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Friday, October 7, 2011

Our Oceans Are in Dire Shape, But Without Them All Life on Land -- Human, Plant and Animal -- Is Totally Screwed

Our Oceans Are in Dire Shape, But Without Them All Life on Land -- Human, Plant and Animal -- Is Totally Screwed

Global warming's impact on oceans will be severe, not only for marine life but also for all life on land.

Keystone XL: The wrong question

Keystone XL: The wrong question

The Keystone XL pipeline from Canada's tar sands would have pros and cons, but foes would do better to shift their focus to the larger environmental issues.

Salazar Endorses Hydraulic Fracturing

Salazar Endorses Hydraulic Fracturing

Billionaire Wildcatter, Risk Addict Aubrey McClendon Has Bet It All On Shale

Billionaire Wildcatter, Risk Addict Aubrey McClendon Has Bet It All On Shale

Why climate models underestimate Arctic sea ice retreat?

Why climate models underestimate Arctic sea ice retreat?
In recent decades, Arctic sea ice has suffered a dramatic decline that exceeds climate model predictions. The unexpected rate of ice shrinkage has now been explained by researchers at CNRS, Université Joseph Fourier and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They argue that climate models underestimate the rate of ice thinning, which is actually about four times faster than calculations. This model bias is due to the poor representation of the sea ice southward drift out of the Arctic basin through the Fram Strait. When this mechanism was taken into account to correct the discrepancy between simulations and observations, results from the new model suggested that there will be no Arctic sea ice in summer by the end of the century. This work was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research on 29 September 2011.
http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-10-climate-underestimate-arctic-sea-ice.html

Drill, Castro, Drill: Obama and environmental friends help Cuba tap oil off Florida

Drill, Castro, Drill: Obama and environmental friends help Cuba tap oil off Florida
In half a heartbeat, the Obama team could put the kibosh on the most dangerous offshore oil drilling ever proposed near U.S. shores, scheduled to begin in December. By fighting this drilling operation, President Obama's environmentalist allies could get the biggest bang for their lobbying buck in their history.
Full Article

Chevron launches world's largest solar enhanced oil recovery project at Coalinga

Chevron launches world's largest solar enhanced oil recovery project at Coalinga

Noble closes $3.3B Marcellus Shale JV with CONSOL Energy

Noble closes $3.3B Marcellus Shale JV with CONSOL Energy

Pennsylvania Governor Corbett proposes new Marcellus Shale regulations

Pennsylvania Governor Corbett proposes new Marcellus Shale regulations

Oil and Gas Industry Tries to Show Soft Side in Face of Enviro Worries, Regulatory Heat

Oil and Gas Industry Tries to Show Soft Side in Face of Enviro Worries, Regulatory Heat

Parched Texans impose water-use limits for fracking gas wells

Parched Texans impose water-use limits for fracking gas wells

On Our Radar: Fracking vs. Drought By THE NEW YORK TIMES

On Our Radar: Fracking vs. Drought

Scientists Identify Microbes Responsible for Consuming Natural Gas in Deepwater Horizon Spill

Scientists Identify Microbes Responsible for Consuming Natural Gas in Deepwater Horizon Spill
Washington DC (SPX) Oct 07, 2011 - In the results of a new study, scientists explain how they used DNA to identify microbes present in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill--and the particular microbes responsible for consuming natural gas immediately after the spill. Water temperature played a key role in the way bacteria reacted to the spill, the researchers found. Proceedings of the National ... more

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Department of Energy Should Not Be the Green Banker

The Department of Energy Should Not Be the Green Banker

Five Truths About Climate Change

Five Truths About Climate Change

During the decade that Al Gore dominated the environmental debate, global carbon-dioxide emissions rose by 28.5%.

