natural gas

MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

The company behind a multi-billion dollar natural gas transmission pipeline planned to run through parts of central Pennsylvania has bought a Lancaster County farm that was being used as headquarters for a protest movement against the project. 

Gabe Altieri / WSKG

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.

 

Lindsey Lazarski, WHYY

Two ranking Democrats in Congress have asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), to further investigate the practices of pipeline builder Energy Transfer Partners, which has merged with Sunoco Logistics, after spills and permit violations occurred on two of its major projects in three different states, including the Mariner East 2 pipeline here in Pennsylvania.

Lindsey Lazarski, WHYY

A Pennsylvania judge on Tuesday ordered a two-week halt to all drilling for the construction of the controversial Mariner East 2 pipeline after dozens of water contamination incidents and several environmental violations by the builder, Sunoco Pipeline. 

Invasive Plant Species Colonizing Gas Well Pads

Jul 25, 2017
MARK SCHMERLING VIA FRACTRACKER ALLIANCE

Natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania has spurred an increase in invasive species of plants colonizing lands near well pads, according to a new study by Penn State University, which was recently published in the Journal of Environmental Management. The research was funded by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. 

SCOTT DETROW, StateImpact Pennsylvania

A new study finds the treated wastewater from Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry may pollute rivers, lakes, streams and creeks for longer than previously thought. Penn State environmental engineering professor Bill Burgos and his colleagues analyzed sediment samples from the Conemaugh River, a dam-controlled reservoir in western Pennsylvania.  

A Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection official waved a red flag to higher ups in January over potential issues with Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 pipeline construction on private water wells. “Though we don’t regulate it, this private well issue has the potential to really blow up…,” wrote Domenic Rocco, waterways and wetlands program manager for the DEP’s Southeast regional office.  

MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

A group of Roman Catholic nuns has filed a lawsuit against the federal agency that approved construction of a major interstate natural gas pipeline, planned to run through the nuns’ property in Lancaster County. The suit, filed by sisters from the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, targets the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline and alleges the project violates their religious freedom, which is protected under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. 

JEREMY LONG / LEBANON DAILY NEWS

Construction of Sunoco Pipeline’s $3 billion 350-mile long Mariner East 2 pipeline resulted in at least 61 drilling mud spills from April 25 through June 17, 2017, according to newly released documents. The spills have occurred in ten of the 12 counties along the route and range from minor releases of five gallons to larger more serious releases of tens of thousands of gallons. 

Full Series: Natural Gas Building Boom

Jul 19, 2017
Keith Srakocic / AP Photo

 

They landed, one after another, in 2015: plans for nearly a dozen interstate pipelines to move natural gas beneath rivers, mountains and people’s yards. 

Natural Gas Building Boom Fuels Climate Worries, Enrages Landowners

Jul 17, 2017

They landed, one after another, in 2015: plans for nearly a dozen interstate pipelines to move natural gas beneath rivers, mountains and people’s yards. Like spokes on a wheel, they’d spread from Appalachia to markets in every direction. Together these new and expanded pipelines — comprising 2,500 miles of steel in all — would double the amount of gas that could flow out of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

KIM PAYNTER/NEWSWORKS

Sunoco has agreed to halt drilling operations related to the Mariner East 2 pipeline construction in Chester County where several dozen residents have been without water for the past week due to aquifer intrusion by horizontal directional drilling. The West Whiteland Township residents who rely on private drinking water wells have experienced cloudy water or loss of water completely. More than 100 community members gathered at the West Whiteland Township building on Thursday night to discuss the situation with both township and Sunoco officials.

Lindsey Lazarski, WHYY

A public relations firm for Sunoco Pipeline says it wants to “neutralize opposition” to the controversial Mariner East 2 pipeline project. Bravo Group, which has worked with different parts of Sunoco for at least five years, makes the statement on its website, in describing its role in working on the cross-state Mariner East 2 pipeline, which is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of this year. 

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, file

Trump administration plans to review Obama-era policy on offshore oil and gas drilling, including areas off the coasts of New Jersey and Delaware, opened up to public comment Monday. And it’s likely the Department of Interior will get lots of pushback from beach communities along the Atlantic coast, including Maryland and Virginia. 

Is Fracking An Environmental Justice Issue?

Jul 4, 2017
Reid Frazier, The Allegheny Front

 Kirk Jalbert started thinking about fracking and environmental justice last year. That’s when he heard a gas company executive make an offhand remark that his companydidn’t frack in rich neighborhoods, where residents could afford expensive lawsuits to fight the industry. 

