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Mariner East-related water testing info not public

Plus: State's largest solar project to be built on former Clearfield County coal mine

This is Talk of the Town, a free weekly newsletter delivering top news from State College and the surrounding region.

April 4, 2024
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Inside this edition: Limited information is public about Mariner East II-related water testing, Bellefonte’s longtime police chief resigns, and state’s largest solar project to be built on former coal mine.
Real quick: Limited information is publicly available about water testing done in Pennsylvania as a result of a Mariner East II construction pollution plea deal, Spotlight PA intern Lilly Riddle reports.

A little more: As part of its 2022 plea deal with the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, natural gas company Energy Transfer agreed to fund the testing and remediation of residential water supplies polluted by the construction of its Mariner East II pipeline.

But in the nearly two years since that agreement was announced, little information has been released to the public by the state or company about how many households have had their water tested, how many had their water treated if it was contaminated, and the overall status of the testing process, which is run by the state attorney general’s office.

At the time, the deal was touted by the agency, then led by Josh Shapiro, as a way to hold Energy Transfer and Sunoco accountable for leaking thousands of gallons of drilling fluid into groundwater, lakes, and streams from 2017 to 2021, and address residents’ concerns about whether their water was safe.

“Today we’re upholding our oath to our constitution and holding Energy Transfer accountable for their crimes against our natural resources,” Shapiro said in a news release at the time. 

The conviction, in which Energy Transfer pleaded no contest to 14 environmental crimes, found that the company’s subsidiary Sunoco polluted waterways and “failed to report the losses of fluid to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) numerous times, in spite of the legal requirement to do so,” according to a news release.

The full story: Read more here.
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Two geese near Wellsboro, Tioga County, photographed by Linda Stager.

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Geese floating on water near Wellsboro, Pennsylvania.
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» CDT: Bellefonte’s longtime police chief resigns as turmoil continues
» Allegheny Front: Solar project to be built on former coal mine
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» April 5: Downtown State College hosts its First Friday of the year, complete with sidewalk sales, live music, and various activities and deals at local businesses.

» April 6: WPSU hosts its Multicultural Children’s Festival at State College Area High School in Centre County.

» April 7: The State College Choral Society performs Haydn’s The Creation for its 75th anniversary gala concert in Centre County.

» April 8: Bradford Regional Airport in McKean County hosts a viewing for the solar eclipse with glasses available and food trucks on-site.

» April 10: Terence Blanchard, alongside The E-Collective and Turtle Island Quartet, performs at Eisenhower Auditorium in Centre County.

» April 10-14: The 84th annual Jaffa Shrine Circus takes place in Blair County.
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