SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A 2009 explosion at a northern Utah oil refinery that knocked a neighboring home off its foundation and singed dozens of others began with a corroded pipe that went years without proper inspection, federal investigators say.
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board on Thursday released the first official findings on the blast at the Silver Eagle Refinery in Woods Cross in a report by an outside consulting group.
Some deepwater operators aren't giving regulators much information about their safety practices, said Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Director Brian Salerno about audits required under new federal regulations, FuelFix reports.
Problems on offshore rigs spotted by the Coast Guard include emergency generators that aren't online, fire-detection systems that don't work and rescue boats that have cracks, Rear Admiral Joseph Servido told a safety forum, FuelFix reports.
In the wake of destructive oil train derailments, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., is urging Senate appropriators to set aside more money for the Transportation Department's rail safety programs, in particular to pay for sufficient inspectors, The Hill reports.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Responding to a series of fiery train derailments, federal regulators said Wednesday they will propose that trains transporting crude oil have at least two-man crews and requirements aimed at preventing parked train cars from coming loose and causing an accident like one in July that killed 47 people.
The Federal Railroad Administration had asked a freight rail industry advisory committee to make recommendations on whether two-man crews should be required, but the industry officials were unable to reach a consensus after working on the issue for months. Federal officials said they decided to move ahead with the two-crew member requirement anyway.
"Safety dictates that you never allow a single point of failure," Joseph Szabo, head of the railroad administration, said in a statement.
Senate Commerce Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., says oil companies haven't followed through on their commitments to provide information to federal officials about freight rail safety issues, The Hill reports.
The day after the Coast Guard issued critical findings on the grounding of Shell's floating drill rig in Alaska 15 months ago, the Interior Department's chief offshore safety officer on Friday pledged to hold the company and others to a tough standard for any future Arctic exploration.
At a House appropriations hearing, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Director Brian Salerno stressed that after the grounding of the Kulluk vessel, the department ordered drillers to submit audited integrated operations plans. He said any such plan by Shell will face heavy scrutiny.
"We will go over this with a fine tooth comb, because we do not want a repeat of that lack of internal coordination within their organization that contributed to this event," Salerno said of Shell.
Sacramento leaders raised concerns about Valero's proposed rail terminal at its Benicia refinery after learning the project could result in 100 train cars of flammable crude oil traveling through the city each day, The Sacramento Bee reports.
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials have cited a Fallon oil refining company for three serious violations stemming from a December explosion that left one employee seriously burned.
The action announced Wednesday proposes Bango Refining pay nearly $21,000 in fines. Final determination is still in the administrative process.
According to investigators, workers were attempting to thaw an asphalt recycle line in subzero temperatures on Dec. 9 using plant steam. A propane-fueled weed burner was then used to heat the outside of the line.
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement has meetings set with oil industry leaders later in April, to try and persuade them to provide information about close calls and near misses in offshore drilling and transportation, FuelFix reports.
Support for a review of any proposal to send Canadian oil sands crude through the Portland Montreal Pipe Line by Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire has environmentalists wondering if she will rethink her support for the Keystone XL project, E&E reports.
The Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that pits an electronics manufacturer against North Carolina landowners over groundwater pollution and whether a state statute takes precedence over federal law that exempts toxic waste cases from deadlines, E&E reports.
All four candidates vying for the Republican nomination to challenge Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., in the November election said they didn’t think climate change was a fact, when asked the question in a debate Tuesday night, The Hill reports.
Arch Coal’s investment in DKRW’s proposed coal gasification plant has cost it $57 million, according to the annual report the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Casper Star-Tribune reports.
The EU’s top energy official will discuss sending gas to Ukraine through Slovakia in negotiations Thursday, and on Monday Moscow hosts Kiev’s energy minister for talks on Russian gas prices for Ukraine, Reuters reports.
Phil Radford, who became the youngest person to head the American operation for Greenpeace, is departing after four years of working on broadening the environmental group’s reach, National Journal reports.
The Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection has lifted an eight month ban on the country’s two biggest refiners starting new projects, after China National Petroleum Corp. and Sinopec met pollution targets, The Wall Street Journal reports.