Ocean acidification: an environmental externality is coming home to roost Sarah Cooley, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Ocean Acidification - Sarah Cooley, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

BP Focuses Strategy On Offshore And Deepwater Future

BP Focuses Strategy On Offshore And Deepwater Future



BMI Western Europe Oil and Gas Insights
October 1, 2011

US shale gas bonanza: New wells to draw on

US shale gas bonanza: New wells to draw on Rock layers across vast tracts of the US are rich in oil, gas and liquids. Now the technology exists to extract the reserves, the promise is of an industrial renaissance
http://link.ft.com/r/OZMCDD/6244SK/IYD9ZO/8ZALQK/TUBPCV/HK/h?a1=2011&a2=10&a3=6

Decline and recovery of coral reefs linked to 700 years of human and environmental activity

Decline and recovery of coral reefs linked to 700 years of human and environmental activity
Stony Brook, NY (SPX) Oct 06, 2011 - Changing human activities coupled with a dynamic environment over the past few centuries have caused fluctuating periods of decline and recovery of corals reefs in the Hawaiian Islands, according to a study sponsored in part by the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science at Stony Brook University. Using the reefs and island societies as a model social-ecological system, a team of scientis ... more
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Space Observatory Provides Clues to Creation of Earth's Oceans

Space Observatory Provides Clues to Creation of Earth's Oceans
Pasadena CA (JPL) Oct 06, 2011 - Astronomers have found a new cosmic source for the same kind of water that appeared on Earth billions of years ago and created the oceans. The findings may help explain how Earth's surface ended up covered in water. New measurements from the Herschel Space Observatory show that comet Hartley 2, which comes from the distant Kuiper Belt, contains water with the same chemical signature as Ear ... more
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Interior secretary: 'Fracking' can be safe and responsible (VIDEO)

Interior secretary: 'Fracking' can be safe and responsible (VIDEO)
Christian Science Monitor
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – to collect natural gas can be done 'in a safe way.' New federal fracking rules are in the works.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Committee Leaders Expand Investigation into West Wing Involvement with Solyndra Mess


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2011

CONTACT: Press Office
(202) 226-4972

Committee Leaders Expand Investigation into West Wing Involvement with Solyndra Mess
Recently Provided Documents Reveal President’s Inner Circle Voiced Concern with Solyndra, Wealthy Campaign Donors Had Direct Line to West Wing

                         
WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) are seeking all communications between White House staff and officials regarding now-bankrupt Solyndra’s $535 million loan guarantee.  The Committee leaders have requested all documents dating back to President Obama’s inauguration on January 20, 2009. Recently produced documents reveal the President’s closest confidantes closely monitored the Solyndra loan and wealthy donors also weighed in on Solyndra to those officials closest to the Oval Office.
Subcommittee Chairman Stearns made the following statement:

“Nearly eight months into our investigation, documents provided to the Committee last Friday confirm those closest to the President - top advisors like Valerie Jarrett, Larry Summers, and Ron Klain - had direct involvement in the Solyndra mess.  In addition to the cast of West Wing characters with access to the Oval Office, documents reveal a startlingly cozy relationship between wealthy donors and the President’s confidantes, especially in matters related to Solyndra.  While the President claims ‘hindsight is always 20/20’ and the loan went ‘through the regular review process,’ the facts tell a much different story with some of the loudest alarm bells on Solyndra’s viability coming from within his very own administration.”  

In the letter to White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, the Committee leaders write, “On May 24, 2010, a DOE official emailed Ron Klain, Chief of Staff to Vice President Biden, to say that ‘we believe the company is okay in the medium term, but will need some help of one kind or another down the road.’  Mr. Klain forwarded that email to Valerie Jarrett and stated that, based on DOE’s evaluation, ‘there are some risk factors here — but that’s true of any innovative company that POTUS would visit.  It looks like it is OK to me, but if you feel otherwise, let me know.’  Ms. Jarrett responds that, ‘I’m comfortable if you’re comfortable.’ Later that same day, OMB staff traded emails about Solyndra.  Their outlook on Solyndra’s prospects, however, was less positive.  In one email, an OMB staff member stated, “I am increasingly worried that this visit could prove embarrassing to the Administration in the not too distant future, given 1) what we heard today about DOE that Solyndra is delaying their IPO at least until the end of the year, and 2) what the auditors said about Solyndra making it through the year absent new financing . . . .  It might be worth flagging to policy officials given this high-profile visit.”  Other emails produced by OMB also show that OMB staff did not believe that DOE was adequately monitoring the loan guarantees it had issued.”

