National Pipeline Mapping System – National Gas and other Hazardous Liquids Pipeline

The U.S. Department of Transportation offers the public access to their National Pipeline Mapping System via a free online, interactive map and an iPhone app.  It displays general information for pipelines carrying gas and hazardous liquids, liquefied natural gas plants, and breakout tanks within a county-wide zone.

While the mapping system is not to be used as a precise identifier of pipelines in a location, the public can access general knowledge about potential sources of contamination in their area.  By turning on the visual indicators for accidents and incidents in the area, it’s possible to judge remediation efforts based on past events.  Watershed organizations can submit a data request report or find the companies that are operating pipelines in your area.  The system is also a useful tool for community outreach and education efforts, whether you’re simply identifying topics for public forums and workshops or looking critically at local remediation efforts.

Featured Training Program

Fracking Environmental Consequences

Susquehanna River Basin Commission – Water Withdraws – Fact Sheet Registration.

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (Commission) is contacting you because you may have clients who are affected by a new program for registration of unapproved water withdrawals and consumptive water uses in the Basin.  We are seeking your assistance to help ensure that facility managers are aware of and complete registration by the deadline of December 31, 2019.

An initial contact letter and registration factsheet (GFregistration-grandfathered-water-withdraws-factsheet) was sent to more than 1,300 facilities by direct mail this week. The targeted grandfathered facilities/sources are those where water withdrawals or consumptive uses equal or exceed the regulatory thresholds, but began operating before the applicable regulations became effective. These water withdrawals and uses are generally considered to be exempt from obtaining a Commission docket, provided there has been no environmental harm and no changes are made at the facility.

The Commission has initiated the registration effort after reviewing the results of our Cumulative Water Use and Availability Study that highlighted major gaps in the data the Commission needs in order to effectively manage the water resources of the Basin.  We estimated that there are possibly more than 700 older, unpermitted facilities with an estimated water use of nearly one billion gallons per day. If accurate, this volume of water use is roughly equal to the total amount currently accounted for, and managed, by the Commission across the entire Basin.

Informational webinars explaining the registration program will be conducted by Commission staff on November 14 and December 13, 2017. To register for a webinar, visit www.srbc.net/grandfathering-registration.

If you need additional information or assistance, visit the website or contact Commission staff at GFregistration@srbc.net.

Thank you,

Susquehanna River Basin Commission

President Trump’s Executive Order designed to change the ACA rules.

This was not added for political reasons but general information as it relates to general health and welfare.   We have attempt to keep this site fact based and non-biased on many issues and apolitical.  We work with a benefit coordinator in our area and this was the information we got from them.

“On Oct. 12, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order affecting the ACA, following Congress’ failure to pass legislation repealing the law. Specifically, the executive order would make changes to certain ACA rules by expanding access to association health plans, health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and short-term, limited-duration insurance.

The executive order does not, itself, make any specific changes to existing regulations. Instead, it directs federal agencies to issue new regulations or guidance to implement the order’s policies. As a result, it is difficult to know how any existing ACA regulations will be specifically impacted before any further guidance is issued.

In any case, the immediate impact of the executive order will likely be small, since it will take time to implement policies, regulations and other guidance to carry out these changes. Therefore, employers should continue to prepare for upcoming requirements and deadlines to ensure full compliance.

It is our goal to guide you through this ongoing change. If you have any questions regarding this topic, please contact Creative Benefits, Inc. at 610.325.0200.”

Kind Regards,

Your Creative Benefits Team

Creative Benefits, Inc.
3809 West Chester Pike, Suite 190
Newtown Square, PA 19073
610-325-0200
http://www.creativebenefitsinc.com

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Ohio Waste Treatment Facilities Charged with Clean Water Act Violations

“The centralized waste treatment plant owned and operated by Patriot Water Treatment LLC and the city of Warren’s publicly-owned wastewater treatment plant in Trumbull County (Ohio) were sued by the FreshWater Accountability Project (www.FWAP.org) for significant and ongoing violations of the Clean Water Act. Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services (www.fairshake-els.org) brought the lawsuit on behalf of FreshWater Accountability Project through the Citizen Suit provision of the Clean Water Act that allows “any citizen” to “commence a civil action on his own behalf…against any person…who is alleged to be in violation of (A) an effluent standard or limitation under ⦋the Act⦌ or (B) an order issued by the Administrator or a State with respect to such a standard or limitation.”

It appears that the pretreatment standards may have not been meet and there is a question if the proper wastewater treatment assessments or wastewater characterization were conducted as part of an Industrial Pretreatment Permit.   I am not sure if the issue of “were not carried out to protect public health and safety or the bio-accumulative impact ”  is a real issue, because it would depend on the nature of the contaminant and potential to exposure.  With respect to radiological parameters radon half life is about 3 days and most radium and uranium would likely be bound to sludge and solids, so monitoring of the waste sludge would be a big concern.   No matter what – proper waste characterization and treatability studies should always be conducted.

Read more at http://fwap.org/ohio-waste-treatment-facilities-charged-with-clean-water-act-violations/

Lawyers –  lawsuit can be accessed at http://fwap.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Time-Stamped-FWAP-v.-Patriot-Water-Treatment-et-al.-Complaint.pdf

Training

“Fracking” Environmental Consequences

Protecting People Against Terrorist Attacks: Chemical, Biological, and Radiological (CBR) Threat Protection
Ethical Decision Making Webcast

Training Professionals – Career Training 

DEP Launches Electronic Informal File Review Request Form

The Department of Environmental Protection launched an electronic informal file review request form that provides a guide to DEP Regional Offices to promote a department-wide uniform standard process for receiving, processing and coordinating Informal File Reviews.

