News Article | May 10, 2017
"While it is disappointing that the Senate did not act to correct the rule more quickly, we look forward to working with the administration on policies that continue our commitment to safely produce the energy that Americans rely on, help consumers, create jobs, strengthen our national security, and protect our environment." Data from the EPA's annual draft inventory of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions report released in March fueled questions as to why the existing BLM rule is necessary. The report shows that methane emissions from all petroleum systems decreased by over 28 percent since 1990, notably including a decrease of emissions from petroleum production of around 8 percent from 2014 levels. EPA attributed this improvement to decreases in emissions from associated gas venting and flaring. "The United States is a global leader in production and refining of natural gas and oil while cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the result of technological advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. It is through innovation – not unnecessary, costly and duplicative regulation – that we are able to achieve this success." BLM's redundant and technically flawed rule overlaps with existing state and EPA regulations and could further reduce activity on federal lands where natural gas production is already down 18 percent from 2010 to 2015. Analysis by Environmental Resources Management on the proposed rule found that the added cost of compliance could result in up to 40 percent of wells that flare on federal lands being permanently uneconomic to produce. Based on 2016 royalties reported by the federal Office of Natural Resources Revenue, even a 1 percent loss of royalties due to loss of production would result in lost government revenues of more than $14 million. API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API's more than 625 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation's energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 40 million Americans. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/api-blm-methane-rule-could-suppress-american-energy-renaissance-harm-consumers-300455478.html
News Article | May 19, 2017
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - May 19, 2017) - Horizonte Minerals Plc, (AIM:HZM)(TSX:HZM) ('Horizonte' or 'the Company') the nickel development company focussed in Brazil, is pleased to provide an update on the significant advancements the sustainability team has made towards the Installation Licence ('LI') submission for its 100% owned Araguaia Nickel Project ('Araguaia' or 'the Project') which is being developed as the next major nickel project in Brazil. Horizonte CEO, Jeremy Martin said, "Horizonte is taking the appropriate steps to ensure it builds a resilient long term nickel business and that it plays a positive wider role in the Araguaia region. By drawing on the experience and talent of our team, we are implementing quality procedures during this development stage of the Project to provide a strong operational platform as we move towards the construction stage. The community continues to demonstrate a strong interest in the Project's progress, which is perceived as a key social and economic driver in a region where the average wage is low. "I look forward to providing an update on the further progressions towards the Installation Licence in due course." About the Project and Sustainability Activities Araguaia, which is 100% owned by Horizonte, is located on the eastern margin of the State of Pará, north-eastern Brazil, to the north of the town of Conceição do Araguaia (population of 46,206), south of the main Carajás Mining District. The Project has good regional infrastructure including a network of Federal highways and roads, with access to low tariff hydro-electric power. The Company is focused on delivering a 14,500 tonnes per annum nickel operation and anticipates a life of mine of 28 years. With this in mind the objective of the sustainability programme is to lay the foundations for a robust, long-term nickel mine. Specifically, the team aims to integrate the Vale dos Sonhos deposit into the advanced permitting schedule; obtain the Installation Licence and progress all other permits/licences which enable the Company to commence construction. The Brazilian mine permitting process with environmental agencies has three key stages: 1. The preliminary licence ('LP'), which confirms government approval for the viability of the project; 2. The LI, which permits the start of construction; 3. Finally the licence to operate (LO) awarded after construction is complete. The LP for Araguaia was approved in May 2016 with consideration of the terms set out in the Company's Social & Environmental Impact Assessment, and conditions outlined by the State Environmental Agency. Once the LI is awarded in parallel with the mining concession, construction may start. The Company is pleased to report that its safety track record during the Project's development to date, is good with no lost time hours. In terms of its sustainability team, the Company