Lindsey Lazarski, WHYY

Responding to a request by Sunoco Logistics, a Huntingdon County judge has ordered a family and their supporters off the construction path of the Mariner East 2, which runs through their property.

NJ blocks PennEast Water Permit Again

Jun 29, 2017
Susan Phillips, StateImpact Pennsylvania

New Jersey issued its latest rejection of a water-quality permit for the proposed PennEast natural gas pipeline, dealing a new blow to the embattled project. The state’s Department of Environmental Protection said Wednesday the PennEast Pipeline Co. had failed again to submit all the requested information in its application for the permit, which the department first rejected in April on the same grounds. 

REID FRAZIER / THE ALLEGHENY FRONT

Shell’s $6 billion ethane cracker in Beaver County could be the first of several large chemical plants in the region, petrochemical industry leaders and observers said at a conference in Pittsburgh Monday. That’s because there’s enough ethane being produced in the region to provide the chemical industry with the raw material without any additional drilling. 

Shell via flickr

Shell’s $6 billion ethane cracker in Beaver County could be the first of several large chemical plants in the region, petrochemical industry leaders and observers said at a conference in Pittsburgh Monday. That’s because there’s enough ethane being produced in the region to provide the chemical industry with the raw material without any additional drilling. 

Susan Phillips, StateImpact Pennsylvania

Sunoco Pipeline has asked a Huntingdon County judge to order a family protesting the Mariner East 2 pipeline, and their supporters, to refrain from obstructing pipeline construction or face arrest. It’s the latest legal maneuver in a stand-off that has pitted the pipeline company against the Gerhart family. 

MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

More than 100 people turned out in Lancaster County Monday evening to weigh in on the Atlantic Sunrise, a large interstate natural gas line planned to run through 10 counties in Pennsylvania.  

Susan Phillips, StateImpact Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania officials approved the latest underground injection well to hold wastewater from oil and gas drilling operations.  The move renews concerns about whether nearby residents will have their drinking water contaminated or if it will increase seismic activity. 

MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

Two starkly different versions of reality were on display Wednesday morning at the state Capitol in Harrisburg. Inside the building, a joint hearing by Republicans from the Senate Majority Policy Committee and Environmental Resources and Energy Committee examined the economic benefits natural gas production has brought Pennsylvania– withskyrocketing production, tens of thousands of new jobs, and more than a billion dollars in impact fee revenue

Older PA Gas Storage Wells Prone To Methane Leaks

May 24, 2017
SCOTT DETROW, StateImpact Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has hundreds of underground natural gas storage sites that are vulnerable to methane leaks because they were built at least 60 years ago, and were probably never designed to store gas, according to a Harvard University study released on Tuesday. 

COURTESY OF FRACTRACKER ALLIANCE

Pennsylvania’s shale gas drillers continued to break records for production in 2016, tapping about 5.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. 

MIDDLETOWN COALITION FOR COMMUNITY SAFETY

Pipeline construction of Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 has caused three separate releases of drilling mud in May, with two incidents resulting in a combined total of 575 gallons of bentonite clay entering Chester Creek in Brookhaven, Delaware County, according to Sunoco Pipeline spokesman Jeff Shields. Bentonite is a non-toxic substance commonly used as a lubricant in horizontal directional drilling. 

PJM

A rush to build power plants fueled by cheap natural gas from the Marcellus Shale will swell power supply in the region coordinated by PJM Interconnection, operator of the largest power grid in North America, driving down prices and forcing the closure of many coal-fired plants over the next four years, according to a new analysis by Moody’s Investors Service. 

MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

President Donald Trump has nominated Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner Rob Powelson to fill a vacancy on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which oversees interstate pipeline projects. Powelson, who also serves as the president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, recently compared anti-pipeline activists to jihadists, a statement he later walked back

Susan Phillips, StateImpact Pennsylvania

Although anti-pipeline activists decry the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as the agency that never met a pipeline project it wouldn’t approve, the natural gas industry says the regulatory process led by FERC is facing longer delays. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce heard testimony Wednesday about a proposal to speed-up that process, which currently involves a mix of federal and state permit approvals. 

Emily Cohen, State Impact Pennsylvania

The latest local effort to block the Mariner East 2 pipeline failed late Monday when a zoning panel in Delaware County denied an appeal against three permits that have allowed its construction. Thornbury Township’s Zoning Hearing Board turned down a request by a local homeowners association to withdraw the permits to install a fence, a utility pole and automated pipeline equipment. 

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