Saturday, July 20, 2013

Major pipeline companies will have to prove they have access to $1 billion to cover the costs of an oil or gas spill under new rules announced by Nature Resources Minister Joe Oliver. Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver says new rules for pipeline companies make a safe system safer and the companies more accountable. But even as he touted tougher penalties and expectations of corporate transparency, he said there’s no need for the National Energy Board to beef up enforcement or publish its own investigation and inspection reports. “I don’t think were talking about that,” Oliver told Global News in an interview Wednesday. “The system is quite transparent now. It’ll become even more transparent in the future.”The National Energy Board, which is responsible for all pipelines crossing provincial or national borders, has come under fire for failing to enforce its own rules: As a Global News investigation laid out, both national and provincial energy regulators in Alberta have been accused of being lax in enforcement and not keeping pace with energy industry growth. A 2011 audit found the board wasn’t sufficiently documenting its inspections and, even when it found deficiencies, wasn’t always following up. “The National Energy Board is enforcing its rules,” Oliver said. “What we’ve done, as well, is added administrative monetary penalties.” Both energy companies and oilsands opponents have argued that regulator opacity makes it tough for the public to stay informed. It emerged earlier this year that most of Enbridge’s pump stations weren’t in compliance with a safety requirement the board hadn’t checked for previously. (At the time, Enbridge said it would never knowingly break the rules – and that the board itself had signed off on their safety standards and hadn’t enforced this measure before.)These new rules are “long overdue and it’s promising to see,” said Pembina Institute policy analyst Nathan Lemphers. “The real question will be whether the government enforces its safety measures, as well. Ottawa has a history of failing to enforce its pipeline safety rules.”




In this newspaper article we are told that there will be tougher penalties for oil companies but there is no need for more oversight by the regulatory agency responsible for the penalties and no need for publishing the results of their investigations or inspections.

Who does Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver think he is fooling here?
We have lived with these lies in Alberta for forty years and more and he thinks we will fall for the same nutty situation on a federal level that we have endured at the provincial level?

While Albertans may have been naive and indoctrinated by the propaganda machinery of the provincial Tories that included tax payer funded cult groups such as Synergy that we weren’t even aware of operating to marshal local community leaders to mediate conflicts between big oil  and the communities they live in rather like Scientology cults do their work of gathering the flock; I don’t see the rest of Canada being as dumb and servile as we have been.
Why should we not have the full meal deal with reference to oversight, regulation, enforcement and yes, transparency for the results of all of the above?
Why have we to beg over and over again for the results of our own damn taxpayer dollars?
It makes me mad to see these shysters from the main indoctrination camp grounds of Alberta spread their virions of the pretence of managing the environmental messes caused by big oil when in reality they are nothing but big oil’s mouthpiece. The federal government like the provincial government marches according to the tunes playing on the jukebox of big oil
What this means is that if big oil says ordinary stay at home mummies who voted Tory should be smeared and maligned as the enemy –as environmental terrorists—well then that is what the party big brass are to do.
In addition when citizens ask inconvenient questions about their well water on fire, they are to shut the hell up –either legally or by brute force.
This sort of police state tactics is frankly out of control in Alberta and will not continue because unfortunately for big oil, it has pissed us  off and we won’t take it anymore.

It is fine to run rampage over citizens when you have money to do this job for you—but when big oil is taking most of the profits from our non-renewable resources, when we can’t even fund Edmonton Public Schools for three damn years, when we have children hungry and harmed and dying prematurely in our foster care system, when we have homeless on the streets of the fricking richest province of Canada while our tax payer dollars are used to buy a legacy project for a dumb ass mayor and his downtown business association of supporters—you know it is time for a change.

We need to change not only this minister’s commentary with reference to oil but the entire government’s commentary
Government at all levels represents citizens.
In this particular case, we are not going to be doing business as usual or not even as per the Minister Oliver’s small gesture of placating the voters.

I for one did not know of the almost 2 oil spills per day in Alberta.
The infrastructure is aging.
We have corporate entities in charge of oil and these entities are not working for the public good; their mandate is to make profits for their shareholders. As such the government has to be working for the public good and not in these half assed ways it currently is working. If the government is not doing what we want –which is to ensure that there is at least an EPA type agency available uncontaminated by Gerard Protti type folks who represent big oil and do not represent citizens—well then we need to fire this government.
I see no reason to vote on party lines.
There is no loyalty to the Tories when they behave badly as they have been doing.
There is no way I will vote for a party that puts the interests of big oil first and that of citizens and their children last.

