Archive for May, 2015

31
May

NTSB releases updates on status of 3 major US investigations

   Posted by:    in Uncategorized

Sunday, June 17, 2007 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the agency responsible for investigating transportation accidents in the United States, released updates on three major investigations on June 14.

The NTSB, well known publicly for its involvement in the investigation of aviation incidents which involve harm or loss of human life, is also an agency that oversees the transportation of refined petroleum and gas products, chemicals and minerals.

The agency determined the cause of a natural gas pipeline explosion that killed six. It also detailed the cause of an accidental release of 204,000 gallons of anhydrous ammonia from a pipeline in an environmentally sensitive area, and released preliminary information involving two commercial aircraft coming within 30-50 feet of each other on a runway.

In the gas explosion disaster, the towing vessel Miss Megan, which was of specifications that did not require inspection by the United States Coast Guard, was being operated in the West Cote Blanche Bay oil field in Louisiana by Central Boat Rentals on behalf of Athena Construction on October 12, 2006. The Miss Megan was pushing barge IBR 234, which was tied along the starboard side of barge Athena 106, en route to a pile-driving location. Athena Construction did not require its crews to pin mooring spuds (vertical steel shafts extending through wells in the bottom of the boat and used for mooring) securely in place on its barges and consequently this had not been done. During the journey, the aft spud on the Athena 106 released from its fully raised position. The spud dropped into the water and struck a submerged, high-pressure natural gas pipeline. The resulting gas released ignited and created a fireball that engulfed the towing vessel and both barges. The master of the towing vessel and four barge workers were killed. The Miss Megan deckhand and one barge worker survived. One barge worker is officially listed as missing.

The NTSB blames Athena Construction for the disaster, citing in the final report that Athena Construction’s manual contained no procedures mandating the use of the safety devices on the spud winch except during electrical work. It was found that if the Athena 106 crew had used the steel pins to secure the retracted spuds during their transit, a pin would have prevented the aft spud from accidentally deploying. Furthermore, the spud would have remained locked in its lifted position regardless of whether the winch brake mechanism, the spud’s supporting cable, or a piece of connecting hardware had failed.

The NTSB also found that contributing to the accident was the failure of Central Boat Rentals to require, and the Miss Megan master to ensure, that the barge spuds were securely pinned before getting under way. The Board noted that investigators found no evidence that the Miss Megan master or deckhand checked whether the spuds had been properly secured before the tow began. While Central Boat Rentals had a health and safety manual and trained its crews, the written procedures did not specifically warn masters about the need to secure spuds or other barge equipment before navigating. The NTSB stated that the company’s crew should have been trained to identify potential safety hazards on vessels under their control.

NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker said of the investigation’s results, “Having more rigorous requirements in place could have prevented this accident from occurring. Not only do these regulations need to be put in place but it is imperative that they are enforced and adhered to.”

The NTSB has made a number of safety recommendations as a result of this accident and the subsequent investigation. Recommendations were made to Athena Construction and Central Boat Rentals to develop procedures and train the employees of its barges to use the securing pins to hold spuds safely in place before transiting from one site to another.

The most major of the other recommendations are:

To the Occupational Safety and Health Administration:

To the U. S. Coast Guard

The NTSB also released the result of its investigation into an environmental disaster in Kansas on October 27, 2004 in which 204,000 gallons (4,858 barrels) of anhydrous ammonia was spilled from a ruptured pipeline in Kingman into an environmentally sensitive area. Chemicals from the pipeline entered a nearby stream and killed more than 25,000 fish, including some fish from threatened species.

The incident reached the scale that it did due to operator error after the initial rupture. The 8 5/8-inch diameter steel pipeline, which was operated by Enterprise Products Operating L.P., burst at 11:15 a.m. in an agricultural area about 6 miles east of Kingman, Kansas. A drop in pipeline pressure, indicating abnormal conditions or a possible compromise in pipeline integrity, set off alarms displayed on the computerized pipeline monitoring system. Shortly after the first alarm the pipeline controller, in an attempt to remedy the low pressure, increased the flow of anhydrous ammonia into the affected section of pipeline. A total of 33 minutes elapsed between the time when the first alarm indicated a problem with the pipeline and the initiation of a shutdown.

