Environment & Energy

Environment
7:56 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Lawmakers, Labor Leaders, Energy Executives Urge Extension of Wind Energy Tax Credit

The decade-old Wind Energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) is set to expire at the end of the year if no Congressional action is taken. In Pittsburgh Monday, elected officials, energy executives, and labor leaders urged extension of the PTC, which provides a tax credit of 2.2 cents for every 1,000 watts of wind energy produced.

“If Congress allows the tax credit to expire this year, more than 4,000 good, family sustaining, middle-class Pennsylvania jobs will be lost and 37,000 jobs nationally,” said Congressman Mike Doyle (D-PA-14).

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Environment
5:25 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Greening the East Busway

Nearly 300 trees will line the Martin Luther King Jr. Busway in Homewood to add greenery and reduce noise for the residents who live between North Braddock Avenue and North Homewood Avenue.

The project is a collaboration among the city of Pittsburgh, Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Tree Pittsburgh, and Operation Better Block (OBB). 

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Environment
11:52 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Dozens Gather at New Castle-area Farm to Protest Nearby Drilling

Some 30 protesters gathered at a small farm in New Castle Monday to protest a nearby unconventional gas well. Maggie and Dale Henry operate the organic farm, and fear fracking could put their operation out of business. Anti-fracking advocates are concerned about the numerous abandoned wells in the area.

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Environment
8:53 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Too Many Tote Bags? Donate Them

If you are one of the many people who receives a tote bag every time you volunteer and find yourself with a house full of totes, it might be time to start donating some

Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh are teaming up with The Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project to collect totes, gym bags, and backpacks to be distributed to local food pantries.

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Environment
6:50 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

New Air Toxics Guidelines Approved by Allegheny County Board of Health

The new guidelines have been years in the making, and their approval delayed time and time again. On Wednesday the Allegheny County Board of Health finally voted to adopt them.

“Probably the most important piece of it is that it updates the guidelines that have been used in the past. When the current guidelines, the one they’re using now, were written the space shuttle program was brand new, Ben Roethlisberger was just out of kindergarten,” said Tom Hoffman, western PA Director for Clean Water Action and member of the task force that drafted the new regulations.

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Environment
7:45 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

Red Cross: Volunteers Needed

The American Red Cross in western Pennsylvania is looking for volunteers to help take care of those in need locally and on the east coast due to Hurricane Sandy.

The national organization has provided about 3,200 people with shelter and mobilized more than 1,300 disaster relief workers as a result of the super storm.

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Environment
4:36 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse Celebrates 10th Anniversary

In 2002, the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG) began showcasing and supporting the city's biotechnology tool, medical tool, therapeutics, diagnostics, and healthcare IT businesses. After a decade of solid growth the Greenhouse is celebrating its ten-year anniversary this week.

In ten years, the PLSG has worked with 384 companies. It has invested approximately $18.1 million in 73 portfolio companies, eight of which have exited for roughly $278 million. Additionally, about 500 jobs throughout the region, both directly and indirectly, have been created.

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Environment
5:44 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Will Pittsburgh Dodge the Hurricane Sandy Flooding Bullet?

http://2cccd5dfe1965e26adf6-26c50ce30a6867b5a67335a93e186605.r53.cf1.rackcdn.com/Storm Wrap.mp3

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Environment
4:07 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Relief has a Head Start

http://2cccd5dfe1965e26adf6-26c50ce30a6867b5a67335a93e186605.r53.cf1.rackcdn.com/Sandy Wrap_Emily Farah_SOC.mp3

A Pittsburgh-based charity is starting Hurricane Sandy relief efforts early.  Brother’s Brother Foundation (BBF) is partnering with Gleaning For the World (GFTW) and sending four truckloads of supplies to areas in Sandy’s path.

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Environment
8:40 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

$1.6 Million in Grants to Trim Diesel Emissions

The Breathe Project and Allegheny County Health Department are providing $1.6 million to small companies to make their diesel construction vehicles more environmentally friendly.  This is the second round of grants to the Small Construction Contractors Retrofit Program which is operated by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association.

Caren Glotfelty is the senior director of The Heinz Endowments’ Environment Program, which is a Breathe Project coalition sponsor.  She says retrofits can be costly.

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Environment
5:50 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Environmental Groups Call for More Oil and Gas Industry Reporting

A group of seventeen environmental groups has taken its fight for more openness in the nation’s oil and gas fields to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  In a filing led by the Environmental Integrity Project, the EPA is being asked to include gas extraction and processing in its Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reporting requirements.

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Environment
4:44 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Air Quality Action Day in Late October?

Pittsburghers unfortunately are used to Air Quality Action Days during the warm summer months—but in late October? The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) forecast a code orange Air Quality Action Day for fine particulate matter for today in the Liberty-Clairton area of Allegheny County.

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Environment
8:32 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

State Loan to Make Schenley Park "Great Jewel"

Pittsburgh’s Schenley Park is getting a little renovation that will move stormwater through the park in a more natural way.

State Representative Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny) announced the approval of a $617,540 low-interest state loan for a stormwater runoff control project in the park.

Frankel, a member of the Pittsburgh Park Conservancy Board, said the project will be completely green.

