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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Supreme Court Rejects Ruling Awarding Lifetime Health Benefits

January 27, 2015 12:26 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a lower court ruling that awarded lifetime health care benefits to union retirees at a West Virginia chemical plant, ordering the court to reconsider the matter. The unanimous ruling from the high court represents a victory for M&G Polymers USA, which first sought to require retiree...

Top Chemical Facility Safety Trends Of 2015

January 26, 2015 10:39 am | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.Info | Articles | Comments

As the federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has a bird’s-eye view on safety trends impacting the industry. In a recent interview with Chem.info, the CSB’s Chairman, Rafael Moure-Eraso, pinpointed three areas where he sees chemical facilities concentrating...

Montana City to Hear if Water Safe to Drink After Oil Spill

January 22, 2015 3:03 pm | by MATTHEW BROWN, Associated Press | News | Comments

Initial tests show water supplies in a Montana city show no sign of a cancer-causing element for the first time since they were contaminated by a weekend crude oil spill, a state official said Thursday, raising hopes that thousands of residents can soon start drinking from their taps.

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Ex-Freedom Industries President Faces New Fraud Charge

January 22, 2015 1:45 pm | by PAM RAMSEY, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

A federal grand jury in Beckley handed up a superseding indictment on Wednesday against former Freedom President Gary Southern and three other former executives. The indictment charges Southern with a new count of fraud by interstate commercial carrier and restates the original indictment's charges against him and the others.

Federal Judge Strikes Down Local Fracking Ban

January 22, 2015 1:05 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.info | News | Comments

U.S. District Judge James Browning ruled Mora County's 2013 ban on oil and gas drilling is unconstitutional, prohibiting corporate activities protected by the First Amendment. Browning's order also said the ban violates state law and that it could not be enforced on lands owned by the state.

Report Says BPA is Safe: Will This Change The Game?

January 22, 2015 12:59 pm | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.info | Blogs | Comments

To BPA or not to BPA? That is the question … no one can exactly agree on. But maybe that’s about to change. In a just-released report, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has concluded that bisphenol A poses “no consumer health risk” to anyone at any age.

Montana Spill Renews Worries Over Aging Oil Pipelines

January 22, 2015 10:33 am | by Matthew Brown, AP | News | Comments

A second large oil spill into Montana's Yellowstone River in less than four years is reviving questions about the nation's aging pipeline network. "It's the nature of the beast. Pipelines leak and pipelines break. We're never going to get around that. We have to decide if water is more valuable than oil," stated a local rancher.

Cleanup Underway For Saltwater Spill in North Dakota

January 22, 2015 10:19 am | by Regina Garcia Cano, AP | News | Comments

Farmers have been asked to keep their livestock away from the three-million gallon spill. Brine, also referred to as saltwater, is an unwanted byproduct of drilling that is much saltier than sea water and may also contain petroleum and residue from hydraulic fracturing operations.

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Tyson Foods To Pay $539K For Spill In Southwest MO

January 20, 2015 2:53 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Tyson Foods Inc. will pay more than $530,000 for a chemical spill that killed more than 100,000 fish and caused a southwest Missouri town's wastewater treatment system to fail, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced Tuesday. Koster sued the company last June after the discharge...

Report Says TTIP Would Undermine Toxic Pesticide Regulations

January 20, 2015 2:09 pm | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.Info | Articles | Comments

Ongoing negotiations between the U.S. and EU for the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) have been become controversial, particularly on the other side of the Atlantic. Many Europeans have voiced  concerns that the new agreement will lower the EU’s standards for environmental...

Cheap Gas Reignites America's Love Affair With The SUV

January 20, 2015 10:38 am | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

SUVs are king once again, now that filling them up with gas costs significantly less than it did a few years ago. CNN Money's Christine Romans explains what drivers are buying, and why that doesn't necessarily mean an environmental catastrophe...  

From Car Lots To City Budgets, Cheap Oil Means Change

January 20, 2015 10:22 am | by Henry Jackson, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Cheap oil doesn't only mean cheaper gas in the tank. It means that a car dealer in Illinois is shuffling the inventory of models he'll be selling, that more students in Wisconsin may get school-provided iPads, that some planned projects in a Southern California city will get delayed, and that some expected...

