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    • Crews battled a fire at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery on Monday night (NBC10)

Philly refinery fire under investigation; pollution impact unclear

Philadelphia Energy Solutions said a fire that broke out Monday night at the refinery caused no injuries and did not affect neighboring residents, though some contest the latter claim. The fire…

    • Greens grow at Five Loaves and Two Fishes community garden in Overbrook. (Angela Gervasi for WHYY)

More community gardens to bloom on city lots, Philly Land Bank czar says

When Victor Young saw a few abandoned lots in his West Philadelphia neighborhood, he knew he had found a perfect place to start a garden. Growing vegetables, he thought, could bring…

    • Rowing crews compete in the first day of the Dad Vail Regatta in 2014 (Brad Larrison/for WHYY)

Dredging funds raised to keep boat racing afloat on the Schuylkill

Philadelphians will be able to continue enjoying the long tradition of rowing on the Schuylkill River. That heritage is no longer in peril now that $4.5 million has been found to…

    •  Philly Water Bar will be open at City Hall every Thursday this summer. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Philly tap water is safe. Now there is a bar to prove it.

The sun was shining, the salsa music enticing, and Katrina Williams was thirsty when she saw the pitchers full of cold water on a table. So she came forward and accepted…

    • The Philadelphia Orchard Project plants at Bartram's Community Farm.

Philly names first-ever farm czar

Philadelphia has named city planner Ashley Richards as its first-ever urban agriculture director. Richards will direct the creation and implementation of Philadelphia’s forthcoming urban agriculture plan. Richards got their start as…

    • Solarize Philly

Solar ‘ambassadors,’ deeper discounts on rooftop installations all part of Philly’s plan to make 2019 the year of sun power

Victor Young paid $370 for electricity a month before solar panels were installed in his roof last year. Now his electric bill is zero, and he only pays $126 a month…

    • Students from Southwest Leadership Academy are escorted home through a maze of debris from nearby auto shops. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Southwest Philly battles life in an auto zone

Amanda Dobbs’ brick house wasn’t always surrounded by piles of junked cars. The Southwest Philadelphia home, which shares a fence with two auto repair shops, is where she grew up. The…

    • Terry Williams standing in one of Eastwick's polluted, urban renewal tracts.  (Credit:Troubled Waters project)

Philadelphia seeks to heal old Eastwick wound with a ‘village in the city’

More than 60 years after a failed urban renewal project in Eastwick displaced 8,636 people for development that never happened, city officials have released final recommendations to turn the resulting vacant…

    • Luis Martinez holds a chicken that he has been nursing in a community garden in Kensington. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Backyard farmers support Philadelphia bill to legalize undercover chicken coops

A rooster gives a hearty crow as Luis Martinez fixes his motorcycle in his backyard on a Friday afternoon. Across the street, a few more chickens hang out, forming a ragtag…

    • A fire broke out at a Fairhill auto-body shop on Monday.

North Philly auto body shop engulfed by fire racked up safety violations prior to blaze

A North Philadelphia auto body shop that exploded into flames on Monday operated for years without proper permits or safety measures in place, according to city records. At least 14 fire…

    • 2019 02 27 e lee philadelphia city council natural gas expansion bill

PGW wins key city approval for Southwest Philly LNG venture

Philadelphia Gas Works’  plan for a liquefied natural gas production facility won a key approval this week, moving the $60 million Passyunk Energy Center closer to groundbreaking. The proposal now needs only…

    • 2019 02 12 kpaynter new sunrise movement 2

Philly students call for Green New Deal citing spike in 'heat days'

Abigail Leedy is a senior at Central High School in Philadelphia. For the last few weeks, she and other climate justice activists have been visiting congressional offices in the city, asking…

    • Philadelphia Councilman Mark Squilla is holding a proposal for a  five-cent charge on single-use bags. (AP file photo)

19 N.J. cities banned plastic bags in 2018. Philly could join them in 2019.

This might be the year when the public — in the Philadelphia region and across the globe —  started to realize where many of our plastic bags and straws end up.…

    • Phil Forsyth takes visitors on a tour of the orchard surrounding Woodford Mansion, where apple, peach, persimmon and other fruit-bearing trees can be found. (Kriston Jae Bethel for WHYY)

A rainy 2018 yielded soggy fall harvest, Philly growers say

2018 has been one of the wettest years on record for Philadelphia. So far, the city has been under more than 50 inches of precipitation. That’s 14 more than the average.…

    • City officials hope Philly will be 100 percent reliant on renewable energy by 2050. Rooftop solar panels, pictured here, will help the city reach its goal.

Philadelphia signs new climate action agenda

Philadelphia sustainability czar Christine Knapp flew to San Francisco on Wednesday to reenlist the city in the international war on climate change. Philly will join other cities from around the world…

    • Friends Hospital land preserved | Courtesy of Natural Lands

Public now welcome to stroll 50 acres along Tacony Creek in Northeast Philly

Northeast Philadelphia residents have a new green area to enjoy. Natural Lands, a conservation group, invested $500,000 to create a conservation easement that preserves 49 acres of the Friends Hospital property,…

    • RNG Energy's Heartland anaerobic digester project in Colorado | Courtesy of RNG Energy

Mixed reviews for a proposed $120M renewable-energy plant at South Philly refinery

Making energy out of trash has great environmental appeal. Yet last week’s announcement that a commercial biogas plant is planned for 22 acres at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery complex in…

    • Swimmers cool off in the Devil’s Pool in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY

Swimming in the Wissahickon isn't so idyllic: There’s poop in it.

On a summer day, taking a dip in the creek at Philadelphia’s Wissahickon Valley Park might seem like a really good idea. The stream is surrounded by birches, sycamores and poplars,…

    • Roofer Rob Nolfi applies a reflective topping on a rehabbed roof in North Philadelphia. Cool roofs help keep temperatures down when the city heats up. (Irina Zhorov/The Pulse)

A hotter topic: Building heat resilience into multifamily housing

Summers are getting hotter in Philadelphia. The average daily temperature in the eastern half of Pennsylvania has risen about two degrees Fahrenheit in the last three decades. Since May, the city…

    • Tony Guido explains features of a composting vessel he helped build for  a Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council design competition.

To vanquish food waste, a competition aims to design and compost

To the uninitiated, it sounds simple enough: Design a cheap, urban-friendly composting device that works at a neighborhood scale — something bigger than a backyard composting bin, but smaller than a commercial system…

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