As PA gubernatorial candidates push more gas production, report collects studies that show fracking harms
Industry condemns the report, while advocates cite growing climate fears.
Industry condemns the report, while advocates cite growing climate fears.
StateImpact Pennsylvania checked in on how climate change and energy issues are playing out in the state’s race for governor.
Companies in Appalachia pursue $8B in infrastructure funds for network of natural gas and ‘blue’ hydrogen
Among the goals is requiring 85% of homes and commercial buildings to be equipped with electrified heat pumps instead of fossil fuel-based furnaces.
Lawmakers opposed to joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative promised to fight on in court, while environmental groups hailed the move.
There are still things we can do about climate change, including changes to one of our biggest sources of climate polluting emissions: transportation.
A Pennsylvania court is holding up the regulation that would let the state join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
The measures seek to halt Gov. Tom Wolf’s moratorium on new drilling under state forests.
Biden Administration touts job-creating potential of wind industry
While lanternflies can stress trees, it appears they only kill grapevines and tree of heaven, also an invasive species, directly by feeding on them.
Critics say the one year timeframe for creating new regulations is especially unworkable. New regulations often take up to two years to develop.
“Not only does this put the health of Pennsylvania families at risk, but it also means more methane pollution.”
“You can’t leave it to the last minute. This is not like a term paper in college that you can just pull an all-nighter and make it happen.”
The state expects the rule will cost water systems more than $121 million a year for treatment and monitoring.
“Right now juices and Gatorade aren’t covered by the Bottle Bill and we need to see those plastics get back into the recycling stream.”
Virtual Panel & Screening
November 18 at 7pm ET
What would happen if wine, maple syrup, and apples disappeared from our tables? This is what’s at stake with invasive species.
Join us for a screening and panel discussion on ‘Uninvited: The Spread of Invasive Species’ released by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. Hear from experts from New York: DEC Forest Health Diagnostic Lab Coordinator Jess Cancelliere, Ag & Markets Division of Plant Industry Coordinator Chris Logue, and filmmaker Steve Powers. They will share which invasive species are having a large impact on ecosystems and the economy and what New York State is doing to help.
There are pros and cons to a ballot proposal that would guarantee New Yorkers’ rights to clean air and water.
“15 simple words, each person shall have a right to clean air and clean water and a healthful environment.”
Texas-based pipeline builder Energy Transfer faces 48 criminal charges related to construction of its Mariner East pipeline project.
Treatments include “trap-trees” with a synthetic insecticide, a full-year applied pesticide, and treating any egg masses with a soybean-based product.
“Gasoline and diesel fuel vehicles are responsible for smog, toxic particulate matter that drives adverse health outcomes.”
“This is a major, major initiative to deliver clean, healthier air and more electricity to New York City.”
The compounds, known as Neonicotinoids, or “neonics,” have been widely used during the past 15 years in a pre-treatment for corn, soy and wheat seeds.
Earlier research found oil and gas brines contain harmful material
Students heading back to school may not hear about climate change in the classroom because of outdated science education standards.
The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources says climate change is front-and-center as it plans for the future of the Commonwealth’s parks. CLICK HERE.
Pa. adopted rules intended to protect people from market volatility like what Texas saw last winter
“I mean, they’re adorable, but unfortunately… these two tiny birds [could] cause the livelihoods and the property values of a lot of people.”
Natural gas still leads as the nation’s top source of electricity, generating 1,617 kWh last year, or about 40% of U.S. power generation.
“We’re starting to see it more and more. The weather patterns, I think are changing.”
Sturgeon are native to Lake Ontario and the Genesee River, but habitat loss and overfishing decimated the population, causing it to dwindle to almost nothing by the early 1900s.
Pennsylvania would be among top beneficiaries of cleaner air
“We would like him to remove all dirty fossil fuel solutions, including, for example, the combined heat and power plants, which run on fracked gas. That, under Mr. Tonko’s definition, is clean energy,”
STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Companies that drill for natural gas in Pennsylvania have used EPA-approved PFAS or pre-cursors to PFAS in fracking operations in other states, according to a report by Physicians for Social Responsibility. CLICK HERE.
