8 years ago
“We’re finalizing a clean water rule to protect the streams and the wetlands that one in three Americans rely on for drinking water. And we’re doing that without creating any new permitting requirements and maintaining all previous exemptions and exclusions.” EPA head Gina McCarthy told reporters Wednesday.
“This makes it more important than ever for Congress to act. Last month, I stood with a bipartisan group of Senators to unveil S. 1140, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act, to rein in EPA’s attempt to use the Clean Water Act to expand federal control over land and water. Sen. Dan Sullivan, Chairman of the Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife Subcommittee, held a legislative hearing on the bill last week that underscored the importance of keeping the focus of the Clean Water Act on clean water and called out EPA’s attempt to use the rule as a tool for habitat protection. The EPA has set themselves up to increase federal control over private lands, and I will not allow it.“Our committee is planning for a markup on S. 1140 this summer, as we continue our work to halt EPA’s unprecedented land grab and refocus its job on protecting traditional navigable waters from pollution.”
“EPA’s attempt to redefine ‘navigable waterways’ to include every drainage ditch, backyard pond, and puddle is a radical regulatory overreach that threatens to take away the rights of property owners and will lead to costly litigation and lost jobs. The House is committed to fighting back against this radical policy, which is why we passed bipartisan legislation earlier this month to stop the EPA in their tracks from moving forward with this misguided proposal. It’s time for President Obama’s EPA to abandon these radical proposals, all in the name of protecting wetlands and waterways, that instead will only lead to more American jobs being shipped overseas at the expense of the American economy.”
“Today, the Corps and EPA released a new rule that would vastly — and illegally — expand federal regulatory power under the Clean Water Act through a practically open-ended new definition of the term, ‘waters of the United States,’” said PLF Principal Attorney M. Reed Hopper.“Under this new rule, the only waters that are clearly not subject to federal regulatory power are the few that are exempted or expressly excluded from the Clean Water Act, including artificial reflective pools, ornamental waters, ground water, and gullies, non-wetland swales, and puddles,” Hopper noted. “In the wake of this new rule, prudent lawyers would have to advise their clients that unless the waters or ditches on their land are exempt or expressly excluded under the letter of the Clean Water Act, they may be subject to federal regulation.”
|This time-lapse video shows pipeline incidents from 1986 |
to 2013, relying on publicly available data from the federal
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
Only incidents classified as “significant” by the agency
are shown in the video. “Significant” incidents include
those in which someone was hospitalized or killed,
damages amounted to more than $50,000, more than
5 barrels of highly volatile substances or 50 barrels of
other liquid were released, or where the liquid exploded
Popular viral website Upworthy calls this video
"One Time-lapse Big Oil Doesn't Want You to See."
According to the data, since 1986 there have been nearly
8,000 incidents (nearly 300 per year on average), resulting
in more than 500 deaths (red dots on the video), more
than 2,300 injuries (yellow dots on the video), and nearly
$7 billion in damage.
Since 1986 pipeline accidents have spilled an average
of 76,000 barrels per year or more than 3 million gallons.
This is equivalent to 200 barrels every day.
Oil is by far the most commonly spilled substance,
followed by natural gas and gasoline. The data does
not separate oil by whether it is light crude or heavy
crude typical of tar sands oil, which has proven
exceedingly difficult to clean up and is the variety
that would flow in the Keystone XL pipeline.
There are a number of reasons for pipeline spills,
including damage during excavation operations,
metal failure, improper operation and corrosion.
Pipeline failures are concentrated in states with a long
history of oil and gas development like Texas and
California, but have caused damage to people,
property and the environment in all 48 contiguous
In most cases, cleanup of pipeline spills is only
partially successful, leaving tens of thousands of
barrels of oil on our land or in our water. On average,
the government’s data shows that more than 31,000
barrels of oil or other substances are not cleaned up
following pipeline incidents, and in some years many
more barrels are left, polluting our environment for
years to come.
|Kalamazoo pipeline spill photo courtesy Flickr/k6martini|