Case Studies

Examples of Work Supported by CAES

The Blue Marlin crude oil pipeline is a project proposed by Energy Transfer LP to connect its Texas storage facility to a proposed offshore port off the Louisiana coast. Dr. Terence Palmer worked with Healthy Gulf to evaluate the project’s potential impacts to oysters, fish, and the aquatic ecosystem in Sabine Lake.
River terminals are proposed for construction along the Monongahela, Allegheny, and Ohio Rivers to ship fracking wastewater from oil and gas production sites in PA, OH and WV downstream for disposal. Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy (PSE Health Energy) worked with the FreshWater Accountability Project to evaluate the composition of “produced water” and the risks associated with loading, transporting, and unloading this fracking waste on the nation’s waterways.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline is a new, interstate natural gas pipeline spanning 303 miles from southern Virginia to northwestern West Virginia that would cross hundreds of streams and wetlands. Mountain Advocates worked with CHANGE Environmental to evaluate the cost assumptions behind these waterbody crossings, and worked with Downstream Strategies to evaluate the water quality impacts of the dry-ditch open-cut methods proposed for hundreds of the MVP stream crossings.

In Ohio, Energy Storage Ventures would like to create three underground caverns for the storage of natural gas liquids. The Buckeye Environmental Network retained PSE Healthy Energy to review the solution mining permit applications, and found numerous technical deficiencies, including a failure to account for catastrophic accidents; a failure to characterize local geology and hydrology; an inaccurate characterization of the proposed injection fluid; and a general failure to meet American Petroleum Institute best practices for this kind of project.

The proposed South Louisiana Methanol facility in St. James Parish, Louisiana would potentially be the largest methanol facility in the United States, annually emitting over 2 million tons of greenhouse gases, along with other toxic pollution, in a community that is already overburdened by industrial pollution. Dr. Petra Pless worked with the Louisiana Bucket Brigade to review draft Clean Air Act permits and an Environmental Assessment for the proposed facility.
In West Virginia, aboveground oil and gas storage tanks are subject to the state’s Aboveground Storage Tank Act, which provides heightened inspection and reporting requirements and a level of protection against leaks and spills that might affect downstream drinking water supplies. The state legislature has considered exempting over 1,000 oil and gas tanks from these protections. West Virginia Rivers, with assistance from Downstream Strategies, produced a detailed fact sheet explaining the exemption would threaten drinking water.