Unconventional wells produced 7.1 trillion cubic feet of gas last year, even as national and regional natural gas prices dipped in response to the pandemic.
Wildlife officials are asking people not to feed birds or provide bird baths amid dozens of reports of mysterious songbird deaths.
“Voters are going to be asked a simple question. Should we add to New York state’s bill of rights, the right to clean air, clean water and a healthful environment?”
“The pandemic made it clear that traffic is an important source of pollutants for the air that we breathe. But the fact that we have this data will allow us to understand those interactions better.”
The Students for Solar Act passed with unanimous support in the state Senate, but never reached the floor of the Assembly for a vote.
The invasive worms, which reproduce rapidly, are creating havoc in forests. They thrash around so violently that they can jump out of a person’s hand. They also lose their tail — on purpose.
Originally known as the Niagara Mohawk Power Plant, the facility operated from the 1950s until 2015. Decommissioning began last year.
Pennsylvania hopes to bring down a boom in the gypsy moth population, spraying for the invasive species of caterpillar in 19 counties, including northwest Pennsylvania.
“The car is a way of life here. It is not just for recreational purposes. People need this to go to work. People need this to take care of business.”
“We want to make it easier for customers to have access to them wherever you live in New York state, not just in the downstate markets.”
There are strict orders in quarantine counties aimed at stopping the invasive pest’s spread westward or even between municipalities within a county.
“We do need to find a way to pay for all the transportation, housing, industrial changes that the state will undertake.”
Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt said he was concerned about a proposed fee in the legislation that would charge fossil fuel companies $55 per ton of greenhouse gases.
Fracking caused upheaval over the disruption and environmental degradation in the rural communities surrounding Williamsport, and challenged the rural values of independence and sovereignty over private property.
Environmental experts urge people to cut the ear loops off their masks before throwing them in the trash. Sea turtles, birds, and other marine wildlife can become entangled in the loops.
In a letter to the president, 12 governors asked that the White House order a ban on greenhouse gas-emitting cars and light trucks within 14 years.
“New York State’s pension fund is at the leading edge of investors addressing climate risk, because investing for the low-carbon future is essential to protect the fund’s long-term value.”
“Jobs in renewables don’t always match up for displaced workers.”
New York state leaders say an agreement has been reached concerning the decommissioning and cleanup of the Indian Point nuclear power plant in the lower Hudson Valley.
When the ice melts each spring, the ship visits each of the five lakes to measure basic water quality and sample the “lower food web” — the tiny animals, plants, and algae that support fish and other aquatic life.
Salty wastewater produced by fracking for oil and gas has to go somewhere. Often, it’s injected into disposal wells deep underground. But sometimes that wastewater can find its way back to the surface and cause environmental problems.
Critics push PA to set enforceable drinking water levels to protect public health
A study by Penn State researchers found that songbirds nesting near the sound of natural gas compressors had fewer hatched eggs.
“We know that in particular young children are at risk of neurological and behavioral health consequences associated with developing bodies and that is something that lasts forever.”
Environmental advocates say money in the state budget meant for environmental initiatives needs to stay intact. Advocates want the state to fund the environmental programs they promised.
“The public comment period just makes it clear that Pennsylvanians are really clamoring for concrete action to reduce climate pollution.”
“We need Joe Biden to demonstrate that he truly is a man that believes in science and believes in honoring the commitment to protect future generations.”
“We should engage in everyday actions and changes in our lifestyle, that reduce our environmental footprint, that often make us healthier and happier and save us money, things we ought to do anyway.”
“As the ash borer population increases and the tree health declines, they become a safety hazard.”
Plans include new solar farms and off shore wind turbines, and more transmission lines across the state.
Of the 149 projects granted money from the Growing Greener program, 43 in south central Pennsylvania will get $12 million.