has hired new specialists in environmental and social disciplines. They bring a wealth of experience to the Project, including involvement in both Vale's Onca Puma nickel mine and Anglo American's Barro Alto and Codemin nickel mine. Local interns from State training and university institutions have also commenced work at the Project. Additionally, the team has been bolstered with regional experts from the Pará State, including fauna & flora specialists hired through the Emilio Goeldi Museum of Belém, a research institution linked to the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. The institution also plays an important educational role in the country through the dissemination of knowledge and research of regional flora and fauna. An environmental team including biologists from Pará State are on site for a 25-day work programme to complement flora collections previously undertaken in the region. The flora team will also conduct the inventory for flora suppression required to commence mine and plant construction. New fauna inventories are expected to commence in June/July 2017. In parallel the socio-economic team conducted numerous community presentations throughout 2017 in rural areas where the deposits are located. Consultants have also met with Para's Federal University to commence studies on possible uses of Araguaia's slag product. Air and gas monitoring has been collated over a 12-month period. Finally, a catchment-scale model has been created by Environmental Resources Management ('ERM') hydrology specialists in the United Kingdom in conjunction with Horizonte and ERM teams in Brazil. ERM is one of the leading independent environment and social consultants in the world and is highly experienced in preparing key environmental permits for mines in Brazil. This includes environmental impact assessments, environmental control plans and studies to support permits for large-scale projects. ERM supports the development and financing of hundreds of major projects around the globe every year and helps projects meet international environmental and social standards, including those of the IFC, the World Bank, Equator Principles, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) amongst others. Horizonte Minerals plc is an AIM and TSX-listed nickel development company focused in Brazil, which wholly owns the advanced Araguaia nickel laterite project located to the south of the Carajás mineral district of northern Brazil. The Company is developing Araguaia as the next major nickel mine in Brazil, with targeted production by 2019. The Project has good infrastructure in place including rail, road, water and power. Except for statements of historical fact relating to the Company, certain information contained in this press release constitutes "forward-looking information" under Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements with respect to the potential of the Company's current or future property mineral projects; the success of exploration and mining activities; cost and timing of future exploration, production and development; the estimation of mineral resources and reserves and the ability of the Company to achieve its goals in respect of growing its mineral resources; and the realization of mineral resource and reserve estimates. Generally, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved". Forward-looking information is based on the reasonable assumptions, estimates, analysis and opinions of management made in light of its experience and its perception of trends, current conditions and expected developments, as well as other factors that management believes to be relevant and reasonable in the circumstances at the date that such statements are made, and are inherently subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including but not limited to risks related to: exploration and mining risks, competition from competitors with greater capital; the Company's lack of experience with respect to development-stage mining operations; fluctuations in metal prices; uninsured risks; environmental and other regulatory requirements; exploration, mining and other licences; the Company's future payment obligations; potential disputes with respect to the Company's title to, and the area of, its mining concessions; the Company's dependence on its ability to obtain sufficient financing in the future; the Company's dependence on its relationships with third parties; the Company's joint ventures; the potential of currency fluctuations and political or economic instability in countries in which the Company operates; currency exchange fluctuations; the Company's ability to manage its growth effectively; the trading market for the ordinary shares of the Company; uncertainty with respect to the Company's plans to continue to develop its operations and new projects; the Company's dependence on key personnel; possible conflicts of interest of directors and officers of the Company, and various risks associated with the legal and regulatory framework within which the Company operates. Although management of the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements.
Triantafilis J.,University of New South Wales |
Terhune C.H.,University of New South Wales |
Terhune C.H.,Environmental Resources Management Inc. |
Monteiro Santos F.A.,University of Lisbon
Environmental Modelling and Software | Year: 2013
The alluvial clay plains of the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) have been extensively developed for irrigated agricultural production. Whilst irrigation has brought economic prosperity, there have been isolated environmental impacts. This is because the plains were formed by a system of ancient streams (i.e. prior stream and palaeochannels) that are characterised by coarse textured sediments and which are susceptible to deep drainage. To improve irrigation efficiency and natural resource management outcomes, information is required to characterise the connectivity of prior stream channels with underlying migrational channel deposits (i.e. palaeochannels). One option is the use of electromagnetic (EM) induction instruments which measure the apparent soil electrical conductivity (σa - mS/m). In this paper, we describe how σa collected using a next-generation DUALEM-421 and an EM34 can be used in conjunction with a joint-inversion algorithm (EM4Soil) to generate a 2d model of electrical conductivity (σ - mS/m) across an irrigated cotton growing field located on Quaternary alluvial clay plain in the lower Gwydir valley of NSW (Australia). The results compare favourably with existing pedological and stratigraphic knowledge. On the clay alluvial plain the accumulation of Aeolian and cyclical salt in the root zone and depth of clay alluvium are discerned by the DUALEM-421 and EM34, respectively. In addition, the approach is able to resolve the location of buried migrational channel deposits (i.e. palaeochannel) underlying the clay plain and the connectivity of these coarser sediments with a prior stream channel. Quantitatively the best correlation between estimated σ and measured soil properties, was found to be greatest when the DUALEM-421 and EM34 data were jointly inverted and when predicting EC1:5 (r2 = 0.61). © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Naghibi A.,Environmental Resources Management Inc.
World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2016: Watershed Management, Irrigation and Drainage, and Water Resources Planning and Management - Papers from Sessions of the Proceedings of the 2016 World Environmental and Water Resources Congress | Year: 2016
Measured and estimated hydrologic data are key to development of watershed assessment tools including hydrologic, water quality, and water balance models. Although, it is recognized that uncertainty in hydrologic data undermines the reliability of such models, water resources practitioners still do not or cannot adequately incorporate data uncertainty in model calibration and validation. Disconnected and decoupled data collection, analysis, and modeling processes are the primary reason why data uncertainty is neglected during calibration and validation. This work investigates the impacts of data uncertainty on hydrologic analysis and modeling results. An example project is used to demonstrate how the characterization of data uncertainty can inform the data collection, data analysis, and modeling processes. Main sources of data uncertainty (e.g., field measurements, rating curve development, and time-series development) are reviewed, and a discussion is provided about how these uncertainties can be characterized. This work acknowledges that sources of data uncertainty and appropriate methodologies to characterize and reduce uncertainty are case-specific and therefore does not recommend one methodology over another. However, it provides a list of considerations for identifying and characterizing the most critical sources of uncertainty. © ASCE.
Hamel R.P.,Environmental Resources Management Inc.
Air and Waste Management Association - Guideline on Air Quality Models 2016: The New Path | Year: 2016
On October 1st, 2015, EPA announced that the 8-hour ozone NAAQS was being reduced from the current 75 ppb standard to 70 ppb. While the update to the standard is significant, especially to those areas already in non- Attainment with regard to the current ozone NAAQS and also to those where monitored backgrounds are currently above the new limit of 70 ppb, the more onerous development with regard to ozone impacts is the proposed revision to Appendix W that would require major sources applying for a PSD permit to assess the impacts on ozone and secondary PM2.5 formation. EPA now contends that advances in photochemical models such as CAMx and CMAQ, as well as the widespread availability of more powerful computers, have made it feasible to assess the impact of individual sources on the formation of these secondary pollutants. This is a significant change in approach to these pollutants that have long been thought of as regional and handled by addressing the sum of regional and upwind emissions rather than studying the potential contribution of a single facility. EPA proposes a two- Tiered approach for assessing the impacts of these pollutants: Tier 1 would involve using known relationships between precursor emissions and a source's impacts to qualitatively assess the impact on ozone formation. Tier 2 would require a more detailed analysis and could involve application of a photochemical grid model to determine the impacts. In order to aid in the determination of which Tier an application would fall under, EPA intends to pursue separate rulemaking to establish Model Emission Rates for Precursors, or MERP's. A MERP would represent a level of emissions of precursors that is not expected to contribute significantly to concentrations of ozone or secondarily-formed PM2.5. The future rulemaking would also define what conditions require a Tier-1 analysis vs. a Tier-2 analysis. Impacts in excess of the ozone MERP's, once defined, would likely require a Tier-2 analysis, which could require potentially time consuming and expensive photochemical modeling. This paper will review the proposed methodology for assessing the impacts of single-sources on these secondary pollutants and the potential costs and complications of doing so. In addition to the current proposed changes in approach, the new rulemaking around MERPs and the further definition of what criteria will be used to determine the level of analysis required will be discussed.
