Every other year a team of geophysicists and weather geeks told the Bloomberg administration about the storm surge that would come and why it would be exceptionally flooding to areas of the city. They explained why protection was necessary while there was still time to do something about it and why it was needed. They used charts and briefs with clear explanations but each time were sent away with nothing done, not one thing accomplished. When Hurricane Sandy came, there was no protection whatsoever.
In the late 60’s, the scrubbers being requested of oil industry facilities and other high polluting industries would’ve cost between $30 and $60 per smokestack and effluent release pipe – but, no – they wouldn’t do any of it and hired millions of dollars worth of lawyers, pr firms, lobbyists and “experts” to prevent having to do anything.
In the 70’s, it would have cost about $80 each to put that same filter on each stack and about $120 each for the effluent streams. In the 80’s, it would’ve cost about $300 each and $450, respectively. Then in the 90’s, it would’ve been from $600 to $3,000 depending on the system required to be placed, based upon the chemicals being discharged into the air, soil or water by the industry. But, no.
After the year 2000, some of those prices actually went down because of better and cheaper systems and materials with a much better understanding of treating whole systems in a more integrated way – but still, no. All the while, the damage was being done to the environment, to people, to communities and to entire regions of our nation.
And, all the time this damage was continuing to be done to the environment on massive scales across multiple industries, they were spending literally hundreds of millions of dollars on not doing anything. Industries, both individually and collectively as well as their industry associations spent far more on not doing anything or not being required by government to do anything than would’ve been spent if they had simply done something appropriate about it at any given point.
In some jurisdictions, in some states, EPA standards were applied but in many, many others, they were not. After 9/11 because of demand for filtration systems to prevent possible terrorist attacks or at least ameliorate them, and because the value of our US dollar having changed generally negatively, those 1960’s $30 scrubber filters would’ve cost more like $12,000 – $18,000 each even with the newer materials and methods.
Industries and industry groups spent decades of spending what became billions, maybe even trillions of dollars all told, across all of the polluting industries. These costs for attorneys’ fees, fines (occasionally), paying lawyers to appeal the fines till hell freezes over, retaining pr firms, supporting climate denial think tanks, hiring lobbyists and paying lobby firms retainers, supporting PACs, making campaign contributions to anti-EPA and climate denial candidates, and paying “experts” to discredit and decimate the reputations of climate change supporting scientists far exceed the imagination. And, industries supporting those costs spent real money far in excess by many times over what it would’ve ever cost to have stopped sending pollutants into the air, water, soil and forever altering the environment with it.
Thirty something years too late to fix it and now, they’re saying they want to be responsible corporate citizens as politicians they’ve bought are starting to say we might ought to do something about this. As our weather becomes more extreme by each day forward, as our sea levels rise and flooding entrenches entire areas of our country month after month where it had not been expected but once every hundred years or thousand years, when rains come with twenty inches or more in numbers of hours over a couple days rather than across months or weeks, and as arctic glaciers melt that have been there longer than humanity has existed – yeah, now it becomes a thing. It is too late. We have passed the tipping point and it is way too late to worry about it now.
Tree huggers they laughed and smirked, mocking the shunned hippy folks they thought them to be. But now, as it turns out – trees lower the temperature of the climate by two degrees. And, wouldn’t that be handy about now? But the corporate giants of industry cut all the old growth forest and jungles down that they could get their hands on and still to this day, what is left of them are being cut down, clear cut, burned into more carbon in the atmosphere across the globe as if there is not one reason not to do it. And today, see this if nothing else –
Sep 22, 2014 – Not only is carbon dioxide readily abundant, it is three to 10 times cheaper than other feedstocks used to make plastics and chemicals, according to Cole. … Eventually, it hopes to harness carbon emissions there and convert it …
Feb 26, 2014 – Could future clothes, bottles and chairs be made from carbonemissions? … The vast majority of plastic is produced from petroleum, which means that … By combining methane and carbon dioxide with a proprietary catalyst, …
Oct 28, 2015 – Pellets of urea fertilizer are made from carbon dioxide in a plant in … can convert CO2 emissions from coal and natural-gas power plants into useful … fuels and raw material for the manufacture of plastics and other chemicals.
Worldwide, we consume approximately 100 million tons of plastic each year. From the EPA’s more conservative estimate to the more liberal one, that’s anywhere from 100 million tons of carbon dioxide emitted to 500 million tons.
Wanting to write about the terrorist possibilities with nuclear materials, but a part of me wants to believe that our authorities and agencies responsible for these materials have them well secured. Time and time again, it becomes evident that there are lapses in both the security of facilities and nuclear materials as well as lapses in common sense in handling events that occur.
If a few simple things were done, security would certainly be better at anyplace housing, using, storing or creating electricity with nuclear materials.
Is to make sure all security cameras are far removed from access by a person wanting to simply turn them away.
Is to make sure that all security personnel and workers of every kind at any facilities with nuclear materials have been well vetted beyond a normal random check done for other types of businesses.
Is to make sure that all ID badges used by facility personnel of any kind, any contractors, any plumbers that come out to fix something, any technicians, any company executives inclusively – have RFID tracking on the badges.
Is to make sure that local constabulary, police supervisors, police and fire chiefs, and whoever else might make stupid or egotistical decisions locally about any event at a nuclear materials using facility – knows to immediately inform appropriate intel and counter-terrorism agencies about any and all irregular events concerning the plant. That would include murders of any personnel that works there, any loss of materials, any stuck valves that are made to look like they weren’t done intentionally though proof is visible that intentionality was likely, AND any bizarre occurrences out of the ordinary, such as having all the oil drained from a pump expected to be lubricating the turbines that causes significant damages, etc., etc., etc.,
IS TO MAKE SURE that every country using nuclear materials for civilian uses and any other uses understands that the international community will not accept pretense about these materials because of their inherent dangers to us all.
When TEPCO executives made statements straight out of a playbook of damage control for public consumption, they first downplayed the incidents and their dangers even as those events were unfolding and they knew the magnitude of the disaster. This is not an acceptable path for executives, decision-makers, industries, industry spokespeople, industry pr firms, politicians or even local officials to take when events can unfold quickly and impact such a massive swath of humanity and civilization for years to come.
This is to say, that as our leaders meet for the Nuclear Security Summit, the greatest danger we face is to watch events unfold concerning nuclear materials and it be a week later before some local executive or supervisor at the facility or other business using those materials actually tells somebody who can do concrete measures to fix it. Or, in the case of terrorist use of those materials, to tell a group of agencies from Interpol to counter-terrorism and national security agencies that the materials are missing in a timely and effective manner.
The same is true for local police jurisdictions in areas near nuclear and other chemical industry facilities. It cannot be up to them to say a matter is no more than criminal when in fact, it could be very likely tied to terrorism or a terrorist network intending greater harm. That information needs to be in the hands of those who are collecting it, analyzing it, interpreting its connectivity to other known information about terrorists operations and then acted upon appropriately. That can’t happen when the information is circumvented by jurisdictional ego building tactics.
There, I’ve had my say about it. But, I do want to believe that our authorities and security / intel agencies have it all well in hand. And, they’ve thwarted countless terrorist plans, prepared events of terrorism and some really incredibly stupid stuff that would’ve been massively dangerous to us all. So, maybe. Maybe with the addition of just a few simple things – it can be made safer. I hope so.
At the same plant where these jihadists once worked, an individual who has yet to be identified walked into the reactor No. 4 in 2014, turned a valve and drained 65,000 liters of oil used to lubricate the turbines. The ensuing friction nearly overheated the machinery, forcing it to be shut down. The damage was so severe that the reactor was out of commission for five months.
“I’m really mad. I’m finding dead turtles, birds, giant fish and other animals all over the beach. No one comes by to clean them up right away and people come down here and let their kids play next to them. And the water looks like chicken broth.
””It’s so sad,” says Mississippi coastal resident Laurel Lockamy who found a dead sea turtle over the weekend wrapped in orange tape, ready for retrieval.Turtles are just the latest sea life deaths to get federal attention.
So far this year, at least 134 dolphins have been found stranded along the Gulf coast, about four times the average number. Nearly half of the dolphins were newborns or juveniles. Earlier this year NOAA issued an Unusual Mortality Event for dolphins, which triggers a federal investigation into the deaths.
First the people counting the affected wildlife only considered a small number of key indicator species, rather than tallying all of them found. And, then the reports coming in like this one which indicates there is not really any reasonably coordinated manner to add in the multitude of marine animal deaths that have been occurring along the entire Gulf of Mexico corridor. And, on top of that, there will be thirty more years of studying made from those deaths before anyone at the EPA or in any of these states will say they can be in any way attributable to the oil industry spill and Deepwater Horizon spill or the toxic chemical dispersant COREXIT used immediately during and after the spill at the insistence of BP.
And, worst of all – when I noticed what Qaddafi incorporated was demanding and getting from the oil industry concerning the oil harvesting in Libya, compared to what the US and any of the states along the Gulf Coast of the US receive – it is just wrong, way wrong. The oil companies paid a billion dollar sign on bonus to Libya (Qaddafi) and only get to receive 12% of the profits from the oil while Libya and the Qaddafi family through the Libya Investment Authority would get the rest. And, the oil companies had to pay for the equipment, engineering, harvesting, retrieval and drilling (and transport facilities / shipping and pipelines) for that oil at their own expense and not Libya’s. We’re doing it completely backasswards to that. And, then getting screwed, I might add – every time there is something that goes wrong and we have to pay for it. We also get higher prices on gasoline, diesel and jet fuel every time there is a whisper of something that might go wrong in all of it. And, we’re subsidizing their industry at every level of it.
It was our USGS that examined and studied the shale oil deposits for the oil industry, and the deep-sea offshore reserves, the onshore oil reserves, the Alaska oil reserves, the Minnesota oil reserves, and most of those around the world for them too – at our expense. Along with other tax breaks, incentives, industry subsidies, refinery and shipping subsidies, odd little engineering subsidies for these off-shore derricks and the subsea transport systems and robotics to get the oil off loaded, etc. , etc., etc., – we’ve been screwed.
And, it never ends even though their profits and returns are through the roof.
Maybe we just need to hire the Qaddafi family to get our oil companies to treat us right and get him and his bunch out of Libya where they can’t do anything but damage the people there. Maybe they need to be the ones getting the oilfield deals made for us – or someone doing it in the manner that they have – among our states and US government agencies involved with it.
There is a 25 percent chance the pump price will exceed $4 a gallon from June through August, the agency said, compared with a 10 percent probability gasoline could fall below $3 during the same period.
My Note –
I think they need to review their math skills at the agency where they made this projection. It is wrong.
The price of gasoline is already at or over $4.00 a gallon in Chicago, it has been reported. And, it is over $4 a gallon in California, Denver and probably anywhere Spring Break destinations are used to having a captive audience.
Summer will be even more so. My guess is that the price of gasoline will go up substantially higher than that because the traders and speculators driving the prices per barrel are already trying to figure out how to offload what they’ve purchased and make a bigger profit from it. They likely figure this is one of those once in a lifetime deals where they can really make a killing. That would be my guess. It will stagger through the economy faster than the contracts that will get delivered because that is how it has done in the past (2008, 1970’s) as companies try to get ahead of the upswing in costs to have a buffer.
On a personal note, as I have noticed in the stores when I stopped buying cereal – it the boxes that cost nearly $5 already get any skinnier – we can use them as postage stamps instead. I don’t know how they get away with it. Many foods now look like something from a child’s play kitchen set with little in it at all. That is going to be even more so as the commodities prices have been driving upwards by the traders on the exchanges and now add the increased price of oil, gasoline, shipping and increased cargo charges to them. It is not going to work.
