Regulatory

EPA leader listens to water concerns in Mississippi capital

EPA Administrator Michael Regan said Tuesday that the agency is still working on a plan to bring long-term improvements to the water system in Mississippi’s capital city, which came perilously close to collapsing more than two months ago.

Washington Watch: INGAA Opposes New Pipeline Safety Mandates

(UC) — Interstate gas pipelines will have nine months to comply with some of the significant new safety regulations from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. The agency has been working on these rules for a decade ever since the San Bruno, Calif., gas explosion on a PG&E pipeline in 2010, which killed eight people.

Supreme Court appears open to scaling back agency enforcement power

(UC) — During back-to-back oral arguments, justices appeared sympathetic to constitutional challenges to the use of in-house administrative law judges to adjudicate conflicts inside the Federal Trade Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission.

Pending Legislation Easing Regulatory Roadblocks for Pipelines?

(UC) — For interstate pipelines, what was important about the Inflation Reduction Act was not just what was in the bill – the new methane fee – but what was not in the bill. Initially insisting pipeline permitting reforms be part of the bill, Sen. Joe Manchin relented under pressure from Democrats.

Ex-Michigan governor asks court to drop Flint water charges

Lawyers for former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder urged a judge Tuesday to dismiss misdemeanor charges related to the Flint water crisis, a week after another judge took that step with seven other former officials.

Illinois firm settles for $2.5 million in 2017 fatal pipeline construction explosion case

An Illinois company has agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle safety charges from an explosion that killed three welders and injured seven at a Louisiana containerboard mill in 2017, as well as other alleged safety violations.

Regulators propose $125K settlement with coal company over water pollution

West Virginia regulators have proposed a $125,000 settlement of a penalty order with a Kentucky coal company for alleged water pollution violations, according to a published report.

Judge tosses charges against 7 people in Flint water crisis

A Michigan judge dismissed charges Tuesday against seven people in the Flint water scandal, including two former state health officials blamed for deaths from Legionnaires' disease.

Hawaii fines US Navy $8.8 million for unauthorized sewage release

The Hawaii Department of Health said it has fined the U.S. Navy $8.8 million for repeatedly discharging untreated or partially treated sewage into state waters from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Jackson’s water system at the mercy of political spending rhetoric

Years before people in Jackson were recently left without running water for several days, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves claimed to have helped block money to fund water system repairs in the capital city.

Judge approves $230 million settlement in California oil spill case

The corroded undersea pipeline ruptured north of Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara County, northwest of Los Angeles. All American Pipeline later estimated that 142,800 gallons spilled.

Ex-Maui official, businessman plead guilty for wastewater contract bribes

A former Maui County official and the Honolulu businessman who paid him $2 million in bribes in exchange for more than $19 million in wastewater contracts each pleaded guilty Monday in one of the largest bribery cases ever prosecuted in Hawaii.

State cracks down on Flint company after Flint River spill

State regulators on Monday ordered a Flint chemical company to truck wastewater to a water treatment plant, weeks after it was blamed for an oily discharge in the Flint River.

NTSB opens public docket for investigation into fatal Coolidge, Ariz. pipeline rupture

(UC) — The National Transportation Safety Board opened the public docket Thursday as part of its ongoing investigation of the fatal, Aug. 15, 2021, natural gas transmission pipeline rupture and fire near Coolidge, Arizona.

Prosecutors in Hawaii unseal public corruption, bribery case surrounding wastewater contracts

Milton Choy, the owner of a Honolulu company that provides wastewater services and supplies, is accused of bribing Stewart Olani Stant, who was a wastewater manager and then director of the Maui County Department of Environmental Management.

Changes to OSHA’s Severe Violator Program to strengthen enforcement, compliance

To strengthen enforcement and improve compliance with workplace safety standards and reduce worker injuries and illnesses, the U.S. Department of Labor is expanding the criteria for placement in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

EPA inspector general probes Mississippi capital water woes

An independent watchdog in the Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday it’s being brought in to investigate the troubled water system in Mississippi’s capital city.

EPA blocked from appealing key ruling as Flint residents pursue water claims

A judge blocked the Environmental Protection Agency from appealing a key ruling in a long-running lawsuit claiming negligence by the federal government in Flint’s lead-contaminated water in 2014-15.

FERC Rate Change Posting Proposal Controversial

Responding to a June 2021 petition from interstate pipeline customers, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has proposed upgraded website posting requirements when pipelines file for a Section 4 rate change.

Oil company settles criminal cases in California pipeline spill

An oil company pleaded guilty in federal court to negligently discharging crude off the Southern California coast when its underwater pipeline ruptured last year, a spill that closed miles of shoreline and shuttered fisheries.

Water company fined for violating drinking water regulations at Oxford treatment plant

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has assessed a $13,500 penalty to the Aquarion Water Company for violating drinking water regulations at its Oxford water treatment plant after a customer notified MassDEP of "slippery" water while showering, resulting in a skin rash.

Activists contest Clean Water Act permit, argue dredged material will damage wetlands

(UC) — Environmental groups and fishermen told a federal appeals court on Wednesday that the approval of the US Army Corps of Engineers' Clean Water Act permit for the Rio Grande LNG project would cause sustained damage to wetlands in southern Texas, Reuters reported.

HammerHead engineer appointed as US rep to International Organization for Standardization

After more than a two-year absence, the United States once again has a vote in pipe rehabilitation standards established by the International Organization for Standardization.

Oil spill settlement for undisclosed amount reached with California businesses

A pipeline operator said that it has reached a settlement with Southern California tourism companies, fishermen and other businesses that sued after a crude oil spill off the coast last year near Huntington Beach.

New Mexico oilfield regulators reach $1.8 million settlement with company

State oil and gas regulators say they have reached a financial settlement with XTO Permian Operating to resolve violation notices at wastewater injection sites in southeastern New Mexico.

Judge rules to keep Michigan-Enbridge pipeline dispute in federal court

A federal judge Thursday kept jurisdiction over a lawsuit seeking to close an oil pipeline crossing a section of the Great Lakes, rejecting Michigan's effort to shift the case to state court.

FCC rejects SpaceX’s Starlink, LTD bid for $2 billion in broadband subsidies

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rejected SpaceX's Starlink and LTD Broadband's long-form applications for more than $2 billion in internet service subsidies via the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund program, the Commission said on Wednesday.

Audit: California too slow to repair infrastructure of contaminated water systems

The water that comes out of the tap for more than 900,000 Californians is unsafe to drink and the state isn’t acting fast enough to help clean it up, state auditors said in a report.

Defense seeks sanctions against prosecutors in Flint water case

Lawyers for Michigan’s former health director asked a judge Monday to sanction prosecutors who are trying to instantly turn invalid indictments into a fresh round of charges in the Flint water scandal.

Textile maker to close Georgia plant employing 260 after former owner illegally dumped wastewater

The plant on the Ogeechee River had a different owner, King America Finishing, in 2011 when more than 30,000 fish died near the facility and further downstream. Regulators never directly tied the plant to the fish kill, but discovered King America had been illegally dumping treated wastewater into the river for years.