Wright N.H.,Environmental Resources Management Inc.
Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE E and P Health, Safety, Security and Environmental Conference - Americas 2015 | Year: 2015
New dimensions of environmental loss and escalating liabilities following Macondo have catapulted environmental risk to a key feature on the corporate balance sheet. Forecasting expected losses of critical environmental functions, which underpin society, is setting new challenges insurance underwriters and scientists. A critique of recent case histories will be presented to illustrate the latest dimensions of future risk needs. International operators wrestle with the dollar value of reputational risks of uncharted frontier areas with sensitive marine ecosystems which affect both stakeholder confidence and the stock price. Governments now recognize the criticality of managing environmental capital and services when dealing with new energy concessions in sensitive coastal zones. International efforts to develop "state of the art" techniques to quantify the spectrum of ecosystem services will be presented together with a critique of how readily these can be factored into decision making. Advances in global geographic information systems and satellite imagery illustrate the unprecedented future opportunities to measure ecosystem functions and changes. A series of case histories will illustrate cutting edge approaches to dealing with oil spill risk for offshore assets revealing environmental resource risk exposure, risk reduction, consequences and future liabilities. The criteria used to determine "environmental damage or loss" are fundamental to our approaches to corporate risk management. Our understanding of the role of factors such as: biodiversity; ecosystem robustness; recoverability; habitat uniqueness; species population status and life cycles in the sustainability of ecosystem services will be reviewed and reveals fundamental gaps in knowledge. The global efforts being made to place $ values on the world's natural capital and ecosystem life support services will be summarised. A pioneering approach to due diligence of investments, planning, new concessions and oil spill risk assessments will be presented. Insights will be given on the latest techniques for mapping environmental resources and services in integrated GIS systems on the web, which will provide an "ecosystem health thermometer" making damage to ecosystem services visible to stakeholders. Operators' future "licence to operate" will depend in part on utilizing ecosystem service approaches and values to address stakeholder sustainability and values concerns. Copyright 2015, Society of Petroleum Engineers.
Hawkins S.C.,Environmental Resources Management Inc.
30th Center for Chemical Process Safety International Conference 2015 - Topical Conference at the 2015 AIChE Spring Meeting and 11th Global Congress on Process Safety | Year: 2015
Over the past two decades there have been numerous industrial accidents which have brought the effectiveness of Occupational and Health Administration's (OSHA's) Process Safety Management (PSM) Standard and Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Accidental Release Risk Management Planning (RMP) Rule under review. On August 1, 2013, President Obama, largely in response to the explosion at the West Fertilizer Company in Texas, signed an Executive Order mandating that the relevant agencies "improve the safety and security of the chemical industry in the United States".1 As a result, both OSHA and EPA have recently requested information on sweeping new proposed changes for both the PSM and RMP regulations. This paper will examine OSHA's and EPA's proposed changes in the context of how they can be harmonized and streamlined by utilizing the basic concepts of the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) Risk Based Process Safety (RBPS) guidelines and CCPS Vision 20/20 themes. As such, the paper will outline a suggested path forward for U.S. regulations that incorporate the basic CCPS Vision 20/20 tenets to establish rules that are harmonized with leading generally accepted global Process Safety practices. Copyright © (2015) by AIChE All rights reserved.
