Industry rejects report, calls gas development a ‘game-changer for local economies’
Industry rejects report, calls gas development a ‘game-changer for local economies’
“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.”
State announced $3.9 M studies after pressure from families of rare cancer patients in SW PA
Plans are in early stages, but people weary of water contamination are on edge
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
Help with refinancing debt could help shale companies in PA
Regulator, company at odds over erosion, hillside slips
Support for a ban strong in cities and suburbs; weak in rural SW Pennsylvania
DEP quietly withdrew the fine for faulty drilling after the company promised to fix the problems.
Republicans are pushing for looser regulations on conventional oil and gas drillers, who generally run small operations and work with relatively shallow wells.
Fracking pollution not included in study; could lessen health benefits, author says
The settlement also lifts a nearly year-long permit freeze on the company’s other pipeline projects, including the cross-state Mariner East pipelines.
Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia accounted for one third of the country’s shale gas production in 2019.
Carnegie Mellon University study focused on Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia
Taxes and bans on single use plastics try to combat plastics in the oceans
“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.”
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.
Tom Wolf, a Democrat, addressed the situation for the first time Wednesday afternoon, saying he is not aware of any wrongdoing.
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.
Almost a year after lines opened, residents will say the project remains a risk to public safety
According to NYSEG there are three ways to identify a leak: by smell, by sound, or by sight.
Resolves 2018 order involving more than 1,000 wells.
“The benefit is there’s employment in the area. But the rest of the town’s neglected and I don’t feel our town of Grangemouth benefits as much as it should, with an oil refinery on our doorstep.”
The raft of proposals serves as a rejection of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s own energy plan.
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
For decades, the United Kingdom has relied on oil and gas from the North Sea. Those fields, first developed in the 1960s and 70s, are declining.
Their call for action comes as the Trump administration works to loosen federal regulations on the powerful greenhouse gas.
The massive refinery and petrochemical complex in Grangemouth, Scotland, run by INEOS, was one of the first overseas plants to receive Pennsylvania ethane.
A federal appeals court has blocked PennEast pipeline company from condemning state-owned land for its proposed 116-mile long line that would ship Marcellus Shale gas from northeast Pennsylvania to New Jersey.
The facility is part of what industry boosters hope will be a new plastics and chemical manufacturing base in the upper Ohio Valley, but many residents here worry about the heat-trapping gases and plastic waste.
A New York metastudy details the adverse effects fracking has on Pennsylvania’s environment, its climate and human health.
Pennsylvania’s impact fee on natural gas producers raised more money in 2018 to offset the effects of shale development than at any time in the fee’s seven-year history
The court document was issued under seal, but was discovered last week in a public database by a public radio reporter. After issuing an injunction, Judge Katherine B. Emery on Tuesday ruled it could be published.
A Washington County judge has issued a court order barring The Allegheny Front, StateImpact Pennsylvania and 90.5 WESA from publishing the content of a publicly available legal document obtained by a reporter for the news organizations.
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.
“They’re saying ‘it’s a bad idea to put pipelines in areas where damage to the pipeline could be caused by earth movement. If you know there’s potential damage, don’t put them there.”
“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.”
The state House Speaker and other Republican lawmakers announced a slate of bills Monday that are aimed at bolstering Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry.
“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?”
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.
It takes aim at states like New York that have blocked pipeline projects that would carry Marcellus Shale gas to markets in the Northeast.
If approved, company will pay $200,000 fine and step up safety inspections of aging pipeline
The suit accused Sunoco of negligence and several other counts in its construction practices.
Pipeline opponents are raising new concerns about the safety of Energy Transfer/Sunoco Logistics’ Mariner East 2x natural gas liquids line.
The Department of Environmental Protection has issued more than 80 violations, halted construction at times along the route, and fined the company $12.6 million.
Alabama company has until 2033 to plug wells or put them back into production
Energy Transfer, parent company of Sunoco Logistics and builder of the Mariner East natural gas liquids pipelines, is the target of a Chester County grand jury investigation.
