Now its Chevron making the news!


Bad Industry or Bad Management – pick one

Move against Chevron in Canada first of many: Ecuadorean plaintiffs
JEFF GRAY — LAW REPORTER
Globe and Mail Update
Published Thursday, May. 31, 2012 2:30PM EDT
Last updated Thursday, May. 31, 2012 3:08PM EDT
115 comments
29

20

8

1

Print/
License Decrease text size
Increase text size Lawyers for the Ecuadorean villagers who won an $18.3-billion (U.S.) judgment against Chevron Corp. (CVX-N98.310.680.70%) over oil pollution in the Amazon say their enforcement action launched in Canada this week is only their first move to target the company’s worldwide assets.

“This is just the beginning. We are analyzing and we are preparing a series of enforcement actions that are going to be presented all around the world in the near future,” lead Ecuadorean lawyer Pablo Fajardo, speaking through a translator, told reporters on a conference call Thursday.

More related to this story
•Ecuadorean villagers ask Ontario court to enforce $18-billion Chevron judgment
•Spill sends 22,000 barrels of oil mix into Alberta muskeg
•Ottawa’s environmental-review overhaul hits tough hurdles
Video
Jeff Rubin explains why oil is still key to economy
Video
David Suzuki says the oil sands are riches we can’t afford
Video
Canada’s newest pipeline: the train He vowed to pursue Chevron until it paid the $18.3-billion an Ecuadorean court ruled the company owed for cleanup costs and punitive damages in a judgment last year: “We are going to go after Chevron until each and every single penny it owes to the Ecuadorean people for the damage they caused.”

Mr. Fajardo said Wednesday’s filing of a claim in Ontario Superior Court in Toronto demanding that Chevron hand over its Canadian assets would be followed by another similar action in another country, likely in June, although he said he did not know where.

Chevron claims the Ecuadorean judgment is tainted by bribery and fraud, and calls it “illegitimate.”

Kent Robertson, a spokesman for Chevron, said in an interview that the company would fight back in court wherever the plaintiffs file: “We are prepared to defend the company, wherever they take their fraud.”

The move to export the dispute to Canada and elsewhere opens a new chapter in the tangled and nearly 20-year legal fight. The battle against Chevron centres on allegations that open pits of toxic oil waste were left behind when Texaco, which Chevron acquired in 2001, pulled out of the Ecuadorean jungle in the early 1990s.

Chevron has fought back fiercely. It accuses some of the plaintiffs’ lawyers and supporters of bribery, fraud and fabricating evidence in a lawsuit filed in New York.

The company refuses to pay up despite participating in the marathon eight-year trial, arguing that Texaco was released from liability when it paid $40-million to remediate Amazon oil sites in the 1990s and that “legitimate scientific evidence exonerates Chevron.”

The plaintiffs, who deny the allegations against them and also allege Chevron has engaged in fraudulent conduct, say they chose Canada for their first stop partly because of the judicial system’s tradition of accepting foreign judgments. Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif., and has virtually no assets left in Ecuador.

Legal observers suggest that filing in the U.S. could see the claim tangled with the New York lawsuit’s fraud allegations against the plaintiffs’ lawyers and supporters.

Chevron, in a statement issued Wednesday, said the plaintiffs were shying away from the U.S., where they would “be confronted by the fact that seven federal courts have already made findings under the crime/fraud doctrine about this scheme.”

Mr. Fajardo said it was Chevron that, for much of the legal fight that began with a case filed in New York in 1993, sought to have it litigated outside the United States.

“We must remember that this trial was first started in the U.S. in 1993,” Mr. Fajardo said. “It is essential that we keep in mind that Chevron did whatever it could to have this case moved out of the U.S. and into Ecuador.”

He has retained prominent Toronto litigator Alan Lenczner to take the case here. Mr. Lenczner said that more than 75 per cent of Chevron’s assets are outside the United States and that Canada was simply chosen as a starting point to go after the company.

“We’re not afraid of Chevron. We will meet them in any court, anywhere, but we don’t have to got to the United States,” Mr. Lenczner told the conference call.

“We’ll make the decision where we’re going and Canada has been chosen. And we’ll let a Canadian court, which I think the whole world respects, deal with this matter.”

The move to file a claim in Ontario came as Chevron held its annual general meeting Wednesday in San Ramon, and chairman and chief executive officer John Watson faced criticism about the lawsuit as about 150 protesters with various complaints about the company’s operations around the world gathered outside.

Chevron is also pursuing a case against the Ecuadorean government over the dispute before an international arbitration panel in The Hague.

