Environmental Charges Laid Against Oilfield Company After Leak

Sonic Oilfield Service Ltd.: Environmental Charges Laid Against Oilfield Company After Leak By Alberta Government

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. – The Alberta government has laid charges against a Medicine Hat oilfield service company under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.

The charges stem from a joint investigation with the City of Medicine Hat’s Fire Department, Public Services Division and Environmental Utilities into a release of a volatile and highly flammable petroleum product in June 2011.

The Alberta government did not say what the petroleum product was or how and where it was released.

Sonic Oilfield Service Ltd. is charged with three counts of releasing or permitting the release of a substance into the environment that may cause a significant adverse effect

Other charges include failing to report the release of a substance into the environment that may cause an adverse effect and improper disposal of waste.

The company’s first court appearance is set for Jan. 15 in Medicine Hat.

The Alberta government did not say what the petroleum product was and how it was released.

See article in the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/12/14/sonic-oilfield-service-ltd-leak_n_2304274.html

Michigan Proposes Fracking Rules To Protect Water

Concerns about the potential environmental effects of fracking have spurred new regulations in Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality proposed new regulations this month that would slap reporting and monitoring requirements on drilling companies, affecting how oil and gas companies approach water issues.

For instance, “fracking operations will be required to install a well to monitor groundwater levels if there is a water supply well within 1,320 feet of the fracking operation,” Crain’s Detroit Business reported.

Another rule would officially require that “permit applicants use the state’s water withdrawal assessment tool to prevent any adverse impacts to rivers or streams,” according to MLive Media Group.

The proposal includes a push for greater transparency. One “would require operators to disclose information on chemical additives used in fracking fluid on a web-based registry,” MLive said.

John Griffin, executive director of Associated Petroleum Industries of Michigan, said some of the proposals are just “common sense.”

“I’ve been around the state talking to groups about hydraulic fracturing,” he said in the MLive piece. “There’s a lot of nonsense and a lot of fear, but on the issue of water and chemical disclosure, I don’t think we’ve done a good enough job explaining ourselves, so I think this will help.”

Crain’s Detroit Business pointed out the upside for industry: “Those interested in fracking, should remember that legislation has been introduced in the State legislature that would be much more restrictive on fracking operations than the proposed rules.” The rules are up for public comment.

Last month, University of Michigan researchers released a major study on how fracking could impact their home state. Fracking is not as common in Michigan as it is in other states, but experts anticipate that the practice will become more widespread.

Effects on Michigan’s environment could be significant, the study said. That includes “impacts on aquatic and terrestrial organisms, loss of stream riparian zones, and reduction of surface waters available to plants and animals due to the lowering of groundwater levels.”

By Sara Jerome.  From Water Online.

ULTRATECH CELEBRATES ITS 20TH YEAR IN BUSINESS!

January marks a very significant milestone for UltraTech International, Inc. Twenty years ago we began our journey to become the leaders in the field of spill containment. Not only have we achieved that leadership position but we’ve become the premier providers of environmental compliance products in the stormwater management, facility protection and construction compliance categories. We’ve also, more recently, begun new journeys into the oil spill, microbe technology and nanotechnology coating fields.

By providing our distributors with the largest, most diverse and most innovative product line we have been able to grow and become more successful in each of the last 20 years. We know and understand that our distributor’s success is our success and we remain committed and loyal to that end. We have never “rested on our laurels” or “coasted” on current product successes but have been relentless in our new product development. This milestone will not change that mindset. We will continue to do what we do best. What we’ve excelled at for twenty years. Innovate.

We’ve grown from a four man operation to employing twenty-three people in our Jacksonville, Florida headquarters. From renting a tiny workspace in a shady section of town to operating out of our own modern, newly remodeled office building. Our factory has grown along with us to over forty-five employees and more than 110,000 square feet! We started with just a few distributors throughout the U.S. and now have over 1,500 distributors covering 40 countries worldwide.

It’s been an incredible twenty years and we look forward to many, many more! Thank you for all of your hard work, efforts and support!

Maine Company Faces Penalty for Violations of Oil Pollution Prevention Regulations

(Boston, Mass. – August 2, 2012) – A Maine company that provides motor vehicle services and fuel oil sales is facing a fine of up to $177,500 for violations of the Clean Water Act. 

EPA recently filed a complaint against the J&S Oil Co., Inc. for failing to maintain and fully implement an oil spill prevention plan, which contributed to the release of approximately 1,500 gallons of used motor oil from a tanker truck at the facility.