Sunoco’s parent company admitted it made mistakes in building the Mariner East pipelines through Pennsylvania, and told investors that it will do better in future, but its assurances failed to persuade critics that the project will become any safer for the public or more protective of the environment.
Chester County community meeting airs continuing public concerns on safety of Mariner East pipelines
The fee Pennsylvania collects from natural gas drillers is expected to reach a record $247 million this year, according to figures released Thursday by the state’s Independent Fiscal Office.
A worker on Sunoco’s Mariner East project has threatened a Chester County opponent of the pipeline on social media in two posts that included an obscenity.
A Pennsylvania court said the Department of Environmental Protection unlawfully issued air-quality permits to Sunoco for its natural gas liquids plant at Marcus Hook in Delaware County, and it ordered the department to re-do its analysis over whether the plant should be subject to two sets of emissions rules.
Peoples Gas in western Pennsylvania has outfitted a vehicle that will drive over 950 miles of the utility’s pipelines in Pittsburgh this year using a high-tech system to find places where methane leaks into the air.
New Jersey’s attorney general says PennEast Pipeline Co. can’t legally sue the state for access to more than 40 parcels of protected land, and argues that a federal judge was wrong to rule that the company could do so.
Natural gas companies must pay millions of dollars in outstanding impact fees to the state, following a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling.
Homeowners focus on integrity of repurposed 12-inch pipeline first built in 1930s
Natural gas production in Pennsylvania is expected to reach a new high by year’s end: 6 trillion cubic feet. Drillers extracted 13 percent more gas in the first three quarters of 2018 than during the same period the previous year, according to a recent report from the state’s Independent Fiscal Office.
Sunoco said in November that it would start operations of the frequently delayed Mariner East 2 pipeline by the end of 2018.
Investigators at the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission said on Tuesday they didn’t confirm that the 12-inch pipeline component of Mariner East 2 was safe, despite a statement by Sunoco that they had done so.
The Chester County District Attorney said Wednesday he is opening a criminal investigation into Sunoco’s Mariner East pipeline project because it has caused sinkholes, contaminated water and has resulted in “not so subtle bullying” of residents.
Investigators at the Public Utility Commission blamed corrosion for a leak of natural gas liquids from Sunoco’s Mariner East 1 pipeline in April 2017, and said they are concerned about the company’s corrosion-control program throughout the ageing statewide line.
The PennEast Pipeline Co. can take private land through eminent domain to build a natural gas pipeline, a New Jersey federal judge ruled on Friday.
Pennsylvania environmental officials have come out with a plan to reduce leaks from thousands of the state’s oil and gas wells.
Suit brought by seven residents fails on all four requirements
A federal judge granted PennEast Pipeline Co. the right of eminent domain to build its pipeline on a property in Carbon County, in the first ruling of its kind over the controversial project in a Pennsylvania court.
A worst-case explosion of the Mariner East 2 pipeline in PA’s Delaware County would kill anyone within about a mile of the rupture, a new report says, but it concludes the chances of someone dying from a pipeline incident are less than that of dying in a car crash or from falling down stairs.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – An administrative law judge for the state Public Utility Commission heard testimony this week on whether Sunoco can operate its controversial Mariner East pipelines — a set of export lines moving natural gas liquids across Pennsylvania — while the judge reviews a request to permanently shut down the lines.
The Tompkins County Legislature passed a resolution Tuesday urging the New York DEC to reject a proposal that would convert an old coal fired power plant to natural gas.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – A 12-inch pipeline that Sunoco plans to use as a temporary part of the Mariner East project has passed state and federal safety inspections, according to a letter from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s head of pipeline safety.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA — State environmental officials have fined natural gas operator EQT for drilling into an old mine in 2017 and releasing 4 million gallons of abandoned mine drainage into the Monongahela River and surrounding wetlands in Allegheny County.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 pipeline across Pennsylvania will begin operating in the current quarter, the company’s parent, Energy Transfer, said on Thursday.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA — Sunoco said late Wednesday it will begin to pump natural gas liquids across the state by joining three new and existing pipes because its long-delayed Mariner East pipeline project won’t be ready for another two years.
