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The Allegheny Front
The Allegheny Front
The Allegheny Front, hosted by Kara Holsopple, has the environment covered, from energy and food to the birds that visit your backyard. Listen to this podcast and see the world around you differently.
3 days ago
Kayaking the Kiski; Outdoor Tourism and Covid, Plus the History of Moraine State Park
Kayaking gives a new appreciation for rivers. Coal communities banking on recreation face the pandemic. How Moraine State Park was formed out of the ashes of industry. Pa. Department of Health reacts to a scathing grand jury report on fracking and U.S. Department of Energy touts coal and natural gas. Plus, Mud Day!
Jun 26, 2020
Fracking Grand Jury report; environmental groups respond to racial justice
The results of a grand jury investigation into Pa.'s natural gas drilling industry calls out the entire state government in both parties for the last 12 years for being negligent on fracking. How the environmental movement, from organizations to funders, are responding for calls for racial justice.
Jun 19, 2020
Tracking Trump's 100 environmental rollbacks; Criminal charges for fracking companies
What's the legacy of the Trump administration's 100 environmental rollbacks? We talk with a lawyer tracking the changes. Pennsylvania attorney general charges two companies with crimes related to their fracking operations. Minerworkers' unions sue Trump admin. over a lack of safety rules for COVID-19.
Jun 12, 2020
Reforesting minelands, and why the Yough River is 'endangered'
Reforesting minelands, a second time around. Why the Yough River is on the Most Endangered Rivers list. A 16-year old activist says there's no time left for moderate climate policies. Pa. GOP wants to stop the state from joining a trading for carbon emissions.
Jun 5, 2020
#BlackBirdersWeek; Can environmental justice address racism?
#BlackBirdersWeek sparks joy for black birders. Can the environmental movement address racism? We talk with an environmental justice leader. Ticks that carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease are in Pittsburgh parks. Pa. House Speaker Mike Turzai accepted $11K flight from businessman with fracking-related companies.
May 29, 2020
Offshore wind on Lake Erie, Joe Biden's climate plan, health impacts of wood smoke
Offshore wind project gets approval for Lake Erie, but has to protect birds, bats. Is Joe Biden's climate plan progressive enough? Wood smoke from backyard fires is bad for your health.
May 22, 2020
Four environmental issues to watch; Staying safe in Pennsylvania campgrounds
During the coronavirus shutdown, people are noticing a change in the air. Does this line up with pollution data? We talk with a self-described "Flour Ambassador" who says this ingredient can be local. Plus, state officials brace for throngs of campers at state parks. Four environmental issues to watch during the pandemic.
May 15, 2020
Local wheat for bread baking; meatpackers and pig farmers; and loosening toxic standards for power plants
Could local wheat help feed the hunger for flour? We look at this final frontier in farm to table. The pandemic's impact on meatpackers and pig farmers. Plus, the Trump administration made a major change to a power plant regulation that already reduced toxic air pollution. Why?
May 8, 2020
Pandemic halts conservation research; a new plan for the Ohio
Conservation research and activities are on hold due to the pandemic. Are changes to the federal stimulus program a "stealth bailout" for the oil and gas industry? An alliance in the Ohio River watershed is looking to get things like clean water projects funded, just like in the Great Lakes.
May 1, 2020
Good River: Stories about the Ohio
Stories from the Good River series about the Ohio River watershed: plastic pellets from petrochemical plants, mercury pollution and removing dams in the Mahoning River. Plus, news about the Pa. food supply and a new injection well for fracking waste.
Apr 23, 2020
More chicken farms, climate migration and the pandemic pummels coal
Pennsylvania will have warmer, wetter weather and…more chicken farms? Many Americans will away move from climate-prone areas. How should cities prepare for these new climate migrants? An invasive reed is being reconsidered as rising seas erode beaches. The pandemic pummels the coal industry.
Apr 17, 2020
Local food and birding during the pandemic, memories of the first Earth Day
Farmers and farm markets are rethinking how they get food to people. How to watch birds (and destress) during the pandemic. On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, memories of the beginning of the modern environmental movement. Some construction at Shell's ethane cracker opens to workers.
Apr 10, 2020
Local food pioneers, coronavirus and climate change, and the Banff Film Festival
Local food pioneers at Jamison Farm talk how they got started, how they're doing today. Why coronavirus is like climate change. Plus, a popular film festival about the outdoors won't be coming to a theater near you, but now anyone can watch online. It's okay to go outside, just don't go too far.