Advertisements

Is it the Oil Industry that is the problem or the way that it is managed?


Spill sends 22,000 barrels of oil mix into Alberta muskeg
NATHAN VANDERKLIPPE
CALGARY— Includes clarification
Published Wednesday, May. 30, 2012 5:13PM EDT
Last updated Thursday, May. 31, 2012 3:19PM EDT

Print/
License Decrease text size
Increase text size A huge spill has released 22,000 barrels of oil and water into muskeg in the far northwest of Alberta.

The spill ranks among the largest in North America in recent years, a period that has seen a series of high-profile accidents that have undermined the energy industry’s safety record. The Enbridge Inc. pipeline rupture that leaked oil near Michigan’s Kalamazoo River, for example, spilled an estimated 19,500 barrels.

More related to this story
•Ottawa’s environmental-review overhaul hits tough hurdles
•Rainbow pipeline cleared to resume oil shipments
•Pembina shuts pipeline after leak
Pace Oil and Gas Ltd. (PCE-T)
3.25 -0.24 -6.88%
As of May 31, 2012 4:00
.
. .
Range:
1 Day 5 Day 1 Year View Larger Chart Add to Watchlist .Light Sweet Crude Oil (CL-FT)
86.20 -0.33 -0.38%
As of May 31, 2012 10:25
.
. .
Range:
1 Day 5 Day 1 Year View Larger Chart Add to Watchlist .The most recent spill was discovered May 19 emanating from pipe belonging to Pace Oil & Gas Ltd. (PCE-T3.25-0.24-6.88%), a small energy company that produces about 15,000 barrels a day, roughly half of that oil.

The spill has yet to be contained, although “we’re very close,” Pace chief executive Fred Woods said in an interview Wednesday.

The spill took place roughly 20 kilometres southeast of Rainbow Lake, which is 165 km south of the Northwest Territories border. It came from above-ground piping connecting an underground pipeline to a well used for wastewater injection. The pipe was carrying an emulsion that was roughly 70 per cent water and 30 per cent oil.

As with many recent pipeline accidents, Calgary-based Pace did not detect a problem, but was informed of the leak by another company after the spill was spotted from an aircraft. The spill, which killed one duck, now covers 4.3 hectares. Mr. Woods declined comment on how long it was leaking before detection.

The company is now setting up a 50-person camp near the spill site, and has hired contract workers to clean it up. By Monday, it had recovered some 3,700 barrels of emulsion. It’s unclear how long it will take to clean up. Alberta’s Energy Resources Conservation Board is investigating the spill.

The province has seen a spate of recent leaks. Last year, for example, the 220,000 barrel-a-day Rainbow pipeline belonging to Plains All America Pipeline L.P., spilled 28,000 barrels in northern Alberta.

The province has also seen a series of accidents on smaller gathering and distribution pipelines, which are typically run by oil and gas companies and may not receive the safety scrutiny applied to longer-haul pipes such as Rainbow. On May 8, a farmer discovered a spill of a very light oil, called condensate, in a field in central Alberta. That oil had leaked from an AltaGas Ltd. pipe delivering raw natural gas to a processing plant.

Last June, 500 barrels of oily product spilled from a pipe gathering system run by Pengrowth Energy Corp.

The water injection well connected to the leaking Pace pipe was used to dispose of waste.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify the location of the spill, which came from above-ground piping rather than an underground pipe.

GOOD NEWS!!! – It’s not all bad news


The U.S.Government is doing a little at least in an effort to clean up contaminated sites. Let’s keep pushing to get our areas in a program like the one listed below. All people around the world can get involved in their own neighbourhood.

Astoria, Oregon, one of nine cities nationally to share $3.8 million in new EPA Brownfields redevelopment funding

Susan Morales, EPA/Seattle 206-553-7299, morales.susan@epa.gov
Mark MacIntyre, EPA/Seattle 206-553-7302, macintyre.mark@epa.gov

(Seattle – May 31, 2011) – Nine communities across America will share $3.8 million in new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funding to help cleanup and redevelop of local contaminated properties. The new pilot “Multi-Purpose” grants, funded by EPA’s Brownfields program, will help recipients conduct assessments and cleanups, eliminating delays.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, EPA has selected the City of Astoria for a Brownfields multi-purpose pilot grant. Hazardous substances grant funds will be used to assess and clean up the Heritage Square site located at 1153 Duane Street. Once the site of an auto repair shop, a dry cleaner and later a printer, the Duane Street location will be redeveloped as an outdoor community gathering place with an amphitheater, market plaza, boardwalk and covered pavilions.

