Safety

2 injection wells shut down after Oklahoma quakes

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oil and gas operators shut down two wastewater injection wells in northern Oklahoma on Tuesday and reduced operations at a third after several earthquakes centered in the town of Crescent rattled the state.

Stephens Production and Devon Energy each voluntarily closed one well, and Stephens reduced operations at another well by 50 percent, Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Matt Skinner said.

Missouri nuclear plant shut down after 'non-emergency' leak

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Ameren Corp. nuclear power plant in central Missouri was shut down for the second time in eight months Thursday after a "non-emergency" leak was found in the reaction control system.

The shutdown occurred at 1:15 a.m. at the plant near Fulton. Jeff Trammel, a spokesman for St. Louis-based Ameren, called it a "minor steam leak." He said no one was hurt and there was no risk to the public.

Corps should press for stable funding for weather assessments: GAO

The Army Corps of Engineers has failed to seek more stable funding for its program to assess the ability of the country's water infrastructure to withstand extreme weather events, even as such events become more frequent and more intense, a congressional watchdog found.

The Government Accountability Office, in a report submitted to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said the Corps hasn’t taken action on GAO's 2010 recommendation that it press Congress to develop a steady stream of funding rather than the current per-project appropriations for measuring the ability of dams, levees and hurricane barriers to withstand big storms and other weather events.

New marijuana industry wrestles with pesticides and safety

DENVER (AP) — Microscopic bugs and mildew can destroy a marijuana operation faster than any police raid. And because the crop has been illegal for so long, neither growers nor scientists have any reliable research to help fight the infestations.

As legal marijuana moves from basements and backwoods to warehouses and commercial fields, the mold and spider mites that once ruined only a few plants at a time can now quickly create a multimillion-dollar crisis for growers. Some are turning to industrial-strength chemicals, raising concerns about safety.

Officials: Oil train didn't speed before Montana derailment

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A train that derailed and spilled 35,000 gallons of oil in northeastern Montana was traveling within authorized speed limits, federal officials said Monday as they continued to probe the accident's cause.

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway train loaded with crude from North Dakota was traveling 44 miles per hour before Thursday's wreck, U.S. Federal Railroad Administration spokesman Matthew Lehner said.

API
Oil

Oil industry slams BSEE blowout rule

The oil industry has submitted highly critical comments about a new rule intended to beef up offshore drilling safety in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico more than five years ago.

In a submission that rivaled the rule itself for length – more than 200 pages including attached appendices, diagrams and data tables – seven trade associations led by the American Petroleum Institute charged that some of the regulation’s provisions would increase risk instead of safety, “would impose unjustified economic burdens,” and “lack articulated rationale.”

GOP bill would undermine auto, rail safety regulations

WASHINGTON (AP) — At a time of record auto recalls and high-profile train wrecks, Republicans are working on legislation to roll back safety regulation of the auto and railroad industries.

A bill approved this week on a party-line vote by a Senate committee brims with industry-sought provisions that would block, delay or roll back safety rules. The measure is to be part of a must-pass transportation bill that GOP leaders hope to put to a vote in the Senate as early as next week.

5 die, 4 missing in collapse of coal pit wall in Philippines

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A wall in a vast coal pit collapsed in the central Philippines early Friday, killing five workers and leaving at least four others missing at a site where a similar deadly accident occurred two years ago, a governor said Friday.

Antique provincial Gov. Rhodora Cadiao said the chances of rescuing the missing were dim because they were buried alive by mud and water at the open Panian pit on Semirara Island. Eight other workers survived the landslide but were injured, she said.

Obama nominates nuclear safety official to NRC

The White House on Wednesday nominated Jessie Roberson, the current vice chairman of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, to fill a vacancy on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Roberson has served on the DNFSB, an independent board that advises the Energy Department and White House on safety and health issues at DOE nuclear security sites, since 2010. She previously served as Assistant Energy Secretary for Environmental Management from 2001 to 2004.

Oil

Locomotive rear-ends train; 18 cars derail, lube oil spills

DUBLIN, Va. (AP) — More than 20,000 gallons of lube oil spilled after a freight train was rear-ended by another train traveling in the same direction Tuesday in western Virginia, causing 18 cars and a locomotive to derail, Norfolk Southern said.

The oil, which is commonly used in machinery, spilled from one of the derailed rail cars. Scrap metal spilled from another car. The other cars that went off the tracks were empty, Norfolk Southern spokeswoman Susan Terpay said Wednesday in an email.

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