Tag Archives: Petroleum

SACRAMENTO BEE: State seeks fee on dangerous chemicals crisscrossing California

Repost from the Sacramento Bee

State seeks fee on dangerous chemicals crisscrossing California

By Tony Bizjak, July 22, 2016 6:00AM

HIGHLIGHTS
• California officials say the state isn’t prepared to handle hazardous materials spills
• A new $45 fee on every rail car carrying dangerous substances will help beef up spill response

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    Mosier groundwater contaminated after derailment spill

    Repost from the Hood River News

    Mosier groundwater contaminated after derailment spill

    By Patrick Mulvihill, July 22, 2016
    TREATMENT PLANT in Mosier came back online in mid-June. The city had been trucking sewage to Hood River for treatment while their system was shut down following the train wreck.
    TREATMENT PLANT in Mosier came back online in mid-June. The city had been trucking sewage to Hood River for treatment while their system was shut down following the train wreck. Photo by Patrick Mulvihill

    Regulators have found contaminated groundwater at the site of the June 3 fiery oil train derailment in Mosier.

    There’s no current threat to drinking water or beach users, according to Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), but concerns have surfaced for wildlife health in the Rock Creek wetland near the Columbia River.

    “It really isn’t a significant issue of harming human health; however, there is a wetland (nearby) and we’re mainly concerned for animals (living there),” said Bob Schwarz, DEQ project manager.

    DEQ staff found high levels of benzene and other volatile organic compounds in one of four test wells crews installed north of the Union Pacific train tracks in Mosier shortly after the train wreck.

    Schwarz described the contaminant levels discovered at the east-most site as roughly 10 times higher than the safe amount for animal populations — 1,800 parts of benzene per billion, compared to the ecological risk level of 130 parts.

    The wetland ecosystem includes various amphibians and insects, he said.

    DEQ has ruled the local drinking water safe because Mosier’s municipal water supply is located about a mile away from the spill area, uphill.

    Beach access at Mosier — a popular watersports access spot — has been deemed safe. Booms laid out on the river following the derailment (to catch a small sheen of oil) have since been removed.

    Mosier’s wastewater system is also back in action. While heavy green sewage tanks and pump trucks were a common sight during early June, the town no longer trucks sewage to Hood River for treatment.

    In the derailment, 16 cars of a 96-car Union Pacific train bearing Bakken crude oil left the tracks in what U.P. ruled an accident due to faulty rail bolts. At least three cars caught fire. Crews extinguished the blaze by early morning the next day.

    About 47,000 gallons of oil escaped from four rail cars.

    During the wreck, one of the railcars tore off the lid of a sanitary sewer manhole, allowing roughly 13,000 gallons of oil to flow into the nearby Mosier wastewater treatment plant. That system was shut down as crews worked to pump out oil and clean the piping network.

    As a temporary fix, workers trucked sewage from Mosier to Hood River for treatment at the municipal plant on Riverside Drive. By June 16, the plant was restored, and shortly after Mosier’s system was fully functional.

    A small sheen of oil leaked into the Columbia River through the wastewater system at some point following the wreck, DEQ reported.

    Crews cast out absorbing booms into the river to contain the sheen. The exact amount is “unknown but low in volume,” according to a DEQ fact sheet, but it quickly dissipated.

    Surface water samples in the river didn’t show any significant contamination from the spill, Schwarz said. He expects the booms will be replaced in September, before autumn rains, in case new rain flushes any oil from the ground into the river.

    Agencies reported that the rest of the oil was burned off or absorbed into the soil. Excavation workers disposed of about 29,600 tons of earth that had been contaminated with petroleum.

    Oil remaining in the derailed cars was transferred by truck to The Dalles, then hauled by rail to Tacoma, Wash., its original destination. The emptied railcars were taken by truck to Portland for salvage.

    Following the derailment, DEQ oversaw the installation of six wells near the train tracks — two extraction wells and four monitoring wells. At the fourth monitoring site, staff found high petroleum levels and other compounds.

    Now, DEQ is working with the railroad’s consultant to design an underground system that will treat the contamination, Schwarz said.

    The “biosparge” system will include vertical pipes where air will be injected into the ground water. That oxygen will spur growth of naturally occurring microbes that will break down the oil.

    “We are still waiting for groundwater flow direction information from CH2M, the consultant for Union Pacific Railroad,” Schwarz said in a July 6 memo.

    Local conservation group Columbia Riverkeeper raised concerns about U.P.’s role in the high pollutant levels and called for a third party to steer the cleanup.