State announced $3.9 M studies after pressure from families of rare cancer patients in SW PA
President-elect Biden says he will rejoin the Paris Agreement on day one.
Energy, pollution policies are felt deeply in Pennsylvania.
“It could not come a day too soon. New Yorkers use a staggering 23 billion plastic bags every year.”
The COVID-19 pandemic, and an unsuccessful lawsuit brought by the plastics industry delayed its implementation.
New York state will begin enforcing its ban on single-use carry-out plastic bags next month after a brief hiatus of the law due to a legal challenge brought earlier this year.
In 2017, the Trump administration scaled back protections of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. A federal judge has now struck down the rule change — and cited To Kill a Mockingbird in so doing.
“And the really cool thing is when you fill out a survey on your smartphone, it geolocates you. We’re able to go back to that exact same spot and we’ll do the water quality testing.”
“I think these are still historic and appropriate and protective drinking water standards that will protect New Yorkers for decades to come.”
New York, fearing the financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, has decided to pull an item from this year’s ballot to decide if the state should borrow $3 billion to fund a series of environmental projects related to climate change.
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul tweeted it is “the largest ever combined solicitations for renewable energy ever issued in the U.S.”
This will be the 25th time Hawkins has run for office, but his first national campaign. He’s run for Congress, U.S. Senate, governor and several other state and local offices.
“They’re tipping the balance towards a more diverse ecosystem. The result will be beauty and color in the landscape, new homes for butterflies improved water quality and a stronger web of life.”
Secretary of Environmental Resources and Energy panel said he was offended by AG’s characterization of natural gas industry
Grand jury makes proposals on regulation, oversight of fracking industry
“When a crime is committed because of how a company does business, rather than an individual’s actions, we charge the company.”
In recent years, climate activists and states have used the Clean Water Act to block pipelines and other fossil fuel projects. A new EPA rule makes that harder,
Estimates don’t capture leaks from ‘abnormal’ conditions, Environmental Defense Fund says
“The whole spring season is basically lost.”
Regulator, company at odds over erosion, hillside slips
“The science just does not back up shifting to plastic bags. But everyone is trying to make the best of a really difficult situation.”
‘Everything that can go wrong, has gone wrong’
“Politicians took notice. Nothing like this had ever happened. It was obvious that people really cared more than anyone had known about clean air and clean water.”
“I think it is a good time to reflect on the power of nature, and where we were as a planet 50 years ago, and where we want to get.”
“I think that we would have a less severe outbreak if we had lower levels of air pollution.”
Federal agency said new policy doesn’t mean facilities can exceed allowed pollution limits
“Trees, as a group, are more responsive to these temperature shifts than wildflowers,”
Wolf administration grants all of Energy Transfer’s waiver requests
Company says state has allowed some work to continue.
Construction on the Mariner East pipeline appears to be halted by Gov. Wolf’s new order that shuts down all “non-life-sustaining” operations and businesses.
“We’re lucky that over half of our shoppers are already using reusable bags. We sell dozens of different kinds. It’s kind of a normal thing here.”
The group said it occupied the bank to protest its investment in the fossil fuel industry.
The Department of Environmental Conservation has stepped up its efforts in recent days to help New Yorkers understand the new rules.
“They’re going to have a mess on their hands when this really goes into effect. There’s going to be some clean up on aisle three.”
DEP acting on governor’s executive order — which Republicans are challenging
Pennsylvania is getting less money from the federal government this year to clean up its old abandoned mines.
In annual budget address, Wolf talked about need for pipeline reform
Support for a ban strong in cities and suburbs; weak in rural SW Pennsylvania
Plastics build-out could conflict with governor’s climate goals
New York and Pennsylvania joined 12 other states and the District of Columbia in a federal lawsuit that says the new rules violate the Clean Air Act.
His latest ask is more than a billion dollars to clean up lead and asbestos in Pennsylvania’s schools, houses and water systems.
The grocery chain is getting an early start on the state-wide ban, which begins in March.
“If we want to lower our transportation emissions, we have to address getting people out of their personal vehicles or ensuring that the personal vehicles that are left become electrified more rapidly.”
