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Blog

Our blogs are written by the staff of the Center for Coalfield Justice, with an occasional guest post. The most recent post appears on top, and others show up below in order of publishing date. You can receive the blogs in your inbox by signing up for our mailing list. Once per month we publish a newsletter, which contains most of the blog posts.

Bills Would Ensure Landfills are Placed in Rural Communities, Compounding Effects

By Nina Victoria / July 21, 2022

On February 11, 2022, PA State Representative Timothy Bonner introduced House Bills (“HBs”) 2338 and 2339 to protect communities from the dangers of landfills. However, the bills’ language will make it so that rural communities bear the brunt of urban and suburban waste. The bills are straightforward. HB 2338 prohibits the new construction of a […]

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Your Representatives Are Wrong. Your Voice Does Matter.

By Nina Victoria / July 19, 2022

This blog is an update to one posted June 13: Local Elected Officials Object to Hearing Your Voice. Recently the PA Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) held a public comment period on their new draft Environmental Justice Policy (“Policy”). This Policy was created to provide those who reside in an environmental justice community the opportunity […]

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picture of a coal-fired power plant in WV

Breakdown of the WV v. EPA Holding

By Ethan Story / July 19, 2022

By a vote of 6-3, the Supreme Court agreed with Republican-led states and coal companies that the Environmental Protection Agency does not have the authority to use generation-shifting as a “system of emission reduction” under the Clean Air Act. Background In the WV. v. EPA case, one primary regulation was at issue (which is currently […]

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EQT Must Inform and Provide Residents with Alternative Water While Pollution Incident is Investigated

By Lisa DePaoli / July 18, 2022

Greene County, PA — Time and time again, EQT shows that they don’t care about the communities they operate in. Because of the company’s pollution incident, an entire community’s water supply is at risk of being unusable due to exposure to harmful chemicals. EQT has done nothing to directly inform impacted residents of their risk, nor have they helped local families access clean, safe water. The company has not provided a sufficient alternative source of water since the frac-out that occurred on June 19th. 

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Give Your Input for the Washington County Planning Commission 2022 Comprehensive Plan

By Allison Evans / July 15, 2022

          Washington County is updating its Comprehensive Plan, which was adopted in 2005. The Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (Act of 1968, P.L. 805, No. 247, as reenacted and amended) defines a County Comprehensive Plan as “a land use and growth management plan prepared by the county planning commission and adopted by […]

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The Department of Health May Soon Play an Important Role in the Oil and Gas Industry

By Nina Victoria / July 15, 2022

In response to the 2020 Attorney General Grand Jury Report on the unconventional oil and gas well industry, PA State Representative Rick Krajewski introduced House Bill (“HB”) 1467. This bill will help protect the health of citizens who live and work in communities with fracking by requiring two state agencies to work together – the […]

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an abandoned gas well

Simple Changes to PA State House Bill 2644 Will Plug More Abandoned and Orphaned Wells

By Nina Victoria / July 7, 2022

The oil and gas industry has embedded itself into Pennsylvania’s economy by drilling upwards of 395,000 wells in the state. However, Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) estimates that at least 200,000 of these wells are either abandoned or orphaned. An abandoned well is one that has not been used to produce, extract, or inject […]

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aerial photography of concrete roads

Urban greening can help to combat climate change

By Paul Fedore / July 6, 2022

As the population of urban areas continues to grow worldwide, it is essential to reconsider how these environments are constructed in order to help us better adapt to a changing climate, to help to mitigate its effects, and to provide residents with adequate and healthy living conditions. This is where urban greening can come into play.

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CCJ Fellows Reflect on Tours in Greene and Washington Counties

By Catherine Gooding / July 1, 2022

In our first few weeks with the Center for Coalfield Justice, the other three fellows and I had the opportunity to take some tours of Greene and Washington Counties to learn about coal and fracking in our communities, both historically and today. On our visits to Ryerson Station State Park, the coal patch town of […]

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red and yellow light on dark room

West Finley and Bentleyville approved for Washington County Broadband program

By Paul Fedore / June 30, 2022

Recently, the Washington County commissioners approved spending $3.2 million in American Rescue Plan Act or (ARPA) funds to extend broadband service to 944 homes, businesses, and other locations in Bentleyville and West Finley Township, which currently has no internet service. The total project cost is $5.3 million, but Windstream will be providing $2.1 million in […]

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