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Did The EPA Intentionally Poison Animas River To Secure SuperFund Money?

Did The EPA Intentionally Poison Animas River To Secure SuperFund Money?

A week before The EPA disastrously leaked millions of gallons of toxic waste into The Animas River in Colorado, this letter to the editor was published in The Silverton Standard & The Miner local newspaper, authored by a retired geologist detailing verbatim, how EPA would foul the Animas River on purpose in order to secure superfund money

“But make no mistake, within seven days, all of the 500gpm flow will return to Cememnt Creek. Contamination may actually increase… The “grand experiment” in my opinion will fail.

And guess what [EPA’s] Mr. Hestmark will say then?

Gee, “Plan A” didn’t work so I guess we will have to build a treat¬ment plant at a cost to taxpayers of $100 million to $500 million (who knows).

Reading between the lines, I believe that has been the EPA’s plan all along”

Sound like something a government entity would do? Just ask Lois Lerner…

As we concluded previously,

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

EPA’s Clean Power Plan Tougher Than Expected

EPA’s Clean Power Plan Tougher Than Expected

The Obama administration unveiled a much-anticipated, controversial rule on the regulation of greenhouse gases from power plants on August 3.

The first-of-their-kind limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants will actually require slightly tougher cuts than the original proposal. The EPA is calling for a 32 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from power plants below 2005 levels by 2030. That is up from the 30 percent target as part of last year’s proposal.

However, the EPA did throw the industry, and its opponents in Congress, a bone.

In the final rule, the Obama administration will allow for two extra years for utilities to hit their interim targets of achieving a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gases, with a deadline of 2022 instead of 2020. The EPA also offered up a “reliability safety valve,” which would allow states more leniency with deadlines in the event that the reliability of the electric grid came into question.

Under the final rule, the administration also decided to give new nuclear power plants credit towards the federal emissions target, as nuclear generates electricity without carbon emissions. That probably won’t be an avenue that many states pursue outside of a handful of nuclear power plants under construction in Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina.

Related: Top 6 Myths Driving Oil Prices Down

The EPA estimates that the so-called “Clean Power Plan” will cost $8.4 billion annually by 2030 when implemented, but yield public-health and other benefits of $34 to $54 billion, including avoiding thousands of premature deaths each year.

The plan will accelerate a trend towards cleaner sources of electricity. The plan expects renewable energy to more than double its share of the electricity market, jumping from 13 percent in 2014 to 28 percent by 2030.

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

New York State Ban On Fracking Made Official

After years of exhaustive research and examination of the science and facts, prohibiting high-volume hydraulic fracturing is the only reasonable alternative.”

Those were the words many activists in New York never expected to hear from Joe Martens, head of the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, but they were included in a statement released today as New York made thestate’s ban on fracking official.

This step in the process was expected after the release in May of the massive 1,448 page report on fracking that was seven years in the making which also was preceded by the Cuomo administration announcing they planned to ban fracking back in December.

While there had been some mentions in the media that the recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report on fracking and drinking water contamination might cause trouble for the Cuomo administration, it appears that trouble was limited to predictable Republican statements about Cuomo’s decision being based on “controversial scientific studies.”

As explained in detail in this DeSmog piece by Sharon Kelly, if you read the EPA report and didn’t just rely on headlines in the New York Post to get your information, the report actually provides support for New York’s decision for a fracking ban.

New York now is the only state with known large amounts of shale deposits that has enacted a ban on fracking. In the past week, the state has also released a new energy plan with goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% (below 1990 levels) by 2030 and 80% by 2050 and to produce 50% of its electricity from renewables by 2030.

As the oil industry prepares to roll out fracking technology around the globe, New York has taken an important step in showing the world what a “reasonable alternative” looks like.

As DeSmogBlog concluded in our 2011 report Fracking the Future

 

Massive Budget Cuts Looming For EPA As Republicans Seek to Limit Rules on Air and Water Pollution

Massive Budget Cuts Looming For EPA As Republicans Seek to Limit Rules on Air and Water Pollution

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was dealt a massive blow this week by the House Appropriations committee, where the Republican majority voted to further cut the agency’s budget and reduce its authority to enforce laws safeguarding our air, water and health.

The House committee voted on Tuesday to slash the EPA’s budget by 9%, or $718 million. This is in addition to a dramatic 20% reduction in overall funding that has taken place since the control of the House of Representatives switched to the Republican Party in 2011. This new reduction will put EPA funding at its lowest level since 1989.