In Philadelphia, the survey found two of the most commonly researched PFAS chemicals at levels far below the EPA’s recommended limit.
DEP quietly withdrew the fine for faulty drilling after the company promised to fix the problems.
“We want to get the job done to make the roads safe, but I don’t want salt laying all over the roads and having piles of it. It’s not good for the environment.”
Critics of his proposed changes say they would favor corporate interests over public health, allowing the potential for air and water quality to be compromised.
Fracking pollution not included in study; could lessen health benefits, author says
Wegmans debuted the no-plastic policy at its Corning and Ithaca stores and called the pilot program successful.
The measure would make illegal the use of the plastic foam for single-use food containers by restaurants, caterers, food trucks, retail food stores, delis and grocery stores.
State regulators have released new rules to enforce the changes, but groups on both sides of the issue say those rules are flawed.
“I’ve been on the road pretty much constantly for six months.”
Taxes and bans on single use plastics try to combat plastics in the oceans
They’re delivering petitions to Albany this week, signed by more than 7,000 residents across the state who say they want New York to reduce vehicle emissions by 55 percent by 2035.
Amid federal inaction, there’s no consensus on how much of the PFAS class of chemicals is too much.
“What would I say now? I would say because of the regional and local health concerns and concerns about climate change, we should stop fracking–everywhere.”
Proposed bill would require Legislature to OK Pennsylvania becoming part of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
Without the fee, Dawson said there is a risk Tompkins County will just swap one trash problem for another.
Natural gas is mostly used for heating homes or fueling power plants. But when it comes out of the ground, it contains another key ingredient — ethane, a building block of plastics.
To turn ethane into the building block of plastic, petrochemical companies are investing in ethane cracker plants, raising concerns about what these facilities could mean for air pollution and climate change.
Pennsylvania’s Republican US Senator introduced a resolution he hopes will enable Congress to defeat future presidents’ fracking bans in court.
Rules on coal ash ponds, wastewater from coal-fired power plants are targeted
Plastic doesn’t go away, but it breaks down in the environment. One bottle can degrade into hundreds, even thousands, of tiny pieces of plastic the size of a grain of sand, which can be eaten by birds or fish.
Two Democratic state lawmakers have introduced a bill that would give customers in cafes, fast food shops and even in some restaurants, the option to use their own container for coffee, water, or to bring home left overs.
Cheryl LaFleur fears regulator’s credibility is hurt by more party-line voting
Almost a year after lines opened, residents will say the project remains a risk to public safety
Resolves 2018 order involving more than 1,000 wells.
“This is not 1970, where we can have the concept that because of economic reasons, we can have acceptable levels of materials like this in our drinking water.”
Rafe Pomerance has been a climate activist for 40 years. As an environmental lobbyist for Friends of the Earth, he was one of the first people to agitate for bi-partisan action after reading a 1978 EPA report on coal.
Last Friday around noon, Three Mile Island nuclear power plant stopped producing electricity, part of Exelon Corp.’s plan to close and decommission the plant over the next 60 years.
Those people who support nuclear worry that without tax breaks, the plants will be shut out of a competitive energy market
Owners of existing clean energy power plants in New York say they’d like the same support from the state for their businesses that new ones get.
Strike organizers are calling on their fellow young people to skip school Friday and rally to demand greater action against climate change.
“When you’re looking down on something rather than at ground level, you certainly get to see more of what’s going on.”
The Commonwealth Court said last week that the Democratic senator, an outspoken critic of Sunoco, did not have personal or legislative standing to bring a complaint
Meanwhile, environmental groups like the Chesapeake Bay Foundation say the move is an “assault” on clean water.
The Environmental Working Group wants a standardized monitoring system across the U.S. to better inform the public about harmful algal blooms.
“At this time, when our bees are dying off, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has done a very quiet but very dumb thing. They’ve stopped collecting critical scientific data on honeybees.”
Whey Street Dairy received the 2019 State Agricultural Environmental Management Award.