What will the Tories do when it is election day?
Will they magically make another bogey man out of the Wildrosies in Alberta?
Will they convert the federal Liberals into the national energy party devil?
Will they make the federal NDP and Green Party into the communists?

Heck the only folks who are the communists here are the provincial and federal Tories.
Get off your duff Mr. Oliver.
Put in the EPA style agency we want.
And oh, by the way, when that EPA type energy investigates water contamination cases by fracking companies—don’t let it back off from saying that the companies do indeed contaminate aquifers as the EPA did in Pavillion , Wyoming.  We actually want regulation with balls in Canada and not the emasculated regulation and enforcement that is now the current state of the union in the USA.



We have gone through forty years and more of amnesia and silence in Alberta.
There will be no more silence.
There will be accountability and transparency.

And our governments at all levels will open up and show us what they are doing--the entire work load and products we get for the price we pay for our system.
Our tax dollars are being wasted on spin, baloney and enriching of the private sector based entirely on the right wing ideology of the folks in Alberta and Ottawa.
And what do we get for our money?
Empty promises:
http://globalnews.ca/news/674318/feds-announce-measures-to-calm-public-fears-over-pipeline-safety/

The National Energy Board, which is responsible for all pipelines crossing provincial or national borders, has come under fire for failing to enforce its own rules: As a Global News investigation laid out, both national and provincial energy regulators in Alberta have been accused of being lax in enforcement and not keeping pace with energy industry growth.

A 2011 audit found the board wasn’t sufficiently documenting its inspections and, even when it found deficiencies, wasn’t always following up.
“The National Energy Board is enforcing its rules,” Oliver said. “What we’ve done, as well, is added administrative monetary penalties.”
Both energy companies and oilsands opponents have argued that regulator opacity makes it tough for the public to stay informed.
It emerged earlier this year that most of Enbridge’s pump stations weren’t in compliance with a safety requirement the board hadn’t checked for previously.
(At the time, Enbridge said it would never knowingly break the rules – and that the board itself had signed off on their safety standards and hadn’t enforced this measure before.)
 *************************************************************************

Unsurprisingly we get the same song and dance we have heard in Alberta (these folks have no imagination):

 http://globalnews.ca/news/674318/feds-announce-measures-to-calm-public-fears-over-pipeline-safety/

 Oliver said the board has “world-class standards” when it comes to pipeline safety regulation. He noted that 99.9996 per cent of oil is transported safely.

 *********************************************************************************

Now my only question is that if we have world class standards for the oversight of the oil industry then why do we have the inconvenient truth of the wells in Rosebud, Alberta contaminated with the results of fracking? Why is there well water on fire?

More interestingly why did the government of Alberta allow this sort of shallow fracking of the area around a small town? Was it because they didn't give a damn about the men, women and children in that small town because it was and still is --all about the dollar, the dollar bill yo?

And how is it that Ms. Jessica Ernst is being delayed by the matter of the change in her judge by the federal government? Is this designed to bankrupt her?  Is it designed to break her spirit? Or what about the fact that the RCMP were sent to bother? Then the small matter that it took her ages to get the information from the government of Alberta about her own fricking water well?  Why are we-the people-- getting the sort of governance and oversight common in Russia under Putin?

Is human life this cheap in Canada?
I used to believe government but do I believe them now?
Nope.
I believe that the Tories are the front party for the oil industry.
They no longer represent citizens (if they ever did).
I don't know if other parties will be corrupted by big oil as the Tories have been but I aim to keep an eye on any new party or politician we elect in Alberta and Canada.

We-the people have been betrayed.
Instead of tough laws, good oversight, accurate penalties, complete disclosure of investigations and problems, we get soothing lies. The placebo injection always instead of the jab of the medicine this industry needs to get in its ass.

 http://globalnews.ca/news/674318/feds-announce-measures-to-calm-public-fears-over-pipeline-safety/

“Yes, [pipelines] are safe. … We can’t be complacent, and we’ve got to make them safer still.”

***************************************************************************

And don't think for one minute these folks won't push Enbridge's pipeline through British Columbia.
That is a done deal.
They've got their orders from big oil.
That pipeline will go through.
And we've had the pretense of a consultation with the Enbridge hearings.
How do I know?
For decades, the government of Alberta goes through the pretense of such hearings and consultations when --even before they go through the publicity and farce of democratic engagement---they have their policies and agenda set in concrete. The concrete of the oil industry.
We have a sham of democracy.
Our real owners are the oil industry.
The only power we have is at election time.
We need to use that power and vote for change.
Start with the municipal election.
And make sure after the election that you keep your councillor accountable so that there is no pie in the face to the taxpayer of yet another Katz arena type subsidy to the private sector. We don't need to be giving corporate welfare to billionaires who are owed a return favor from our provincial Tories who use the Capital Region Board Tory friendly buddies to provide their largesse to the mayor and folks on city council.
We've been scammed, fleeced and we're not going to suck it up.


http://globalnews.ca/news/674318/feds-announce-measures-to-calm-public-fears-over-pipeline-safety/


June 26, 2013 3:14 pm

Feds aim to calm public fears over pipeline safety

Major pipeline companies will have to prove they have access to $1 billion to cover the costs of an oil or gas spill under new rules announced by Nature Resources Minister Joe Oliver.
Major pipeline companies will have to prove they have access to $1 billion to cover the costs of an oil or gas spill under new rules announced by Nature Resources Minister Joe Oliver.
Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver says new rules for pipeline companies make a safe system safer and the companies more accountable.
But even as he touted tougher penalties and expectations of corporate transparency, he said there’s no need for the National Energy Board to beef up enforcement or publish its own investigation and inspection reports.

“I don’t think were talking about that,” Oliver told Global News in an interview Wednesday. “The system is quite transparent now. It’ll become even more transparent in the future.”
Video and transcript: Full interview with Joe Oliver
The new rules, announced in Vancouver a day after U.S. President Barack Obama issued an unclear ultimatum on the fate of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline, require companies to prove they can cover $1 billion worth of damages.
The changes also require energy companies to police themselves more strictly: They’ll need to make their emergency and environmental plans publicly available and appoint an “accountable senior officer” to ensure they’re following the rules
Ottawa will also formalize a “polluter pay” provision to keep corporations on the hook for damage; and, as of July 3, increase penalties for rule-breaking companies to a maximum of $100,000 a day “for continuing infractions, as long as they haven’t corrected them,” Oliver said (the government can also take companies to court, where they could face fines of up to $1-million).
The National Energy Board, which is responsible for all pipelines crossing provincial or national borders, has come under fire for failing to enforce its own rules: As a Global News investigation laid out, both national and provincial energy regulators in Alberta have been accused of being lax in enforcement and not keeping pace with energy industry growth.
A 2011 audit found the board wasn’t sufficiently documenting its inspections and, even when it found deficiencies, wasn’t always following up.
“The National Energy Board is enforcing its rules,” Oliver said. “What we’ve done, as well, is added administrative monetary penalties.”
Both energy companies and oilsands opponents have argued that regulator opacity makes it tough for the public to stay informed.
It emerged earlier this year that most of Enbridge’s pump stations weren’t in compliance with a safety requirement the board hadn’t checked for previously.
(At the time, Enbridge said it would never knowingly break the rules – and that the board itself had signed off on their safety standards and hadn’t enforced this measure before.)
These new rules are “long overdue and it’s promising to see,” said Pembina Institute policy analyst Nathan Lemphers. “The real question will be whether the government enforces its safety measures, as well. Ottawa has a history of failing to enforce its pipeline safety rules.”
Oliver said the board has “world-class standards” when it comes to pipeline safety regulation. He noted that 99.9996 per cent of oil is transported safely.
“Yes, [pipelines] are safe. … We can’t be complacent, and we’ve got to make them safer still.”
The safety of Canada’s growing pipeline network has come under increasing scrutiny as hydrocarbon giants try to gain approval for ambitious projects.
TransCanada’s Keystone XL, which would carry crude from the oilsands to the Gulf of Mexico, has inspired vocal opposition. Its fate remains uncertain: President Barack Obama said Tuesday the State Department should approve it only if it doesn’t “significantly” add to greenhouse gas emissions. Both the pipeline’s boosters and opponents called that caveat a victory.
“We are encouraged that the State Department’s draft Supplementary Environmental Impact Assessment concluded Keystone XL would not increase greenhouse gases,” the Alberta government said in a statement.
But the Sierra Club said in a release that Obama’s statement “could spell the end of the project.”
“If the federal government wants Keystone to be approved,” Lemphers said, “it needs to come up with a credible plan to address carbon emissions, as well as pipeline safety.”
Energy executives and the Alberta government say Canada is losing billions of dollars a year because an oilsands glut is keeping Canadian oil from markets in Asia and elsewhere.
Also on the table are major pipeline proposals carrying crude oil from Alberta to New Brunswick (TransCanada’s Energy East) and from Sarnia, Ont. to Montreal (Enbridge’s Line 9).
Federal review panel hearings just concluded on Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project from Alberta to B.C.’s cost. The BC government rejected the project as is, but Oliver thinks it can still go through.
“BC didn’t reject Northern Gateway,” he said. “What the government of British Columbia said is that the pipeline as currently planned doesn’t meet their environmental criteria. But that does not preclude the possibility that, with changes, it might well do so.”
TransCanada spokesman Shawn Howard said the company, displaced from its Calgary offices by devastating floods, is still trying to ascertain the impact of the new rules.
“In the unlikely event of a spill, we are required by law to pay those costs and keep landowners whole. If there are legislative or regulatory changes that the Government of Canada is considering putting in place to provide additional protection for Canadians, we will wait to see what those proposals are and how they can be achieved,” he said in an email.
“In principle, we support having strong, robust pipeline safety regulations in place to help improve public confidence and measures that demonstrate our ability to operate our energy infrastructure networks safely and reliably.”
With a report from the Canadian Press
Crude Awakening: 37 years of Alberta oil spills









