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Ohio Utica Shale

ProPublica looks at U.S. pipeline safety

By Bob Downing Published: November 15, 2012

From ProPublica Communications:

"Since 1986, pipeline accidents have killed more than 500 people, injured over 4,000, and cost nearly $7 billion dollars in property damages," ProPublica's Lena Groeger reports. Using government data, she's mapped out thousands of these incidents -- spanning from San Bruno, CA to Allentown, PA -- in an interactive news application , which provides detailed information about the cause and costs of reported pipeline incidents going back nearly three decades.

Groeger explains that, "One of the biggest problems contributing to leaks and ruptures is pretty simple: pipelines are getting older. More than half of the nation's pipelines are at least 50 years old." Corrosion, weld failures, and unforeseen natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy also lead to dozens of incidents a year.

And while two laws established a federal role in pipeline safety in the '60s and '70s, the then-new rules didn't apply to pipelines that already existed. Older pipelines were essentially grandfathered into less stringent testing, Groeger writes, and old pipelines in rural areas are often also neglected.

She goes on to note the problems caused by "gathering lines" which lack any regulation by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA); serious incidents, like the one in Michigan's Kalamazoo River, which cost $800 million and remains the most expensive pipeline spill in U.S. history; and possible (but expensive) safety measures that may help prevent such incidents in the future.

Read the full report here - - and see Groeger's Pipeline Safety Tracker of major pipeline accidents from 1986 to the present.




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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.