The law of supply and demand would naturally bring these prices down or the quantities up because there cannot possibly be as many people buying these things at these prices for the amount of product offered. But, the free market doesn’t exist in America in that sense. It is unnaturally supported in the manner middlemen including the commodities traders are driving the prices. The losses can be written off and it doesn’t yield any incentive to meet the market demand where it is and price competitively to it at the real value.
Oh well. If we had a better deal on the oil that is being pulled out of the ground in America, like Libya’s foul leaders got from the oil industries – we wouldn’t even be having this problem.
They only give away 12% of the profits and charge a “sign-on” bonus over a billion dollars each to the oil companies (and they are glad to get it.) Damn ridiculous while we are subsidizing the oil companies and begging them to do whatever they will to get our oil out of the ground so they can profit at our expense. Damn ridiculous.
From the article – everyone needs to read it in America, including my children and parents, aunts, uncles, friends, acquaintances and anyone reading this durn blog –
At least it explains why the price of oil is going up and why when it does go up for contracts that won’t be delivered for three – four months, that we still watch the little sign at the gas station go up three to four times a day upwards –
(and prices of everything else quickly accommodate that despite none of them having bought any gasoline or jet fuel at those prices yet.)
A couple bits of this article (from the link above) –
Power plants, gas stations, fuel distributors, and oil companies across the globe paid close attention to this rarefied casino, watching carefully for any price changes that would determine how much they would pay for fuel and what they’d charge their customers, the ordinary consumer. Newspapers and television networks trumpeted Nymex’s prices as the holy gospel, beaming them throughout the continents for all to follow—banks, hedge funds, Wall street investors, even the top-producing oil nations of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia, and Norway.
D’Agostino: No. OPEC only sets the oil supply. . . . The price of oil is actually set in New York. . . .
O’Reilly: Is there a guy who says $125 a barrel?
D’Agostino: No. There’s a huge market. It’s filled with hedgers. It’s filled with speculators. It’s filled with moms and dads, average Americans. It’s a big market that sets the price.
O’Reilly: somebody has to put the $125 on the barrel. Who does it?
(an excerpt from the Bill O’Reilly show included in the text, the first paragraph is from the author of the article and book that serves as its basis) – well worth reading the whole thing, my note.
When Congress considered whether to regulate more closely the handling of wastes from oil and gas drilling in the 1980s, it turned to the Environmental Protection Agency to research the matter. E.P.A. researchers concluded that some of the drillers’ waste was hazardous and should be tightly controlled.
But that is not what Congress heard. Some of the recommendations concerning oil and gas waste were eliminated in the final report handed to lawmakers in 1987.
E.P.A. officials told her, she said, that her findings were altered because of pressure from the Office of Legal Counsel of the White House under Ronald Reagan. A spokesman for the E.P.A. declined to comment.
“It was shameful,” Weston Wilson, the E.P.A. whistleblower, said in a recent interview about the study. He explained that five of the seven members of that study’s peer review panel were current or former employees of the oil and gas industry.
Politics Seen to Limit E.P.A. in Regulation of Natural Gas
Published: March 3, 2011 (NY Times)
For example, the agency had planned to call last year for a moratorium on the gas-drilling technique known as hydrofracking in the New York City watershed, according to internal documents, but the advice was removed from the publicly released letter sent to New York.
(from the first page of the article above)
My Note –
I watched Dick Morris last night on O’Reilly over on the FoxNews broadcast repeat, “No Compromise,” “No Compromise,” when they were talking about the current Republican efforts and plans in Wisconsin and in Washington and elsewhere. (generally – it would be worth going back to find the exact moments when he said it because the facial expressions and interaction with O’Reilly along with Dick’s body language say a lot.)
He was also there promoting his book which Mr. Morris claims is the plan to be taken for the Republicans to win in 2012 and in every state where these barely won elections have given them a place to push their agenda to specifically gut all the programs in place now.
As I was reading some of the things about hydrofracking the other day, (which was an thoroughly extensive article, I’ll go get the link) and thinking that they’ve known these things the whole time, why wasn’t something created to fix this. And, then found this article today which explains a lot. A program that is forced to alter scientific and researched results cannot possibly define what the problems are that must be addressed and “fixed”.
When the EPA and other scientists were not allowed to report their findings compelling action based on the science and the actual facts of the situation, it left problems unaddressed, unsolved and unfunded for the solutions to be developed.
At any time, our universities could have researched solutions for these waste products from hydrofracking, it could very easily be solved with an addition of a system, process or neutralizing effort to reclaim those contaminants from the water. Our business leaders could have encouraged the finding of those solutions to be added to what is being used by the natural gas drillers that are using hydrofracking processes. Right now, each one spends something around $2 million dollars a year to have the waste water dumped into the rivers or water treatment systems which are not capable of handling it. For $2 million dollars, surely there are systems which could be defined, created and added which would reclaim the radioactive and other toxic chemical products from the water before adding it to the existing water systems and rivers.
In fact, it probably wouldn’t cost $2 million dollars and it would provide excess revenue streams to collect and sell these other “elements” to industries who are desperate to have them. It isn’t good thinking, nor good business to create the problems, pretend the problems don’t exist, pressure Congress and the EPA to hinder the facts about these problems being reported or studied and defined, nor to ignore these problems in need of solutions.
It says that the intentions of the Republican Party members now planning to further their previous agendas with the same heavy hand as always with an insistence on “No Compromise” – will end with no loss for profit-makers, no requirements for change to how profit-makers are doing things now and no regulations to force them to take into account the science and safety and pollution of what they are doing in order to do it a different way or add solutions to accommodate fixing those problems (issues).
That has already been a costly way to do things. And, what I don’t think the Republicans understand whose power plays are now creating chaos, distraction and waste of Congressional and state resources in time and decision-making, is that we are all on the same team. We all want natural gas prices and production costs to be kept low to have it available to us at the most reasonable price possible. But, we don’t want to pollute the bed where we all most sleep and thoroughly contaminate the only water we have to drink.
The Republicans have cut the super fund cleanup funding for many, many years. And, they forced certain research, studies and science about these chemicals involved in the need for superfund cleanup to be “edited” in their content. The only thing that has done is to leave the problems to us now, including the health disasters that have been created. There is no escape from it.
If the rules of this war the Republicans have declared on America are “no compromise” as we have seen for the last two years with their complete “no” to everything that needed to be done for regulating the financial system gamers, for food safety inspections, for consumer safety commission working for the safety of American citizens rather than for the industries they are supposed to watchdog, etc., etc., etc., – then “no compromise” for our safety needs to be what America’s citizens and communities demand too.
No more compromise on wastes being sent into our water systems that have any harmful, toxic chemicals in them. The industries who are doing that can simply stop doing it right now. No compromise.
Mayor Bloomberg is very staunch about non-smoking in his city because of his concerns about the cancer it can cause. He was on the show about the Tobacco Wars on cnbc broadcast yesterday, describing how important to stop this because of cancer. So, why is there a petroleum cesspool in Brooklyn that hasn’t been cleaned up for over fifty years? He’s so concerned. Everyone that has lived in those areas that have been exposed to it have either died of cancer or get cancer or watch their children die from cancer – there are birth defects that are known to be higher in that area, cancers higher in that area and he is worried about the people smoking?
It doesn’t make any sense. And, there are places in the New York City area which will be affected by the hydrofracking wastes that are going into the water table, going into the rivers untreated to take out the radioactive and chemical wastes that are dumped by hundreds of millions of gallons into it, and sure to make its way into the drinking water available to every single member of Mayor Bloomberg’s New York City.
Surely he would find that an abomination. Any Republican that would sit in Washington and decide to fight against the EPA having power to do something about it also wouldn’t want their own children to drink that water downstream from these dumping sites and then watch the results over the course of their lives. They certainly wouldn’t want to drink that water everyday, cook with it, wash their collards with it, wash themselves in it and feed it to those they love.
See, this could be fixed. It just needs to be shown for what it is, the problems defined, funded and fixed. The business owners need to be reasonable and seek solutions that work better and more cheaply than what they are doing already which is known to be polluting (and is expensive, as well.) Funding for solutions can be offered when the problems are defined by the science unfettered, unedited and unhindered. The goals are the same. We all want a better, safer place to live to raise our families and we want cheap natural gas as a fuel and heating source. Can’t we do both?
Aren’t we smart enough to do both?
Also mentioned in the New York Times article –
“I am confident this study, if truly focused on hydraulic fracturing,” wrote Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, last April to the E.P.A. administrator, Lisa P. Jackson, “will prove the process indisputably safe and acceptable.”
Last September, Senator James M. Inhofe, also a Republican from Oklahoma, wrote to agency officials to offer his guidance about who should be allowed to review the research.
“We caution against potential panelists who have been longtime critics of hydraulic fracturing,” he wrote in a letter.
Over their careers, the two lawmakers from Oklahoma, a major drilling state, have been among the Senate’s top 20 recipients of oil and gas campaign contributions, according to federal data.
These topics were cut from the current study plan, even though E.P.A. officials have acknowledged that sewage treatment plants are not able to treat drilling waste fully before it is discharged into rivers, sometimes just miles upstream from drinking water intake plants. While the current study plan clearly indicates that the agency plans to research various types of radioactivity concerns related to natural gas drilling, this river modeling, which E.P.A. scientists say is important, has been removed.
The risks are particularly severe in Pennsylvania, which has seen a sharp increase in drilling, with roughly 71,000 active gas wells, up from about 36,000 in 2000. The level of radioactivity in the wastewater has sometimes been hundreds or even thousands of times the maximum allowed by the federal standard for drinking water.
The Times also found never-reported studies by the E.P.A. and a confidential study by the drilling industry that all concluded that radioactivity in drilling waste cannot be fully diluted in rivers and other waterways.But the relatively new drilling method — known as high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking — carries significant environmental risks. It involves injecting huge amounts of water, mixed with sand and chemicals, at high pressures to break up rock formations and release the gas.
With hydrofracking, a well can produce over a million gallons of wastewater that is often laced with highly corrosive salts, carcinogens like benzene and radioactive elements like radium, all of which can occur naturally thousands of feet underground. Other carcinogenic materials can be added to the wastewater by the chemicals used in the hydrofracking itself.
Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers
¶More than 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater was produced by Pennsylvania wells over the past three years, far more than has been previously disclosed. Most of this water — enough to cover Manhattan in three inches — was sent to treatment plants not equipped to remove many of the toxic materials in drilling waste.
¶At least 12 sewage treatment plants in three states accepted gas industry wastewater and discharged waste that was only partly treated into rivers, lakes and streams.
¶Of more than 179 wells producing wastewater with high levels of radiation, at least 116 reported levels of radium or other radioactive materials 100 times as high as the levels set by federal drinking-water standards. At least 15 wells produced wastewater carrying more than 1,000 times the amount of radioactive elements considered acceptable.
Mr. McCurdy, whose plant discharges into the Clarion River, which flows into the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, said his plant was taking about 20,000 gallons of drilling waste per day.
Like most of the sewage treatment plant operators interviewed, Mr. McCurdy said his plant was not equipped to remove radioactive material and was not required to test for it.
Documents filed by drillers with the state, though, show that in 2009 his facility was sent water from wells whose wastewater was laced with radium at 275 times the drinking-water standard and with other types of radiation at more than 780 times the standard.
I really want anyone interested in this and in their quality of life to go read this entire article above and the one from the New York Times at the beginning of this post. Do not take these few excerpts by my interest in it as the only important parts of these articles. They are well written, well- researched and hold a lot of critical information that the public (everyone in the public) needs to know. I’m using these for a specific line of thought that I have right now, which is that the creation of solutions to treat this wastewater need to be developed right now which will reclaim the toxic and radioactive elements from it before being sent into our water systems. It looks like a pressing need, the politics involved with what our Republican leaders backed by the oil and gas industry are trying not to get done with it make this very dangerous to the public throughout the country, and I think it can be fixed because I want to believe that. I don’t want my family dealing with the results of doing nothing but what they are doing already. Enough is enough.
