Pollution

Oil

CSB: Oil drilling risks remain from blowout preventer woes

WASHINGTON (AP) — The key last-ditch safety device that failed to prevent the 2010 BP oil spill remains a potentially catastrophic problem today for some offshore drilling, according to a federal safety board investigation.

The report issued Thursday by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board details the multiple failures and improper testing of the blowout preventer and blames bad management and operations for the breakdown. They found faulty wiring, a dead battery and a bent pipe in the hulking device.

"The problems with this blowout preventer were worse than we understood," safety board managing director Daniel Horowitz said in an interview. "And there are still hazards out there that need to be improved if we are to prevent this from happening again."

Oil

Court: BP must pay Clean Water Act fines for spill

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The owners of the blown-out Macondo well cannot avoid federal fines for the 2010 oil spill by blaming another company's failed equipment, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

The oil came from a well owned by BP and Anadarko Petroleum Corp., so they are liable, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said. It upheld a 2012 ruling by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier, who has scheduled a trial in January to help decide how much the oil giant owes in federal Clean Water Act penalties.

"We hope the court's decision will be one more step toward reaching a just conclusion for the American people," U.S. Justice Department spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle said in an email.

Oil

Michigan: No long-term health risk from oil spill

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan's health agency said Wednesday there's no long-term health risk from swimming and fishing in the Kalamazoo River, the site of one of the costliest onshore oil spills in U.S. history.

The state Department of Community Health said it finalized its public health assessment of the July 2010 incident. A pipeline operated by Enbridge Inc. ruptured and spewed hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River in Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties.

The state said there's no long-term harm to people's health from coming into contact with chemicals in the river's surface water during wading, swimming or canoeing. But contact with oil sheen in the river may cause temporary effects such as skin irritation.

Oil

DC woman arrested, charged with making $900,000 in fraudulent BP spill claims

Source: 
AL.com

Crystal Lani Kitt was arrested Tuesday on charges stemming from a Mobile, Ala. indictment, alleging that she helped prepare more than 100 fake claims for compensation stemming from the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico totaling more than $900,000, AL.com reports.

Oil

Reject BP’s request for freeze on spill payments: Lawyers to Scalia

Source: 
FuelFix

Louisiana lawyers have filed papers requesting Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia throw out BP’s request for a halt on payments it’s had to make as a result of the 2010 Gulf oil spill until the court has a chance to decide whether it will take up a wider dispute over the settlement, FuelFix reports.

Oil

Court won't stop BP oil spill claims payments

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — BP PLC must resume paying claims while it asks the U.S. Supreme Court to review its settlement with businesses over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a federal appeals court panel said Wednesday.

The 2-1 judgment said the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will not stop payments while BP appeals the court's earlier ruling that businesses, under the settlement, don't have to prove they were directly harmed by the spill to collect money.

BP will ask the Supreme Court to review Wednesday's ruling, company spokesman Geoff Morrell said in an emailed statement.

Oil

Latest filing in case involving Chevron, Ecuador derails Patton Boggs merger

Source: 
The New York Times

There was supposed to be a partnership vote this weekend to seal the proposed merger between Washington law firm Patton Boggs and Squire Sanders, but that was put on hold after a motion was filed Wednesday challenging a settlement Patton Boggs reached with Chevron over a case involving damage to the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador, The New York Times reports.

Oil

Class action suit brewing among BP investors

Source: 
FuelFix

BP looks to be facing a class action suit from investors over allegations the company was misleading about the quantity of oil its blown-out Macondo well was sending into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, following a judge’s ruling Tuesday, FuelFix reports.

Oil

BP to ask Supreme Court to hear claims issue

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — BP PLC said Wednesday it will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether businesses must prove they were directly harmed by the 2010 Gulf Of Mexico oil spill to collect payments from a 2012 settlement.

The announcement came two days after judges of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 8-5 against reconsidering the issue. A three-judge panel of the circuit court in March had upheld a district court ruling that businesses did not need to prove direct harm.

Oil

Corpus Christi residents still battle Citgo over refinery pollution

Source: 
National Journal

The ongoing fight over compensation between Citgo – convicted on charges under the Clean Air Act -- and residents near one of its Corpus Christi refineries raises questions about whether laws really protect victims of environmental crimes, one of the lawyers in the case told National Journal.

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