Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

BP promises to stop using dispersants underwater until tests are done on environmental safety

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
 
seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-10 12:44 AM
Original message
BP promises to stop using dispersants underwater until tests are done on environmental safety
Only now, AFTER BP has already dumped 166,000 gallons of proprietary chemical dispersants into the Gulf of Mexico--- chemicals 'from a product line called Corexit, that had its approval rescinded in Britain a decade ago because laboratory tests found them harmful to sea life that inhabits rocky shores...'

AND, 'that amount of dispersant is greater than the entire stockpile kept by oil-producing nations like Norway.'


What's more, ' a worker safety sheet for one product, called Corexit, says it includes 2-butoxyethanol, a compound associated with headaches, vomiting and reproductive problems at high doses.'




Who gave BP carte blanche to dump more than one third of the world's supply of these toxic substances into our Gulf of Mexico without any regard for the long-term environmental damage??



Is anyone in our leadership going to take on BP for every GD f'ing red cent it is worth before grinding it into confetti?

There is going to be hell to pay for this.






Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: Turtles Dying, but Not From Oil

By AYANA HARRY and NED POTTER
May 6, 2010


Workers in the Gulf of Mexico, struggling to bring the massive BP oil spill under control, found themselves with yet another issue to deal with: What is killing the sea turtles in the spill zone?

It's not the spilled oil, said officials. At least 35 dead turtles have been found washed up on shore, an unusual number. But necropsies found they were clean of the toxic brown crude that has been spewing from the floor of the Gulf since April 20, when the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and burned, 50 miles off the Louisiana coast. Eleven oil workers were presumed killed, and an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil per day have been leaking from the wrecked wellhead since.
"We are seeing turtles and marine mammals, including dolphins and whales, in and outside the oil," said Sheryan Epperly of the National Marine Fisheries Service, which has been surveying the area by helicopter.

So why are they washing up on shore dead?

.....

(Louie Miller of the Sierra Club) was suspicious of the chemical dispersants being used to break up the slick.

"What concerns us is that there's a lot of talk from BP that these chemicals are under proprietary protection, so therefore we can't get the information," he said. "That's totally unacceptable to this situation."
Most of the turtles found so far are Kemp's Ridleys, which are an endangered species. The only place in the world where Kemp's Ridley turtles nest is the western Gulf of Mexico. They are currently in peak nesting season, and their foraging grounds are located in the spill area.

.....

Chemical dispersants, pumped into the water or sprayed on the surface of the Gulf slick, have been used to break up the oil. But late Wednesday BP said it would stop using dispersants underwater until tests can be done to make sure there are no major environmental consequences.

Dispersants have been used for years, but BP took the unprecedented step of pumping them directly down to the vicinity of the leaking wellhead, 5,000 feet below the surface of the water.

"When the dispersant and the oil mix, it just breaks the oil into smaller molecules, and the oil just breaks into smaller droplets," said Bob Fryar, a senior executive of BP. "At that time the ocean just takes over and it just degrades naturally."
Fryar, at BP in Houston, played down the risks, saying oil leaks into the Gulf of Mexico all the time.

"You know, actually, you typically have small oil seeps that come up from the ground already," he said. "There's probably one to two thousand barrels a day oil seep that's taking place in various places, and the earth just naturally takes care of that."

.....




In Gulf of Mexico, Chemicals Under Scrutiny


By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL
Published: May 5, 2010


As they struggle to plug a leak from a ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, BP and federal officials are also engaging in one of the largest and most aggressive experiments with chemical dispersants in the history of the country, and perhaps the world.
With oil continuing to gush from the deep well, they have sprayed 160,000 gallons of chemical dispersant on the waters surface and pumped an additional 6,000 gallons directly onto the leak, a mile beneath the surface.

John Curry, director of external affairs at BP, said the company was encouraged by the results so far. But some environmental groups are deeply nervous.
I understand its the only thing they can do, said Paul Orr of the group Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper. But I think its vital afterwards to really monitor whats happening with aquatic life, with oil on the sea floor and things like oyster beds.

Even in the best cases, dispersants are applied in what might be termed a lose-lose strategy.

.....

What is more, the main dispersants applied so far, from a product line called Corexit, had their approval rescinded in Britain a decade ago because laboratory tests found them harmful to sea life that inhabits rocky shores, like limpets, said Mark Kirby, a scientific adviser to the British government on the testing, use and approval of oil spill treatment options.

.....

Still, as the molecules from the 160,000 gallons of dispersant bind with the oil from Deepwater Horizon, the oil drilling rig that exploded on April 20, and fan out across the gulf, some groups are fighting for more information about the products composition. That amount of dispersant is greater than the entire stockpile kept by oil-producing nations like Norway.

