Posted on July 17, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Investigators also eye possible permit violations at Weld County site
More #fracking ahead?
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FRISCO — State regulators have reauthorized operations at a Weld County wastewater injection well after determining that the well may be linked with earthquakes in the area. State officials will also investigate whether the well operators violated their permit by pumping too much drilling sludge into the well.
“We are proceeding with great care, and will be tracking activities at this site closely,” said Matt Lepore, director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. “We’re moving slowly and deliberately as we determine the right course for this location,” Lepore said, explaining that new limits on the well are aimed easing the potential for more earthquakes. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking | Tagged: #oilandgas, energy, Environment, fossil fuels | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 25, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
More coal mining equals more ozone
The U.S. is the second-largest producer of coal in the world, thanks in part to massive surface mines like this one in Wyoming. Photo courtesy BLM.
FRISCO — Federal officials may have failed to adequately assess the environmental impacts of more coal mining in northwestern Colorado, according a conservation group that’s suing the Bureau of Land Management over an expansion permit for the Deserado coal mine, located in Rio Blanco County in northwestern Colorado directly south of Dinosaur National Monument.
The mine fuels the 500-megawatt Bonanza power plant, located 30 miles west in Uintah County, Utah. The mine and the power plant are connecte by a dedicated electric train.
According to WildEarth Guardians, the BLM failed to address air quality impacts from fossil fuel combustion from the Bonanza facility. The group said regional air quality monitoring shows continued violations of ozone. According to the lawsuit, the mine expansion would mean that the Bonanza power plant would continue to operate for another 16 percent years — too long in the context of climate change. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: Colorado, energy, Environment, fossil fuels, fracking | 3 Comments »
Posted on May 14, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Oil and gas drilling roads and pads are spreading into remote backcountry areas of Colorado. bberwyn photo.
Cancer-causing chemicals escaping from fossil fuel facilities by the ton
FRISCO — Colorado communities looking to regulate the toxic and dangerous impacts of oil and gas drilling may not get any help from Gov. John Hickenlooper, but they may get some backup from a huge coalition of environmental groups that have petitioned the EPA for limits on oil and gas wells and associated equipment in population centers around the U.S.
As thousands of new wells are drilled across the U.S. every day, some studies suggest that at least 100,000 tons per year of hazardous air pollution from oil and gas well sites — including benzene, formaldehyde, and naphthalene — are escaping into the atmosphere. These pollutants have been linked to respiratory and neurological problems, birth defects, and cancer. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: air pollution, Environment, fossil fuels, fracking, oil and gas drilling | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 30, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Stakeholders to help hash out a plan in facilitated meeting format
A Colorado mule deer near Missouri Creek. Photo courtesy Kim Fenske.
By Summit Voice
*More Summit Voice mule deer stories here
FRISCO —Colorado wildlife managers are trying to develop a strategy to confront the continued decline in the state’s mule deer population. To get some input on shaping a plan, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, in coordination with The Keystone Center, an independent facilitator, is holding a series of seven public meetings across the state, including three in the northwest region during May. The resulting strategy will guide agency efforts to work towards increasing mule deer populations. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, Environment, wildlife | Tagged: climate, Colorado, energy, fossil fuels, hunting, Mule deer, wildlife | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 13, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Drill rig in a natural gas field in Wyoming. Credit: SkyTruth, flickr
Ruling narrows trade secret loophole
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Fossil fuel companies in Wyoming may soon have to disclose more the chemicals they use for fracking, as the Wyoming Supreme Court decided this week that the state’s oil and gas commission has the burden of justifying the use of a trade secrets exemption that has enabled companies to keep their toxic recipes secret.
“The Wyoming Supreme Court affirmed that the public’s right to know is paramount under state law. If fracking operators don’t want to reveal what chemicals they use, they will have to prove that the chemicals are trade secrets, which means they shouldn’t be able to capriciously keep secrets from the public about dangerous chemicals,” said Katherine O’Brien, an attorney with Earthjustice, which represents the plaintiffs. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking | Tagged: energy, Environment, fossil fuels, fracking, Wyoming | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 27, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A Colorado judge this week upheld the will of voters in Broomfield, Colorado, affirming the vote on a ballot measure that enacts a 5-year ban on fracking.
Election results stand, pending a potential appeal
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — A bid by the fossil fuel industry to thwart the will of voters in Broomfield, Colorado failed in court this week, as 17th Judicial District Court Judge Chris Melonakis upheld the five-year fracking ban approved by voters last November.
Question 300 passed by 17 votes, triggering a recount that brought nearly the same result. The challenge by the fossil fuel industry focused on election procedures and not on the substantive issue at hand — whether Colorado residents have the right to protect themselves and their communities from potentially harmful activities. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, energy, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: Broomfield, Colorado, energy, Environment, fossil fuels, fracking, fracking ban, politics | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 18, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
A new study of the Greenland snowpack reached surprising conclusions about concentrations of carbon monoxide.
FRISCO — Atmospheric carbon dioxide may be rising inexorably, but not all gases related to combustion of fossil fuels are increasing. A new study of the Greenland snowpack shows that carbon monoxide levels were higher in 1950 than those measured today.
Lead researcher, Vasilii Petrenko, an assistant professor of earth and environmental science at the University of Rochester, said the findings were surprising because computer models predicted CO related to fossil fuel burning.would be about 40 percent higher now than 60 years ago. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, Greenland | Tagged: Carbon monoxide, fossil fuels, global warming, greenland, Industrial Revolution | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 16, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
BLM wants to update 30-year-old fracking regs.
Common sense steps address some environmental and health concerns
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — An updated set of draft rules for fracking on public and Indian lands includes several common-sense safeguards that will help protect the human health and safety, as well as the environment. For starters, the rule requires disclosure of the chemicals used for fracking, a key measure that ensures transparency and gives the public some assurance.
The proposed rule beefs up standards meant to insure well bore-integrity, which will help verify that fluids used during fracturing operations are not contaminating groundwater. Operators must also have a plan in place for handling fluids that flow back to the surface.
About 90 percent of wells drilled on Federal and Indian lands use hydraulic fracturing, but the Bureau of Land Management’s current regulations governing hydraulic fracturing operations on public lands are more than 30 years old and were not written to address modern hydraulic fracturing activities. Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, energy, Environment, gas drilling, oil drilling, public lands | Tagged: BLM, Bureau of Land management, energy, Environment, fossil fuels, fracking, hydraulic fracturing, Indian reservation, Interior Department, public lands | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 25, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
New EPA rules will reduce toxic water pollution from fossil fuel power plants. Photo via Wikipedia under a GNU Free Documentation License.
Cutting discharges of selenium, lead and arsenic will protect the environment
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A federal appeals court this week cleared the way for the EPA to issue new regulations aimed at stemming mercury, arsenic, lead, and selenium water pollution from power plant discharges.
Steam electric power plants alone contribute more than half of the toxic pollutants discharged to water bodies by all industrial categories currently regulated in the Unites States. The proposed rule sets the first federal limits on levels of toxic metals in wastewater that can be discharged from power plants. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, rivers, water | Tagged: energy, Environment, EPA, fossil fuels, power plants, water pollution | Leave a comment »