Wolf Reverses Corbett Order, Bans Fracking on State Parkland

Tom Wolf - Fracking

Photos | Jeff Fusco

New Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is continuing to undo moves former Gov. Tom Corbett made during his last year in office.

Wolf appeared at Benjamin Rush State Park in Far Northeast Philadelphia today to sign an order banning fracking in state parkland, reversing a move Corbett made last May. In his first week in office, Wolf voided two dozen “pending executive nominations” Corbett made late in his term. Today’s moratorium, effective immediately, forbids fracking leases on parks and forests owned or managed by the state’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

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Energy Hub? No Thanks.

No energy hub here please, (some) readers say. Image from Shutterstock.

No energy hub here please, (some) readers say. Image from Shutterstock.

Yesterday was energy hub day on Citified. We took a stab at answering the question: “So what the hell is an energy hub anyway?” We sat down with environmentalists who deeply oppose the hub. And we had a Q&A with Phil Rinaldi, the leading hub visionary and CEO of Philadelphia Energy Solutions.

We also invited Citified readers to weigh-in over social media and email with their own views on the prospect that Philadelphia could become a petrochemical capital, and maybe, just maybe, goose the overall manufacturing sector. The boosters were silent. Environmentalists, neighbors of the South Philly refinery, and health advocates, however, were not. Read more »

“You Can’t Do It Safely.”

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

The prospect of a new Philadelphia Energy Hub is usually talked about in terms of the jobs it could create, a sort of giant economic defibrillator that, advocates argue, will resuscitate a moribund manufacturing sector. But there are serious side effects associated with large scale petrochemical development: environmental degradation, increased risk of catastrophe and harder-to-define but still-real impacts on a city’s image and quality of life. Read more »

Study: Intersex Fish Found in Delaware River Basin

Scientists are searching for the source of chemical contamination after a study found evidence of intersex fish in the basins of Pennsylvania’s major rivers, including the Delaware. The intersex fish were also found in the Susquehanna and Ohio river basins. The Susquehanna is the most contaminated of the three, while the Delaware is second-most.

Per the study, conducted by the United States Geological Survey and published in Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, smallmouth bass and white sucker with intersex characteristics were found in all three rivers. It’s a sign of exposure to reproductive endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

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Dirty Philadelphia Is Dirty

NBC 10 says the American Lung Association has bad news for Philly in a new report: “Ozone levels (commonly called smog) came in worse than it did in the 2009 data, likely due to warmer temperatures in 2012. Philadelphia County remained the most polluted county in the metro area as well as in Pennsylvania, and was graded “F,” significantly worsening its annual average to 16.7 days with unhealthful levels of ozone in 2010-2012, from 10.7 in 2009-2011.” The report said Philly tied for 11th — not an honor — for year-round particle pollution.

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