Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Archive for the ‘EPA’ Category

Shell Immunized against Drilling-Transmitted Diseases

Posted by feww on April 13, 2010

Shell Granted Key Alaska Drilling License

Oil giant Shell receives federal air-quality license for Alaska Beaufort Sea drilling

EPA has granted Royal Dutch Shell Plc a federal air-quality permit that allows the giant oil company to carry out exploratory drilling in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea.

A week after U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline declared that “the balance of hardships” is in favor of the BP and Shell, “who have invested significant time [never mind nature’s 4.55 billion year investment] and expense in preparing for the scheduled activities,” and dismissed lawsuit against exploration permits granted by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the MMS, two environmental groups filed a lawsuit on July 8,2008 against new federal regulations that grants permission to oil companies to disturb/destroy the polar bears and walrus in the Chukchi Sea. [Image: NOAA]

The permit, more like a vaccine for “Drilling-Transmitted Diseases,”  immunizes Shell against any and all of the air pollutants emitted from their drill vessel and dozens of  support ships that the company will be employing to drill two exploratory wells about 26 to 35km (16 to 22 miles)  off  Alaska’s northern coast.

“The Beaufort Sea permit—which Shell has been seeking for nearly four years—was granted a week after the EPA issued a similar permit for the company’s planned drilling operations this year in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northwestern cost.” A report said.

The terms of permit stipulates that Shell shall  use “technological advances,” “ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel” and practice “other protective measures,” EPA officials were quoted as saying. [Wear a condom on their drill bits?]

“This permit ensures that exploration and drilling will occur in a way that protects air quality,” Rick Albright, director of the air, waste and toxics issues for EPA’s Seattle regional office, said in a statement.

The conditions of permit, of course,  pays lip service to environmental protection; they won’t and can’t prevent accidental oil spills, which have now become daily occurrences throughout the planet.

“The Beaufort permit is an important milestone, a Shell spokesman in Anchorage said, after the company spent $84 million on its Beaufort Sea leases and intends to drill prospects there called Sivulliq and Torpedo that are known to contain hydrocarbons.” The report stressed.

“The issuance of our final Beaufort Sea air permit means we can continue to advance our exploration program with the ultimate goal of drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas in 2010,” Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said.

The permit is reportedly issued subject to a public-review period and could be appealed by environmental concerns.

“Shell is seeking to use a single drill ship and a fleet of icebreakers, oil-spill-response ships and other support vessels to explore the Chukchi and Beaufort prospects. Drilling is planned for the summer and fall, times when sea ice is absent. The company plans to drill up to three wells about 75 miles offshore in the Chukchi, where it spent $2.1 billion in 2008 to acquire leases, and two wells in the Beaufort.” The report said

“Environmentalists and the native Inupiat Eskimo people of the region expressed concerns, as the permit was being drafted by the EPA, about carbon-dioxide emissions into a region already strongly affected by climate change, and the potential impact of pollutants on people who hunt and fish in the region for traditional foods.” The report added.

Although Shell requires other permits before  it can proceed with the vile acts of drilling at either of the two sites, those permits are considered to be much easier to obtain than the air-quality permits, that the company has been granted.

The Riddle of Big Oil and Energy Consumption:

  1. Humans prosper at a much lower rate of energy consumption.
  2. The ecosystems, what is left of them, function well  in the absence of fossil fuel pollution (pollution created by mining/drilling, transport and consumption of the fuels).
  3. More mining and drilling creates more pollution.
  4. The only prosperity associated with selling more fossil fuels is the sellers monetary gains.
  5. The big oil companies are owned by a tiny fraction of the world population.
  6. Why do the overwhelming majority of world population allow a tiny minority destroy the planet for monetary gains?

Can YOU can solve this riddle??

Related Links:

Serial No 1,568. Starting April 2010, each entry on this blog has a unique serial number. If any of the numbers are missing, it may mean that the corresponding entry has been blocked by the authorities/Google in your country. Please drop us a line if you detect any anomaly/missing number(s).

Posted in Beaufort Sea drilling, Chukchi Sea, EPA, federal air-quality license, oil and gas drilling | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

How Could Pollution Possibly Harm You?

Posted by feww on March 20, 2010

It’s NO longer science, NOT even common sense; it’s ‘corporment’ at its worst!

The Exponential Growth Economy Dilemma is Fast Shaping up

1. The only way to live in this world is through exponential growth economy.

2. Exponential growth economy is responsible for the deadly pollution and looming environmental collapse and extinction of human race.

