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Natural Gas Leaders Urge Faster Pipeline Development in Appalachia

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Last week during the Shale Insight Conference, two leaders within the industry called for faster development of natural gas pipelines in Appalachia. The natural gas boom offers affordable energy across the country, as long as the infrastructure is in place to transport it. In many areas across the country there remain substantial bottlenecks that prohibit residential and industrial users the benefits of access to natural gas. This is a problem Sara Ortwein, President of XTO Energy, says is affecting the Northeast and leading to energy prices far higher than national average. Both Ortwein and Chevron Appalachia President Stacey Olson highlighted the importance of pipeline construction in Appalachia during the conference last week. From the view of both industry investment and consumer access, expanding the pipeline to allow for greater movement of natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica reserves is incredibly important. The comments also provide insight into conversations about the future of Appalachia following the downturn of the traditional industry of coal, which in addition to providing jobs also provided a low cost and plentiful energy source for the area.  

To read more about the comments click here. 

Tags:  conference  gas  infrastructure  natural gas  pipeline 

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IMA-NA Urges Faster Confirmation of EPA Nominees

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Tuesday, October 3, 2017

IMA-NA and NISA joined other industry groups in urging the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) to move forward expeditiously with the confirmations of the four EPA Assistant Administrators currently on the Committee's calendar. The Trump Administration still have a vast number of important positions within each Agency and Department that remain unfilled. While these positions remain vacant, or filled temporarily by career staff, the agencies are largely unable to move forward on important issues facing the nation. Tomorrow, October 4th, at 10am EST the EPW will be holding their hearing on the following nominees:

  • Michael Dourson, for EPA Assistant Administrator, Office of Chemical Safety & Pollution Prevention;
  • Matthew Leopold, for EPA Assistant Administrator, Office of the General Counsel;
  • David Ross, for EPA Assistant Administrator, Office of Water; and
  • William Wehrum, for EPA Assistant Administrator, Office of Air & Radiation.

You can watch the hearing live here

To read the industry letter urging swift confirmation of the nominees click here

Tags:  administration  Agency  confirmation  Department  EPA  hearing  nominee 

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IMA-NA Comments on EPA's "Waters of the United States"

Posted By RJ Alpers, Monday, October 2, 2017

The Industrial Minerals Association – North America has filed comments in support of the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed rule to rescind the 2015 Clean Water Rule and recodify the definition of “waters of the United States” in place prior to the 2015 Rule. IMA-NA’s comments supplement the comments from the Waters Advocacy Coalition (WAC), which IMA-NA is also a part of. (The WAC Coalition represents a large cross-section of the nation’s construction, real estate, mining, manufacturing, forestry, agriculture, energy, wildlife conservation, and public health and safety sectors).

IMA-NA’s comments articulate that the 2015 Rule exemplifies jurisdictional overreach, creates regulatory uncertainty, and insist that a new definition of “Waters of the United States” is necessary. IMA-NA echoes WAC’s support for a rule making to “reasonably and clearly articulate federal and state CWA authorities”. Rescission of the 2015 Rule and the corresponding recodification of the pre-existing regulations would return the Code of Federal Regulations to the regulations that existed prior to the 2015 Rule and reflect the current legal regime under which the Agencies are operating. IMA-NA strongly supports the Agencies addressing the long-term uncertainty of the CWA by having a collaborative rule making process to set a final definition for “waters of the United States”.

To view IMA-NA’s comments, please click here

Tags:  Clean Water Act  CWA  EPA regulations  industrial minerals industry 

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Data Shows Natural Gas Development Reduced Green House Gas Emissions

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Houston Chronicle published an op-ed over the weekend highlighting the important role natural gas development has played in lowering green house gas emissions. The op-ed focuses on a more nuanced understanding of the role fossil fuels and particularly natural gas play in our energy portfolio and the ways the industry is leading on carbon emission reduction work. As most people recognize, natural gas has a lower carbon footprint than traditional fossil fuels but the numbers are an important reminder of the scope of the natural gas impact. Carbon emissions are close to a 30 year low, largely due to the natural gas boom. The op-ed also addresses how natural gas development is a substantial economic driver that brings jobs and prosperity to the United States. As we continue to debate climate change and the policies related to lowering carbon emissions, it is important to remember the issue is complex and the natural gas industry is an important part of any viable resolution.


To read the op-ed click here

Tags:  carbon emissions  emissions  gas  industry  natural gas 

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Comments on MSHA Examinations Proposal

Posted By Mark Ellis, Monday, September 25, 2017

IMA-NA filed comments last week on MSHA’s proposed rule to delay the effective date of its final rule on the examination of working places in metal and nonmetal mines.  Through the proposed rule, MSHA proposes to delay the effective date of its final rule from October 2, 2017, to March 2, 2018.  The extension of time would offer additional time for MSHA to provide stakeholders training and compliance assistance.  Other activities MSHA has committed to undertake include holding informational meetings around the country prior to enforcing the final rule, conducting compliance assistance visits at metal and nonmetal mines, addressing issues raised by stakeholders during quarterly training calls, stakeholder meetings and compliance assistance visits, training its inspectors to help assure consistency in MSHA enforcement, and developing training materials to assist miners and mine operators in effectively implementing the final rule.  IMA-NA supported the delay of the effective date and further supported additional delay of the effective date should such be required for MSHA to achieve its stated goals.

