Thursday, September 1, 2022

Short Takes – 9-1-22

Sulfuric acid: the next resource crisis that could stifle green tech and threaten food security. article. Critical industrial chemical a byproduct of fossil fuel production. Pull quote: “According to our latest study, a rapid reduction in fossil fuel use required to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 could create a shortfall of sulfuric acid as large as 320 million tonnes by 2040, or 130% of present day production.”

Steam release injures four at US paper mill. article. Includes link to local news about incident. Steam release that causes severe injury could be a CSB reportable incident.

Railroad workers prepared to strike next month: survey. article. Lack of grassroot support for labor panel deal. Pull quote: “Federal law gives Congress the power to halt or delay any railroad walkout, but Congress has not dealt with the issue in three decades. Lawmakers could vote to impose the Presidential Emergency Board’s recommendations or appoint arbitrators to fast-track a new contract, among various options, if rail workers decide to strike.” Republican support for rail customers might force cooperation with Democrats.

Federal cyber mandate looms for local water systems. article. Reports that EPA will send interpretation letter to States that would require inclusion of cybersecurity checks during State sanitation survey’s of water systems. Pull quote: “The groups warned that state regulators conducting the surveys aren’t qualified to gauge whether water systems can thwart hackers, and their mistakes could fuel “misinformation” in the media, reputational harm or fines. What’s more, the groups warned there are no federal or state statutes to ensure what information inspectors do collect won’t be publicly disclosed, which could send a green light to hackers that the utility is insecure.

Amazon took all U.S. solar rooftops offline last year after flurry of fires, electrical explosions. article. Interesting look at problems that Amazon has had with massive and extensive solar installations. Pull quote: “Problems included mismatched module-to-module connectors, improper installation of connectors, poor wire management and evidence of water intrusion in the inverters, internal documents said.” If Amazon has this problem with integrators, how many other folks are having similar problems?

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