December Newsline: Climate change costs, U.S. export performance and more

December 2009 Vol. 64 No. 12

Enbridge to deliver Canadian oil to U.S. via new pipeline
On August 20, the United States approved Enbridge Inc.’s $3.3 billion Alberta Clipper pipeline project, granting the project, which will deliver Canadian oil to U.S. refineries a presidential permit, and causing an upset with some environmental groups. The U.S. State Department said that allowing construction of the 450,000 bp/d line serves U.S. interests by adding secure oil supplies from outside the OPEC nations at a time when political tensions in some producing regions threaten to interfere with oil shipments.

Enbridge hope to have the 1,600-kilometer (992 mile) line up and running by mid-2010 and said it expects to begin construction soon, creating more than 3,000 U.S. jobs.

EPA stormwater rulings
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comment on extending the 2008 stormwater construction general permit by one year to June 30, 2011. The permit applies only where EPA is the permitting authority, which is in five states (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Idaho and Alaska); Washington, D.C.; most territories; and most Indian country lands.
The permit regulates the discharge of stormwater from construction sites that disturb one acre or more of land, and from smaller sites that are part of a larger, common plan of development. The permit requires construction site operators to comply with stormwater discharge requirements that are intended to prevent sediment loss, soil erosion and other pollution issues at active construction sites.
The extension of the 2008 permit is needed to allow the agency sufficient time to coordinate a revised permit with a second effort that is underway to establish national clean water standards, known as an effluent limitation guideline, for the construction and development industry by Dec. 1, 2009. The public will have 30 days to comment on the proposed extension to the permit after publication in the Federal Register.