The comments are attached below.

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  examinations of working places; MSHA; proposed rul  MSHA 

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Comments on EPA Asbestos Scoping Document

Posted By Mark Ellis, Monday, September 25, 2017

IMA-NA filed comments last week on EPA’s draft document, Scope of Risk Evaluation for Asbestos.  The scope document will be used in assessing the risks of asbestos under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  The document will be central to EPA’s approach in conducting problem formulation, the next step in the process of the required risk evaluation for asbestos.  The IMA-NA comments stress the importance of EPA applying proper mineral science and up-to-date information whenever it addresses the generic term “asbestos.”  Significant and unnecessary confusion is inevitable if it does not.  The comments highlight instances where EPA inappropriately identified non-asbestiform mineral varieties of the six regulated forms of “asbestos” in the scope document as if they, too, were asbestos.  Specific nomenclature and analytical techniques were identified to assist EPA in making the necessary distinctions.

The comments (without the attachments), are attached below.

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  asbestos  EPA  risk assessment  scope document  TSCA 

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European Minerals Day - This Weekend

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, September 22, 2017

This weekend, IMA-NA's sister organization IMA-Europe is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of European Minerals Day. European Minerals Day provides the opportunity for industrial mineral producers to open their doors to the communities they operate in.  Minerals Day is a great opportunity to educate the general public as well as elected and appointed officials about the role industrial minerals play in their daily lives. From it's start in 2007, European Minerals Day has steadily grown to include hundreds of events across 27 countries.  These events play an incredibly important role in improving awareness and understanding of the minerals, and the companies producing them, that provide the building blocks for our modern lives.

To learn more about the events happening in Europe this weekend click here

To read the Press Release click here

Follow our Twitter account for information throughout the weekend

Tags:  community  community involvement  education  European Minerals Day  IMA-Europe  outreach 

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Workshop on Offshore Well Completion and Stimulation

Posted By Mark Ellis, Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The National Academies Roundtable on Unconventional Hydrocarbon Development is hosting a public workshop on “Offshore well completion and stimulation using hydraulic fracturing and other technologies” on October 2-3 at the Keck Center of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington, DC.  They have an excellent line-up of speakers and welcome your participation.  Registration (in-person or webcast) information is available in the announcement appended below. 

Well completion and stimulation technologies to develop hydrocarbon resources offshore have evolved over decades. Onshore, hydraulic fracturing coupled with horizontal drilling has become a widely known technology due to the development of unconventional resources. However, less understood by the public are common well completion and stimulation technologies used in offshore operations.

This free, public workshop will explore the unique features of operating in the U.S. offshore environment, including well completion and stimulation technologies, environmental considerations and concerns, and safety management.

The audience and speakers from across government, industry, academic, and non-profit sectors will share information and their perspectives on operational, regulatory, and research approaches to minimize risk in developing offshore resources.

To view the workshop agenda, please click here.

The registration link below is for both in-person and webcast participation.

Register today!

Tags:  hydraulic fracturing  National Academies of Sciences  offshore well completion  offshore will stimulation 

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MSHA Issues Two Proposals on Workplace Exams

Posted By Mark Ellis, Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Yesterday, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) published two proposals in the Federal Register relative to its final rule on examinations of working places in metal and nonmetal mines.

The first proposal would delay the effective date of the final rule from October 3, 2017, to March 2, 2018, to allow additional time for MSHA to provide stakeholder training and compliance assistance.  Comments on this proposal must be received on or before September 26, 2017.  IMA-NA will file comments.

The second proposal would make limited changes to two substantive provisions of the workplace examination rule.  The first change would require that an examination of the working place be conducted at least once each shift, either before work begins or as miners begin work in the place.  The addition of the latter phrase is new.  MSHA intends that the examination should be conducted in a time frame sufficient to assure any adverse conditions would be identified before miners are exposed.  The second change would permit mine operators to not record conditions that are corrected promptly.  Promptly means before miners are potentially exposed to adverse conditions.  Comments on this proposal must be received on or before November 13, 2017.  MSHA also will hold a series of four public hearings on the proposed rule, in Arlington, VA; Salt Lake City, UT; Birmingham, AL; and Pittsburgh, PA.  IMA-NA will file comments and participate in one or more public hearings.

The two proposals are attached.

 Attached Files:

Tags:  examinations of working places; MSHA; proposed rul 

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Imerys Opens New Global Science & Technology Center

Posted By Mark Ellis, Monday, September 11, 2017

On August 23, 2017, Imerys celebrated the Grand Opening of its 30,000 square foot global Science & Technology Center in Suwanee, Georgia, designed by local architect Jordan Williams of plexus r+d, Inc.  The facility is one of nine technology centers around the world, networked and inter-connected, for the sharing of ideas, equipment and competencies across Imerys. The new Imerys Technical Center houses a diverse group of geologists, scientists and engineers and will provide an inspiring place to ideate and innovate for Imerys' diverse customers and markets.

The Imerys press release is attached.

 Attached Files:

Tags:  Imerys  Science & Technology 

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