The Allegheny Front for the week of

August 3, 2013

Harmful Algae Blooms Start in Lake Erie; Bad Year Predicted for Western Basin

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and research partners predict a significant harmful algae bloom in Lake Erie this year.  The blooms occur when algae that are normally present grow like crazy. The good news is that it’s not expected to be as bad as the massive 2011 bloom, which covered about 2,000 square miles or one-sixth of the lake by the time it peaked that October.

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Commentary: Manure Calendar Too Dirty?

Is it OK for women to take off their clothes for an environmental cause?  When The Allegheny Front's host, Jennifer Szweda Jordan, spotted a "Ladies of Manure" calendar at a bachelor friend's house, it got her thinking.

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Kids Think Out Loud About Food Waste

Forty percent of all food produced in the United States gets wasted. That’s 35 million tons a year. It takes up space in landfills and when it rots, it sends huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. New federal programs plan to change that. But we asked some high school interns from Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh to brainstorm how to prevent food waste.

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Who Should Call the Shots on PA's Endangered Species List?

The two state agencies tasked with deciding which animals count as endangered species are criticizing a proposal they say would strip their authority.

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West Virginia Czech Émigré Off the Energy Grid

John Prusa hasn't paid an electric bill in almost nine years.  And with a tank of cooking oil in the bed of his diesel truck, he says he can drive from his home in Barbour County, West Virginia to Florida and back.

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Environmental Leader Leaving Major Pittsburgh Endowment

Caren Glotfelty, who long directed the Heinz Endowments Environment Department, has announced her departure.  The Pittsburgh organization is saying little, leaving conservation groups wondering what their futures hold.  The Allegheny Front is a beneficiary of Heinz Endowments funding.  Host Jennifer Szweda Jordan speaks with The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's business reporter Bill Toland, who broke the story on Glotfelty.

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Upstate New York Company Cuts Costs for Global Fuel Cell Production

New York's state energy research and development authority, NYSERDA, has awarded $200 thousand to upstate fuel cell company Solid Cell. The funding is earmarked for commercialization of the company’s unique interconnect material, an important mechanical part of fuel cell systems.

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Lifelong Gag Order Imposed on Two Kids in Fracking Case

Two young children are forbidden from speaking about Marcellus Shale or fracking for the rest of their lives. The court action stems from a settlement in a high-profile Marcellus Shale lawsuit in western Pennsylvania.

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Counties Look to Use Gas Money to Study Groundwater

Two of Pennsylvania’s most drilled on counties are looking to apply for a new state grant program to study groundwater quality.

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Federal Program Aims to Reduce Food Waste

Here’s a statistic: 40 percent of all food produced in the United States gets wasted. That’s 35 million tons a year. It takes up space in landfills and sends huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere when it rots. A new project by the EPA and USDA wants to change that—and so do some individuals.

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