreement to stop global temperatures rising more than an average of 2 degrees […]

Friends and foes of gas industry converge on state Capitol

Two starkly different versions of reality were on display Wednesday morning at the state Capitol in Harrisburg. Inside the building, a joint hearing by Republicans from the Senate Majority Policy Committee and Environmental Resources and Energy Committee examined the economic benefits natural gas production has brought Pennsylvania– with skyrocketing production, tens of thousands of new jobs, […]

Lawmaker calls DEP methane strategy a ‘blatant disregard’ of the law

A Republican state lawmaker is accusing Pennsylvania environmental regulators of overstepping their authority, as they attempt to limit climate-damaging methane leaks from shale gas sites. In a February 10 letter, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R- Butler) accuses Acting Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell of trying to sidestep a 35-year-old law, known as the Regulatory […]

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 […]

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 […]

New fracking reports clash over effects on health, environment, climate change

A long-running fight over whether unconventional oil and natural gas development harms air, water and human health entered its latest round with the simultaneous release of reports from both camps claiming accumulating evidence for their arguments. Two groups of physicians on Thursday released their latest compilation of scientific studies, government and industry reports, and journalistic investigations […]

Google Street View cars to seek methane leaks in Pittsburgh

Leaking methane from natural gas pipes in Pittsburgh will be detected by sensors attached to Google’s Street View cars under an agreement announced on Tuesday. The tech giant will be working with Carnegie Mellon University, the Environmental Defense Fund, the People’s Natural Gas utility, and the office of Governor Tom Wolf to develop a map […]

Pennsylvania has more abandoned wells than expected, says new study

Pennsylvania has more abandoned oil and gas wells than previously thought, and some are leaking large amounts of climate-damaging methane gas, according to a new study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers from Princeton and Stanford combined field observations with old books, literature, historical documents and modern databases to […]

Federal task force recommends safety upgrades for gas storage facilities

A federal task force has issued new safety recommendations for gas storage facilities, following the largest methane leak in U.S. history. The report released Tuesday comes in the wake of the massive leak at the Aliso Canyon storage field in Los Angles County, California, which sent more than 90,000 metric tons of methane into the […]

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