Environmental Must-Reads – November 6, 2012


Can Marcellus Shale Gas Development and Healthy Waterways Sustainably Coexist?

Amity, Pennsylvania. Epicenter of the natural gas-containing geological formation known as the Marcellus Shale.

Amity lies in Washington County near Anawanna, Pa. Once, Native Americans lived there. They named it Anawanna, or “the path of the water,” in recognition of its many rivers and streams. Today the Native American Anawanna is but a whisper in tales of the past, but the path of the water for which it’s named is making headlines.

WV Water Research Conference Discussed Fracking’s Impacts on Water

The global shale gas boom has people questioning how hydrofracking might affect water supplies. Two experts at a water conference Wednesday in Morgantown said there’s not enough data to decide yet. Shikha Sharma, an assistant professor in WVU’s geology and geography department, and Marc Glass, a principal in the environmental consulting firm Downstream Strategies, talked about fracking’s impact on water supplies, during a session of the 2102 West Virginia Water Research Conference, put on by WVU’s West Virginia Water Research Institute at the Waterfront Place Hotel.

Breaking: Hanger Challenges PA DEP to Disclose Drinking Water Contaminants

For years, Pennsylvania — some of whom have had their lives turned upside down by shale gas drilling, from blistering skin, nausea, bone pain, headaches, respiratory distress, tremors, and kidney failure to houses that have blown up — have complained bitterly that the PA DEP is not the Department of Environmental Protection, but the Department of Everything Permitted.

After Federal and State Governments Fail to Regulate Fracking, Communities Fight Back

The natural gas “gold rush” underway in 31 states is sparking pushback from communities that see themselves as the last line of defense protecting citizens against state and federal failures to regulate fracking.

 Warning over social downsides of fracking

Ireland needs to guard against the “boomtown effect” of a go-ahead for large-scale fracking, according to the Canada-based Irish author of a major report on the issue.

This effect can include increased crime, drug and alcohol abuse, sexually transmitted diseases and domestic violence, says Eilish Cleary, chief medical officer in the province of New Brunswick.

Hawaii’s Quest for Cheaper Energy Collides With Fracking Debate

Hawaii’s push to reduce the high cost of energy for residents is running up against the mainland environmental movement to stop natural gas drilling and the controversial practice of fracking.

TransCanada lands 2nd Mexico pipeline deal

CALGARY, Alberta, Nov. 6 (UPI) — Canadian pipeline company TransCanada announced a subsidiary won a contract to build and operate a 257-mile natural gas pipeline in Mexico.

Pennsylvania agency didn’t mention water pollution near fracking site because no one asked

Tests performed by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection found no copper, zinc, nickel, or titanium in water samples taken near a fracking wastewater site.

Well, actually, that’s not true. The Pennsylvania DEP didn’t report finding any of those metals, because the department’s oil and gas division didn’t ask for data on them. But the DEP found the metals.

Judge’s say on spill deal likely not final say

There’s little doubt a federal judge will give final approval following a hearing this week to a multibillion-dollar settlement between BP and victims of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The bigger question is whether the deal survives on appeal.

Mapping the Keystone XL Pipeline Through Texas (And Beyond)

When San Francisco Bay area landscape photographer Thomas Bachand first heard about the Keystone XL pipeline, which will take heavy oil harvested from tar pits in Canada to refineries in Texas; he started looking around for a map of it. And he quickly discovered there wasn’t one to be found.

CN ramps up crude-by-rail service

With the Keystone pipeline in political limbo and the Seaway pipeline still in the process of increasing its flow to the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, Canadian National Railway Co. is expanding its crude-by-rail service.

Elmer’s Island remains closed until further notice due to oil

ELMER’S ISLAND, La. — Elmer’s Island, the public beachfront on the Gulf of Mexico near Grand Isle, is still closed two months after Hurricane Isaac’s waves exposed oil from BP’s massive 2010 oil spill.

Fuel spill reported at NJ refinery after Sandy

Some 7,700 gallons of fuel spilled from Phillips 66’s Bayway refinery in Linden, New Jersey, after Hurricane Sandy, the U.S. Coast Guard said on Monday, reporting an apparent second leak at the New York harbor oil trading hub.

Louisiana Parishes Fault Coast Guard For Slow Removal Of BP Oil

BP oil and tar that washed ashore or was uncovered in Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. Bernard and other Louisiana parishes during Hurricane Isaac is settling into wetlands and shutting some public beaches. Parish leaders want the Coast Guard, the lead agency for cleanup, to ensure that BP removes its oil. Since BP’s Vessels of Opportunity program–which used fishing boats for cleanup–ended last year, the Guard and the oil company have been slow to get rid of 2010 spill remnants

Cell Phones and Cancer: The Debate Enters the Courtroom

Scientists and doctors argue over the link between cell phones and cancer, but now courts are weighing in on the matter, which may open the door for future lawsuits.

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
Cooper Law Firm

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