Galapagos emergency after ship grounding


Concerned about the fate of the unique flora and fauna on the Galapagos Islands in the event of a spill, Ecuador officials have declared a state of emergency after a cargo ship carrying 13,000 gallons of fuel ran aground there last week, Telesur reports.

California authorizes oilfield dumping into drinking water

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) — Regulators in California, the country's third-largest oil-producing state, have authorized oil companies to inject production fluids and waste into what are now federally protected aquifers more than 2,500 times, risking contamination of underground water supplies that could be used for drinking water or irrigation, state records show.

While some of the permits go back decades, an Associated Press analysis found that nearly half of those injection wells — 46 percent — were permitted or began injection in the last four years under Gov. Jerry Brown, who has pushed state oil and gas regulators to speed up the permitting process. And it happened despite warnings from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency since 2011 that state regulators were failing to do enough to shield groundwater reserves from the threat of oilfield pollution.


BP urges judges to remove head of oil spill settlement fund

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — BP was back in court Tuesday, trying to oust the man responsible for doling out billions of dollars in settlement money to businesses claiming they were hampered by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

It's the oil giant's latest legal effort to limit its losses from the nation's worst offshore oil spill. BP says the claims administrator, Patrick Juneau, failed to disclose that he worked on previous oil spill litigation for the state of Louisiana when he was hired to oversee settlement payouts.


Trial ends over how much BP should pay for Gulf oil spill

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The latest phase of a trial to determine how much BP should pay in Clean Water Act penalties for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill — which could reach $13.7 billion — ended Monday, but a decision from the judge is not expected for months.

The trial closed after two weeks of testimony and arguments by lawyers for the Justice Department, which wants a high penalty, and BP, which wants a lower figure. Anadarko Petroleum Corp., a minority owner of the ill-fated well, was also part of the proceeding and is fighting the government's push for more than $1 billion in penalties.


Anadarko argues against $1B penalty in 2010 Gulf oil spill

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Lawyers for Anadarko Petroleum Corp., a minority partner with BP in the ill-fated Macondo offshore well, began making their case in court Monday that Anadarko should not face steep federal Clean Water Act penalties for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The government has suggested a penalty of more $1 billion for Anadarko, and a penalty of up to $13.7 billion for BP. The penalty trial is entering its third week.


Big Montana oil spill is latest involving pipeline company

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming company whose pipeline leaked 30,000 gallons of crude oil into the Yellowstone River in Montana and its sister company have had multiple pipeline spills and federal fines levied against them in the last decade, according to government records.

Bridger Pipeline LLC, the operator of the Poplar Pipeline that broke recently near Glendive, Montana, recorded nine pipeline incidents between 2006 and 2014, according to the pipeline administration. Combined, they leaked nearly 11,000 gallons of crude.


Montana oil spill cleanup to slow as river gets dangerous

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The struggle to recover 30,000 gallons of oil from a pipeline spill into Montana's Yellowstone River is expected to grind to a near-halt in coming days as warmer weather makes ice on the river increasingly dangerous, state regulators and a company spokesman said Wednesday.

Because of brittle ice, crews trying to recover oil trapped beneath the Yellowstone could be pulled off the river as early as Thursday, said Bonnie Lovelace with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.


Yellowstone oil spills fuel arguments over Keystone line

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Oil pipeline accidents have become increasingly frequent in the U.S. as Congress pushes for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline — a project that would pass near the spot where 30,000 gallons of crude spilled into Montana's Yellowstone River earlier this month.

The recent spill temporarily fouled a city's water supply and became the latest in a string of accidents to highlight ongoing problems with maintenance of the nation's 61,000 miles of crude oil pipelines.


N.D. pipeline not state inspected before 3M-gallon saltwater leak

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota official says a pipeline that spilled nearly 3 million gallons of saltwater produced during oil drilling wasn't inspected by the state prior to being used.

North Dakota Industrial Commission spokeswoman Alison Ritter said Wednesday that the pipeline was installed in July, but a shortage of qualified inspectors means state oversight has been minimal of new small-gathering pipelines. The commission oversees about 20,000 miles of pipeline.


W.Va. town restoring water service following diesel spill

LEWISBURG, W.Va. (AP) — Officials in southeastern West Virginia are turning the water back on for about 12,000 Lewisburg area residents who lost service after a diesel fuel spill.

Media outlets report the state Bureau of Public Health notified the city around 7 p.m. Monday that it could restart its water treatment plant. Tests found no contamination at the city's intakes along the Greenbrier River.


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