Category: Accidents

Critic questions way coal firms build slurry ponds

Slurry pond failures like the one that swallowed a bulldozer and its driver last week at a West Virginia coal mine could be avoided if the waste pits were built to strict construction standards that regulators ignore, said a mine safety expert and frequent critic of the coal industry.  More »

Shale enters the discussion at Arctic conference

Amid talk of ice-breaking boats and tools for Arctic oil spill cleanup, the shale revolution found its way into a Houston conference Wednesday, with an expert highlighting the potential of Alaska’s shale resources.  More »

Tools without sparks could save lives offshore

The spinning edge of the grinder blade makes contact with the steel, but no sparks rain out from the edge like fireflies shot from a harvester.  More »

Judge tosses spill claims against dispersant maker

A federal judge presiding over litigation spawned by the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill has dismissed all claims against the manufacturer of a chemical dispersant that was used to break up crude gushing from BP’s blown-out well.  More »

Homeowners suing over Wis. gas pipeline spill

Homeowners sued over a massive gasoline spill in southeastern Wisconsin this summer that has contaminated many of their wells, their attorneys said.  More »

Democrats press Grand Isle Shipyards for info on fatal production platform fire

Leading House Democrats are broadening their probe into what caused a fatal offshore production platform fire by scrutinizing the contractor working on the facility when it ignited last month.  More »

Worker at Valero’s Memphis refinery dies

A worker at Valero Energy Corp.’s Memphis refinery died Monday after being exposed to propane and hydrofluoric acid.  More »

Officials fine Texas Brine $100,000 over sinkhole

Louisiana officials have fined Texas Brine Co. $100,000 over the company’s failure to follow state orders on a giant Assumption Parish sinkhole.  More »

Steffy: What does it take to get booted from the Gulf?

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement sent to Houston’s Black Elk Energy raises the question of whether Dean Wormer from “Animal House” has come out of retirement to oversee safety in the Gulf of Mexico.  More »

Chevron’s $19 billion ‘disaster’ gets hearing

Chevron Corp. (CVX) is facing its first test of whether farmers and fishermen from the Amazon rainforest will collect $19 billion in environmental damages from the world’s fourth-largest oil company.  More »

Steffy: In suspending BP, EPA does what drilling regulators would not

When BP agreed to plead guilty to 12 felony counts related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster a few weeks ago, I made the point that the felonies mattered more than the fines. Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency showed why.  More »

Body found in Gulf; may be missing oil rig worker

A coroner is trying to determine whether the decomposed body of a man recovered from the Gulf of Mexico is a worker missing since a fire erupted on Houston-based Black Elk Energy’s offshore oil platform on Nov. 16.  More »