The proposed operation would inject perfectly good clean water into an oilfield in order to increase production. The injection process increases the pressure in the underground oil reserve, and more oil may become available at nearby wells.
EPA is seeking comments on the Holcomb 1-22 well, draft permit number MI-035-2R-0034.
Thursday, July 25
6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Public EPA hearing
7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Clare High School
201 E. State St.
The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to allow Muskegon Development Company, 1425 South Mission Road, Mount Pleasant, Michigan to inject fluid underground by approving the company’s application for what EPA calls a Class II injection well permit.
If EPA makes its approval final, Muskegon Development Company may inject fresh water for enhanced oil recovery into a rock formation 4948 feet below the surface through the Holcomb 1-22 injection well near N. Athey and E. Townline Lake Roads in Hamilton Township of Clare County.
Muskegon Development Company has also applied for a permit from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).
EPA received requests for a public hearing on this proposed permit approval. EPA will hold a public meeting and hearing Tuesday, July 25. During the hearing, you will have an opportunity to make oral comments or submit written comments. EPA will consider all comments it receives, and then issue a final decision along with a response to the significant comments.
The new public comment period ends Friday, July 28.
CACC is working with Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation to bring this issue to the public’s attention, educate the public about this and other injection wells, and to support public comment at the EPA meeting.
The GLB is experiencing an especially icy winter. Preliminary study indicates a warming climate could lead to a higher frequency of ice storms. Here’s how…
Ice storms (“glaze events”, or in some parts of the US a “silver thaw”) are historically normal. There is nothing particularly climate-changey about an ice storm in and of itself. The record ice accumulation in the US was set in the North American Ice Storm of 1961, with 8 inches of ice encasing parts of northern Idaho. However, as the globe continues to warm, the increased movement of warm air masses across the continent during winter could increase the frequency of icy weather.
Due to the obvious need to ruggedize in the face of potential increased ice glaze, and the need to effectively retort workplace climate change denials (e.g. “Look at all that ice. So much for global warming”), it might be a good idea to understand ice storms a little better than we already do.
The formation of ice begins with a layer of above-freezing air above a layer of sub-freezing temperatures closer to the surface. Frozen precipitation melts to rain while falling into the warm air layer, and then begins to refreeze in the cold layer below. If the precipitate refreezes while still in the air, it will land on the ground as sleet.
Alternatively, the liquid droplets can continue to fall without freezing, passing through the cold air just above the surface. This thin layer of air then cools the rain to a temperature below freezing (0 °C or 32 °F). However, the drops themselves do not freeze, a phenomenon called supercooling (or forming “supercooled drops“). When the supercooled drops strike ground or anything else below 0 °C freezing (power lines, tree branches for example), a layer of ice accumulates as the cold water drips off, forming a slowly thickening film of ice.
Given this information, simple logic shows how an increased presence of warm air masses can lead to more ice storms. But logic isn’t the only epistemology. What does the empiricism of science have to say about climate change and future ice storms?
Not much, yet. While consensus is clear that the overall climate is warming and will continue to warm, how that will effect the frequency of specific weather conditions such as ice storms remains unclear. It is generally accepted that there will be an increased frequency of storm events overall. Studies are being performed to determine whether or not that means more ice storms for the northeastern US and eastern Canada.
The conditions for an ice storm are, as we see above, complex. The unpredictable nature of vertical temperature profiles that lead to ice storms makes it difficult to predict increases in their frequency.
Researchers Kelly Klima and M. Granger Morgan performed a simple “thought experiment” using vertical temperature profile data to explore how these might change given plausible future temperature regimes. Using an approximation for surface effects, they estimated that a temperature increase will result in an increased frequency of ice storm events throughout much of the winter across eastern Canada and in the U.S. west of the Appalachian Mountains as far south as Tennessee. Future changes in variability may enhance or moderate these changes.
Watch your step, but go forth. The patient epistemology of science must wait for the data to accumulate. Those of us building climate-resilient communities and fighting the rhetoric of climate denial can be fairly confident that as the globe continues to warm we will see more ice events like those we’ve experienced in the last couple weeks. Be careful walking and driving, and remember to go easy on the salt, it’s bad for the frogs.
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As of today, those among us who still deny climate change are farther behind the curve than Fox News.
by Wes Raymond – CACC administrator
A recent study published by the journal Nature warns that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet could collapse, potentially raising sea levels by 30 feet as soon as 2100, and more than 50 feet over the next 500 years. The authors attribute ice collapse to warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions. For many of us, this information is filed under “things we’ve been trying to tell people about since 1986”, and the real story is how Fox News came out of left field and published an article about climate science that’s…. well… true.
Of course, a little ink is still wasted on ridiculous “skepticism”, but it’s relegated to a short paragraph all the way at the bottom. Progress? Maybe.
I fear as climate awareness grows, the absence of a debate turned media circus over climate will force the issue to the back burner in the election. (An election that is, of course, monopolizing everyone’s attention and energy.) Also, acceptance of a problem does not preclude actually doing something about a problem. American absurdism could keep the GHG tap on for quite some time if left to its own devices. It’s up to us to keep the reality of humanity’s relationship with the biosphere at the forefront of all discourse, political and otherwise.