Mitchell R.E.,Environmental Resources Management Inc. |
Parkins J.R.,University of Alberta
Ecology and Society | Year: 2011
This paper provides a synopsis on social indicators as relevant to cumulative effects assessment and land use planning. Although much has been done to better understand the social dimensions of environmental assessment, empirical work has been lacking on social indicators that could be used either as measurable inputs or outputs for cumulative effects assessment and land use planning in different kinds of communities and regions. Cumulative effects models currently in practice often fail to address deeper issues of community and regional well-being. Against this gap, social scientists are being asked to make reliable generalizations about functional, measurable relationships between certain social indicators and land use change or scenarios. To address this challenge, the Alberta Research Council held a two-day workshop in 2005 with social scientists. The workshop resulted in a list of prioritized social indicators that could be included in cumulative effects modeling/assessments and land use planning. The top five social indicators included population growth rate, education attainment, self-assessed quality of life, equity, i.e., distribution of benefits, and locus of control. Although consensus on social indicators and social thresholds for cumulative effects models was not reached, the insight gained from the workshop will help inform future cumulative effects assessment and land use planning. © 2011 by the author(s).
Butts D.B.,Environmental Resources Management Inc.
2nd International Conference on Upstream Engineering and Flow Assurance 2014 - Topical Conference at the 2014 AIChE Spring Meeting and 10th Global Congress on Process Safety | Year: 2014
With the continued differential between diesel and natural gas costs, onshore well operators have been working to convert both drilling rigs and hydraulic fracturing pumps to utilize natural gas as fuel. Associated with this conversion is a change in the risk profile that may not be fully recognized or understood in the field. Risk management philosophies and assumptions need to adjust to the difference in hazard characteristics between the fuels, as well as the variety of delivery methods. Specific topics will include: • Motivations for fuel conversion and the differences in scale for rig power, natural gas substitution on diesel hydraulic fracturing pumps, and dedicated natural gas powered hydraulic fracturing pumps. Risk mitigation and field training requirements may not fully accounted for in investment decisions. • Scale of conversion and location specific availability drives natural gas sourcing, which can then drive personnel risk and well pad layout issues depending on whether the gas is sourced from local wellheads, pipeline, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), or Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). Separate Simultaneous Operations (SIMOPS) issues can arise based on the specifics of each sourcing method. • Associated risks need to be appropriately managed in a manner that involves the personnel directly exposed. And there is a need to ensure that well sites which did not previously present a threat to surrounding activities do not become a threat due to either direct risk from the fuel conversion itself or from escalation risks not previously of concern.
Thomas A.O.,Environmental Resources Management Inc.
Society of Petroleum Engineers - 1st SPE African Health, Safety, Security and Environment and Social Responsibility Conference and Exhibition 2014 - Protecting People and the Environment: Getting it Right for the Development of the Oil and Gas Industry in Africa | Year: 2014
Sustainable remediation has been defined as 'the practice of demonstrating, in terms of environmental, economic and social indicators, that the benefit of undertaking remediation is greater than its impact and that the optimum remediation solution is selected through the use of a balanced decision-making process'. Sustainable remediation has emerged as a significant area of interest for the management of contaminated land and water for regulators, industry and practitioners in Western Europe, the USA and Asia Pacific. It seems likely that sustainable remediation will develop into a key policy and practice consideration in future years. The application of sustainable remediation principles to the management of upstream oil and gas legacy related impacts have not been explored to date. This paper attempts to define sustainable remediation in the context of onshore upstream O&G operations, demonstrate how sustainable remediation principles could be applied within the context of existing best practice guidance and explore the opportunities that sustainable remediation may bring as well as the barriers that may exist to its implementation. The primary conclusion is that where existing regulations are absent or incomplete sustainable remediation can offer an improved framework for the management of contaminated land issues that results in solutions that are protective of human health and the environment, inclusive of the views of local stakeholders and is transparent and robust. Where regulations do exist then sustainability should be considered in the context of what is practically achievable. Sustainable remediation can be a driver for improved engagement with stakeholders that can result in locally acceptable solutions that maximize the benefits to local society as well as acting as a catalyst to drive innovative technical solutions. It is recommended that the application of sustainable remediation to upstream oil and gas sites should be examined more closely with a view to developing sector specific guidance and best management practices that promote the incorporation of sustainability and that the procedures for management of contaminated land associated with upstream operations draw on best practices from other parts of the oil and gas sector and contaminated land management as a whole. Copyright © 2014, Society of Petroleum Engineers.