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Compliance & Standards Briefing: Study Questions ISO 14001 Value; Leaking Oil and Natgas; CERCLA Guide

A study of atmospheric pollution from 126 Spanish companies, 50 of which held ISO 14001 certification since 2001, found no significant difference in emissions between those that hold the certification and those that did not, EnvNewsBits has reported. The study is available here.

Exxon Mobil’s cleanup efforts at the Yellowstone River are ongoing, with the Unified Command investigating options for addressing heavily oiled flood debris piles with equipment or fixatives, especially in sensitive areas of the shoreline. The company submitted its revised work plan to EPA, who with its state partners will review it. The Associated Press has reported that 350 miles from the Yellowstone River spill, between 630 and 840 gallons of oil has leaked from a broken FX Drilling Co. line on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

Polyfoam Inc. of Northbridge, Mass. will install a regenerative thermal oxidizer system for volatile organic compound emissions and pay a $127,500 penalty to settle claims by the EPA and the Justice Department. According to the EPA, the company miscalculated and underreported its emissions from 2002 to this year.

Under an agreement between Chevron Corp. and the state of Maine, the company will pay a $900,000 fine for a leaking oil tank that contaminated the Penobscot Rivers decades ago. BusinessWeek says $380,000 of the penalty will go into the state’s oil spill cleanup fund while the remaining $520,000 is earmarked for a riverside public park and boat launch in Hampden.

ASTM has released its Standard Guide for Identifying and Complying with Continuing Obligations under CERCLA. According to the organization, the guide provides information and procedures to help parties assert a defense to liability related to the Comprehensive Emergency Response, Compensation and Liability Act, whether response actions have occurred, are ongoing, or may occur in the future.

A study on air pollution related to gas drilling at five sites in Fort Worth, Texas, found emissions exceeding state regulations as well as visible emissions at 296 gas wells, according to Bloomberg. A Fort Worth city spokesman said the study is the first to test for emissions during all phases of gas development, including drilling, hydraulic fracturing, well completion, pipeline operations and compression.

An Associated Press article says Poseidon Energy Services LLC will pay a $14,000 fine and clean up oil sludge and other materials at a waste dump near Pangburn and Searcy, Ark. The company has been operating a natural gas well since 2008.

Range Resources, a natural gas driller and operator, filed a lawsuit against some North Texas landowners for $3 million related to claims that the company’s wells caused natural gas to enter their water well, says Fuel Fix.com. The company says its reputation has been damaged.

Covanta Project’s trash-to-energy plant reportedly violated air emissions and the company has settled the matter with Connecticut authorities by agreeing to pay $400,000 in penalties and to comply with a re-start and testing plan, Stamford Plus reports. Annual emissions tests showed that Unit 2 at the Wallingford facility was exceeding permit limits for dioxin/furan levels.

Waste Recycling & News reports that a bill in the Michigan Legislature would raise the state’s waste disposal tipping fee from 7 cents per cubic yard to 12 cents. The measure would generate about $1.8 million for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and is seen as a temporary fix to needed funding and program reforms.

A steel pipe manufacturer, Tenaris Global Services, will pay $717,324 for failing to report toxic chemicals at its facilities in Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas, the EPA said. The chemicals included lead, manganese, nickel, nitrate compounds, xylene, chromium, nitric acid, glycol ethers and zinc compounds.

A Government Accountability Office report says states are underreporting violations of drinking water standards, the Hill reported. GAO also said states do not have adequate training, staff, guidance, or funding to report violations and that the EPA should restart its auditing process, which was stopped in 2010 due to lack of funding.

The EPA has extended comment for the cooling water intake structures proposed rule for another 30 days after the original July 19 deadline. The change will not affect the final rule issue date of July 27, 2012, the agency says.

The ZigBee Alliance, a global ecosystem of organizations creating wireless solutions for use in energy management, has a revised Smart Energy version 2.0 standard available for public review and comment at ZigBee’s website. Comments must be received by Aug 15.

More than 30 organizations have been recertified to the Carbon Trust Standard, which verifies that groups have measured, managed and reduced carbon emissions from their facilities. Energy Efficiency News said the early adopters lowered their emissions by more than 9,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

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