In its initial report to the National Response Center (NRC), the pipeline operator’s accident reporting contractor reported a release of at least 20 gallons of ammonia, telling the NRC that an updated estimate of material released would be reported at a later time. No such report was ever made. Because of the inaccurate report, the arrival of representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency was delayed by a full day, affecting the oversight of the environmental damage mitigation efforts.

The cause of the rupture itself was determined to be a pipe gouge created by heavy equipment damage to the pipeline during construction in 1973 or subsequent excavation activity at an unknown time that initiated metal fatigue cracking and led to the eventual rupture of the pipeline.

“We are very fortunate that such highly toxic chemicals of the size and scope involved in this accident were not released in a populated area,” commented Rosenker. “Had this same quantity of ammonia been released near a town or city, the results could have been catastrophic.”

As a result of this accident, the NTSB made the following safety recommendations:

To the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration:

To Enterprise Products Operating L.P.:

“The severity of this release of dangerous chemicals into the community could have been prevented,” said Rosenker. “The safety recommendations that we have made, if acted upon, will reduce the likelihood of this type of accident happening again.”

As well as concluding their investigation of the above accidents, the NTSB also released preliminary information regarding a serious runway incursion at San Francisco International Airport between two commercial aircraft on May 26, 2007.

At about 1:30 p.m. the tower air traffic controller cleared SkyWest Airlines flight 5741, an Embraer 120 arriving from Modesto, California, to land on runway 28R. Forgetting about the arrival airplane, the same controller then cleared Republic Airlines flight 4912, an Embraer 170 departing for Los Angeles, to take off from runway 1L, which intersects runway 28R.

After the SkyWest airliner touched down, the Airport Movement Area Safety System (AMASS) alerted and the air traffic controller transmitted “Hold, Hold, Hold” to the SkyWest flight crew in an attempt to stop the aircraft short of runway 1L. The SkyWest crew applied maximum braking that resulted in the airplane stopping in the middle of runway 1L. As this was occurring, the captain of Republic Airlines flight 4912 took control of the aircraft from the first officer, realized the aircraft was traveling too fast to stop, and initiated an immediate takeoff. According to the crew of SkyWest 5741, the Republic Airlines aircraft overflew theirs by 30 to 50 feet. The Federal Aviation Administration has categorized the incident as an operational error.

The NTSB sent an investigator to San Francisco, who collected radar data, recorded air traffic control communications, and flight crew statements, and interviewed air traffic control personnel prior to the NTSB making the preliminary release.

Sunday, October 7, 2012 

A Norwegian University of Science and Technology study released Thursday found electric vehicles have a potential for higher eco-toxicity and greenhouse impact than conventional cars. The study includes an examination of the electric car’s life cycle as a whole rather than a study of the electric car’s environmental impact during the use phase.

The researchers conducted a comparison of the environmental impact of electric cars in view of different ratios of green-to-fuel electricity energy sources. In the case of mostly coal- or oil-based electricity supply, electric cars are disadvantageous compared to classic diesel cars with the greenhouse effect impact being up to two times larger.

The researchers found that in Europe, electric cars pose a “10% to 24% decrease in global warming potential (GWP) relative to conventional diesel or gasoline vehicles”.

The researchers suggest to improve eco-friendliness of electric vehicles by “reducing vehicle production supply chain impacts and promoting clean electricity sources in decision making regarding electricity infrastructure” and using the electric cars for a longer time, so that the use phase plays a more important role in the electric vehicle life cycle.

Communication skills training in London

by

Jamie Hanson

Developing your personality and communication skills can help you successfully achieve any of your goals. The quality of leadership is enhanced with improved communication skills. Dynamic Presenting helps you in developing all the above qualities. Dynamic Presenting is a London based consultancy firm that aims to perfect training of the above skills to senior executives. Improved communication skills and presentation skills both increase your confidence level and can work to convince and persuade people with whom you interact. If you normally speak in public then Dynamic Presenting can assist you in enhancing your presentation skills and your audience convinced.

