Pollution

Coast Guard proposes Bering Straits shipping route

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard is proposing an 8-mile wide shipping route through the Bering Strait region to try to protect Arctic waters, as global warming has increased traffic in the vulnerable area.

Retired Coast Guard Vice Admiral Roger Rufe, former operations chief for the Department of Homeland Security, said the two-way voluntary route is the shipping version of a highway. He said it is an indication that climate change has made the region more passable for ships, ramping up traffic in rough waters. Melting ice is opening up shorter routes from Europe to Asia through the Arctic.

Oil

Guilty plea from ex-BP claims adjuster on wire fraud charges

Source: 
The Times-Picayune

Charlie English, who worked as a claims adjuster following BP’s 2010 Gulf oil spill, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges, admitting he filed $257,400 worth of false claims and kept $30,000 of the money, The Times-Picayune reports.

Oil

Trial on track for ex-BP exec

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A former BP executive accused of obstructing a congressional investigation into the 2010 Gulf oil spill remains on track for a trial next year, despite defense efforts to have the charges dismissed.

U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt on Wednesday declined to throw out one count against David Rainey and took under advisement defense motions to throw out another, a Justice Department spokesman said after the morning hearing.

Oil

Breached pipeline causes Israel oil spill

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel says a breached pipeline has caused a large oil spill in the southern part of the country.

Guy Samet, an Environment Ministry official in charge of southern Israel, told local media that Thursday's spill near the Red Sea port of Eilat could take months to clean up.

Oil

Ex-BP executive fighting Gulf oil spill charges

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Attorneys for a former BP executive facing an obstruction charge in the 2010 Gulf oil spill asked a federal judge Wednesday to dismiss the two criminal counts as his trial approaches in March.

The defendant is David Rainey, who has pleaded not guilty to allegations that he hampered a congressional investigation into the spill.

Oil

Alabama beaches have oil, 4 years after spill

Source: 
The Associated Press

Four years after the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf, oil remains trapped on Alabama beaches, mostly in the form of tar balls, according to Auburn University researchers, The Associated Press reports.

Oil

BP settlement process handling claims correctly: Audit

Source: 
The Times-Picayune

Nearly all of the claims dealt with through the settlement process after the 2010 BP Gulf of Mexico spill were handled correctly, according to a third party audit released Tuesday by claims administrator Patrick Juneau, The Times-Picayune reports.

Oil

2nd round of BP seafood payments OKd by judge

Source: 
The Times-Picayune

A second $500 million dollar round of payments to seafood workers from BP in the wake of its 2010 spill has gotten the go-ahead from U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier, who turned away the company’s efforts to block them, The Times-Picayune reports.

Oil

Latest spill-related grants announced

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A conservation agency has announced more than $99 million in projects funded through a settlement resulting from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill — including more than $13 million for restoration work on Louisiana's coast.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced the latest projects Monday. It marks the second round of grants from a program funded as a result of plea agreements between the U.S. Justice Department, BP and Transocean.

Oil

Early tests don't find tainted water from oil boom

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Random testing of shallow groundwater in the Northern Plains oil patch found no early evidence of contamination from an energy boom that's already seen more than 8,500 wells drilled, federal scientists said Monday.

However, the U.S. Geological Survey cautioned that the tests could have missed contamination from surface spills or leaking well casings. That's because water can take many hundreds of years to migrate beneath the surface, meaning contamination might not have reached USGS sample sites.

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