Energy and Environment

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New York NOW / WMHT

Judith Enck, the former regional administrator of the EPA under President Barack Obama, said the new head of the EPA under President Donald Trump threatens to roll back major environmental regulations, including climate change actions and pollution protections.

In an interview for public radio and television, Enck explained why she took the unprecedented step of signing on to a letter, along with hundreds of former EPA staff, protesting Scott Pruitt.

MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

The sounds of buzzing chainsaws echoed through the hills around Raystown Lake Thursday afternoon, as contractors for Sunoco Logistics cleared trees to make way for the new Mariner East 2 project. The 8,300 acre lake in Huntingdon County is a popular spot for swimming, boating, hiking, and mountain biking. It draws about 1.5 million visitors annually.

Emily Cohen, State Impact Pennsylvania

A Pennsylvania judge on Thursday rejected a request by opponents of the Mariner East 2 pipeline to reconsider his earlier denial of an order that could have halted construction of the line. 

US DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Every year, hundreds of commercial ships make their way through the St. Lawrence seaway, taking on and letting out water to maintain stability as they load and unload cargo. This ballast water is regulated to prevent the spread of invasive species, but there is some disagreement about who should be in charge of those regulations. 

MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

An advisory panel to the state Department of Environmental Protection warns consistent cuts to the agency over the last 20 years have reached an “unsustainable level.” In a letter sent Tuesday to state Senate Appropriations Committee chairs Patrick Browne and Vincent Hughes, DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council chairman William Fink says the cuts are threatening the agency’s ability to do its job. 

MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

Pennsylvania has rapidly become a hub for the development of new natural gas pipelines. In recent weeks, billions of dollars worth of projects have been approved by state and federal regulators. Shortly after he took office, Governor Tom Wolf convened a major task force to recommend ways to coordinate planning and best practices for this building boom.

Opposition Growing To Cross-Border Nuclear Shipments

Feb 21, 2017
WBFO News

BUFFALO (WBFO) - Opposition is brewing on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border about plans to move dozens of shipments of nuclear waste from a plant in Chalk River, Ontario, to a plant in South Carolina. 

What Trump's Supreme Court Pick Means For The Environment

Feb 21, 2017
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

"SEE YOU IN COURT." That’s, of course, what Donald Trump tweeted (caps included) last Thursday after a federal appeals court refused to reinstate his controversial “travel ban”on refugees and all travelers to the U.S. from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Whether that case makes it all the way to the Supreme Court remains to be seen. But it’s not going out on much of a limb to say that the U.S. court system will be busy in the Trump era.

Pennsylvania Leads Nation In Dam Removals

Feb 21, 2017
Terra Dawn Photography courtesy of American Rivers via Flickr

Dams and dam safety were front and center this week as a hundred thousand people were evacuated in Californiabecause of structural damage at the country’s tallest dam. The Oroville dam helps provide drinking water and hydroelectric power to millions of Californians. But 75 percent of Pennsylvania’s 3,000 dams are so-called “low-head dams” and don’t provide drinking water or create reservoirs for flood control. So in recent years, Pennsylvania has been making a big push to remove them with the help of conservation organizations like American Rivers.

Emily Cohen, State Impact Pennsylvania

Preliminary construction work for the Mariner East 2 natural gas liquids pipeline took place in Delaware and Huntingdon Counties on Monday, a week after state officials issued the final permits for the controversial cross-state project. 

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