Category Archives: Fluid Sealing News

FSA Engages EPA on Attributes of Sealing Device Technology

The FSA recently wrote and advised the EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, concerning efforts to contain and reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. Containing methane leaks is necessary to address climate change challenges. Members of the FSA are committed to working with their oil and gas customers to offer the “best-in-class” sealing device technologies available. FSA members play a prominent role in preventing leaks and emissions while increasing energy efficiency in the oil and gas sector. Read their letter FSA Methane Letter to EPA 102714.

FSA Government Affairs Update

The “Environmental Goods” agreement is a project sponsored by the World Trade Organization to eliminate Trade barriers and export tariffs for goods that are beneficial to the environment. The unimpeded international trade of such goods would lead to their greater use, and therefore to a cleaner environment. The United States Trade Representative solicited comments on what should be included on the list of such goods. The FSA argued in a written response that sealing products, which are used to seal all types of equipment used in the production industrial products and thus contain harmful emissions, would fall under that category.

Click Government Affairs Update Fall 2014 to read more.

Click here to see video testimony given in front of a panel of government officials from the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, Environment Protection Agency, and the U.S. Departments of State, Commerce, and Homeland Security.

FSA Technical Director Joins Pumps & Systems MENA Editorial Advisory Board

Pumps & Systems MENA, the new magazine for pump users in the Middle East and North Africa, announced that Henri Azibert, the Technical Director for the Fluid Sealing Association (FSA), has joined its Editorial Advisory Board.

“I look forward to working with the staff at Pumps & Systems MENA,” Azibert said. “The global pumps market is very important to our members.”

As an Editorial Advisory Board member, Azibert will be consulted on the latest trends and challenges in the MENA pumps market.

Click FSA Technical Director Joins MENA Magazine Board to read more.

Funding Approved by DOE for Clean Coal Project

The Department of Energy (DOE) has approved financing for FutureGen 2.0, clearing a key administrative step for the “clean” coal project based on capture of CO2 emissions. DOE announced plans to fund the $1.68 billion initiative, which plans to capture at least 90% of the CO2 from a 168-megawatt operating coal fired electric power generator near Meredosia, Ill.

FutureGen 2.0 is one of five DOE proposals to demonstrate CO2 capture technology on a commercial scale in the energy sector. While the other proposals involve use of CO2 for enhanced oil recovery, where the CO2 is used to pump oil out of a field, FutureGen 2.0 would sequester CO2 in an underground saline aquifer. This project involves the redesign of an existing plant rather than construction of a brand new facility. Captured CO2 at the Illinois plant would be transported along a 30-mile pipeline to a storage site in eastern Morgan County, where the gas would be injected approximately 4,000 feet below the surface.
The DOE already had concluded in a final environmental impact statement that FutureGen 2.0 would have “minor” impacts on groundwater, geology, land use and air quality. The project received critical air and water permits from Illinois in December 2013. The project is scheduled to become operational in 2017.

The DOE action constitutes the last step in the National Environmental Policy Act process but does not guarantee the project’s construction. The developers need to complete financial closing and obtain a handful of federal and state permits, including a CO2 storage permit from the EPA.

The DOE’s record of decision for this project can be studied at:

http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/01/f6/EIS-0460-ROD-2014.pdf

Greenhouse Gas from Power Plants Declines

The U.S. EPA has released its third year of greenhouse gas (GHS) data detailing carbon emissions and trends from large facilities broken down by industrial sector, GHS, geographic region, and individual facility. The data, required to be collected annually by Congress, highlight a decrease in these emissions as more utilities switch to cleaner burning natural gas.

EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program collects annual information from over 8,000 facilities in the largest emitting industries, including power plants, oil and gas production and refining, iron and steel mills, and landfills. In addition, the program is receiving data on the increasing production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), predominantly used in refrigeration and air-conditioning. This Program is the only one that collects facility-level GHG data from major industrial sources across the U.S.

The 2012 data show that in the two years since reporting began, emissions from power plants have decreased 10%. This is due to a switch from coal to natural gas for electricity generation and a slight decrease in electricity production. Fossil-fuel fired power plants remain the largest source of U.S. GHG emissions. With just under 1,600 facilities emitting over 2 billion metric tons of CO2 in 2012, these plants account for roughly 40% of total U.S. carbon emissions.

The data are accessible through EPA’s online data publication tool, FLIGHT, which is available for both desktop and mobile devices. This year, with three years of data for most sources, FLIGHT now has been updated with new features, including the ability to view trend graphs by sector and facility as well as download charts and graphs for use in presentations and reports. The data are also published through EnviroFacts, which allows the public to download data for further analyses.

Access link to EPA’s GHG Reporting Program Data and Data Publication Tool is: http://www.epa.gov/ghgreporting/

Access to EnviroFacts:

http://epa.gov/enviro/

NIST-MEP Launches Supply Chain Optimization Program

After an initial pilot project held in five states, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) with Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) has launched a new supply chain optimization program. The program is designed to help U.S. manufacturers become more competitive. Manufacturers of any size can join, which seeks to increase competitive advantage through stronger, more collaborative supply chains.

The program establishes a coaching and mentoring partnership between MEP’s subject matter experts and participating manufacturers to address barriers to effective supply chains. NIST-MEP surveyed manufacturers and found that companies suffer from a lack of collaboration and visibility in their supply chains and lack a synchronized plan for those elements. The survey also showed that many do not understand the true total cost of ownership—the costs for every activity along the supply stream.

MEP centers help by quantifying the needs of the supply chain and focusing on the points in the process that are impeding throughput. Total cost of ownership is one element on which the centers provide guidance, along with executive and partner engagement and risk management.

As part of the pilot effort, the South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership helped its client, Syn Strand, avoid $3 million in capital expenditure, realize $2 million in increased annual sales, save $200,000 a year and retain eight full-time jobs—all while achieving a 10% increase in capacity and a 10% reduction in inventory. For more information about this case study, please visit: www.mepsupplychain.org/resource/

The complete listing of program offerings can be found at: http://www.mepsupplychain.org