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Thread: Massive Methane Leak Displaces Thousands in Southern California

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  1. #11
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    This reckless industry does not deserve carte blanche to destroy our health FOR THEIR PROFITS! We would be better off subsidizing & expanding clean renewable energy sources & all the JOBS they will bring w/o endangering our populace.

    They are exempt from our CLEAN WATER ACT TOO! Thanks to bush & cheyney - as they profited thru stocks etc. cruz is a largely funded by such.
    Last edited by artist; 02-11-2016 at 06:44 PM.

  2. #12
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    Unstoppable Gas Leaks in Texas Even Worse than California’s, Media Silent

    TOPICS:Claire BernishTexasToxins February 23, 2016
    By Claire Bernish
    After the mammoth methane gas leak that spewed uncontrollably from a damaged well in California’s Aliso Canyon was finally capped last week, residents of nearby Porter Ranch began trepidatiously returning to their homes. Lingering doubts over whether Southern California Gas Company will continue using the underground storage field have left many wondering if concerns for their safety are being considered at all — particularly considering the company has, so far, only been charged with misdemeanor violations.

    All told, the Aliso Canyon leak thrust an estimated 96,000 metric tons of potent methane — not to mention benzene, nitrogen oxides, and other noxious substances — into the atmosphere over a period of months. So vast was the impact of the leak, it has been likened in impactful scope to BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

    California, however, isn’t the only state dealing with mammoth methane leakage.

    Texas is dealing with a comparable disaster that has been overlooked by officials and the media, in part, because the state’s methane emanates from a powerful industry’s infrastructure. According to the Texas Observer’s Naveena Sadasivam:
    Every hour, natural gas facilities in North Texas’ Barnett Shale region emit thousands of tons of methane — a greenhouse gas at least 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide — and a slate of noxious pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and benzene.

    The Aliso Canyon leak was big. The Barnett leaks, combined, are even bigger.
    At its peak, the SoCal Gas leak emitted 58,000 kilograms of methane per hour. By comparison, researchers with universities in Colorado and Michigan, partnering with the Environmental Defense Fund, estimate around 60,000 kilograms are spewed every hour by over 25,000 natural gas wells in operation on the Barnett Shale — with the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex at the center. This amounts to around 544,000 tons of methane every year. But contrary to the magnitude of the Aliso Canyon event, emissions caused by oil and gas extraction from the Barnett Shale — and a second large formation, Eagle Ford Shale — won’t cease as long as hydraulic fracturing remains the boon it has been to the fossil fuel industry.

    An eight-month long study of Eagle Ford by the Center for Public Integrity, the Weather Channel, and InsideClimate News found “a system that does more to protect the industry than the public.”

    Due to a scarcity of air quality monitoring stations, with only five permanent monitors to cover Eagle Ford’s nearly 20,000 square miles, state officials simply don’t know the extent of pollutants in the air. Many facilities are permitted to police themselves, and aren’t required to submit those findings. Not that regulators would have an easy time enforcing a reporting mandate, as the “Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), which regulates most air emissions, doesn’t even know some of these facilities exist.”

    David Sterling, chair of the University of North Texas Health Science Center, told InsideClimate News, “As much as I would like to believe that industry can police itself, history has shown that that has not worked without sufficient oversight.” With TCEQ’s budget having fallen 34 percent between 2010 and 2014, it’s virtually impossible to imagine such oversight increasing in the future.

    There is a dearth of accountability for lawbreakers in Texas’ oil and gas industry. As the study discovered, in a period of nearly two years beginning in January 2010, 284 complaints against the industry — and “164 documented violations” — led to just two non-punitive fines, the larger of which was a mere $14,250.

    Though alarming, that gap in accountability isn’t a surprise.

    “Texas officials tasked with overseeing the industry are often its strongest defenders,” stated the study. “The Texas Railroad Commission, which issues drilling permits and regulates all other aspects of oil and gas production, is controlled by three elected commissioners who accepted more than $2 million in campaign contributions from the industry during the 2012 election cycle, according to data from the National Institute on Money in State Politics.”

    Texas lawmakers are often personally tied to the industry, as “nearly one in four state legislators, or his or her spouse, has a financial interest in at least one energy company active in the Eagle Ford,” according to an analysis of personal financial forms by CPI cited by the study.