A major new natural gas transmission pipeline will come online this weekend. Oklahoma-based Williams Partners said it has received approval from federal regulators to put its Atlantic Sunrise pipeline into full service on Oct. 6.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – The state Department of Environmental Protection is moving forward with plans to regulate harmful air pollution from Pennsylvania’s thousands of oil and gas sites.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Since the Marcellus Shale industry took off a decade ago, there seemed to be a consensus that Pennsylvania’s oil and gas companies would pay for the oversight — the time, personnel, and equipment state environmental regulators need to do their jobs.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – The Delaware River Basin Commission asked a federal regulator to prevent PennEast cutting trees in the basin before it issues any approval for its controversial natural gas pipeline project in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, according to documents released on Wednesday.
Drillers withheld information on at least one chemical in some 2,500 wells, citing trade secrets
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Beaver County resident Chuck Belczyk, who lives across the street from where a natural gas pipeline exploded Monday morning, shot this video of the resulting fire.
Pennsylvania is trying to figure out how to regrow forests after fracking.
Campaigners raised $46,000 for independent evaluation after governor and PUC denied requests
Delaware County township confirms excavation of new line. It’s scheduled to be operational in about a month.
Marcellus region shows smallest increase in water use but quadruples frack waste from 2011-16
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – By including more pipelines in Pennsylvania’s one-call law and creating a more robust enforcement system, state officials hope to cut down on incidents where residents or excavators accidentally hit pipelines and cables when digging underground.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Ellen Gerhart, a retired teacher who has spent years fighting to block Sunoco from building a pipeline on part of her family’s Huntingdon County land, was fined $2,000 and sentenced to two to six months in jail Friday for violating a court order prohibiting her from interfering with the project.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – President Trump wants more natural gas exported to Europe. Liquified natural gas plays a significant role in the trade deal with the European Union, and the president wants Europe to buy less from Russia.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Governor Tom Wolf’s administration is calling for more federal oversight on the buildout of new natural gas pipelines, including how they can facilitate greenhouse gas emissions, disrupt forest ecosystems, and impact private property owners.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – The build out of natural gas infrastructure in Pennsylvania’s state forest system has slowed dramatically in recent years, according to a new report from the Department of Conservation and Natural resources.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Sunoco is facing more challenges to its troubled Mariner East pipelines with a major spill of drilling fluids into a Cambria County wetland and the exposure of a section of the existing Mariner East 1 line in Chester County near Philadelphia.
A Pennsylvania family that lost more than 500 trees to make way for the stalled Constitution Pipeline project asked a court on Thursday to dissolve an injunction that gave the company access to their property, and to determine compensation that remains unpaid.
Rig forced relocation of part of trail named for environmental icon
On Friday, the operators of the Cayuga Power Plant announced their plans to convert one burner of the coal-fired plant to compressed natural gas. Anticipating the announcement, protesters attended a Tompkins County Legislature meeting earlier in the week.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – A new study published today in the journal Science finds climate-damaging methane emissions from the nation’s oil and gas industry are nearly 60 percent higher than Environmental Protection Agency estimates — effectively negating the near-term benefits of burning more natural gas.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Local governments in Pennsylvania will receive $209,557,300 this year in impact fees levied on Marcellus Shale gas companies, marking the third highest total since the fees went into effect in 2012.
Delaware Riverkeeper Network says Sunoco has violated conditions on drilling and water pollution
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Groundwater quality in rural Bradford County has slightly improved since the 1980s despite the introduction of Marcellus Shale gas development, according to a newly released study out of Penn State.
