The Allegheny Front for the week of

February 21-27, 2014

Trains Bring Oil Spills, and Worries Over Safety

An Exxon Valdez worth of oil is now shipped on the rails every day in the U.S. In the middle of a fracking boom, trains have become a necessary way to get oil from drilling hotbeds to markets. But accidents like one that caused an oil spill of Canadian crude near Pittsburgh last week are on the rise.

continue reading »

PA Fifth in the Nation in Hazardous Spills

Every year, thousands of hazardous materials move through or are stored in Pennsylvania. They may be piled up close to your house, rumbling through your neighborhood on a railcar or transported in a semi-truck you pass on the highway.

continue reading »

Lawmakers Praise DEP Response to Gas Well Fire

The first budget hearing of Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection this year focused less on the budget and more on the department’s rapid response to recent environmental accidents.

continue reading »

Pittsburgh Company Recycles Bottles and Brings Jobs to Haiti

Thread, a Pittsburgh-based company, turns recycled plastic bottles from Haiti into fabric for common goods, like bags and T-shirts.  Allegheny Front contributor Ashley Murray talked to Thread's employees to figure out how the process works.

continue reading »

Freezing Grapes Worry Politicians and Growers

The cold temperatures this winter have been killing off grape buds in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Matt Martin reports that Senator Charles Schumer visited the region to urge the federal government to prepare emergency funds for grape growers.

continue reading »

Halliburton Fined for Fracking Chemical Violations

The company that practically invented fracking was fined heavily for years of violating state law. Earlier this month, Halliburton agreed to pay a $1.8 million fine leveled by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for hundreds of fracking violations.

continue reading »

A New Natural World: Bhutanese Refugees Brave PA Weather

Imagine never having seen snow and then being dropped into a world covered with it. In a new series called A New Natural World, we visit a Bhutanese family experiencing their first western PA winter by enjoying the snow and learning to put plastic on windows to keep the house warm. 

continue reading »

Penn State Professor Robin Becker's Poetry Highlights Dwindling Wildlife

Habitat loss, dwindling wildlife and down-on-their-luck animals figure prominently in Tiger Heron, the latest collection of poems by Penn State professor Robin Becker.  

continue reading »