    Residents located in the two Texas shale production regions experience many similar symptoms to those in Porter Ranch near Aliso Canyon, such as nosebleeds, dizziness, nausea, and various respiratory ailments. Those symptoms could be due to any number of pollutants and toxins. As the study described:
    Chemicals released during oil and gas extraction include hydrogen sulfide, a deadly gas found in abundance in Eagle Ford wells; volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like benzene, a known carcinogen; sulfur dioxide and particulate matter, which irritate the lungs; and other harmful substances such as carbon monoxide and carbon disulfide. VOCs also mix with nitrogen oxides emitted from field equipment to create ozone, a major respiratory hazard.

    “Studies show that, depending on the concentration and length of exposure, these chemicals can cause a range of ailments, from minor headaches to neurological damage and cancer. People in the Eagle Ford face an added risk: hydrogen sulfide, also known as H2S or sour gas, a naturally occurring component of crude oil and natural gas that lurks underground.
    Texas’ shale facilities are responsible for 8 percent of the nation’s methane emissions, already; but the combination of faulty equipment and lack of monitoring sites mean occasional large methane releases from wells — called “super-emitters” — won’t necessarily be noticed immediately.

    “If one well was a super-emitter the day we measured them, it could change the next day,” explained Daniel Zavala-Araiza, lead researcher of a 2015 Barnett Shale methane study by the Environmental Defense Fund, in the Observer. “It’s not just about finding a handful of sites. You need to be looking continuously to keep finding the ones that are malfunctioning … If you don’t have frequent monitoring, there’s no way you’re going to know when one of these super-emitters begins spewing.”

    In fact, a recent study by Harvard University points the finger at the United States as the cause of an enormous spike in global methane emissions over the past decade, accounting for 30 – 60 percent of all “human-caused atmospheric emissions.”

    “I believe the U.S. probably is responsible for this much of an increase in global methane emissions,” said Roger Howarth, a methane researcher at Cornell University, who is unaffiliated with the Harvard study, the Guardian reported. “And, the increase almost certainly must be coming from the fracking and from the increase in use of natural gas.”

    Texas residents unfortunate enough to find their homes positioned near oil or gas facilities aren’t left with much recourse to combat the state’s infamous industry. Shale gas production more than doubled between 2009 and 2014, though it has slowed slightly with the recent glut. As InsideClimate News reported, state Representative Harvey Hilderbran tellingly asserted to a media panel in 2014:
    I believe if you’re anti-oil and gas, you’re anti-Texas.

    http://www.activistpost.com/2016/02/....html?AID=7236

    Clean algae with its manipulated oil, growing on its own in vats was being tested to replace the dirtiest fuel for big ships, bunker oil; it was performing wonderfully. CANNED for gas - all ships are being fitted for natural gas. A big problem when clean alternatives are suppressed by a greedy, reckless industry.
    Last edited by artist; 02-24-2016 at 10:33 PM.

  3. #13
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    SoCal Gas Has Permanently Stopped Leak in Gas Well Above Porter Ranch, State Confirms

    POSTED 7:07 AM, FEBRUARY 18, 2016, BY MELISSA PAMER, KAREEN WYNTER AND MARY BETH MCDADE, UPDATED AT 11:06PM, FEBRUARY 18, 2016

    Nearly four months after it was first detected, leading thousands of Porter Ranch residents to flee their homes, a leak in a natural gas well more than 8,000 feet underground has been stopped, state authorities and the Southern California Gas Co. announced Thursday.


    Aerial images from over SoCal Gas' leaking Aliso Canyon well above Porter Ranch show the facility on Dec. 17, 2015. (Credit: Earthworks/Pete Dronkers)

    The well, sitting among more than 100 others in the utility’s massive Aliso Canyon storage field in the Santa Susana Mountains, has been the site of round-the-clock work to stop the leak since early December.
    On Thursday, utility officials addressed their efforts at a 10 a.m. news conference in Chatsworth, alongside government leaders, who confirmed the leak was halted. Jason Marshall of the California Department of Conservation said state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources engineers confirmed the leak was stopped late Wednesday.

    "We have good news," Marshall said. "The leak in Aliso Canyon storage field is permanently sealed."


