Prove your humanity

The Allegheny Front

A massive tower of flames with black smoke as seen from afar

Episode for March 15, 2024

A new study finds that petrochemical plants like Shell's ethane cracker in Pennsylvania are getting billions in subsidies while breaking environmental laws. Plus people who live near construction sites along the Mountain Valley Pipeline say regulators won't return their calls about water pollution from the project. Drexel researchers are gearing up to conduct ozone research in the atmosphere during the solar eclipse. And, as winters have warmed, the map that millions of gardeners rely on has been updated. We have news about proposals by Gov. Josh Shapiro for a cap-and-trade carbon program and new renewable energy standards, and how climate change is impacting honeybees.
A woman with gray hair holds a clear container with a small tree sapling inside.

Episode for March 8, 2024

American chestnut trees once thrived in the Appalachian Mountains, but no longer. Now researchers and advocates disagree on plan to bring them back. We'll also hear about how families experienced severe symptoms living near an EQT fracking site in West Virginia. The company is expanding into the state and looking to dominate exports of liquified natural gas. Plus, a peak into the springtime mating dance of a somewhat elusive bird. We have news about yet another U.S. Steel fine, an update to a controversial plan to build near a wetland and what a transportation safety official has to say about the decision to vent and burn vinyl chloride in East Palestine.
A woman stands holding a sign above her head with a state trooper standing next to her.

Episode for March 1, 2024

A commission approved bids to frack under Ohio's largest state park, wildlife areas and other properties. An author of a new book on deer asks us to examine our relationship with these ubiquitous animals. And a new plant in Weirton is gearing up to make storage batteries for renewable energy plants.  We have news about construction problems along the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a withdrawal of another gas pipeline in Westmoreland County and the state is capping abandoned gas wells, while companies keep abandoning new ones. 
Ohio River Kayaker

Episode for February 23, 2024

A new report is a step in the effort to get federal funds to restore the 14-state Ohio River watershed that is plagued by old and new pollution. We visit Lake Erie to learn about invasive pet turtles. Plus, how the latest Supreme Court case about air pollution could bring more smog to Pennsylvania. And why environmental groups are upset with Gov. Shapiro's economic plan. We have news about President Biden's visit to East Palestine, VP Harris' visit to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Bird Towns and American martens. 
Three people stand arm-and-arm in a forest.

Episode for February 16, 2024

We break down all the air quality news from the last few weeks: a new soot rule, a landmark settlement with U.S. Steel over a 2018 fire, and the EPA's rejection of the company's air permit. We'll also hear about how future methane-spewing blowouts from gas storage facilities could happen because of design flaws in the wells. Plus, the search for an endangered flying squirrel species in Pennsylvania. We have news about a new effort to bring in federal clean energy funds to the region, outdoor recreation in Pa., funds to clean up coal mine pollution and more. 
A statue of a bulldog painted red, white and blue sits along the sidewalk with a patriotic mural in the background

Episode for February 9, 2024

Some residents of East Palestine want the EPA to test for contamination in their homes, but the EPA says it won’t. We ask why not. Our reporters discuss what they learned in our investigation into the public health and environmental response to the disaster and what they will keep their eyes on in the coming months. Plus, how worried should we be about the health impacts of toxic PFAS chemicals in our bodies? News about EPA's new air pollution rule, DEP's request that frackers disclose their chemicals, and proposed money for an energy efficiency program.  
A woman stands in a stream in front of a culvert going under a home. She is wearing a winter coat and hat with a respirator.

Episode for February 2, 2024

After last year's train derailment in East Palestine, a local stream remains contaminated. We'll examine why residents living about the polluted water are still concerned. We talk with a Pennsylvania resident just over the Ohio border who decided not to live full-time in her home. We find out what led to her decision and how she became an activist pushing for answers. And, people in East Palestine feel like the derailment fractured their community - they disagree about politics, the environment and health impacts. Plus, news about a study of East Palestine residents' health and Pennsylvania's River of the Year.
A sign reading "Welcome to East Palestine, Oho, Where you want to be" along a road

Episode for January 26, 2024

East Palestine, Ohio, is not the same place it was a year ago. Last February, a Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous materials derailed there. Then, a few days later, vinyl chloride was intentionally vented from 5 railcars and burned, leading to an explosion. Over the next three weeks, we'll explore what happened and what the fallout has been for residents. First, we hear from a mother who evacuated the town with her son who was experiencing horrific symptoms, and why they didn't go back. We examine the decision by health officials not to test residents for chemical exposure. We'll also hear from a researcher who thinks environmental regulators were too hasty in their assessment that the town was safe. And finally, we visit businesses trying to keep their shops open, some more successfully than others.
Keith Drabick stands in the firehouse

Episode for January 19, 2024

Since the East Palestine train derailment, local fire companies and first responders are looking at their own resources and training, and how they can prepare for the next derailment or environmental disaster. A new study looks at whether fossil fuel workers have the right skills and live in the right places for future clean energy jobs. Plus, a new study identifies hundreds of chemicals in everday products that increase breast cancer risk. We have news about Philadelphia's renewable energy goals, Norfolk Southern's progress, Future Farmers of America and solar jobs.

The Allegheny Front

The Allegheny Front is an environmental reporting outlet covering issues in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.