And I noticed this the other day which is very important – (from the EU_)
Use of hazardous chemicals to be made safer
Published: 06 January 2011
In a drive to improve worker safety and consumer protection, the EU’s chemicals watchdog is set to publish in the coming months an inventory of over 20,000 chemicals declared hazardous by manufacturers and importers.
The inventory “will significantly improve safety by providing up-to-date information on all the hazardous substances that are on the EU market today,” said Geert Dancet, executive director of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
An EU regulation on the classification, labelling and packaging of chemical substances and mixtures (CLP) requires companies to classify, label and package appropriately hazardous chemicals before placing them on the market.
It aims to protect workers, consumers and the environment by means of labelling which reflects the potential hazardous effects of dangerous substances.
The regulation will implement at EU level the United Nations’ Globally Harmonised System (GHS) for classification and labelling of chemical substances and mixtures.
European agency calls for limiting use of eight chemicals
20 December 2010, 17:11 CET
“These substances are in wide dispersive use, which means that not only are they used everywhere, but there is also a risk of exposure to humans and the environment,” the head of ECHA’s risk management unit Remi Lefevre told AFP.
The agency is calling for the chemicals, which are either cancer-causing or harmful to reproduction, to be used only with express permission from the European Commission.
All but one of the chemicals are used in large volumes in Europe, including chemicals found in various pigments and plasticisers, and one substance used in explosives.
Chemicals/REACH: six dangerous substances to be phased out by the EU
EU News – 18 Feb 2011 08:22
Six substances of very high concern will be banned within the next three to five years unless an authorisation has been granted to individual companies for their use.
These substances are carcinogenic, toxic for reproduction or persist in the environment and accumulate in living organisms.
European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, responsible for industry and entrepreneurship said: “Today’s decision is an example of the successful implementation of REACH and of how sustainability can be combined with competitiveness. It will encourage industry to develop alternatives and foster innovation.”
The following 6 chemicals are the first entrants in the Annex XIV:
5-ter-butyl-2,4,6-trinito-m-xylene (musk xylene),
bis(2-ethylexyl) phthalate (DEHP),
benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP) and
dibutyl phthalate (DBP).
Big oil’s big cleanup in Brooklyn (or lack thereof, my note) –
October 20, 2010|By Allan Chernoff, CNN Senior Correspondent
Beneath the Brooklyn neighborhood of Greenpoint, New York, is a giant oil spill that BP, ExxonMobil and Chevron are slowly cleaning up.
The oil companies have been at it for three decades, putting into perspective BP’s pledge to residents of the Gulf states that its cleanup of the Deepwater Horizon spill will go on for “as long as it takes” to “make this right.”
This spill is different though. The oil is trapped in the ground, sitting on top of the water table, across more than 50 acres of residential and industrial blocks. In some areas it’s 3 feet under; at other points it’s as much as 50 feet underground. And some of the oil has been sitting there for 150 years.
But to neighborhood residents who complain of health effects, the cleanup is far too slow.
“This is Patrick McManis and he had stomach cancer. And this is my mother. My mother had the cervix cancer,” said Theresa Breznak shuffling through rosary cards of family and friends on Diamond Street who have been stricken with cancer.
“A lot of breast cancer. This is one of my best friends, she had breast cancer. And now her sister has it.” Breznak counts 40 people on the block who have either battled or died from cancer. (etc.)
The environmental mess goes back to the 1860s when oil refineries dotted the landscape along Newtown Creek (which the Environmental Protection Agency recently declared a Superfund site.) For a century, oil companies operated in the neighborhood, allowing petroleum to seep into the ground and spill into the water.
“It’s emissions that are coming out of the ground. Some of them have been known to be benzene fumes, which is a known carcinogen,” complains Tommy Stagg, another life-long resident of Diamond Street.In all, the energy companies have extracted more than 11 million gallons of petroleum since the early ’80s. But, last year New York state estimated there was still about 14 million gallons of oil remaining below the ground here.
The companies are extracting oil at a rate of about 900,000 gallons a year by injecting water into the ground at various sites around the neighborhood, then pumping out petroleum. At that rate, it’ll be well over a decade before the neighborhood is cleaned up.
My Note –
Okay, the New York City residents and leaders do understand that ground water doesn’t stay in the boroughs where they’ve made lines on a map between them, right? I mean – they understand that water, air, underground water, streams, water table resources and anything contaminating them – migrates wherever, right?
I am adding the category “Democracy” to this post because when people cannot safely live where they live – there isn’t any democracy, liberty or freedom being insured to these American citizens. Whether it is the love canal mess, or the disaster in the making all this time in Brooklyn and now from these wastewater disposal disasters as by-products of hydrofracking, the sicknesses and ill health generally takes away all the freedoms, liberty, democracy and opportunities guaranteed to individual citizens of America, as well as destroying personal potentials to a great life or accomplishment or enjoyment or the pursuit of happiness and any of a vast number of other things.
(scroll down the page under the map for sites with why they have been removed from the superfund cleanup lists either through actual remediation or political pressure)
(They’ve been finding these WWI munitions, arsenic, lewisite and other chemical weapons components on Washington, D.C.’s American University campus and the surrounding neighborhood since 1993, including some Lewisite and buried lab contents recently in September and October of 2009. The area is still filled with arsenic from the WWI chemical weapons lab and test firing compound that were originally in the area. – my note)
Washington D.C. Chemical Munitions
EPA ID# DCD983971136
NPL Status: Not on NPL
50th and Massachusettes
Washington, DC 20015
District of Columbia
Remedial Project Manager
Community Involvement Coordinator
Region 3 | Mid-Atlantic Cleanup | Mid-Atlantic Superfund |EPA Home | EPA Superfund Homepage
Washington, D.C. Army Chemical Munitions (Spring Valley)
Current Site Information
EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)
New Castle County
2 miles southwest of the City of New Castle
EPA ID# DCD983971136
1st Congressional District
Last Update: January 2009
Current Site Status
( . . . )
The USACE (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) completed excavation of a a munitions pit on a residential property adjacent to, and owned by the American University. USACE is completing test trenching and arsenic contaminated soil removal at this and the adjoining property. All work at these two properties is expected to be complete in the fall of 2009. USACE is planning for destruction of recovered chemical and conventional munitions.
The USACE has sampled approximately 1,500 for arsenic to date. Twenty seven additional properties were added to the site in 2006 based on a review of real estate records. Sampling of these properties and land owned by the District within the site is complete. EPA and the District Department of Environment are issuing comfort letters to property owners where sampling and any required remediation has been completed. USACE is attempting to gain access to all properties not previously sampled (approximately 10), and 5 properties where sampling revealed arsenic above 20ppm, the site cleanup goal.
In September of 2005 ATSDR issued a Health Consultation for the Spring Valley Site. ATSDR recommended additional sampling of soil, groundwater and air in specific locations within the Spring Valley Site. The DC Council approved funding for a health study and a contract was awarded to Johns Hopkins for that study, and a report was released in 2007. The report concludes that the health of Spring Valley residents is good; better than National averages and consistent with a reference community with similar demographics. Additional DC funding may be allocated for follow-on work in FY’2010.
In late 2003 perchlorate was discovered in groundwater at the site. A groundwater study is underway. Thirty nine monitoring wells have been installed near the Dalecarlia reservoir, adjacent to waste and munition disposal sites in the Spring Valley neighborhood and in other selected locations. Groundwater sampling data collected between 2005 and 2007 has identified two locations in the site where groundwater is contaminated with perchlorate, and one location where groundwater is contaminated with arsenic at elevated levels. The groundwater study continues in 2009 and 2010 with installation of additional monitoring wells including four deep wells and another round of well and surface water sampling.
RAB meetings over the past year have focused the arsenic clean-up; disposal of recovered munitions, chemical sampling other than arsenic, completing site work and pursuit of additional funding to accelerate the cleanup. For more detailed information and updates on RAB issues, public meetings, and background, please access USACE’s web site by clicking on the Spring Valley internet site below:
The Army maintains a Spring Valley internet site.
Spring Valley is located in the Northwest section of the District of Columbia, including the American University. During WWI this area was known as the American University Experimental Station and Camp Leach, a 660-acre facility used as a research and test center for chemical weapons. The experimental station and chemical laboratories were located on American University property.
In January, 1993 a contractor who was digging a utility trench unearthed World War I munitions in the Spring Valley area of the District of Columbia. During further investigations, munitions were discovered in pits located on the Korean Ambassador property, adjacent to American University and additional pits were also found on the adjacent residential property. The pit excavation and other work at the Korean property has been completed. An additional pit on the adjacent residence found numerous additional munitions and the work has not been completed yet. That work began in 2007 and was completed in 2009.
Arsenic-contaminated soil has been removed from the Child Development Center play area on American University. Soil removal actions have been completed on several American University Lots and at approximately 90 residential properties. Approximately 50 residential properties still require soil removal. All soil removal at residential properties should be complete in 2009. Soil remediation at Federal and District owned property is scheduled for 2010.
The site-wide soil cleanup standard for arsenic has been finalized at 20 ppm by EPA, the Army Corps of Engineers and the DC Health Department. The Mayor’s Science Advisory Panel has approved this standard. The arsenic contamination is the result of chemical warfare research carried out at the American University Experimental Station during WWI.
The Army Corps of Engineers budget for this site is approximately $11 million dollars per year. Site work is expected to continue thru 2011.
The USACE has completed excavation of lab waste and debris in an area near the boundary of the American University known as Lot 18. Numerous empty (scrap) munition and several intact bottles were removed from the site. One of the bottles was found to contain a small amount of Lewisite, a blister agent used at the site; a second bottle was found to contain mustard gas. Other chemical agent degradation products have been found in sealed containers. The USACE began excavation of additional lab debris in an adjacent area of the American University in 2008 and will complete the action in 2009.
Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.
The chemicals date to WWI, during which chemical weapons resulted in a million casualties and about 26,000 deaths. This area, Spring Valley, is home to Diane Feinstein and AG Eric Holder. Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and George HW Bush all lived there before entering the White House.
The yard that causes the most concern is between the official residence of South Korea’s ambassador, Han Duk-soo, and the white-columned house of American University’s president, Cornelius Kerwin. Previous digs unearthed more than 300 munitions and chemical weapons debris on the South Korean property and toxic chemicals beside the AU house. (and the playground where children were playing and soccer had been practiced for years by University students, my note – and homes in the area where the toxic stuff was eeking up into their homes.)
A little more about the Washington, D.C. / Spring Valley toxic site –
Norton (D-D.C.) was given a status report by the corps, which has been directing the $170 million, 16-year cleanup of the munitions that are buried in scattered sites in the District’s Spring Valley neighborhood.
This month, workers were surprised when they found a flask containing residue of the blistering agent mustard buried in the yard of a vacant house in the 4800 block of Glenbrook Road NW. Officials said they had thought cleanup at that site was almost finished.
During World War I Spring Valley was an undeveloped area that the army used for testing chemical weapons. During excavations for new construction workers found unexploded ordnance, and scientists have found high levels of arsenic in the soil. The Army Corps of Engineers has undergone extensive testing and clean-up efforts in select parts of Spring Valley, a process that has been going on for years.
Several embassy residences are located in the neighborhood, such as the ambassador’s houses of South Korea, Bahrain, Qatar, and Yemen. Spring Valley’s median home sale price in 2007 was US$2.725 and in 2008 $3.022 million.
Once a busy cargo transportation hub, the canal’s fate has mirrored the decline of domestic shipping via water. A legacy of serious environmental problems has troubled the area from the time the canal was first built out of the local tidalwetlands and fresh waterstreams. In recent years, there has been a call once again for environmental cleanup. In addition, development pressures have brought speculation that the wetlands of the Gowanus should serve waterfront economic development needs which may not be compatible with environmental restoration.
With much fanfare the US Army Corps of Engineers completed their last dredging of the canal in 1955 and soon afterward abandoned its regular dredging schedule, deeming it to be no longer cost effective. Brooklyn’s fuel trade was already converting from coal and artificial gas to petroleum, which was served by the wider and deeper Newtown Creek, and natural gas, which arrived by pipeline. With the early 1960s growth of containerisation, New York’s loss of industrial waterfront jobs during this period was evident on the canal and, with the failure of the city sewage and pump station infrastructure along the canal, Gowanus was used as a derelict dumping place. Remaining barge traffic mostly carried fuel oil, sand, gravel and scrap metal. At this point, the issue of revitalizing of the Gowanus area was raised.
In 1975 the City of New York established a Gowanus Industrial Renewal Plan for the area, which remains in effect until the year 2011. Since 1975, the surrounding community has been calling for the city, state, and federal governments to bring the full power of the Clean Water Act to bear on the environmental conditions left behind in this once thriving urban/industrial waterway.
The opaqueness of the Gowanus water obstructs sunlight to one third of the six feet needed for aquatic plant growth. Rising gas bubbles betray the decomposition of sewage sludge that on a ripe, warm day produces the canal’s notable stench. The murky depths of the canal conceal the remnants of its industrial past: cement, oil, mercury, lead, PCBs, coal tar, and other contaminants. In 1951, with the opening of the elevated Gowanus Expressway over the waterway, easy access for trucks and cars catalyzed industry slightly, but with 150 thousand vehicles passing overhead each day the expressway also deposits tons of toxic emissions into the air and water beneath.
( . . . )
In 2002, the United States Army Corps of Engineers entered into a cost-sharing agreement with the DEP to collaborate on a $5 million Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study of the Gowanus Canal area to be completed in 2005, studying possible alternatives for ecosystem restoration such as dredging, and wetland and habitatrestoration. Discussions turned to breaking down the hard edges of the canal in order to restore some of the natural processes to improve the overall environment of the Gowanus wetlands area. The DEP also initiated the Gowanus Canal Use and Standards Attainment project, to meet the City’s obligations under the Clean Water Act. As of the summer 2009, the joint NYC/Army Corps Feasibility study has not been completed.
In February 2009, the city of New York granted a zoning change to the developer, Toll Brothers Inc., allowing for a 480-unit, twelve-story, super-block residential project, the first permitted along the waterway.
In April 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed that the canal be listed as a Superfund cleanup site. This action was supported by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, which had requested help from EPA to address the canal’s environmental problems. In May 2009, the city stepped forward to oppose the Superfund listing and offered, for the first time, to produce a Gowanus cleanup plan that would match the work of a Superfund cleanup, but with a promise to accomplish it faster. The city stated that it could now achieve a faster cleanup than EPA because the city would fund the cleanup through taxpayer dollars from the state and city levels, while the EPA would seek its funding from the polluters. On March 4, 2010, the EPA announced that it had placed the Gowanus Canal on its Superfund National Priorities List. 
A comprehensive survey of the drinking water for more than 28 million Americans has detected the widespread but low-level presence of pharmaceuticals and hormonally active chemicals.
Little was known about people’s exposure to such compounds from drinking water, so Shane Snyder and colleagues at the Southern Nevada Water Authority in Las Vegas screened tap water from 19 US water utilities for 51 different compounds. The surveys were carried out between 2006 and 2007.
The 11 most frequently detected compounds – all found at extremely low concentrations – were:
• Atenolol, a beta-blocker used to treat cardiovascular disease
• Sulfamethoxazole, an antibiotic used against the Streptococcus bacteria, which is responsible for tonsillitis and other diseases
• TCEP, a reducing agent used in molecular biology
• Trimethoprim, another antibiotic
Christian Daughton of the EPA’s National Exposure Research Laboratory says that neither this nor other recent water assessments give cause for health concern. “But several point to the potential for risk – especially for the fetus and those with severely compromised health.”
Daughton says the contamination surveys help people realise how they are intimately and inseparably connected with their environment. “The occurrence of pharmaceuticals in the environment also serves to make us acutely aware of the chemical sea that surrounds us,” he says.
About the above chemicals and pharmaceuticals found in water and the idea that it really makes no difference – the words to apply are “cumulative effects.” No one is drinking just one drop of water like that which they analyzed. The amount of water consumed in a day isn’t even accurate because of how many things were cooked in water, grown with water from public water sources, how many water sources permeated the skin each day, how many days, months and years these things were continuously consumed or a part of everyday living and the manner in which these chemicals and pharmaceuticals interact with the existing body chemistry and cell metabolism. It isn’t just a problem for those with compromised health, babies and children – it is affecting everyone negatively.
And, since that isn’t the only thing in the ground water being used to water our fields, nor is it the only toxic chemistry in our drinking water and the water sources where our drinking water is derived – the chemical questions it raises are phenomenal. And, they are phenomenal in very bad health consequences for nearly all of our population, all of our children, all of our wildlife, and all of our future generations in the United States. This might need to get fixed right now instead of waiting another thirty years to do it.
A new health study found drinking water in 31 out of 35 U.S. cities contaminated by a dangerous form of chromium known as hexavalent chromium.
The recent studies by environmental and public health groups shed new light on the extent of drinking water contamination in America and the potential sources of that contamination. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) commissioned water sampling and testing for hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium-6. The results, published in the report Chromium-6 in U.S. Tap Water, found that more than 26 million people are serviced by the water utilities in the 31 cities where chromium-6 was detected. However, the report represents a one-time “snapshot” of the water quality in 35 cities, and without regular monitoring, the full threat to public health is unknown.
Chromium is found in many forms, and the two most prevalent forms are trivalent chromium (chromium-3) and chromium-6. In small amounts, chromium-3 is a vital nutrient needed for healthy human metabolism, but chromium-6 is a known carcinogen and dangerous even in small amounts. Chromium-6 was the toxin contaminating the drinking water of Hinkley, CA, the case made famous by the 2000 film Erin Brockovich. California is currently the only state that requires water utilities to test for hexavalent chromium.
California environmental officials recently revised a proposed “public health goal” for chromium-6 in drinking water. The state’s environmental agency originally proposed a goal of 0.06 parts per billion (ppb) of hexavalent chromium in tap water. That figure was lowered to 0.02 ppb to better protect vulnerable populations such as children. However, the EWG report states that California’s water testing methods cannot detect levels of hexavalent chromium in amounts below 1 ppb, 16 times higher than what the state considers the maximum safe level. (etc.)
The report, EPA’s Blind Spot: Hexavalent Chromium in Coal Ash, draws on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports and other studies to identify 28 coal ash dump sites in 17 states that have contaminated groundwater with chromium at levels far above the public health goal proposed by the state of California. According to the report’s authors, the contaminated coal ash dump sites “are likely the tip of the iceberg,” and EPA regulators are operating with a “blind spot” that misses this significant source of water contamination.
The report also uncovered a study by an electric utility industry group, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), that found that 97 to 100 percent of the chromium leaching from coal ash impoundments is the deadly chromium-6. This industry study tested water at 29 coal ash landfills and ponds, finding chromium-6 at 15 coal ash dump sites at levels hundreds of times greater than the proposed California goal. However, the locations of these dumps are unknown, identified only by a number.
The other gross source of Hexavalant Chromium is in the mixing facilities for cement and concrete, especially the high white variety and through the processes in use today in nearly every community – these sources become easily airborne. These could be fixed easily, but in more communities they are allowed to become airborne and fill the air and homes in the surrounding neighborhoods, (and schools, and businesses, and anywhere the citizens might be breathing or ingesting things that have been coated with it when the dust settles from the air.)
Also – from recent budget hearings for the EPA opening comments by Barbara Boxer (D, Calif.) –
In stark contrast to the President’s support for EPA’s essential work to protect our children and families, the recently passed House Continuing Resolution would cut EPA’s overall budget — and the critical public health protections EPA provides — by 30 percent this year. This represents the largest cut to any Federal agency.
It would cut an astounding $2 billion from EPA’s water infrastructure and water quality protection programs. These cuts mean that our drinking water has a far greater chance of contamination. These cuts also mean thousands of jobs lost – jobs that relate to clean water infrastructure.
The CR would cut funds to clean up and redevelop brownfields by 30 percent from 2010 enacted levels – threatening the 5,000 jobs that EPA estimates this program supports.
The House budget would slash 45 percent from the 2010 enacted level for federal aid to state, local and tribal governments to protect our communities from dangerous pollution.
It also includes backdoor efforts to undermine EPA authorities that protect the air we breathe and the water we drink.
These attempts to undercut landmark public health protections comes as EPA just released a new report showing that the Clean Air Act provides $30 in benefits for every $1 invested. This report also shows that the Clean Air Act prevented 160,000 cases of premature mortality, 130,000 heart attacks, 13 million lost work days and 1.7 million asthma attacks in the year 2010 alone.
We are facing tough economic times, but tough times call for intelligent decision-making and wisdom, not reckless cuts that will do more harm than good – cuts that will lead to illness and premature death.
We must protect the health of our children, while also building clean technology industries that can fuel the nation’s economy in the coming decades.
We have seen that protecting the health of our families and economic growth go hand in hand. Since the year Congress enacted the Clean Air Act, US GDP has risen by 207 percent.
The United States is also the world’s largest producer and consumer of environmental technology goods and services. This industry has approximately 119,000 firms. It supports almost 1.7 million jobs and generates $300 billion in revenues — including $43.8 billion in exports. Why take an axe to these industries?
OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR BARBARA BOXER FULL COMMITTEE HEARING: “HEARING ON THE PRESIDENT’S PROPOSED EPA BUDGET FOR FY 2012”
States News Service
March 2, 2011
The characteristic greenish-gray to brown color of ordinary Portland cement derives from a number of transitional elements in its chemical composition. These are, in descending order of coloring effect, chromium, manganese, iron, copper, vanadium, nickel and titanium. The amount of these in white cement is minimized as far as possible. Cr2O3 is kept below 0.003%, Mn2O3 is kept below 0.03%, and Fe2O3 is kept below 0.35% in the clinker. The other elements are usually not a significant problem. Portland cement is usually made from cheap, quarried raw materials, and these usually contain substantial amounts of Cr, Mn and Fe.
“The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality was informed this week that the Arizona Portland Cement Co. failed a second round of testing for emissions of hazardous air pollutants at the company’s Rillito plant near Tucson. The latest round of testing, performed in January 2003 by the company, is designed to ensure that the facility complies with federal standards governing the emissions of dioxins and furans, which are byproducts of the manufacturing process.”  Cement Reviews’ “Environmental News” web page details case after case of environmental problems with cement manufacturing.
CEMEX (BMV: CEMEX / NYSE: CX) is the world’s largest building materials supplier and third largest cement producer. Founded in Mexico in 1906, the company is based in Monterrey, Mexico. CEMEX has operations extending around the world, with production facilities in 50 countries in North America, the Caribbean, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
As of late 2003, CEMEX had annual cement production capability of 82 million tons and over 25,000 employees. Lorenzo Zambrano is the current chairman and chief executive officer. About one-third of the company’s sales come from its Mexico operations, a quarter from its plants in the U.S., 15% from Spain, and smaller percentages from its plants around the world.
