June 3, 2013

Fuel spill triggers lawsuit by resident

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.”

Federal lawsuit

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.

May 28, 2013

Pipeline Company Sued Over Water Contamination

Read here about a Kansas pipeline company that has been sued by some residents over water contamination.


May 9, 2013

Energy group says fracking water report is sensational

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.”


April 9, 2013

Drilling to resume at PA site

Read here about a site in Pennsylvania where gas drilling can resume after fracking fluid was spilled.…

April 9, 2013

SD Ethanol Plants Fined

Read here about fines that will be paid to settle violations by ethanol plants in South Dakota.…

April 5, 2013

Wildlife in NE Threatened by Drilling

Read here about how wildlife in the Northeast is being threatened because of the gas drilling boom.


April 5, 2013

MI Oil Spill Leaves Sheen on River

Read here about an oil spill in Michigan that left a sheen on the Grand River.


March 22, 2013

Wind farm insurance: avoid the risk of loss

Source:, 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.…

March 21, 2013

Oil Spill Discovered in CO

Read here about an oil spill in Colorado that was discovered by a construction crew.…

February 18, 2013

KS refinery to pay for oil spill cleanup

Read here about a refinery operator in Kansas that will pay over $2 million in clean up costs for a 2007 oil spill.