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Dynamic Presenting adopt best practice for training senior executives by amongst other elements, including theatre training principles. Dynamic Presenting tailor programmes specifically to your business needs and conduct them along the same principles. They work in depth to find the nucleus of the message and prepare custom made content and presentation styles. As presentation training consultancy Dynamic Presenting also help in developing posture during presentations and correcting certain bodily expressions. They go to the extent of video taping the performance and rectify them further for the greatest improvement on personality and communication skills of the speaker. The approach is different for separate people as no two people will present the same.

The presentation skill in Dynamic Presenting include development of physical posture, the relevance of pausing during speech, the fineness in expression and projection, and preparing you to accept difficult questions from the audience comfortably. These developments improve both your personal skills and communication skills. Executive training programmes in London are conducted to enable executives to present and communicate properly and confidently. Training can be undertaken in locations suitable to you.

Dynamic Presenting consultancy was created by Sartaj Garewal in 2010 and he has years of personal experience in developing personality skills and communicating skills. He has mastered the art while working with several theater productions such as the Royal Exchange Manchester, Royal Court and Bush Theater and also in feature films and TV shows. He contributes his experience by training people from various work of life and various level of seniority. With business experience as well, Sartaj can confidently say that he has encountered multiple sides of presentations and communication.

Many London based businesses have benefited from the communication and presentation skills training provided by Sartaj and Dynamic Presenting, and for executives in London, the training has provided a fresh way of learning new skills.

The training results in a more polished approach to communication – both presentation and otherwise, and is something that anyone can benefit from. Improving personal and communication skills is something that should never cease, and everyone has room for further improvement

To find out more about the various consultancy programmes for

presentation skills training in London

and

communication skills training in London

visit the website dynamic-presenting.co.uk

Article Source:

ArticleRich.com

29
May

Racist scuffle on Anti-OBE Teachers’ forum

   Posted by:    in Uncategorized

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 

A Western Australian teachers’ website has come under fire by the Education and Training minister for publishing racist comments. Education and Training Minister, Ljiljanna Ravlich, today expressed concern about racist, abusive and offensive comments appearing on the anti-outcomes based education website PLATO.

Minister Ravlich said she was disgusted by some of the highly offensive comments made by members belonging to the group, People Lobbying Against Teaching Outcomes.

‘Some of the comments are obscene and, quite frankly, I worry that these people might be teaching our children,’ she said.

PLATO has since confirmed a teacher who is employed in the non-government education sector in Western Australia made the abusive comments.

The PLATO website was established to express dissent about the controversial Outcome Based Education system after Minister Ravlich insisted it continue to be used despite claims it was ineffective.

Last month the ongoing controversy even prompted a response from Prime Minister Howard who criticized the OBE method of teaching school children used in WA, describing it as ‘gobbledegook’ and that it could be ‘dumbing down’ the high school English syllabus.

One member from the school teachers’ forum named, ‘Fed up teacher,’ launched a vicious and racist verbal attack on a member who posted a comment supporting the OBE system.

When the member objected to being labelled a ‘nazi’ and the use of the term because her parents had suffered under the nazi regime, her response drew a further personal attack.

The posting by Fed up teacher said, ‘the nazis had the right idea, it is a pity they didn’t get to your parents before you were conceived, you really are a pathetic piece of trash that somehow escaped the final solution.’

Minister Ravlich condemned the attacks as disgusting and said it was just one of many offensive postings appearing on the website.

‘The website is littered with insults, foul language and abusive and racist comments,’ said Ms Ravlich.

The minister said PLATO has only about sixty members and as such was not broadly representative of the ‘thousands of dedicated and professional teachers in Western Australian schools.

29
May

Cadillac unveils Obama’s ‘Beast’, the 2009 Presidential State Car

   Posted by:    in Uncategorized

Saturday, January 17, 2009 

The US Secret Service has released the first photos Wednesday of the new presidential limousine that will transport Barack Obama down Pennsylvania Avenue next Tuesday as part of the 56th Presidential inaugural parade after he is sworn in at the Capitol. The First Limo – the 2009 Cadillac Presidential Limousine – will replace President Bush’s Cadillac DTS Presidential Limousine that rolled out in 2004.