The cuts are part of the 2016 Interior and Environment Funding Bill, which will head to the full House for a vote soon.

The budget is not the only thing that the Appropriations committee is taking a shot at; they also want to curtail the agency’s authority to enforce rules. Specifically, the new budget would prevent the agency from enforcing water pollution standards as well as the new emissions standards for coal-fired power plants.

The attacks on the EPA’s budget are part of a broader plan by the Republican Party to thwart the agency’s attempts to pass rules aimed at reducing the effects of climate change and reigning in industry pollution.

As The Hill points out, it will take significant support from members of the Democratic Party in order for these plans to reach fruition, and few defectors have come forward, with the notable exception of Democratic Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia.

U.S. News and World Report spells out the problems facing Republicans in the form of Democratic opposition:

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

EPA Study: Fracking Puts Drinking Water Supplies at Risk of Contamination

The Environmental Protection Agency has released its long awaited draft assessment of the impacts that fracking has on the nation’s drinking water supplies — confirming that the process does indeed contaminate water.

“From our assessment, we conclude there are above and below ground mechanisms by which hydraulic fracturing activities have the potential to impact drinking water resources,” the EPA wrote.

The impacts take a variety of forms, the EPA wrote, listing the effects of water consumption especially in arid regions or during droughts, chemical and wastewater spills, “fracturing directly into underground drinking water resources,” the movement of liquids and gasses below ground “and inadequate treatment and discharge of wastewater.”

The agency wrote that it had documented “specific instances” where each of those problems had in fact happened and some cases where multiple problems combined to pollute water supplies.

Environmental groups welcomed the agency’s central conclusion as vindication.

Today EPA confirmed what communities living with fracking have known for years,” said Earthworks policy director Lauren Pagel. “Fracking pollutes drinking water.”

But they also cautioned that the EPA‘s assessment seemed likely to understate the risks associated with fracking, in part because it relied heavily on data that was self-reported by the drilling industry.

So, just how badly has the process contaminated America’s water already, and how big are the risks from more fracking? The EPA can’t say, the draft report concluded.

“We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States,” the EPA wrote.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

 

Systemic Corruption Has Destroyed America

Systemic Corruption Has Destroyed America

Preface: It’s been less than a month since we last posted on this topic … but, sadly, we’ve got many more examples.

The Cop Is On the Take

Government corruption has become rampant:

  • Senior SEC employees spent up to 8 hours a day surfing porn sites instead of cracking down on financial crimes
  • NSA spies pass around homemade sexual videos and pictures they’ve collected from spying on the American people
  • Investigators from the Treasury’s Office of the Inspector General found that some of the regulator’s employees surfed erotic websites, hired prostitutes and accepted gifts from bank executives … instead of actually working to help the economy

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Coal Is Doomed Even If It Wins Against EPA In Courts

Coal Is Doomed Even If It Wins Against EPA In Courts

The controversy over the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan has become the latest chapter in the chronicle of President Obama’s so-called ‘war on coal’. The plan promises many things, chief among them the health and climate benefits accrued by switching to cleaner burning fuels. But a case before the DC Circuit Court has the potential to derail the plan before it even comes into effect, with implications for US coal producers and the national clean energy debate.

The new regulations have their critics, led by coal companies and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R- KY), who has personally urged the nation’s 50 governors to ignore the rules. While this may seem like just another example of partisan politics, the latest case, if successful, could seriously curtail the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) powers. A victory for coal would be a blow for the environmental lobby and the federal government.

The dispute over the Clean Power Plan centers on its proposal to cut pollution from power plants by assigning tough emissions reductions targets on a state-by-state basis. The goal is to reduce carbon pollution from the power sector by 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels. Existing coal-fired plants, as the biggest polluters, will be the most affected. Opponents argue that the federal government is overreaching its regulatory authority prescribed under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. The EPA is expected to release the final rules midsummer this year.

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Dimock, PA Lawsuit Trial-Bound as Study Links Fracking to Water Contamination in Neighboring County

Dimock, PA Lawsuit Trial-Bound as Study Links Fracking to Water Contamination in Neighboring County

A recent peer-reviewed study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has confirmed what many fracking critics have argued for years: hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas can contaminate groundwater.

The study’s release comes as a major class action lawsuit filed in the District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in 2009 winds its way to a jury trial later this year. The lawsuit over fracking groundwater contamination pits plaintiffs based in Dimock, PA against Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation.