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Environment
10:02 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

New PA Water Policy Concerns Environmentalists

14 Environmental groups concerned over a new policy in Pennsylvania that they say could negativly impact public health have filed suit calling on the Corbett administartion to rescind the policy.

The recent policy change puts Department of Environmental Protection Administrators in charge of reporting water contamination complaints, which environmentalists say will lead to delays in warning the public of water pollution from oil and gas development.

Specifically, DEP administrators will handle complaints related to oil and gas drilling within the state.

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Environment
7:09 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Deer Must Be Processed Within Management Area

In reaction to the state’s first confirmed case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a deer, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is putting tight controls on hunters within parts of Adams and York Counties [PDF map].

CWD was found in a deer that spent its entire life in captivity, but game officials are taking steps to monitor the wild population in the area while doing everything it can to make sure the deadly disease does not spread.

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Environment
10:35 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Perilous Pathways: The Danger Of Drilling Near Abandoned Wells

There are an estimated 200,000 aban­doned oil and gas wells in Penn­syl­va­nia but officials only know where the exact boundaries of about four percent of them.  The infor­ma­tion gap is a prob­lem, because aban­doned wells are dangerous, especially when drillers start to sink new wells into the countryside.

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Environment
7:16 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Cleanup of Waterway at Flight 93 National Memorial Site gets $312K Financial Boost

Years before a plane crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, efforts were underway to clean up Lambert’s Run. Part of that stream runs through the Flight 93 Memorial site, which is a reclaimed strip mine.

“The area had been both strip mined and deep mined and when the plane crashed in September 2001, the current mining owners and state Department of Environmental Protection  (DEP) were working to clean up some of the mine drainage that was there,” said Jeff Reinbold, superintendent of National Parks Service Western PA.

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Environment
1:31 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

PHOTOS: Pittsburgh Zoo Continues Push to "Go Green"

The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium houses more than 4,000 animals and hosts thousands of visitors each year. A lot of resources are needed to keep the animals fed and comfortable in their habitats, and to keep the grounds looking good – that takes a lot of energy and creates a lot of waste.

Zoo officials are trying to maintain the facility in the most environmentally-friendly way possible – a trend that’s spreading among zoos across the U.S.

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Environment & Energy
2:39 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

Poland Hopes to Frack Shale Deposits

A map showing major shale gas basins around the world.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ask Poles how they feel about fracking for natural gas and responses are mixed. They hope for big money and free flowing gas. They recognize legal, environmental and societal concerns, but ask them why fracking for homegrown gas is important and the answer is the same: energy independence.

Poles from all walks of life say if they can get to the natural gas that geologists and energy companies say is trapped deep underground, Poland would be free from reliance on its neighbors to the east — Russians.

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Environment & Energy
2:25 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

A Test Drill in Lesniowice

A test drill for shale gas was done by Chevron in Lesniowice earlier this year.
Erika Beras/90.5 WESA

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Poland has the same kinds of natural gas shale formations we have here in Pennsylvania. Many Poles hope hydraulic fracturing technology and the resulting release of natural gas will bring the country energy independence and a financial boom, but also like here in Pennsylvania, a number of Poles have a not-in-my-backyard attitude toward the developments. 

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Environment
4:00 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Landscape Change A Direct Result Of Natural Gas Industry

While the natural gas industry continues to grow rapidly in Pennsylvania, the likelihood of negative effects on the landscape is also increasing. A report released by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) documented highly detailed patterns of disturbance related to the industry development.

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Environment
10:35 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Water-Related Trade Group Formed to Enact CMU Recommendations

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) has released a report that makes suggestions on how southwestern Pennsylvania could resolve issues regarding the region's water supplies, like stormwater management and river navigation. At a news conference Thursday morning, a new water-related trade group was announced in order to take on those recommendations.

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Environment
4:34 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Parking Spaces...or Parks?

Don't be surprised Friday if you see some metered parking spots in Pittsburgh that  are occupied not by cars but "public spaces" in an effort to spark thoughts about urban landscape and land use. 

PARK(ing) Day Pittsburgh is a one-day event aimed to get Pittsburghers thinking about the benefits of recreational parks and improving the community.  Thor Erickson, a committee member with PARK(ing) Day Pittsburgh, said the designs for the spaces range from a simple extension of a business to a full-blown coffee shop, to an actual park.

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Environment
8:33 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Vote Delayed on New Allegheny County Air Toxics Guidelines

The Allegheny County Board of Health has postponed a vote on guidelines that would be used by the county to decide whether or not to give a permit to companies that will emit pollution into the air.  The guidelines were drafted by a task force comprised of industry representatives, academia, healthcare officials, community members, and environmental groups.  Several supporters urged the board to pass them at their Wednesday meeting, but at the request of County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, that vote did not happen.

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Environment
7:35 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Beaver Valley Nuclear Plant to Expand Storage Facilities

A regional energy company has announced plans to expand its storage capacity for nuclear waste produced from a Beaver County plant.

FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company said it plans to start construction soon on a $30 million dry storage facility. At least six above-ground bunkers will be built of steel and concrete on the grounds of the company's Beaver Valley Power Station starting this fall, with completion slated for 2014.

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