    Five separate tests were completed to determine the integrity of the cement seal, and air quality regulators also confirmed that gas emissions were controlled, said Marshall, who is the department's chief deputy director.


    Southern California Gas Co. CEO Dennis Arriola speaks at a news conference in Chatsworth on Feb. 18, 2016, when authorities announced a leaking well was capped. (Credit: KTLA)

    "This is obviously an important day that we've all been waiting for," said Gas Co. CEO Dennis Arriola.

    Arriola, who spoke after several state and county officials, said he recognized the "disruption" the leak caused in the area.


    SoCal Gas vowed to shut down the decades-old well after drilling a relief well to the source of the leak, which was discovered Oct. 23. That second well reached its destination on Feb. 11, when the company announced a temporary halt to the leak, made by injecting mud from the relief well into the old well.


    At that time, infrared video from state air regulators showed a cloud of methane — a potent greenhouse gas — that was hovering over the Aliso Canyon had finally coming to a stop. During the month in which emissions from the well peaked last fall, the leak spewed an equivalent to about a quarter of all methane emissions across California for that time period, according to a state estimate. The California Air Resources Board is now working with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Caltech to get a more accurate accounting of methane leaked into the atmosphere by the well.


    Part of the sprawling Aliso Canyon natural gas facility is shown on Feb. 11, 2016, when Southern California Gas Co. said it had temporarily stopped the flow from a well that began leaking nearly four months earlier. (Credit: KTLA)

    Regulators in January ordered SoCal Gas to adopt new methods to detect leaks, and to study the potential health effects on residents.

    Now that the leak is sealed, the company must inspect and test every single well at Aliso Canyon before again injecting natural gas to the massive underground storage reservoir, Marshall said.


    "We will investigate what happened," Marshall said. "What we learn from the findings ... is going to guide us in the development and refinement of the emergency regulations into permanent regulations, with the goal of protecting public health and safety at all gas storage facilities in California."


    Arriola said SoCal Gas would support "forward-looking" regulations for all facilities.


    Polluting methane wasn’t what sickened many Porter Ranch residents who complained of nausea, nosebleeds, headaches and other symptoms. Those symptoms were attributed to foul-smelling compounds added to the natural gas to help customers detect what is normally an odorless substance.


    The Southern California Gas Co.'s leaking well forced thousands of residents in and near Porter Ranch to temporarily relocate. (Credit: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)

    Amid the leak, thousands of residents left their homes and moved to hotels and apartments elsewhere — at SoCal Gas’ expense. Gillian Wright, vice president of customer service for the company, acknowledged Thursday the relocation effort was "not a perfect process."

    Public health officials have said the leak is not expected to have long-term health effects.


    "If residents come back home, and they don't smell any odors or have any symptoms, then it's safe for them to return to their homes," said Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, interim Los Angeles County health officer.


    Porter Ranch Community School and Castlebay Lane Charter relocated their students to other campuses, and Los Angeles Unified's superintendent said Thursday that the school district would begin planning for them to return.


    The city of Los Angeles will lead efforts to help those residents return home, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday. A local assistance center will be opened by the city, the mayor announced.


    Aerial images from over SoCal Gas' leaking Aliso Canyon well above Porter Ranch show the facility on Dec. 17, 2015. (Credit: Earthworks/Pete Dronkers)

    “Stopping the leak is only the first stage of recovery. Thousands of lives were upended by this disaster — and the City of Los Angeles is here to help people return to their homes, start doing business again, and get back to normal as quickly as possible," Garcetti said in a statement.

    Residents have eight days and seven nights to return home, and payments for relocation will end as of Feb. 25, Wright said. Details are on SoCal Gas' website.

    Multiple lawsuits have been filed against the utility, a subsidiary of San Diego-based Sempra Energy. And the leak has prompted both federal and state legislation, as well as repeated protests from area residents.

    In early January, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency due to the leak.


    On Wednesday, SoCal Gas officials appeared in court in Santa Clarita to enter a not guilty plea in a criminal case brought by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. The company was charged with three counts of failing to report the release of hazardous materials, and one count of discharging air contaminants.


