Tag Archive: FAA

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California Has a Huge Gas Leak, and Crews Can’t Stop It Yet

Sarah Zhang 
Crews from SoCalGas and outside experts work on a relief well at the Aliso Canyon facility above the Porter Ranch area of Los Angeles, on December 9, 2015.
© Dean Musgrove/Los Angeles Daily News/AP/Pool Crews from SoCalGas and outside experts work on a relief well at the Aliso Canyon facility above the Porter Ranch area of Los Angeles, on December 9, 2015.
While the world was hammering out a historic agreement to curb carbon emissions—urged along by California, no less—the state was dealing with an embarrassing belch of its own. Methane, a greenhouse gas 70 times more potent than carbon dioxide, has been leaking out of a natural gas storage site in southern California for nearly two months, and a fix won’t arrive until spring.

The site is leaking up to 145,000 pounds per hour, according to the California Air Resources Board. In just the first month, that’s added up to 80,000 tons, or about a quarter of the state’s ordinary methane emissions over the same period. The Federal Aviation Administration recently banned low-flying planes from flying over the site, since engines plus combustible gas equals kaboom.

Steve Bohlen, who until recently was state oil and gas supervisor, can’t remember the last time California had to deal with a gas leak this big. “I asked this question of our staff of 30 years,” says Bohlen. “This is unique in the last three or four decades. This is an unusual event, period.”

Families living downwind of the site have also noticed the leak—boy, have they noticed. Methane itself is odorless, but the mercaptan added to natural gas gives it a characteristic sulfurous smell. Over 700 households have at least temporarily relocated, and one family has filed a lawsuit against the Southern California Gas Company alleging health problems from the gas. The gas levels are too low for long-term health effects, according to health officials, but the odor is hard to ignore.

Given both the local and global effects of the gas leak, why is it taking so long to stop? The answer has to do with the site at Aliso Canyon, an abandoned oil field. Yes, that’s right, natural gas is stored underground in old oil fields. It’s common practice in the US, but largely unique to this country. The idea goes that geological sites that were good at keeping in oil for millions of years would also be good at keeping in gas.


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This is what the  rest  of the  Central United  States can  expect  once the pipeline is up and running. They  will shirk their responsibility.  Cover  their greedy , apathetic  butts and laugh all the way  to the  bank with the governments  blessing.   All those crooked politicians that  lent their weight , their voices and their  votes to this monstrosity should be  held accountable for their crimes against the people of these  States.  The  Administration should also be held accountable and punished for the crime of failing to protect the interests of the People for the purpose of furthering the pilfering agenda of those who own them.

~Desert Rose~
Oil Spill Collage photo OilSPillCOllage_zps91d122a3.jpg

Published on Apr 4, 2013

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has imposed an indefinate no-fly zone over an area in Arkansas recently affected by an oil spill. It’s sparked concern that the Exxon Mobil oil company may be trying to keep the TV cameras away from the scene. RT’s Marina Portnaya reports. READ MORE here http://on.rt.com/gt0j6d


FAA puts no-fly zone over Arkansas oil spill with Exxon employee in charge

Published time: April 04, 2013 03:59
Edited time: April 04, 2013 19:22

The FAA announced a temporary no-fly zone would be enacted indefinitely over the Arkansas oil spill. With word that an Exxon employee was controlling the airspace, though, speculation pointed to the idea the oil company was trying to keep the media away.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced Monday that until further notice, no aircraft will be allowed to operate over the Mayflower oil spill in Conway, Arkansas. While there was scant explanation for the mandate, it was “effective immediately” – and ordered to stay in place “until further notice.”

The FAA’s online posting raised some questions Wednesday, though, by noting that “only relief aircraft operations under direction of Tom Suhrhoff” are permitted in the area. On his LinkedIn profile, Suhrhoff lists himself not as an emergency expert or safety official, but as an aviation adviser for ExxonMobil. Prior to ExxonMobil, according to his profile on the professional social network, he worked as a US Army pilot for 24 years.

Still from YouTube video/LeeCamp2

Still from YouTube video/LeeCamp2

The only reasoning provided on FAA.gov for “temporary flight restrictions” was a “hazard” warning.

On April 1, the day flight activity was suspended, an aerial video surfaced online revealing the extent of the damage.

An FAA spokesman told reporters that the flying ban applied to aircraft flying at 1,000 feet or lower and within five nautical miles, so that emergency support are able to respond to the disaster immediately.

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Published on Mar 22, 2013

Hundreds of air-traffic control towers in the US are facing closure because of budget cuts. Without air traffic control towers, pilots will have to co-ordinate takeoffs and landings themselves. Al Jazeera’s John Hendren reports from Chicago.




FAA Closing 149 Regional Airport Control Towers, 40 Others Spared

Towers closed

Towers remaining open

Washington (CNN/WIBW) — The FAA on Friday announced it will close 149 regional airport control towers because of forced spending cuts — sparing 40 others that the FAA had been expected to shutter.

Topeka’s Forbes Field tower was removed for an initial list slated to close, however six Kansas towers failed to be saves. Those include Billard Airport and Manhattan Regional Airport.

A four-week, phased closure of the 149 control towers will begin on April 7, the FAA said.

The FAA had been expected to announce the closure of 189 low- or moderate-volume towers staffed by contractors. Before Friday’s announcement, it said it would consider keeping a tower open if the airport convinces the agency it is in the “national interest” to do so.

By congressional mandate, the FAA must cut nearly $600 million from its nearly $48 billion budget this fiscal year. Because the majority of its 47,000 employees are air traffic controllers, it is impossible to cut its budget without affecting controllers, the agency says.

Once the initial list was revealed in late February, several airports made the case to keep their towers open. Sen. Jerry Moran says locations, such as Forbes and Manhattan, tried to make the point that, with the military air traffic they experienced, their operations were vital to national interests.

Forbes Field is home to the 190th Air Refueling Wing.

Statement from Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, regarding the FAA’s decisions:

“The Administration’s decision to shutter these air traffic control towers is short-sighted and dangerous,” Sen. Moran said. “Closing control towers is equivalent to removing stop lights and stop signs from our roads. It is clear that this Administration is putting its top-line message, that spending cannot be cut without severe consequences, before the safety and well-being of Americans.


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