In a 3-2 vote, the PUC said Mariner East 1 is not a public safety threat. But it approved a judge’s order on Mariner East 2
Delaware Riverkeeper says Mariner East 2 construction has broken state and federal water standards
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Opponents of the Mariner East pipelines urged Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and the Public Utility Commission on Saturday to permanently shut down the troubled project, extending a current halt in one Chester County township to the entire 350-mile line.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – A Pennsylvania appeals court on Friday rejected a request by a natural gas production company to rehear a case whose outcome could affect drillers across the country.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Pennsylvania has joined a growing number of states in issuing new methane requirements for natural gas wells.
TATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – In January 2016, Gov. Tom Wolf — flanked by his two top environmental advisors — said in a Facebook Live event that Pennsylvania would crack down on climate-damaging methane emissions from the oil and gas industry.
Damage was minor, but critics say incident highlights public safety risks
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – The state House approved a controversial bill Tuesday that eliminates key environmental requirements for Pennsylvania’s conventional oil and gas industry.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that municipalities may not issue permits for oil and gas development in areas that are zoned for non-industrial use — unless they first amend their zoning codes.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Spreading oil and gas wastewater has been a common and cheap way for municipalities to suppress dust on unpaved roads in parts of Pennsylvania for years.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – A Pennsylvania judge on Thursday halted construction of Sunoco’s two new Mariner East pipelines, as well as the operation of the existing Mariner East 1 pipeline in Chester County’s West Whiteland Township, granting an emergency petition by state Sen. Andy Dinniman.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – A coalition of anti-fracking groups says Gov. Tom Wolf should pay more attention to the health impacts of fracking, and that he’s “turned his back” on people who say they’ve suffered from the state’s natural gas industry.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – An environmental group says Governor Tom Wolf is ignoring a nearly year-old state Supreme Court ruling that prohibits him from using revenue from oil and gas drilling on state land for purposes other than conservation.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – The Pennsylvania Department of General Services is continuing to call on state lawmakers to allow it to audit natural gas companies’ efforts to hire businesses owned by women, minorities and veterans.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Department of Environmental Protection fined Sunoco/Energy Transfer Partners an additional $355,622 for drilling mud spills during construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline.
HARRISBURG, PA (WSKG) – As state lawmakers prepare for budget negotiations, Governor Tom Wolf is once again trotting out a natural gas severance tax proposal in hopes of slipping it into the final deal.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Safety inspectors at the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission are recommending that Sunoco’s Mariner East 1 pipeline be restarted after a nearly two-month shutdown prompted by sinkholes that appeared at a pipeline-construction site in Chester County’s West Whiteland Township.
ATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Denise McCarthy held up a large photograph of her grand nephew, Jack, at a public hearing in West Whiteland Township on Monday night, and urged state officials to stop Sunoco building its two Mariner East pipelines past the boy’s house.
ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – University of Rochester researchers say a new study offers some clues about the potential affects of groundwater contaminated by fracking chemicals on the immune system.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – As low natural gas prices force more coal and nuclear plants to retire, the grid operator for 65 million customers in the mid-Atlantic region says it will look at whether it’s becoming more susceptible to outages forced by extreme weather or cyber-attack.
HARRISBURG, PA (WSKG) – Some Pennsylvania lawmakers are introducing legislation, again, to impose a severance tax on natural gas production.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – State Senator Andy Dinniman is trying to halt construction on two natural gas liquids pipelines, in West Whiteland Township, Chester County, alleging they pose a serious threat to public health and safety.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – The natural gas boom was supposed to help the electric sector lower its carbon footprint by replacing old, carbon dioxide-spewing coal plants with newer, lower-emitting natural gas plants. And to a degree, that’s happened. As coal plants have retired, carbon emissions from the power sector have decreased.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – More than 100 spills have occurred during the construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline, and now, another troublesome spot has emerged in Delaware County outside Philadelphia.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – The federal government has opened a review on whether its policies governing approval of interstate natural-gas pipelines should be revamped, an issue often raised by critics of the rapid expansion of industry infrastructure in New Jersey.
