Archive for the ‘pipelines’ Category

The Earth First! Round River Rendezvous (RRR) is an annual convergence of folks from around the continent involved in direct action campaigns and other projects in defense of land, water, and all living creatures. At this week-long gathering, our loose network comes together to make new friends, up our skills, attend workshops and discussions, have fun, and take action.

The RRR typically takes place somewhere in the wild (on stolen, federally-managed “public land,” such as National Forest). Everyone who believes in fighting for the Earth, for life, and for justice is welcome to attend. We ask for a sliding-scale donation ($25-$100) from everyone to help us cover the cost of hosting the gathering, and to go to support next year’s RRR and Earth First! Organizers’ Conference, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

This year, the Rondy will take place somewhere in or around what is colonially known as the State of Utah—occupied land of the Shoshone, Goshute, Paiute, Ute, and Diné peoples. Over the years, organizers throughout the Colorado Plateau bioregion–from the briny flats of the Great Salt Lake to the southern reaches of Dinétah–have joined together in a slow process of movement building through cross-struggle collaborations that we hope this year’s RRR can serve to strengthen and multiply

Often, the post-Rendezvous action targets destructive extraction practices like mining, drilling, and logging. Last year, Earth First! joined Mijente and the American Indian Movement to shut down an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office in Ohio.

As usual, there will be tons of rad workshops and presentations–direct action, climbing, blockades, ecology walks, campaign strategy, local land and water struggles, and more—as well as plenty of time to chill and also to throw down and take action. We want art, theater, and all kinds of radical creativity to take center stage. There will be a kids space with workshops and activities for kids (like hatchet throwing and bug eating)!

On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the founding of Earth First!, it seems appropriate that the 2019 national gathering will take place near the site of the very first EF! Rondy, which was held near Moab, Utah in 1980. This year, we want the Rondy to be a space where we can honor the inspiring and instructive stories from our past, while building on the work done over the decades to challenge oppression within our often transient and ever changing movement community.

We are raising funds to offer travel support for Black, Brown, and Indigenous organizers and folks in frontline struggles for land and water defense, indigenous self-determination, migrant justice, prison/police abolition, and other work that puts the justice back in environmental justice and the war back in eco-war. As an organizing team, we hope the RRR can reflect and amplify the work we’ve done regionally to connect struggles and build power within and across identities, cultures, and communities. If you would like help with travel expenses, please get in touch and talk to us about it beforehand. We hope to be able to cover all requests, but we are a scrappy grassroots organizing crew doing the best we can with limited resources.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or contributions, please get in touch.

No Compromise in Defense of Mother Earth!

By Jonathan Romeo / The Durango Herald

A BP pipeline running along Sauls Creek in Bayfield was discovered ruptured last week, spilling coal-bed methane produced water into the creek and forcing the emergency construction of an earthen dam to prevent contamination downstream.

According to state reports, a 6-inch fiberglass gathering line was found leaking around 7 a.m. Dec. 13, about four miles west of Bayfield on National Forest Service land off County Road 527, also known as Forest Service Road 608.

BP reported the creek was dry on Dec. 13, but the next day a state oil and gas inspector found Sauls Creek “contained runoff from snow melt.” An early estimate shows the produced water traveled 2,300 feet along the channel bottom.

However, BP on Monday could not say how long the spill had been occurring, how much was released and what the contents of the product were.

The cause of the spill, too, remains unknown.

A Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission representative wrote in an emailed response that more information will be included in supplemental reports and through ongoing water sampling.

After discovering the spill, BP crews immediately closed the line, shut down 17 wells and constructed a temporary earthen dam to contain the produced water from spilling further downstream.

A Dec. 15 follow up report indicated hydro-evacuation trucks were removing the standing water in the creek bed, recovering a total of 150 barrels – about 6,300 gallons – of produced water mixed with snowmelt.

The pipeline repair required that County Road 527 be restricted to one lane of traffic for four days last week as BP crews partially excavated the road, according to U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Ann Bond.

Brett Clanton, a BP representative, did not address several of The Durango Herald’s questions about the incident. He wrote the spill was isolated within two hours of discovery, the produced water contained no hydrocarbons and that no residents in the surrounding area were affected.

“With safety as our highest priority, we will continue to coordinate with relevant agencies to complete any further remediation efforts as warranted,” Clanton wrote.

Produced water is a briny fluid captured in the rock of oil reservoirs that is extracted along with oil and gas. It is considered the largest toxic byproduct of extraction operations, and can contain salt, chemicals, residual oil and heavy metals, though the contents vary from well to well.

Although the chemical makeup of the substance released into Sauls Creek is unknown, a preliminary sampling showed the water contained 4,000 milligram per liter of total dissolved solids, compared to background values of less than 300 mg/L.

Total dissolved solids are a measure of all dissolved substances in water, and is generally used to gauge salinity. Salinity, in turn, can be an indicator for concentrations of chloride, sodium, magnesium, bicarbonate and sulfates, among others.

BP operates about 30 gas wells in the Sauls Creek area that produce coal-bed methane gas and produced water that is transmitted by pipeline to a processing facility in Bayfield.

BP likely faces “some kind of enforcement action due to impact on waters of the state,” oil and gas commission spokesman Todd Hartman wrote in an email.

The company must continue further remediation efforts and water sampling. The temporary dam remains in place as these actions continue, Hartman said.

As of Dec. 19, there have been 19 reported spills in La Plata County in 2016 accounting for approximately 350 barrels of spilled substances, mostly produced water.

BP has accounted for 12 of those incidents, spilling about 165 barrels, according to COGCC data.

Two spills (including this recent one) did not have estimates for amounts leaked.