Department of Environmental Protection

Groups Sue EPA Over Flares At Industrial Facilities

Nov 2, 2020
Reid R. Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Environmental groups are suing the federal government over air pollution from flares at gas processing plants and other industrial facilities.

Mariner East Construction Spills 10,000 Gallons Of Drilling Mud Into Chester County Lake

Aug 12, 2020
Courtesy of Ginny Kerslake

Sunoco’s Mariner East pipeline construction caused an estimated 10,000 gallons of drilling mud, or bentonite clay, to spill into Marsh Creek and Marsh Creek Lake at a state park in Chester County this week.

PA Grand Jury Report On Fracking: DEP Failed To Protect Public Health

Jun 25, 2020
Susan Phillips / StateImpact Pennsylvania

A Pennsylvania grand jury report wo years in the making slammed the Department of Environmental Protection for failing to protect the public from the health effects of fracking.

DEP Stood To Gain New Staffers, But Now Faces Flat Funding To Start Next Fiscal Year

May 28, 2020
Susan Phillips / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection was hoping to welcome 25 new staff members in the next fiscal year. 

Reid Frazier / StateImpact PA

Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection is forecasting Thursday to be a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for the Liberty-Clairton area. A higher than normal level of fine particulate matter is expected.

"Young children, the elderly, those with respiratory problems will be especially vulnerable," said DEP spokesperson Beth Rementer.

Amy Sisk / WESA

A damaged pipeline has prompted the Environmental Protection Agency to temporarily waive a requirement for a special, cleaner blend of gasoline in Allegheny County during summer months.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Secretary Patrick McDonnell and 19 Attorneys General signed a letter to congressional leaders urging them to block proposed cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's budget.

Joe Ulrich / WITF

While Pennsylvania officials weigh how to regulate emissions from natural gas well sites, a panel of state senators on Tuesday heard how leak detection technology is advancing and creating more jobs.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Of the 8 million vehicles registered in Pennsylvania, just 15,000 of them are electric.

Pennsylvania Permits Halted For Texas-Based Pipeline Company

Feb 8, 2019
Marie Cusick / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is halting construction permits for natural gas pipelines operated by Texas-based Energy Transfer LP, saying the company isn't fixing problems related to an explosion last year.

Judges Say DEP Unlawfully Issued Air-Quality Permits To Sunoco At Marcus Hook

Jan 10, 2019
Matt Slocus / AP

A Pennsylvania court said the Department of Environmental Protection unlawfully issued air-quality permits to Sunoco for its natural gas liquids plant at Marcus Hook in Delaware County, and it ordered the department to re-do its analysis over whether the plant should be subject to two sets of emissions rules.

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Braddock is the latest municipality to struggle with elevated lead levels. Recent testing showed a spike above federal law. But, unlike a lot of places, the Braddock Water Authority’s pipes are likely not to blame.

DEP Orders ETP To Fix Revolution Pipeline Erosion Problems

Oct 31, 2018
Marcellus Air / StateImpact Pennsylvania

State regulators have ordered the owner of a pipeline that experienced a catastrophic explosion last month to fix inadequate erosion control measures in several locations along its route.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The state Department of Environmental Protection is moving forward with plans to regulate harmful air pollution from Pennsylvania’s thousands of oil and gas sites.

Alex Brandon / AP

The Department of Environmental Protection has released its 2017 Oil and Gas Annual Report, which revealed 2,231 oil and gas well drilling permits were issued last year; it's the first increase in activity since 2014.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Protesters gathered outside the Department of Environmental Protection's Pittsburgh office Thursday to urge the agency to deny permits to Shell Pipeline Co. to build an ethane pipeline. The 97-mile Falcon Pipeline would bring ethane to a petrochemical plant in Potter Township, Beaver County.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said he plans to investigate if the state's child abuse hotline followed through on his office's recommendations to hire more staff. It's part of a plan announced Thursday to revisit nine previously audited state agencies.

Jakob Lazzaro / 90.5 WESA

It’s a hot July day and 86-year-old John Zavacky is chatting with friends in the South Side Market House’s Senior Center. In the background, an air conditioner hums while drawing the warm outside air into the cavernous main room.

Susan Phillips / StateImpact Pennsylvania

State environmental officials have ordered three companies to plug more than 1,000 abandoned oil and gas wells.

Wells in Pennsylvania are considered abandoned when they have been inactive for more than a year. Left unattended, they can pose safety hazards or leak and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania will use the $118 million it received in a settlement with Volkswagen to fund grants and rebates for cleaner vehicles and engines.

The money comes to the state after the German automaker programmed diesel vehicles to cheat emissions tests and reached a $14.7-billion settlement with the federal government. Most is going toward buying back vehicles and compensating owners, but some is going into a trust that divvies up the money to states.

In Pennsylvania, funds will go toward buying new engines or retrofitting old ones.

Kim Paynter / WHYY

As state lawmakers prepare for budget negotiations, Governor Tom Wolf is once again trotting out a natural gas severance tax proposal in hopes of slipping it into the final deal. 

Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

More than 20 residents and environmental advocates called for tough limits on water pollution from a coal-fired power plant northeast of Pittsburgh on Wednesday evening.

Catalina Jaramillo / WHYY

An environmental group is criticizing Pennsylvania for its high numbers of Clean Water Act violations.

Amy Sisk / WESA

Millions of Pennsylvania drivers make an annual trip to their local auto shop to test their vehicle’s emissions. Two decades after this ritual began, some are questioning its necessity.

Climate State / Flickr

Solar energy advocates want to dramatically increase the amount of electricity generated from solar panels in the state.

At Greene County Coal Mine, Dwindling Production Means 370 Lost Jobs

Mar 8, 2018
Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Austin Turner was headed back home to West Virginia on a recent afternoon from his job at the 4 West Mine in Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania. It was going to be one of his last shifts there, as the mine would be shutting down soon.

Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Ryan Zinke, President Trump’s Interior Secretary, came to Western Pennsylvania to tout the federal government’s abandoned mine cleanup program. It was an appropriate setting.

Marie Cusick / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania regulators are fining Sunoco more than $12 million for problems with a massive natural gas pipeline project, but letting work resume under a consent agreement.

The Department of Environmental Protection said Thursday that Sunoco Pipeline has made changes since work on the $2.5 billion Mariner East 2 pipeline was halted Jan. 3.

The 350-mile project has been plagued by spills and leaks of drilling fluid and improper construction methods.

Susan Walsh / AP

As the federal government nears a shutdown, frustration is mounting among federal employees tasked with overseeing the Mid-Atlantic region’s environment and energy-related programs.

The Environmental Protection Agency said Friday that it has enough money to stay open for a week in the event of a shutdown.

Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

State environmental officials have fined a natural gas company $1.7 million for problems at well sites in Greene and Clearfield counties.