Solution: Deny pollution’s role in the environmental collapse; sue EPA to prove the point.

Up to 20 states have filed suits against EPA asking U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. to review EPA’s finding that greenhouse gases endanger both human health and welfare. The finding, which was released in December 2009  (it was prompted by a 2007 U.S. Supreme Court ruling), enables the agency to regulate GHG emissions under the existing Clean Air Act.

States sue EPA to stop greenhouse gas rules

At least 15 U.S. states have sued the Environmental Protection Agency seeking to stop it from issuing rules controlling greenhouse gas emissions until it reexamines whether the pollution harms human health.

Florida, Indiana, South Carolina and at least nine other states filed the petitions in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, states said.

They joined petitions filed last month by Virginia, Texas and Alabama.

The Obama administration has long said it would attack greenhouse gas emissions with EPA regulation if Congress failed to pass a climate bill.

The EPA is set to issue regulations later this month that would require autos and light trucks to increase energy efficiency. That would trigger rules on large emitters like power plants requiring them to get permits showing they are using the best technology available to reduce emissions.

The state petitions call for the EPA to reopen hearings on the so-called “endangerment finding” the agency issued last year declaring the emissions dangerous to people.

“If EPA doesn’t reopen the hearings we will move forward to try to stop them from regulating greenhouse gases,” said Brian Gottstein, an assistant to Virginia’s Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli.

The states have complained that the EPA relied too heavily from reports by the U.N.’s climate science panel which included information that exaggerated the melting of Himalayan glaciers.

The EPA said it was confident it would withstand legal challenges on the issue. “The question of the science is settled,” spokeswoman Adora Andy said. The science “came from an array of highly respected, peer-reviewed sources from both within the United States and across the globe, and took into consideration hundreds of thousands of comments from members of the public, which were addressed in the finding,” she said.

Allison Wood, a lawyer at Hunton & Williams, said the suits could push some lawmakers to support the climate bill if they oppose EPA regulation and the legislation preempts the agency from taking action.

About the same number of states support the EPA. In January, 16 states including New York and California asked the court for permission to support the EPA in industry lawsuits seeking to stop the agency from regulating the gases from stationary sources like power plants and factories.

Copyright: Reuters –

Make NO mistake: Preserving the lives of corporations is more important than preventing the extinction of human race! [Are they too stupid to matter?]

Related Links:

Background Links:

Related EPA Links:

Posted in EPA, greenhouse gas emissions, human health, industrail emissions, Kenneth Cuccinelli | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Kudos to Residents of Dimock, Pennsylvania

Posted by feww on November 22, 2009

Residents of Dimock in rural Pennsylvania sue Cabot Oil & Gas Corp

Residents of Dimock, a small rural Pennsylvania town, have sued Cabot Oil & Gas Corp, claiming the company’s natural-gas drilling has contaminated their wells with deadly chemicals, causing sickness and reducing their property values, Reuters reported.

“The lawsuit accuses the company of violating state environmental laws by allowing drilling chemicals to escape from gas wells, where they are used in a technique called hydraulic fracturing.”

A Cabot spokesman, Ken Komoroski, said the company was in full compliance with Pennsylvania’s environmental laws and “disappointed” by the lawsuit, which he said  they had not had time to study yet.

“We don’t see merit in these claims,” Cabot spokesman said. More …

A glass of water taken from a residential well after the start of natural gas drilling in Dimock, Pennsylvania, March 7, 2009. Dimock is one of hundreds of sites in Pennsylvania where energy companies are now racing to tap the massive Marcellus Shale natural gas formation. But some residents say the drilling has clouded their drinking water, sickened people and animals and made their wells flammable. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer. Image may be subject to copyright.

Residents: ‘WE WANT JUSTICE’

“The suit is the culmination of complaints by residents of the northeastern Pennsylvania community where Cabot has drilled dozens of gas wells in its efforts to develop the Marcellus Shale, a massive gas formation that underlies about two-thirds of Pennsylvania and parts of surrounding states.” The report said.

“These releases, spills and discharges caused the plaintiffs and their property to be exposed to such hazardous gases, chemicals and industrial wastes,” said the complaint.

The residents have suffered neurological, gastrointestinal and dermatological symptoms from exposure to contaminated water, the complaint said. The results of blood samples taken from residents are consistent with exposure to the chemical pollutants.