EPA believes that by investing in local redevelopment, communities can help clean up America’s land, boost local economies and create jobs while protecting public health.

“Investment in the clean up and reuse of contaminated property is a catalyst for improving people’s lives,” said EPA Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus. “This funding will help foster local economic growth and leverage jobs in communities where they are needed most. A revitalized Brownfields site reduces threats to human health and the environment, promotes community involvement, and attracts investment in local neighborhoods.”

A Nod to Local Chinese History

A historic dimension to the Astoria redevelopment project is the Garden of Surging Waves, a non-traditional Chinese Garden that will be a tribute to Astoria’s Chinese heritage. Astoria has a rich and diverse social history, populated with a variety of ethnic groups, many of which are honored elsewhere in the community. But until now, Astoria’s early Chinese history has remained obscure. When fishing and fish canneries were two of Astoria’s primary industries, Chinese men were a key part of the cannery workforce.

EPA’s Brownfields Program

There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites in America. EPA’s Brownfields program targets these sites to encourage redevelopment, and help provide the opportunity for productive community use of contaminated properties. Brownfields grants target under-served and low income neighborhoods – places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.

Since inception in 1995, EPA’s Brownfields investments have leveraged more than $18.3 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding from a variety of public and private sources and have resulted in approximately 75,500 jobs. So far in 2012, EPA has awarded $69.3 million to 245 grantees in 39 states across the country to assess and clean up abandoned industrial and commercial properties.

More information on Brownfields grants by state: http://cfpub.epa.gov/bf_factsheets/
More information on EPA’s Brownfields program: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/
________________________________________

You can view or update your subscriptions or e-mail address at any time on your Subscriber Preferences Page. All you will need is your e-mail address. If you have any questions or problems e-mail support@govdelivery.com for assistance.
This service is provided to you at no charge by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Obama Task Force re Children’s Health & Safety relating to the Environment


This is an opportunity to join the Task Force live (see link below) and see how far the US Government is willing to go to protect our children. It is a 2 hour live stream telecast. I will be on the site and I hope others will join as well.

Please join the President’s Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children for the release of the Coordinated Federal Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Asthma Disparities.

Featuring:
The Honorable Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
The Honorable Shaun Donovan, Secretary, U.S. Housing and Urban Development
The Honorable Nancy Sutley, Chair, White House Council on Environmental Quality

Thursday, May 31, 2012
11:30 am to 1:30 pm EDT
To participate via Live Stream, go to: epa.gov/live

Event Highlights:
Senior leaders from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will discuss the four strategies identified in the Action Plan to address preventable factors which lead to asthma disparities and promote synergies across numerous federal programs that affect asthma management.
National leaders of asthma programs will talk about the role they can play to share in implementing the Action Plan.

The Issue and the Plan:
Close to 10 percent of the U.S. child population 17 years old and younger has asthma. Children from minority groups and children from low-income households are at greater risk for having the disease and once they have it, they are at greater risk of suffering more because of it. Asthma rates of African American children are currently at 16%, while 16.5% of Puerto Rican children suffer from the chronic respiratory disease, more than double the rate of Caucasian children in the United States.
The Action Plan – a result of the collaborative interagency Asthma Disparities Working Group, co-chaired by HHS, EPA and HUD – is aimed at increasing coordination of Federal programs in order to get the right asthma care with the right support to the right children.

The Coordinated Federal Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Asthma Disparities: Promoting Greater Collaboration and More Effective Use of Resources to Reduce the Burden of Asthma for Minority Children and Children Living Below the Poverty Level

Office of Public Engagement
Office of External Affairs and Environmental Education
Office of the Administrator / U.S. Environmental Protection Agency / Tel 202-564-4355 / PublicEngagement@epa.gov

________________________________________

You can view or update your subscriptions or e-mail address at any time on your Subscriber Preferences Page. All you will need is your e-mail address. If you have any questions or problems e-mail support@govdelivery.com for assistance.
This service is provided to you at no charge by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

These figures are staggering!!!!


In a day and age like today why would we be putting children at risk to lead poisoning and cut back on funding in the US from $29.1 million nationwide to $2 million which is a drop in the bucket.  They would likely supply a grant for twice that for something a ludicrous as to have someone to study the effects of the moon on the the consumption of ice cream by adults over 40.  What does it take to rattle the common sense cages of the politicians and beaurocrats?  Children are at risk of serious health issues in North America.  Let’s  get together and let them know that we are as mad as “H-E – double hockey sticks” and we aren’t going to take it any more.  One venue is the Cancer Cluster site which is on Linked IN and you can make your voice known.  Here is a link if you chose to make your voice count – http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Cancer-Clusters-4429995?gid=4429995&trk=hb_side_g

Check out this article and comment on the blog as well.