HARRISBURG, PA (WSKG) — More than a month after the Mariner East 1 pipeline was shut down over safety concerns, representatives for Sunoco say they’ve found no problems, and that they’re looking forward to getting the natural gas liquids pipeline running again.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Authorities are searching for explosives that were stolen last weekend from an Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline worksite in Lancaster County.
StateImpact Pennsylvania hosted an educational forum Monday in Towanda, Bradford County to examine how Pennsylvania and other major energy-producing states are dealing with disputes of oil and gas royalties.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Two separate $10,000 rewards are now offered for information on who vandalized a backhoe and bulldozer last week in West Whiteland Township, Chester County.
Activists opposing the Mountain Valley natural gas Pipeline in southwest Virginia are camped in the Jefferson National forest, hoping to delay construction.
Fracking may have been born in the U.S., but there are shale gas reserves in dozens of other countries. Will these countries say yes or no to fracking? Shanti Gamper-Rabindran a University of Pittsburgh professor and editor of The Shale Dilemma, sat down for an interview about the topic.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – A majority of Pennsylvanians still support the natural gas industry, but a new opinion poll shows the number of people concerned about its environmental impact is growing.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Pennsylvania landowners for years have tried and failed to get the Legislature to protect royalties they receive from natural gas companies, but mineral owners in West Virginia just scored a victory.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Sunoco is offering to relocate residents at a Chester County site where drilling for the Mariner East pipelines has caused sinkholes to open up in recent weeks.
State Impact Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania environmental regulators put a call out Friday for the public to weigh in on their draft final general permits to address methane emissions from new Marcellus Shale well sites and other natural gas facilities.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – On a recent afternoon, Ken Broadbent walked the aisles of his union’s “weld shop.” Behind orange plastic curtains that shield the eye-searing brightness of their torches, a few dozen apprentices practiced welding pipes together. Each will end up with about 700 hours of training.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – FERC says it will limit public interventions in its pipeline review process if they are submitted outside the prescribed time, in a new policy that’s being attacked by the agency’s critics as an attempt to stifle comment.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – A majority of Pennsylvania voters agree with the scientific consensus that climate change is causing problems right now, and more than two-thirds say the state should be doing more to address it, according to a Franklin & Marshall College/StateImpact Pennsylvania poll released Thursday.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – A group of Catholic nuns in Lancaster County held a Palm Sunday service in protest against the Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline and erected a large cross on the construction site.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – A new analysis published Thursday by Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office estimates mineral owners could wind up losing tens of millions of dollars in natural gas royalties if Governor Tom Wolf’s proposed severance tax becomes law.
A joint state senate hearing Tuesday was ostensibly about the broad topic of “pipeline safety,” but ended up focusing almost entirely on Sunoco’s embattled Mariner East project – a series of natural gas liquids pipelines spanning the southern portion of Pennsylvania.
Sunoco spilled more drilling fluid into a Lebanon County creek on Thursday as it resumed construction for its controversial Mariner East pipelines at that location.
A field outside Bob and Deborah Hoffman’s Delaware County home is filled with orange construction fencing, a 20-foot industrial curtain blocking their view of some surrounding houses, and hundreds of yards of steel pipeline waiting to be laid as part of the controversial Mariner East project.
Sunoco scrambled to inspect an ageing pipeline on Friday in the backyards of Chester County homes where drilling for two new pipelines has caused several sinkholes to open up.
(State Impact PA) – Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission on Wednesday ordered a temporary shutdown of the Mariner East 1 natural gas liquids pipeline, saying it could have a “catastrophic” effect on public safety if it leaks.
SCRANTON, PA (State Impact PA) Pennsylvania environmental regulators are looking into health complaints after residents say a natural gas power plant being built near Scranton started emitting noxious, greenish-yellow smoke over the weekend.
