Medina County Fracking Meeting

Sep 15, 2011 – 7:00 pm
Medina County Administration Building Auditorium
144 N. Broadway St.
Medina, Ohio    (Directions)

MEDINA COUNTY FRACKING MEETING

When: September 15, 2011 at 7 p.m.

Where: Medina County Administration Building Auditorium, 144 N. Broadway St., Medina.

Contact: For information call 330-334-8107

A community meeting about drilling for natural gas and hydrofracturing is planned in Medina County on September 15, 2011 at 7 p.m. at the Medina County Administration Building Auditorium, 144 N. Broadway St., Medina.

The topic is Learn About The Potential Benefits & Risks Regarding The New Type of Horizontal Shale Drilling (FRACKING). Get The Facts On Protective Leases. The meeting is being organized by concerned local citizens who decided not to lease their land for hydraulic fracturing. Speakers will be from the legal community as well as other official representatives.

Cleanup Under Way as Officials Assess Size of California Oil Spill

 

Pipeline operator says spill could be as large as 2,500 barrels, while 500 barrels may have reached the water

 

Local residents stand on oil-covered rocks and sand at Refugio State Beach in  California on Tuesday.ENLARGE
Local residents stand on oil-covered rocks and sand at Refugio State Beach in California on Tuesday. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES
By

TAMARA AUDI,
ALEJANDRO LAZO and
ALISON SIDER

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif.—As an investigation and cleanup efforts began Wednesday, federal officials said that oil that spilled from a burst pipeline near shore here Tuesday had spread into two large patches in the Pacific Ocean, covering an area 9 miles long by midday.

While it was uncertain just how much oil leaked from the pipeline operated by Plains All American Pipeline LP, the amount “is more than we anticipated,” said Capt. Jennifer Williams, the federal on-scene coordinator with the U.S. Coast Guard. Initial estimates had put the leak at 500 barrels, or 21,000 gallons, of oil.

Plains said that it estimates 500 barrels may have reached the water and that in the worst-case scenario, the total spill—including oil on the shore—could be as large as 2,500 barrels, or 105,000 gallons.

Cleanup crews from state and federal agencies were on hand at Refugio State Beach, the site of the spill 140 miles north of Los Angeles. The area is one of the first stretches of undeveloped shoreline north of the city, a protected cove prized by surfers, kayakers, campers and fishing enthusiasts, and home to seals, sea lions and birds.

ENLARGE

Workers in white protective suits faced a complex mess. Black, sticky crude covered large rocks along the shore of the elbow-shaped cove, and a heavy stench of petroleum hung in the air.

“This spill is unlike others we’ve dealt with in the past,” said Capt. Williams, adding that cleanup is expected to be slow and complicated. Nearby fisheries have been closed.

The Coast Guard is managing cleanup on the water, with six boats working to skim floating oil. By midday, 145 barrels, or 6,090 gallons, had been skimmed off the water, Plains All American said.

Crews from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency were working to clean up the land. “Our primary goal is to assess containment…and prevent migration of oil to waters,” saidMichelle Rogow, the EPA coordinator on site.

The cause of the pipeline break is under investigation by the EPA and the federal Transportation Department, which had recently taken over regulating the pipeline from the state, Ms. Rogow said.

“We’re sorry this accidental release happened,” Darren Palmer, a district manager with Plains All American, said at a news conference Wednesday in a park 20 miles south of the spill site. “We’re committed to the thorough cleanup of this accident.”

Workers clean up along the coast of Refugio State Beach.ENLARGE
Workers clean up along the coast of Refugio State Beach. PHOTO: LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS

Plains All American said aerial surveys of the pipeline, which operates at about 1,200 barrels an hour, are conducted weekly and the pipe was inspected internally a few weeks ago, but those results aren’t yet available.

The pipeline has been carrying crude since 1991 and is used to move oil pumped off the coast of the state from a facility owned by Exxon Mobil Corp. to refineries inland, Mr. Palmer said.

Exxon Mobil offered to assist with cleanup efforts Tuesday but was told its aid wasn’t needed, a spokesman said.

