EPA's waste import oversight 'incomplete and ineffective,' IG says

Americans and the environment are at greater risk because the Environmental Protection Agency has failed to effectively manage the importation of hazardous waste, according to a new report from the agency's internal watchdog.

The report from EPA's inspector general found that the agency is doing an “incomplete and ineffective” job of tracking and managing the imports and lacks the explicit power to stop imports it wants to block. The agency, the report said, can't confirm that waste shipments arrive at their intended locations, that shipments are received by permitted facilities, or that shipments have not been lost or unaccounted for.

The agency's oversight issues increased the risk of environmental damage or human harm from the substances, the report said.

Train derailment, fire prompts evacuation in Tennessee

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A car on a CSX train carrying a flammable and toxic substance derailed and caught fire in eastern Tennessee, prompting the evacuation of thousands within a 2-mile radius.

Officials in Maryville, Tennessee, say the evacuation is expected to last at least until Friday. They also asked nearby residents not to drink well water for now.

Ideum Photo

Gulf states reach $18.7B settlement with BP over oil spill

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Officials in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana announced an $18.7 billion settlement with BP on Thursday that resolves years of litigation over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The settlement announcement comes as a federal judge was preparing to rule on how much BP owed in federal Clean Water Act penalties after millions of gallons of oil spewed into the Gulf. Individual states also were pursuing litigation. Most of those penalties were to be distributed among the states for environmental and economic restoration projects along the Gulf Coast.


Hospital: 7 injured from incident at Nebraska petroleum center

WEST POINT, Neb. (AP) — A hospital confirmed that seven people were injured on Wednesday, two of them critically, from an incident at a petroleum distribution center in northeast Nebraska that one witness said produced large flames and black smoke.

St. Francis Memorial Hospital in West Point said in a statement that seven people were taken to the facility following an incident at Sapp Bros. Petroleum in the town about 70 miles northwest of Omaha.

Western wildfires: California fire grows, forces evacuations

Wildfires are charging through several dry Western states, including a blaze in California that showed new life after burning for a week and forced residents of some communities to flee their homes. A look at the latest hotspots and what crews are doing to control them:

House approves bill to overhaul chemical regulation

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House on Tuesday approved a bipartisan bill that would update regulation of harmful chemicals for the first time in nearly 40 years.

The House vote, 398-1, moves the bill to the Senate, where a similar measure awaits a floor vote after winning approval from a Senate committee.


New charges brought in 2013 Quebec railway disaster

TORONTO (AP) — The Canadian government filed new charges Monday in the runaway oil train explosion that killed 47 people in Quebec two years ago.

Regulatory agency Transport Canada said the charges have to do with an insufficient number of handbrakes being applied and that the handbrakes were not tested properly.

CN derailment caused by problem wheel

The Wall Street Journal

Officials have concluded that the 2014 derailment of a Canadian National Railway train - including five cars of crude - in rural New Brunswick was caused by steel problems that caused a wheel to shatter, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Shell Arctic drilling blowout test successful: BSEE


The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement says Shell successfully completed testing of its well-blowout response off the coast of Washington this week, ahead of the company’s planned start to Arctic drilling, FuelFix reports.

Cleanup of Ohio uranium plant expected to take decades more

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The cleanup of a Cold War-era uranium plant in southern Ohio is expected to take another three decades or more, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman had asked whether the administration was committed to decontaminating and decommissioning the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon at an accelerated rate and finishing by 2024, as announced by former Energy Secretary Steven Chu. In a response sent earlier this month and shared Tuesday by Portman, the department said the 2024 goal "is not achievable."


Subscribe to Safety