 will be undergoing maintenance on Sunday, 21 July 2013, from 8–10 p.m. EST.


Region 8

Pavillion

Groundwater Investigation

Site Type: Non-NPL
City: Pavillion
County: Fremont
ZIP Code: 82523
EPA ID: WYN000802735
SSID: 08QV
Congressional District: At Large
On this page:
On other pages:
  • Site Documents: more than 800 documents related to quality assurance, monitoring well drilling information, raw laboratory data, well sampling information, lab standard operating procedures, and lab-produced reports

What's New?

June 20, 2013
EPA has announced that it will be supporting the State of Wyoming in its further investigation of drinking water quality in the rural area east of Pavillion, Wyoming. While EPA stands behind its work and data, the agency recognizes the State of Wyoming’s commitment to further investigation and efforts to provide clean water and does not plan to finalize or seek peer review of its draft Pavillion groundwater report released in December 2011.
The sampling data obtained throughout EPA’s groundwater investigation will be considered in Wyoming’s further investigation, and EPA will have the opportunity to provide input to the State of Wyoming and recommend third-party experts for the State’s consideration. The State intends to conclude its investigation and release a final report by September 30, 2014.
January 11, 2013
EPA is extending the public comment period for the draft research report to September 30, 2013. During this time, EPA will continue its public outreach activities including meeting with key stakeholders and posting additional technical information on this website. This extension will allow the public additional opportunity to comment on EPA's draft report and the latest round of sampling conducted by EPA and USGS. The Agency will take into account new data, further stakeholder input, and public comment as it continues to review the status of the Pavillion investigation and considers options for moving forward. View the Federal Register notice announcing the extension of the public comment period (PDF) (2 pp, 203 K).
November 6, 2012
EPA has updated and corrected the well completion schematics for Monitoring Wells 01 and 02 based on a detailed review of the drillers logs and field notes. View the updated schematics here:
October 16, 2012
EPA has extended the public comment period on the Draft Report until January 15, 2013. View the Federal Register Notice announcing the extension of the public comment period.
October 10, 2012
EPA released the methodology and results for samples collected during April 2012. Click here for more information.
September 26, 2012
The U.S. Geological Survey has released data from samples taken from a Pavillion area monitoring well earlier this year. USGS conducted this sampling at the request of the State of Wyoming and in coordination with EPA. This data will be made available to the independent peer review panel that will review EPA's draft Pavillion groundwater report beginning later this year.
June: Update on 2012 sampling activity
EPA, in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey, the Tribes, and the State of Wyoming, is re-sampling two monitoring wells the Agency installed in the Pavillion area in the summer of 2010. EPA is also collecting samples from four private and one public water supply well. Sample results, which are expected later this summer, will be posted on this web page. These data will be made available for public comment and included in the peer review process.
March 8: EPA extending public comment period and delaying peer review to consider additional sampling
EPA and the State of Wyoming recognize the value of further sampling of the deep monitoring wells drilled for the Agency’s ground water study in Pavillion, Wyoming. EPA will partner with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the State, and the Tribes to complete this sampling as soon as possible.
To ensure that the results of this next phase of testing are available for the peer review process, EPA has delayed convening the peer review panel on the Pavillion Draft Report until a report containing the USGS data are publicly available. In addition, EPA is extending the public comment period on the Draft Report through October 2012 to provide additional time for the public to review and comment on the new data. View Federal Register Notice announcing public comment period (PDF)(5 pp, 75 K)
View the full joint statement from EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Governor Matt Mead and the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone Tribes.
February 8: The public comment period on the Draft Peer Review Charge opened on February 8; the comment period has closed. View public comments on the Draft Peer Review Charge that were received during the public comment period:
January 31: 622 files have been added to the Site Documents page. The files include additional analytical data and QA documentation.
January 23:
January 18: EPA is inviting the public to nominate scientific experts to be considered as peer reviewers of a draft report on the Pavillion ground water investigation. Nominations will be accepted through February 17. Details can be found in the Federal Register notice (PDF).(2 pp, 156 K)
View more information on the peer review process.
December 14, 2011: EPA has released a draft report outlining findings from the Pavillion, Wyoming groundwater investigation for public comment and independent scientific peer-review. See the box at the top right of this page for more information.
November 9, 2011: EPA released the latest data from Pavillion-area domestic and monitoring wells at a public meeting on November 9, 2011. We are sharing this data with the community, Encana, the state, tribes and federal partners as part of an ongoing process to develop sound science about contamination in the aquifer used by Pavillion residents for drinking water.
EPA will release a draft research report summarizing investigation findings. This report will be available for public comment as part of an independent peer-review process coordinated by our Office of Research and Development.