    Representatives for SoCal Gas are seen in court in Santa Clarita on Feb. 17, 2016. (Credit: KTLA)

    A company spokesman said SoCal Gas does not believe criminal prosecution is warranted, saying "prompt notifications" had been made to multiple agencies after the leak was found.

    "We believe that we have operated the Aliso Canyon storage facility in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations," Gas Co. spokesman Mike Mizrahi said Wednesday. "We have worked hard and long on stopping the leak, and on mitigating the impacts of the leak on residents."


    During the news conference Thursday, the president of the California Public Utilities Commission addressed complaints about high gas bills, which some residents speculated were linked to the Aliso Canyon situation. The utility has said there is no link, and commission President Michael Picker said high bills were likely caused by "the very cold winter that we've had."


    SoCal Gas cannot change its rates without commission approval, Picker said.


    Expenses related to the leak will be paid for by the company, which has $1 billion in insurance, not by ratepayers, Arriola said. The cost could reach up to $300 million, but that estimate may change, he said.

    http://ktla.com/2016/02/18/socal-gas...-announcement/
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    Public hearing on Aliso Canyon gas field cut short as tempers flare
    1/5

    (l-r) Issam Najm, Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council Board Member, tries to get order in the room while Caelan McGee who was the Facilitator of the event, lost control of the meeting. Matt Pakucko used a bullhorn to shout out his own agenda. Pakucko, President of Save Porter Ranch, interupted planned speakers as angry Porter Ranch residents cramed a Woodland Hills ...

    Photos: Protesters Interrupt Utilities Commission Meeting Regarding Aliso Canyon Gas Field




    By Dana Bartholomew, Los Angeles Daily News
    POSTED: 02/01/17, 8:49 PM PST | UPDATED: 1 DAY AGO
    5 COMMENTS



    People march through the ballroom at the Woodland Hills Hilton as Matt Pakucko, President of Save Porter Ranch, interupted planned speakers as angry Porter Ranch residents cramed a Woodland Hills Public Utilities Commission meeting, where regulators will hear arguments for and against reopening Southern California Gas’ Aliso Canyon gas field.Woodland Hills, CA 2/1/2017. Photo by John McCoy/Los Angeles Daily News (SCNG)

    WOODLAND HILLS >> State regulators were prepared to say the Aliso Canyon gas field that spewed the largest methane leak in the nation may be safe enough to refill with natural gas and supply fuel for energy-hungry Los Angeles.


    But then hundreds of angry residents Wednesday evening disrupted a packed three-hour public hearing in Woodland Hills to call for putting a halt to immediately reopening the Southern California Gas. Co facility.


    Their message: First determine the cause of the four-month leak, or shut down the 3,600-acre gas field just north of Porter Ranch forever.


    “I’ve seen the nosebleeds, the nausea and the pets you’ve lost,” said state Sen. Henry Stern, D-Canoga Park, author of a pending bill to delay the opening until a cause is found, who urged calm so the meeting could continue. “This is not about politics. It’s about protecting Porter Ranch and the North Valley. It’s about righting wrongs. And it’s about getting your lives back on track. I’ve got your back.”


    VIDEO: Porter Ranch residents protest at Aliso Canyon meeting


    The two-day public hearing hosted by state oil and gas regulators outlined sweeping safety measures conducted at the Aliso Canyon gas field near Porter Ranch and discussed the feasibility of the facility. It also drew public feedback — nearly three hours of mostly angry responses — on whether to resume gas injections.


    The hearing required by law by the California Public Utilities Commission and the Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources resumes at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Hilton Woodland Hills at 6360 Canoga Ave.

    Written comments can be submitted at conservation.ca.gov/dog before 5 p.m. Monday.


    It comes nearly a year after a ruptured well that released a record 100,000 metric tons of methane into the air for four months was sealed in February.


    A recommendation by state regulators on whether to reopen Aliso Canyon is expected to come as early as next week.


    The October 2015 blowout, considered the largest in the nation, forced more than 8,000 families and two elementary schools to relocate at gas company expense. Thousands complained of nosebleeds, nausea and headaches.


    The leak also resulted in an avalanche of local, state and federal natural gas regulations, as well as hundreds of civil lawsuits and penalties against SoCalGas.


    The company, which claims it has made comprehensive safety improvements to strengthen Aliso Canyon, monitor pressure and update residents, said this week it was ready to refill its field with gas injections.


