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EPA Lowers Fracking Methane Estimates

April 29, 2013 10:55 am | by KEVIN BEGOS, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Environmental Protection Agency has dramatically lowered its estimate of how much of a potent heat-trapping gas leaks during natural gas production, in a shift with major implications for a debate that has divided environmentalists.

UN Chemicals Summit Likely to Adopt New Controls

April 29, 2013 10:46 am | by JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press | News | Comments

At the start of a major conference to regulate chemical and hazardous waste safety, top officials voiced optimism Saturday that delegates will approve new international controls on several industrial compounds and agree to clamp down on some cross-border pollution.

Cassville Mine Plan Heads to W.Va. Supreme Court

April 26, 2013 10:37 am | News | Comments

The battle to stop the expansion of a northern West Virginia surface mine is headed for the state Supreme Court. The Sierra Club is appealing a circuit court ruling that favored the state Department of Environmental Protection and Arch Coal subsidiary Patriot Mining.

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NW Pa. $350M Tires-to-Energy Plant Breaks Ground

April 25, 2013 10:29 am | News | Comments

Construction has begun on a $350 million tires-to-energy plant in northwestern Pennsylvania despite residents' appeals of the air-quality permit over concerns the plant will produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, lead, mercury and arsenic.

California Shuts Down Hazardous Battery Recycler

April 25, 2013 10:15 am | by TRACIE CONE, Associated Press | News | Comments

After years of complaints from the surrounding community, state environmental officials on Wednesday ordered a Southern California battery recycling company to suspend operations after saying hazardous metal sludge was being discharged into leaking pipelines.

Appeals Court Upholds EPA Block on W.Va. Mine

April 24, 2013 10:40 am | by VICKI SMITH, Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had the legal authority to retroactively veto a water pollution permit for one of West Virginia's largest mountaintop removal coal mines years after it was issued, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

NM Issues $838K Civil Penalty in Emissions Case

April 24, 2013 10:35 am | News | Comments

Enterprise Products Operating LLC will have to pay a civil penalty of more than $838,000 as part of a settlement with the New Mexico Environment Department over numerous alleged emissions violations at 31 different sites operated by the company and its subsidiaries.

Fla. AG: BP Should Pay $5 Billion for Spill

April 24, 2013 10:32 am | News | Comments

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has disclosed that she's seeking more than $5.4 billion in damages from BP over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Bondi told reporters on Tuesday that she offered to settle the state's claim but never got a response from BP.

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BPI Fined $450K for 2007 Waterloo Accident

April 24, 2013 10:30 am | News | Comments

Beef Products Inc. has agreed to pay $450,000 to settle alleged violations of Clean Air Act regulations from a 2007 incident at a Waterloo packing plant during which more than 1,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia was released, killing one worker and injuring another.

Wis. Utilities Reach $1.2B Settlement with EPA

April 23, 2013 10:55 am | News | Comments

Wisconsin utilities will spend $1.2 billion to add pollution controls to some aging coal-fired plants and shut down others under a settlement with federal regulators and will pay $2.45 million for violating air pollution laws over the years.

Halliburton Seeks Settlement over Gulf Spill

April 23, 2013 10:44 am | by MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, Associated Press | News | Comments

Halliburton, BP's cement contractor on the drilling rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, announced Monday that it is trying to negotiate a settlement over its role in the disaster, a focus of trial testimony that ended last week.

EPA Again Questions Keystone XL

April 23, 2013 10:40 am | by MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press | News | Comments

The EPA again is raising objections to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would carry oil from western Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast. Despite more than four years of study, the agency says the State Department's analysis of the project's environmental impact is "insufficient."

Residents Leery of Reopening Western Pa. Mine

April 22, 2013 10:17 am | News | Comments

Some Nottingham Township residents say they're concerned about a proposal by Ramaco Inc. to reopen a western Pennsylvania coal mine on 42 acres zoned for agricultural use, fearing that it will bring dust, noise and traffic into the surrounding area.