As Pennsylvania’s gas boom helps propel the United States away from coal-fired power, one energy researcher says the impact on climate change will be a wash. Burning natural gas for electricity emits less carbon dioxide than burning coal. That’s good news for climate change in the short term, but a number of other factors negate the long-term benefits of transitioning to more natural gas power, said Daniel Raimi, a senior research associate with the think tank Resources for the Future. Read full story here.
I stumbled across a Washington Post story this morning that describes how Russia’s Internet Research Agency tried to manipulate the debate over energy-related issues in the United States via social media.
Several environmental groups have asked the Commonwealth Court for an injunction to halt Sunoco/Energy Transfer Partners’ Mariner East 2 pipeline construction.
When natural gas companies approached Charlie Clark and Jim Barrett about the minerals under their farms, the northern Pennsylvania landowners in neighboring counties both decided to let them drill.
Federal regulators have effectively denied a request to reconsider their approval of the planned PennEast Pipeline, the agency’s critics say.
Sunoco said Thursday it aims to begin operating its Mariner East 2 pipeline across southern Pennsylvania by the end of the second quarter of this year, the same target it announced three months ago.
Sunoco won a court battle over the siting of its Mariner East 2 pipeline on Tuesday when a panel of judges ruled against an effort to assert local control over where the pipeline can be built.
Albertine Anthony has been living in the same picturesque Carbon County farmhouse since she was born 93 years ago, and she’s not going anywhere even if PennEast builds a natural gas pipeline across her land.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection will extend the public comment period for Shell’s 97-mile Falcon pipeline, which will carry ethane to the company’s $6 billion petrochemical plant in Western Pennsylvania.
An environmental group says that Pennsylvania’s gas drilling industry is releasing much more methane into the atmosphere than the state is reporting. Scientists at the Environmental Defense Fund calculated Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale industry is emitting twice as much methane as companies are reporting to the state’s Department of Environmental Protection. The analysis, posted to the group’s website, is based on 16 peer-reviewed studies funded in part by EDF, including some involving oil and gas companies. Read full story here.
The $12.6 million penalty being paid by Sunoco for multiple violations during construction of the Mariner East 2 pipelines will be used to improve water quality and the safety of dams across Pennsylvania, and will be in addition to the company’s work to correct environmental damage caused during the project, current and former state officials said.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is issuing a $12.6 million civil penalty against Sunoco Pipeline, LLP for permit violations related to the construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline project.
Pennsylvania’s decision on Thursday to allow Sunoco to resume construction on the Mariner East 2 pipeline after a month-long shutdown failed to convince critics that the company will do so with any more respect for environmental regulations than they say it has had since starting the project a year ago.
A proposed gas transfer station won’t be coming to the town of Fenton for the time being. Fenton is in Broome County, just north of Binghamton.
Pennsylvania is expected to bring in $46.1 million more this year from natural gas impact fees, according to an estimate published Wednesday by the state’s Independent Fiscal Office.
A senior staffer for Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf asked the state’s chief environmental regulator not to send letters to Sunoco detailing problems with its permit applications for a controversial pipeline project until the governor was updated, according to text messages obtained through a lawsuit.
A section of the controversial Mariner East 2 pipeline showed scrapes and a gouge in its coating during construction in Ohio last year, federal regulators said, in a recent statement that has fueled activists’ concern about the safety of the line.
The Delaware River Basin Commission heard its first public comments on the proposal to ban fracking in the watershed this week in Wayne County and Philadelphia. If the DRBC approves the proposal, it would cement a current de-facto moratorium on drilling. But it remains controversial.
The Zoning Board of Appeals in the Town of Fenton in Broome County wants some time to go over information before deciding whether a proposed natural transfer station can move forward.
The PennEast pipeline project took a step forward late Friday when federal regulators decided the company could start construction and potentially use eminent domain to take private land in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
When the Delaware River Basin Commission proposed a ban on high-volume fracking for natural gas in the basin, arguing it “poses significant, immediate and long-term risks” to the watershed, one environmentalist called it “a huge and groundbreaking protection.”
