Enbridge saw crack 5 years before Kalamazoo River oil spill
WASHINGTON – The chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board this morning said Enbridge Energy Partners detected the defect that led to a massive oil spill in south-central Michigan five years before it occurred, but failed to do anything about it.
Opening a hearing on the pipeline spill near Marshall in July 2010, NTSB Chairwoman Deborah A.P. Hersman said an investigation into the rupture of the 30-inch pipeline revealed several concerns, including a lack of regulatory oversight and a delay on the part of Enbridge to respond to the spill led to “significant” environmental damage.
She also said that at the time of the spill, Enbridge’s closest oil spill response contractor was out of state and more than 10 hours away.
[Photo of booms collecting oil on the Kalamazoo river, image credit: Andre Jackson / DFP]
The past couple of weeks have seen some historic extreme weather events. Our staff has compiled a list of just a few stories from the past days:
- The worst monsoon floods in a decade hit India’s northeast, killing 81 and displacing 2 million. Pictured above: “A family rides a raft made of banana plant as they search for dry land in the flooded village of Burhaburhi village, about 65 kilometers (40 miles) east of Guahati, India, Friday, June 29, 2012.”
- In Western Kentucky it is so hot and dry that in some places even the weeds won’t grow.
- Utility crews from around the country scrambled to the mid-Atlantic region Sunday to clear debris and help restore power in the aftermath of severe windstorms that swept in from the Midwest, leaving millions of customers without electricity as record-setting temperatures baked the nation.
- A city in Kansas at the center of last week’s heat wave is written up in the New York Times: “A brutal heat wave here crested at 115 degrees. Crops wilted. Streets emptied. Farmers fainted in the fields. Air-conditioners gave up.”
- Climate Central reports that for the year-to-date, there have been 40,113 warm temperature records set or tied, compared to just 5,835 cold records.
- The nation’s Agriculture Undersecretary on the Colorado wildfires: “The climate is changing, and these fires are a very strong indicator of that.”
Let us know if we’ve missed any stories that impact you.
[Image credit: Anupam Nath / AP]
A good point raised by the top commenter on this Washington Post story: “Maybe now is the time to consider stopping the production of corn based ethanol.”
Drought threatens U.S. food prices
A drought in the Corn Belt and elsewhere in the Midwest has pushed the bushel price of corn up about 27 percent in the past month alone, and there is little sign of rain in the near future, a forecast that could soon push up food costs across the country, meteorologists say.
[Image credit: Seth Perlman/AP]
Have you been following all of the extreme weather news lately? We’ve made a small list to keep track of the past week’s disturbing developments and connect the dots:
- “An unusually early spate of tropical storms has been keeping forecasters busy this year, and now Tropical Storm Debby, the fourth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, has set a record — this season marks the first time in more than 150 years that so many storms have showed up so early.” (Our Amazing Planet)
- “Colorado is having its worst wildfire season in a decade, with more than a half dozen forest fires burning across the state’s parched terrain.” (AP)
- But it’s not just Colorado — “As of Friday, there were 15 large, uncontained wildfires being fought across the country, most in six Western states - Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona - the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, reported.” (Reuters)
- “North Korea has dispatched soldiers to pour buckets of water on parched fields and South Korean officials have scrambled to save a rare mollusk threatened by the heat, as the worst dry spell in a century grips the Korean peninsula.” (AP)
- “Severe thunderstorms threatened mid-Atlantic states on Monday, forcing airports to delay heavily traveled flights between New York and Boston… ‘This is a dangerous storm,’ the NWS said, bringing ‘damaging winds, large hail and deadly cloud to ground lightning.’” (Reuters)
[Image credit: Ahn Young-joon / AP]