Shale Reporter : Environment

News, information and opinion about fracking, drilling and politics in the Marcellus Shale region

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Environment News

Green groups question state's gas drilling report
Updated: May 12, 2014 - 9:53 am

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection thinks it is doing a good job regulating the biggest gas drilling boom in the nation, but environmental groups say that a new state report is far too optimistic.

W.Va. experts: Quakes from fracking nothing to get shook up about
Posted: April 27, 2014

CHEAT LAKE, W.Va. – Two experts said the processes involved in the natural gas drilling process are linked to earthquakes, but should not be a serious cause for alarm.

Methane levels from shale drillers disputed
Updated: May 07, 2014 - 10:31 am

Increased regulations and improvements in the natural gas industry continue to drive a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, although a study shows regulators might be missing some measurements.

State doesn't make all drilling complaints public
Posted: April 07, 2014

Testimony in a lawsuit over shale gas drilling suggests Pennsylvania regulators don't always publicly release records of pollution complaints.

White House signals tighter rules on methane gas emissions
Posted: March 31, 2014

The Obama administration outlined a new strategy for addressing methane, signaling it may move to regulate a potent greenhouse gas released into the air from hydraulic fracturing.

Judge eases ruling on Pa. anti-fracking activist
Posted: March 31, 2014

A northeastern Pennsylvania judge has loosened restrictions on an anti-fracking activist who had been barred from stepping foot on more than 300 square miles of land owned or leased by a natural gas driller.

FAA: Airport drilling won't have significant effects
Posted: March 31, 2014

Drilling for natural gas on land at Pittsburgh International Airport won’t have a significant impact on the environment, Federal Aviation Administration officials said Thursday.

Fracking activist wants back on driller's land
Updated: March 31, 2014 - 7:49 am

A high-profile anti-fracking activist who often gives tours of natural gas drilling sites in northeastern Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale region asked a judge Monday for relief from an order barring her from stepping foot on more than 300 square miles of land owned or leased by one of the state's leading natural gas drillers.

Leaseholder worries about explosives left idle in holes
Updated: March 24, 2014 - 7:36 am

SPRINGHILL TWP. -- When Gerald Medved signed a lease to allow seismic testing on his property, he thought the process would be over in a matter of days.

Ohio halts gas drilling near site of earthquakes
Updated: March 16, 2014 - 11:07 pm

State regulators ordered a gas drilling company to halt operations in an area of northeastern Ohio after three minor earthquakes were felt in the area.

Chevron pizza 'scandal' isn't one in small town
Posted: March 10, 2014

Critics are raging after an energy giant offered pizza coupons to a community near a natural gas well that exploded last month, killing a worker.

DEP: Radiation levels normal at well explosion site
Updated: March 10, 2014 - 8:32 am

DUNKARD TWP. -- Radiation levels are normal after last month’s gas well fire in Greene County, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection officials said Friday.

Wyo. water testing rule doesn't include punishment
Posted: March 03, 2014

Wyoming’s groundwater testing rule goes into effect today amid questions from industry and environmentalists over how it will be implemented.

Fee hike will put more inspectors in field
Posted: February 24, 2014

HARRISBURG - State regulators plan to hire several dozen new staffers for gas and oil regulatory duties with revenue coming from a permit fee hike for Marcellus Shale wells.

Colorado first state to clamp down on methane pollution from fracking
Updated: February 25, 2014 - 8:54 am

DENVER — Colorado regulators approved groundbreaking controls on emissions from oil and natural gas operations after an unusual coalition of energy companies and environmentalists agreed on measures to counter worsening smog.

Gas wells threatening region's archaeological sites
Posted: February 11, 2014

A pipeline installed for fracking operations that runs through the middle of a farm on North Fork Ten Mile Creek in Washington County is threatening the land.

NE Ohio wastewater official set for trial April 8
Updated: February 09, 2014 - 10:45 pm

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — The former senior official of a northeast Ohio wastewater company charged with violating the federal Clean Water Act goes on trial April 8.

Some groups, residents question Ohio permitting
Updated: January 31, 2014 - 11:17 am

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Some environmental groups and eastern Ohio residents say the state is hurrying permits for gas processing plants amid the shale drilling boom.

Shale focused center names executive director
Posted: January 22, 2014

PITTSBURGH — Officials for the Center for Sustainable Shale Development have announced it is officially open for business.

Allegheny County, Pa. to monitor air near airport drilling
Updated: January 22, 2014 - 9:55 am

The Allegheny County Health Department announced this week it would begin an air monitoring study near a drilling project at Pittsburgh International Airport.

Pa. charity keeps funding gas drilling research
Updated: January 20, 2014 - 10:50 am

The Heinz Endowments are continuing to strongly support research and advocacy relating to environmental and health impacts of natural gas hydraulic fracturing,

Lab study cuts fracking waste's radioactivity
Posted: January 14, 2014

HOUSTON (AP) — Researchers believe they have found an unlikely way to decrease the radioactivity of some hydraulic fracturing wastewater: Mix it with the hazardous drainage from mining operations.

Critics fault EPA for relying on data from by drillers
Updated: January 16, 2014 - 10:35 am

WASHINGTON -€” The EPA relied on tests conducted by the driller itself when it  declared Texas homes near a gas-drilling operation didn't have dangerous levels of methane. 

Radio Disney drops out of Ohio education program
Posted: January 13, 2014

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Radio Disney says it will no longer be involved with the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program after activists complained that it inappropriately promoted shale gas drilling.

Sierra Club records bid in Ohio dumping case ends
Updated: January 08, 2014 - 7:47 am

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An environmental group's public records case against state regulators has ended in a settlement agreement, with Ohio turning over documents related to the alleged illegal dumping of oil and gas drilling wastewater in northeast Ohio and paying a fine.

Some states confirm water pollution from drilling
Posted: January 06, 2014

PITTSBURGH (AP) — In at least four states that have nurtured the nation's energy boom, hundreds of complaints have been made about well-water contamination.

Pipeline from Pa. fracking fields stirs controversy
Posted: January 02, 2014

STAMPING GROUND, KY. -- The land agent first came knocking on Vivian and Dean House’s door in July.

Key gas drilling health study collecting Pa. data
Posted: January 01, 2014

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Almost two years after it began, a much-publicized plan to study possible health impacts from gas drilling is still in the process of collecting data.

Northeast Ohio fracking ban backers to try again
Posted: December 30, 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Backers of a proposed ban on hydraulic fracturing in a northeast Ohio city say they're not giving up despite two defeats at the polls in 2013.

Western Pa. river study finds bromides, chlorides, but no surprises
Posted: December 26, 2013

The region’s most comprehensive, long-term study of water quality turned up the highest concentration of bromides — which are associated with natural gas drilling and coal mining — on the Allegheny and Kiski rivers.

Ohio county apologizes for offensive drill
Posted: December 16, 2013

ATHENS, Ohio (AP) — Officials in a southeastern Ohio county have apologized for a scenario they used for an emergency-responder drill that offended some people.

Chevron suspends shale gas exploration in Romania
Posted: December 09, 2013

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — U.S. oil company Chevron has suspended exploration for shale gas in Romania after hundreds of anti-fracking protesters tore down fences.

Fracking waste fills WV landfills under new rule
Updated: December 09, 2013 - 9:50 am

McLEAN, Va. (AP) — A memo released quietly by regulators earlier this year has carved a major loophole in West Virginia's rules restricting the amount of waste that can be accepted by the state's landfills, all with the intent to ease a burgeoning problem caused by the boom in gas drilling, environmentalists say.

Report: Natural gas emissions could be higher than thought
Posted: December 06, 2013

BEAVER, Pa. — There could be hidden environmental impacts of replacing coal with natural gas, a new report says.

Western Pa. officials reject drilling ban in parks
Posted: November 21, 2013

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Officials in the Pittsburgh area have defeated a plan to ban natural-gas drilling beneath county parks.

Colorado proposes oil, gas air-quality crackdown
Posted: November 19, 2013

DENVER (AP) — Under pressure to tighten air quality standards for oil and gas drillers, Colorado officials on Monday proposed the nation's first statewide standards for emissions.

Meet the newest anti-fracking activist: Pope Francis
Updated: November 15, 2013 - 11:26 am

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has already become a favorite of progressives with his fairly open-minded statements on homosexuality and birth control.

Wyoming will demand water tests before oil and natural gas drilling
Updated: November 13, 2013 - 8:41 am

The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission on Tuesday approved a new rule that will require energy companies to test nearby water before drilling oil and natural gas wells.

Europe needs more environment study on shale gas
Updated: November 13, 2013 - 8:44 am

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — European shale gas experts say more environmental studies are needed to address public concern about the security of extraction of the fossil fuel.

More oil and gas drillers turn to water recycling
Updated: November 15, 2013 - 11:26 am

MIDLAND, Texas (AP) — When the rain stopped falling in Texas, the prairie grass yellowed, the soil cracked and oil drillers were confronted with a crisis.

Public comment sought on proposal for gas waste on barges
Posted: November 06, 2013

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard is seeking public comments on a proposal that would allow barges to transport shale gas wastewater.

Radioactive pollution in Allegheny River not from fracking
Posted: October 31, 2013

Regulators are working on an environmental agreement with a Warren County water treatment plant targeted by a federal lawsuit and accusations it is polluting the Allegheny River, the state Department of Environmental Protection said on Tuesday.

Fracking foes speak against drilling in parks
Posted: October 31, 2013

A town hall meeting on Thursday evening in Harrison attracted more than 100 people who are concerned about a fracking proposal in Allegheny County parks, particularly Deer Lakes Park in West Deer and Frazer.

Environmentalist attempt to block drilling in grouse area
Posted: October 30, 2013

Three environmental groups petitioned the federal government Monday to block new oil and gas development in an area of key sage grouse habitat near Douglas.

Environmental group sues over waste in Allegheny River
Posted: October 30, 2013

An industrial treatment plant near Allegheny National Forest is dumping illegal amounts of salty, contaminant-laden wastewater from drillers into the Allegheny River in violation of state and federal laws, an environmental group charges in a federal lawsuit.

Teresa Heinz Kerry talks about Heinz Endowments
Posted: October 29, 2013

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Teresa Heinz Kerry says family members weren't fully aware of a controversial decision by the Heinz Endowments to partner with major energy companies on natural gas drilling standards, even though the organization approved two pilot grants for the project last year.

Pa. group files lawsuit over wastewater plant
Posted: October 29, 2013

WARREN, Pa. (AP) — An environmental group has filed a lawsuit against a western Pennsylvania wastewater treatment plant.

Hopes high for delayed Pa. fracking water plant
Posted: October 28, 2013

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) — An entrepreneur says he still hopes to have a plant running to recycle polluted water from the Pennsylvania's booming natural gas drilling.

Pittsburgh police arrest environmental protesters
Posted: October 22, 2013

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Hundreds of environmental activists protesting fracking and mountaintop-removal mining staged a rally and marched through downtown Pittsburgh on Monday amid a call for renewable energy.

Police stop anti-fracking protest in Romania
Posted: October 17, 2013

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Hundreds of Romanians opposed to shale gas extraction scuffled with police at an exploration site where energy giant Chevron plans to start drilling.