Apr 3, 2020
Growing your own food, Earth Day challenge, air pollution and Covid-19
Interested in growing your own food this year? We have tips from an expert. The connection between lungs burdened with air pollution and Covid-19. US EPA relaxes some requirements amid the shutdown. Earth Day is virtual this April. Take the challenge.
Mar 27, 2020
Becoming a citizen scientist, doubting science and questioning a plastics hub
Helping scientists with just your laptop. A new book looks at the role of industry in sowing doubt about science. The uncertain future of an Appalachia plastics hub. Mariner East pipeline construction is on during the coronavirus shut-down.
Mar 20, 2020
How coronavirus is impacting farmers, tips for going outdoors plus, is nature in sync?
Coronavirus: State park and forest facilities are closed, but trails are open. A pediatric infectious disease dr. has advice for staying safe outdoors. Pipeline and cracker construction is shut down, but farms and food processors are open. Spring is here, but is nature in sync?
Mar 13, 2020
Flying squirrels, climate education, and how a drop in oil prices may be good for Pa. gas
Planting a rare spruce forest for one small inhabitant. One Pittsburgh area school district is the first in the state to pass a climate resolution. Hear how students made it happen. What's being done to bring climate science to students across Pa. How a drop in oil prices may be good for Pa. shale gas.
Mar 6, 2020
Bad bugs, contaminated well water, and the history of Big Oil
The invasive spotted lanternfly is moving westward. In Pennsylvania, questions about safety of private well water. West Virginians are also suffering from a lack of clean water. An author who looks with a critical eye at the past and future of Big Oil.
Feb 28, 2020
Episode for February 28, 2020
While consumers push for less plastic, experts say big policy changes will make a bigger difference. A climate scientist says 'no' to flying. Students push for Pitt to divest from fossil fuels. Will Pa. unions support a Democratic presidential candidate who opposes fracking? A settlement for U.S. Steel's pollution and a criminal investigation over a pipeline explosion.
Feb 21, 2020
Good news for an imperiled bat, bad new for migratory birds
Some good news for a bat species in decline. Former US Fish and Wildlife officials speak out against decreasing protections for migratory birds. Calls for a 'just transition' for coal workers in West Virginia and a fine for a landfill that takes fracking waste.
Feb 14, 2020
Future of farming; environmentalists push for more monitoring of the petrochemical industry; fear of winter camping turns into wonder
What's the future of farming in Pa.? Environmentalists push for more monitoring of the petrochemical industry. A fear of winter camping turns into wonder. A final agreement with U.S. Steel to deal with air pollution. Listen on: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google | TuneIn
Feb 7, 2020
Winter hiking; Gov. Wolf on climate and petrochemicals; manipulating data at USGS
We head out on a hike for a different perspective on winter. Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf wants to fight climate change but this support of petrochemicals will make that harder to achieve. A new poll splits support in Pa. for a fracking ban. Plus, internal documents show the Trump administration tried to spin climate data about wildfires to promote logging.
Jan 31, 2020
Bonus Episode: Interview with Justin Nobel, author of "America's Radioactive Secret"
The Allegheny Front's Kara Holsopple talks with journalist Justin Nobel about his investigative piece, "America's Radioactive Secret," on the dangers of radioactive oil and gas waste, published recently in Rolling Stone. The piece focuses on worker and community safety and health concerns over the wastewater that comes up out of fracked oil and gas wells.
Jan 31, 2020
Removing dams, shipping hazardous cargo and a radiation risk to oil and gas workers
Removing dams in the Ohio River watershed improves safety and fish habitat, but some residents aren't on board. Shipping on the Ohio River has gotten more dangerous with climate change. Oil and gas workers are at risk from radioactive elements in fracking wastewater.
Jan 24, 2020
Trump Rollbacks, Air Quality in Pittsburgh, Mercury in the Ohio
The Trump EPA ends protections for nearly a fifth of the nation's streams and half of wetlands, proposes ending the requirement for environmental impact studies and public input for all kinds of projects. Plus, what's next for air quality in Allegheny County? A look at mercury pollution in the Ohio River.
Jan 17, 2020
Future of coal, mining impacts and living on a Lake Erie island
The Trump administration's policies couldn’t keep the largest privately-held coal company from bankruptcy. A new report details impacts from coal mining in Pa., while state park officials say they can't keep up with maintenance needs. Plus, living on a Lake Erie island.
