Environmental Must-Reads – October 31, 2012

Q&A: Oil spill claims chief weighs in

Patrick Juneau was appointed to administer claims after BP and a steering committee of lawyers representing Gulf Coast residents announced a proposed class action settlement of economic and health damages arising from the 2010 oil spill.

Opportunity tourism: Hurricanes, oil spills present a tourism tightrope for officials

Area lodging partners and tourism officials say the Emerald Coast’s arms, and rooms, are wide open, if needed, to those affected by Hurricane Sandy’s impacts in the Northeastern United States.

Keystone XL pipeline gets initial review

LINCOLN — A state agency has issued its preliminary review of the Keystone XL pipeline that appears to indicate most concerns are being addressed.

Calif. judge issues ruling in pipeline blast cases

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A jury can decide if Pacific Gas & Electric Co. should pay victims of the deadly San Bruno pipeline blast punitive damages in civil court, a Northern California judge ruled Tuesday.

Reports of oil slicks following Sandy

The impact of Sandy’s storm surge is enormous, causing widespread pollution of the Hudson River and New York Harbor by a variety of toxic chemicals, including petroleum and fluids from cars and boats; contaminants from flooded subways, roads, parking lots and tunnels; and contaminants washed from shoreline industrial sites, as well as commercial and residential buildings.

Assumption Parish sinkhole consumes more land, trees

BAYOU CORNE — Officials say a growing, 5.5-acre sinkhole in northern Assumption Parish swamps gobbled up another strip of land on Tuesday.

BP reports fire at Texas City refinery

A fire broke out Tuesday in a section of BP’s Texas City refinery, a facility that cast a shadow over the oil giant after 15 workers were killed in a 2005 explosion there.

53 municipalities ask court for permission to weigh in on hydrofracking

Fifty-three municipalities have asked a state appeals court for permission to provide input on whether towns and cities can ban hydrofracking within their borders, Gannett News Service is reporting.

Fracking could hinder renewable energy targets warns CIWEM

Shale gas from fracking should not be encouraged in the UK until there is evidence that operations can be delivered safely and robust regulatory controls are implemented, according to the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM).

CSU air quality monitoring study finalized

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado — Garfield County on Monday formally sealed a deal with Colorado State University to conduct a three-year study of the effects on air quality from gas drilling activities in the county.

What are companies purchasing oil & gas leases in Kent County hiding?

On Sunday, we provided some analysis of an MLive story about the increase of oil & gas leases in Kent County in the last year, mostly due to the scramble for more natural gas.

A Dairy Farmer Shares Her Story About Fracking: “What Have We Done?”

Carol French, a conventional dairy farmer in Bradford County, Pa., the county most heavily impacted by shale gas extraction in the state, shares her personal story with you.

State Regulators Stuck Using Outdated Computers as Drilling Surges

With fracking and improved technology, oil and gas drilling is surging in parts of Texas. But the  Railroad Commission  of Texas (RRC) that regulates the industry has computers that can’t keep up.

 5 States Leading The Fight Against Fracking

Guess what? Hydraulic fracturing, or natural gas fracking, isn’t new. It’s been going on for years. Only recently has it become a publicly discussed issue, thanks to environmental organizations and citizens tired of drinking flammable water. Faced with the climbing price of gas and limited political support for renewable energy, states such as Louisiana, Texas, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York have embraced the new-old extraction method with enthusiasm.

Sandy raises concerns about fracking

WASHINGTON — As Sandy lashed the Eastern Seaboard this week, some environmental groups raised concerns that the superstorm’s brute force could overwhelm feeble storage pits adjacent to fracking sites.

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