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Anti-Fracking Amendment Rejected in NE Ohio

May 8, 2013 8:17 am | by JULIE CARR SMYTH, AP Statehouse Correspondent | News | Comments

Voters on Tuesday rejected a proposal to ban hydraulic fracturing in a northeast Ohio city where disposal of wastewater from the drilling method led to earthquakes and alleged groundwater contamination. The Community Bill of Rights on Youngstown's ballot would have prohibited the controversial high-pressure oil and gas drilling technique, also called fracking, inside city limits.

Finger Lakes Gas-Storage Plans Draw Outcry

May 6, 2013 10:01 am | by MARY ESCH, Associated Press | News | Comments

The plans call for six new rail spurs to handle 24 propane tanker cars every 12 hours. A round-the-clock cycle of trains and tanker trucks seven days a week would bring propane in and out of the facility. Four 700-horsepower compressors would be built, and two open brine ponds would be placed on a hillside above Seneca Lake.

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against Chevron

May 2, 2013 11:08 am | News | Comments

An attempt by Ecuadorian villagers to have a Canadian court enforce a $19 billion judgment against multinational oil giant Chevron Corp was dismissed Wednesday by Ontario Superior Court Justice David Brown who ruled Canadian courts have no jurisdiction in the case.

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Appeals Court Rules on Ethanol Refinery Pollutants

May 1, 2013 10:23 am | News | Comments

State environmental regulators improperly changed state rules to allow Indiana ethanol refineries to release an extra 150 tons of air pollutants per year, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. The appeals court overturned a lower court ruling that allowed the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to reclassify ethanol refineries.

GE Sues Utility As Dredging Restarts on Hudson

April 30, 2013 10:26 am | News | Comments

General Electric Co. said it sued a utility for a share of costs associated with the $1 billion-plus Superfund cleanup of the upper Hudson River on Monday, the day the fourth season of dredging began to remove contaminated sediment from the river.

Gas Drilling Didn't Foul Northeast Pa. Wells

April 30, 2013 10:23 am | by MICHAEL RUBINKAM, Associated Press | News | Comments

Gas drilling isn't to blame for a high-profile case of methane contamination in northeastern Pennsylvania, state environmental regulators declared Monday, but a homeowner with fouled water vowed to press on and said she doesn't trust the agency.

PSC Opposes Proposed Rules On Greenhouse Gases for Power Plants

April 30, 2013 9:53 am | News | Comments

Montana's Public Service Commission says it opposes proposed federal rules to restrict greenhouse gas emissions for new power plants. The PSC said in a statement Monday that it sent the Environmental Protection Agency a letter urging the agency to withdraw its proposed rules for New Source Performance Standards.

Company Aims to Move Lawsuit Over Chemical Cloud Release

April 29, 2013 11:05 am | News | Comments

A defendant in a class-action lawsuit over the release of chemicals at a plant in El Dorado wants the lawsuit moved to federal court. The suit relates to the December chemical cloud that forced up to 500 people from their homes and the evacuation of the Union County Sheriff's Office and jail.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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