Trump Proposes Oil And Gas Drilling Off The Atlantic Coast

President Trump wants to open up almost all federal waters to offshore drilling, including waters along the coasts of New Jersey and Delaware. The draft proposalcould lead to the largest lease sale ever. But the plan would face substantial opposition along the New Jersey and Delaware shorelines. Read full story here. 

PA Suspends All Construction On Mariner East 2 Pipeline

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection on Wednesday suspended all construction on Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 pipeline, saying it has violated the conditions of two kinds of permits. “Sunoco must cease all construction activity on the pipeline project, except for maintenance of erosion controls and limited maintenance of horizontal directional drilling equipment,” the DEP said in a statement. Read full story here. 

Cuomo Calls For Major Investment, New Approach To Algal Blooms

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing an investment of $65 million into fighting algal blooms that have created an increasing number of problems across the state in recent years. The Cuomo administration will target 12 priority lakes in four different regions that are vulnerable to harmful algal blooms. They are all different, and lessons learned form studying each lake would be applied to other similar lakes going forward. Greg Boyer of SUNY ESF in Syracuse has been studying algal blooms for years. He says this approach works because not all algal blooms are created equally. "It’s not going to be one size fits all," Boyer said.

EPA Union Leader: Public Records Request Was ‘Retaliation’

With looming budget cuts threatening jobs, employees at the Environmental Protection Agency have something else to worry about. A private agency investigated employees who criticized the EPA, according to a report in the New York Times. When EPA union official Gary Morton protested proposed budget cuts during his lunch hour last March outside EPA’s Region 3 headquarters in Center City Philadelphia, he didn’t think it would lead to a public records request regarding his emails. Read full story here. 

Federal Regulators Won’t Reconsider Approval Of Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline

Federal regulators won’t revisit their decision to approve a major natural gas transmission pipeline through Pennsylvania. In a December 6 order, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) denied a rehearing request by landowners, anti-pipeline activists, environmental groups, Native American tribes and the public service commissions of North Carolina and New York. They were challenging FERC’s approval of the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline. Read full story here. 

Study: Low Birth Weights Linked To Fracking Sites

Infants born to mothers who live very close to natural gas fracking sites have a higher risk of low birth weight, according to a new peer-reviewed study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances. 

The study is the largest of its kind, and was conducted by researchers from the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago and Princeton University. It builds on previous research that also found health impacts to infants born near gas wells in Pennsylvania. Read full story here. 

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Group: At Least 3.8 Billion Gallons Of Sewage Discharged Into New York Waters

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - A group that says it works to protect our air, land, water and wildlife is updating its 2016 report “Tapped Out: New York’s Clean Water in Peril, and they’re finding billions of gallons of sewage are being discharged in state waterways. Liz Moran is water and natural resources director for Environmental Advocates of New York. “We’ve found that since 2013, 10,687 sewage overflow events in New York State have been reported, totaling to over 3.8 billion gallons of sewage discharged,” she said. Moran says thanks to the Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act of 2012, reporting of overflows has greatly improved, but the group maintains serious underreporting exists. She points to Chemung County, which has reported only 1 sewage overflow since 2013.

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New York’s Fracking Ban Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be

In 2014, Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a bold statement by banning hydraulic fracturing in the Empire State, declaring alongside his health commissioner that “no child should live near” a shale-gas well because of its potential harm. 

The governor’s proclamation made him a hero among environmentalists and persona non grata in the oil and gas industry. Energy in Depth, an industry-funded website, criticized Cuomo for basing the moratorium on dubious science “to kowtow to Yoko Ono, Mark Ruffalo, and all of the environmental pressure groups in New York.”

In truth, though, the picture is murkier, and Cuomo’s ban is less than absolute. Moratorium notwithstanding, New York is still reaping the rewards of fracking, importing shale gas from neighboring Pennsylvania and preparing to process it in a mammoth power plant under construction 65 miles northwest of New York City. Read full story here.