The Allegheny Front for the week of

January 17-23, 2014

PA Chemical Tank Laws Tougher Than West Virginia

The chemical leak at Freedom Industries that left 300,000 people without water in West Virginia brings up questions in other states, like Pennsylvania, about the possibility of other water contamination catastrophes.  Regulators say a spill is less likely here than in West Virginia, but clean water advocates aren't so sure. 

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West Virginia Chemical Spill: Were Regulations Too Lax?

A leak from a chemical storage tank into the Elk River polluted the water supply for people in nine counties in West Virginia.  Thousands of gallons of MHCM, a chemical used in the processing of coal, affected water as far downstream as Cincinatti.  The Charleston Gazette's Ken Ward Jr. joined The Allegheny Front to talk about the spill. 

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Trompe a 'Super Charger' for AMD Cleanup

Pennsylvania has more than 5,500 miles of streams and rivers polluted with acid mine drainage.  Thousands of passive treatment systems around the state use the natural environment to filter water. This year, hydro-geologist Bruce Leavitt introduced a passive system called a trompe. It’s expected to add a new tool to the toolbox, for those wanting to clean up the state’s waterways.

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New Pipeline from PA Fracking Fields Stirs Controversy in the Bluegrass State

Kentucky is the land of Thoroughbreds and Bourbon, but it’s also in the middle of a very big pipeline project. The Bluegrass Pipeline would take natural gas liquids from Pennsylvania and Ohio, and bring it to the Gulf coast. That’s where many of the country’s petrochemical plants are located.  The pipeline would pass through the backyards of thousands of rural Kentuckians.

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Pennsylvania DEP Seeks Input on Overhaul of Drilling Regulations

Five years into Pennsylvania’s shale gas boom, the state is overhauling environmental regulations for drillers.  StateImpact Pennsylvania's Katie Colaneri reports the proposed rules would change the way the industry operates above ground.

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The Fracking of Act 13: How the Supreme Court Torpedoed Marcellus Law

How an amendment from the early days of the environmental movement gave the court ammunition to strike down Act 13. 

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1.5 Million Pennsylvanians Live Close to Large Amounts of Hazardous Ammonia

Ammonia, a toxic gas the Environmental Protection Agency classifies as extremely hazardous, is the most widely used dangerous chemical in Pennsylvania.  One in every eight Pennsylvanians—1.5 million people—lives close enough to facilities that store large amounts of ammonia to be at risk in a catastrophic chemical accident, according to a PublicSource analysis of federal records.

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