Nicknamed “The Beast”, the hulking machine is a new model year 2009, modified limousine. According to General Motors, the new “2009 Cadillac Presidential Limousine” is the first not to carry a specific model name. The Obama Mobile was introduced on January 14 with noticeably different styling borrowed from the Cadillac Escalade and STS, while the suspension is most likely related to the Chevrolet Kodiak medium-duty truck.

Mr. David Caldwell of General Motors has revealed that the sleek black car would include a hand-crafted interior and “state of the art electronics.” The car’s high-tech security features include five-inch-thick (12.7-centimeter-thick) bombproof glass, tough-as-nails tires, and a sealed interior that’s invulnerable to chemical attack. The armoured limousine has been heavily modified to withstand potential attacks by weapons or bombs. The San Francisco Chronicle puts it in a proper perspective noting, “a half-inch of transparent armor is enough to stop a .44 Magnum round at point-blank range; at a thickness of 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches, the same material can withstand higher-velocity bullets fired from military assault rifles.”

According to spy photographer, Brenda Priddy, and General Motors, the limousine, which has the intricate, dual-textured grille, is also equipped with standard Goodyear Regional RHS truck tires in a 285/70R19.5 size, on 19.5-inch wheels. The rims have a run-flat device (manufactured by Hutchinson Industries). Xenon headlights from the Escalade are installed in the front, while the rear has some STS part. The doors are at least 20 centimeters (8 inches) thick. It carries the US flag on the front fenders and an embroidered Seal of the President of the United States is affixed to several panels in the back.

According to the US Secret Service, the vehicle would be a “valuable asset” in providing the President with the highest level of protection. “Although many of the vehicle’s security enhancements cannot be discussed, it is safe to say that this car’s security and coded communications systems make it the most technologically advanced protection vehicle in the world,” Nicholas Trotta, Assistant Director for the Office of Protective Operations said in a statement. The new limousine is the responsibility of White House Transportation Agency.

The Presidential State Car is the official state car used by the President of the United States. It is informally known as “Cadillac One”. The current Presidential State Car is a 2005 hand-crafted, armored, and stretched DTS (DeVille Touring Sedan) built on a GM four-wheel drive platform. It was first used on the second inauguration parade of George W. Bush in 2005. But the version to be used by President Obama uses a GMC Topkick chassis, while maintaining the Cadillac exterior.

The President of the United States travels in one of two armoured Cadillac limousines based upon the normal sedan, the Cadillac DTS, with heavy customisation. Lincoln cars have also been used in the past, most notably by President John F Kennedy. The current limousines were custom-built by O’Gara, Hess and Eisenhart, founded in Fairfield, Ohio in 1942. It specializes in armouring limousines for presidents and heads of state.

President William McKinley was the first US president to ride in an automobile. However, it was President Theodore Roosevelt who rode on the first government-owned car, a white Stanley Steamer. Roosevelt’s successor, William Howard Taft, was the first president to use a presidential state car that was permanently stored in the White House garage.

Meanwhile, Obama’s 2005 Chrysler 300C Hemi was auctioned on eBay with a starting bid of $100,000 and a buy-it-now price of $1,000,000. It has less than 21,000 miles on it and is in like-new condition. He leased the car in 2004 and traded it for a Ford Escape Hybrid in 2007. The car was sold to Tim O’Boyle.

28
May

Wells Fargo and Barclay’s rumoured to be in merger talks

   Posted by:    in Uncategorized

Monday, January 10, 2005 

Sunday Express, a tabloid newspaper from the UK reported an anonymous source claiming to be an insider to merger talks between Wells Fargo Bank and Barclays Bank.

The rumoured merger would be a radical break in the kinds of mergers Wells Fargo has done and has said it will continue to do (it is assumed that Wells with the higher market capitalization would be the buyer).

Wells Fargo has previously shown no desire to engage in retail banking outside the United States, and has only expanded internationally in its Consumer Finance business and with certain business services.

Wells Fargo currently has a market value of 100 billion, while Barclays is worth 70 billion. The wire services such as Reuters immediately wrote articles about the rumour. Barclays refused to comment on market speculation (it is standard for all corporations to consistently refuse to comment on all merger speculation).

