The Charleston Gazette | Mingo mine violating selenium limits, judge rules

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A Mingo County surface mine approved by the Obama administration is violating West Virginia’s water quality limits for toxic selenium, a federal judge ruled Monday.

U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers issued a 33-page ruling in a case brought by citizen groups against CONSOL Energy’s Peg Fork Surface Mine.

The judge cited violations of the state’s selenium water quality standard, based on samples taken in December 2013.

Chambers ruled in a lawsuit brought against the CONSOL operation by the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy and the Sierra Club.

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Opposition mounts to seismic testing for Atlantic oil and gas reserves

Opposition mounts to seismic testing for Atlantic oil and gas reserves.

The governors of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are among those calling to allow seismic testing to proceed off their coasts. They appear to have won the support of the Department of Interior, which in February published an environmental analysis that endorses seismic exploration for an area stretching from Delaware to Florida.

But a growing number of coastal cities and town have passed resolutions opposing seismic testing. They are Cape Canaveral, Fla.; Cocoa Beach, Fla.; Carolina Beach, N.C.; Nags Head, N.C.; Bradley Beach, N.J.; and Red Bank, N.J. In addition, the city of St. Augustine Beach, Fla. voted unanimously to oppose seismic testing and wrote a letter to the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management expressing its opposition, while Caswell Beach, N.C. approved a resolution expressing concern about seismic testing.

North Dakota’s Oil Boom Brings Damage Along With Prosperity – ProPublica

According to data obtained by ProPublica, oil companies in North Dakota reported more than 1,000 accidental releases of oil, drilling wastewater or other fluids in 2011, about as many as in the previous two years combined. Many more illicit releases went unreported, state regulators acknowledge, when companies dumped truckloads of toxic fluid along the road or drained waste pits illegally.State officials say most of the releases are small. But in several cases, spills turned out to be far larger than initially thought, totaling millions of gallons. Releases of brine, which is often laced with carcinogenic chemicals and heavy metals, have wiped out aquatic life in streams and wetlands and sterilized farmland. The effects on land can last for years, or even decades.

via North Dakota’s Oil Boom Brings Damage Along With Prosperity – ProPublica.

Harvard law professor criticizes Spruce ruling | Appalachian Mountain Advocates

In an article in the latest edition of The Environmental Forum, Harvard law professor Richard Lazarus slammed the ruling by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson overturning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s veto of the Spruce No. 1 mine permit. Lazarus teaches environmental law, natural resources Law, Supreme Court advocacy and torts at Harvard.

via Harvard law professor criticizes Spruce ruling | Appalachian Mountain Advocates.

Woman wins hard fought battle for information | Medicine Hat News

An outspoken critic of coalbed methane fracking has won a comprehensive and long fought decision for the release of information regarding the natural gas recovery practice.Rosebud resident Jessica Ernst launched a freedom of information FOIP request in 2008 for water well data after she claims her well water became contaminated by fracking activity near her residence.The privacy commissioner’s decision released Monday states Alberta Innovates — formerly the Alberta Research Council ARC — “had not established that it had exercised its discretion reasonably when it elected to withhold information.”The adjudicator ordered the release of information pertaining to reports done by ARC related to groundwater contamination by coalbed methane development in Wheatland County.

via Woman wins hard fought battle for information | Local News | Medicine Hat News.