CEMEX has been accused of violating environmental laws in the United States. Environmental watchdog groups and the United States Environmental Protection Agency are threatening to file suit claiming the company has committed numerous violations of the Clean Air Act in Lyons, Colorado. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has also filed suit against CEMEX in Victorville, California, claiming the company failed to install modern air pollution controls, despite spending millions in renovations.
In the United Kingdom, CEMEX was originally fined £400,000 on October 2006 after hazardous dust was deposited up to three miles (5 km) away from its Rugby works. The fine was the highest ever given under the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control regulations, and was also the highest for an Environment Agency prosecution for six years.. The fine was however judged excessive by the Court of Appeal and so reduced to £50,000..
During tests conducted from June 10 to August 5, 2008, the Monterey Bay (California) Unified Air Pollution Control District reported high levels of Chromium VI, also known as Hexavalent Chromium, a cancer causing chemical agent, at an elementary school and fire department in Davenport, California. Chromium VI is the contaminant that inspired the movie, “Erin Brockovich“. The toxic substance apparently originated from dust emitted by the Cemex Cement plant in Davenport, as the levels of Chromium VI measured eight times the air district’s acceptable level at Pacific Elementary School and 10 times at the Davenport Fire Department. Both are located less than a half-mile from CEMEX. Chromium VI may have been unwittingly produced at the CEMEX plant in Davenport for the last seven years. According to Ed Kendig, the executive director of the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District, it’s “highly possible” that Chromium VI continues to be produced across the country as an accidental, previously unknown byproduct of the cement-making process.
In 2007, the EPA filed a complaint against CEMEX for violating federal air regulations at its Victorville, CA plant, and in 2006, CEMEX was cited for violations at plants in Santa Barbara and Michigan. 
In April 2007, CEMEX announced that it had installed a £6.5 million dust abatement system at the same works in Rugby, which had cut particulate emissions by 80%. The site comes under the auspices of the EU Waste Incineration Directive as it burns waste tyres for fuel. There are concerns over the impact on both the environment and human health from this practice, although it is common practice in many cement works..
Fly ash is one of the residues generated in combustion, and comprises the fine particles that rise with the flue gases. Ash which does not rise is termed bottom ash. In an industrial context, fly ash usually refers to ash produced during combustion of coal. Fly ash is generally captured by electrostatic precipitators or other particle filtration equipments before the flue gases reach the chimneys of coal-fired power plants, and together with bottom ash removed from the bottom of the furnace is in this case jointly known as coal ash. Depending upon the source and makeup of the coal being burned, the components of fly ash vary considerably, but all fly ash includes substantial amounts of silicon dioxide (SiO2) (both amorphous and crystalline) and calcium oxide (CaO), both being endemic ingredients in many coal-bearing rock strata.
In the past, fly ash was generally released into the atmosphere, but pollution control equipment mandated in recent decades now require that it be captured prior to release. In the US, fly ash is generally stored at coal power plants or placed in landfills. About 43 percent is recycled, often used to supplement Portland cement in concrete production. Some have expressed health concerns about this.
Ash used as a cement replacement must meet strict construction standards, ….. amounts of chromium(VI) contaminated leather sludges in Alcanena, Portugal. …
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fly_ash – Cached – Similar
Chromium VI Directive. The Chromium (VI) Directive (2003/53/EC) applies to cement and products containing cement marketed in the EU from 17th January 2005. … http://www.whd.co.uk/Concrete/cementandchromiu.html – Cached – Similar
43 Grade cement is used for pre-cast concrete production and sleeper manufacture … In Scandinavia, France and the UK, the level of chromium(VI), which is thought to be toxic and a major skin … Resourse :- http://en.wikipedia.org … cementindustry.blogspot.com/ – Cached – Similar
anagrams crosswords example wikipedia Ebay catalog translations … Many asphaltic concrete pavements contain fly ash. … a raw feed for manufacturing portland cement clinker, as well as for skid control on icy roads. … boron, cadmium, chromium, chromium VI, cobalt, lead, manganese, mercury, molybdenum,selenium, …
dictionary.sensagent.com/coal+combustion+products/en-en/ – Cached
Fly Ash Resource Center- splash page. Wikipedia Reference from Wikipedia… boron, cadmium, chromium, chromium VI, cobalt, lead, manganese, mercury, ….. Promotes the use of fly ash as an additive in concrete and cement products. … http://www.kosmix.com/topic/fly_ash – Cached
Chromium VI Directive. The Chromium (VI) Directive (2003/53/EC) applies to cement and products containing cement marketed in the EU from 17th January 2005. … http://www.whd.co.uk/Concrete/cementandchromiu.html – Cached – Similar
and – Perchlorate – (look it up sometime)
Perchlorate in Drinking Water
Last Update: January 7, 2011
Perchlorate is a regulated drinking water contaminant in California, with a maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 6 micrograms per liter (µg/L). The MCL became effective October 2007. For information provided to public water systems by the CDPH Drinking Water Program about the implementation of the MCL and the scheduling of monitoring, see links at the bottom of this page.
Perchlorate and its salts are used in solid propellant for rockets, missiles, and fireworks, and elsewhere (e.g., production of matches, flares, pyrotechnics, ordnance, and explosives). Their use can lead to releases of perchlorate into the environment. Perchlorate’s interference with iodide uptake by the thyroid gland can decrease production of thyroid hormones, which are needed for prenatal and postnatal growth and development, as well as for normal metabolism and mental function in the adult. Its effects on the thyroid gland are the basis of the 6-µg/L public health goal (PHG) established in 2004 by Cal/EPA’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. (PHGs contribute to the development of MCLs, as described here.) In January 2011, OEHHA released a draft technical support document for a 1-µg/L PHG for perchlorate.
Monitoring, first in 1997 by the Drinking Water Program and then by public water systems, showed perchlorate to be a widespread drinking water contaminant, occurring in several hundred wells, mostly in southern California (see early findings). Perchlorate was also found in the Colorado River, an important source of water for drinking and irrigation, where its presence resulted from contamination from ammonium perchlorate manufacturing facilities in Nevada.
Final Regulatory Determination for Perchlorate in Drinking Water
EPA has decided to regulate perchlorate under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The science that has lead to this decision has been peer reviewed by independent scientists and public health experts including the National Academy of Sciences. This decision reverses a 2008 preliminary determination, and considers input from almost 39,000 public commenters on multiple public notices (May 2007, October 2008, and August 2009) related to perchlorate. This action notifies interested parties of EPA’s decision to regulate perchlorate, but does not in itself impose any requirements on public water systems (PWSs). However, this action initiates a process to develop and establish a national primary drinking water regulation (NPDWR). Once the NPDWR is finalized, certain PWSs will be required to take action to comply with the regulation in accordance with the schedule specified in the regulation.
EPA is replacing the existing preliminary remediation goal of 24.5 ppb with the interim health advisory value of 15 ppb. This goal will be used as a consideration when establishing cleanup levels for perchlorate at Superfund sites.
It’s important to note that the radiation levels in the drinking water are extremely low, on the order of parts per trillion. However, as KHOU reports, the tendency among environmental health experts and the EPA, is to regard any level as potentially dangerous to human health.
He said drinking water with any amount of alpha particles, even when consumed in amounts below federal legal limits, raises your risk to develop health problems or, in rare cases, cancer. Examples of alpha particles found in the Gulf Coast region are those from uranium, radium and other minerals.
Ozonoff describes alpha particles as a type of radiation that would not typically harm you unless inhaled or ingested. He warns, once you take it inside your body, your health risks immediately begin to rise.
“It can’t penetrate very far, but when it hits something it does a ferocious amount of damage,” he said. “If I were to drink it, then many parts of your body are within knife-wielding distance of an alpha particle.”
Part II aired last night and it reveals what appears to be scientific malpractice on the part of Texas Commission on Environmental Quality scientists. One expert in the KHOU story called it a “cover-up.”
For more than 20 years, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality under-reported the amount of radiation found in drinking water provided by communities all across Texas. As a result, health risks to people consuming the water have been underestimated in many water systems where radioactive contaminants are present.
Here’s what happened in a nutshell, according to KHOU: An independent lab would test the water for radioactive contaminants and submit the data, as is standard, with a margin of error built-in. Rather than report the full results to the EPA, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality would always pick the lower end of the margin of error in an apparent attempt to keep water utilities from exceeding federal radiation limits.
And it gets worse. In 2000, the EPA explicitly told TCEQ to stop playing games with the margin of error. But for nine more years, TCEQ continued the practice, until a 2009 EPA audit finally put a stop to it. Is this what Rick Perry means when he talks about standing up to the feds?
And here is more information that pertains to why this is critical to be fixed right now – (and has been known to need a solution for far too long to not be solved already) –
Certain rock types naturally contain radioactive elements referred to as NORM (Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials). When a source of drinking water comes in contact with NORM-bearing rocks, radionuclides may accumulate in the water to levels of concern. The predominant radionuclides found in water include:
As water is treated to remove impurities, radionuclides may collect and eventually build up in filters, tanks, and pipes at treatment plants. The small amounts of NORM present in the source water may concentrate in sediment or sludges. Because the NORM is concentrated due to human activity, it is classified as TENORM (Technologically Enhanced Radioactive Material). Most of this waste is disposed in landfills and lagoons, or is applied to agricultural fields.
On down the page, it says –
Land Spreading/Soil Conditioning
About 20 percent of sludge is disposed of by land application to improve soil conditions or to fertilize the soil. The sludge is plowed directly into the soil to limit water runoff and for sanitary reasons. Recently proposed rules may prohibit this practice on agriculture land.
Deep-well injection involves the pumping of sludge into a stable geologic formation. Deep-well injection is not commonly used and is specifically prohibited in the states of Wisconsin and Illinois. Because of its potential adverse impact on groundwater aquifers, EPA uses its authority under the Safe Drinking Water Act to control and also discourage this practice.
Approximately 30 percent of generated sludge is disposed of in landfills. Contaminated materials are typically covered and compacted on a daily basis. Features such as clay layers are emplaced above and below the buried waste to prevent radon emissions and radionuclides from leaching into the groundwater.
Approximately 42 percent of sludge is disposed of in lagoons. Any radium present in the sludge will settle in bottom sediments which may have to be periodically dredged and properly disposed of.
Ion-Exchange and Activated Charcoal
Ion-exchange resins are used on smaller water supply systems to soften water by replacing Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions with Na+ ions. In the process, about 95 percent of the radium is also removed . However, the resins are usually back washed for reuse rather than being disposed. The backwash water, which contains radium, is typically discharged to storm sewers, underground injection wells or septic tanks, or is back washed to another ion-exchange column for the selective removal of radium. Radionuclide content eventually builds up in the resin after prolonged usage.
http://www.epa.gov/rpdweb00/tenorm/drinking-water.html(it has a lot more information – But, my note is that the quantity of wastewater and its radioactive contents from the hydrofracking process in over 71,000 natural gas wells in Pennsylvania alone are massively greater quantities than any system could clean or decontaminate.)
Scientists want to help regulators decide safety of chemicals
Groups representing 40,000 researchers and clinicians are urging federal agencies responsible for the safety of chemicals to examine the subtle impact a chemical might have on the human body rather than simply ask whether it is toxic.
A well-known example would be bisphenol A, a chemical widely used in plastic goods for decades, Hunt said. The chemical can leach from products into food and drink, and federal health officials say it is found in the urine of more than 90 percent of Americans.
The government has long said that BPA is safe, based on studies that show levels of BPA used in commercial products are not toxic – meaning they would not kill – humans.
But a growing body of research by endocrinologists, molecular biologists, reproductive specialists and others over the past 15 years has shown that low levels of BPA can cause changes in activity at the cellular level that cause health effects over time in laboratory animals. (etc.)
