environment

Sam Whitehead

 

Monday is the deadline for public comments on the cleanup status of the Ithaca Falls Overlook. 

Lindsey Lazarski, WHYY

Responding to the Supreme Court’s recent decision bolstering the state’s Environmental Rights Amendment, the environmental lawyer who successfully argued the original case challenging the use of revenue from oil and gas operations on state land for non-conservation activities has asked the Commonwealth Court to declare the current state budget unconstitutional. 

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday vetoed a bill that would have curbed the right of towns and cities to regulate use of plastic shopping bags, saying it would have violated the Environmental Rights Amendment of the state Constitution. 

Lindsey Lazarski, WHYY

A landmark ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court means that state agencies and judges will have to pay more attention to the public’s right to clean air and water when making permit decisions and issuing court rulings. At the same time, officials will have to stop using oil and gas lease revenues to fund day-to-day operations, analysts said. 

Associated Press

Gov.Tom Wolf said he will veto a bill that would stop Pennsylvania towns and cities taxing or banning plastic single-use shopping bags. The bill, HB 1071, went to Wolf’s desk after receiving final legislative approval from the Senate on June 14. It received bipartisan support, including from the lead sponsor, Democratic Rep. Mike Hanna of Centre County, who sought to protect jobs in a plastic bag factory in his district. 

Citizen lobbyist Jay Butera believes in the power of polite persistence. Nearly every week for the past 10 years, he has taken the Amtrak train down to Washington D.C. from his home in Montgomery County to convince congress to take action on climate. 

Was Cuomo's Commitment To Paris Climate Accord New?

Jun 12, 2017
governorandrewcuomo/Flickr

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - When President Donald Trump announced that the United States is leaving the Paris climate accord, Gov. Andrew Cuomo took the opportunity to say New York will not. The Democratic governor pledged to uphold the international agreement, formed a multi-state partnership and promised to take aggressive action to tackle climate change, but much of that work was already underway. 

Emma Lee, WHYY

President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the landmark Paris climate accord isn’t likely to derail Pennsylvania’s efforts to curb methane emissions, and it strengthens Philadelphia’s determination to set its own climate policy, officials said. 

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he’ll sign an executive order committing the state to meet the Paris climate accord standards, calling President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement “reckless” and “irresponsible.”

jmac1963 / Flickr

The company Crestwood has stopped its effort to expand natural gas storage under Seneca Lake. 

AP Photo/George Widman

At least four Pennsylvania cities are urging state Senators to reject a bill that would prevent municipalities from banning plastic shopping bags or imposing fees to curb their use. Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, York and Erie say that single-use plastic shopping bags are environmentally damaging, and increase waste-disposal costs for cities around the Commonwealth. 

Mike Groll / AP Photo

Karen DeWitt

ALBANY (WSKG) - Environmental advocates say that New York state officials could do a better job of cleaning up pollution sites caused by the fossil fuels industry that they say in some cases, have dragged on for decades. Cuomo’s environmental aides defend their record. 

JONATHAN WILSON / NEWSWORKS

Eighteen-year-old Sophie Kivlehan says she doesn’t remember when she first heard about climate change. It was a normal topic of conversation at the dinner table, one that often included her grandfather, Jim Hansen, an astro-physicist at Columbia University and perhaps one of the worlds’ most well-known climate scientists.

Environmental Group Fined By PA's Ethics Commission

Apr 13, 2017
Maguis & David / flickr

One of Pennsylvania’s leading environmental organizations is being fined by the state ethics commission for failing to file a quarterly lobbying expense report on time. PennEnvironment has 30 days to pay the $1,960 fine over its delinquent quarterly expense report from the second quarter of 2016.  

muffet / Flickr

 

Farmers got a victory in the New York budget this year. Food banks did too. But advocates of composting and food recycling did not get the change they wanted.

Governor Cuomo had proposed a mandate that all large generators of food waste would have to donate usable food and then recycle - or compost - the rest. But that idea didn't make it across the budget finish line.

New reports out of the White House shine more light on the proposed 31 percent cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency. President Trump’s current plan would eliminate 25 percent of  EPA jobs. And it would slash water protection programs, including clean-up of the Chesapeake Bay. 

MARK SCHMERLING VIA FRACTRACKER ALLIANCE

Environmental regulators are launching a statewide “listening tour” in April, focused on environmental justice. In Pennsylvania an environmental justice (EJ) zone is defined as a census tract where at least 20 percent of people live in poverty and/or at least 30 percent of the population is minority. 

NRC.gov

Midnight on Friday is not just the deadline for the state budget to be finished. It’s also the date for an $8 billion bailout of some upstate nuclear power plants to begin.

Bret Jaspers / WSKG News

The rotary digester is the crown jewel of Delaware County's composting facility. It's a massive pipe - 14 feet in diameter, and 180 feet long. The digester, or "bioreactor," breaks down the organic stuff before the non-recycled plastics and other contaminants are filtered out. 

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Governor Tom Wolf’s administration says it is still committed to combating climate change in Pennsylvania, despite an executive order signed Tuesday by President Donald Trump aimed at undoing the Clean Power Plan– the signature climate initiative of the Obama administration. 

Emma Lee, WHYY

The union representing employees with the Environmental Protection Agency says President Trump’s proposed cuts to the agency would risk public health. The administration is proposing to slash the EPA’s budget by 31 percent. That would include eliminating more than 3,000 jobs at the agency. 

Reid Frazier, The Allegheny Front

Last month, a Pittsburgh company began selling a t-shirt on its web site promoting the resistance to the Trump administration. It showed a bear wearing a hat, but the U.S. government thinks the creature on the shirt looks like one of its own creations -- Smokey Bear. 

MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

Pennsylvania’s top environmental regulator warns his agency is dealing with significant staffing shortages, following years of shrinking funding from the state. His comments come amid reported plans by the Trump administration to drastically cut the EPA’s budget

How EPA Cuts Could Impact Pennsylvania

Mar 8, 2017
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

With the Trump administration proposing to cut the EPA’s budget by about 25 percent, according to recently leaked documents, state environmental budgets could be impacted as well. 

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

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. 

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.

CREDO: Cuomo Policy Summit 8/22/2012 / Flickr

Environmental groups are pushing Gov. Andrew Cuomo to codify into law some of the steps he’s taken to protect the environment and cut down on pollution related to climate change. 

Susan Phillips, StateImpact Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection held a hastily arranged meeting on Monday with several opponents of the proposed Mariner East 2 pipeline in an apparent attempt to calm public concerns over the project which may soon get its final environmental approvals. 

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