“Victoria Switzer, a plaintiff who lives about a mile from Carter’s home, said she had joined the lawsuit because she had failed to get satisfaction from the state Department of Environmental Protection or her elected representatives.” Reuters said.

“Lawyers were the last thing I wanted,” she said. “We are not greedy people, we just want some justice.” More …


EPA admits water contaminated near gas-drilling sites

FEWW wrote:

Now, for the first time ever, EPA scientists have revealed that drinking water wells  near natural gas [and oil] drilling operations contain chemical contaminants. They found dangerous chemicals in the water from 11 of 39 wells tested near the Wyoming town of Pavillion in March and May 2009.  Unfortunately, their report  falls shy of concluding what causes the contamination, though it admits the gas drilling is a potential source.

‘Diarrhea water’

In Dimock, Pennsylvania, drilling for natural gas has clouded the drinking water, sickened people and animals and made their wells flammable.

Isn’t it remarkable that two distant communities, one in Dimock, Pennsylvania, and the other in Pavillion, Wyoming, some 2,668 km (1,658 miles) apart, share a common fate by way of their contaminated drinking water, where the only common denominator between them is gas-drilling activities.

Related Links:


Posted in doorstep drilling, EPA, fracking, gas drilling, natural gas | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

What’s Good for the Great Lakes Goose …

Posted by feww on October 24, 2009

Quotes for the Day:

NYC Water Pollution and NatGas Drilling

“The nine million New York residents who depend upon Catskill-Delaware water deserve the same amount of protection as those New Yorkers who depend upon Great Lakes surface waters.” —New York City’s acting environmental commissioner

It would cost the city an  estimated $10 billion to build a filtration and treatment plant, which would cost hundreds of millions of dollars a year to maintain, cleaning the pollution that would be created as a result of natgas drilling near the upstate watershed, which supplies 90 percent of its drinking water. That’s a 30 percent hike in water and sewer rates for the New Yorkers.

“This is not a risk that is worth taking when we are talking about something as fundamental as the city’s water supply…  We didn’t have the money to do that before the recession, and we certainly don’t have the money to do it now.” —City Council Speaker Christine Quinn

Related Links:

Posted in Diarrhea water, Dimock, elk mountain aquifer, Encana, EPA, fracking, gas and oil drilling, Greg Oberley, Halliburton, natural gas, NYC water supply, Pennsylvania | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

EPA admits water contaminated near gas-drilling sites

Posted by feww on August 29, 2009

You recall this headline: “In Dimock, Pennsylvania, drilling for natural gas has clouded the drinking water, sickened people and animals and made their wells flammable.”

The post titled Diarrhea Water revealed what some of the local folks in Dimock, who were affected by the  drilling operations for Marcellus Shale natural gas in the area, had to say.

Now, for the first time ever, EPA scientists have revealed that drinking water wells  near natural gas [and oil] drilling operations contain chemical contaminants. They found dangerous chemicals in the water from 11 of 39 wells tested near the Wyoming town of Pavillion in March and May 2009.  Unfortunately, their report  falls shy of concluding what causes the contamination, though it admits the gas drilling is a potential source.

Researchers say these chemicals may cause cancer, kidney failure, anemia and low fertility problems, and pose serious health risks to people who live close to the drilling sites, Reuters reported.

Sole Source Aquifers: ‘One Drilling Activity from Contamination’

sole source

As of March 2009, EPA has designated 77 Sole Source Aquifers nationwide. Five of these are in Region 8 (which includes Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming). EPA defines a Sole Source Aquifer as one which supplies at least 50 percent of the drinking water consumed in the area overlying the aquifer. EPA guidelines also stipulate that these areas can have no alternative drinking water source(s) which could physically, legally, and economically supply all those who depend upon the aquifer for drinking water. Sole source aquifer designation provides only limited federal protection of ground water resources which serve as drinking water supplies. It is not a comprehensive ground water protection program. Protection of ground water resources can best be achieved through an integrated and coordinated combination of federal, state, and local efforts. (Source:  EPA website.)

Gas drilling companies maintain that the gas drilling technique they use, called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is safe, but based on observation of the drinking water in numerous drilling areas, and the fate of many people who live near the drilling rigs, and who are afflicted with serious health conditions, we know that fracking contaminates groundwater with dangerous chemicals.

“Evidence of a link between gas drilling and water contamination would set back development of a clean-burning fuel promoted by the Obama administration as crucial to the future of U.S. energy production.” Reuters reported.