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 3, 2011; 3:57 PM
My Note –
In the 1960’s and 1970’s efforts were made to start fixing these things and for over 42 years they have not been fixed. Only a very small percentage of the persistent pollution has been tackled. In fact, with the amount of money that industries and businesses have spent on attorneys, public relations firms, lobbyists, lobbyists on top of lobbyists, US Chamber of Commerce and other business lobbyists, PACs, special interest groups to persuade the public through the media, fighting regulations in every single state and across the world, and fighting legislation and regulations in the Federal government, fighting the EPA, putting off making changes, changing their operations to other countries in some cases where they could continue polluting – and buying Republican Party candidates to serve their interests – they could’ve just put the damn filters on the smokestacks and rendered the wastewater into a neutralized safe contaminant free resource and made the same profits or even greater at the same time.
Oh yeah – and the amount of money they’ve spent on decrying scientific studies, hindering them, legislating against them, legislating against their findings, lobbying and applying political pressure against those findings, undermining the credibility of those findings, etc., ad nauseum – they could’ve afforded to have designed systems that would never have polluted in the first place. That is some ridiculous sums of money that have spent over the last forty years and certainly been spent across multiple industries, through a multitude of corporations and industry / trade associations, through business associations, and think tanks and public relations consultants, and political donations and on and on and on – they could’ve just solved the damn problems for less than a quarter of one tenth of one percent of what they’ve spent fighting against doing anything about it.
And, worst of all –
The families of these business leaders have been just as subjected to these pollutants as the rest of us whether they know it or not. And, some of those decision-makers who refused to be told what to do with their business and refused to stop doing their business in ways that polluted everybody and everything – are dead now as a direct result of the pollutants they unleashed on America. Why don’t they know that?
It is just stupid.
Do they really think that it can’t get them if they are rich enough to go skiing in the Alps and go vacation in the beautiful coasts of the world and live in their elegant protected homes? What planet is their food coming from? What air do they think they are breathing?
Oh wait, the Republicans up there in Washington that are gutting the budgets to the EPA and serving the business interests that paid for their campaigns don’t believe that mankind has had any negative effects on nature. And, they don’t believe that water with radioactive contaminants in it which were dumped upstream nearly on top of where the drinking water is taken could even remotely have anything to do with them or their families. Yeah – right. And if they don’t believe it will hurt anything then it won’t.
That’s what they’ve been doing for the entire course of my adult lifetime and now I can honestly say, that my childhood was subjected to it, my children’s lifetimes have been subjected to it and my grandchildren’s lives have been subjected to it. My cousins, grandparents and parents have been subjected to it and every single person that I have ever known. Some have died horribly from cancers although they never smoked a day in their lives. It wasn’t smoking that killed them nor caused the cancers they’ve endured. But, there is a very good chance that the horrendous chemicals consistently poured into the environment in every single state, every rural area, every suburb, every city and every water source for every moment of every day over the last fifty years and more – could very well have caused those cancers, nightmarish suffering and deaths prematurely.
Brent crude, the main European contract, was down 46 cents to $111.68 a barrel.
The benchmark U.S. oil contract, West Texas Intermediate, for April delivery was up 13 cents to $98.01 a barrel.
My Note –
But, the prices based on “higher fuel costs” are up for things from pump prices to airline tickets – none of which have purchased any oil at these prices yet now at the slightly higher prices where they were three days ago. Figures.
Which I read and then copied over to the document. And, then popped over to another tab with the pdf from about the Commerce Department from a link on that page while going to the nice slide/share page from the White House where the link for comments had taken me on the original tab.
Here is the other link to the Commerce Department request for comments –
Then I made a comment – which, as usual posted without one paragraph marked in it as seems to happen on every one of the government sites for some reason.
And, of course – in order to share my comment on the slide/share site, I had to sign up for it through Facebook and allow the two to do their sharing of informational content – and I just plain decided, what the hell – it hardly matters at this point, so I did that such that my comment could actually go to them. (more or less – my guess is that they all have other things to do besides reading my comments on the matter.)
But, here is what I wanted to share with them and posted there –
I appreciate the need to study what research is being done in light of what is being most productive or most effective, but I really think that is part of the problem. The way it is set up now, our government and state resources are going into studying studies on top of studies of studies of things that had already been studied in their measure in the first place. Not only, to get funding are the basis and benefits of the research provided but, also as the research continues to its peer reviews and eventually into the investment community and the marketplace. Throughout that process, there are multiple stages at which the usefulness of the research is having to be justified and then at every opportunity there are more Science Foundation, State, Federal and International funds being put into studying whether it was worth doing the studies and research in the first place. All of those funds could have been spent to do something else valuable including taking that research being done originally into a manufacturing context for our nation’s businesses to be built with it – or something.
It reminds me of the filters that were researched and engineered to put on smokestacks of various industries many years ago which would have cost about $200 each to place on the polluting facilities – but industries and businesses didn’t want to do it. So, to save money and not be told what they could or could not do, they insisted that the government put money into studying the problem and that the states and academic research groups study whether the initial studies and engineering were valid. And, then they studied it some more and paid a team of lawyers and many years of lobbyists and pr firms to keep from even the suggestion of installing those filters. And, then at the point at which it would have cost about $2500 each to install those filter systems, they did the same thing again and didn’t install them at that point either. But, a multitude of studies were made again and new studies made along with new lobbying and pr campaigns. Eventually, the filters were either placed on the smokestacks at a cost of (more or less) $25,000 a piece or the companies moved what they were doing to another country which is putting up with them polluting whatever population is in that country where they are now.
The amount of money, time and efforts spent on the example above far exceeds what could have been done with that situation in the first place if the original science and engineering had been accepted and several hundred filters had simply been placed on the smokestacks. And, beyond that least costly choice – further updates to the science and engineering could have built forward in better efficiency and better opportunities for our nation in the meantime with cleaner air, better health in our population and better quality of life.
This is a long-winded way of saying that some of the problems we have now with innovation and seeing those innovations to the marketplace, of creating startup businesses and having opportunities for all Americans to start a business, if they want to do that – are literally problems built into, not only the mindset, but the ways that things are being done currently and for the better part of the last thirty years in America.
In a way, it could be said, (to be fair), that doing things in the manner described in the example above does yield a number of businesses and opportunities that simply breed out of doing it that way, but the cost of it has been to have wasted years and dollars with no greater nor timely solutions to show for it. And, to do it that way has made us look foolish in the eyes of the world and to have wasted time, national resources and the efforts of many great minds, great engineers, a great deal of money, talents, knowledge, resources and great science on innovations and research being used that way. Part of the losses in opportunity costs is that our nation’s leaders and business decision-makers have been doing things this way without yielding a wider array of solutions to a great many things that really needed their attention and that continue to need our nation’s intellectual assets applied to them.
We are already a nation of studying the studies of the things we’ve already studied. To do any more of that is just a waste. Either the rational justification to fund the study was appropriate enough to have funded it in the first place or it wasn’t. Our efforts need to be re-focused to use those innovative discoveries that have resulted from the research our national assets have already paid to produce and get those into applications in the marketplace.
I would say what is required to start a business from where I sit in America and the absolutely impossible hindrances, obstacles and obscene legislated requirements and complexities that have been set in the way for nearly every American to start a business, but it is just about enough to fill an entire book. It is no wonder that people get disgusted with it – the playing field is not level, the competition within the US is not fair, the risks are massive and the returns are questionable at best.
And, then even if everything is done right and goes well, its only purpose is to provide a profitable exit strategy for any number of investors who want to pull their money out plus a 3-5 times return on it within two or three years of having funded it. What is the point in that?
Thanks for asking though.
My Note here –
They had these four questions on the Commerce Department document which I read before contributing my comment above and really only had an interest in the first two questions right now –
Government research and development: How can the economic impacts of basic research funding (e.g., NSF, NIH) be better measured and evaluated? What methods can the Federal Government use to prioritize funding areas of basic research, both within an area of science and across areas of science? How can existing Federal government institutions (not just organizations, but also programs, policies, and laws) devoted to basic research and innovation be improved? Are there new institutions of these types that are needed to achieve national innovation goals? How could the government increase support for industry-led, pre-competitive R&D?
Entrepreneurship: Through what measures can government policy better facilitate the creation and success of innovative new businesses? What obstacles limit entrepreneurship in America, and which of these obstacles can be reduced through public policy? What are the most important policy, legal, and regulatory steps that the federal government could take to expand access to capital for high-growth businesses?
Intellectual Property: What are the key elements of any legal reform effort that would ensure that our intellectual property system provides timely, high-quality property rights and creates the best incentives for commercial innovation? How can the intellectual property system better serve the dual goals of creating incentives for knowledge creation while also ensuring that knowledge is widely diffused and adopted and moves to its best economic and societal uses?
Education: How important is catalyzing greater interest and training in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields? What strategies can be most effective on this score? Can educational technologies be better utilized to this end? What are the critical opportunities and limitations to the creation and adoption of effective education technologies? How can investments in community colleges better leverage public-partnerships to better train Americans for the jobs of today and tomorrow?
There has to be a better way to prioritize Federal and State research dollars than to study the studies again and again and again. It has made an entire industry of studying without ever doing anything with any of it at this point.
That is one thing. The other is that I’ve noticed in China, Japan, and a few other nations, they are investing in R&D with an eye to get results, returns and revenues from them in twenty years from now, or in fifty years from the time money was put into it, and in some cases, maybe even longer periods of time. By doing that, they have been able to reap returns and revenues from those things very quickly – say in two-five years. That is because they are putting a lot of money into it and into continuing the funding of it in an ongoing basis without expectations that it must show any immediate returns to be taken out of it as justification for it to continue.
The advantage of doing it that way and at one time in this country we had done it that way is in being able to cull the harvest from it quickly when those discoveries and breakthroughs are made. There is enough money underwriting it for the science to get done, for the engineering to get done, for the confirmation of results to be made, for safety considerations to be checked and for market applications to be designed as well as creating the manufacturing systems to mass produce whatever it is.
In the manner that the US has been doing it for the last thirty – fifty years, if a product cannot justify itself or if an avenue of research cannot justify itself within a very short period of time (usually less than two years) with a substantial return of profitable revenues, then it is dropped and not proceeded further. That is costing us.
Those patents and research avenues are being sold in fire sales by brokers and corporations just to get rid of them and the profits they would have made for the US and our national business community is lost.
Investors want a short term return. Companies want a short term guaranteed return. Corporations and banks want short term guaranteed returns. And, innovation by its very nature is not guaranteed by the successes of what has come before it. As an example, the track record of auto sales generally cannot begin to prove to a banker, investor or corporate entity that innovative electric cars or hybrid cars will be guaranteed sales. So, therefore – the tendency is to put all the resources in cookie cutter fashion into what has already been proven over that which has not.
There has also been a tendency toward very shady, inappropriate strategies in many industries and businesses to grab up those innovations that are available intending no use for them whatsoever to simply keep them out of the marketplace where others might use those things in competition with them. The invention of a battery system heavy duty enough for commercial vehicles, small trucks, light duty transportation uses and long-range passenger cars was available for a number of years and could have been incorporated into all manner of vehicles but the patent was tied up by one of the large automotive companies (Dodge, I think it was) so that it couldn’t be used in competition with them. There are a number of situations like that which have hindered, and halted innovations being applied in the marketplace. In America, that is considered the way to do good business. And, I suppose it is except for the long-term costs of doing it that way.
