Mid-Atlantic (DC DE MD PA VA WV)

"Judge Chambers Blocks Health Studies From Mine Permit Case"

"CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A federal judge has sided with Alpha Natural Resources in the company's effort to keep testimony about West Virginia University studies linking mountaintop removal to birth defects and cancer among coalfield residents out of a legal challenge to one of Alpha's new mining permits."

Source: Charleston Gazette, 01/26/2012

Obama Vows Disclosure of Toxic Fracking Secrets on Federal Land

Most current fracking operations happen on non-federal lands. But on federal lands, things are different — Obama intends to require disclosure of fluids as a condition of new leases for fracking on federal lands. If it takes place, this could push the ingredient lists further into the open.

Pa. Gov. Corbett Defunds Drilling-Related Science, Claims Science Base

"Mem­bers of Penn­syl­va­nia Gov. Tom Corbett’s admin­is­tra­tion rou­tinely insist their Mar­cel­lus Shale drilling pol­icy is based on science. But doc­u­ments obtained by StateIm­pact Penn­syl­va­nia, as well as inter­views with more than a dozen peo­ple who work both inside and out of state gov­ern­ment, high­light top-level deci­sions to dimin­ish or defund drilling-related sci­en­tific research in the com­mon­wealth."

Source: NPR, 01/19/2012

Pennsylvania: "Corbett Fires Conservation Official"

"The longtime head of the citizens advisory committee that has oversight of the state's parks and forests was fired Friday by the Corbett administration, a termination that council members say was illegal and raises concerns about reduced public accountability of Marcellus Shale gas drilling in state forests."

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 01/17/2012

Judge Allows Pool Video, Audio Coverage of WV Monsanto Trial

In response to a request for live-streaming of the trial, the judge has expanded the gag order for the case, a class-action lawsuit seeking medical monitoring for people who may have been exposed to hazardous chemicals produced at Monsanto's former plant in Nitro, W.V.

West Virginia: "Reports: DEP Mine Cleanup Program Unfunded, Mismanaged"

"CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As this year's legislative session begins, a state advisory council is again urging lawmakers to increase a coal production tax that funds abandoned mine cleanups and a scathing new audit says mismanagement by the Department of Environmental Protection could leave the state responsible for 'immense amounts of monies' for reclamation."

Source: Charleston Gazette, 01/11/2012

"Ruling Leaves Dioxin Cleanup Out of Monsanto Trial"

"CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As the trial begins in a major toxic pollution lawsuit against Monsanto Co., jurors won't be allowed to tackle a key issue: Should the company pay to clean up dioxin it allegedly spewed across the city of Nitro?

Experts won't testify about the need for property remediation. Lawyers won't argue about the issue. Jurors won't be asked to force Monsanto to spend the hundreds of millions of dollars such a project could cost.

Source: Charleston Gazette, 01/10/2012

Pennsylvania: "DEP's Marcellus Shale Drilling Numbers Do Not Add Up"

Ongoing controversy over Pennsylvania's oversight (or lack thereof) of fracking for gas in the Marcellus Shale has brought a lot of readers to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's "Pipeline" reporting portal. The Post-Gazette offers interactive maps of drilling data from the Department of Environmental Protection. One big problem: "DEP's production data ... says there are 495 more wells producing gas, or ready to produce gas, than DEP has recorded as ever being drilled, and 182 of those wells don't even show up on the state's Marcellus Shale permit list."
 

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 01/10/2012

Monsanto Jurors Decide If Nitro Residents Should Be Tested for Disease

"WINFIELD, W.Va. -- Putnam County jurors chosen to sit in the upcoming case against Monsanto, a former Nitro chemical plant, will have to decide whether thousands of current and former Nitro residents should be periodically tested for disease at the expense of the company."

Source: Charleston Gazette, 01/03/2012

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