No reporters have so far been able to reach Wells Fargo for comment. It is claimed that talks have been ongoing since October, although they are said to have stalled and then resumed.

There is however the possibility that Wells Fargo and Barclays could be contemplating a business line sale, instead of a full on merger. One possibility is Barclays selling its “Barclays Global Investor” division back to Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo (under old management prior to the 1998 merger of Wells Fargo and Norwest Bank) previously sold its Asset Management (mutual fund) business to Barclays in 1995. Renamed Barclays Global Investors, this business remains headquartered in San Francisco, and still has some connections to Wells Fargo’s new mutual fund business.

Wells Fargo has a long term goal of deriving around 25% of its revenue from investments and insurance; currently it derives around 15 percent of its revenue from this. The purchase of Barclays Global Investor would significantly move Wells Fargo toward achieving this goal.

Another possibility is Barclays buying the private label (or store branded) credit cards of Wells Fargo Financial. In November, Barclays acquired Juniper, a fast growing player in the US private label credit card business.

Pharmacy Schools and Common Facets of Their Courses and Programs

by

William Hauselberg

One of the most sought after educational programs available to prospective students today involves pharmacy. Within todays highly competitive higher educational market, schools offering pharmacy courses have become much more accessible to individuals interested in pharmacy technology and pharmacology careers.

Schools and Training

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In searching for pharmacy schools which offer relevant courses and training, you will probably find that most major colleges and universities have specific degree programs geared toward interested students. Pharmacy studies can be completed either in a traditional classroom setting, or via online college courses. Education and training for this field of study typically requires two to four years of training and certification.

Pharmacy Course Requirements

The course requirements in a pharmacy school program consist of curriculum that emphasizes in-depth instruction regarding pharmaceutical studies. The general education courses include science-based studies such as human anatomy, biology, and chemistry. The importance of having a working knowledge of the sciences as they relate to the human body is vital whenever there are medications involved. These courses assist the student in recognizing side effects in a patient that stem from medication administration.

Advanced Program Course Requirements

Pharmacy educational programs tend to have comparable course requirements due to the fact that pharmacist certification is directed by the Federal Drug Administration (F.D.A.). Advanced coursework typically begins with an introduction to pharmacology, which breaks down the foundations of this field. Medicinal chemistry as it pertains to drug compounds and chemically-prepared synthetic medications is also central to understanding the pharmaceutical process.

It is also recommended that students complete coursework in natural medicinal products. The comprehensive understanding of natural remedies in conjunction with prescription medication is essential, since many patients partake in the concomitant use of both types of products. The dangers and precautions of combined usage of medications is an area of this field where students must be well-informed for the safety of their patients

There are several additional courses in pharmacy programs which students must complete in order to work in the pharmaceutical field. Biostatistics, biopharmaceutics, and pathophysiology are a few of the core curriculum courses that are also recommended.

Finding the best

pharmacy schools

is not an easy task as it seems. However, the author of these articles seem to have great knowledge about finding the best

pharmacy schools

Article Source:

ArticleRich.com

27
May

Racist scuffle on Anti-OBE Teachers’ forum

   Posted by:    in Uncategorized

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 

A Western Australian teachers’ website has come under fire by the Education and Training minister for publishing racist comments. Education and Training Minister, Ljiljanna Ravlich, today expressed concern about racist, abusive and offensive comments appearing on the anti-outcomes based education website PLATO.

Minister Ravlich said she was disgusted by some of the highly offensive comments made by members belonging to the group, People Lobbying Against Teaching Outcomes.

‘Some of the comments are obscene and, quite frankly, I worry that these people might be teaching our children,’ she said.

PLATO has since confirmed a teacher who is employed in the non-government education sector in Western Australia made the abusive comments.

The PLATO website was established to express dissent about the controversial Outcome Based Education system after Minister Ravlich insisted it continue to be used despite claims it was ineffective.

Last month the ongoing controversy even prompted a response from Prime Minister Howard who criticized the OBE method of teaching school children used in WA, describing it as ‘gobbledegook’ and that it could be ‘dumbing down’ the high school English syllabus.

One member from the school teachers’ forum named, ‘Fed up teacher,’ launched a vicious and racist verbal attack on a member who posted a comment supporting the OBE system.

