Source: The Durango Herald, May 26, 2013
By: Jim Mimiaga
Cleanup plan in place, but owner blocks access
A prolonged dispute about land contaminated by fuel at a former gas station on U.S. Highway 160 has reached an impasse.
Wild Wild Rest, between Mancos and Mesa Verde National Park, used to host motorcycle races and other entertainment events. The property also operated as a Sinclair Gas station and convenience store for many years.
But all that is gone now, and what’s left behind is a bitter feud between landowner Ray McCarty and an engineering firm hired by the former gas station operator Fraley & Co. Inc., about cleanup procedures of fuel contamination.
The frustration of living on contaminated land that has yet to be restored caused McCarty to recently install a large orange banner visible from the highway that reads: “Massive Petroleum Spill, Toxic Site.” Skull-and-crossbones graphics bracket the message. Other signs warn of benzene, a toxic petrochemical ingredient in gasoline.
“I put up the banner because nobody was paying attention, I was getting no action from anyone,” McCarty said during an interview at the site. “I feel duped, and I feel that my land and all of its value has been destroyed.”
The details of the case are complicated and accusatory, a saga that played out during a U.S. District Court case that ended in March 2012.
The problem began seven years ago in 2006 with spillage of leftover fuel during tank removal, McCarty said.…
Source: Wyoming Public Media, May 8, 2013
By: Irina Zhorov
An energy group says a recently released report overstated issues of water use by the oil and gas industry. The Western Organization of Resource Councils released the report last month and said regulators need to consider the quantity of water the energy industry uses, in addition to the quality.
But Research director for Energy in Depth, Simon Lomax, says the amount of water used for oil and gas development is .06-percent of total water use for Wyoming and the other three states studied, there are sufficient regulations in place, and that natural gas actually puts water into the hydrological cycle.
“For some reason they decided to ignore the amount of water that’s actually added to the hydrological cycle when you burn natural gas. It works out that for every billion cubic feet of natural gas that is burned you get about 11 million gallons of water added to the natural cycle in the form of water vapor,” says Lomax.
Powder River Basin Resource Council member Bob LeResche says, “water vapor going into the atmosphere does not replace it in a usable form for thousands of years, and even then, not locally.”
Source: http://www.lexology.com, March 12, 2013
By: Alba Alessandro, Hodgson Russ LLP
Wind energy is a force to be reckoned with. U.S. wind power capacity represents more than 20 percent of the world’s installed wind power with a utility scale of 60,000MW.
In 2012, of the 39 states with utility-scale wind installations, Texas, California, Iowa, Illinois, and Oregon led the pack with the most wind capacity installed. A wind turbine has a life expectancy of 20 years, but mechanical breakdowns and lightning are the largest risks. Without the right type of insurance in place—including a wind farm insurance package—the risk of loss increases exponentially. Limits of liability can range from $5 million to $20 million, with deductibles ranging from $20,000 to $1 million.
Wind farm insurance packages can include: construction insurance, physical damage, and third-party liability insurance coverage for delays in building of a wind farm, loss of earnings, and business interruption once the operation is running. Specifically, wind turbine coverage can compensate the policyholder for production losses if the wind farm’s annual wind levels fall below forecast.
This blog entry discusses property and warranty insurance. The presumption is that the wind farm has statutory and discretionary coverage—workers’ compensation, employer’s liability, professional liability, commercial auto, and general liability—in place.…