U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule last week that requires underground coal mines, industrial wastewater treatment systems, industrial waste landfills and magnesium production facilities that have C02 equivalent emissions that exceed 25,000 tons to begin collecting greenhouse gas emissions data on January 1, 2011.
Coal mines, industrial wastewater treatment systems and industrial landfills emit methane, which is more than 20 times as powerful as carbon dioxide at warming the atmosphere. Magnesium production releases sulfur hexafluoride. Sulfur hexafluoride is an even more potent greenhouse gas than than methane, and can stay in the atmosphere for thousands of years.
This final rule amends the standing Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program requirements by adding these four additional source categories.
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Continue reading EPA: New greenhouse gas reporting requirements for four source categories
A research team examining water within a five-mile radius of the leaking BP wellhead has found very high levels of methane.
When oil is extracted from the ground, it contains a large amount of methane. Excess methane is usually removed by engineers before the crude oil is refined.
The methane that is gushing from the broken well is dissolving into the seawater. Although methane occurs naturally in sea water, excessive amounts can encourage the growth of microbes. Microbes can deplete water of oxygen needed to support marine life.
“At some locations, we saw depletions of up to 30 percent of oxygen based on its natural concentration in the waters. At other places, we saw no depletion of oxygen in the waters. We need to determine why that is,” said Texas A&M University oceanography professor John Kessler, who is part of the research team.
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Continue reading Reuters: Very high methane levels in the Gulf of Mexico
A natural-gas pipeline owned by Houston-based Enterprise Products Partners LP exploded in Cleburne, Texas, Monday when utility workers drilling holes to install power-line poles struck a gas line, killing one and injuring at least seven.
The blast could be seen from miles away.
Authorities are trying to determine if the gas line was marked.
This is the third natural-gas pipeline explosion in the U.S. within four days. On June 3, a well partially-owned by another Houston-based company, EOG Resources Inc., blew out in Pennsylvania, and Sunday, a Chief Oil & Gas well exploded in West Virginia after workers drilling for natural gas hit a pocket of methane.
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Continue reading AP: Authorities investigate Texas natural gas explosion