The oil release in March 2012 prompted an emergency response from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and EPA.  The company also hired an oil spill response company to contain the spilled oil and dispose of contaminated soils. 

EPA determined that the company had failed to fully maintain and implement it Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan, as required by the Clean Water Act. SPCC plans specify spill prevention measures at facilities that store oil above threshold amounts and help ensure that a tank failure or oil spill does not lead to oil reaching bodies of water.  In its complaint EPA alleges that the company failed to provide for adequate secondary containment for some of the facility’s above-ground storage tanks and the tanker trucks parked at the facility; failed to provide secondary containment for the loading/unloading rack; failed to maintain adequate training records of oil-handling personnel in the operation and maintenance of equipment to prevent discharges; and, failed to provide adequate security for the facility.

More information on federal oil spill prevention requirements: http://www.epa.gov/ne/superfund/er/oilstor.htm and http://www.epa.gov/oilspill

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Fire Departments, Hazmat Teams and Stormwater

Typical pollutants found on roadways include metals (lead, copper, zinc, cadmium, etc.), sediment, oil, solvents, and grease.  These pollutants can be mobilized by firefighting activities, spills or emergency response cleanups and can be trasported to storm drains or washes.  Chemicals from car and/or engine fires or spills of hazardous substances can contaminate streets, washes adn stormwater.  If wastewater from fire fighting or emergency cleanup activities enters storm drains or washes, contaminants can eventually reach surface waters.  In most juristictions, wastewater from fire fighting activities is allowed to discharge to the storm drainage system provided the wastewater is not a source of pollutants.  Emergency services should protect storm drains whenever possible, when responding to spills.

Product Market Applications:

Stormwater Needs At Utility and Power Plants

There are a lot of potential stormwater violations for public utilities and power plants alike.  There are a lot of different contaminants from oils to heavy metals to coal dust.  See a few fines below, as well as applications for our products as solutions.

A Western Massachusetts coal-fired power station is facing federal fines of more than $177,000 for allegedly discharging muddy storm water and other pollutants into the Connecticut River.

The Taunton Municipal Lighting Plant may pay a penalty of up to $157,500 for violations of the federal Clean Water Act, according to an administrative complaint filed by EPA.

The complaint alleges Hilo Coast Power Co., a subsidiary of Brewer Environmental Industries, improperly discharged waste water and lacked storm-water controls at its Pepeekeo Mill Power Generating Facility, a coal-fired power plant that produces nearly 20 percent of the Big Island’s power, mostly along the Hamakua coast.  Poma said Brewer, which has 30 days to respond, has begun negotiations with EPA and hopes to negotiate a “successful fine.” The EPA said the complaint could lead to fines of up to $137,500.

Product Applications:

Municipalities Not Exempt From Stormwater Fines

Municipalities are not exempt from Stormwater fines and must follow the EPA regs for Stormwater.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has filed individual complaints against the municipalities of Cayey, Hatillo, Las Piedras, Loiza, Rio Grande and Toa Alta in Puerto Rico for failing to comply with federal Clean Water Act requirements related to stormwater management for small municipal sewer systems. The six municipalities face a total amount of $291,177 in fines.

The town of Atkinson, New Hampshire has been fined for violating the federal Clean Water Act (CWA).   Atkinson paid a penalty of $3,500 for discharging storm water into a number of tributaries of the Spicket River and Little River without submitting its annual report to EPA as required by an EPA issued permit to discharge storm water.

Product Applications:

Stormwater Opportunities in the Mining & Aggregate Markets

The Mining and Aggregate Markets have a lot of potential environmental issues.  Below are a few fines and UltraTech solutions …

A New Hampshire sand and gravel operator will pay a fine of $250,000 to settle allegations that it violated storm water and wetlands requirements contained in the federal Clean Water Act. The sand and gravel mining operation in Londonderry, N.H. is located on a 300 acre site.

The Kinross DeLamar Mining Company will pay a $35,000 fine for its failure to implement adequate stormwater controls at its DeLamar Mine, according to an order issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Environmental Protection Agency says Usibelli Coal Mine, Inc., will pay a $60,000 penalty to resolve water permit violations and unpermitted discharges, in Alaska.

Market Segment: Mining & Aggregates
Key Contacts: Safety Manager, Environmental Manager, Facilities Manager
Product Market Applications: