Five-state study finds high levels of airborne chemicals near oil and gas sites

By Jamie Smith Hopkins

A study of air emissions near oil and gas wells found strikingly high levels of benzene and other dangerous chemicals in some locations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "chemical":

"… al Environmental Health — is “potentially dangerous compounds and chemical mixtures” that can make people feel ill and raise their risk of can …"

"… ti-well pad is developed. The agency is also conducting its own studies on chemical exposures that could be an issue for gas-extraction workers and people liv …"

"… nt years by pummeling rock with a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals. Industry groups have pointed to the boom as an economic godsend: jobs, …"

"… wn, Clark, where tests on the air samples showed high levels of benzene, a chemical that can be emitted by oil and gas production. The worst case was 110,000 …"

Clean Air case yields rare criminal convictions in New York

By Sam Pearson

A NY coke plant and its environmental manager, convicted of felony Clean Air violations, await sentencing — as residents push for relief.

Excerpts from this story referencing "New York":

"… e scored a double victory this year, winning convictions against a western New York coke manufacturing plant and its former environmental manager. Next up: s …"

"… fines, the plant itself still produces worry for the working-class western New York town, where many living near the facility suffer from health problems. Fo …"

"… d her neighbors pressed state regulators to act. It took five years before New York regulators formally blamed Tonawanda Coke for the town’s air pollution; …"

"… Erin Heaney, the executive director of the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York. Assessing the damage In Tonawanda, state officials are still trying to …"

'Upset' emissions: Flares in the air, worry on the ground

By Kristen Lombardi and Andrea Fuller

Residents living along the chemical corridor of Texas and Louisiana often encounter 'upset' emissions -- triggering pollution, health fears.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Baytown":

"… ong the state’s top emitters: ExxonMobil, whose petrochemical complex in Baytown has released 5.1 million pounds of upsets in the five years; and Shell Oil …"

"… , but has testified in pre-trial discovery. ‘An Invisible Poison’ In Baytown, Texas, about 250 miles from Baton Rouge, ExxonMobil operates the nation …"

"… piratory problems, neurological disorders and gastro-intestinal diseases. Baytown residents Cotter and Halpryn, worried over Exxon’s emissions, are witnes …"

"… s, filed suit in December 2010, charging that non-routine incidents at the Baytown complex since 2005 have heaved more than eight million pounds of “unauth …"

BP engulfed in lawsuit over 40-day Texas flare

By Kristen Lombardi

Two weeks before the Deepwater Horizon explosion, BP was involved in another major pollution case in Texas.

Excerpts from this story referencing "engineer":

"… efinery’s ultracracker unit. Sparked by a seal failure, the flame forced engineers to shut down what amounts to a crucial pollution-control device. Rather t …"

"… means BP under-calculated its emissions,” contends Jim Tarr, a chemical engineer hired by lawyers for the plaintiffs. He said the difference between an eff …"

"… from those of the 40-day release. After the regulators’ study, BP said, engineers calibrated the flare’s instruments and subjected it to “performance t …"

"… ees made repeated requests to upgrade the compressor, to no avail. Some BP engineers lamented that their past recommendations had fallen on deaf ears.“I wis …"

In U.S. Steel town, fatal gas explosion goes unpunished by OSHA

By Jim Morris

The 2009 death of Nick Revetta exposes flaws in the system designed to protect American workers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Denny Lentz":

"… ck Revetta was killed. ‘You thought someone was dying’ That morning, Denny Lentz, a steamfitter with Power Piping, was helping a co-worker install a flat p …"

Landmark diesel exhaust study stalled amid industry and congressional objections

By Jim Morris

Publication of a landmark government study of lung cancer in miners is delayed by an industry group and its congressional allies

Excerpts from this story referencing "World Health Organization":

"… m is the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organization, which considers diesel exhaust "probably carcinogenic to humans" and is s …"

EPA's Toxics Release Inventory doesn't offer full picture of pollution

By Corbin Hiar

Agency database shows emissions are down overall, but self-reporting makes the data suspect

Where regulators failed, citizens took action — testing their own air

Citizens concerned about toxic emissions near Buffalo tested the air themselves - forcing complacent regulators to act.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Coke":

"… e regulator, they figured out the main source was a plant called Tonawanda Coke Corp., a relic of the industrial age that since 1917 has been producing ma …"

"… k five years of prodding before state regulators formally blamed Tonawanda Coke for the high levels of benzene and moved aggressively to enforce the Clean …"

"… once violations are discovered.State and federal records in the Tonawanda Coke case illustrate the failure of that honor system. For many years, regulato …"

"… the Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News and NPR that the Tonawanda Coke case demonstrated a weakness in tracking and curbing toxic air pollution.& …"

Senate bill aims to tighten regulation of oil spill dispersants

By Chris Hamby and Jim Morris

Reacting to health worries about chemical dispersants used in the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg intro