natural gas

Reid Frazier, The Allegheny Front

The embattled PennEast natural gas pipeline suffered another blow on Wednesday when New Jersey officials rejected the company’s application for a freshwater wetlands permit, saying its application lacked a long list of information. 

Northeast Needs More Gas Pipelines, Says New Report

Apr 26, 2017
Michael Dwyer/AP Photo

A new report out this week from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce argues the northeastern United States needs more natural gas pipelines. If no new pipelines were built, it could cost the region over 78,000 jobs and $7.6 billion in GDP by the year 2020, the report finds. It is the fifth in a series of reports from the Chamber of Commerce, examining potential impacts of energy policies. 

Matt Richmond / WSKG News

Fracking the Marcellus Shale did not pollute groundwater in northwestern West Virginia, but wastewater spills did contaminate surface water, according to a new study from Duke University. The report adds to an increasing body of work pointing to greater risks from fracking wastewater transport and treatment, than from the process itself. 

Susan Phillips, StateImpact Pennsylvania

Sunoco’s Mariner East 1 natural gas liquids pipeline leaked about 20 barrels of ethane and propane near Morgantown, Berks County, on April 1, the company said on Thursday. The leak, at 5530 Morgantown Road, Morgantown, Pa., did not reach water sources, according to the US Coastguard’s National Response Center, which records spills of hazardous materials such as oil and chemicals. 

Matt Richmond / WSKG News

A national investigation by utility regulators into ways of increasing natural gas supplies to under-served or un-served areas appears to be ignoring alternative energy sources and may be exposing those communities to high maintenance costs for new pipelines, critics said. 

Reid Frazier, The Allegheny Front

Standing beneath a tangle of pipes, duct work and grated catwalks at BASF’s massive ethylene plant in Port Arthur, Texas, Andy Miller points to a large metal box a few feet above his head. Inside, a fire burning at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit produces an industrial-scale whine. 

ecopolitologist / Flickr

According to a new report from the group PennEnvironment, only 17 percent of environmental or health violations by fracking companies in Pennsylvania resulted in fines. And when companies did get fined, the penalties were relatively small. In fact, the report found the median fine was just $5,263. 

KATIE COLANERI/STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is suing two rural townships that attempted to block underground disposal wells for oil and gas wastewater. On Monday DEP approved two new injection well permits in Highland Township, Elk County, and Grant Township, Indiana County. In its public announcement, the agency didn’t mention it was filing a lawsuit against the townships the same day. 

Katie Meyer

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- Over a dozen county commissioners from Pennsylvania's northern tier are working to organize around an issue that directly impacts their constituents: natural gas drilling. 

JOE WERTZ / STATEIMPACT OKLAHOMA

Pennsylvania environmental regulators have approved two new underground injection wells to take in wastewater from the oil and gas industry. Pennsylvania already has six active injection wells, according to Scott Perry, who runs the Office of Oil and Gas Management at the state Department of Environmental Protection. 

KATIE COLANERI/STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

A federal judge dismissed a challenge to the Delaware River Basin Commission’sright to regulate oil and gas development in the region. U.S. District Court Judge Robert Mariani on Thursday threw out a lawsuit by a group of Wayne County landowners who said the commission, an interstate regulator, lacks the authority to review and approve natural gas facilities on land owned by the group. 

MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

Pennsylvania officials declined on Wednesday to answer lawmakers’ questions on documents indicating that the state had issued permits for the Mariner East 2 pipeline before ensuring that it met all regulatory requirements. A bipartisan group of three lawmakers met with three top officials from the Department of Environmental Protection in Harrisburg. 

PA PUC

  One of Pennsylvania’s top utility regulators is walking back controversial remarks he made about pipeline opponents at a gas industry conference this week. Speaking at the Upstream PA conference Tuesday, state Public Utility Commissioner Robert Powelson said people opposing pipeline projects are engaged in a “jihad” to keep natural gas from reaching new markets.

MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

A federal court has thrown out a case brought by environmentalists that charged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with bias in pipeline cases. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network filed a federal lawsuit last year, alleging FERC favored industry in disputed pipeline cases. 

Lindsey Lazarski, WHYY

Pennsylvania has launched a new online tool to make it easier for the public to review documents submitted by the unconventional oil and gas industry. The change is part of a broader push from the Department of Environmental Protection to upgrade its technological capabilities

Reid Frazier, The Allegheny Front

Pennsylvania has the capacity to attract up to four more ethane cracker plants because of its abundant reserves of natural gas liquids (NGLs) and its proximity to major markets for plastics feedstock, a report released by Gov. Tom Wolf’s office said on Tuesday.  

MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

One of Pennsylvania’s top utility regulators says people opposing pipeline projects are engaged in a “jihad” to keep natural gas from reaching new markets. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner Robert Powelson was speaking to gas industry representatives Tuesday at the Upstream PA conference in State College. 

JON HURDLE/STATEIMPACT PA

A federal judge dealt the latest blow to the planned Constitution Pipeline when he rejected the builder’s argument that it would be injured by having to obtain certain state permits to construct the natural gas pipeline from Northeast Pennsylvania to New York State. 

Deleware River Basin Commission

The Delaware River Basin Commission is continuing to examine rules that might allow natural gas drilling in the basin but it isn’t close to a decision, and would submit any plans for a new rule on the issue to public comment, the federal government’s representative on the commission said Wednesday.

Emily Cohen, State Impact Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection issued final permits for the Mariner East 2 pipeline even though the pipeline’s builder, Sunoco Logistics, had not met all regulatory requirements at the time of issuance, DEP documents show. 

Mike Groll / AP Photo

Sunoco Logistics rejected an attempt by a Chester County township to block construction of a valve for its Mariner East 2 pipeline, saying the project is a public utility that may not be regulated by municipalities. 

MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

Opponents of the Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline say they’re being threatened and harassed by a Lancaster County municipality for allegedly misusing a barn as part of a protest encampment. Condemnation notices placed on the Conestoga Township barn Monday cite zoning and building codes, which prohibit the farm from being used as an encampment and the use of the barn for non-agricultural purposes. 

MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

As authorities clear out the Dakota Access pipeline protest camp, battles have flared up in other states, including Pennsylvania, which has become a major hub of natural gas development. Anti-pipeline activists recently launched an encampment in Lancaster County, and they’ve been coordinating with groups around the country.

MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

Opponents of the Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline have raised tens of thousands of dollars for a new encampment in Lancaster County, but most of the money is from one source–  British cosmetics firm, Lush. Lancaster Against Pipelines recently received $22,000 through a Lush program called Charity Pot. 

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. 

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.

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. 

Susan Phillips, StateImpact Pennsylvania

A Pennsylvania judge on Friday denied a request to temporarily halt the start of construction of the controversial Mariner East 2 pipeline. Judge Bernard Labuskes of the Environmental Hearing Board did not give a reason for denying the request from three environmental groups who sought to stop Sunoco Logistics from starting work on the cross-state line, pending a full hearing on the issue in early March. 

Pennsylvania Confirms First Fracking-Related Earthquakes

Feb 20, 2017
MARK SCHMERLING VIA FRACTRACKER ALLIANCE

Pennsylvania officials say they’ve confirmed the state’s first fracking-related earthquakes took place last year in Lawrence County, northwest of Pittsburgh. As a result, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is stepping up its requirements for drilling in that part of the state, which is known for seismic activity.

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