Fracking en Survey: Public Distrusts Gas Industry And Anti-Fracking Film, 'Gasland' <p>A new study shows the public views both the natural gas industry and the anti-fracking film, "Gasland," as among the least trustworthy sources of information when it comes to hydraulic fracturing.<br /><br />According to a paper published last month in Energy Research and Social Science, people are more likely to trust information from university professors, environmental groups, newspapers, and landowner groups.<br /><br />Regulatory agencies ranked fifth in trustworthiness among the eight possible choices. They were followed by cooperative extensions and the natural gas industry. Mon, 23 Jun 2014 02:48:27 +0000 Marie Cusick | StateImpact PA 31376 at Survey: Public Distrusts Gas Industry And Anti-Fracking Film, 'Gasland' Silence On Shale Drilling <p>Over the past six years, more than 6,000 Marcellus Shale wells have been constructed in Pennsylvania, making the Keystone State the fastest growing natural gas producer in America.</p><p>But the economic advantages of drilling are counterbalanced by health concerns.</p><p>Two retirees from the Pennsylvania Department of Health recently said its employees were silenced on the issue of Marcellus Shale drilling. The two retirees, a community health nurse and a staffer in the Bureau of Epidemiology, say that staff at state health centers and district offices were instructed not to return calls from residents who expressed concerns about natural gas development.</p><p>Katie Colaneri of StateImpact Pennsylvania <a href="">has been covering the story</a>. She believes that the Department of Health’s policy came from higher up. Fri, 20 Jun 2014 21:11:36 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 31286 at Reporters Promote Fracking Film by Setting Out on a Gasoline Free Road Trip <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><em><a href="">Public Herald</a></em> founders&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Melissa </span>Troutman<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and Joshua </span>Pribanic<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> are setting off on a summer tour to call attention to hydraulic fracturing, better known as </span>fracking<span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p>The journalists co-directed the documentary <a href="">Triple Divide</a> which deals with fracking in Pennsylvania. They’re taking the film to communities throughout the country that are dealing with their own fracking issues. And they're using a vehicle that doesn't need gasoline. Fri, 20 Jun 2014 21:02:00 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 31285 at Reporters Promote Fracking Film by Setting Out on a Gasoline Free Road Trip The Allegheny Front Explores Water Contamination in a New Series <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This weekend the environmental radio program </span><a href="" style="line-height: 1.5;">The Allegheny Front</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> begins a series on water contamination caused by </span>fracking in the Marcellus Shale region<span style="line-height: 1.5;">. Reporter </span><a href="" style="line-height: 1.5;">Reid Frazier</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> said the series will address&nbsp;</span>a suite of issues that have come up with&nbsp;fracking&nbsp;and water<span style="line-height: 1.5;">.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The first topic, airing Saturday morning focuses on the issue of radiation.&nbsp;</span></p><p>“When the waste comes into the landfill, the waste does go through a radiation detector, a scintillating detector. These levels are certainly higher than you want at your local landfill."&nbsp;</p><p> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 20:28:40 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 31291 at The Allegheny Front Explores Water Contamination in a New Series South Park Buildings Set To Be Demolished <p>South Park will be losing some long-standing but timeworn landmarks this summer.</p><p>At last week’s meeting of the South Park Council of Friends, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and District 6 Council Member John Palmiere announced plans to demolish five abandoned buildings in the park.</p><p>The Duck Pond House, McConkey House, McConkey Barn, Sedota House, and Schoonamaker Hall were built as part of South Park’s old fairgrounds; in the past, a county fair was held there every Labor Day weekend.</p> Mon, 02 Jun 2014 07:00:00 +0000 Kaye Burnet 29938 at A Day In The Life Of A Water Bank <p>For two years, a Presbyterian Church near hard-to-pronounce Connoquenessing Township, Pa., has been a bank — a water bank to be precise.<br /><br />The church distributes water to 34 families whose wells went bad around the time hydraulic fracturing started in the region. The coincidence can’t be proven, but residents of the Woodlands, a poor rural community in the township, said they can tell by taste, smell, color and skin reaction that their water hasn’t been right.<br /> Tue, 13 May 2014 07:30:00 +0000 Natasha Khan | PublicSource 29109 at A Day In The Life Of A Water Bank Feds Consider Rules For Fracking Chemical Disclosure <p>The federal government is considering whether it should require companies to disclose the chemicals involved in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.<br /><br />The Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday that it is seeking public comments, a pre-curser to the more formal rule-making process. However, there is no guarantee that the EPA will draft regulations.