Environmental Must-Reads – October 3, 2013


Streams Below Fracking Wastewater Treatment Show Elevated Salts, Metals, Radioactivity

Elevated levels of radioactivity, salts and metals have been found in river water and sediments at a site where treated water from oil and gas operations is discharged into a western Pennsylvania creek.

Fracking linked to radioactive river water in Pa.

Has fracking contaminated water supplies? A Duke University study says its wastewater wasn’t adequately treated before being released into a Pennsylvania river, causing elevated levels of radioactivity.

Fracking wastewater contaminated Pennsylvania streambeds, study finds

Outflow from a treatment facility that handles fracking waste in Pennsylvania left radioactive hotspots and elevated levels of contaminants in sediment near and downstream from a discharge pipe, the study found.

More Bad News For Fracking: IPCC Warns Methane Traps Much More Heat Than We Thought

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that methane (CH4) is far more potent a greenhouse gas than we had previously realized.

This matters to the fracking debate because methane leaks throughout the lifecycle of unconventional gas. Natural gas is, after all, mostly methane (CH4).

Fracking regulation bill resubmitted to Legislature by Rep. Rodrigues

Fracking isn’t happening in Florida yet, but one Southwest Florida lawmaker has once again filed legislation aimed at making sure disclosure requirements are in place.

Fracking: Can fracking water use affect the Great Lakes water levels?

Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, is thought to use large amounts of water. But just how much water does fracking in Michigan use? Could the amount of water used for fracking affect the Great Lakes water levels?

Another lawsuit filed over fracking initiative

The Loveland City Council is facing a second lawsuit related to petitions for an initiative to ban fracking in the city.

Protect Our Loveland filed a motion for preliminary injunction on Monday seeking an order that would require the city council to put the initiative to the voters as soon as possible through a special election.

Quakes rattle Spain, offshore gas storage project blamed

Hundreds of small earthquakes which have rattled Spain’s eastern coast were blamed Wednesday by green groups and geologists on a large offshore gas storage plant that started operating in June.

Landslide Opposition to LNG Port and Industrialization of the Ocean

Overall, out of a sea of over 25,350 comments submitted to the Liberty Liquified Natural Gas (LNG)—Port Ambrose docket, only 16 comments supported industrialization of the ocean. This broad opposition to Liberty LNG’s Port Ambrose came from concerned citizens across the U.S. whose input was solicited by the Maritime Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard as part of the federal government’s project review process.

Texas Brine official says giant Louisiana sinkhole could double in size

Life in the community of Bayou Corne has been anything but normal since a giant sinkhole opened up. One official says the surface of the sinkhole could double in size. Right now, it is at 26 acres.

Residents have moved away from the place they once called home. Their frustrations and fears still planted on their properties.

BP wins 5th Circuit appeal on oil spill claims process

A federal appeals court gave new life Wednesday to oil giant BP PLC’s claims that a judge’s interpretation of a settlement after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill could force the company to pay billions of dollars for bogus or inflated claims by businesses.

BP Wins Reconsideration of Payouts to Oil-Spill Victims

P Plc (BP/) won reconsideration of an interpretation of the claim-payment system for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill that it said has led to “fictitious” payouts and would cost the company billions of dollars.

BP executive: Well could have been sealed sooner

BP could have ended its massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico sooner if it had built a capping stack before the 2010 blowout of its well off the coast of Louisiana, a company executive said under cross-examination Wednesday at a trial over the deadly disaster.

BP team leader for stopping 2010 oil spill tells court of company’s reasoning, limitations

The leader of BP’s team for closing the oil leak on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 described at the BP trial Wednesday morning how his team proceeded with the “top kill” strategy for clogging the well based on prospects for low risk and then gathered data from the failed procedure that ruled out the idea of dropping a new blowout preventer device on top of the failed preventer.

Colorado reports 15th flood-related oil spill contributing to total of 43,134 gallons spilled

State inspection teams are reporting a fifteenth “notable” flood-related oil spill. The total volume of oil spilled is now estimated at 43,134 gallons.