Jan 10, 2020
Saving lives from the switch to coal to gas, air quality in Pittsburgh, Louisville's riverfronts
A study shows thousands of lives saved from switching from coal to natural gas for power. Air quality in Pittsburgh and a settlement with U.S. Steel. A proposed EPA rule would limit the kinds of scientific studies used to create environmental and public health regulations. Our Good River series about the Ohio continues.
Jan 3, 2020
Revisiting 2019: Three Mile Island, criminal investigations into fracking and PFAS in water
Some of our biggest stories of 2019: 40th anniversary of the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island and links to thyroid cancer; environmental investigations involving the fracking boom; and a court order not publish the details of an agreement between a gas driller and residents. Plus, PFAS contamination of drinking water.
Dec 27, 2019
Stories about saving bats, mussels, insects and birds
Some of our best conservation stories of 2019: Surveying Pittsburgh rivers for a salamander important for an endangered mussel. Hope for bats devastated by white-nose syndrome. What we know about insect die-offs. Plus, friendship in birdwatching.
Dec 20, 2019
Pa. gas and the connection to plastic in the ocean; climate change and strip mining equals flooding; hemp growers with high hopes
In Scotland, efforts to keep plastic produced from Pa. shale gas out of the ocean. Climate change means more rain in our region. Will aging infrastructure protect towns from flooding? The strip mining and flooding connection in a warming world. Hemp growers have high hopes of turning a profit...someday.
Dec 13, 2019
A focus on the Ohio River: plastic pollution, green infrastructure, sustainability
Shell’s ethane cracker in Beaver County will produce tiny plastic pellets that can spill or escape the plant. Will the Ohio River be protected? RiverWise is embracing sustainability in Beaver County. Plus, there's a new plan to keep sewage overflows out of Pittsburgh's three rivers. A CMU study finds economic value from natural gas in the region, but also premature deaths.
Dec 6, 2019
Exporting Pa. Shale Gas, The Future of Climate Policy and Some Advice from a Longtime Environmentalist
American natural gas is exported to 35 countries, including Japan. But some Pennsylvanians have been forced to give up their land in the process. We talk with Obama's chief climate negotiator on the future of climate action and a longtime environmentalist on advice to the new generation solving the climate crisis. Arrests made in a security scheme along the troubled Mariner East Pipeline construction project.
Dec 2, 2019
Grappling with the enormity of the climate crisis
From talking to kids about the uncertainty of a warming planet to educating ourselves about climate science, we hear from people grappling with the enormity of the climate crisis. Listen on: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google | TuneIn
Nov 22, 2019
The Good River, Ban Fracking, No More Petrochemical Plants
One community along the Ohio River is using outdoor recreation to boost its economy, kicking off a new series about the wonder and worries of the Ohio River watershed. Plus, the fallout from Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto's announcement opposing more petrochemical plants in Pennsylvania. A Philly charter school didn't notify parents when high levels of lead where found in the school's water fountains.
Nov 15, 2019
Pa.'s fracked gas fuels plastics in Scotland; how the border wall is bad for wildlife
While fracking is banned in Scotland, fracked gas from Pennsylvania is imported there to make plastic. The FBI is investigating the Wolf administration for its role in permitting of the Mariner East pipeline. The Pa. AG says climate change is costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars. A report from the borderlands: how the wall will impact wildlife.
Nov 8, 2019
First ever EcoDistrict, living next to a toxic coal ash site, reading smokestacks for pollution
The world's first certified EcoDistrict is a former steel town along the Allegheny River. As USEPA looks to loosen regulations for coal ash waste, what it's like to live near the largest of these toxic sites in the nation. Calls for stricter rules for coke ovens in Allegheny County, while everyday people learn to monitor smokestacks for air pollution. Listen on: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google | TuneIn
Nov 1, 2019
Episode for November 1, 2019
A researcher is calling for solutions to keep plastic pollution out of rivers. A new report shows worrisome levels of contaminants in drinking water across the U.S. and in Pittsburgh. How indigenous communities are looking to the sun and alternatives for affordable energy. Plus the largest underground coal mining company goes bankrupt. Listen on: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google | TuneIn
Oct 25, 2019
Episode for October 25, 2019
Backyard fires might be fun but ultrafine particles in the smoke can get into lungs and the bloodstream. A ballot initiative in Pittsburgh to repair and maintain parks has supporters and skeptics. Outdoor Afro celebrates African American leadership and love of nature. President Trump came to town and ripped the Paris climate accord and Democratic climate change plans. Listen on: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google | TuneIn
Oct 18, 2019
Toxic Trash, Great Horned Owls, Rick Perry and More
This week on The Allegheny Front, how toxic trash is finally being cleaned up. Plus a host of bills in the Pennsylvania House look to boost the state's economy by encouraging natural gas development. And why birds like the Great Horned Owl could become less common in Pennsylvania's forests.