Public Documents and Presentations


Site Description

Pavillion, Wyoming is located in Fremont County, about 20 miles northwest of Riverton. In 2003, the estimated population was 166 residents. The concern at the site is potential groundwater contamination, based on resident complaints about smells, tastes and adverse changes in water quality of their domestic wells. Community members contacted EPA in spring 2008.
The Pavillion area has approximately 80 domestic wells. The town of Pavillion provides municipal water to residents through eight groundwater wells. Private water wells just outside the town of Pavillion are used for drinking water, irrigation, and stock watering, and are completed at depths from 50 feet to 750 feet or more. Pavillion is within the Wind River Indian Reservation as described by the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone Tribes in a pending application for treatment in a similar manner as a state under the Clean Air Act. The site is located west of Boysen State Park.

January 2010 sampling
In March 2009 EPA sampled 39 individual wells (37 residential wells and two municipal wells). The purpose of this sampling was to collect data to assess groundwater conditions and evaluate potential threats to human health and the environment. EPA conducted additional sampling in Pavillion in January 2010. This effort included sampling 21 domestic wells within the area of concern, two municipal wells, and sediment and water from a nearby creek. EPA has also sampled groundwater and soil from pit remediation sites, produced water, and condensate from five production wells operated by the primary natural gas operator in the area. EPA installed two monitoring wells in the Pavillion area in 2010. Data collected from these wells will build upon prior sampling events and help us further assess groundwater hydrology and contamination in the aquifer. EPA released the latest data from domestic and monitoring wells at a public meeting on November 9, 2011.
The Pavillion groundwater investigation is being conducted by EPA’s regional office in Denver in collaboration with scientists from our Office of Research and Development.

Site Reports and Public Presentations

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.
Best way to open a very large file: right-click and save it to a folder
Documents related to August 31, 2010 public meeting:

Phase 2 Field Sampling Plan, January 2010
Public Meeting Presentation of Phase 1 Sampling Results, August 11, 2009
Groundwater Investigation Analytical Results Report and Phase I Maps, August 2009

Contacts

Richard Mylott
Public Affairs
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8
1595 Wynkoop Street (OC)
Denver, CO 80202-1129
303-312-6654
800-227-8917 ext. 312-6654 (toll free Region 8 only)
mylott.richard@epa.gov
Larry Jackson
Media Relations
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Headquarters
Washington, DC
202-564-0906
202-564-0236
jackson.larry@epa.gov

Photo/Video Gallery

Click on a thumbnail below to view the full size image.

Pavillion, Wyoming landscape

January 2010 sampling

January 2010 sampling

Collecting January 2010 samples

Preparing January 2010 samples

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