View a copy of the letter to White House Counsel Ruemmler HERE.

It’s time for the US to study geoengineering

Blue Ribbon Task Force on Climate Remediation Releases Report Calling for Federal Geo-Engineering Research Program

Blue Ribbon Task Force on Climate Remediation Releases Report Calling for Federal Geo-Engineering Research Program

It’s Time For The U.S. To Study Geoengineering

Senate Hearing on Obama's Fracking Panel Excludes External Testimony, Glosses Over Threats

Senate Hearing on Obama's Fracking Panel Excludes External Testimony, Glosses Over Threats

Greens Try To ‘Buy Time’ (Literally) On Fracking Decision

Greens Try To ‘Buy Time’ (Literally) On Fracking Decision

DOE: Let states control fracking

DOE: Let states control fracking

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

BIO FUEL Report: U.S. lags on some biofuel targets


BIO FUEL
Report: U.S. lags on some biofuel targets

Oil sands environmental impact unknown: Canada audit

Oil sands environmental impact unknown: Canada audit
Ottawa (AFP) Oct 4, 2011 - Key gaps in information mean Canada has been unable to assess the impact of exploiting Alberta's oil sands, the nation's environment commissioner said Tuesday. Lack of information due to "insufficient or inadequate environmental monitoring systems" mean the federal environmental and water agencies cannot build a clear picture of how regional ecosystems have been affected by oil sands project ... more

Using the energy in oil shale without releasing carbon dioxide in a greenhouse world

Using the energy in oil shale without releasing carbon dioxide in a greenhouse world
Washington DC (SPX) Oct 05, 2011 - New technology that combines production of electricity with capture of carbon dioxide could make billions of barrels of oil shale - now regarded as off-limits because of the huge amounts of carbon dioxide released in its production - available as an energy source. That's the topic of the latest episode in the American Chemical Society's (ACS) award-winning "Global Challenges/Chemistry Solu ... more

Arctic Sea Ice Continues Decline, Hits Second Lowest Level

Arctic Sea Ice Continues Decline, Hits Second Lowest Level
Boulder CO (SPX) Oct 05, 2011 - Last month the extent of sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean declined to the second-lowest extent on record. Satellite data from NASA and the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado in Boulder showed that the summertime sea ice cover narrowly avoided a new record low. The Arctic ice cap grows each winter as the sun sets for several months and sh ... more

Swiss warn of massive ice chunk breaking off glacier

Swiss warn of massive ice chunk breaking off glacier
Geneva (AFP) Oct 4, 2011 -
A massive part of a glacier the size of 12 football fields in the Swiss Alps could break off, local authorities warned, after the discovery of an enormous crevasse in the glacier. Swiss authorities have formed a crisis team to monitor the situation and blocked all hiking trails close to the Giesen glacier located at an altitude of 2,800 metres, below the north face of the Jungfrau peak in th ... more

NASA-Funded Quake Forecast Gets High Score in Study

NASA-Funded Quake Forecast Gets High Score in Study
Pasadena CA (JPL) Oct 05, 2011 -
While earthquakes can't yet be predicted, scientists are making advances in their ability to forecast where they are most likely to occur, with the best forecasts now about 10 times more accurate than a random prediction, according to a new study by scientists at the University of California, Davis. The researchers compared seven earthquake forecasts submitted to a competition organized by ... more

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When it comes to Arctic oil drilling, all geopolitics are local

