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The Allegheny Front
3rd Sunday of every month, 4pm - 5pm

The Allegheny Front podcast from 90.5 WESA brings you all the environmental news and stories to keep you in the know in Pennsylvania.

  • A former EPA administrator is calling the agency's response to the train derailment in East Palestine too weak. She says it's deferring too much to the state of Ohio. Questions are being asked about the cleanup and testing of the creeks polluted by the derailment. Some researchers say Ohio EPA isn't testing surface water for enough chemicals. Also, trout season is nearly here, with opening day on April 1. We catch up with officials stocking a local lake with some of the 3 million trout that will be released throughout Pennsylvania this year.
  • Spring starts on March 20, but for many places, spring has been here for a while. How does that impact nature? We have the story of one family who isn’t sure if their home or water is safe. We talk with U.S. EPA’s onsite coordinator in East Palestine, who breaks down how the government is monitoring chemical pollution. We have news about fines for U.S. Steel, flaring at Shell’s ethane cracker, and proposed federal rules on PFAS.
  • People in East Palestine want to know whether their homes are polluted by long-lasting chemicals called dioxins from the train derailment last month. We'll also hear from residents near the derailment site who are finding the investents they've made in their homes are worth a lot less after the crash. Plus, an environmental group is trying to stop the US Forest Service from clear cutting a section of national forest to promote the growth of white oak trees. We have news about the Clairton Coke Works air permit and Pa. Gov. Shapiro's environmental priorities in his state budget.
  • We have updates on the train derailment in East Palestine, where many people say they are deeply skeptical of officials who say it is safe to return to their homes. Meanwhile, Republican politicians are walking a fine line in East Palestine: showing concern for residents without being seen as liberal environmentalists. And EPA orders Norfolk Southern to test for dioxins. The Bearded Ladies Cabaret in Philadelphia tackles climate change with a comedy show in drag, on ice.
  • We have more on the aftermath of the Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. We hear from residents in Beaver County who feel left out of the response and farmers concerned about the black soot they found on their homes and property. Experts are now warning dioxins could be present. Plus, some are looking for additional soil and water testing from independent researchers outside of the government.
  • We have the latest developments of the East Palestine train derailment that polluted the area with toxic chemicals. We report on a community meeting where tensions ran high as residents asked questions about air and water quality and health impacts. We ask if stricter regulations could have averted the East Palestine train derailment. Plus, a new memoir shares how the life of an environmental policy expert was informed by the work of a Pittsburgh environmental champion. And, we have news about a malfunction at the Shell ethane cracker that led to the flaring of chemicals at the plant.
  • Thousands of residents were allowed to return to their homes after an evacuation order was lifted following the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. We discuss what we know about air and water issues in the aftermath of the crash. We also have reactions to a government report that finds many conventional oil and gas drillers in Pennsylvania aren't following regulations. Plus, lead from bullets is showing up in birds of prey that eat animals shot by hunters and farmers. We'll hear about solutions to the problem. We also have news about an intent to sue Shell over air quality violations at its new ethane cracker, and an order from USEPA to a scrap metal recycler to limit emissions.
  • Can new recycling technologies that break plastics down into their chemical components save us from the plastic waste crisis? We talk with an environmental reporter about a new government study that casts doubt on so-called "advanced" plastic recycling. The North Country National Scenic Trail has only about 20 known hikers who have trekked the entire 4,800 miles through eight states, including Pennsylvania. But in the farm country of northwestern Ohio, one more name is about to be added to the list.
  • One stop for some birds migrating south from Pennsylvania is the cloud forest in Costa Rica. But the cool, misty mountains are getting warmer and drier. We have a report on how birds there are adapting. Plus, closer to home, birders and naturalists oppose new development next to a wetland in Huntington County. They are trying to stop a truck stop from damaging the sensitive habitat. January is National Radon Action month, and that means it's time to test your home for the radioactive, cancer-causing gas.
  • One way to reduce the carbon footprint of your home is to buy an electric heat pump. We look at the pros and cons of this climate solution. The National Weather Service wants the public to become “river ice spotters” to help monitor for ice jams on area rivers. Plus, Frick Park has a new resident: Castor the beaver. We have news about new PFAS standards for drinking water in Pennsylvania, the Chesapeake Bay, and the new Pa. DEP secretary. Finally, scientists are hoping that sound can be the key to restoring oyster populations around the world.