Wyoming the Gas State -
Wyoming the Gas [‘n Quake] State. The red stars on the map denote some of the recent earthquakes measuring up to 4.2 Mw, which are [probably!] almost entirely gas-drilling activity related. Source of original map: Google Earth. Image may be subject to copyright.

“Some experts believe the United States holds more than 100 years worth of natural gas reserves. The new findings may raise questions about the process companies such as EnCana Corp, Halliburton Co and others commonly use to pump the gas from deep geological formations. Encana, Canada’s biggest energy company, is drilling in Pavillion.”

“There may be an indication of groundwater contamination by oil and gas activities,” Reuters quoted from the 44-page report, which received little public attention when released on August 11. “Many activities in gas well drilling (and) hydraulic fracturing … involve injecting water and other fluids into the well and have the potential to create cross-contamination of aquifers.”

Contaminants found in the wells include the organic solvent2-butoyethanol (C6H14O2), or 2-BE, which is used to extract natural gas, and  “which researchers say causes the breakdown of red blood cells, leading to blood in the urine and feces, and can damage the kidneys, liver, spleen and bone marrow.”

“Greg Oberley, an EPA scientist who has been testing the water samples, said the agency did not set out to prove that hydraulic fracturing caused groundwater contamination, but was responding to complaints from local residents that their well water had become discolored or foul-smelling or tasted bad.” Reuters reported.

“While the EPA team has not determined how the chemicals got into the water, many are associated with gas drilling, Oberley said in a telephone interview.”

“The preponderance of those compounds in the area would be attributable to the oil and gas industry,” he said.

But why can’t the EPA simply ask the drillers what they put in the water?

“Drillers such as EnCana are not required to disclose the chemicals they use because of an exemption to the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, granted to the oil and gas industry in 2005.” Reuters said.

The oil and gas industry deny that their operations has anything to do with the contaminants that are found in the drinking water, and insist that they use heavily diluted fracking chemicals, which are injected thousands of meters below the drinking-water table in the aquifers. They blame the contamination on other causes such as “naturally occurring,” leaking from “ordinary household products” and “organic solvents” used in agriculture.

A representative for EnCana, which operates 248 wells in the area, told reporters that the contaminants discovered by the EPA had been “tentatively identified.” He said they came from various sources, but admitted: “One of those sources could be oil and gas development.”

“John Fenton, a farmer in Pavillion, a rural community of about 150 people, said residents blame gas drilling for a range of illnesses including rare cancers, miscarriages and nervous system disorders.” Reuters reported.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, has reportedly advised people with contaminated water wells not to drink the water. Fenton said water from some of the wells was black, oily and with a petroleum-like sheen, which also smelled of gas.

“The stress is incredible,” Fenton said. “People have built their lives and businesses here. What’s it all worth now?”

Isn’t it remarkable that two distant communities, one in Dimock, Pennsylvania, and the other in Pavillion, Wyoming, some 2,668 km (1,658 miles) apart, share a common fate by way of their contaminated drinking water, where the only common denominator between them is gas-drilling activities.

[Note: EnCana Co. is North America’s largest natural gas extractor. The company extracted 1.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2008. EnCana was formed in 2002 with the merger of PanCanadian Energy and Alberta Energy Company. The corporate headquarters are in Calgary, Alberta. In the United States, EnCana operates in Colorado, Louisiana, Texas and  Wyoming. The Candian company also jointly owns two oil refineries with ConocoPhillips in Louisiana and Texas.]

Related Links:

Posted in elk mountain aquifer, Encana, EPA, Greg Oberley, Halliburton | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

EPA Declares PHE in Libby, Montana

Posted by feww on June 18, 2009

EPA finally declares a public health emergency in and near the Libby, Montana

EPA has declared a public health emergency in and near the city of Libby, Montana, where asbestos contamination in a vermiculite mine has left hundreds of people dead or sickened from lung diseases in the last century.

Libby Public Health Emergency

EPA announces a public health emergency at Libby Asbestos Superfund Site

On June 17, 2009, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson issued a Public Health Emergency (PHE) finding at the Libby Asbestos Superfund site in northwest Montana. Over the past several years, hundreds of cases of asbestos-related disease have been documented in the communities of Libby and nearby Troy.

This is the first time EPA has made a finding under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (or Superfund) that conditions at a site constitute a Public Health Emergency. The finding recognizes the serious health impacts from asbestos contamination in Libby. EPA is working closely with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which will help provide needed asbestos-related medical care to Libby and Troy residents.

