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  1. PHMSA proposes crude-by-rail response, data-sharing procedures

    The US Pipeline & Hazardous Material Safety Administration proposed new oil spill response and information procedures for high-hazard flammable trains (HHFT) in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration. The new rule would update and clarify comprehensive spill response plan requirements for HHFTs and require railroads to share information with state and tribal emergency commissions to improve accident preparedness, PHMSA said July 13. It also would incorporate a test method for the initial boiling point of flammable liquids into hazardous materials regulations, the US Department of Transportation agency said. “The substantial surge in our country’s production of crude oil is creating a serious need for improved response and communication between railroads and the communities through which they travel,” PHMSA Administrator Marie Therese Dominguez said. “This rule would help to ensure that railroads provide vital information to first responder to help them prepare for and respond to a derailment involving crude.” Specifically, the proposed rule would expand comprehensive oil spill response plans under the federal Clean Water Act to certain HHFTs based on the amount of crude being transported. These changes mean that certain HHFTs would need comprehensive plans, instead of the basic plans which are required currently, PHMSA said. The proposal also would require the train’s operator to be prepared to respond to an incident involving a worst-case discharge, or the largest quantity of crude expected to be release during an incident. It also would codify the requirement that railroads share information about all HHFT operations with state and tribal emergency response commissions, in accordance to the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. PHMSA said the rule proposes requiring railroads to provide monthly notification or certification of no change to state and tribal emergency response commissions and relevant emergency responders for HHFTs, including: • A reasonable estimate of the number of HHFTs that are expected to travel, per week, through each county within the state. • The routes over which the affected trains will move. • A description of the materials shipped and applicable emergency response information required by hazardous materials regulations. • At least one point of contact at the railroad (including name, title, phone number, and address) for the state and tribal emergency response commissions, and relevant emergency responders related to the railroad's transportation of affected trains. • For oil trains subject to the Comprehensive Oil Spill Response Plan under 49 CFR part 130, the contact information for the qualified individuals and description of response zones must also be provided to state and tribal emergency response commissions, or other appropriate state-delegated entities. Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com .

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 22 Jul 2016

  2. Coal News: Court upholds veto of mountaintop mining permit again

    A federal appeals court has once again upheld the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's veto of a permit for a mountaintop mining proposal in West Virginia.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 21 Jul 2016

  3. Oil and Gas News: Enbridge reaches $176M agreement for 2010 Michigan oil spill

    Enbridge Energy Partners has reached a $176 million settlement for the costliest inland oil spill in U.S. history — a pipeline rupture in southwestern Michigan that polluted a nearly 40-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo River, federal officials said Wednesday.

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    Thu, 21 Jul 2016

  4. Arch Coal unit loses another round against EPA in court

    A divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled July 19 that EPA had properly used its “broad veto authority” under the Clean Water Act in connection with a coal mining case in West Virginia 

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 20 Jul 2016

  1. Mingo Logan Coal Loses Another Round Against EPA in Court

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 20 Jul 2016

  2. Enbridge resolves federal charges stemming from 2010 pipeline leaks

    Enbridge Energy Partners LP agreed to pay $177 million to resolve federal charges stemming from 2010 leaks from crude oil pipelines in Illinois and Michigan, the US Department of Justice and US Environmental Protection Agency jointly announced.  

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 20 Jul 2016

  3. Coal News: Environmentalists, utilities eye Richmond coal ash trial

    An upcoming federal court ruling in Virginia could have far-reaching effects on how energy companies dispose of coal ash waste left over from decades of burning coal. Spurred by high-profile coal ash spills and new federal regulations, utilities are grappling with the disposal of vast amounts of ...

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 12 Jul 2016

  4. Environmentalists, electric utilities eye Richmond coal ash trial

    Central to the case are questions about the scope of the Clean Water Act and whether it applies to tainted groundwater connected to rivers and other surface waters

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    Online Articles

    Tue, 12 Jul 2016

  5. Waste-to-Energy News: Decision soon on trash-to-energy facility in Hampden

    Maine's Department of Environmental Protection will decide Friday whether to issue final permits for trash-to-energy company Fiberight, which wants to build a $69 million facility in Hampden.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 15 Jul 2016

  6. Wyoming Federal Judge Sides with States Industry, Strikes Down BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

    On June 21, 2016, the US District Court for the District of Wyoming struck down the US Bureau of Land Management’s hydraulic fracturing regulations, finding that BLM “lacked Congressional authority to promulgate the regulations.” This decision is a win for industry and states’ rights, setting aside ...

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    Fri, 15 Jul 2016

  7. Cube Hydro buys 210-MW Yadkin hydroelectric project from Alcoa

    Cube Hydro Carolinas LLC has reached an agreement with Alcoa Power Generating Inc. to purchase and upgrade four hydropower projects located on the Yadkin River in North Carolina.

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    Online Articles

    Tue, 12 Jul 2016

  8. Hydroelctric Power News: Group sues to force pollution disclosure at Washington dam

    An environmental group sued the federal agency that operates the nation's largest hydropower producer Wednesday, saying operations at the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state are polluting the Columbia River in violation of federal clean-water laws.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 1 Jul 2016

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