For the study, researchers examined groundwater contamination incidents at three homes in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale basin in Bradford County. As The New York Times explained, the water samples showed “traces of a compound commonly found in Marcellus Shale drilling fluids.”

It’s not the first time fracking has been linked to groundwater contamination in northeastern Pennsylvania. And that brings us back to Dimock, , located in neighboring Susquehanna County.

As DeSmogBlog revealed in August 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had in its possession an unpublished PowerPoint presentation summarizing an Agency-contracted study that linked fracking to groundwater contamination in Dimock, a study the Agency later abandoned and censored.

That presentation was subsequently leaked and published here for the first time.

Dimock EPA Presentation
Image Credit: DeSmogBlog

In its official July 2012 Dimock desk statementEPA said “there are not levels of contaminants present that would require additional action by the Agency.” As Greenpeace USA researcher Jesse Coleman recently pointed out, EPA has done thebidding of the oil and gas industry on multiple instances during high profile fracking studies.

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Internal Documents Reveal Extensive Industry Influence Over EPA’s National Fracking Study

Internal Documents Reveal Extensive Industry Influence Over EPA’s National Fracking Study

In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched an ambitious and highly consequential study of the risks that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, poses to American drinking water supplies.

This is about using the best possible science to do what the American people expect the EPA to do – ensure that the health of their communities and families are protected,” Paul Anastas, Assistant Administrator for the agency’s Office of Research and Development, said in 2011.

But the EPA‘s study has been largely shaped and re-shaped by the very industry it is supposed to investigate, as energy company officials were allowed to edit planning documents, insisted on vetting agency contractors, and demanded to review federal scientist’s field notes, photographs and laboratory results prior to publication, according to a review by DeSmog of over 3,000 pages of previously undisclosed emails, confidential draft study plans and other internal documentsobtained through open records requests.

Company officials imposed demands so infeasible that the EPA ultimately dropped a key goal of the research, their plans to measure pollution levels before and after fracking at two new well sites, the documents show.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Keystone XL Pipeline Could Result In Higher Emissions After All, EPA Says

Keystone XL Pipeline Could Result In Higher Emissions After All, EPA Says

WASHINGTON – Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. likes to joke that he walks around Washington carrying a copy of the State Department report on the Keystone XL pipeline tucked in his jacket pocket.

That’s how critical that document has been to the pipeline cause. Proponents from ambassador Gary Doer, to members of the Harper cabinet, industry players, and pro-oil lawmakers have repeatedly quoted it as a talking point.

Its basic conclusion became their mantra: Canadian oil production is destined to keep growing, so might as well build a pipeline, which is safer and cleaner than shipping by rail.

 

That document, however, is now being punctured by bursts of friendly fire.

President Barack Obama routinely ignores the report’s finding that oil from the pipeline would likely be used in the U.S. Obama has taken to deriding the project as an export route through America, not to America.

An even more fundamental finding of the report is now being challenged from within the Obama administration. The Environmental Protection Agency has questioned the likelihood of oilsands expansion. It suggests the existing analysis is out of date, because the price of oil has plunged since the State Department issued its report last year.

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

California Regulators Allowed Oil Industry To Drill Hundreds Of Wastewater Injection Wells Into Aquifers With Drinkable Water

California Regulators Allowed Oil Industry To Drill Hundreds Of Wastewater Injection Wells Into Aquifers With Drinkable Water

The fallout from the ongoing review of California’s deeply flawed Underground Injection Control program continues as new documents reveal that state regulators are investigating more than 500 injection wells for potentially dumping oil industry wastewater into aquifers protected under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act as well as state law.

Last July, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered anemergency shutdown of 11 wastewater injection wells in California. In October, nine of the wells were confirmed to have been illegally dumping wastewater into protected aquifers.

Now a letter from Steve Bohlen, the State Oil and Gas Supervisor for California’s Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (DOGGR), sent to the EPA on August 18, 2014 but just revealed via a Freedom of Information Act request, shows that the problem is much more widespread than previously disclosed to the public.

A copy of the letter was shared with DeSmogBlog by the Center for Biological Diversity. “EPA has confirmed to us and to the San Francisco Chronicle that Steve Bohlen’s list shows 532 wells believed to be injecting into protected aquifers,” according to Patrick Sullivan, a spokesperson for the CBD.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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