Environmental Must-Reads – October 14, 2014


Suspected frac water dump under investigation in Greene

An investigation was launched into the dumping of 3,000 to 4,000 gallons of suspected hydraulic fracturing water into Waynesburg Borough’s sewer system between 8 and 9 a.m. Sept. 30.

When personnel at the Waynesburg Sewage Treatment Plant in Meadowlark Park noticed a spike in the flow coming through the system, borough officials were contacted.

Fracking Wastewater Spoils California Drinking, Farm Supplies

Central California, already painfully stressed by the worst drought in 50 years (which the US Drought Monitor designates as “extreme or exceptional drought,” the most serious category on the agency’s five-level scale), has another problem with its water supply. Aquifers that supply drinking and irrigation water have recently had to swallow almost 3 billion gallons of tainted wastewater from nearby hydraulic fracturing.

Germans Line Up Against Fracking, Spurred by Fears of a U.S.-Style Boom

In Germany debate is raging over whether to allow fracking, and America’s example is serving as the cautionary tale for both supporters and critics.

Germany’s biggest energy companies and some politicians are using the U.S. drilling boom to argue the country would benefit from tapping shale gas buried under two of its 16 states. Supporters say Germany must greenlight fracking—especially as calls intensify to end dependency on Russia, which supplies a third of Germany’s oil and gas.

Like New Yorkers, Californians Can Say No to Fracking

Great movements — from women’s suffrage to civil rights — begin with a small group of people standing up and saying no to injustice. Such a movement is currently emerging around our most basic human rights: access to clean air, clean water, and a stable climate.

This new movement aims to halt aggressive oil and gas extraction techniques like fracking, which destroy water, pollute air, and leak climate-killing methane into the atmosphere. It’s a grassroots effort that is spreading on both coasts of our great nation, and its momentum is growing as communities learn from the success of their neighbors and far-flung allies.

UK to allow fracking companies to use ‘any substance’ under homes

The UK government plans to allow fracking companies to put “any substance” under people’s homes and property and leave it there, as part of the Infrastructure Bill which will be debated by the House of Lords on Tuesday.

The legal change makes a “mockery” of ministers’ claims that the UK has the best shale gas regulation in the world, according to green campaigners, who said it is so loosely worded it could also enable the burial of nuclear waste. The government said the changes were “vital to kickstarting shale” gas exploration.

Fracking drives growth in sand mining, raises new health-risk questions

Demand is exploding for the massive amounts of sand used in fracking, creating a windfall for mines from Texas to Wisconsin but leading to worries about the health impacts of breathing silica dust.

Drillers are expected to use nearly 95 billion pounds of “frac sand” this year. That’s up 30 percent from last year, according to energy specialists at PacWest Consulting Partners, who expect the market to keep growing as drillers increasingly accept that using more sand increases the oil and gas production from each well.

Money, death, and danger in North Dakota’s fracking capital

At 9 p.m. on that August night, when I arrived for my first shift as a cocktail waitress at Whispers, one of the two strip clubs in downtown Williston, I didn’t expect a 25-year-old man to get beaten to death outside the joint. Then again, I didn’t really expect most of the things I encountered reporting on the oil boom in western North Dakota this past summer.

Michigan Citizens Rise Up and Force a Gas Pipeline to Skirt Their County

People in Michigan’s Oakland County were ready this time. When a Texas-based company announced plans for a natural gas pipeline that would bisect the county, township boards in Oakland County passed resolutions against it. Rallies stirred locals to action. Federal regulators were bombarded with letters against the project.

With resistance gaining momentum, ET Rover Pipeline Company LLC, a subsidiary of Houston-based Energy Transfer Partners, quietly reversed its plans. Now people in neighboring Genesee and Lapeer counties—the new path of the pipeline—are reeling, and asking the winners for help.

10 ACTUALLY hazardous materials that were dumped in Louisiana landfills last year

A Louisiana hazardous waste landfill has turned away the incinerated remains from the apartment where now-deceased Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan was staying before he was hospitalized.

Leaders of the company, Chemical Waste Management, released a statement Monday (Oct. 13) saying that they know the ashes of these linens, rugs and other objects pose no danger to human health. That’s because Ebola virus dies when it is burned, especially when it is burned at up to 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit, as The Associated Press reported happened in this case.

Sea Grant Specialists To Serve As Sources Of Oil Spill Science In Gulf

The four Sea Grant college programs in the Gulf of Mexico, including the Texas Sea Grant College Program at Texas A&M University, and the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) are collaborating on an effort to share post-Deepwater Horizon oil spill research findings.

GoMRI is a 10-year, $500-million program that has already invested more than $170 million in answering science questions related to oil spills. The four Sea Grant college programs are university-based programs that have shared coastal science with numerous communities throughout the region for the past 40 years.

Gulf Coast crude imports fall to lowest level in 6 years

ulf Coast crude imports fell to their lowest levels in six years thanks to a resurgence in U.S. oil production, according to a new report by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have unleashed vast new supplies of U.S. oil, reducing the nation’s need for foreign crude, particularly from West Africa, according to OPEC’s monthly oil market report released Friday.

Statoil to Drill Canada’s First Deepwater Offshore Oil Well After Bailing on Alberta’s Tar Sands

Climate campaigners and tar sands blockaders widely celebrated the announcement last month that the Norwegian energy company Statoil was halting plans for a multi-billion dollar tar sands project in Alberta, Canada. The company cited rising costs of labor and materials in Alberta, and also blamed “limited pipeline access” for “squeezing away the Alberta margins a little bit,” a point that anti-Keystone XL activists have taken as a clear sign of victory.

Don’t take your eyes off of Statoil, however. The company is quietly reallocating the estimated $2 billion investment to pursue a massive deepwater offshore project off the east coast of Newfoundland, in harsh, sub-Arctic conditions adjacent to an area drillers refer to as “iceberg alley.”

Offshore drilling a winner in tight contests

Arctic drilling may not be a top tier topic in the Nov. 4 mid-term elections, but new polling suggests that endorsing oil and gas exploration in remote waters north of Alaska could be a winning strategy for some candidates in tight Senate contests.

In Alaska, where incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Begich is being challenged by Republican Dan Sullivan, 73 percent of likely voters surveyed by Hickman Analytics said they supported allowing offshore oil and natural gas drilling in Arctic waters north of the state. More broadly, 72 percent said they supported expanding offshore oil and gas drilling in U.S. waters.

Lundin Jumps Most in 3 Years on Oil Find in Norway’s Arctic

Lundin Petroleum AB (LUPE) rose the most in three years after making what may be the biggest oil find in Norway’s Arctic Barents Sea, potentially accelerating development of the region’s resources.

The shares of the Swedish explorer rose as much as 8.4 percent, the most since Oct. 21, 2011, and traded 5.1 percent higher at 106.6 kronor as of 1 p.m. in Stockholm.

Emergency crews respond to pipeline rupture, fire near Centerview

Emergency crews are on the scene of a pipeline rupture and fire near Centerview, MO.

The location is Northwest 701 Road and Northwest Division Road. This is a rural area with no homes threatened.

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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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