environment

PA's Biggest Environmental Group Gets New CEO

Oct 31, 2017
PennFuture

Jacquelyn Bonomo is succeeding Larry Schweiger as the leader of PennFuture. Schweiger is retiring. 

Bonomo has been the organization’s executive vice president and COO for the past two years, and has spent more than three decades working in environmental advocacy. 

Bonomo said she didn’t get much environmental exposure while growing up in Hazelton, Pa., in the heart of the state’s anthracite coal region.

Scott Lamar, WITF

Pennsylvania is one of only a handful of states to recognize clean air and pure water as a basic civil right. However, the powerful language in the state constitution was dismissed for decades.

That’s all changing, says John Dernbach, director of the Environmental Law and Sustainability Center at Widener University.

The Trump administration intends to name former Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Southeast Regional Director Cosmo Servidio as head of EPA’s Region 3 office, according to two people familiar with the move. Region 3 covers the Mid-Atlantic, encompassing Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

A Pennsylvania environmental group is launching an ad campaign against two large industrial facilities near Pittsburgh. PennFuture is kicking off its “Your Toxic Neighbor” campaign, which will include bus shelter posters throughout Allegheny County, targeting U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works and Shell’s yet-to-be-built ethane cracker in Beaver County. 

New York NOW

A former EPA administrator and a former New York state health department official have teamed up with a Vermont college to conduct a health survey of people potentially affected by polluted water in the villages of Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh, and in Bennington, Vermont. 

RTMUP / Flickr

A recent federal court ruling could delay major pipeline projects planned to move Marcellus Shale natural gas to new markets.

On Tuesday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled 2-1 in favor of a climate-related challenge brought by the Sierra Club against federal regulators. 

President Trump has rolled back rules aimed at protecting federal infrastructure projects from rising sea levels and dangerous storms caused by climate change. Trump announced the move on Tuesday, at a press conference touting plans to fast track the building of roads and bridges.

Associated Press

The Tompkins County Health Department says harmful blue-green algae has been found in Cayuga Lake. In a press release, the Department says the Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) have been "visually identified" on each side of the Southern end of the lake, and that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has confirmed the HABs. 

Sarah Gager / WSKG News

 

 

Giant Hogweed is an invasive plant that can be dangerous to your health and the environment. New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation has a hotline to call if you think you see the plant. The state even has a Giant Hogweed Control Crew.

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. 

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