<br /><br />In the meantime, here’s what the agency says it wants to hear from the public:</p> Sun, 11 May 2014 23:03:43 +0000 Katie Colaneri | StateImpact PA & Katie Colanerie | StateImpact PA 29051 at Feds Consider Rules For Fracking Chemical Disclosure Allegheny County Council Votes To Allow Fracking Under Deer Lakes Park <p>In a heated meeting that lasted more than seven hours and included more than four hours of public comment, members of Allegheny County Council early Wednesday morning approved a lease agreement to drill for natural gas underneath Deer Lakes Park.</p> Wed, 07 May 2014 10:49:57 +0000 Liz Reid 28810 at Allegheny County Council Votes To Allow Fracking Under Deer Lakes Park Allegheny County Council To Vote On Deer Lakes Fracking Tuesday <p>Allegheny County Council is set to vote Tuesday on whether to drill for natural gas underneath Deer Lakes Park.</p><p>The controversial resolution would allow Range Resources, in cooperation with Huntley &amp; Huntley, to perform hydraulic fracturing under the park, provided that no drilling activities actually occur within the park.</p><p>County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said if the resolution passes, the county will receive around $7.7 million up front and an ongoing 18 percent royalty on the value of gas extracted.</p> Mon, 05 May 2014 23:02:39 +0000 Liz Reid 28738 at With No Health Registry, PA Doesn’t Know The Impact Of Fracking On Health <p>After more than five years and about 6,000 wells drilled in the Marcellus Shale boom, public-health experts say the need to collect information near fracking operations in Pennsylvania is urgent.<br /><br />A health registry could show trends of illnesses, collect data and potentially answer the question of whether fracking is safe — a debate currently characterized by emotional arguments with little reliable information.<br /><br />How will anyone in the state know the possible health impacts of hydraulic fracturing unless information is collected?<br /> Wed, 30 Apr 2014 15:59:47 +0000 Natasha Khan | PublicSource 28455 at Drilling Opponent Wants Councilman To Withdraw From Deer Lakes Lease Proposal <p>One Etna resident thinks Allegheny County Councilman Nicholas Futules (D-Oakmont) should not be a part of the discussion about fracking under Deer Lakes Park.</p><p>Tim Ludwig, a Protect Our Parks member, has filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission.</p><p>He wants the Commission to force Futules to recuse himself from discussing or voting on the proposed extraction of natural gas underneath the 1,180-acre park.</p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 19:06:21 +0000 Jessica Nath 28133 at Mars Parents Want Two-Mile Fracking Buffer <p>The fight over placing a nonconventional gas well about a half-mile from five Mars Area School District schools has moved out of the district’s boardroom and into the boardrooms of a pair of local townships.</p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 18:57:52 +0000 Mark Nootbaar 27608 at A New Pipeline From PA Fracking Fields Is Stirring Controversy in the Bluegrass State <p>The land agent first came knocking on Vivian and Dean House’s door in July. They sat on the patio of the retired couple’s 85-acre farm in this Central Kentucky town and chatted.<br /><br />The guy was friendly, the kind of guy Dean could talk to about fishing.</p> Sun, 22 Dec 2013 15:51:46 +0000 Natasha Khan | PublicSource 21809 at A New Pipeline From PA Fracking Fields Is Stirring Controversy in the Bluegrass State PA High Court Strikes Down Zoning Limits on Drilling <p>The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Thursday struck down portions of a law that stripped some of the powers municipalities have to decide where the natural gas industry can operate — portions that the industry had sought from Gov. Tom Corbett and lawmakers.</p><p>The justices ruled the 2012 law unconstitutionally restricted the power of municipalities, although the 4-to-2 majority disagreed as to why it was unconstitutional.</p> Thu, 19 Dec 2013 21:04:09 +0000 The Associated Press 21679 at To Clear the Air, Some in Susquehanna County Leave the Fracking Debate Behind <p>Two years ago, Victoria Switzer and her neighbors had stopped speaking.<br /><br />Switzer was one of the residents of Dimock who claimed natural gas drilling had ruined their water supplies. The small village in Susquehanna County became synonymous with flaming taps and jugs of muddy brown drinking water.<br /><br />But the media blitz angered her neighbors, the Teels, who said it ignored the economic benefits of drilling.<br /><br />The reporters, the activists and the industry haven’t gone away, but things have started to change.</p> Tue, 26 Nov 2013 13:02:21 +0000 Katie Colaneri | StateImpact PA 20406 at To Clear the Air, Some in Susquehanna County Leave the Fracking Debate Behind Duquesne University Hosts Fracking Conference <p>More than two dozen researchers meet Monday at Duquesne University as part of a symposium on the latest findings regarding Marcellus Shale drilling.</p><p>Foundation-funded researchers from universities including Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Duke and Yale presented their independent research on topics such as air quality, human and animal health, effects on water treatment plants and local government response to shale gas development.</p> Mon, 25 Nov 2013 08:30:00 +0000 Michael Lynch 20271 at In Pittsburgh, Corbett Says Shale Opponents Are 'Economic Development Deniers' <p>At a shale gas conference in Pittsburgh Thursday, Gov. Tom Corbett defended his policies promoting drilling in the state, and defended his own math, too.