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The Allegheny Front

Essential Public Media

Every week, our 29-minute podcast brings you all the environmental news and stories to keep you in the know in Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania.

Every week, our 29-minute podcast brings you all the environmental news and stories to keep you in the know in Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania.


Pittsburgh, PA


Every week, our 29-minute podcast brings you all the environmental news and stories to keep you in the know in Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania.




67 Bedford Square Pittsburgh, PA 15203 412-697-2933


Inside the Clairton Coke Works; Overcoming climate anxiety; Finding land for farming

New documents reveal the decrepit conditions at the Clairton Coke Works that led to a massive fire in 2018. A coach for activists says it’s normal to have anxiety over environmental destruction. Aspiring Pennsylvania farmers are struggling to find land. Plus, a new vegan cookbook for regional comfort food.


Living with it: The story of one family and Pittsburgh’s polluted air

Susan Scott Peterson had been living in Pittsburgh for just a few weeks when she smelled it for the first time. The air was a little thick, a little hazy—and it smelled like a ripe porta-potty. It didn’t take long to figure out it was hydrogen sulfide, a sulfur-smelling gas emitted by U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works, about fifteen miles south of her house. The plant manufactures coke, a fuel used in steelmaking—and it’s notorious for violating local pollution regulations. But what could...


Pollution's mental toll: How air, water and climate change shape our mental health

The Allegheny Front and Environmental Health News investigated the mental health impacts of air and water pollution and climate change in western Pennsylvania. We found alarming evidence that residents throughout the region are likely suffering changes to their brains due to pollution in the surrounding environment. Reporting also uncovered the growing gap in mental health care as more people are traumatized by worsening climate change. More at


Climate change solutions in Central Pennsylvania; the struggles of farming

A new collaboration hopes to get people in Central Pennsylvania talking about climate change. We also examine the mental health struggles of farmers, and how an aging farming population in Pennsylvania means that the future of small family farming is changing.


Opposition to offshore wind; Elk corridor; GASP's new leader

Some people along the coast of New Jersey are saying no to offshore wind power. They worry about preserving the character and natural beauty of NJ beaches. We talk with the new leader of a clean air watchdog group in Pittsburgh. A professor wants to create a corridor throughout the Appalachians for elk. Our reporter escapes to the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail.


Hunters and anglers on climate; creating free-flowing rivers

Climate change is making it harder to hunt and fish. An advocacy group wants hunters and anglers to speak out. Pennsylvania Senate passed a resolution disapproving of the state joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Taking down dams to create a free-flowing Mahoning River is not without controversy. Consumer choices are hard when you want to do good for the environment. One expert says don't sweat the small stuff.


Metal recycler in Allegheny County the target of EPA; Light pollution to be curbed in Pittsburgh

Metalico, a metal recycler on Neville Island in Allegheny County, is now the target of EPA. It has been a nuisance to the community for years. Pittsburgh has a new light pollution ordinance. An astronomer advocates for dark skies. Criminal charges against a pipeline company do little to spark action in the Pa. legislature.


The future of Pa. forests; the rebirth of a western Pa. river; the right to sign a gas lease

Researchers say too many deer and invasive plants are threatening the long-term survival of Pa.'s forests. A filmmaker of a new documentary about a massive effort to clean up a Western Pa. river says it's a hopeful story. The author of a book about individual liberty and private property rights argues that signing a gas lease shouldn't be one of those rights.


Wind turbines off the Jersey Shore; Mariner East criminal charges; Help to make your yard wild

More wind turbines in the ocean mean more renewable energy on the grid. But what's the impact on fisheries? Pennsylvania's attorney general files criminal charges for the Mariner East pipeline. A new group is encouraging people to retire their lawnmowers and leafblowers and plant native species.


More renewable energy means more power lines; Climate action in Pa.

Transmission lines are key to more renewable energy, but some don't want them on their land. Students take to the streets for a climate strike. We get reaction to Pa.'s new Climate Action Plan. Volunteers clean up tons of trash along Pittsburgh's hillsides.


Pa.'s new climate action plan; climate solutions for farmers and local governments

Pennsylvania has a new climate action plan. Regenerative farming is part of the climate solution as is a program to help local governments. Pennsylvania has pledged to regulate toxic PFAS chemicals in drinking water. What's taking so long? New Allegheny County air regs, and a study on the health benefits of joining a regional cap-and-trade program.


Protecting Pennsylvania's most pristine glacial lake; Replacing lawn with natives in your yard

Protecting a pristine glacial lake in Erie County from invasive species takes painstaking work. Author Doug Tallamy wants people to plant their yards with native species that feed the ecosystem. Pittsburgh opens two new parks, one with a public art installation that makes visible the history of water and flooding. A climate change training for community and business leaders.


Keeping the Flight 93 memorial as a place for reflection in nature

Preserving the sacred ground at the Flight 93 National Memorial and treating the water pollution that plagued the site long before the plane crashed there on 9/11. A look back as a naturalist searched for reassurance in nature on September 12. We dig into the recent decision by a federal judge to throw out a Trump rule that stripped protections for many streams and wetlands.


Labor and fossil fuel communities in a clean energy economy; a little clover makes a big comeback

What some labor unions want in a clean energy economy. We'll also talk to the engineer the president has tasked with making sure fossil fuel communities aren't left behind. Pa. is a step closer to putting a price on carbon. Plus, a little clover makes a big move off the Endangered Species list. News about fracking waste and the Clean Water Act.


Bird migration; Teaching machines to lD birdsongs; A warning for Shell about its Falcon pipeline

The wonder and peril of bird migration with author Scott Weidensaul. Teaching computer models to identify birdsong to aid in conservation. The Department of Energy listens to community perspectives on the ethane and petrochemical industries. News about Shell's Falcon pipeline and climate education in Pa. schools.


Vaccinating raccoons; Shopping for electricity; Another fine for Sunoco

A vaccine blitz for raccoons to stop rabies from marching westward. How to shop smart for electricity. A short documentary features little kids tackling a big environmental problem... litter. News about a new plan for Pa.'s state parks to address climate change, a fine for spills from the Mariner East, and a roadblock for a new coal mine in Allegheny County.


Black bears, a climate warning, and a New Civilian Conservation Corps

The latest UN climate report is the most dire yet. A climate scientist breaks it down. Calls for a new Civilian Conservation Corps. We head into the woods with Pennsylvania's bear biologist to tag black bears. News about conservation funding and a fine for a pipeline company.


Green infrastructure and risks of gentrification; Native American connection to the pawpaw

Green infrastructure uses natural systems to steer rainwater away from aging sewer systems, but it could lead to gentrification. Indigenous tribes, forcibly removed from Appalachia 200 years ago, are reconnecting with a traditional food: pawpaws. News about Pa. state parks, air quality, and a mysterious bird disease.


How birds are faring; Environmental justice in Philly; Controlling hemlock wooly adelgid

While bald eagle populations are increasing, other birds of prey seem to be declining. Some Philadelphia residents are accusing the city of racism over permitting a new natural gas plant. How homeowners can join foresters in stopping the hemlock wooly adelgid. Plus news about air quality and fracking.


Pennsylvania’s very own prairie; radioactive oil and gas waste; environmental risks for cancer.

How tourism impacts local communities and their natural resources. Plus, an environmental group is calling for stricter regulations on how companies handle radioactive oil and gas waste. And a network of physicians, researchers, activists and cancer survivors issues a declaration on reducing pollution so fewer people get cancer. And finally, we take a trip to Pennsylvania’s very own prairie.