The company did not explain what caused the backfire but apologized for the noise, which alarmed neighbors and fueled longstanding concerns about the safety of the new pipelines, which carry highly volatile natural gas liquids.
A New York metastudy details the adverse effects fracking has on Pennsylvania’s environment, its climate and human health.
An opponent of the Mariner East project says he will ask an appeals court to order the Public Utility Commission to disclose documents containing its calculations on the effects of an accidental release of natural gas liquids from the pipelines.
A Salt Lake City-based company is in talks to purchase and dismantle Three Mile Island’s long-mothballed Unit 2 reactor — the site of the nation’s worst nuclear accident in 1979.
The power grid operator has received appeals from around the country to ensure its next leader prioritizes clean energy.
Quagga mussels have few natural predators, and have been successful in the Great Lakes and other lakes across North America since being carried here by ships from Europe in the 1980s.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Thursday mandating 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040, and an 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. That’s below levels from 1990.
Earlier this week, the state said it will set the nation’s lowest allowable level for industrial chemicals that have contaminated some communities’ drinking water.
It’s absolutely the wrong direction to be decreasing, rather than increasing, our contributions to environmental programs through the state budget.”
Pennsylvania is the third-largest coal producing state in the country. But coal generated electricity plants have struggled to compete with cheaper natural gas and renewable energy.
“It’s going to create a road map to 2050, and it’s going to recommend regulations, incentives and a plan to really change the whole economy.”
PJM is now trying to walk a fine line between respecting states’ rights and figuring out how to incorporate their climate polices into its wholesale electricity market.
New York City just became the first city in the US to adopt a congestion pricing plan. The plan is expected to raise about $1.5 billion in revenue every year, mostly for its crumbling subway system.
After months of Democratic Governor Tom Wolf promoting a sweeping infrastructure plan funded by a tax on natural gas drillers, some Senate Republicans have come up with an alternative.
Environmental group asks appeals court to order Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection to set health standard
Nudges can change behavior, but for many societal problems like climate change, they are not sufficient.
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal says the eight companies knew for decades that PFOA and PFOS used as a main component of firefighting foam would contaminate the environment.
The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant, site of the nation’s worst nuclear accident, will shut down by the end of September. Backers failed to secure subsidies to keep the plant operating.
“It’s not just about the environment. It’s about jobs. These are great, high-paying jobs we can create by going to renewable energy.”
“All they’ve ever gotten is a slap on the wrist. It’s time for that to change. I’ll hold the oil and gas companies criminally liable for poisoning our air and our drinking water.”
“It’s a poor choice of words. It’s not a fair comparison. I mean these are working folk, these are salt-of-the-earth people.”
Nuclear power plants in Pennsylvania and around the country are running out of room to store spent fuel. Private companies are pitching their own solutions.
“Why did they (state inspectors) grant these water permits the way they did? What was the rush in February, 2017? Did anyone put pressure on them to encourage that?”
It may not be pretty, but supporters of the Eastern hellbender say it’s a vital reminder to keep streams and waterways healthy.
Several members of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee met in Pittsburgh for a hearing on methane, the main component of natural gas and a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.
The supermarket chain wants to get ahead of the curve because of the transition that will be needed to get customers accustomed to using the reusable shopping bags.
The Eastern hellbender salamander may not be a looker. But its sensitivity to pollution and changing water conditions makes the creature a useful indicator for water quality in rivers and streams.
A renewed legislative effort to curb the use of disposable plastic shopping bags in Pennsylvania is milder than measures enacted in some other states.
Jair Bolsonaro is outspoken about his desire to roll back environmental protections. Mayor Bill de Blasio applauded the American Museum of Natural History’s move “on behalf of our city.”
The ramifications of the petition could be politically significant– allowing major climate policy to be implemented without new legislation.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said it will sample more than 300 water systems starting in May in a program that is due to last a year.
“No real reason has been given to pass this legislation, other than we need the money to enhance our profit margin and to charge more for nuclear power.”