Oct 11, 2019
Bad news for pumpkin lovers
A group of residents keep an eye on a polluting coke plant that a judge has allowed to stay open. New rules for pig slaughterhouses may put pork and worker safety at risk. Families of cancer patients want the state to look at fracking. Actors get into character as creatures of the night for family-friendly hikes. Plus, bad news for pumpkin lovers.
Oct 4, 2019
Recycling oyster shells to help the Chesapeake Bay
Pittsburgh restaurants are recycling oyster shells to help restore the Chesapeake Bay. We report from Scotland about how ethane from Pa.'s fracking boom is fueling the world's thirst for plastic. Researchers are trying to figure out what's killing apple trees. Pennsylvania will join a regional cap-and-trade program for carbon emissions. Using artificial intelligence to predict landslides.
Sep 27, 2019
Who's listening when it comes to fracking in Ohio?
A special series looks at how fracking is impacting people there, from complaints about strange odors and traffic, to a push to establish a health registry for people who live near gas infrastructure.
Sep 20, 2019
Episode for September 20, 2019
We're focusing on climate change this week with a look at the state of climate education in Pa. schools. One student grapples with her questions about climate change. Plus, we talk with a philosopher about how to combat climate denial. In Ohio, "secret" chemicals were injected nearly 11,000 times into fracking wells in a 5-year period. The post Episode for September 20, 2019 appeared first on The Allegheny Front.
Sep 13, 2019
Episode for September 13, 2019
How a loophole in the law allowed fracking pollutants to go to a landfill, through a sewage plant and into the Mon River. Democratic candidates laid out their climate plans at a town hall. We asked an environmental politics professor to evaluate them. A federal appeals court deals a blow to the PennEast Pipeline. Plus, when chimney swifts roost, it's quite a sight. The post Episode for September 13, 2019 appeared first on The Allegheny Front.
Sep 6, 2019
Episode for September 6, 2019
A clover thought to be extinct was discovered in the region and has rebounded. One Pennsylvania town passed a single-use plastic ban, despite a state law prohibiting local bans for a year. The Amazon is burning, and that's bad for birds. Pa lawmakers propose a cap-and-trade bill that could take years to pass. The post Episode for September 6, 2019 appeared first on The Allegheny Front.
Aug 30, 2019
Episode for August 30, 2019
For this Labor Day weekend: An epidemic of fatal black lung disease among coal miners, a ride along with a wildlife officer and a profile of an energy auditor. Hundreds of parents petition Pittsburgh's school district to stop spraying a controversial weed killer. News about Beaver County pipelines and the Clairton Coke Works. The post Episode for August 30, 2019 appeared first on The Allegheny Front.
Aug 23, 2019
Episode for August 23, 2019
This week on The Allegheny Front, coal fields are fertile ground for fast growing grasses that can be used for biofuel. And a fungus is changing the behavior of infected cicadas. Plus, renewable energy is making up a larger share of energy production as aging nuclear plants are decommissioned. The post Episode for August 23, 2019 appeared first on The Allegheny Front.
Aug 16, 2019
Episode for August 16, 2019
President Trump visits the Shell ethane cracker to tout his energy and economic policies. The secretary of the California EPA talks about Trump's roll back of fuel efficiency standards. PFAS contamination is likely at the Pittsburgh International Airport. Climate activists take stock after a tree falls on their car. Pennsylvanians support taxing gas drillers to pay for infrastructure upgrades. The post Episode for August 16, 2019 appeared first on The Allegheny Front.
Aug 9, 2019
Episode for August 9, 2019
A conservation group is working to keep purple martins in our region, but loss of habitat, invasive species and now climate change threaten the bird. A pioneering mussel researcher reflects on her career trying to save this freshwater animal. A study links fracking with anxiety and depression in pregnant women. Climate change will cause people to have to leave their homes. We have the story of two brothers. The post Episode for August 9, 2019 appeared first on The Allegheny Front.