More Health, Safety, Security & Environment News

Improved pipeline safety needed at all levels, NARUC committee told

Oil and gas pipelines and the government agencies that regulate them are making progress in improving safety and responses by emphasizing greater involvement at all levels, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioner’s Natural Gas Committee learned on Feb. 10.

Keystone XL supporters, opponents press Obama for prompt decision

Supporters and opponents of the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline separately urged US President Barack Obama to decide promptly on whether the project should receive a cross-border permit. Their calls came days after the US Department of State released its final supplemental environmental impact statement on the project.

BPC releases first three commissioned papers on RFS

The Bipartisan Policy Center released the first three of five papers it commissioned on the federal Renewable Fuels Standard. The papers are part of its effort to foster discussions on ways to reform the RFS, which was established by the 2005 Energy Policy Act established and expanded by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, BPC said.

EPA rule requires new reporting from refiners, chemical processors

The US Environmental Protection Agency has finalized a rule under existing federal statutory law that establishes new reporting requirements for petroleum and petrochemical processors that use or plan to use five chemical substances identified generically as “complex strontium aluminate, rare earth doped” (CSA-RED).

BLM extends comment period for Monument Butte gas project draft EIS

The US Bureau of Land Management will provide an additional 30 days for public comments on the draft environmental impact statement for Newfield Exploration Co.’s proposed Monument Butte natural gas project in eastern Utah.

No major environmental impact from Keystone XL, DOS says

The proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline’s construction and operation would not have significant environmental impacts, the US Department of State said in its long-awaited final supplemental environmental impact statement for the 1,700-mile project.

CSB issues report on Washington refinery blast

The US Chemical Safety Board has determined the cause of an April 2010 explosion and fire at Tesoro’s 120,000-b/d Anacortes, Wash., refinery could have been prevented by the US independent refiner.

Shell cancels 2014 drilling off Alaska in court decision’s wake

Royal Dutch Shell PLC will not resume activity on federal leases it holds offshore Alaska in 2014 because a US appeals court’s Jan. 22 decision in a 2008 lawsuit against the US Department of the Interior has created significant uncertainties, company officials stated.

MSRC, Alaska Maritime working together on nontank vessel regs

Marine Spill Response Corp. (MSRC) and Alaska Maritime Prevention & Response Network announced a strategic alliance to support industry’s efforts to meet federal regulations for nontank vessels and to enhance oil spill response efforts in western Alaska and Prince William Sound.

NEB responds to Manitoba gas pipeline explosion

Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) responded to a pipeline incident that occurred Jan. 25 in an isolated area near the town of Otterburne, 25 km south of Winnipeg, Manitoba, on a sweet natural gas pipeline owned and operated by TransCanada Pipeline Inc. (TCPL).

Court ruling’s impact on existing Alaska OCS leases uncertain

A federal appeals court ruled a portion of the environmental impact statements prepared prior to federal oil and gas leasing off Alaska’s Arctic coast was improperly prepared, and sent the matter back to the district court that heard the lawsuit for further action.

US, Canadian transportation boards want tougher oil-by-rail rules

In an unprecedented move, the US and Canadian national transportation boards simultaneously called for tougher regulations covering shipments of crude oil by rail.

US appeals court won’t allow rehearing of California LCFS lawsuit

A federal appeals court in California refused to accept a petition to rehear a challenge to the state’s low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS), which three of the court’s judges dismissed last year. The ruling could be appealed to the US Supreme Court.

EU axes national renewable-energy goals

The European Union will abandon national mandates for renewable-energy use after 2020 under a framework on climate and energy for 2030 proposed Jan. 22 by the European Commission.

Enbridge suffers leak on Alberta Clipper crude pipeline

Enbridge Inc. shut down and isolated a section of its 450,000-b/d Line 67 (Alberta Clipper) crude oil pipeline south of Regina, Sask., Jan. 19 after a 125-bbl release from piping within the Rowatt pumping station.

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