When it comes to Arctic oil drilling, all geopolitics are local

Peak Oil Infographic – A Clear Picture of Where we Stand with Fossil Fuels

Peak Oil Infographic – A Clear Picture of Where we Stand with Fossil Fuels

Crisscrossing the Rubicon of Peak Oil

Crisscrossing the Rubicon of Peak Oil

Kurt Cobb, Energy Bulletin
In the minds of many of those concerned about an imminent rendezvous with peak oil, the day the world slides past the all-time peak in oil production will be a fateful and irreversible crossing. After it all the calamitous predicted consequences of the ensuing decline will become obvious--financial collapse, unaffordable energy prices, shortages of food and other goods dependent on cheap oil, and mounting unemployment to name a few. And, the cause of these effects will be plain for everyone to see. But even as some of these symptoms begin to manifest themselves, the public remains...
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Pipeline to disaster

Pipeline to disaster

Obama and the Alberta tar sands

Tough Oil

Tough Oil

Five public health challenges of petroleum scarcity

It was the easy oil—that’s what fueled our prosperity.

Three Strikes and You Are Out?

Three Strikes and You Are Out?

Posted By Jeffrey Brown • on October 3, 2011
(Note: Commentaries do not necessarily represent the position of ASPO-USA.)
Daniel Yergin, whom the media have consistently designated as one of the world’s premier experts on energy matters–and who has a consistent track record of predicting higher oil production levels–has been very visible of late, especially with a full page essay in the Wall Street Journal, focused on why concerns about Peak Oil are misplaced.
I thought that it would be useful to review how some of Mr. Yergin’s prior predictions regarding oil prices, production and exports in the 2004/2005 time frame have turned out, now that we have several years of post-2005 price, production and export data. Following is a brief summary.

Five Reasons You Should Care About the New Ozone Hole Over the Arctic

The Roots of Sustainability

The Roots of Sustainability

By John R. Ehrenfeld
January 15, 2005
The real business case for sustainability requires more radical, fundamental and difficult change than most are ready to consider, but anything less ignores the real problem and may, in fact, contribute to it.

Climate: Act now to diversify crops at risk, say scientists

Climate: Act now to diversify crops at risk, say scientists
Paris (AFP) Oct 3, 2011 - Farm chiefs have a narrowing chance to diversify vital crops at rising threat from drought, flood and pests brought by climate change, food researchers warned on Monday. The world's nearly seven billion people are massively dependent on a dozen or so crops that, thanks to modern agriculture, are intensively cultivated in a tiny number of strains, they said. When climate change gets into ... more
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Ice Age carbon mystery: Rising carbon dioxide levels not tied to Pacific Ocean, as had been suspected

Ice Age carbon mystery: Rising carbon dioxide levels not tied to Pacific Ocean, as had been suspected

After the last Ice Age peaked about 18,000 years ago, levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide rose about 30 percent. Scientists believe that the additional CO2 -- the source of which was thought to be the deep ocean -- played a key role in warming the planet and melting the continental ice sheets. But a new study suggests that the deep ocean was not an important source of carbon during glacial times. The finding will force researchers to reassess their ideas about the fundamental mechanisms that regulate atmospheric CO2 over long time scales.

Decline and recovery of coral reefs linked to 700 years of human and environmental activities

Decline and recovery of coral reefs linked to 700 years of human and environmental activities

Changing human activities coupled with a dynamic environment over the past few centuries have caused fluctuating periods of decline and recovery of corals reefs in the Hawaiian Islands, according to a new study. Using the reefs and island societies as a model social-ecological system, a team of scientists reconstructed 700 years of human-environment interactions in two different regions of the Hawaiian archipelago.
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How gas and temperature controlled bacterial response to Deepwater Horizon spill

How gas and temperature controlled bacterial response to Deepwater Horizon spill

Scientists used DNA to identify microbes present in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and then identified the microbes responsible for consuming the large amount of natural gas present immediately after the spill. They have also explained how water temperature played a key role in the way bacteria reacted to the spill.
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France withdraws shale gas permits: minister