When the monopoly thinking takes over, it doesn’t seem to hurt anything in the immediate experience. There are profits. Others can’t compete effectively (at least using that one avenue.) And, everyone appears to be happy – shareholders are happy, Wall Street is happy, business magazines and colleges telling about it seem happy, the customers aren’t being hurt in any way and generally, everything seems good and okay about it. But, the reasons that we have had laws about it and particularly, against many of those business practices in our history is because those strategies do cause harm, not only in the long-run but to our national interests, as well. Our nation is reeling from the disadvantages of doing many, many things that way.
Now, rather than having a multitude of small businesses selling gasoline, for instance, with its variety of Mom and Pop shops, we have national and international companies, franchises and huge conglomerates with all of those resources and revenues. Well, it was a trade-off and we let those big companies monopolize the marketplace. We are living with the results of what we traded-off to get, for better or worse. We are suffering those disadvantages, one of which was watching the gas prices go up every fifteen or twenty minutes on the retail gas outlets when the prices speculators were pushing for barrels of crude oil went higher in the summer of 2008 and then when the barrel prices went down, the retail prices started to shuffle downwards sometimes weeks later by a few pennies at a time.
That is a disadvantage. And, companies, families, communities, distributors, small businesses, medium-sized businesses, food suppliers, retailers, truckers and even airlines (eventually) suffered for it. And, many of the other disadvantages and obstacles that have been created in our marketplace for Americans to start their own businesses, innovate, invent, create or grow their own businesses have been caused by some of the same kinds of choices made by businesses too big to fail, but too small not to lobby.
In fact, imagine what happens when I want to create a business. There is a need that I see for a person to be able to go into any store and buy something which would show up at another store in another state or another location across town. I know their computers are tied together and they are part of the same corporate entity. But, I also know that they are sometimes franchise stores, that their inventory systems are not necessarily the same in every state and that their financial systems do not integrate from store to store. I think this could be fixed with a bit of software which could be designed and then sold to the store’s corporate headquarters to do this job for them. It would serve their customers. It would serve my needs and my family’s needs when we want to buy groceries or formula for for a daughter or son or grandbaby or friend or someone somewhere in some other state. It would allow us to purchase a fan or heater or air conditioner here where we live that they could go to their local store and simply pick up to have it right now on the same day. We could buy tires for their car when the tires are so bald that they aren’t safe anymore and pay for them to be picked up near the college where they are living or in the state where they decided to runoff to in order to have some freedom from us.
It is true, that between what I know and what other people who can do programming know, that we could create the software to do this. That is a fact. It is a good innovation. That is also a fact. I can even write a business plan to show how it would make money and project revenues for it with something less than a lie and fairly close to the reality of what costs it would have and sales it could make. However, then what happens? The state where I live wants to have a number of registrations for who I am and what I am doing with it in a business sense. The local municipalities want a business license to be registered. To protect the concept, I have to not tell anybody but in some way protect it through the intellectual property registrations that are available. I have to give it a snappy name that is easy to remember and not over two syllables. I would need to be able to tell somebody about it in 30 seconds using what amounts to about two sentences of very easy to remember information that includes where they can get it. And, then I have to go over to the SBA, the banks, the angel investors, or some group of family members, none of which think I can get my socks on right, let alone do something with a business effectively. And, here I would sit with that nice software designed to do a specific, much needed, very commercial, innovative thing with its snappy name and 30 second spiel to tell someone about it. Then, with another $250,000 to run around the country and pitch it to every chain store – I would have some sales of it or licensing for it to those stores, maybe. If they didn’t simply tell me they weren’t interested and then get on the phone after I leave and have somebody over at the nearest college design it for them to use while I’m on my way home.
And, I didn’t even mention that my credit would have to be sterling, which it isn’t, my character would have to have proof of being sterling for the last fifty years out of fifty two, which it isn’t and everything else that would need to be done correctly would have to be done correctly before anyone would begin to want to put money into it to get it going. I mean, that trademarks for the name and copyrights purchased, any patents required would have to have at least provisional patents applied for and all the legal things of being a business generally. And, then – the investors, potential partners or anyone else getting into it would want guarantees that they would get substantial returns for using their money. Then in two years, they would want their money back plus the returns they were told to expect or more. And, at that point – either more money to keep it growing would have to be located or the whole thing would go bankrupt and end up sold for pennies on the dollar.
It wasn’t on that list of things above – but there is also money required to market, to tell people about it, to promote it, to have a website about it, to tell industry leaders about it, to go sell it, to go pitch it to companies and industries that might use it, to run around networking with others who might tell others about it, and to have a team of attorneys fight to keep my ownership of it, because whether another company or group actually has the same thing before I did or not, they can say they did and then it is my responsibility to prove them wrong in courts. Oh yeah – and I’d have to have collateral to put up such as property or a huge savings account or stocks or bonds or who knows what and I don’t have any of that. And, if I did have any of that I wouldn’t need to borrow money to put a business together in the first place.
Oh yeah – and one other thing, right off the top of my head – when the stores would use the software that I and a team designed that my business is selling and they do end up collecting information about their customers who are using it and then the store sells that information – it could very well be a liability against the software manufacturer rather than against the retailer’s behavior and choices which would also take a team of lawyers to fix. The fact that things like that could tie up resources and time and efforts and public goodwill in courts and fooferrah makes it a possibly risky choice even after doing everything right, if everything to satisfy the law is done and everything else required actually works.
And, don’t even get me started about the tax code . . .
Oil from the blown-out undersea well has been washing up from Louisiana to Florida, killing birds and fish, coating marshes and wetlands and covering pristine beaches with tar balls and oily debris. A pair of relief wells considered the best chance at a permanent fix won’t be completed until August.
Westwell said Hayward was “genuinely sorry” not to be at the conference, where he had been due to give a keynote address on about the global responsibilities of international oil companies.
The massive oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico and the moratorium imposed by Obama dominated discussions at the World National Oil Companies Congress in the British capital, and a BP executive standing in for embattled CEO Tony Hayward was heckled by protesters.
As one of the sponsors, DNV will attend the World National Oil Companies Congress, a forum for NOCs and IOCs, in London. The event will see leaders of the world’s NOCs meet each other and their partners to debate and decide the future of the oil business.
The 4th annual World National Oil Companies Congress is the oil conference for NOC executives to meet, network and discuss the future of the industry.
Our events create the backdrop where ideas develop, new relationships are forged and inspiration grows. All networking functions are open to all World National Oil Companies Congress attendees, and each benefit from a fantastically informal atmosphere, and a collection of industry personalities that invariably get people talking.
WHAT TO EXPECT
You will meet CEOs and key senior level directors from the world’s National Oil Companies, International Oil Companies, Oil Service Companies and their energy partners, at a time when strategy and investment is more critical than ever.
My Note –
And they believe that the pictures coming in from the Gulf of Mexico, the media coverage and the reaction to the continuing deluge of crude oil going into the Gulf of Mexico – is exaggerated.
Well, there’s a reason they won’t deal with reality – they are discrediting reality instead of demanding solutions to the very real disasters and the realistic potentials of disasters from oil production, oil drilling, deepsea drilling and other petroleum harvesting activities.
Even today upon seeing this massive damage, they are discrediting the information as “exaggerated.”
No wonder nothing gets done to make things better and safer. The decision-makers are isolated in these sacred little halls among fellow elites that decide its all “much ado about nothing,” when confronted with any of the facts that there is a problem with how the petroleum industry is going about their businesses in the pursuit of profits by any means.
Those aren’t rational decision-makers. They are living in a fantasy land so far removed from reality that even the worst oil disaster in history doesn’t give them reason for pause or change or consideration.
They simply discredit the information and go on . . .
22 June * Tuesday
GALA DINNER & AWARDS
Celebrate your industry in style
Don’t forget to pack your tuxedos and gowns, as you definitely won’t want to miss the annual gala dinner and awards presentation on the evening of the 22nd June. Fine wine, exquisite food and the company of some of the greatest minds in the energy business will guarantee you a night packed with fun and networking at the highest level.
There will be three awards presented:
NOC Executive of the Year
IOC Executive of the Year and
Joint venture of the Year
Last year’s winner of the NOC Executive of the Year award, H.E. Dr. Shokri Ghanem, Chairman, NOC Libya will be returning to bestow the honours.
The vacationer had come to Fort Walton Beach, Florida, with about 25 family members to celebrate her parents’ 60th wedding anniversary. The family had been planning the getaway for two years. But, when they got there, no one was in the water. The kids couldn’t swim and everyone was disappointed.
Stamm grabbed a camera and started filming as the color of the tides changed and murky oil encroached the coast. “It really captured the moment,” she said. “It was terrible. Nobody said a word.”
Stamm, a diving aficionado and beach lover, hasn’t been able to shake the shock and disbelief she felt that day. The scene of floating tar balls in the clear water lingered in her mind.
“The hair on my arms just kept standing up for hours,” she said. “It was upsetting because I knew what [the oil] was doing to the environment.”
That’s what happens when people are given lies about the tar balls and oil not being on the beaches and then when they’ve spent their money to get there and to have there time vacationing or celebrating in those areas – the oil comes ashore as it was known that would happen.
The state tourism boards and Governors are not doing anyone a favor acting like this event is not affecting their communities in advertisements and other public relations efforts. It isn’t fair and it leads people to believe that the oil won’t be there in the water where clearly it is.
NOAA Incident Update – June 21, 2010 (today is June 22, 2010)
Of the 504 turtles verified from April 30 to June 20, a total of 383 stranded turtles were found dead, 41 stranded alive. Four of those subsequently died. Four live stranded turtles were released, and 33 live stranded turtles are being cared for at rehabilitation centers. Turtle strandings during this time period have been much higher in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle than in previous years for this same time period. This may be due in part to increased detection and reporting, but this does not fully account for the increase.
The NOAA Ship Pisces reported a dead 25-foot sperm whale was located 150 miles due south of Pascagoula, Miss. and approximately 77 miles due south of the spill site earlier last week. The whale was decomposed and heavily scavenged. Samples of skin and blubber have been taken and will be analyzed. Sperm whales are the only endangered resident cetacean in the Upper Gulf of Mexico.
From April 30 to June 20, 50 stranded dolphins have been verified in the designated spill area. Of the total 50 stranded dolphins, 46 dolphins stranded dead, four dolphins stranded alive and two of those have subsequently died, one on the beach and the other euthanized. The other two include one in rehabilitation at Audubon Aquarium found Saturday and the one freed from oil booms.
*** GeoPlatform.gov/gulfresponse [leaves OR&R site] is a new online tool that employs the Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA®) a web-based GIS platform that provides you with near-real time information about the response effort. The site offers you a “one-stop shop” for spill response information.
The site integrates the latest data the federal responders have about the oil spill’s trajectory with fishery area closures, wildlife data and place-based Gulf Coast resources — such as pinpointed locations of oiled shoreline and current positions of deployed research ships — into one customizable interactive map.
(from NOAA response to the oil spill of Deepwater Horizon on Gulf of Mexico resources.)
From CNN just now –
Fishing ban for the Gulf of Mexico covers 90,000 square miles now.
The MODIS Rapid Response System generates daily near-real-time imagery of the oil in the Gulf of Mexico, including GIS compatible formats. Images are available in photo-like, true and false color from both the Terra and Aqua satellites at 2km, 1km, 500m, and 250m resolutions.
On Saturday, June 19, 2010, oil spread northeast from the leaking Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil appears as a maze of silvery-gray ribbons in this photo-like image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite.
The location of the leaking well is marked with a white dot. North of the well, a spot of black may be smoke; reports from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say that oil and gas continue to be captured and burned as part of the emergency response efforts.
The large image provided above is at MODIS’ maximum spatial resolution (level of detail). Twice-daily images of the Gulf of Mexico are available from the MODIS Rapid Response Team in additional resolutions and formats, including a georeferenced version that can be used in Google Earth.
