Pollution

Oil

BP spill changed Gulf microbes: Study

Source: 
Los Angeles Times

Microbes that help make nitrogen available to other life forms appeared to be one of the casualties from BP’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a study published this week in the ISME Journal, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Oil

Judge: No lower cap for BP spill liabilities

Source: 
FuelFix

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier has ruled in favor of prosecutors in rejecting BP’s bid to cap its liabilities from the Deepwater Horizon disaster below the legal maximum of $4,300 per barrel, FuelFix reports.

Oil

Weekend North Dakota saltwater spill contained

Source: 
The Associated Press

A spill of 21,000 gallons of saltwater from a well in northwestern North Dakota Sunday was contained, according to state officials and information from Murex Petroleum Corp., The Associated Press reports.

Oil

West Virginia train derails: Fires, oil tanker into river

MOUNT CARBON, W.Va. (AP) — Fires burned for nearly nine hours after a train carrying more than 100 tankers of crude oil derailed in a snowstorm in West Virginia, plunging at least one tanker into a river while sending a fireball into the sky, authorities and residents say.

Officials evacuated hundreds of families and shut down two water treatment plants threatened by oil seeping into the river following the Monday afternoon derailment. A state public safety division spokesman, Lawrence Messina, said fire crews decided to let the tanks burn themselves out.

Oil

US judge tosses coastal damage suit against oil companies

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A lawsuit filed in 2013 by a Louisiana flood board that sought damages — potentially in the billions of dollars — from scores of oil, gas and pipeline companies over erosion of the state's fragile coast was thrown out Friday evening by a federal judge.

U.S. District Judge Nanette Jolivette Brown dismissed the suit in a complex 49-page ruling rejecting the board's contention that, under federal laws, the energy companies had a duty to protect the flood board from the effects of coastal erosion.

Oil

Montana governor calls for deeper pipelines after oil spills

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana's governor called on the Obama administration Friday to strengthen rules that require oil pipelines to be buried just 4 feet beneath major waterways, after two breaches that spilled a combined 93,000 gallons of crude into the Yellowstone River.

River scouring due to flooding or an ice jam is being investigated as a possible cause of a spill last month that dumped about 30,000 gallons into the Yellowstone upstream of Glendive, temporarily contaminating the city's water supply.

Ship company, engineer reach deal in Alaska pollution case

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A ship company based in Germany and the chief engineer on one of its vessels have agreed to plead guilty to illegally dumping oily water off Alaska.

Federal prosecutors announced Thursday that AML Ship Management GMBH and Nicolas Sassin, the chief engineer on the AML-operated ship City of Tokyo, agreed to plead guilty to violating federal clean water law by knowingly dumping 4,500 gallons of oily bilge water south of the Aleutian Islands.

Oil

Fracking wastewater has high benzene concentrations

Source: 
Los Angeles Times

On average the wastewater extracted from fracking wells -– known as flowback fluid -– has levels of benzene up to 700 times higher than permitted under federal standards, according to data gathered over a year by the state in California, which was analyzed by the Los Angeles Times.

Oil

Contamination levels dropping from ND saltwater spill

Contamination levels have started to drop along waterways affected by a massive saltwater spill in western North Dakota's oil patch, but they remain high near the site of the pipeline breach, government regulators and company officials said Tuesday.

The leak detected last month spilled nearly 3 million gallons of saltwater brine from a four-inch pipeline north of Williston. The wastewater — a byproduct of intensive oil drilling in the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana — primarily contaminated Blacktail Creek, but also flowed into the Little Muddy River and the Missouri River.

Wells to close to protect groundwater, says California

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California has proposed closing by October up to 140 oil-field wells that state regulators had allowed to inject into federally protected drinking water aquifers, state officials said.

The deadline is part of a broad plan the state sent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week for bringing state regulation of oil and gas operations back into compliance with federal safe-drinking water requirements. State authorities made the plan public Monday.

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