AK Faces Lean Budget Times As Oil Prices Plunge

January 20, 2015 9:57 am | by Becky Bohrer, The Associated Press | News | Comments

After years of being flush with oil money, Alaska now faces drastic budget cuts and having to dip into well-stocked savings to offset unprecedented deficits exacerbated by an unexpected plunge in oil prices. When lawmakers left Juneau last April, the price of North Slope crude, Alaska's economic...

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BP Back In Court, This Time For Clean Water Act Penalties

January 20, 2015 9:48 am | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | News | Comments

The company responsible for the largest offshore oil disaster in U.S. history is currently facing the Clean Water Act's largest civil penalty. The BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in 2010, causing the deaths of eleven workers and the destruction of the surrounding environment...

Monsanto Gets U.S. Approval For New GMO Seeds

January 16, 2015 10:37 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Agriculture business giant Monsanto Co. said Thursday it received approval from the Department of Agriculture for new cotton and soybean seeds designed to be used with a new herbicide formula.Monsanto's business is built on genetically modified seeds and herbicide. The company's seeds...

Illinois Community College To Offer Degree In Fracking

January 16, 2015 10:27 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A southwestern Illinois community college plans to offer a petroleum drilling technology degree program this fall that is  aimed at preparing graduates for careers in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Illinois signed off on long-awaited rules to govern the high-volume oil and gas drilling process within its borders...

UAE Energy Minister: Oil Producers Need To 'Learn A Lesson'

January 16, 2015 10:18 am | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Blogs | Comments

Plummeting oil prices over the last several months have left analysts scrambling to figure out where the market is heading. Federal officials estimate the prices of crude oil will fall slightly this year compared to late 2014 before rebounding in 2016. Now some members of oil-rich, Middle Eastern nations...

BlackBerry Remains Attractive Target Amid Merger Talks

January 15, 2015 12:11 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

A report today indicated South Korean electronics giant Samsung recently offered to purchase BlackBerry for as much as $7.5 billion, a claim both companies denied. The developments, however, showcase the ongoing significance of BlackBerry even as its share of the consumer smartphone...

Study Finds Elevated Contaminant Levels At Fracking Sites, Conventional Wells

January 15, 2015 9:59 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

A newly released study found water discharged from energy drilling operations in the U.S. poses risks to human health and the environment,calling for additional government regulations on the practices. The study, published in the journal Environmental...

CA Unveils Strictest Rules On Pesticide

January 14, 2015 12:46 pm | by Scott Smith, The Associated Press | News | Comments

California farmers now must abide by the nation's strictest rules for a widely used pesticide in a change designed to protect farmworkers and people who live and work near agricultural fields but is likely to raise prices on produce. The restrictions announced Wednesday target chloropicrin, a...

Energy Department Predicts Shale Slowdown As Oil Falls

January 14, 2015 10:32 am | by Jonathan Fahey, AP Energy Writer | Articles | Comments

As oil's long slide continued, the Energy Department forecast Tuesday that production from U.S. shale operators will begin to tail off in the second half of the year. The decline would mark the first such drop in what has been a 6-year boom in U.S. onshore crude...

Possible Cooling System Leak In Space Station Poses No Danger To Crew

January 14, 2015 8:45 am | by Vladimir Isachenkov, The Associated Press | News | Comments

A problem in the U.S. segment of the International Space Station on Wednesday prompted its six-person crew to quickly lock it up and move to a Russian module, but they aren't in danger, Russian and U.S. official said. "The space station crew is safe," NASA spokesman Bob Jacobs said. Russia's...

DuPont Workers May Have Been Exposed To Toxic Gas For Years

January 13, 2015 7:52 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

State records indicate that employees at a Houston-area pesticide plant where a poisonous gas leak killed four workers in November may have been periodically exposed to the dangerous fumes for years. The Houston Chronicle found that DuPont reported exhaust and...

Recycling Plant Owner Admits Illegal Chemical Dumping

January 13, 2015 7:51 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The owner of an El Dorado plastics recycling company will be sentenced March 30 for dumping hazardous waste chemicals. Federal prosecutors say 41-year-old Brian Riley, of Andover, also was ordered to pay $118,000 to the Environmental Protection Agency. Riley pleaded guilty Monday to negligent...

EPA Proposes Limits To Chemicals Used In Consumer Products

January 12, 2015 2:28 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced steps allowing it to limit the use of toluene diisocyanate, a common chemical in commercial products which the agency said can cause asthma and lung damage. The EPA's move would require manufacturers and importers to notify the...

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