<br /><br />Corbett, who is running for re-election, said drilling under his watch was responsible for a vast economic lift to the state. "More than 200,000 jobs have either been created, made more prosperous or made more secure" by the drilling boom brought on by fracking in Pennsylvania.<br /><br />“That number of course seems to bother some out there," said Corbett.<br /> Thu, 14 Nov 2013 21:03:38 +0000 Reid Frazier | The Allegheny Front 19832 at Macey: Fracking, Working with New Mayor on County Council Agenda <p>Democrats retained control of Allegheny County Council in Tuesday's election, but they did lose one seat (District 3) and now have a 10-5 majority.</p><p>County Councilman Bob Macey (D-9) won another four-year term and is looking ahead to issues in the upcoming year, including fracking on county property and building a relationship with Pittsburgh's mayor-elect Bill Peduto.</p><p>Macey said the decision to drill for natural gas on Allegheny Airport property is a great chance to observe the benefits fracking could bring to the region.</p> Wed, 06 Nov 2013 20:44:00 +0000 Haldan Kirsch 19384 at Discussing Municipal Bans on Fracking <p>In 2010, Pittsburgh was the first municipality in the nation to institute a ban on hydraulic fracturing. Many others have followed suit, including the boroughs of Baldwin, West Homestead and Wilkinsburg, as well as State College, PA.</p><p>Now citizens in Youngstown, Ohio are looking at the structure of Pittsburgh’s fracking ban in shaping a their own ordinances. PublicSource reporter Natasha Khan recently wrote about the <a href="">ongoing debates</a> in Youngstown as it pertains to jobs and environmental concerns.</p><p>Opponents of the Youngstown ban say it’s unconstitutional for a municipality to regulate beyond state and federal law. Similar objections have also been raised in Pennsylvania. Tue, 24 Sep 2013 20:05:29 +0000 Heather McClain 17071 at Discussing Municipal Bans on Fracking Ferlo Calls for Fracking Moratorium in PA <p>When lawmakers return to Harrisburg next week they will be faced with a new proposal to put a moratorium on new permits for hydraulic fracturing.&nbsp;</p><p>State Sen. Jim Ferlo (D-Allegheny) announced that he is introducing legislation during a news conference at the Allegheny County Courthouse Wednesday.</p><p>Senate Bill 1100 would also create a commission to analyze the agricultural, economic, environmental and social effects of Marcellus Shale drilling.</p> Wed, 18 Sep 2013 18:41:24 +0000 Tim Camerato 16753 at How Could OSHA’s New Silica Rules Impact The Natural Gas Industry? <p>Federal labor officials are proposing new rules to help prevent an old hazard of the trade: diseases caused by breathing in silica dust. Silicosis has long been a plight of workers in construction and manufacturing, but concerns have shifted in recent years to those who toil in the growing natural gas industry.<br><br>Sand is an important ingredient in most fracking fluid recipes. It’s mixed with chemicals and water and blasted deep underground where the tiny grains help keep cracks in the shale rock open for all that natural gas to come through.<br> Thu, 29 Aug 2013 14:34:43 +0000 Katie Colaneri | StateImpact Pennsylvania 15653 at Group to Urge County Council to Reject Fracking Proposals for Allegheny County Parks <p></p><p>Nothing has been decided yet, but Allegheny County Council is considering an offer to develop natural gas found under Deer Lakes Park.</p><p>A new group made up of several grass roots organizations is planning to urge the group to say “no.” Members of Protect Our Parks will deliver their message at Tuesday’s County Council meeting.</p> Mon, 19 Aug 2013 20:52:42 +0000 Deanna Garcia 15094 at Rising Marcellus Shale Production Might Not Benefit Natural Gas <p class="p1">Despite a declining number of wells, Marcellus Shale gas production in 2013 is up 50% from 2012. According to Nick Nanos, President and CEO of Nanos Research, this can be attributed at least in part to a shift of focus.</p><p class="p1">“The focus has been on higher quality drills and wells that can yield a greater value,” Nanos explains. Fri, 16 Aug 2013 22:33:51 +0000 Reid Carter 14992 at Rising Marcellus Shale Production Might Not Benefit Natural Gas Shale Roundtable Makes Recommendations for Marcellus Industry <p>A group charged with examining the Marcellus Shale industry in a comprehensive, unbiased manner has made <a href="">several recommendations</a> regarding the development, distribution and research of natural gas.</p><p>The Shale Gas Roundtable released its final report, and any further action is up to industry leaders, lawmakers and environmentalists.</p> Fri, 16 Aug 2013 13:46:40 +0000 Deanna Garcia 14947 at Shale Roundtable Makes Recommendations for Marcellus Industry Marcellus Gas Production Rising Fast in PA, West Virginia <p>Marcellus Shale natural gas production is rising even faster this year than energy experts had predicted, and that's having a national impact on energy.<br><br>Bentek, a Colorado company that analyzes energy trends, said 2013 production in Pennsylvania and West Virginia is up about 50 percent compared with last year. Figures for the pipelines that take gas out of the Marcellus show that in the first six months of the year, Pennsylvania produced about 1.5 trillion cubic feet of gas, with projections for a year-end total of about 3.2 trillion cubic feet.<br> Thu, 15 Aug 2013 16:05:06 +0000 The Associated Press 14916 at