I am reposting some things I thought might work to harness the oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico and make it possible to keep it from spreading such that it can be piped off to a tanker and recovered – see below the first section.
Second, the very first group of information I wrote on April 29, 2010 and was really the first thing where I said something about it online probably, unless I sent out some emails – but I don’t think I did at that point. It is the bottom third of the post from that date. The first part of the original post includes a mantra for the real world that you might want to read some time. It is very appropriate given the circumstances generally occurring in our world day-to-day.
Third, just below that I brought forward some of the things known to work that are not toxic which are available for mopping up the oil out of the Gulf waters, marshes and coastal areas. They won’t fix everything or do all of it but they can do a lot more if they are in use than not and they don’t leave a toxic wasteland when they are used.
– cricketdiane, 05-09-10
Group W banking, but then you’d have to know Alice – (title of previous post)
(from post I made on April 29, 2010 – near the bottom third of the post)
just in case – The Group W bench in the title which becomes Group W banking could be an obscure reference to Alice’s Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie, and not just something I made up.
But this – I did make up this (wrote it straight out of my head from my own memories and knowledge of oil spills), while I was taking my bath awhile ago (earlier today) –
Those epic efforts out in the Gulf of Mexico to clean up the oil might have tried those pleated, white filters that are used on heaters – wired together in a long row, because water goes through them but oil does not. It would cost about $20 to get one and find out if it works or not, but it does which I accidentally discovered doing something else trying to filter cement dust out of the air at my parent’s house recently. Somebody needs to go out there and tell them, I’m not the one with a 600 mile wide oil spill, hundreds of people trying to manage it unsuccessfully and with crude oil heading towards the shore.
But, then I’ve been there and done that, so to speak. I’ve been to the beaches in California after an oil spill with the birds laying on the shore covered in black crude and brown gunk from the sand, flopping around with the sounds of dying. And, I’ve stepped over the blanket of tar laden kelp and smelled the fishes that lay dead and dying in the foam of the surf and along the beach.
I’ve used the Ajax powder to try and get the black petroleum off my shoes and off the carpets in the car after we all walked along that beach. I know the dread and horror of what that will be to the businesses and tourist industries along that entire gulf coast from Florida to Louisiana and Texas. But, then – you couldn’t tell them anything about drilling for oil out there in the Gulf – we need that oil – we need those revenues – we need those oil company leases paying off those rigs, etc., etc., etc.,
I can see those tourist brochures now – white sandy beaches covered in coal black mcnasty – oh well. Y’all come now, yah hear? Just like old Granny Clampett says – ya’ll just come on back and spend your money on vacation. And that’s going to be some shrimp jambalaya with a new kind of twang.
What were they thinking? Can I say that they can do as the Republicans suggest and tell each other it doesn’t exist, if they don’t agree with it? Maybe they can hire a pr firm and call it “black sand beaches” and “tar marsh nature lessons camp”. They are not going to like it when that stuff gets to shore, finishes getting to shore and then does what it always does once it is onshore.
Nope, they are not going to think much of the economic revenue that oil is at that point. But, then you just couldn’t tell them anything. Ask Haley Barbour – everything is fine . . .
There have been news stories tonight on CNN about the oil spill and how they are expecting to fix it – I couldn’t believe that what they are suggesting will take 5 weeks of oil continuing to pump into the water. No – no – no – NO.
That is not acceptable.
I might not be down there helping with it but the least I can do is find something that will first work right now – faster than that. Then they can get along with whatever they’re doing.
So, this is the process. First I looked up a few of the articles to find the depth where the pipes are spewing oil into the ocean of the Gulf of Mexico.
And below these, I started looking for what the depth pressures would be and remembering “into my notes” the other things that I’ve heard on the news or read about the oil spill.
My Notes –
I know the oil being pumped under the water is at approximately 5000 feet down, high pressure, irregular surface area likely, and they have been using robotic submersibles –
there are three pipes, they are leaking 210,000 gallons per day / more or less
CNN reported tonight that the pipes where it is leaking are about a foot diameter? is that correct? And, there is a blow-out protector on top of at least one – or what? was it 50 feet tall on that BOP or was that what they said?
on bloomberg last night’s ticker said the BOP was made by Cameron- which I looked up earlier today – no size immediately noticed – will have to go back to find it – (maybe not necessary)
the oil is getting swept by currents and due to its chemical and characteristic nature is floating quickly toward the surface – but, they also admit that they don’t know the degree to which it is coating undersea surfaces in the immediate area
strong current area?
what type of irregularities exist in the surface features?
how large is the flow are under the water – and how tall are the pipes and BOP together?
could something be designed for later after whatever will fix it now – yes, they are already doing that – and it will have to have some consideration in the immediate design.
get me a tanker, a boom rig and about four boats that can withstand the currents and winds without getting knocked around too bad (plus maybe the rover to check it after the actions.)
where could we get it and what industry has it – doesn’t have to be close by but that would be handier.