France withdraws shale gas permits: minister
Paris (AFP) Oct 3, 2011 - The French government withdrew three permits Monday for shale gas exploration, dampening industry hopes that the controversial method for extracting natural gas would be approved in France. "We have decided to abrogate the three research permits," Ecology Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet told AFP. Two permits had been issued to a Dallas-based firm, Schuepbach, and the third to French ... more

TVA Hosts Second Environmental Forum for Electric Utility Industry

Noble closes $3.3B Marcellus Shale JV with CONSOL Energy

Noble closes $3.3B Marcellus Shale JV with CONSOL Energy

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ozone layer hole over Arctic in sudden expansion

Ozone layer hole over Arctic in sudden expansion

Arctic and Antarctic holes of similar size for first time, say scientists, due to combination of wind patterns and intense cold

The climate change debate: Man versus nature

The climate change debate: Man versus nature

Study finds unprecedented Arctic ozone loss

Study finds unprecedented Arctic ozone loss

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Oil: Then and Now from Dissident Voice by Robert Singer

Oil: Then and Now

from Dissident Voice

Dot Earth: A Map of Organized Climate Change Denial

Dot Earth: A Map of Organized Climate Change Denial
By ANDREW C. REVKIN
A map of efforts to amplify doubt on risks from greenhouse gases.

Long-Term Trend in Global CO2 Emissions - Olivier et al., JRC-IES

Long-Term Trend in Global CO2 Emissions - Olivier et al., JRC-IES



http://www.pbl.nl/sites/default/files/cms/publicaties/C02%20Mondiaal_%20webdef_19sept.pdf

Week-Long Public Hearings Reveal Keystone XL Pipeline Must Be Constructed By Skilled Pipeliners

Week-Long Public Hearings Reveal Keystone XL Pipeline Must Be Constructed By Skilled Pipeliners

United Association Local Union 798 Ready For The Task

Unprecedented Arctic Ozone Loss in 2011, Says NASA-Led Study

Unprecedented Arctic Ozone Loss in 2011, Says NASA-Led Study

PR Newswire
HAMPTON, Va., Oct. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A NASA-led study has documented an unprecedented depletion of Earth's protective ozone layer above the Arctic last winter and spring caused by an unusually prolonged period of extremely low temperatures in the stratosphere.
(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO )

http://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=4745717&access=EH
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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Many Texans Take Reffuage in Hell as the Summer of 2011 Proves to be too hot

Many Texans Take Reffuage in Hell as the Summer of 2011 Proves to be too hot

from The Nuclear Green Revolution

Global Warming Could Cost Canada Billions, Study Warns

Global Warming Could Cost Canada Billions, Study Warns

Environmental Officials Release Climate Change Adaptation Report

Environmental Officials Release Climate Change Adaptation Report
Report includes predictions, impacts, and costs associated with climate change and suggested mitigation strategies.

PORT OF MIAMI Why the rush on Port of Miami deep dredge?

PORT OF MIAMI

Why the rush on Port of Miami deep dredge?

Obama Administration Announces $12 Million i6 Green Investment to Promote Clean Energy Innovation and Job Creation

From: U.S. EPA <usaepa@govdelivery.com>
Date: Sep, Thu 29 2011 13:52 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: News Release: Obama Administration Announces $12 Million i6 Green Investment to Promote Clean Energy Innovation and Job Creation/ National initiative leverages resources of five federal agencies to advance clean technology commercialization
CONTACTS (News Media Only)
DOC: Cleve Mesidor, 202-482-4085, cmesidor@eda.doc.gov
NSF: Joshua Chamot,703-292-7730, jchamot@nsf.gov
EPA:  Cathy Milbourn, 202-564-7849, Milbourn.Cathy@epa.gov
DOE:  202-586-4940, DOEnews@hq.doe.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 29, 2011

Obama Administration Announces $12 Million i6 Green Investment to Promote Clean Energy Innovation and Job Creation

National initiative leverages resources of five federal agencies to advance clean technology commercialization
WASHINGTON – The Obama Administration today announced the six winners of the i6 Green Challenge, an initiative to drive technology commercialization and entrepreneurship in support of a green innovation economy, increased U.S. competitiveness and new jobs.