More children in New Orleans may show lead-related health problems, new data indicate

Published: Friday, May 18, 2012, 8:00 PM

The number of New Orleans children at risk of lead-related health problems has jumped by 331 percent with the adoption this week of a new federal standard, a local researcher said. For the first time in 21 years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cut by half the amount of lead in the bloodstream that could signal trouble for children younger than 6 years old — from 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood to five. With that change, a citywide database of 55,551 children showed that the number of youngsters at risk jumped from 12.7 percent to 42.1 percent, said Howard Mielke, a research professor in the pharmacology department in the Tulane University School of Medicine.

 

markey_park_mosaic.jpg

Enlarge Editorial page staff, The Times-Picayune TED JACKSON / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE Workers spread gravel and soil next to a mosaic laid down near the park’s sign post, part of lead remediation work being done by Materials Management Group at Markey Park in the Bywater area of New Orleans Monday, February 7, 2011. The work begins by laying down a layer of geotextile, a fabric that allows water to pass down but blocks particulates to rise up. Next comes a layer of gravel and sand, finished off by sod for the playground surface. Markey Park lead remediationgallery (8 photos)

  • markey_park_air_monitor.jpg
  • markey_park_gravel_far.jpg
  • markey_park_scooter_fence.jpg
  • markey_park_sod.jpg
  • markey_park_gravel_close.jpg

Lead exposure can come from lead-based paint in older buildings and in soil where children play. In some parts of New Orleans, 58.5 percent of the children are at risk, he said. 

Elevated blood-lead levels in children have been linked to brain damage, mental retardation, behavior problems, anemia, liver and kidney damage, hearing loss, developmental delays and, in extreme cases, death. In adults, high amounts of lead in the bloodstream can harm the kidneys and impair memory.

Research has also shown that high lead levels can lead to violence because of the effect lead can have on brain development, Mielke said.

Lowering the amount of lead in the bloodstream that is considered dangerous “is a scientific step in the right direction,” said Dr. Karen DeSalvo, New Orleans’ health commissioner. But the money New Orleans gets from the CDC for case management — $176,000 — is scheduled to end this fall, she said.

According to the CDC, the amount of federal money for lead-related health programs nationwide will plummet from $29.2 million to $2 million in the fiscal year starting Oct. 1.

“It’s a disaster,” Mielke said, adding that no federal money is being allocated to clean up environments such as play areas.

“We have a Clean Water Act and a Clean Air Act, but we don’t have a Clean Soil Act,” he said.

The state Department of Health and Hospitals operates a lead-poisoning-prevention program that includes services such as monitoring blood-lead levels, coordinating care for children with high blood-lead levels and conducting educational programs.

John Pope can be reached at jpope@timespicayune.com or 504.826.3317.

 

More Problems with the Oil & Gas Industry


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7
901 N. Fifth St., Kansas City, KS 66101

Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Nine Tribal Nations

Mid-America Pipeline Company LLC, Enterprise Products Operating LLC to Pay $1M for Spills in Iowa, Kan., Neb.

Contact Information: Chris Whitley, 913-551-7433, whitley.christopher@epa.gov

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Kansas City, Kan., May 29, 2012) – Mid-America Pipeline Company, LLC (MAPCO), and Enterprise Products Operating LLC (Enterprise), of Houston, Texas, have agreed to pay a civil penalty of more than $1 million to the United States to settle violations of the federal Clean Water Act related to three natural gasoline pipeline spills in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska.

As part of a consent decree lodged today in U.S. District Court in Omaha, Neb., and in addition to paying the $1,042,000 civil penalty, the companies have agreed to undertake various measures aimed at reducing external threats to their pipeline, enhance their reporting of spills, and spend at least $200,000 to identify and prevent external threats to the pipeline involved in the spills.

MAPCO owns and Enterprise operates the 2,769-mile West Red Pipeline, which transports mixed natural gasoline products between Conway, Kan., and Pine Bend, Minn. The settlement resolves Clean Water Act violations related to three spills that occurred along the pipeline:
• A March 29, 2007, rupture near Yutan, Neb., which caused the discharge of approximately 1,669 barrels of natural gasoline directly into an unnamed ditch and Otoe Creek.
• An April 23, 2010, rupture near Niles, Kan., which caused the discharge of approximately 1,760 barrels of natural gasoline directly into an unnamed ditch, Cole Creek, Buckeye Creek and the Solomon River.
• An August 13, 2011, rupture near Onawa, Iowa, which caused the discharge of approximately 818 barrels of natural gasoline directly into the Missouri River.
“More than 20,000 miles of pipeline, carrying oil and petroleum products, cross the states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska in EPA’s Region 7,” EPA Regional Administrator Karl Brooks said. “A frequent cause of pipeline breaks is the action of third parties during farming and excavation. This settlement requires the defendants to honor a schedule of pipeline inspections on the ground and from the air, and reach out to local agencies, contractors and excavators to make sure they are more fully aware of pipeline locations and depths.”