When the member objected to being labelled a ‘nazi’ and the use of the term because her parents had suffered under the nazi regime, her response drew a further personal attack.

The posting by Fed up teacher said, ‘the nazis had the right idea, it is a pity they didn’t get to your parents before you were conceived, you really are a pathetic piece of trash that somehow escaped the final solution.’

Minister Ravlich condemned the attacks as disgusting and said it was just one of many offensive postings appearing on the website.

‘The website is littered with insults, foul language and abusive and racist comments,’ said Ms Ravlich.

The minister said PLATO has only about sixty members and as such was not broadly representative of the ‘thousands of dedicated and professional teachers in Western Australian schools.

27
May

NTSB releases updates on status of 3 major US investigations

   Posted by:    in Uncategorized

Sunday, June 17, 2007 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the agency responsible for investigating transportation accidents in the United States, released updates on three major investigations on June 14.

The NTSB, well known publicly for its involvement in the investigation of aviation incidents which involve harm or loss of human life, is also an agency that oversees the transportation of refined petroleum and gas products, chemicals and minerals.

The agency determined the cause of a natural gas pipeline explosion that killed six. It also detailed the cause of an accidental release of 204,000 gallons of anhydrous ammonia from a pipeline in an environmentally sensitive area, and released preliminary information involving two commercial aircraft coming within 30-50 feet of each other on a runway.

In the gas explosion disaster, the towing vessel Miss Megan, which was of specifications that did not require inspection by the United States Coast Guard, was being operated in the West Cote Blanche Bay oil field in Louisiana by Central Boat Rentals on behalf of Athena Construction on October 12, 2006. The Miss Megan was pushing barge IBR 234, which was tied along the starboard side of barge Athena 106, en route to a pile-driving location. Athena Construction did not require its crews to pin mooring spuds (vertical steel shafts extending through wells in the bottom of the boat and used for mooring) securely in place on its barges and consequently this had not been done. During the journey, the aft spud on the Athena 106 released from its fully raised position. The spud dropped into the water and struck a submerged, high-pressure natural gas pipeline. The resulting gas released ignited and created a fireball that engulfed the towing vessel and both barges. The master of the towing vessel and four barge workers were killed. The Miss Megan deckhand and one barge worker survived. One barge worker is officially listed as missing.

The NTSB blames Athena Construction for the disaster, citing in the final report that Athena Construction’s manual contained no procedures mandating the use of the safety devices on the spud winch except during electrical work. It was found that if the Athena 106 crew had used the steel pins to secure the retracted spuds during their transit, a pin would have prevented the aft spud from accidentally deploying. Furthermore, the spud would have remained locked in its lifted position regardless of whether the winch brake mechanism, the spud’s supporting cable, or a piece of connecting hardware had failed.

The NTSB also found that contributing to the accident was the failure of Central Boat Rentals to require, and the Miss Megan master to ensure, that the barge spuds were securely pinned before getting under way. The Board noted that investigators found no evidence that the Miss Megan master or deckhand checked whether the spuds had been properly secured before the tow began. While Central Boat Rentals had a health and safety manual and trained its crews, the written procedures did not specifically warn masters about the need to secure spuds or other barge equipment before navigating. The NTSB stated that the company’s crew should have been trained to identify potential safety hazards on vessels under their control.

NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker said of the investigation’s results, “Having more rigorous requirements in place could have prevented this accident from occurring. Not only do these regulations need to be put in place but it is imperative that they are enforced and adhered to.”

The NTSB has made a number of safety recommendations as a result of this accident and the subsequent investigation. Recommendations were made to Athena Construction and Central Boat Rentals to develop procedures and train the employees of its barges to use the securing pins to hold spuds safely in place before transiting from one site to another.

The most major of the other recommendations are:

To the Occupational Safety and Health Administration:

To the U. S. Coast Guard

The NTSB also released the result of its investigation into an environmental disaster in Kansas on October 27, 2004 in which 204,000 gallons (4,858 barrels) of anhydrous ammonia was spilled from a ruptured pipeline in Kingman into an environmentally sensitive area. Chemicals from the pipeline entered a nearby stream and killed more than 25,000 fish, including some fish from threatened species.

