media AND news

MEDIA

Audit of British Columbia’s Tailings Pond Regulations Casts Shadow on Government’s 'World Class’ Mining Claims
July 2021
In 2014, a collapse of the Mount Polley copper/gold mine tailings pond unleashed 24 million cubic meters of wastewater into British Columbia waterways, becoming one of the worst mining environmental disasters in history. Subsequently, a myriad of new regulations were imposed, but a 2021 audit by the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation cites numerous ongoing shortcomings in data, ambiguous regulations, enforcement challenges and outright violations.
Even Shallow Wastewater Injection Can Cause Earthquakes
July 2021
Geoscientists have found that even shallow wastewater injection - not just deep wastewater injections - can also cause widespread earthquake activity. This conclusion goes against many geoscientists’ prior thinking, but is explained by the interaction of poroelasticity of surface flows vs. solid deformations. The study was done in the Delaware/Permian Basin of Western Texas which has seen an exponential rise in seismicity with increasing shale exploration.
Salton Sea: Possible Mega-Project Would Require Enormous Brine Disposal
June 2021
The Salton Sea in Southern California has been dubbed one of the worst human-caused environmental disasters, worsening every year as farm run-offs deposit more chemicals to the lake, with these chemicals and the lake’s salt concentrating to ever-more toxic levels as the lake slowly evaporates. The California government continues to mull a plethora of multi-billion dollar proposals to remediate the lake. This article discusses a plan to replenish the lake with saltwater from Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, coupled with building desalination plants to provide water for the severely constrained local agribusiness and 40mn people. With this plan, or with many other potential plans (such as evaporating the entire lake away), ECOVAP could be an ideal low-cost solution for disposing of the brine, either directly from the lake or from desalination plants.
California “One of the Worst” in Regulating Oil/Gas Industry Waste
June 2021
Notwithstanding its branding as one of the most environmentally-protective states, California ranks poorly in its regulation and enforcement of oil/gas waste, and particularly the industry's wastewater (aka, “produced water”). The recent audit cites many deficiencies, including being the only state that allows produced water to be disposed of in unlined percolation/evaporation ponds (which can seep into underground freshwater aquifers), inadequate regulation of radionuclides, and human-induced earthquakes (from underground injection wells). Finally, even with its more lax regulations, the report calls-out many “exemptions” that have been allowed, as well as poor enforcement.
Rising Earthquakes Leading to Greater Scrutiny of SWD; Reuse Option is Limited
June 2021
The first article below, “Treating the US Oil Industry’s Dark Water: As Earthquakes Increase, Billions Needed to Switch Course”, details increasing earthquakes and other negative environmental impacts as reasons to “switch course”, specifically calling for more reuse of wastewater. The second article, “Challenges in Reusing Produced Water” details the high cost of this treatment for most end uses. Reuse is inherently limited to the extent that contaminants are usually not destroyed, but become more concentrated as good water is separated from toxic water, and the more contaminated the residual water becomes, the more expensive to treat. On the other hand, reuse is benefitting from continually rising freshwater prices in some very water stressed areas. ECOVAP is uniquely able to provide low cost disposal for any produced water waste stream up to 200k ppm, avoiding all of the environmental impacts of SWD’s (earthquakes, trucking/CO2, pressurized energy consumption and aquifer contamination).
ECOVAP: A Win-Win for the Rare Earth Market that is Critical for Green Energy
June 2021
ECOVAP is proud to have provided a financial/environmental win-win to a large producer in the rare earth mining business (see Mining Case Study: https://ecovap.com/ecovap-product/). This article summarizes the growing environmental importance of rare earths as critical elements in wind and solar power, EV cars and energy storage, and in dramatically reducing the weight of all transportation vehicles. On the other hand, rare earth mining itself is very environmentally challenging, particularly in the water of tailings ponds: "for every ton of rare earth produced, there are 2,000 tons of mine tailings”. As a result, 95% of the industry has migrated to the relatively lax or unenforced environmental regulations in China. However, as China increasingly addresses these environmental challenges, the concern is that rare earth costs will increase significantly such that green, renewable power becomes less competitive.
Earthquake “Swarms” Linked to Wastewater Injection in California
June 2021
The USGS has long established a strong link between wastewater injection and earthquakes in many states that previously had practically no seismic activity (i.e., Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana). However, this cause-effect analysis was much more difficult in California due to its many faults and history of natural earthquakes, thus making it much more difficult to separate out the “human induced” earthquakes from wastewater injection. This article points to “swarms” of earthquake activity around areas of California that occurred immediately after high levels of wastewater injection (mainly from the oil/gas “produced water”) occurred. ECOVAP is proud to have already had a significant impact on reducing the seismicity (and underground aquifer contamination, not covered in this article) risk as our second largest installation is located in Southern California, allowing our company to reduce the trucking and wastewater disposal volumes of a large mine by over 95% (see Case Studies - Mining https://ecovap.com/ecovap-product/).
The Canadian Tar Sands Tailing Pond Market
April 2021
This article summarizes the wastewater challenges for the Canadian Tar Sand tailings ponds as one of ECOVAP’s primary target markets
ECOVAP Advantages Toward ZLD Summarized
April 2021
The Bureau of Reclamation (BoR) published a January 2021 report titled “Emerging Technologies for High Recovery Processing” that includes a summary of ECOVAP’s ...
WASHINGTON POST
MARCH 2021
Army Corps denies permit for massive gold mine proposed near Bristol Bay in Alaska
WASHINGTON POST
MARCH 2021
Army Corps denies permit for massive gold mine proposed near Bristol Bay in Alaska
WASHINGTON POST
MARCH 2021
Army Corps denies permit for massive gold mine proposed near Bristol Bay in Alaska
WASHINGTON POST
MARCH 2021
Army Corps denies permit for massive gold mine proposed near Bristol Bay in Alaska
WASHINGTON POST
MARCH 2021
Army Corps denies permit for massive gold mine proposed near Bristol Bay in Alaska
WASHINGTON POST
MARCH 2021
Army Corps denies permit for massive gold mine proposed near Bristol Bay in Alaska