NTSB blames 2014 ship channel collision, oil spill on tugboat

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — A tugboat captain's decision to try to beat a cargo ship into the Houston Ship Channel is the probable cause of a 2014 collision that spilled 168,000 gallons of oil that drifted up to 200 miles down the Texas Gulf coast, according to a federal report issued Tuesday.

The National Transportation Safety Board also said in its report that the failure of a ship channel navigator and the Summer Wind master to set a safe speed in the fog-shrouded channel contributed to the accident. The NTSB also cited the failure of the tugboat captain and navigator to establish early radio communication.


Spill claims deadline triggered last minute rush

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Joe Baroni knew he was cutting it close.

"We filled all this out over the weekend," he said, clutching a sheaf of documents as he stood in line behind a couple of dozen other people Monday, hoping to file a claim for economic damages from the 2010 BP oil spill ahead of a midnight deadline.


Last-minute rush as deadline nears for oil spill settlement

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — People seeking money for losses from the 2010 BP oil spill rushed to file claims online or lined up outside Gulf Coast claims offices Monday as a midnight filing deadline loomed.

Claims are being filed for compensation under the terms of a 2012 settlement that plaintiffs' lawyers struck with BP.

Green win as Supreme Court ducks a Clean Water Act case


Aurora Energy Services and the Alaska Railroad Corp. couldn't get the U.S. Supreme Court to consider their appeal of a lower court ruling, denying that their Clean Water Act permit gets them off the hook for discharges into Resurrection Bay, E&E reports.

Beijing struggles to cut smog with wide-ranging restrictions

BEIJING (AP) — When Dong Yingli first opened her east Beijing meat skewers restaurant six years ago, her chefs cooked the lamb, chicken hearts and assorted treats over an uncovered grill, with giant fans blowing the clouds of pungent smoke from the sidewalk into the middle of the street.

Elsewhere in this sprawling capital city, four coal-fired power plants belched exhaust into the smoggy skies, while countless steel and cement factories in neighboring provinces emitted millions of tons of cancer-causing particles into the air.

Pipeline firm told California oil spill 'extremely unlikely'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Texas company whose ruptured pipeline created the largest coastal oil spill in California in 25 years had assured the government that a break in the line while possible was "extremely unlikely" and state-of-the-art monitoring could quickly detect possible leaks and alert operators, documents show.

Nearly 1,200 pages of records, filed with state regulators by Plains All American Pipeline, detail a range of defenses the company established to guard against crude oil spills and, at the same time, prepare for the worst should a spill occur.


Midnight deadline approaches for oil spill settlement claims

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — With a midnight Monday deadline approaching to file claims under a 2012 settlement over the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the claims administrator said he expected a last-minute rush of filers.

"There's always a rush, for myriad reasons," Patrick Juneau said in a telephone interview last week. Juneau said more than 328,000 claims had been filed as of the middle of last week. More than 20,000 of those were filed last month.

Tar balls wash up in Long Beach

USA Today

Add Long Beach to the list of coastal communities in southern California seeing tar balls wash ashore in the wake of a major oil spill near Santa Barbara, around 100 miles to the north, USA Today reports.

Comment period ends on proposed $225M Exxon settlement

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey residents are one step closer to finding out whether a court will accept a $225 million settlement proposed by Republican Gov. Chris Christie and his administration in a lawsuit to hold Exxon Mobil responsible for environmental damage in the state.

Friday marked the end of a 60-day public comment period on the proposed settlement with Exxon over pollution at two petroleum treatment centers in northern New Jersey, 16 other Exxon facilities and the company's retail gas stations across the state.


Ex-BP exec David Rainey not guilty of lying over oil spill

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal jury has found a former BP executive not guilty of making false statements to investigators in connection with the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Prosecutors said David Rainey, in the early days of the spill, manipulated calculations to match a far-too-low government estimate of the amount of oil spewing into the Gulf following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. However, defense attorneys said Rainey's figures were made honestly and that he had no reason to lie.


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