Projects in Fla., Iowa, La., Mich., New England and Wash., will each receive up to $1 million from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and up to $6 million in additional funding and technical assistance from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, and Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology and United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Winning i6 Green applicants will support emerging technology-based businesses as they mature and demonstrate their market potential, making them more attractive to investors and helping entrepreneurs turn their ideas and innovations into businesses.

“America’s economy depends on both innovation and commercialization,” U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra said. “These six proof-of-concept centers will help to accelerate the commercialization of products based on exciting new research and support the development of green jobs in regions across the country.”

First announced at the White House launch of Startup America in January, i6 Green follows last year’s inaugural i6 Challenge, which focused on accelerating high-growth entrepreneurship in the United States. This year’s competition focuses on promoting Proof of Concept Centers methodologies, which support all aspects of the entrepreneurship process, from assisting with technology feasibility and business plan development, to providing access to early-stage capital and mentors that can offer critical guidance to innovators.

“i6 Green is an important part of President Obama’s Startup America initiative to promote entrepreneurship and spur small business development,” Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes said. “These six projects will help to foster growth in green technologies and create jobs for America’s workers.”

“We congratulate the organizations and entrepreneurs who came together to form these vibrant public-private partnerships in an effort to promote new green technologies and green jobs in the United States,” Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank said. “These investments will help boost U.S. competitiveness and better position the nation to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.”

“Congratulations to this year’s i6 Green winners who have once again demonstrated the unmatched innovative capacity of America’s businesses and universities,” EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said. “These winners prove that with smart environmental protection, ingenuity and innovative technology we can improve the health of our communities at the same time that we strengthen our economy. Their work is in line with the innovative history of the environmental protection movement, which has made everything we do cleaner and greener through new ideas and innovation.”

The winning projects of the i6 Green Challenge announced today include:
Ames, Iowa: Iowa Innovation Network i6 Green Project
Holland, Michigan: Proof of Concept Center for Green Chemistry Scale-up   
New England: iGreen New England Partnership 
Orlando, Florida: Igniting Innovation (I2) Cleantech Acceleration Network
Ruston, Louisiana: Louisiana Tech Proof of Concept Center     
Washington State: Washington Clean Energy Partnership Project

More information on i6 Green and the winners: http://www.eda.gov/i6

EPA’s Response to Inspector General’s Report on Endangerment Finding

From: U.S. EPA <usaepa@govdelivery.com>
Date: Sep, Wed 28 2011 16:19 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Air News Release (HQ): EPA’s Response to Inspector General’s Report on Endangerment Finding
CONTACT:

EPA’s Response to Inspector General’s Report on Endangerment Finding

Today, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report on EPA’s process as it relates to the greenhouse gas endangerment finding. Some news accounts have mischaracterized the report’s findings. The following is EPA’s statement in response to the OIG report and some important excerpts from that report.

We appreciate the important role played by the Inspector General’s Office and will give the recommendations in this report the utmost consideration.

Most importantly, the report does not question or even address the science used or the conclusions reached – by EPA under this and the previous administration – that greenhouse gas pollution poses a threat to the health and welfare of the American people. Instead, the report is focused on questions of process and procedure. While EPA will consider the specific recommendations, we disagree strongly with the Inspector General’s findings and followed all the appropriate guidance in preparing this finding.

EPA undertook a thorough and deliberate process in the development of this finding, including a careful review of the wide range of peer-reviewed science. Since EPA finalized the endangerment finding in December of 2009, the vast body of peer reviewed science that EPA relied on to make its determination has undergone further examination by a wide range of independent scientific bodies. All of those reviews have upheld the validity of the science.