(I recognize that I didn’t say the “what” of that sentence but I’ve got an idea and I’m not sure if it would work or even be likely to work yet)
– cricketdiane, 04-29-10
from my blog post about the Group W bench, 04-29-10
(see archives at top of tab in the middle of my page above posts)
Then from my post made the next day (excerpts from the entire post -)
April 30, 2010
alrighty then – first, I need to find what the bottom of the ocean looks like right there and what the immediate ocean currents are in the area – which mean google map maybe and the NOAA satellite stuff or where?
According to GCAGS Transactions, it has an average width of 8 kilometers (km), and a length of 120 km.
A mooring in oceanography is a collection of devices, connected to a wire and temporarily anchored on the sea floor. The devices are current meters to measure the direction and speed of ocean currents, sediment traps to catch settling particles from the water column or experimental chambers, e.g. to measure the solubility of certain substances in sea water. A mooring can be free floating or anchored for some days to weeks (short-time). Long-time moorings might be deployed for a maximum duration of two years. An acoustic release connects the mooring to an anchor weight on the sea floor. The weight is released by sending a coded acoustic command signal from a ship. The weight (e.g. old rail wheels) is unrecoverable. Floaters permit the mooring to come up to the surface to be recovered by a research vessel.
An acoustic release connects the mooring to an anchor weight on the sea floor. The weight is released by sending a coded acoustic command signal from a ship. The weight (e.g. old rail wheels) is unrecoverable. Floaters permit the mooring to come up to the surface to be recovered by a research vessel.
I remember there was an accident where the practice field that was covered by a huge architectural fabric came down on the players – I was thinking that was the Dallas Cowboys stadium – but it was the practice field – that is what they need, then drop the architectural fabric like a tent over the pipes using the acoustic weight mooring system (e.g. old rail wheels). Then, they can take a pipe up under the “tent” and fill a tanker with the stuff to bleed off the oil until they can get the other thing built. (cricketdiane, 04-29-10)
(from the article below about the practice field – )
“The no-frills building was pretty much a 100-yard football field with a few more yards of clearance all the way around. The roof was 80 feet high, the equivalent of an eight-story building.”
Also incredible: An Irving police spokesman said there was hardly any damage beyond the Cowboys’ facility.
These architectural fabrics wouldn’t cost $4 million dollars for this function, since the Cowboys and other facilities that use it have to accommodate a structure for it besides and the safety of people must be considered. It is strong enough – it can stay put in the currents – the submersibles can tug on it to put it into place a little better if it is generally lined up right to being with and the pressures on the ocean floor at those depths won’t hurt it any.
It can also be weighted effectively with some number of weights and floater system without having a bunch of equipment having to be attached and do it for nearly nothing using old railroad train wheels or something similar and can be placed across an undulating and irregular ocean floor surface and still work.
– it can work – but somebody needs to tell them about it – how likely is that?
Engineers can then get the other programs done without this continuation of pumping 210,000 gallons of oil per day into the gulf for five weeks to three months or however long their programmed solutions will take
Now, let me see if I can figure out how to get the solution to anybody out there at BP or the whoever might do something with it.
Hmmm . . .
Doing it this way – by using architectural fabric such as the Cowboys practice field used, to tent the oil over the pipes where it is pouring out – the setting of the tent and weighted system for it could be accomplished in less than twenty-four hours. It would probably take a day or two to round up the doming fabric – preferably from some use where its pre-made size could be used intact and not manufactured specifically to this purpose.
Where could that be found along the coast somewhere – what about NASA or the NASA complex in Alabama?
– from my post on April 30, 2010
From today’s note about this –
May 9, 2010
After seeing the gas hydrates form in the funnel of the dome containment system that the recovery group was trying to use on one of the pipes leaking oil into the Gulf, I think the architectural fabric option described above would work to raise the ceiling of where the oil could be drawn off without becoming hydrates.
Since that system was confined and confining, it had no flexibility in the design to make it workable once the discovery was made about the clogging of the “funnel”.With the vast array of architectural fabrics available that are used for the roofing structures of everything from practice fields to airports, it seems that something appropriate to the task could be found and let the oil fill it up – then pump it out from that collection point – either by placing a flexible pipe up under the cap of it from underneath or from the sides or from a central point at the top of the fabric far above the ocean floor where the pressures and temperatures are not as tremendous and extreme.