The incident reached the scale that it did due to operator error after the initial rupture. The 8 5/8-inch diameter steel pipeline, which was operated by Enterprise Products Operating L.P., burst at 11:15 a.m. in an agricultural area about 6 miles east of Kingman, Kansas. A drop in pipeline pressure, indicating abnormal conditions or a possible compromise in pipeline integrity, set off alarms displayed on the computerized pipeline monitoring system. Shortly after the first alarm the pipeline controller, in an attempt to remedy the low pressure, increased the flow of anhydrous ammonia into the affected section of pipeline. A total of 33 minutes elapsed between the time when the first alarm indicated a problem with the pipeline and the initiation of a shutdown.

In its initial report to the National Response Center (NRC), the pipeline operator’s accident reporting contractor reported a release of at least 20 gallons of ammonia, telling the NRC that an updated estimate of material released would be reported at a later time. No such report was ever made. Because of the inaccurate report, the arrival of representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency was delayed by a full day, affecting the oversight of the environmental damage mitigation efforts.

The cause of the rupture itself was determined to be a pipe gouge created by heavy equipment damage to the pipeline during construction in 1973 or subsequent excavation activity at an unknown time that initiated metal fatigue cracking and led to the eventual rupture of the pipeline.

“We are very fortunate that such highly toxic chemicals of the size and scope involved in this accident were not released in a populated area,” commented Rosenker. “Had this same quantity of ammonia been released near a town or city, the results could have been catastrophic.”

As a result of this accident, the NTSB made the following safety recommendations:

To the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration:

To Enterprise Products Operating L.P.:

“The severity of this release of dangerous chemicals into the community could have been prevented,” said Rosenker. “The safety recommendations that we have made, if acted upon, will reduce the likelihood of this type of accident happening again.”

As well as concluding their investigation of the above accidents, the NTSB also released preliminary information regarding a serious runway incursion at San Francisco International Airport between two commercial aircraft on May 26, 2007.

At about 1:30 p.m. the tower air traffic controller cleared SkyWest Airlines flight 5741, an Embraer 120 arriving from Modesto, California, to land on runway 28R. Forgetting about the arrival airplane, the same controller then cleared Republic Airlines flight 4912, an Embraer 170 departing for Los Angeles, to take off from runway 1L, which intersects runway 28R.

After the SkyWest airliner touched down, the Airport Movement Area Safety System (AMASS) alerted and the air traffic controller transmitted “Hold, Hold, Hold” to the SkyWest flight crew in an attempt to stop the aircraft short of runway 1L. The SkyWest crew applied maximum braking that resulted in the airplane stopping in the middle of runway 1L. As this was occurring, the captain of Republic Airlines flight 4912 took control of the aircraft from the first officer, realized the aircraft was traveling too fast to stop, and initiated an immediate takeoff. According to the crew of SkyWest 5741, the Republic Airlines aircraft overflew theirs by 30 to 50 feet. The Federal Aviation Administration has categorized the incident as an operational error.

The NTSB sent an investigator to San Francisco, who collected radar data, recorded air traffic control communications, and flight crew statements, and interviewed air traffic control personnel prior to the NTSB making the preliminary release.

Sunday, October 7, 2012 

A Norwegian University of Science and Technology study released Thursday found electric vehicles have a potential for higher eco-toxicity and greenhouse impact than conventional cars. The study includes an examination of the electric car’s life cycle as a whole rather than a study of the electric car’s environmental impact during the use phase.

The researchers conducted a comparison of the environmental impact of electric cars in view of different ratios of green-to-fuel electricity energy sources. In the case of mostly coal- or oil-based electricity supply, electric cars are disadvantageous compared to classic diesel cars with the greenhouse effect impact being up to two times larger.

The researchers found that in Europe, electric cars pose a “10% to 24% decrease in global warming potential (GWP) relative to conventional diesel or gasoline vehicles”.

The researchers suggest to improve eco-friendliness of electric vehicles by “reducing vehicle production supply chain impacts and promoting clean electricity sources in decision making regarding electricity infrastructure” and using the electric cars for a longer time, so that the use phase plays a more important role in the electric vehicle life cycle.