    The Sempra-owned utility, in conjunction with Los Angeles business leaders, says the field is needed to help fuel power plants, businesses and millions of urban homes as well as to prevent blackouts during peak energy use in summer and winter.


    Consistent with state law, SoCalGas said in a statement, “We support the public’s participation in this week’s public hearings.”


    • RELATED STORY:
    SoCalGas withdraws natural gas from Aliso Canyon field, citing high demand after storm


    Environmental activists, residents and some public officials, however, say the gas field is no longer needed to supply energy as Los Angeles pushes for cleaner power. Many also question the adequacy of gas-well testing, the risk of well failures from earthquakes and how much pressure should be used to maintain the field.


    An hour before the hearing, dozens of protesters bearing such signs as “Stop polluting Porter Ranch” filled the sidewalk in front of the Hilton Hotel to call upon Gov. Jerry Brown to reject a SoCalGas application to reopen Aliso Canyon. Some held photos of nosebleeds allegedly caused by the gas leak.

    Famed environmental activist Erin Brockovich called for the closure of the Aliso Canyon gas field.

    “When is this going to end?” asked Matt Pakucko, president of Save Porter Ranch, a residents’ group. “We’re not going to take anything less than this place (being) shut down.”


    PHOTOS: Porter Ranch residents protest at Aliso Canyon meeting


    The public hearing was supposed to open with presentations by the state oil and gas division on a sweeping safety review in addition to reduced gas field volume and pressure limits planned for Aliso Canyon. It was to be followed by a review of how much gas was needed for energy reliability for Los Angeles.


    The division has approved the safety of 34 of 114 wells, with 38 more having completed all the required tests. Safety measures include 50 miles of new steel pipe limited for gas injection and withdrawals.


    But moments before the state presentation, about half the standing-room hall of 400 residents stood up in protest. A meeting moderator threatened to shut down the proceeding.


    “If you cannot absolutely say what caused the Aliso Canyon leak, then this facility is not safe,” Pakucko shouted through an electronic bullhorn.


    “Shut it all down ... forever!” the protesters chanted.


    “This is shameful, this is shameful. You are better than this,” interjected Issam Najm, a board member of the Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council, an engineer and author of a critical letter this week on Aliso Canyon. “Please, this is no way to hold a public meeting.”


    Then Stern, Los Angeles Councilman Mitch Englander and Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger each urged calm. Each have filed motions supporting Stern’s Senate Bill 146 that calls for answers about why an Aliso Canyon well blew before deliberation about reopening the facility.


    “I’ve been with you from the very beginning,” said Englander, who said he can see the gas field from his home in Granada Hills. “We’re going to keep fighting until this community is made safe and this community is made whole.”


    • RELATED STORY:
    SoCalGas says Aliso Canyon gas field is ready to reopen


    Meeting officials made good on their earlier promise and shut down the hearing an hour early as the disruptions continued.

    Dan Smith, who has lived in the north Valley for nearly a quarter century, had hoped to testify about buying a dream home with his new bride, Lulu, in Porter Ranch. Then the blowout occurred three years later.

    “Then we got sick,” said Smith, 54. “Rashes. Nosebleeds, Anxiety.


    “Shut it down,” he said of Aliso Canyon. “They have no other alternative. They don’t need it. It’s making us sick.”

    http://www.dailynews.com/business/20...-tempers-flare

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  8. #18
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    Our homes and safety are not up for grabs by the rich investors of gas and oil no matter what their name is - sure doesn't seem to be decency. Demand a balance not a run away freight train of pollution, jeopardy for the profits of reckless industries - if you do not think they need regulations - you are avoiding reality.

    Maybe if you lived in a state where they passed an ACT13, since rescinded, that forbid a medical doctor from disclosing to you that you have cancer causing fracking chemicals in your blood steam therefore you are ill and will die soon, you would have some comprehension of the scum you are dealing with that is raping your land, your health for profits. They actually could do it cleaner but why bother when they can walk all over residents with carte' blanche from your paid legislators.

