Thursday, June 18, 2015

Pope Francis just delivered a game-changer on climate change

Yossi Cadan -
This morning Pope Francis released an unprecedented call to action on climate change, in a letter to 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide.
That's right: one the world's most prominent moral voices just cast climate action as a moral imperative. Whether or not you're Catholic, this is huge news, and you can help make sure it sends ripples near and far: 
The Vatican’s stance couldn’t be clearer: climate change impacts us all, especially the poor. To prevent its catastrophic consequences we need an ethical and economic shift, a revolution in hearts and minds. Pope Francis’s encyclical letter puts the link between climate change and human activity center stage at a crucial moment for the climate movement:
"Humanity is called to create awareness of the need to change styles of life, production and consumption, to combat this warming or, at least, the human causes that produce or accentuate it.”
First Page of the Pope's letter. Link to full text below.

Dan Misleh, Catholic Climate Covenant:
Early this morning, the Vatican released Pope Francis's encyclical letter on ecology, Laudato Si'.  It is a beautiful document.  It says all of the best and truest things that could be said about our place here on Earth, "our common home," in the words of Pope Francis.
Pope Francis calls us to understand our role among the deeply connected creatures of God's creation.  He calls us to lead simpler lives that are more authentic and less driven by consumption.  Most of all, he calls us to care for the Earth and its people.
As you know, we've been hard at work on activities to support this incredible moment.  
  • The full encyclical is here.
  • A list of quotations from the encyclical arranged by subject is here.
  • A live stream of a press conference with Cardinal Wuerl and Archbishop Kurtz is here. The press conference begins at 8:30 AM EST. 
In peace,
Dan Misleh
Catholic Climate Covenant

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Savoy Energy seeks to place underground injection well in Raisin Twp.

Hello everybody,

I just send the below email to William Tong, U.S. EPA Water Division, UIC Branch (WU-16J), 77 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604-3590 to state my objection against issuing of such a permit, and to request a public hearing in Adrian, Michigan before the permit is issued. Please support that the EPA organizes a hearing by quickly emailing Mr. Tong and asking for it. Deadline is 6/30.

Thanks, Tom

William Tong
U.S. EPA Water Division, UIC Branch (WU-16J)
77 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604-3590
By Email to:  

Date   June 13, 2015
Concern:          Permit application for a a Class II injection well by Savoy Energy L.P. off of East Valley Road and Breckel Highway in Raisin Township, Lenawee County, Michigan

Dear Mr. Tong,

I suggest that the EPA withholds the requested permit for a Class II injection well due to the risk of aquifer contamination (Bloetscher und Gao 2014; Maliva et al. 2007), especially in fractured geological strata and increased tectonic activity caused by multiple injection wells (Frohlich 2012). The major risk factors are failures of well casings, especially cement fatigue failures (Yuan et al. 2013). Such failures become more likely because current regulations require that operators maintain and monitor wells just for 2 years after plugging the wells. This is one of the reasons why the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) stated that the “EPA Program to Protect Underground Sources from Injection of Fluids Associated with Oil and Gas Production Needs Improvement” (U.S. Government Accountability Office 2014).
In addition, the applicant of the disputed permit application, Savoy Energy L.P. has a track record of cutting corners and running its operations not in accordance with best practices – as recently shown in their violations of the Clean Air Act (EPA-5-15-MI-04). It is therefore doubtful that the applicant will show more respect for the Clean Water Act.

I therefore request that the EPA should organize a public comment session in Adrian before issuing the permit.

Thank you in advance!

Dr. Thomas WaƟmer

Bloetscher F, Gao J. 2014. Analyses of Physical Data to Evaluate the Potential to Identify Class I Injection Well Fluid Migration Risk. Water Resources Management 28(15):5283-5296.
Frohlich C. 2012. Two-year survey comparing earthquake activity and injection-well locations in the Barnett Shale, Texas. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109(35):13934-13938.
Maliva RG, Guo W, Missimer T. 2007. Vertical migration of municipal wastewater in deep injection well systems, South Florida, USA. Hydrogeology Journal 15(7):1387-1396.
U.S. Government Accountability Office. 2014. DRINKING WATER: EPA Program to Protect Underground Sources from Injection of Fluids Associated with Oil and Gas Production Needs Improvement. Washington DC: U.S. Government Accountability Office. p. 103.

Yuan Z, Gardoni P, Schubert J, Teodoriu C. 2013. Cement failure probability analysis in water injection well. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 107:45-49.

Monday, June 8, 2015

After More Than 1 Year The EPA Finalizes Findings of Savoy's Violations of the Clean Air Act

The most important parts are on page 9 and 10:

65. Due to numerous odor complaints from citizens, the Savoy Adrian 25 Facility emissions of air contaminants have caused injurious effects to human health or safety, animal life, plant life of significant economic value, or property, or caused unreasonable interference with the comfortable enjoyment of life and property, in violation of Michigan Rule 336.1901 and the Michigan SIP.

66. Savoy’s above-referenced violations have caused, may and will cause excess hazardous air pollutant (HAP) and VOC emissions.
67. Excess HAP emissions can cause serious health effects, such as birth defects and cancer, and harmful environmental and ecological effects.
68.  Excess VOC emissions can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches, loss of coordination, nausea; damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system. Some VOCs can cause cancer in animals and some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans.
69. VOC emissions are a precursor to ground-level ozone. Breathing ozone contributes to a variety of health problems including chest pain, coughing, throat irritation, and congestion. It can worsen bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. Ground-level ozone also can reduce lung function and inflame lung tissue. Repeated exposure may permanently scar lung tissue.

Unfortunately, the email to blogger function does not post attachments - and to post PDFs on blogger is unnecessarily complicated - therefore I post the document as PNG images.