The Western States Petroleum Association said: “As an industry, we are always concerned when accidents like this happen. WSPA members strive to prevent any amount of spillage and have numerous programs and procedures designed to prevent such occurrences. Once the incident is contained and thoroughly cleaned up, they will review the facts surrounding this incident and apply what they learn to prevent future accidents.”

There have been no previous reported incidents or spills involving the pipeline, according to federal regulators. The California State Fire Marshal was responsible for inspecting the line until 2013, when the Transportation Department’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration began overseeing such pipelines in California. That division has four inspectors on the scene in Santa Barbara County to investigate what caused the release, the condition of the pipeline, and any possible regulatory violations.

California’s attorney general is working with Joyce E. Dudley, the district attorney of Santa Barbara County, to investigate whether any civil or criminal laws may have been violated. A spokesman for California Gov. Jerry Brown said the state’s Pipeline Safety Division and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response also would investigate.

Local politicians and activists Wednesday questioned whether stronger safeguards should be in place to alert the pipeline operator and regulators to such leaks. “This shouldn’t have happened,” said Doreen Farr, a county supervisor whose district includes the spill site. “Something failed someplace,” she said.

The extent of the oil spill’s damage to wildlife and the environment was unclear. Some cleaning crews, fire officials and residents reported seeing a few oil-covered birds and fish. A spokesman for the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife said his agency didn’t have any injured animals, but “undoubtedly there’s been an impact.”

Environmental groups and California politicians said the spill underscored the dangers associated with pipeline oil delivery across sensitive areas, such as the California coast or the Alaskan tundra, and called for a renewed emphasis on alternative forms of energy.

Hannah-Beth Jackson, a Democrat who represents the area in the state Senate, said she was “deeply saddened” by the spill, calling it a “tragic reminder of how precious our coastline and wildlife are.”

A volunteer holds an octopus covered in oil along the coast of Refugio State Beach.ENLARGE
A volunteer holds an octopus covered in oil along the coast of Refugio State Beach. PHOTO: LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS

Kevin de León, the top ranking Democrat in the state Senate, said: “Unfortunately, this is just another example of the risks we take when we build an economy on dirty and volatile fossil fuels.…We simply cannot continue on a path where all Californians are dependent on fossil fuels to power our daily lives.”

Area officials also grappled with the impact to the local economy. Refugio State Beach was to remain closed through the holiday weekend. Fishing was banned indefinitely a mile west and a mile east around the beach, a state official said.

“It’s a tragedy,” said Paula Perotte, the mayor of Goleta, the shoreline community south of the spill. “We anticipate it will come to our beaches,” she said.

Gov. Brown is monitoring the spill with “great concern,” a spokesman said, adding: “The administration will do everything necessary to protect California’s coastline.”

Santa Barbara County, on California’s central coast, is home to affluent beach communities nestled around the University of California, Santa Barbara, as well as blue-collar neighborhoods in Santa Maria, an inland city where many oil-industry workers live.

Since oil was discovered here in the late 1800s, the region has been home to oil fields, refineries and pipelines. The county’s close ties to the oil industry were widely viewed as contributing to the defeat by voters last November of a ballot initiative that would have banned fracking.

Energy companies have pumped oil and gas from wells off the coast of California for decades, but the state’s offshore production is minuscule compared with the U.S. Gulf Coast. In 2014, 23 platforms in federal waters off the coast of California produced 18.5 million barrels of oil, or just over 50,000 barrels a day, according to the U.S. Interior Department. By comparison, oil production in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico was roughly 1.4 million barrels of oil a day.

Santa Barbara was the site of a January 1969 oil spill that helped spark the modern environmental movement. In that accident, a Union Oil Co. well at an offshore oil platform suffered a blowout and crude began leaking into the Santa Barbara Channel. Within a week, the oil washed ashore, fouling beaches and wildlife.

Write to Tamara Audi at tammy.audi@wsj.com, Alejandro Lazo atalejandro.lazo@wsj.com and Alison Sider at alison.sider@wsj.com

Replicated only for posterity. All credit goes to Tamara Audi & The Wall Street Journal. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Original article found @http://www.wsj.com/articles/extent-of-california-oil-spill-being-assessed-1432144113?mod=rss_US_News

 

 

 

 

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