    Groups blast FERC findings on fracked-gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline

    December 30, 2016
    To all media:
    America’s next big pipeline fight is emerging in the mountain towns and farming communities of West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. With federal regulators poised to rubber-stamp the proposed fracked-gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline, landowners, community leaders and their allies are taking inspiration from the water protectors at Standing Rock and vowing to stand together to stop it


    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Dozens of local groups and public advocacy organizations today condemned federal regulators for ignoring evidence that the proposed 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline is not needed and puts lives, communities, drinking water supplies, private property, publicly owned natural resources and the climate at unacceptable risk.


    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has released its draft environmental review of the $5 billion pipeline spearheaded by Dominion Resources. For two years, the proposal has sparked fierce opposition from hundreds of landowners in the three states — including farmers, business leaders, Native American tribes and rural African-American communities — who reject the company’s plan to take their land without their consent. Their fight has drawn comparisons to the ongoing citizen-led resistance at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline, and to the fight in Nebraska to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline.


    The Atlantic Coast project would pump fracked gas across West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina, harming communities, water resources, private property, historic sites, and iconic public treasures including the Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian Trail. The groups say FERC failed to honestly assess these impacts and disregarded evidence that the project would lock consumer into decades more reliance on dirty fossil fuels.


    An independent study shows there is enough existing gas supply in Virginia and the Carolinas to meet consumer demand through 2030 — negating the need for the massive pipeline and the harm it would trigger. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is one of six major pipelines proposed for the same region of West Virginia and Virginia, where experts warn the gas industry is overbuilding pipeline infrastructure. However, FERC ignored this evidence in its draft Environmental Impact Statement while also failing to assess the cumulative effects of the pipelines. The groups also fault the agency for dismissing clean energy alternatives.


    In response to requests from numerous elected officials and organizations, FERC has extended the usual 45-day period for public comments; the deadline is April 6, 2017.


    While legal and environmental experts are continuing to review the document, they have initially identified major gaps in FERC’s analysis, including:

    • The core issue of whether the massive project is needed to meet electricity demand, and whether alternatives including energy efficiency, solar and wind would be more environmentally responsible sources;
    • A complete analysis of the cumulative, life-cycle climate pollution that would result from the pipeline;
    • A full accounting of the negative economic consequences to communities, including decreased property values, loss of tourism revenue and other factors;
    • Any accounting of other environmental and human health damage from the increased gas fracking in West Virginia that would supply the pipeline; and
    • Thorough, site-specific analysis of damage to water quality and natural resources throughout the pipeline route.

    Citizens along the route of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline — along with landowners in the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a 301-mile fracked-gas project proposed in the same region — vow they will continue to build resistance to stop them.


    Statements from community, environmental and legal experts:
    Nancy Sorrells, Augusta County Alliance, 540-292-4170, info@augustacountyalliance.org — “Every foot of this route has a victim: a family that would be displaced, a farmer who would impacted, schoolchildren whose safety is compromised, and residents whose drinking water is a risk. And for what? Not for energy independence or to turn on the lights, but rather for the profit of a private corporation.”


    Chad Oba, Friends of Buckingham, Cofounder and Chair, 434-969-3229, chado108@me.com — “Buckingham County is being targeted for a massive, noisy, polluting compressor station — the project’s only one in Virginia — in an area of former slave plantations that is densely populated by mostly African-American Freedmen. FERC’s review omits virtually all of the cultural resource reports we submitted, effectively erasing us from the record even as we bear the greatest burden. The leaders of Standing Rock have pledged strong kinship with us as another example of environmental racism.”


    Ericka Faircloth, a Lumbee Indian member of the grassroots group EcoRobeson. (For interview requests, contact Hope Taylor with Clean Water for NC at hope@cwfnc.org ) — “Folks who live in Robeson County, one of the poorest and most diverse counties in North Carolina, are especially vulnerable to the empty promise of jobs. Residents of low wealth will be most severely impacted by higher utility rates to pay for the pipeline, and by lowered value for their land. Potential drinking water contamination, loss of forests and disruption of cultural sites are among the risks many that poor communities are expected to ‘deal with’ to make way for a project that’s only about profit.”


    Joe Lovett, Appalachian Mountain Advocates, Executive Director, 304-520-2324, jlovett@appalmad.org — “We’re appalled FERC has once more refused to conduct a combined review of the massive slate of pipelines proposed to move fracked gas out of our region. FERC has the extraordinary power to grant ACP the right to take private property for private profit. Yet FERC decided that it didn’t have to do the hard work necessary to determine whether the ACP is necessary. Such a lack of diligence is truly remarkable.”


