Water & Oceans

"As Shell’s Arctic Drilling Hopes Hit Snags, Its Rivals Watch"

"HOUSTON -- Royal Dutch Shell’s Arctic drilling program is now officially in jeopardy and its prospects will depend on the findings of two continuing federal inquiries. One review is on the grounding of the Kulluk drill ship on New Year’s Eve after it was set adrift for five days in stormy weather, and the other is on the safety management of the entire Shell program."

Source: NY Times, 01/18/2013

"Citgo to Settle New Hampshire Gas-Additive Lawsuit"

"Citgo Petroleum Corp. reached an agreement with New Hampshire to be dismissed from an $816 million trial over groundwater contamination while a settlement is completed, as a witness testified that 2 percent of the state’s private wells are polluted with hazardous levels of the chemical MTBE."

Source: Bloomberg, 01/17/2013

EPA Allows Drinking Water Reports Online — But Can Consumers Hack It?

EPA bowed to industry, ruling in a January 3, 2013 memo that local drinking water utilities no longer have to notify their customers of contamination in writing. "The memo fails to set clear standards for electronic notification and delivery and makes it likely that segments of the public will have less access to these reports," the Center for Effective Government wrote in response to the EPA memo.

"EPA Changed Course After Oil Company Protested"

"WEATHERFORD, Texas -- When a man in a Fort Worth suburb reported his family's drinking water had begun "bubbling" like champagne, the federal government sounded an alarm: An oil company may have tainted their wells while drilling for natural gas. At first, the Environmental Protection Agency believed the situation was so serious that it issued a rare emergency order in late 2010 that said at least two homeowners were in immediate danger from a well saturated with flammable methane. More than a year later, the agency rescinded its mandate and refused to explain why."

Source: AP, 01/16/2013

As Texas Bakes in a Long Drought, Water Becomes Focus for Legislators

"AUSTIN, Tex. — There is usually no shortage of controversial and politically divisive issues for lawmakers to address in the opening days of a state legislative session, from abortion to immigration to gun rights. But throughout the opening of the 83rd Texas Legislature last week, one of the most frequently discussed topics had bipartisan support: improving the state’s water infrastructure as the population booms and a devastating two-year drought drags on."

Source: NY Times, 01/14/2013

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