Gulf Coast states to split BP fine money: Treasury rule

The Hill

Five Gulf Coast states – Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Florida – will split money BP paid in fines after its 2010 spill disaster, having to spend much of it on economic, ecological and ecosystem restoration, under a Treasury Department rule unveiled Wednesday that’s due to be published in the Federal Register on Friday, The Hill reports.


Gulf oyster harvest nose-dives since BP spill

HOPEDALE, Louisiana (AP) — Gulf Coast oyster harvests have declined dramatically in the four years since a BP PLC oil well blew in the U.S.'s worst offshore oil disaster, spilling millions of gallons off Louisiana's coast in 2010.

Fisherman Randy Slavich dragged a clunky metal net through an underwater oyster bed recently in Lake Machias, a brackish body opening into the Gulf of Mexico. For generations before the spill, this has been a bountiful lake for harvesting oysters.

His cage-like net pulled up dozens of empty, lifeless oyster shells.


Trial set for ex-BP executive in oil disaster

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A trial is expected to begin the week of March 9 for a former BP executive charged with obstructing a congressional investigation into the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The tentative trial date is part of an order U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt issued Monday after a status conference in the case of David Rainey.


Residents: Restrict emissions at oil refineries

GALENA PARK, Texas (AP) — Environmental advocates and residents living near oil refineries asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday to force petroleum companies to adopt stricter emissions standards and publicly release emissions data to help reduce communities' exposure to a cancer-causing chemical.

By midafternoon, about 60 people had addressed the federal agency during a hearing on the EPA's proposal to compel refineries — for the first time — to monitor and report emissions of benzene to nearby communities.

Corps agrees to monitor dam pollution

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — For the first time in its history, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will have to disclose the amount of pollutants its dams are sending into waterways in a groundbreaking legal settlement that could have broad implications for the Corps' hundreds of dams nationwide.

The Corps announced in a settlement Monday that it will immediately notify the conservation group that filed the lawsuit of any oil spills among its eight dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers in Oregon and Washington.


BP seeks SCOTUS ruling on spill claims


BP is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out lower court rulings that opened claims from its 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill to “vast numbers” claiming compensation, FuelFix reports.


Nigeria, Shell not cleaning oil pollution: report

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Little action has been taken to clean up pollution caused by oil production in Nigeria's Niger Delta region, either by the government or Shell Oil, Amnesty International and other groups charged Monday.

Oil production has contaminated the drinking water of at least 10 communities in the Ogoniland area but neither the Nigerian government nor Royal Dutch Shell's Nigeria subsidiary have taken effective measures to restore the fouled environment, said the new report by Amnesty International, Friends of The Earth Europe, Center for Environment, Human Rights and Development, Environmental Rights Action, and Platform.


Officials: Williston fire burned chemicals; air OK

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — This week's fire at a Williston oil field supply company likely burned dozens of different chemicals that were stored there, an emergency official said Wednesday.

Williams County Emergency Manager Mike Hallesy added that the fire at Red River Supply will need to be fully extinguished before investigators can determine what caused it. He also said the half-mile voluntary evacuation zone that was cordoned off has been lifted, since the fire is mostly out.


Gulf oil spill: Ex-BP engineer's retrial postponed

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The August retrial of a former BP engineer accused of obstructing justice in an investigation of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill has been postponed while an appeals court decides whether a judge was right to throw out his earlier conviction.

Federal prosecutors allege that Kurt Mix illegally deleted text messages to and from a supervisor and a BP contractor involving the amount of oil flowing from BP's Macondo well after the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion.


EPA trying to confirm ND spill didn't reach lake

MANDAREE, N.D. (AP) — Officials are assessing a spill of oil-drilling saltwater from a North Dakota pipeline to ensure none of the brine affected the lake an American Indian reservation uses for drinking water, the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday.

In its first public statement in the two days since the spill was detected, the agency said it had no confirmed reports that the saltwater had reached Bear Den Bay. It leads to Lake Sakakawea, which provides water for the Fort Berthold reservation occupied by the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara tribes in the heart of western North Dakota's booming oil patch.


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