December 12, 2012–A fatal November 30, 2012, collapse of part of a coal-slurry impoundment in West Virginia served as a reminder of safety issues that may not be adequately regulated in some states and localities. You can locate local coal-slurry impoundments and information on their status with an online public database.
December 12, 2012–Is the public entitled to see documents that may bear on the safety of a for-profit utility's plan to restart the flaw-stricken San Onofre nuclear plant in California? Maybe not. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board ruled the utility must turn the documents over to the board — but currently plans to keep them secret from the public.
December 12, 2012–The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was joined by the Washington (PA) Observer-Reporter in a suit to unseal records of the July 2011 settlement of a case in which a family had sued four natural gas companies over damages they claimed were caused by hydraulic fracturing. The appeals court said a lower court had erred in throwing out the newspapers' case.
November 28, 2012–A geeky nonprofit watchdog group has done what government and private industry have failed to do; the group, SkyTruth, has made data about the ingredients in fracking fluid easily accessible to the public.
October 31, 2012–The gas industry won itself an exemption from disclosure requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act in 2005. But now environmentalists have a new angle, claiming EPA has authority to compel disclosure under a different law (the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act) — and urging EPA to use it.
October 17, 2012–The two New York Times journalists were working on private land with the permission of the landowner, near Winnsboro in northeast Texas, when they were detained, according to the online energy publication FuelFix. The 78-year-old owner of the land, who objects to the routing of the pipeline across it, was also arrested for trespassing on her own land.
September 5, 2012–A retired University of Alaska professor, represented by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, went to court for the testing data on which Interior's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement approval was based, after the agency violated the FOIA by not responding within the required 20-day period.
August 8, 2012–Topics of the latest reports, published by the Federation of American Scientists, include Arctic changes, mountaintop mining controversies, pollution control law enforcement, climate change, midnight rulemaking, scientific papers/security risks, oil sands enviro issues, and fracking/drinking water.