We flew over there and saw BP spraying all over the place, said Frederic Hauge, head of the international environment group Bellona, based in Oslo. We deserve to know whats in there.


Although the Nalco Company, which makes the Corexit dispersants, posted copies of the safety documents for two of its dispersants online Wednesday, some of the ingredients are listed as proprietary.
The 10-page documents go into detail about compounds that must be handled with great care in their original form, that should not touch the skin and can damage lungs. Although the documents state that the potential environmental hazard is moderate, they say that when used as directed at sea in the recommended amounts the potential environmental exposure is low.

Its like any other product, said Charlie Pajor, a senior manager at the Illinois-based company: We developed them and were protecting our trade secret.

.....




Chemicals Meant To Break Up BP Oil Spill Present New Environmental Concerns

By Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica
April 30, 2010


.....

Even if the materials, called dispersants, are effective, BP has already bought up more than a third of the worlds supply. If the leak from 5,000 feet beneath the surface continues for weeks, or months, that stockpile could run out.
On Thursday BP began using the chemical compounds to dissolve the crude oil, both on the surface and deep below, deploying an estimated 100,000 gallons. Dispersing the oil is considered one of the best ways to protect birds and keep the slick from making landfall. But the dispersants contain harmful toxins of their own and can concentrate leftover oil toxins in the water, where they can kill fish and migrate great distances.

.....

The exact makeup of the dispersants is kept secret under competitive trade laws, but a worker safety sheet for one product, called Corexit, says it includes 2-butoxyethanol, a compound associated with headaches, vomiting and reproductive problems at high doses.

There is a chemical toxicity to the dispersant compound that in many ways is worse than oil, said Richard Charter, a foremost expert on marine biology and oil spills who is a senior policy advisor for Marine Programs for Defenders of Wildlife and is chairman of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council. Its a trade-off youre damned if you do, damned if you dont -- of trying to minimize the damage coming to shore, but in so doing you may be more seriously damaging the ecosystem offshore.

BP did not respond to requests for comment for this article.

.....

But the dispersed oil can also collect on the seabed, where it becomes food for microscopic organisms at the bottom of the food chain and eventually winds up in shellfish and other organisms. The evaporation process can also concentrate the toxic compounds left behind, particularly oil-derived compounds called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs.

.....

A version of Corexit was widely used after the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill and, according to a literature review performed by the group the Alaska Community Action on Toxics, was later linked with health impacts in people including respiratory, nervous system, liver, kidney and blood disorders.

.....

Right now there is a headlong rush to get this oil out of sight out of mind, Charter (the marine expert) said. You can throw every resource we have at this spill. You can call out the Marine Corps and the National Guard. This is so big that it is unlikely that any amount of response is going to make much of a dent in the impacts. Its going to be mostly watching it happen.







BP's rush to get this oil slick out of sight and out of camera lenses, as the unseen small droplet dispersion damage to the seabed food chain deep underwater continues unabated.... BP figures if we can't see the damage, we won't complain.

Not bloody likely.


And, BP surely wants to slam a 4-story concrete and steel dome over the well head too, so we will never be able to examine the cementing job that Halliburton did on this well, just 20 hours before the explosion.




In any sane world, this would be the death of BP. And Halliburton would already be a rotted corpse.








Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-10 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
1. "Kick ass and get stuff out there. I don't care what it is--
Edited on Fri May-07-10 04:08 PM by chill_wind
I don't care if it picks up two gallons (of oil) a week. Get that shit out there and stand it around where people can see it," executive Don Cornett said, according to a transcript of an audio tape of Cornett gathered for a 1994 trial on the spill.

Special report: Will the cleanup make the BP oil spill worse?
Yereth Rosen and Peter Henderson
CORDOVA, Alaska/SAN FRANCISCO
Fri May 7, 2010 2:25pm EDT

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6465O320100507?ty...


Article points out that Congress authorized studies in the 1990 law which followed on the Exxon Valdez disaster, but it never approved the funds to carry out them out. We've had 20 years since to get more than just the "gray science". BP is suddenly going to give us anything different in the middle of this crisis, after the fact .... NOW?




Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-10 04:09 PM
Response to Original message
2. Reagan paved the way for this kind of global negligence.
How is that unregulated capitalism working out for us now? Thanks Uncle Dick and Dubya for killing us all off you two do know that without servants you guys will be helpless, right?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-10 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
3. kick
:kick:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Wed Dec 17th 2014, 08:16 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC