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Washington County

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Gas company fined for building pipelines in the wrong place

A natural gas company and a pipeline builder in southwestern Pennsylvania will be paying a combined $184,000 for constructing gathering lines outside the bounds of their permits. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection says in one case, the pipeline was constructed several hundred feet from where the line was supposed to be installed. In another [...]

Lawsuit accuses Range Resources and lab of doctoring water test results

A water testing company that worked with Range Resources to evaluate whether or not residential water supplies were contaminated is defending itself against a lawsuit that claims the company allowed the gas driller to alter a print out of the test results, which Range then submitted to the Department of Environmental Protection. The DEP used [...]

Don’t frack the rich? Comment puts focus on environmental justice

At a recent legal forum in Harrisburg, a prominent natural gas industry executive suggested his company tries to avoid drilling near rich people. “I was infuriated when I heard it,” says Patrick Grenter, of the environmental advocacy group, the Center for Coalfield Justice. ”I was sitting with some colleagues and I said to them, ‘Did he [...]

PennFuture urges township to scrap gas-drilling ordinance

An environmental group is challenging a zoning ordinance that allows gas drilling throughout a southwest Pennsylvania township, arguing that the measure is unconstitutional, and violates a state Supreme Court ruling that struck down part of the state’s controversial Act 13 oil and gas law. PennFuture says the ordinance by Mount Pleasant Township in Washington County [...]

Public health campaigners renew call for fracking health registry

Updating with comment from Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project Pennsylvania public health campaigners have issued a new call for the establishment of a statewide registry of health complaints that could be related to oil and gas development. Such a registry would help doctors and nurses identify patterns of health complaints by people living near sites [...]

Low gas price cuts impact-fee revenue for Pa. counties and municipalities

Pennsylvania’s local authorities will lose millions of dollars in fees from the natural gas industry this year because of lower gas prices in 2015. The Public Utility Commission announced on Jan. 30 that mostly because of the sharp fall in gas prices, it would be reducing the amounts paid to municipalities and counties from impact [...]

Fracking health complaints received little follow-up from the Department of Health

Newly released documents from the Pennsylvania Department of Health on fracking-related health complaints reveal a lack of follow-through and inaccurate record-keeping. The telephone logs, which span four years from 2011 to 2015, were gained through a Right-to-Know request by the environmental group Food and Water Watch. The documents include about 87 separate complaints from residents [...]

Pennsylvania case studies mirror EPA’s national fracking report

A federal investigation into links between fracking and drinking water contamination in Bradford and Susquehanna Counties found some private water wells had been damaged by methane and ethane migration caused by nearby fracking. But the report found no evidence that homeowners’ private water wells and springs had been affected by frack fluids or waste water. In [...]

Report cites lack of data on fracking health issues

More than a decade into the U.S. fracking boom, researchers still don’t have enough information to determine whether the controversial method of extracting oil and gas threatens public health, a leading health-policy journal said on Monday. Health Affairs, which analyzes public-health issues for readers including government officials, health-care advocates and scholars, said a lack of [...]

Shale gas boom has utilities rushing to increase electricity supply

One of the largest electricity providers in the Marcellus Shale gas region is planning to spend $35 million in infrastructure upgrades to accommodate the increasing need for power at natural gas processing plants and compressor stations. FirstEnergy Corp. recently announced plans to expand electric substations and upgrade large electric power lines. Tim Myers, a spokesman [...]

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