EXCERPTS FROM OIG REPORT:
EPA met statutory requirements for rulemakings.

We did not test the validity of the scientific or technical information used by EPA to support its endangerment finding.

We did not make conclusions regarding the impact that EPA’s information quality control systems may have had on the scientific information used to support the endangerment finding.

EPA fulfilled the statutory requirements for notice and comment rulemakings mandated in the Administrative Procedure Act and in Section 307 of the CAA, and employed several of its processes designed to ensure data quality.

OMB in response to our draft report stated that OMB believes that EPA reasonably interpreted the OMB bulletin in concluding that the TSD did not meet the bulletin’s definition of a highly influential scientific assessment.
 

Trident Seafoods Corp. to Pay $2.5 Million to Resolve Clean Water Act Violations and Spend More Than $30 Million to Upgrade Processing Plants

Trident Seafoods Corp. to Pay $2.5 Million to Resolve Clean Water Act Violations and Spend More Than $30 Million to Upgrade Processing Plants
Settlement to reduce discharges of seafood processing waste by more than 100 million pounds annually

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) today announced that Trident Seafoods Corp., one of the world’s largest seafood processors, has agreed to pay a $2.5 million civil penalty and invest millions in seafood processing waste controls to settle alleged violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA). Unauthorized discharges of seafood processing waste lead to large seafood waste piles on the seafloor, creating anoxic, or oxygen-depleted, conditions that result in unsuitable habitats for fish and other living organisms.

“Today’s settlement signals an important change in how seafood processing is managed in Alaska,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Trident’s investment in fishmeal facilities and commitment to improving its waste management practices will help protect our nation’s waters and set the standard for Alaska’s seafood processing industry.”

“This agreement will benefit the quality of Alaskan waters, which host a critical habitat for the seafood industry,” said Ignacia S. Moreno, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “The upgrades will enable Trident to achieve and maintain compliance with the Clean Water Act, and will protect Alaskan waters, eliminate waste and create efficiencies that will serve as a model of best business practices for the seafood processing industry.”

The agreement requires Trident to invest an estimated $30-40 million, and potentially more, in source control and waste pile remediation measures. The source control measures include building a fishmeal plant in Naknek, Alaska, that will have the capacity to handle at least 30 million pounds of seafood processing waste annually, taking in both its own fish waste and potentially that of other local processors. Trident has also agreed to reduce the amount of seafood processing waste discharged from the Akutan, Cordova, St. Paul and Ketchikan, Alaska, facilities and monitor the amount of seafood processing waste discharged into Starrigavan Bay in Sitka, Alaska. The actions taken will reduce Trident’s fish processing discharges by a total of more than 105 million pounds annually.

The company has also agreed to remediation measures including studying seafloor waste piles at Trident’s facilities in Akutan, Ketchikan and Cordova. Based on the results of these studies, Trident will remove or partially remediate the piles. One seafood processing waste pile in Akutan Harbor is currently estimated to be more than 50 acres in size.

The EPA complaint, also filed as part of this legal action, alleges that Trident had more than 480 CWA violations at 14 of its on-shore and off-shore Alaskan seafood processing facilities. The alleged violations include discharging without a necessary permit, exceeding discharge limits, failing to comply with permit restrictions on discharge locations (including discharges into at least two National Wildlife Refuges), creating oxygen-depleting “zones of deposit” or underwater piles of fish processing waste occupying more than the allowed one acre of seafloor. The company also allegedly failed to conduct required monitoring and implement required best management practices.

Over the past decade, Trident has been a party to multiple administrative enforcement agreements and judicial consent decrees resolving similar violations at many of the same facilities.

The settlement was lodged in federal court in Seattle, Wash. and is subject to a 30-day public comment period.

More information on the settlement and a copy of the consent decree: http://epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/civil/cwa/tridentseafoods.html

Bakken Oil, Eagle Ford, Utica Shale and other US Oil