Christy Clark warns Canada unprepared for tanker oil spills

If a tanker were to spill oil off the coast of British Columbia today, the federal government would not have the resources to handle a large-scale disaster, warns B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

In an interview with CBC chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge, Clark sounded the alarm over Canada’s inability to handle a major coastal oil spill now, let alone in the future should new pipelines be approved.

Judge quashes Alberta’s decision to bar environmentalists from oil sands hearing

An Alberta court ruling has quashed the province’s decision to exclude environmental groups from an oil sands project review process last year.

In a judgment handed down this week, Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Richard Marceau threw out a 2012 decision by Alberta Environment to prevent a coalition of four environmental groups from participating in the regulatory approval process for a proposed expansion to a Southern Pacific Resource Corp.’s in situ-oil sands project near Fort McMurray.

WTI Crude Rises on Planned Gulf Pipeline Completion

West Texas Intermediate crude rose for the first time in four days after TransCanada Corp. said it expects to complete work on the southern portion of its Keystone pipeline expansion by the end of October.

Oil Rises on News of Pipeline Expansion

The price of oil rose the most in two weeks Wednesday, on the prospect of more oil shipping between a key Midwest hub and the Gulf Coast.

Benchmark oil for November delivery rose $2.06, or 2 percent, to close at $104.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Keystone XL Permit Not Expected In 2013, Pipeline Builder TransCanada Discloses

TransCanada Corp no longer expects a decision on the U.S. presidential permit required for the Keystone XL pipeline by the end of the year, the company said in a Wednesday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision.

Pennsylvania’s Oil and Gas Lobby Pushing for Keystone XL Pipeline

Pennsylvania oil and gas industry representatives gathered in Pittsburgh Wednesday to lament, rather than celebrate, the recent anniversary of the proposal of a very controversial project.

Anishinabe tribal members fear a possible pipeline expansion

This week a group of Anishinabe tribal members is riding horses along the area of the Enbridge “Alberta Clipper” oil pipeline to challenge the line and draw attention to Enbridge Energy’s pipeline expansion proposal.

The group fears a possible approval of the pipeline expansion.

TransCanada plans end-2013 start for southern leg of Keystone XL

The southern portion of TransCanada Corp’s 700,000 bpd Keystone XL oil pipeline is 95 percent complete and the company is focused on the line starting by the end of 2013, a TransCanada spokesman said on Wednesday.

Lawsuit: Governor should not have taken land for Keystone pipeline

Three Nebraska landowners contend the legislature illegally gave the governor power to take their land for TransCanada’s Keystone XL oil pipeline project.

The landowners, Randy Thompson, Susan Luebbe and Susan Dunavan are being represented by the Domina law firm in Lancaster County Court. Attorney Dave Domina says they presented a strong case last week in asking that the legislation giving the governor eminent domain power be struck down

Popular fast-food chain to grow food 60 miles from Fukushima plant

A Japanese fast-food chain has announced plans to grow rice and vegetables on a farm 60 miles from the crippled Fukushima power plant, site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

Yoshinoya Holdings, which sells “gyudon”, or stewed beef over rice, has formed a joint-venture with local farmers to grow onions, cabbage and rice for use in outlets across the country.

Fast-food chain Yoshinoya to farm ingredients in Fukushima

Japanese fast food chain Yoshinoya dares to farm in Fukushima Prefecture, home of the world’s worst nuclear meltdown in two decades, where they plan to harvest rice and vegetable produce as ingredients for their dishes. Yoshinoya Holdings said it has collaborated with local farmers in the prefecture, forming the Yoshinoya Farm Fukushima.

New radioactive leak reported at crippled Fukushima nuclear plant

A new radioactive water leak has been discovered at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, its operator said on Wednesday, according to Japanese news agencies.

Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) said the highly radioactive water had leaked at the Fukushima No. 1 plant from a different storage tank to the one where a similar leak was found in August, Jiji and Kyodo news agencies reported.

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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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