Judge Martin Feldman, New Orleans – Federal Judge hearing the case on the moratorium on deepwater offshore drilling was just announced to have denied the moratorium and in judgment against the moratorium. So, the FoxNews broadcast said at 1.55 pm today – a few minutes ago.
There was a comment by FoxNews about the hearing before Judge Feldman only lasting two hours with one hour scheduled for each side to have made their case yesterday and then today, he delivered his judgment. However, the US government can choose to appeal the case which will also be in the same Federal district court of appeals in the same building with Judge Feldman.
Judge Feldman graduated from Tulane Law School in 1957, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif, and Assistant Editor of the Tulane Law Review. Upon graduation in 1957, Judge Feldman became Judge John Minor Wisdom’s first law clerk when Judge Wisdom was appointed United States Circuit Judge.
Judge Feldman served as Judge Wisdom’s law clerk in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals from 1957 to 1959 and, thereafter, practiced law in New Orleans until October of 1983. His practice emphasized tax law and complex commercial litigation. He is a past chairman of the Law Reform Committee of the Louisiana State Bar Association, and a founding member of the Section on Anti‑Trust Law. Judge Feldman is also a Life Member of the American Law Institute
On October 12, 1983 he was appointed United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana by President Reagan, and presently serves as the Chairman of the Fifth Circuit’s Committee on Pattern Civil Jury Instructions. Judge Feldman was a member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Judicial Center (1991-1995), and was Chair of the National Conference of Federal Trial Judges (1996-1997).
He is a visiting lecturer at Cambridge University, and an Honorary Master of the Bench of the Inner Temple Inn of Court, London.
Judge Feldman is a member of the Advisory Committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is Chair of the Board of Advisory Editors of the Tulane Law Review, and was the Fifth Circuit district judge representative on the Judicial Conference of the United States for the 2001-2004 term.
From 1994 to 2000 he was a lecturer in Constitutional Law and war powers at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Public Administration. During the Fall of 2002, he was Princeton University’s Distinguished Visiting Jurist in the James Madison Program of American Ideals and Institutions. He is a frequent James Madison lecturer at Princeton University and has been a guest lecturer at Amherst College in constitutional interpretation and the philosophy of the Rule of Law.
About Judge Feldman’s Opinion and Judgment on the moratorium from NPR article –
But the moratorium’s opponents — including oil industry and state and local government officials, as well as workers and even those like fishermen hurt by the oil spill disaster — said the administration’s moratorium was arbitrary and that there was nothing inherently dangerous about offshore drilling.
They called the ban a further blow, following the BP oil spill, to the Gulf Coast region’s economy that would unnecessarily cost thousands of jobs and billions of dollars. Judge Feldman agreed.
An excerpt from his opinion.
This Court is persuaded that the public interest weighs in favor of granting a preliminary injunction. While a suspension of activities directed after a rational interpretation of the evidence could outweigh the impact on the plaintiffs and the public, here,the Court has found the plaintiffs would likely succeed in showing that the agency’s decision was arbitrary and capricious. An invalid agency decision to suspend drilling of wells in depths of over 500 feet simply cannot justify the immeasurable effect on the plaintiffs, the local economy, the Gulf region, and the critical present-day aspect of the availability of domestic energy in this country. Accordingly, the plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction is GRANTED.
This Judge’s opinion and judgment was not based on the rights of the US government and its agencies to manage these permits on the offshore drilling in the interest of public safety and to place a temporary moratorium on the deepwater drilling operations. In fact, the judge’s opinion is based on some other considerations than public safety as noted in his opinion above.
If this judgment is allowed to stand, then the ability and authority of our government agencies to oversee, manage and regulate the offshore and onshore drilling operations will be compromised. It defied the rule of law which says that the management of these regulations, public safety and legal rights belong to our federal government – not to the lease holders exclusive of the considerations of our national interests and particularly when there are questions of safety in their dangerous operations and the ascertained facts which are that none of them have the capacity to mitigate a spill nor to manage a disaster caused by their operations.
I guess that wasn’t important to Judge Feldman in comparison to the profits and corporate interests involved. But, it is a matter of record that these rigs are dangerous and that the safety planning and oil spill response planning that they used for the initial permits was based upon faulty equipment, poorly placed belief in wide ranging systems well-proven to be deficient, and improperly developed spill mitigation concepts such as the Marine Spill Response Corporation and similar contractors’ plans submitted as their own.
It is just a matter of time. Not only are we not receiving royalties on any of these deepwater wells, but thr disaster filling the Gulf of Mexico has proven the worthlessness of their submitted safety and spill mitigation plans. It is very evident that the blowout preventers in use on these wells can and do fail and that is what they are using.
(from CNN story about the judge’s decision, strangely enough – )
Elsewhere, a spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry said the Islamic republic would consider helping the U.S. with the oil spill if asked, according to the Iranian Labour News Agency.
“The fact that America is still stuck, despite all its claims that it will solve this problem, is puzzling,” ILNA quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast as saying. “The difficult solution of an oil spill, from the standpoint that it’s a humanitarian problem, persuades all countries to offer help.
“Iran has professional experts, and if the Americans ask for help we will take their request under consideration,” Mehmanparast said, according to the report.
NEW ORLEANS — People across the country are trying to lend a hand with the cleanup of the oil spill.
But many are left feeling helpless because according to volunteer coordinators, there’s not much hands-on work available because BP is coordinating paid workers for the clean up.
It has locals doing just about anything they can think of to help out.
“It’s heartbreaking. You know, it starts to bring you to tears,” said t-shirt shop co-owner Anne Warren.
She said she didn’t know what else to do.
“When all of this began I think we, like a lot of people, just felt kind of helpless and wanted to help,” she said.
So, her Oak Street shop, Skip and Whistle, is doing what they do best, making T-shirts. “We thought of this as a way to gain exposure on a cause and raise money at the same time,” Warren said.
$10 of the $25 shirts will go to help with wildlife impacted by the oil spill. And other t-shirts are popping up all over town, a trend that says more than their catchy messages.
“What can you do? We wanted to do something,” Warren said.
“Unfortunately, there’s not a lot to do. There’s not a lot for the volunteers to do. A lot of it takes a lot of training,” said Cathy Puett, CEO of Hands On New Orleans.
The group is the non-profit that coordinates volunteer groups in the metro area in the event of a disaster, something Katrina taught them well.
“We get about five to 20 calls a day looking for that type of thing from people who are from out of town,” Puett said.
Seeing images like oil-soaked pelicans and beaches on television is leading thousands to want to get their hands dirty and help.
The Louisiana Serve Commission said they have 6,000 people in their database who are looking to help with the cleanup. Many of them get referred to Hands On New Orleans.
“We have had some people who have actually gotten mad at us. People who are frustrated with us but what they don’t understand is we’re really limited by again, safety issues, but also by BP,” Puett said.
WWL-TV reporter Katie Moore called BP’s volunteer line. They took her personal information and said someone would be in touch, but that the only opportunities available are administrative or picking up trash on a beach before the oil gets there.
Projects that allow people to get down to the oiled coast, like a coastal mapping effort, are surprisingly rare.
“We have six slots available,” Puett said.
Some are satisfied donating money. The Greater New Orleans Foundation started a gulf coast oil spill fund to help local fishermen.
“Since that time, it’s been a month or so now, we’ve received about $160,000,” said Marco Cocito-Monoc.
It’s all the result of that feeling of helplessness from an out-of-control disaster that no one can wrap their mind around. For some, the only way to try, is one t-shirt at a time.
When volunteer opportunities do become available, Hands On New Orleans sends out blast emails to everyone on their list.
I’m not sure if it is still the case, but it has been that there is only one contractor that was allowed to get the wildlife affected by the oil and even those qualified to participate and those organizations qualified to participate were being kept out of the area and denied the opportunity to lend a hand with wildlife rescue and recovery. Maybe that has contributed to the very few the contractors are getting cleaned up and released compared to the numbers being collected dead or those alive but in distress that are not getting cleaned up and released quickly. There is just too much to do and too much area to cover, but the incident command and BP continue to deny access and to restrict the available resources rather than expanding them. I just don’t get it.
Seaquarium Worried Water From Bay Will Be Tainted By Oil
POSTED: Tuesday, June 15, 2010
UPDATED: 8:13 am EDT June 16, 2010
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. — Although no oil has reached South Florida and there are no signs of that happening yet, Miami Seaquarium plans to file a claim to BP.The Miami Seaquarium has been using and recycling 10,000 to 20,000 gallons of seawater from Biscayne Bay since 1955.
“Keeping pristine water for our animals is paramount. It is our lifeblood,” said Seaquarium General Manager Andrew Hertz.With wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico already struggling with the oil spill, some are concerned that the water in Biscayne Bay could eventually become tainted with oil.
Seaquarium leaders said the time to act is now.”If I have damages, I’ve got dead animals that are irreplaceable. I need help on the front end to keep that from happening,” Hertz said.When the Seaquarium pulls saltwater from Biscayne Bay, the water goes through a complicated filtration system before it gets to the animals. But Seaquarium representatives said even that system cannot handle large amounts of oil, so they are looking at alternatives — but none of them are cheap.
“Whether it is digging a deep well here on property that hits salt water underground or whether it is burying a new intake under the seabed out there so the seabed turns into a filtration system for us, however it works it is going to cost money I don’t have in my budget right now,” Hertz said.
WASHINGTON (CNNMoney.com) — Even before the April 20 explosion on its rig off the Louisiana coast, BP spent millions of dollars lobbying Washington’s power players. BP will now tap that power and influence as it tries to repair its image.
In 2009, BP (BP) spent $16 million on lobbying, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. This year, it has spent $3.5 million through the end of March.
The lobbying firms working for BP are among Washington’s most influential, including one headed by Ken Duberstein, a chief of staff for President Ronald Reagan, and another led by Tony Podesta, whose brother was President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff.
“They are among the biggest of the big. Consistently, year in and year out, they spend millions in federal lobbying efforts,” said Dave Levinthal, spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics. “How that will change post-oil spill remains to be seen, but it would be hard to believe their numbers would do anything but go up.”
During the 2008 election cycle, BP spent $531,000, through its corporate political committee and in contributions to candidates. So far this cycle, it has spent $113,000, with most of the money going to Republicans.
What do they care about? Last year, BP had more than a dozen lobbyists working on energy legislation, energy jobs bills and derivatives legislation, which impacts the trading of energy futures.
Lobbying reports suggest it spends a lot of time hounding government officials inside the Departments of Interior and Energy. It also lobbies the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Security Council.
“They have a large government relations staff, and they have the budget to work all aspects of government in Washington,” said John Pendergrass, a senior attorney with the Environmental Law Institute, a Washington think tank.
Another way BP influences federal government is through its role as a major contractor for the military. Three of the past five years, BP has been the largest fuel supplier to the Pentagon, topping out in 2009 with a $2.2 billion contract, according to federal records.
As BP defends itself from the barrage of worldwide criticism, it has added staff to its media team, including Anne Womack-Kolton, a former Energy Department employee and campaign press secretary for Vice President Dick Cheney
However, it is pretty dramatic in the coverage of the Gulf of Mexico by the spill increasing exponentially in the days shown, and especially now, if the other maps are consulted on the NOAA site. (listed earlier in this and other posts.)
This video includes some current scams about paying to train in Hazmat which is wrong – there are also jobs listed in Florida – some 3500 on their website at the state – it tells about it in this video from CNN.
This video describes 19 oil industry accidents, fires, and deaths in two months among other serious incidents even as the oil industry claims they have a great safety record. Maybe the members of the oil industry are living in a world where the truth simply doesn’t matter and where life means nothing as long as they make 300% profits.
– cricketdiane, 06-22-10