“This settlement requires proactive vigilance to ensure that our soil and waterways are protected from contaminants,” said Deborah R. Gilg, U.S. Attorney for the District of Nebraska. “The agreement will result in safer pipeline operations and that will be good for Nebraska’s environment.”

In addition to the proactive inspections and outreach efforts, the settlement also requires MAPCO and Enterprise to spend $200,000 to relocate, cover, lower or replace pipeline segments; install new remote shutoff valves; install new physical protections such as fences or concrete barriers; and install other new equipment, structures or systems to prevent spills from reaching navigable waters.

The consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and court approval.

Protect Yourself from Skin Cancer


News Release
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
New England Regional Office
May 24, 2012

Contact: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

For Memorial Day, New Englanders Reminded that Skin Cancer is Most Common, and Most Preventable Cancer in U.S.
Sun Safety Tips for ‘Don’t Fry Day’: May 25th

(Boston, Mass. – May 24, 2012) – With the traditional Memorial Day kick off to summertime activities, EPA is reminding New England citizens and visitors about simple steps to take to protect their skin from too much sun exposure.

This year EPA has teamed up with the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention, Food and Drug Administration and National Park Service to emphasize the dangers of skin cancer.  The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention designated the Friday before Memorial Day “Don’t Fry Day” as a way to highlight sun safety.

“Here in New England, we spend many long months looking forward to summer and the great outdoor activities we can enjoy with good weather.  But we have to remember to take care of ourselves to help prevent skin cancer, by practicing simple sun safety steps for ourselves and our families,”  said Curt Spalding, regional administrator for EPA’s New England office. “EPA’s SunWise program and Don’t Fry Day help teach children and families simple steps to stay safe in the sun and protect themselves from harmful UV rays.”

Here are some tips to help Americans continue to exercise, get outside and be SunWise this Memorial Day weekend and throughout the summer:

Check the UV Index app: Check the ultraviolet (UV) index anytime by downloading EPA’s app (epa.gov/enviro/mobile) to help plan outdoor activities in ways that prevent overexposure to the sun. UV rays from the sun (and from artificial light sources such as tanning beds) can lead to skin cancer.

Apply sunscreen and wear protective clothing: Apply a palm-full of sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher that provides broad-spectrum protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays to exposed skin about 15 minutes before heading outdoors. Reapply every two hours. Wearing protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses also prevents sun damage.

Seek shade, not sun: The sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so seek shade during this time.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. and the most common cancer among 20 to 30 year-olds. It’s estimated that one American dies every hour from melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Approximately 76,000 new cases of melanoma will occur this year. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration strongly recommends that consumers regularly use a Broad Spectrum sunscreen with an SPF value of 15 or higher in combination with other protective measures to more effectively protect themselves and their families whenever they are in the sun.

Although less common in individuals with darker complexions, skin cancer does not discriminate and is more often fatal for individuals with darker skin. Overexposure to the sun also causes immune suppression and up to 90 percent of wrinkles, brown spots, leathering of the skin and sagging.

To help protect people’s health, EPA’s SunWise program, one of the nation’s largest environmental and health education programs, encourages kids and their caregivers to practice safe sun habits and raises awareness about UV sunlight that penetrates the Earth’s ozone layer.

EPA’s SunWise program offers factsheets online that have state-specific information (epa.gov/sunwise/statefacts.html). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Vermont is one of the seven states with the highest melanoma death rates.  The other states are Nebraska, Colorado, Kentucky, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Idaho.

More on SunWise: http://www.epa.gov/sunwise

More on FDA sun safety: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm258416.htm

More on CDC skin cancer prevention efforts: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/

#  #  #

Learn More about the Latest EPA News & Events in New England (http://www.epa.gov/region1/newsevents/index.html)

Follow EPA New England on Twitter (http://twitter.com/epanewengland)

More info on EPA’s Environmental Results in New England (http://www.epa.gov/region1/results/index.html)

 

 

Note: If a link above doesn’t work, please copy and paste the URL into a browser.

 

 

View all Region 1 News Releases