April 2016 Intel Brief

Doddridge gas well site ordered shut down following fire.
West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection officials announced Feb. 25 that four Antero Resources natural gas wells in Doddridge County will remain idle during an investigation into a fire at the company’s R.J. Smith Pad near West Union that was reportedly caused by a failure in a piece of processing equipment. The company is investigating and will make necessary repairs.

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Three former execs of utility charged in Fukushima disaster.
Three executives from Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) were charged with professional negligence Feb. 29 after three nuclear reactors broke down and released large amounts of radiation at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant in Japan following a March 2011 earthquake and tsunami incident, which killed 44 people and injured 13 others.

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Employees at Connecticut steel foundry exposed to electrical, chemical, mechanical and fire hazards and lack of protective equipment.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Connecticut-based PCC Structurals for 20 serious workplace safety and health violations Feb. 19 after a Federal inspection at the Groton, Conn., facility revealed that the company exposed workers to the risk of chemical burns, lacerations, amputations, eye or face injuries, electric shock, hearing loss, potential fires or explosions, and failed to inspect energy control procedures, among other violations. Proposed penalties total $90,000.

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2,000 gallons of saltwater, oil spill in Billings County.
The North Dakota Department of Health reported a spill of approximately 2,000 gallons of saltwater and oil from a pipeline at a White Rock Oil and Gas-owned site in Billings County Feb. 26. An unknown amount of the saltwater and oil spilled into a stock pond and officials continue to investigate.

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OSHA cites auto parts maker for forklift, machine hazards at Oregon, Ohio, plants after complaints of unsafe working conditions.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Oregon, Ohio-based Autoneum North America Inc., for one repeat and five serious safety violations Feb. 25 after complaints of unsafe working conditions prompted investigations at two Ohio, Ore., facilities which revealed that the company failed to develop and train workers on machine-specific procedures, operated forklifts improperly, and failed to train forklift operators, among other violations. Proposed penalties total $59,500.

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50,000 gallons of raw sewage spills in Myrtle Beach, cleanup underway.
Myrtle Beach city officials announced a 50,000-gallon sewage spill, near the Kampgrounds of America campground Feb. 28 was caused by a failed air release valve on a sewer force main that leaked into a nearby drainage ditch. Crews stopped the leak, disinfected the drainage ditch, and worked to repair the air release valve Feb. 29.

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Former Chesapeake CEO charged with bid-rigging of land leases.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced that the former chief executive officer (CEO) of Chesapeake Energy Corp was charged March 1 with conspiring to rig bids to buy oil and natural gas leases in Oklahoma by allegedly setting up a conspiracy involving two energy companies that agreed not to bid against each other in purchasing oil and natural gas leases in northwest Oklahoma from 2007 to 2012.

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Underground tank leaks 10,000 gallons of gas into soil.
The North Dakota Department of Health announced March 1 that 10,000 gallons of premium gasoline leaked from an underground storage tank at a Bakken Oil Patch gas station along U.S. Highway 85 after gasoline was put into a Patriot Fuels LLC tank Feb. 25. Officials are monitoring the site and requested that the company investigate the extent of the leak.

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Storm pounds western Washington, thousands without power.
Utility crews worked March 2 to restore power to 15,000 customers in western Washington who remained without service following severe storms March 1 that knocked out power to 75,000 customers due to thunderstorms and strong winds.

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NRC investigates two hiccups at Perry NPP.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission reported Feb. 29 that it began conducting a special investigation at the FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company-managed Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Ohio after two separate incidents in February caused a manual shutdown of the reactor due to an increase in temperature in the suppression pool, and caused a temporary loss of power to certain plant cooling equipment.

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Boil water advisory for northeast Brunswick.
Brunswick County Public Utilities issued a boil water advisory March 2 for Northwest, Sandy Creek, Leland, Navassa, and Belville following a water main break at the Bell Swamp Water Tank in Winnabow.

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Debris blockage causes sewage spill near Chattahoochee tributary.
The Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources announced that debris in the sewer system caused approximately 6,681 gallons of sewage to spill from a manhole into a tributary of the Chattahoochee River in the Buford area Feb. 29. Officials posted signs alerting residents and spread lime in an effort to reduce the effect of the spill.

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Lead in Morristown hospital’s tap water may have been there since January.
Atlantic Health System officials reported March 1 that patients, employees and guests at Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey who ingested tap water at the hospital between Jan. 22-Feb. 25 may have been exposed to lead, following testing that found lead levels which exceeded mandated standards. The hospital is using bottled water for drinking and food preparation until further notice while authorities investigate the source of contamination.
Crews battle chemical plant fire in Cartersville. A March 2 fire at Chemical Products Corporation in Bartow County, Georgia, prompted nearby business, schools, and homes to be put on a soft lockdown after a chemical powder, anthraquinone caught fire due to an electrical short in one of the buildings at the plant. The incident was contained and one firefighter sustained minor injuries.

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Nuclear plants at reduced power.
Two Toledo-area nuclear power plants were operating at reduced power for multiple days including DTE Energy’s Fermi 2 nuclear reactor due to repairs on a valve in the feedwater system, and FirstEnergy Corp.’s Davis-Besse nuclear plant as part of a “coast-down period” in preparation for an upcoming refueling and maintenance outage.

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OSHA investigation finds St. Marys’ manufacturer willfully exposed employees to dangerous machine hazards.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Pennsylvania-based P/M National Inc., for one willful and five serious safety violations February 27 after an alleged workplace complaint prompted an investigation at the St. Marys facility, which revealed a lack of machine guarding throughout the facility and found that the owners did not install guards on new metal presses and removed guards from the old presses. Proposed penalties total $60,200.

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EPA and Franklin County, Kan., reach settlement on Clean Water Act violations.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 7 reported March 2 that it reached a settlement with Franklin County, Kan., to resolve National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit violations under the Clean Water Act following an April 2015 investigation at the Franklin County Construction and Demolition Landfill and Transfer Station in Ottawa, which found solid waste in storm drains and determined that the county failed to conduct self-inspections, among other violations. The county will be required to submit a report detailing how it came into compliance with its NPDES permit and will be required to pay $20,000.

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BHP agrees to $US2.3b Samarco settlement.
Brazilian authorities reached a $2.3 billion settlement with Samarco Mineracao S.A., Vale SA, and Australia’s BHP Billiton Ltd., March 2 after a dam collapsed at the Samarco mine in Brazil’s Mina Gerais state in November 2015, which caused a massive spill of waste material, polluted a major river, killed at least 17 people, and left hundreds of residents displaced. The companies will be required to set up a fund for restoration work and will be required to provide compensations for damages caused by the incident.

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Bird feces apparently caused New York nuclear reactor outage.

Entergy Corp officials reported that the cause of a December 2015 shutdown at its Indian Point Energy Center nuclear reactor plant in Albany, N.Y., was due to bird feces that caused an electric arc between wires on a feeder line at the transmission tower. Plant authorities are working to revise preventative maintenance for future Federal inspections.

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