    April Pierson-Keating, Mountain Lakes Preservation Alliance (W.Va.), 304-642-9436, apkeating@hotmail.com — “This pipeline would add insult to injury in West Virginia, where we are already dealing with water and health impacts due to fracking. It would lock us into decades more fossil fuel pollution when we should be moving to renewable energy. This pipeline would continue the harm done by extractive industry to the most vulnerable of us — low-income people, the elderly, the disenfranchised.”


    Peter Anderson, Virginia Campaign Coordinator, Appalachian Voices, 434-293-6373, peter@appvoices.org — “This pipeline would carry highly pressurized gas across miles of steep mountain terrain that is prone to rock slides and contains many headwater streams. Routing this pipeline across the Appalachian Trail and vulnerable water resources poses an unacceptable risk, especially given that it’s not needed to meet our energy needs.”


    Anne Havemann, General Counsel, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, 240-396-1984, anne@chesapeakeclimate.org — “The Atlantic Coast pipeline will trigger a massive new wave of greenhouse gas pollution and climate damage. Yet, FERC’s review once again fails to add up the full impact, ignoring cumulative climate pollution from fracking wells and the ultimate burning of the gas.”


    Greg Buppert, Senior Attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center, 434-977-4090, gbuppert@selcva.org — “Dominion’s Atlantic Coast pipeline will not only irreparably alter our natural terrain but it is also unnecessary. The current route carves through the mountains in an area the U.S. Forest Service calls, ‘the wildland core of the central Appalachians’, for a pipeline that will lock generations of Virginians into dependence on natural gas. We already have the gas needed to bridge us from dirty to clean energy-existing infrastructure can meet our demands for natural gas for at least the next fifteen years. This is a Dominion self-enrichment project, not a public necessity.”


    Kirk Bowers, Pipelines Campaign Manager, Virginia Chapter, Sierra Club, 434-296-8673, kirk.bowers@sierraclub.org — “The DEIS is deficient in many respects and needs to be re-issued. It imposes absurd pre-conditions for serious consideration and fails to affirmatively seek out alternatives that would meet the presumed need while greatly mitigating harms to the public and environment, land-takings and even costs. Likewise, the Commission needs to stop approving all projects that have contract support and take seriously its duties to consider all factors affecting the public convenience and necessity, including protecting environmental interests and private property rights not to have land seized for privately owned pipelines just because another private party contracts for service.The ACP is not needed to keep the lights on, homes and businesses heated, or industries in production.”


    Highlights of major impacts of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the related Supply Header Project (SHP):


    • Cross 1,989 waterbodies, including 851 perennial, 779 intermittent, 248 ephemeral, 64 canals/ditches, 21 major water bodies, and 47 open water ponds/reservoirs (some waterbodies are crossed more than once)
    • In West Virginia, 73 percent of the mainline route would cross areas susceptible to landslides; almost 12 miles cross slopes greater than 35 percent
    • In Virginia, approximately 28 percent of the mainline route would cross landslide areas; 12.5 miles cross slopes greater than 35 percent.
    • 71 miles of vulnerable karst terrain would be crossed
    • Crosses 15.9 miles of the George Washington National Forest in Virginia, and 5.1 miles of the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia.
    • 12,030 acres affected by construction, of which 5,976 acres permanently affected by operation.
    • 786 wetland acres temporarily affected, of which 248 acres would
    • be permanently affected by operation
    • Five federally listed species impacted (Indiana bat, Northern long-eared bat, Roanoke logperch, running buffalo clover, and Madison Cave isopod)
    • 76 homes within 100 feet of pipeline
    • 66 new access roads built during construction
    • http://appvoices.org/2016/12/30/grou...oast-pipeline/
    Last edited by artist; 02-04-2017 at 06:04 PM.
    Judy likes this.

  9. #19
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Aliso Canyon pronounced safe to come back online

    Rob Nikolewski Contact Reporter

    After 17 months of inspection and analysis of wells at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility, state engineering and safety enforcement experts concluded Wednesday that the facility is safe to resume operations, although on a limited basis.

    “This has been a very precise and directed safety review,” said Ken Harris, supervisor at the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR). “I’m confident that the field is safe and can be reopened safely.”


    But Timothy Sullivan, the executive director at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), said that “out of an abundance of caution,” storage capacity at Aliso Canyon will be restricted to about 28 percent of the facility’s maximum capacity — just enough to avoid energy disruptions in the Los Angeles area.


    “We expect it could be between a week or two to resume operations of the field,” Sullivan said, adding that steps must be completed before injections can resume.


    Southern California Gas, the operators of Aliso Canyon, said those steps include a leak survey of the facility and a flyover to measure methane emissions at the site.


    Aliso Canyon is the site of the largest methane leak from a natural gas storage facility in U.S. history. The leak was first detected in October 2015 but was not permanently contained until February 2016, forcing the evacuation of more than 8,000 households in the Porter Ranch neighborhood.


    All told, about 100,000 metric tons of methane were emitted.

    According to a UC Davis study the total greenhouse gas pollution equaled the emissions of a half-million cars driven for a year.


    SoCalGas, a subsidiary of San Diego-based Sempra Energy, has been arguing since November to reopen the site, saying it is safe and insisting the facility is needed to assure reliability to the California energy grid.


    “Aliso Canyon is an important part of Southern California’s energy system,” the utility said in a statement, “supporting the reliability of natural gas and electricity services for millions of people.”

    But many residents in Porter Ranch have insisted that the site remain closed, as have some environmental groups.


    "I think it's absolutely ludicrous that they're claiming this facility is safe," Alexandra Nagy of Food and Water Watch said to The Associated Press. "From my perspective this facility will never be safe."


    While Wednesday’s move opens the door to restart the site, the long-term future of the facility is still up in the air.


    An independent investigation into the cause of the leak is underway and last year Gov. Jerry Brown issued a proclamation that called for an assessment of the long-term viability of all natural gas facilities in California.


    Within minutes of the joint announcement Wednesday by the CPUC and DOGGR, the head of the California Energy Commission sent a letter to the president of the CPUC urging the commission to make plans to close Aliso Canyon.


    “My staff is prepared to work with the CPUC and other agencies on a plan to phase out the use of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility within 10 years,” Robert Weisenmiller, the CEC’s chairman said.


    Bill Powers
    , a San Diego engineer and consumer advocate, said SoCalGas has “cried wolf” on the facility’s necessity, pointing to warnings made last year by the utility as well as some state agencies of up to 14 days of power outages due to the loss of Aliso Canyon that did not materialize.


    “All of this is just a drumbeat to try and create in the public’s mind some fear of a gas shortage when there is nothing to fear if (SoCalGas) balances their system, which they have not been doing and the state has not been insisting on it,” Powers said.


    SoCalGas has countered that Aliso is necessary to respond to imbalances in the energy system, particularly during times when the grid is under stress, such as in the summer when customers turn up their air conditioners and in the winter when they fire up furnaces.


    Bret Lane, the president of SoCalGas, sent a letter on April 28 to the CPUC, the CEC and the California Independent System Operator, citing weather predictions for a warmer than normal summer this year.


    “Californians cannot rely on luck,” Lane said, “and energy reliability should not depend upon unusually mild weather conditions.”


    The 17-month safety review leading up to Wednesday’s announcement was conducted by experts from Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore and Sandia National Labs and looked over each of the 114 wells at Aliso.


    About 60 percent of the wells have now been taken out of operation and isolated from the facility, according to DOGGR and the CPUC.


    The remaining wells are subject to a series of requirements, including real-time pressure monitors and daily well head inspections.


    SoCalGas said new regulations call for gas to only flow through newly installed and pressure-tested, inner steel tubing.


    Aliso Canyon is home to the largest daily deliverability — the amount of gas that can be withdrawn from a storage facility each day — of any storage facility west of the Rockies, estimated at 1.9 billion cubic feet per day.


    According to federal figures, Aliso Canyon has a total storage capacity of 86 billion cubic feet of natural gas. The CPUC’s Sullivan said Wednesday there is currently 14.8 billion cubic feet of gas in the field.

    http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/...nt=oft06a-9la1

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