State environmental officials have fined a natural gas company $1.7 million for problems at well sites in Greene and Clearfield counties. Energy Corporation of America was cited for, among other things, operating storage pits without proper permits and for pits that leaked. The violations took place at 17 well sites, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The wells were recently acquired by Greylock Energy. Read full story here.
The builder of the proposed Constitution Pipeline from Pennsylvania to New York said it will ask the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to take another look at its recent ruling that upholds New York State’s denial of a water-quality permit for the troubled project. Constitution Pipeline said it will seek a rehearing or appeal FERC’s decision on Jan. 11, in which the commission declined to overturn the permit decision by New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). That decision has stopped the company from beginning to build the 124-mile natural gas line. Read full story here.
You might have seen a headline last week about President Trump repealing fracking regulations. Anything fracking-related is likely to turn heads in Pennsylvania. But the regulations in question had to do with fracking on federally owned land. Because of that, Trump’s action isn’t expected to significantly affect Pennsylvania, which had fewer than 10,000 acres of federal land with oil and gas leases as of fiscal year 2016, according to the Bureau of Land Management
Read full story here.
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.
Activity in Pennsylvania’s gas fields slowed in recent years amid low prices, but operators ramped up drilling in 2017, and they’re expecting to drill even more in the new year. The site of some of the state’s newest gas wells lies atop a Washington County hill in Frank Brownlee’s backyard. Brownlee, 68, lives a quarter-mile away and operates a trucking business next to his house. Read Full Story Here
A lawsuit is moving forward by the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office alleging natural gas companies didn’t pay royalties to landowners as they’d promised. Bradford County Common Pleas Court Judge Kenneth Brown denied the preliminary objections raised by the defendants, Chesapeake Energy and Anadarko Petroleum. The lawsuit, filed in 2015, accuses the companies of violating the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, by promising landowners royalty money they never paid. You can read the full story here.
Pennsylvania regulators are slowly playing catch up when it comes to technology. After years of yearning for the latest digital tools, the state Department of Environmental Protection was recently able to send its oil and gas inspectors out into the field with iPads. The change has cut down the time and tedium of filing paper reports. Scott Perry, head of DEP’s Office of Oil and Gas Management, said inspectors are using a new app (created in conjunction with PennDOT) and said it has helped increase productivity — amounting to more than $500,000 annually, or about the cost of having six new inspectors. Read full story here.
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.
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.
Former Pennsylvania environmental secretaries say changes aimed at streamlining the Department of Environmental Protection’s permitting process would likely have the opposite effect and lead to lawsuits. The tax code bill pending consideration by the House after squeaking through the Senate has a severance tax on natural gas production. It also has a number of environmental provisions that would alter the way DEP functions. Read full story here.
Maureen Singer is not happy about a proposed natural gas transfer station in the Town of Fenton. “It’s tough to digest how a responsible governing body approved that,” she said. A natural gas transfer station taps into an existing pipeline, puts the gas on trucks, and ships it to places where relatively inexpensive fuel might be hard to get. The town approved the project earlier this year. Singer is part of a group of residents that filed a lawsuit against Fenton and the company building the transfer station, NG Advantage. A hearing on the case is scheduled for Wednesday. A church and the Chenango Valley School District have filed separate lawsuits. Concern Over Process Next to the proposed site, there are baseball fields, a playground, and a basketball court.
Federal regulators held a public hearing last night on a proposed natural gas pipeline that would run through several upstate New York counties. Energy company Kinder Morgan wants to build the Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline to funnel gas from Pennsylvania to the East Coast. There are four compressor stations proposed for New York State along the pipeline route. Over a hundred people attended the hearing in Oneonta and several gave passionate statements. “It’s unconscionable that we have to beg not to have our air poisoned or our water contaminated or our forests destroyed,” said Lottie Marsh, attendee.