August 17, 2010
A company drilling in the Marcellus Shale region in southwest Pennsylvania has been fined $97,350 for allowing "fracking" wastewater to overflow a pit and contaminate a watershed in Hopewell Township, Washington County. The state Department of Environmental Protection said that Atlas Resources L.L.C., a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlas Energy Inc., based in Moon Township, Allegheny County, corrected the problem once it was discovered. The wastewater was a by-product of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," during which millions of gallons of high-pressure water, sand, and chemicals are injected into a well to shatter the shale to release trapped natural gas. In this case, the state said in a release, an unknown amount of water overflowed and ran into a tributary of Dunkle Run. The problem was discovered Dec. 5 and 6. The company said that a water pump owned and operated by a contractor had activated improperly, and that the discharge consisted of about 90 percent fresh water and 10 recycled flowback water.
June 30, 2010
In the Region Judge rules for Merck in Vioxx suit Merck & Co. won the first trial over withdrawn painkiller Vioxx brought by a state trying to recoup what it paid for the drug. U.S. District Court Judge Eldon Fallon in New Orleans ruled for Merck in a case brought by the state of Louisiana. Lawyers for Louisiana argued the state would have restricted sales of Vioxx through programs such as Medicaid if they had known more about the drug's risks of heart attack and stroke.
June 29, 2010
The Pennsylvania Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee said it won't block new rules requiring Marcellus Shale gas operators to adhere to strict wastewater discharge standards. Sen. Mary Jo White (R., Venango), the committee chairwoman, said the state's Environmental Quality Board can impose the new rules. In a letter to John Hanger, environmental protection secretary, she said the committee would address its objections in future legislation, but said that "there is no disagreement over our shared responsibility and commitment to protect our natural resources.
January 24, 2010 |
At Manhattan's tony southern tip, the Visionaire is an architectural stunner, a captivating 35-story presence along the Hudson River, with a curved waterfront wall of windows that offers entrancing views of the Statue of Liberty and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge from condos priced as high as $7.5 million. The rooftop "sky garden" boasts landscaped planting areas, built-in grills, and cabanas. The lobby features a 12-foot-long aquarium filled with colorful tropical fish. But on his first visit Wednesday, it was the basement that Don Shields, an engineer with a subsidiary of Voorhees-based American Water, couldn't wait to see. There, in a corner, a compact jumble of pipes, tanks, and tall, spaghettilike membranes were processing - out of sight of the monied residents above - that which flows when a toilet is flushed.
December 4, 2009 |
Months ago, with little public awareness, the Delaware County wastewater treatment plant got a state permit to accept wastewater from natural gas-drilling operations hundreds of miles away. The plan was to take the polluted water from the burgeoning - and contentious - industry in the Marcellus Shale region, transport it by truck or train to the Chester facility, treat it there, and then discharge it into the Delaware River. Until yesterday, that is, when the permit was abruptly rescinded.
May 16, 2008 |
Water Commissioner Bernard Brunwasser says a new, privatized sludge plant in Southwest Philadelphia would reduce the human waste stored on site, require fewer diesel trucks to haul that waste, and eliminate the putrid smell that can extend more than a mile in any direction from under the Platt Bridge. What seems like an easy sell has been anything but because, in part, it would eliminate 60 union jobs at the city's current "biosolids" plant, a nice name for the not-so-nice mess that comes out of the city's wastewater.
March 4, 2008 |
A regional tree-planting effort, a youth group that refurbishes bicycles, and a solar-home builder are among seven regional "sustainability innovators" recognized last night by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. This was the second year for the awards program, designed to "celebrate these leaders and encourage more to follow," said Patrick Starr, vice president of the organization's southeast region. Fourteen finalists were selected from 47 nominees representing facets of "sustainability," from the environment to economic and social justice.
June 21, 2006 |
A week after a contaminant was released into the Wissahickon Creek, killing more than 1,000 fish, malfunctions at the Ambler sewage treatment plant Monday night sent 55,000 gallons of raw sewage into the waterway. No additional fish were killed, but "obviously, from a water-quality standpoint, this is adding insult to injury," said Dan Tredinnick, spokesman for the state Fish and Boat Commission. Meanwhile, a state Department of Environmental Protection lab has detected cyanide compounds in water samples taken last week from the Wissahickon after the fish kill was reported downstream of the Upper Gwynedd Township Wastewater Treatment Plant.
June 18, 2006 |
It was a gorgeous day for racing on the Schuylkill yesterday, with the sun shining and water sparkling - and it was all the more exhilarating after a health advisory that nearly threatened to keep rowers on dry land. The 78 races in the Schuylkill Navy Regatta were going "superbly," Clete Graham, commodore of the Schuylkill Navy, said as he sat on the awards grandstand by the Columbia Bridge. "There were no qualms, no hesitations. It was a beautiful day. " About 600 athletes from 42 clubs came out. They were thrilled to compete, and didn't see any signs of a Montgomery County fish kill, Graham said.
March 18, 2006 |
The state Department of Environmental Protection is awaiting tests of Delaware River water after an apparently faulty overflow valve caused pollution from a wastewater treatment plant in Falls Township. DEP spokeswoman Deborah Fries said yesterday that a Waste Management Inc. worker, arriving for his 6 a.m. shift on Monday at the GROWS landfill, found an overflow alarm alerting him that 19,000 gallons of diluted material from GROWS and the Tullytown landfill had flowed into a tidal marsh.