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Safety Rules Limited for Small Fertilizer Plants

April 22, 2013 10:09 am | by JACK GILLUM & RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI, Associated Press | News | Comments

Safety inspections were rare at the fertilizer company in West, Texas, that exploded and killed at least 14 people this week, though it was authorized to handle up to 54,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia, a substance the Texas environmental agency considers flammable and potentially toxic.

3 Years Later: Gulf Oil Spill Cleanup Carries On

April 19, 2013 10:07 am | by JANET McCONNAUGHEY & STACEY PLAISANCE, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Gulf coast appears healthy three years after the nation's worst oil spill, but scientists and environmentalists are worried that problems may lurk below the surface. The long-term environmental damage from the spill is still not fully known.

Texas Fertilizer Plant Cited for '06 Permit Violation

April 18, 2013 10:42 am | News | Comments

The Texas fertilizer plant where an explosion injured more than 100 people and killed an unknown number of others was cited for failing to obtain or to qualify for a permit in 2006. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality investigated West Fertilizer after receiving a complaint of a strong ammonia smell.

Neb. Keystone XL Opposition Muted

April 18, 2013 10:26 am | by GRANT SCHULTE, Associated Press | News | Comments

A proposed Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline would run just 1,000 feet from Terri Funk's doorstep, but the Nebraska farmer and her husband don't plan to protest or even attend the U.S. State Department's lone public hearing on the contentious proposal Thursday.

Diesel Fuel Spill of 21,000 Gallons Leaves Chevron with Violation Notice

April 15, 2013 10:43 am | News | Comments

State regulators have slapped Chevron with a violation notice over a March fuel spill near a northern Utah bird refuge. The Utah Division of Water Quality is asking Chevron to provide a report on cleanup operations and a response plan for the pipeline rupture that leaked about 21,000 gallons of diesel fuel.

Ark. Asks ExxonMobil to Move Pipeline Near Water Supply

April 12, 2013 10:43 am | by JEANNIE NUSS, Associated Press | News | Comments

Officials with an Arkansas water supplier approved a measure Thursday asking ExxonMobil for a plan to move an oil pipeline away from an area that drains into the main source of drinking water for Little Rock and several other communities.

Ark. AG: Oil Pipeline Gash 22 Feet Long

April 11, 2013 11:17 am | by JEANNIE NUSS, Associated Press | News | Comments

An ExxonMobil pipeline that ruptured on March 29 and spilled thousands of barrels of oil in central Arkansas has a gash in it that is 22 feet long and 2 inches wide, state Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said Wednesday, calling the rupture "substantially larger than many of us initially thought."

Feds Take Steps Toward Reopening San Onofre Nuke Plant

April 11, 2013 11:09 am | by MICHAEL R. BLOOD, Associated Press | News | Comments

A preliminary ruling from Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff signaled Wednesday that running California's San Onofre nuclear power plant at reduced power would not pose a significant safety risk — a key step toward a possible restart of one of the idled reactors.

Keystone XL Opponents Circulate Petition

April 11, 2013 11:01 am | News | Comments

Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline in Nebraska are circulating a petition to try to halt the project. The group Bold Nebraska sent out an email Wednesday, urging its supporters to sign an online petition that would ask President Barack Obama to deny federal approval.

Jury Orders Exxon Mobil To Pay $236M in Contamination Case

April 10, 2013 10:39 am | by LYNNE TUOHY, Associated Press | News | Comments

An order for Exxon Mobil to pay $236 million in damages for groundwater contamination in New Hampshire is by far the largest verdict in state history but represents only about two days' worth of profit for the energy company, an industry analyst said.

Area Contaminated by Natural Gas Leak Grows

April 10, 2013 10:33 am | News | Comments

State officials say liquid hydrocarbons that have been seeping into the ground at a western Colorado gas field have affected a larger area than initially believed. Energy workers discovered contaminated soil and groundwater about a month ago near the Williams gas processing facility in Parachute.

Judge: Feds Violated Law in Calif. Oil Leases

April 9, 2013 10:13 am | by GARANCE BURKE, Associated Press | News | Comments

Federal land managers violated a key environmental law when they auctioned off the rights to drill for oil and gas on 2,500 acres of prime public lands in Monterey County, home to one of the largest deposits of shale oil in the nation, a judge ruled.

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