The form will assist department staff, preserve resources and remove ambiguity from the Informal File Review Process DEP makes a wealth of information available through its website including information about program areas, applicable laws and regulations, as well as, DEP policies and reports. Through the website’s eFACTS system, a variety of information about regulated facilities is available. If the information required is not available on the DEP website, you can request public information by scheduling an informal file review or requesting specific documentation under the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law (RTKL).

DEP recommends doing an informal review first; it is the easiest and quickest way for the public to access DEP records.
Records available under an informal file review include notifications, inspection reports, notices of violations, enforcement orders, applications, permit review letters, sample results, remediation plans, approvals, denials, pollution prevention plans and external correspondence. Internal email correspondence and records considered privileged (attorney-client, attorney work product or other privilege) or records otherwise considered confidential are not available under an informal file review.

Informal file reviews are scheduled between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Appointments are scheduled in half-day and full-day sessions. Hours can vary depending on office location.

For more information, visit DEP’s Informal File Review webpage.  The form.

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Webinars Natural Gas – Disposal Pit Emissions and the Link Between Wind and Natural Gas

Upper Green River Basin Disposal Pit Emission Study
When: August 25, 2016 | 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. EST
Where: Webinar

Richard L. Bowers, P.E., BCEE, GSI Environmental will discuss the air quality study of large produced water disposal ponds, part of the Wyoming Dept. of Environmental Quality Air Quality Division’s Upper Green River Basin Ozone Strategy. The goal of the study is to develop a method for accurately characterizing disposal pond air emissions using water samples.

Wind & Natural Gas as Energy Partners
When: September 15, 2016 | 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. EST
Where: Webinar

Dr. Michael C. Slattery, Professor, Director of the Institute for Environmental Studies, Texas Christian University, will discuss the environmental impacts of wind and natural gas, and how they can compliment each other as energy sources.

Other Educational Opportunities in Environment and Energy

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PASPGP-5 Training Marcellus Shale Coalition General Permit 5 Stream and Wetlands Encroachments

PASPGP-5 Training
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
4.5 Professional Development Hours (PDH) available!

The Marcellus Shale Coalition is pleased to offer to all oil and gas industry stakeholders the opportunity to attend a training session on the recently released Pennsylvania State Programmatic General Permit 5 (PASPGP-5).

Section 404(e) of the Clean Water Act (CWA) (33 U.S.C. §1344) provides for the issuance of Department of the Army (DA) general permits (GP) on a statewide basis, which operate in conjunction with a State regulatory program that protects the aquatic environment in a manner equivalent to the DA regulatory program, provided that the activities permitted under each category of such GPs are similar in nature and result in no more than minimal individual or cumulative adverse effects on the aquatic environment.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Dam Safety and Waterway Management Rules and Regulations establish a statewide permit program for protecting the waters of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth’s procedures for the granting of permits require the PA DEP to apply evaluation criteria consisting of alternatives analysis (for non-water dependent activities), avoidance techniques, the minimization of impacts, and if a permit is to be granted, compensatory mitigation. The evaluative criteria within the Commonwealth’s program are similar to Federal criteria under Section 404(b)(1) of the Federal Clean Water Act.

The PASPGP-5, effective on July 1, 2016, authorizes impacts to stream and wetland encroachments and crossings in Pennsylvania. During this training, attendees will be educated on the requirements within PASPGP-5. Additionally, an update on the proposed wetland and stream assessment protocols that were released for public comment in 2014 and are approaching finalization will be discussed. Lastly, industry experts will present case studies that will demonstrate five methods for pipeline stream crossings and review lessons learned.
To download the training flier, click here.
PRESENTERS
Adam D. Beck, P.E.
General Manager – Gathering Construction, CONSOL Energy
Colonel Edward P. Chamberlayne
Commander, Baltimore District, USACE
Wade Chandler
Chief, Pennsylvania Section, Baltimore District, USACE
Sid Freyermuth
Bureau of Waterways Engineering and Wetlands, PA DEP
Dave Goerman Jr.
Water Program Specialist, Bureau of Waterways Engineering and Wetlands, PA DEP
Ramez Ziadeh, P.E.
Director, Bureau of Waterways Engineering and Wetlands, PA DEP

Other online training programs (CEUs and PDHs) and Resources for Professionals.

Valley View Holds First High School Energy Fair Archbald Pennsylvania

Northeastern Pennsylvania gas companies went to Valley View High School in Lackawanna County to sponsor an energy fair introducing youth to energy careers.

The growth and dedication that has been displayed between the natural gas industry and educational institutions over the years has been staggering. While much of that relationship has been amongst local area colleges, high schools have been becoming closely involved too, as evidenced by the Energy Education Program offered at Valley View High School in Archbald.”

As this blog has noted before, the Energy Education Program offered by Valley View is the first of its kind in the state, as it brings energy-specific curriculum to the high school level and was developed as a collaboration between industry experts and school officials. The course covers nine different types of energy and regularly features speakers from the various industries.

But on Friday, Dec. 18, Valley View took the next big step in its program and hosted its first Energy Fair, which was planned and organized by the Energy Education Program class.

Read More about the Event and Program

We were planning to go to the event, but the presenter became ill.  Prior to the event, we did conduct training and educational course on energy conservation and Geothermal Energy.

Presentation on Sustainability Training (pdf)
Our Presentation on Careers in Energy – The Great Earth Engine (pdf)

More training Opportunities in Energy and the Environment

 How you can help the Keystone Clean Water Team ! Trying to encourage a positive change in Pennsylvania.