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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.

  • This week, we talk to entomologist and author Doug Tallamy, who wants people to landscape with native plants to feed bees and other pollinators. His goal is for half of the 40 million acres of lawn in the U.S. to be replanted with native species in what he calls the "Home Grown National Park." We'll also visit a special bog habitat in eastern Pennsylvania that was formed in the ice age. Plus, we join researchers at Presque Isle State Park who are looking for an invasive snail that has gained a foothold in Lake Erie. New research reveals how fireflies are faring in the eastern U.S. We have news about the Allegheny County Clean Air Fund and a new training effort for energy efficiency jobs.
  • A new film focuses on invasive species in some of Pennsylvania's pristine waters. The executive producer talks about how people can help keep invasives at bay. Also, a Superfund site in the woods of Bucks County won an environmental award. It's one of the Pennsylvania's last remaining coastal plain forests. As wedding season approaches, we look at ways to create an earth-friendly celebration. And new coke oven rules are expected to be finalized soon. We report on how they could impact U.S. Steel's Allegheny County facilities. We have news about Pittsburgh Regional Transit's climate plan, installation of lead-filtering water fountains at Pittsburgh Public Schools, problems along the Mountain Valley Pipeline and more.
  • This week, we have a special show about how people interact with wildlife and other animals. Our first story looks at what happens when urban and suburban deer populations get out of hand. Some cities and towns opt for bow hunting or bring in sharpshooters. But one community went another way: sterilizing female deer. Plus, a new book looks animals that can be classified as post-natural - those living things that have been intentionally altered by people, through domestication, selective breeding and genetic engineering. We have news about a bill passed by the Pennsylvania Senate that would let energy companies bypass state agencies when securing a permit to build. Critics say the move would violate federal and state laws. The Maryland National Guard dropped plans to fly fighter jets just 100 feet above the ground in an area known as the Pennsylvania Wilds.
  • The federal government is betting big that creating hydrogen with solar and wind will be climate solution for hard to decarbonize industries. Some experts are skeptical. A shocking new book looks at radioactivity in oil and gas waste, and its impacts on workers who have experienced symptoms like their teeth falling out, strange rashes and cancer. Meanwhile, two fracking waste disposals facilities in Eastern Ohio are facing consequences for noncompliance. Residents in Westmoreland County are frustrated that a hazardous waste facility wasn't shut down despite violations. We head to a fish hatchery that is key to Pennsylvania's walleye population. We have news about the removal of small dams across the region to help fish and other aquatic life, and grants for schools to address lead, mold and asbestos.
  • As a coal plant winds down, its gradual closure has had ripple effects in the community, including local businesses, like restaurants. A community group rallied around stopping a chemical recycling plant in Central Pennsylvania, saying it's not the answer to slowing plastic pollution. The Energy Secretary visited the area to tout energy efficiency and union jobs. And Shell is hit with misdemeanor charges for allegedly underreporting spills along its pipeline. We have news about new EPA rules for CO2 emissions for power plants, residential solar for disadvantaged and low-income communities, and the state of the air.
  • This week on The Allegheny Front, as the transition to cleaner energy ramps up, a port is being built in New Jersey for the massive wind turbines headed into the Atlantic Ocean. And we talk with the author of a new report on tiny pieces of plastic litter on Great Lakes beaches. Plus, teens in Pittsburgh look to one another to solve the climate crisis. Also, the Environmental Protection Agency releases new rules to reduce cancer risk from hazardous air pollution near chemical plants. Federal mine regulators publish a long-awaited rule to the amount of toxic silica dust mine workers can legally be exposed to. And a look at a few examples from the more than 70 projects that have been funded through a plan to close a coal plant in Centralia, Washington.
  • Centralia, Washington, has been cited as a model for how to successfully transition away from coal. What can the Appalachian region can learn from its example? And the new Farm Bill is being held up in Congress, but conservationists are pushing legislators to get it passed. Plus, the threat of Lyme disease doesn’t mean we shouldn’t enjoy the outdoors. News about a $1 million-dollar fine for a gas leak that was called the country’s worst climate disaster in 2022, EPA’s new rule for PFAS in drinking water and a class action settlement with Norfolk Southern.
  • The Department of Energy just finalized a rule to make the energy grid more efficient. While local workers are cheering, energy efficiency advocates say it's investing in old technology. Pittsburgh-area students had a special day to compose songs and poems and create art all about birds. Construction on the first section of 53 miles of trails in central Pa. is set to begin. Plus, we answer questions from adults and kids about the upcoming solar eclipse. We have news about federal funds to clean up abandoned mineland and the Tioga River, how withdrawing water for fracking from a popular creek could impact a threatened fish, and a lawsuit against a crypto miner and Gov. Josh Shapiro.
  • The Lackawanna River in northeastern Pennsylvania was once polluted from mining and sewage. We profile the longtime leader of a conservation group who spearheaded its cleanup. Chemical recycling plants that turn plastic into fuels and other materials have been proposed in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. Why some residents worry about pollution and safety. Plus, a Penn State professor gives us the scoop on why the upcoming solar eclipse is such a big deal. A Pennsylvania college student is developing a new technology could save one million horseshoe crabs each year. We have news about a federal grant to build the largest solar farm in Pennsylvania, why the West Virginia governor vetoed a bill expanding renewable energy, and why activists in Virginia think a fine for a major pipeline project is too small.
  • Companies can take advantage of federal tax credits by capturing their carbon emissions to keep them out of the atmosphere. Now farmers and others are being approached to lease their land to bury this carbon underground. Plus, we'll hear about an effort to preserve the records of a Pennsylvania coal company. And springtime is nestcam season, prompting some bird lovers to worry over the drama unfolding on their screens. A longtime nest watcher has some advice. We have news about the compliance with the plastic bag ban in Pittsburgh, a Superfund site in Jefferson County and private well testing in East Palestine.