Tagged Articles

environmental pollution 23 articles

3M Water Pollution Pushes Alabama Water Utility to Seek State Loan

A north Alabama water utility still grappling with perfluorinated chemical pollution allegedly caused by the 3M plant in Decatur is asking the state to front $58 million for the construction of an advanced water filtration system. In 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) included the West Morgan East Lawrence Water Authority on its list of 59 water systems nationwide with levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctyl sulfonate (PFOS) too high for safe human consumption. The water authority was one of nine water systems deemed unsafe for too-high levels of industrial pollutants stemming from 3M. The WMEL Water Authority acted on ... Read More

Fracking Company Antero Pays $3.15M to Settle West Virginia Water Pollution Allegations

Antero Resources Corporation agreed to pay the U.S. government and state of West Virginia $3.15 million for violations of the Clean Water Act that allegedly polluted the environment in 32 locations across northern West Virginia. The settlement underscores some of the environmental hazards that the fracking industry is unleashing on public lands. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Antero illegally disposed of dredged and fill materials used in the fracking process into U.S. waters or near sites where the company had constructed well pads, compressor stations, impoundments, pipeline crossings, access roads, and other structures associated with its hydraulic fracturing ... Read More

Whistleblower Tips off Coast Guard to Ship’s Illegal Oil Dumping

Federal prosecutors said a whistleblower slipped a thumb drive containing videos showing a ship illegally dumping oil waste to U.S. Coast Guard inspectors, leading to a criminal conviction and a civil fine of $2 million for a Greek shipping company. According to a U.S. Department of Justice announcement, on Dec. 7, 2017, the Coast Guard boarded the Nave Cielo, a 750-foot-long oil tanker owned by Navimax of Piraeus, Greece. Prior to a formal inspection of the vessel near Delaware City, Delaware, a crewmember whistleblower gave the Coast Guard officers the thumb drive, which contained two videos depicting a high-volume discharge of dark-brown ... Read More

XTO Energy Fracking Well Explosion Forces Evacuation of Ohio Community

A natural gas explosion at an XTO Energy fracking site in eastern Ohio Thursday, Feb. 15, forced the evacuation of about 100 residents within a one-mile radius of the blast. According to The Intelligencer, a spokesperson for ExxonMobil Corp. subsidiary XTO Energy Inc. described the well explosion as a “loss of control” that resulted in a combination of methane gas and brine water, which is used in subterranean hydraulic fracturing to release natural gas from underground natural deposits. “Steve Irwin, Ohio Department of Natural Resources spokesman, said the combination of methane and brine flowing out of the well in an ... Read More

Feds Order Hilcorp To Fix Ruptured Alaskan Pipeline or Shut it Down

Federal regulators gave Hilcorp Energy an ultimatum March 3: Either repair its leaking methane gas pipeline in Cook Inlet, Alaska, by May 1 or shut the line down completely. Digital Journal reports that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), an office of the U.S. Department of Transportation, issued the directive to oil and gas driller Hilcorp after discovering that the broken pipeline continues to release about 300,000 cubic feet of gas into Cook Inlet, southwest of Anchorage, daily. The leak was first discovered Feb. 7 even though company data indicated its presence as early as December 2016. Federal ... Read More

Foundry Coke Maker Pays $500,000 To Settle Benzene Pollution Allegations

A Pennsylvania foundry coke producer has agreed to pay $500,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it violated the Clean Air Act by failing to manage and report emissions of toxic benzene. The EPA sued Erie Coke Corp., a producer of foundry coke, a fuel usually derived from coal that is used to make steel and steel products, after an inspection of its Erie, Penn., plant found that it was releasing benzene into the environment. Benzene is a chemical that has been linked to leukemia and other cancers and life-threatening diseases. The colorless liquid ... Read More

Review of agency responsible for pipeline, hazardous materials oversight finds serious performance issues

Federal regulators charged with overseeing the nation’s 2.6 million miles of pipeline and a million shipments of hazardous materials per day have missed deadline after deadline in developing and implementing safety rules to protect the public from oil train derailments, pipeline spills, and other disasters, an internal audit conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation has found. In a report published Oct. 14, the Transportation Department’s Office of Inspector General said that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) “has faced criticism from Congress for its lack of timeliness in implementing mandates and recommendations.” The House Transportation and Infrastructure ... Read More

Battery Recycler Exposed LA County Residents To Harmful Toxins For Decades

California Governor Jerry Brown has approved spending more than $176 million to tackle industrial pollution hazards that threaten the health of thousands of residents living near a now-shuttered battery recycling plant in southeast Los Angeles County. According to USC News, the Governor’s spending plan will cover the testing and removal of lead and other industrial pollutants, including benzene, arsenic, and 1,3-Butadiene from homes within a 1.7-mile radius of the old Exide Technologies facility in Vernon, Calif. The plant closed in March 2015 after state officials discovered that decades of air pollution and toxic dust spewing from the factories contaminated the ... Read More

Oregon Considers Oil Train Safety Act To Deal With Future Spills

Oregon lawmakers introduced a new bill to improve oil train safety and to help the state cope with future oil spills caused by train derailments and other accidents. The bipartisan “Community Protection and Preparedness Act,” introduced to the State Legislature last month, would create an emergency-response and clean-up fund by imposing a $1,500 annual fee on each oil train tank car that falls short of federal Department of Transportation (DOT) safety requirements. The Act would also mandate that railroads inspect their tracks on foot in “high consequence areas” especially sensitive to oil pollution. Such areas would include waterways, highly populated areas, and ... Read More

Pipeline Safety Agency Reauthorized, New Measures Introduced In Wake of SoCalGas Co. Disaster

A bipartisan effort to improve oil and gas industry safety concluded June 22 with President Obama signing a bill to reauthorize the Transportation Department’s Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration through 2019. In addition to renewing the federal pipeline safety agency, the Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act (“PIPES Act”) of 2016 also introduces new safety and regulatory provisions aimed at preventing disasters like Southern California Gas  (SoCalGas) Co.’s Aliso Canyon gas leak, which forced the evacuation of thousands of Porter Ranch residents while it blasted more than 100,000 metric tons of methane gas and 10 million tons ... Read More