The following is mirrored from EPA Site

Libby Asbestos: EPA announces a public health emergency at Libby Asbestos Superfund Site

Set in the northwest corner of Montana, 35 miles east of Idaho and 65 miles south of Canada, is the small town of Libby. The town lies in a picturesque valley carved by the Kootenai River and framed by the Cabinet Mountains to the south. Libby has population of less than 3,000, and 12,000 people live within a ten-mile radius. Libby is the Lincoln County seat. The community’s assets include clean water, beautiful scenery, and recreational opportunities such as fishing, hiking, hunting, boating and skiing.

EPA has been working in Libby since 1999 when an Emergency Response Team was sent to investigate local concern and news articles about asbestos-contaminated vermiculite. Since that time, EPA has been working closely with the community to clean up contamination and reduce risks to human health.

EPA Links:

Related Links:

Posted in EPA, Kootenai River, Libby Asbestos Site, Lincoln County, Montana | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

‘Safe’ Pesticides: Worst in Poisonings

Posted by feww on October 21, 2008

Safe’ pesticides kill faster!

Pyrethrins and pyrethroids, the main ingredients of thousands “safe” pesticides, were responsible for at least  26 percent of all fatal, “major,” and “moderate” episodes filed with the EPA in 2007, a new report by the Center for Public Integrity said.

Key Findings:

  • The number of reported human health problems, including severe reactions, attributed to pyrethrins and pyrethroids rose by about 300 percent since 2000, according to previously unreleased EPA data.
  • Pyrethrins and pyrethroids based pesticides cause more human harm than all other classes of pesticides.

Credit: The Center for Public Integrity. Image may be subject to copyright.

“Two-and-a-half-year-old Amber Nickol McKeown had head lice. Her mother, Eileen, put the child in a warm bath and massaged Osco Lice Treatment Shampoo into her scalp. Problem solved.”

Soon amber’s chest turned red and bathing her in cool water didn’t help. Little Amber’s condition deteriorated rapidly as she struggled to breathe. “Her eyes rolled back in her head, and her skin peeled off in clumps, according to a lawsuit filed by the family.”

Amber was dead within 72 hours of her bath. Click here for full report.

Related Links:

Posted in Amber Nickol McKeown, EPA, Osco Lice Treatment Shampoo, Pesticide Poisonings, Pesticide Regulation | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Smog exposure causes premature death

Posted by feww on April 22, 2008

Scientific report links smog exposure to premature death

Short-term exposure to smog, or ozone, is clearly linked to premature deaths that should be taken into account when measuring the health benefits of reducing air pollution, a US report shows.

The findings contradict arguments made by some White House officials that the connection between smog and premature death has not been shown sufficiently, and that the number of saved lives should not be calculated in determining clean air benefits.

The National Academy of Sciences report released today by a panel of the Academy’s National Research Council says government agencies “should give little or no weight” to such arguments.

“The committee has concluded from its review of health-based evidence that short-term exposure to ambient ozone is likely to contribute to premature deaths,” the 13-member panel said.

It added that “studies have yielded strong evidence that short-term exposure to ozone can exacerbate lung conditions, causing illness and hospitalization and can potentially lead to death.”

The panel examined short-term exposure – up to 24 hours – to high levels of ozone, but said more studies also were needed on long-term chronic exposure where the risk of premature death “may be larger than those observed in acute effects studies alone.”

The Academy’s report “could have important consequences” on such future disputes, said lawyer Vicky Patton of the advocacy group Environmental Defense Fund.

She said the OMB in a number of air pollution regulations has sought to minimize the relationship of pollution and premature deaths, resulting in a lower calculation of health benefits from pollution reductions.

“This has been used by industry to try to attack health standards by minimising the societal benefits,” said Patton. (Source)

Related Links:

Posted in death, ecological systems, environmnet, EPA, illness | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

EPA Sued Over GHG Pollution

Posted by feww on April 3, 2008

The states of Massachusetts, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday for failing to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new cars and trucks. The lawsuit came one year after the Supreme Court ruled that the agency had the power to do so.

Main Entry: 18 States Sue EPA Over GHG Pollution
Original Report: 18 states sue EPA over greenhouse gas pollution

Posted in air pollution, air travel, Al Gore, cars, EPA, GHG, government, health, lawsuit, pollution, trucks | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »