January 20, 2012 |
Federal regulators said Thursday that they would deliver drinking water to four households near natural gas wells in the embattled town of Dimock, casting doubt on Pennsylvania's decision to allow a Marcellus Shale operator to halt deliveries in December. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also said it would conduct its own water sampling at 61 homes in the rural Susquehanna County township "to further assess whether any residents are being exposed to hazardous substances that cause health concerns.
December 2, 2011 |
Last month, Pennsylvania Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Krancer testified before Congress on what he called the "unbiased real facts" of shale-gas exploration. Speaking before the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, he gave four examples of "suspect science" on the safety of hydraulic fracturing to release natural gas. One of the examples he discussed at length was our study at Duke University. Our study with two coworkers, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in May, found no evidence that fracturing fluids had contaminated drinking water, but it did find evidence of higher methane, ethane, and propane concentrations in some drinking-water wells near drilling sites.
November 27, 2011
Do you support continuing the moratorium on drilling in the Delaware River region that provides this area's drinking water?
November 6, 2011 |
If you despair of the direction of today's youth, the general torpor and indifference of so many, head to Central High. Visiting this school, one of the region's academic treasures, a United Nations of young talent, always makes me feel better about teenagers, Philadelphia, and, well, almost everything. There should be a dozen Centrals, and the day that occurs, we can claim success. Central is home to many remarkable students, including sophomore Afaq Mahmoud, whom her friends call Fofo, pronounced "Fufu.
September 18, 2011
Don't distort fracking debate Banning fracking would reverse the 70 percent reduction in natural-gas prices consumers have experienced since 2008. This would have a stark impact on Pennsylvania families, especially low-income families, who spend almost a quarter of their after-tax income on energy. An attack on affordable energy is an attack on low-income families' ability to heat their homes, run hot water, and cook food. Thankfully, we don't have to choose between the environment and the poor, because drilling is being done responsibly, ensuring clean water and fresh air. But in "Drilling push raises stakes on health, environment," (Sept.
September 10, 2011
Maybe if Pennsylvania natural-gas drillers hadn't tallied hundreds of serious environmental violations during the still-nascent Marcellus Shale boom, the ranks of protesters who swarmed an industry conference in Philadelphia this week would have been a little thinner. But it's those violations, incurred when extracting natural gas by pumping a witch's brew of chemicals underground, that have given so many people understandable pause over the process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
September 2, 2011 |
Final estimates on exactly how many millions of gallons of raw sewage spilled into the Schuylkill from a water main break in Reading could be determined as soon as next week. But the risk period for those whose downriver public water systems that draw directly from the waterway has passed, state environmental regulators said Friday. "I was out doing fecal counts on the river today," said Krissy Pennypacker, laboratory supervisor for the Pottstown water system. "They've dropped off tremendously in the last couple of days.
September 2, 2011 |
WARWICK, R.I. - Cold showers. Meals in the dark. Refrigerators full of spoiled food. No TV. No Internet. Up and down the East Coast, patience is wearing thin among the millions of people still waiting for the electricity to come back on after Hurricane Irene knocked out the power last weekend. "It's like Little House on the Prairie times," said Debbie McWeeney, who went to a Red Cross shelter in Warwick to pick up food and water after everything in her refrigerator went bad. "Except I'm not enjoying it at all. " With the waters receding across much of the flood-stricken region, homeowners are mucking out their basements and dragging soggy furniture to the curb.
August 30, 2011 |
Health officials in Montgomery County are warning owners of private wells to drink boiled or bottled water until they can be certain wells are free of bacteria that may have washed in from floodwaters. The county sent out an alert Monday from its Norristown office aimed at those among the 35,000 owners whose wells are in low-lying areas or next to flooded waterways. "Due to the recent heavy rains from Hurricane Irene, wells inundated by floodwater may be contaminated and should not be used until tested," the alert read.