Environmental Must-Reads – October 2, 2012


Under Massive Pressure, New York Could Ban Fracking, Worldwide Protests Continue

After massive pressure from citizens, New York’s moratorium on fracking will continue indefinitely and the state will go through another environmental review process – this time, focused on the public health impacts.

Cabot’s Methodology Links Tainted Water Wells to Gas Fracking

Methane in two Pennsylvania water wells has a chemical fingerprint that links it to natural gas produced by hydraulic fracturing, evidence that such drilling can pollute drinking water. The data, collected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, are significant because the composition of the gas –its isotopic signature — falls into a range Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. (COG) had identified as that of the Marcellus Shale, which it tapped through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

New York Will Probably Restart Review Process on Gas Fracking

New York will probably miss a deadline to develop fracking regulations, requiring the state to begin all over again and delaying indefinitely a decision on whether to allow the natural-gas drilling, officials said.

New York Fracking Moratorium Unlikely To Be Lifted As Regulators Reopen Rulemaking Process

New York regulators expect to reopen their rulemaking process for natural gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing, casting doubt on whether a 4-year-old moratorium on development will be lifted before next year.

Oil Companies Bribing Gulf States to Ignore Spill?

Recently, Gulf area legislators have been pushing to get their states a larger share of government income from offshore drilling. We’re told that they need the extra revenue to improve flood protection. But more is afoot here, and it deserves scrutiny.

EPA retesting finds fracking-related groundwater contamination at Wyoming site

A new round of government sampling shows groundwater contamination from fracking at a Wyoming gas field, although some say the study is inconclusive, Associated Press reports.

NYS Takes A Step Back from Fracking Precipice

New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation has sent word that the state’s controversial proposal for fracking in the Marcellus Shale will have to undergo a new rule-making process as a result of the Cuomo Administration’s recent decision to undertake an in-depth review of the proposal’s potential impacts on public health.

After the Big Melt: the Big Rush to Exploit the Arctic?

With Arctic sea-ice plummeting to a record low this year, with Greenland’s ice-sheets suffering weeks of unprecedented ‘97% surface melt’, leaders are now finally taking decisive action. But we’re not talking about President Obama calling a crisis meeting, tabling bold measures to avert the impending climate shock. Most world leaders seem determined to look the other way, with climate change remaining one of politics’s dirty words. No, it is the leadership of oil and mining companies who are getting all frenetic over the Arctic. And not to save the it – but to exploit it.

NY records show history of oil, gas well problems

State regulators claim a strong record of oil and gas drilling oversight, but their own reports reveal thousands of unplugged abandoned wells and other industrial problems that could pose a threat to groundwater, wetlands, air quality and public safety.

Fracking could create new Dust Bowl

In his book, “The Worst Hard Time,” author Tim Egan relates the horrendous impact of the farming practice that, in the 1930s, destroys the life of the region farmed. The particular region is the Midwest from the Dakotas to northern Texas, with the hardest hit areas being southern Colorado, Kansas, western Oklahoma and northern Texas. But make no mistake, the “Dusters” generated from this practice reached as far as New York and Washington, D.C. Had legislators not seen with their own eyes and been compelled by the experience to try and do something about it, these areas today very well could have continued to be the Sahara of this country.

Scientists set baseline for pre-fracking water quality

Two Syracuse University geology professors – along with a graduate assistant or two – are hurrying to collect water samples from drinking wells in the Southern Tier before – and if – the natural gas extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing is approved in New York.

New Zealand settles over 2011 oil spill

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Oct. 2 (UPI) — A settlement was reached with the shipping company responsible for an October 2011 oil spill off the New Zealand coast, the government said Tuesday.

BP Spill Judge Rejects Claims for Loss of Recreational Use

BP Plc (BP/) won’t face damages claims over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill brought by recreational users, company-branded gas station owners and businesses alleging loss of reputation, a judge ruled.

Oil Spill Cleanup Continues in Brooklyn Waterway

About 130 private recreational boats are in need of serious cleaning, following the spill of about 1,100 gallons of oil mixed with liquid concrete into a waterway in southeast Brooklyn. The spill occurred late last Thursday or early Friday morning, and workers are now using an oil boom to contain the sludge and vacuum trucks to remove it in Paerdegat Basin, a channel that connects to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

Neighbors Report Headaches, Nausea Following Jamaica Bay Oil Spill

Early Thursday morning to Friday, 1,100 gallons of gas and oil spilled into the Paerdegat Basin Creek, which connects to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, after a pipe-cementing incident had gone wrong. We reported on the story as it broke, and more information has since been released . Geoffrey Croft, blogger at A Walk In The Park NYC and founder of NYC Park Advocates has put together some photos of the environmental calamity and got feedback from local mariners.

Nigeria: Oil Spill – Community Expresses Concern Over Delayed Clean-Up

Residents of Ibeno community in Akwa Ibom have expressed concern over the suspension of the clean up of the Atlantic Coastline contaminated by an oil spill on August 13th.The Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) had reported an oil spill at the Qua Iboe fields to the oil spill agency, claiming that the source of the spill was unknown

NOSDRA probes source of Akwa Ibom oil spill

The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency said at the weekend that it was investigating the August 13, 2012 oil spill at the Qua Iboe Oil fields in Akwa Ibom with the view to ascertaining the source of the spill which sparked off series of protests by youths from affected communities. CityFile recalls that Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN), operators of the oil fields, had reported spillage within its operations on August 14, 2012 stating, however, that the source was unknown.

Coast Guard cleans, inspects Bacolod waters after weekend oil spill

Response teams from the Philippine Coast Guard cleaned up the waters off an oil depot in Bacolod City following an oil spill in the area last weekend.

Hydrocarbons breaching sinkhole cavern bottom, oil 75% atop hole

Hydrocarbons could have breached the failing cavern from the bottom of it and hydrocarbons on top of the hole comprise approximately 75% of it, according to officials and investigators at the 29 Sept. 2012 Bayou Corne Resident Briefing in Assumption Parish about the sinkhole that has now expanded to four acres.

Sinkhole hits businesses, home values in rural Louisiana

BATON ROUGE — Dennis Landry’s bed-and-breakfast was in the middle of a record business year before a sinkhole prompted authorities to tell 150 households in the towns of Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou to evacuate. Soon after, wary customers began cancelling their reservations as the sinkhole expanded, swallowing up hundreds of feet of swamp and his profits with it.

Cleanup resumes at 4-acre sinkhole

BAYOU CORNE — Cleanup of vegetation and muck floating in a 4-acre sinkhole in Assumption Parish resumed Monday after operations were halted more than a month and a half ago because of an edge collapse that threatened two workers, officials said.

Add comment

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

Follow Us

© Stuart H Smith, LLC
Share This