Delaware Public Media

Jon Hurdle


Jon has been reporting on environmental and other topics for Delaware Public Media since 2011. Stories range from sea-level rise and commercial composting to the rebuilding program at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge and the University of Delaware’s aborted data center plan.

A native of the U.K., Jon trained as a print journalist with a British newspaper chain and has since worked for Bloomberg News, Reuters, and Market News International, a capital markets news service. In addition to WDDE and two other local news outlets, he now contributes to The New York Times, covering general news and features around his adopted home city of Philadelphia. He has written two hiking guidebooks to the European Alps; lived in Australia, Switzerland, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, and visited many countries including Ethiopia, Peru, Taiwan, and New Zealand.

Outside of work hours, Jon can be found running or biking along the banks of the Schuylkill River; cooking, and, when weather permits, gardening in the back yard of a Philadelphia row home where he lives with his partner, Kate.   

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Delaware Public Media

The popularity of electric vehicles has increased in recent years – with sales in the U.S. trending upward since 2015.  But EV sales still only made up a little over 2 percent of the U.S  in 2018.

One reason some may still remain uneasy about going electric is “range anxiety” – the ability to find a charging station when you need one.

Contributor Jon Hurdle looks at how the First State is faring when it comes to combating “range anxiety."

Courtesy of

Concerns about the effects of toxic PFAS chemicals on public water supplies in some areas of Delaware are rising with the announcement of a federal government probe into a reserve base at New Castle, and a report that the Pentagon is seeking to weaken standards for cleaning up contamination at military installations such as Dover Air Force Base.

Jon Hurdle / Delaware Public Media

As rising seas raise more urgent questions about how to defend Delaware’s low-lying shore, environmentalists and state authorities are renewing their advocacy for “living shorelines” as a way of cushioning the impact of higher waters on coastal property and the natural environment.

Jon Hurdle / Delaware Public Media

Where the waters of the Delaware Bay once rushed through a dune breach into the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, a freshly constructed beach planted with neat lines of dune grass now defends the northern edge of the preserve from the flooding that almost wiped it out just a few years ago.

Jon Hurdle / Delaware Public Media

Elisia Downing has been a resident of Ellendale for only a few months but she’s already familiar with the challenges of living without clean water from the taps in the home she shares with her daughter.

Contamination by toxic PFAS chemicals in ground water at Dover Air Force Base was dramatically higher than federal health limits recommended this year, according to a new analysis from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Jon Hurdle / Delaware Public Media

The former GM Boxwood Road auto plant will soon be nothing but a memory.

Demolition of the plant is set to begin,  almost a decade after it shuttered and a failed attempt by Fisker to revive it and make luxury electric cars. But that demolition also marks the next step in an effort to give the site a new life.

Contributor Jon Hurdle examines what that may look like.

Courtesy of The Nature Conservancy

Two new reports on water and environmental quality in Delaware say there has been some recent improvement in key indicators but that more needs to be done to slow development, curb the release of pollutants, and halt the rapid loss of tidal wetlands.

Delaware Public Media

Employees at Delaware City Refinery are nervously eyeing their future after Philadelphia Energy Solutions, a major competitor, recently filed for bankruptcy, citing the heavy expense of buying federally mandated renewable fuel credits that are also causing financial distress at the Delaware plant.

Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s latest exploration of how or whether to invest in offshore wind power is going to take a little longer than expected.

A working group set up by Governor John Carney to look into the issue said its discussions will extend well into this year, and that it would likely deliver a report to the Governor by this spring.