    “It’s very concerning that we have such high levels of toxic pollutants so close to the river,” Riverkeeper staff attorney Lauren Goldberg said.

    She asserted that the public needs to hold state officials accountable so that “U.P. is not at the wheel of this cleanup.”

    Schwarz expects a small drill rig and a half dozen or so workers will be on scene in Mosier to implement the treatment system.

    For more information, go to deq.state.or.us/lq/ecsi/ecsi.htm .

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      Energy-related CO2 emissions decreased in nearly every state from 2005 to 2013

      Repost from the U.S. Energy Information Administration

      Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions decreased in nearly every state from 2005 to 2013

      November 23, 2015, Principal contributor: Perry Lindstrom
      graph of per-capita energy-related carbon dioxide emissions by state, as explained in the article text
      Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions at the State Level, 2000-13.   Note: Click to see information for all states.

      The United States has a diverse energy landscape that is reflected in differences in state-level emissions profiles. Since 2005, energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions fell in 48 states (including the District of Columbia) and rose in 3 states. EIA’s latest analysis of state-level energy-related CO2 emissions includes data in both absolute and per capita terms, including details by fuel and by sector.

      This analysis measures emissions released at the location where fossil fuels are consumed. Therefore, to the extent that fuels are used in one state to generate electricity that is consumed in another state, emissions are attributed to the former rather than the latter. An analysis attributing emissions to the consumption of electricity, rather than to the production of electricity, would yield different results.

      map of changes in proved reserves by state/area, as explained in the article text
      Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions at the State Level, 2000-13.   Note: Click to see information for all states.

      The 10 states with the highest levels of energy-related CO2 emissions in 2013 accounted for half of the U.S. total. These 10 states also have large populations and account for slightly more than half (53%) of the nation’s total population. California was the second-highest emitter in absolute terms (353 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, or MMmt CO2), behind only Texas (641 MMmt CO2). But California was also the fourth-lowest emitter on a per capita basis, behind the District of Columbia, New York, and Vermont. Relatively small states such as Wyoming and North Dakota had much higher levels of per capita emissions in 2013, nearly seven times and five times the national average, respectively.

      Energy-related CO2 emissions come from coal, petroleum, and natural gas consumed within a state to produce electricity (38% of U.S. total), to transport goods or people (33%), to operate industrial processes (18%), or to directly fuel equipment in residential and commercial buildings (10%). The consumption levels by fuel and by sector vary considerably by state. For example, coal consumption accounted for 78% of energy-related CO2 emissions in West Virginia in 2013, while coal only accounted for 1% of emissions in California.

      Consumption of petroleum accounted for more than 90% of energy-related CO2 emissions in two states, Hawaii and Vermont, but for different reasons. In both states, emissions from the transportation sector accounted for more than 50% of energy-related emissions. In Vermont, the nonelectric (or direct) residential share of total emissions was 23%, mostly from petroleum-based fuels such as heating oil used to fuel furnaces and water heaters. Vermont’s electric power sector share of emissions from petroleum was only 0.2%, as very little of the state’s electricity in 2013 was generated from petroleum or any other fossil fuels. Hawaii, on the other hand, has very little direct use of petroleum for residential heating but much higher use of petroleum for power generation.

      More information about each state’s energy-related CO2 emissions is available in EIA’s report, Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions at the State Level, 2000-13.

      Principal contributor: Perry Lindstrom
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        U.S. Energy Information Administration Report: Energy-Related CO2 Emissions, 2014

        Repost from U.S. Energy Information Administration

        U.S. Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions, 2014

        Release Date: November 23, 2015   |  Next Release Date: October 2016   |    full report

        U.S. Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions increased 0.9% in 2014

        • Energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions increased by 50 million metric tons (MMmt), from 5,355 MMmt in 2013 to 5,406 MMmt in 2014.
        • The increase in 2014 was influenced by the following factors:
          • Real gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 2.4%;
          • The carbon intensity of the energy supply (CO2/Btu) declined by 0.3%; and
          • Energy intensity (British thermal units[Btu]/GDP) declined by 1.2%.
        • Therefore, with GDP growth of 2.4% and the overall carbon intensity of the economy (CO2/GDP) declining by about 1.5%, energy-related CO2 grew 0.9%.

        USEIA chart CO2 2014 - 2015-11-23

        [This report continues with 12 charts that further break down the analysis of CO2 emissions in 2014.  The report concludes with a fascinating section on Implications of the 2014 carbon dioxide emissions increase…CONTINUED ON THE WEB PAGE…  Or … the same information is available as a PDF download.]

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