That is my thought about it –
And I know the hair in pantyhose is absolutely known to mop up the oil without leaving a toxic wasteland, it is easy to get back up with scoops or hooks to fill a boat and recover the oil from it, as well. The hair from hair salons, animal groomers and other similar sources is abundant, it is otherwise waste, would cost 50 cents a ton, more or less and pantyhose that can’t be taken to the marketplace for some reason of quality or overruns or being sold at retail clearance facilities to get rid of it is likely just as cheap.
There was a man shown on a brief clip on CNN one day that had made a remedy using peat moss that is on YouTube somewhere and most people have known that a variety of things work better than what is being used. I don’t know why these things were not on the preparations list for this event ahead of time. I don’t want to think about it right now.
But, the fact is the photos on USA Today’s slide show of the Gulf Oil spill and recovery efforts which included a fabric square box and screen system being put out around the wildlife areas and islands by the National Guard or somebody military – has in it a non-toxic substance that can absorb the oil – according to the caption. Why isn’t that on the list as an extensively used solution for the tidal areas? Why wasn’t it among the basic things in the oil spill preparedness kit that was supposedly so ready ahead of time as to just not need anything else>?
Forgive me – I’m being snippity but it has been (conservatively) 210,000 gallons times how many days? And that is if anybody that has calculated it officially has gotten it right? And, now we have toxic dispersants floating around with oil globules that have to be dealt with too, when they knew not to use them in the first place because of the known damages they would cause – permanently and irrevocably. So, just forgive me for being a bit snippity.
I saw it on the bloomberg ticker about them needing new ideas – and I am re-posting some of these things in a group right now. But, doubtless some moron getting paid $300,000 a year will get to be heard and then they will be using some other fool-ass thing that causes more damage than it fixes at a price we all are paying and none of us can afford.
And, on top of it – their way of doing it which further damaged the eco-system already – didn’t even work. So, I don’t expect much – but, here it is – I’m doing it anyway.
– cricketdiane, 05-09/10 – 10
One further note –
and if anybody can get word out to those ninnies out there with the EPA, the Minerals Management Services and BP (and maybe, the other oil producers and their associations) – you tell them this for me –
The next time you pay a lab for millions of dollars worth of work on something that is supposed to do the job to contain an oil spill – make damn good and sure they use conditions actually resembling the real world they are studying. That means waves that don’t move in a sine wave with a height of less than twelve inches which doesn’t fit real world conditions and you know it. And a tank facility with no real water column is bullshit – and the lack of real world wind conditions included in the study means it is invalid for anything that must be used in real world conditions. A\
And those winds don’t just go in one direction with a constant velocity – but swirl around in little eddies above the water making it look more like meringue than a swimming pool.
And, one more thing – the next time – they might spring for a few goldfish and see if the damn chemical dispersants kill them deader than hell before deciding to use it in the Gulf of Mexico or anywhere else.
That’s all for right now. Just don’t even get me started, like I said before.
If it isn’t apparent yet, the fact that I can see this stuff does not make it rocket science. And there is no excuse for people far more educated than I am to have done it this way when they knew better.
(Also tell those jackasses at BP) –
Well, you know – since I have already got started –
you could’ve turned an airboat around and used the fan to move the stupid oil into a corralled space.
you could’ve stuck stupid pleated paper heater filters across the sides and bow of every boat available in the Gulf States and gotten up the oil by moving through it back and forth in a regular way like they mow the grass in stadiums.
you could’ve used the hair in the pantyhose thing and had all of it up by now – some twenty days after the nightmare explosion and leaks started gushing oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
you could’ve had the same thing the National Guard was using and actually kept the oil not only away from significant and extensive areas but absorbed the oil as well while it was at work.
Members of the Army National Guard place Hesco containers along the beaches of Dauphin Island, Ala. The containers are designed to absorb oil through a fibrous material that reacts with a non-harmful material that changes the sheen to a more solid state that can be recycled. * By Michelle Rolls-Thomas, AP * Taken: 5/2/2010 (Photo 50 of 85 – there is another one that shows this barrier used by the National Guard in the series – USA Today)
you could’ve been actually prepared for this extensive event to happen in the event that it did and you could’ve been more accurate in conveying the facts that the oil was coming out of pipes at a significant and pervasive rate instead of acting like it was no big deal until it became one.
I’m sure I’ll think of something else, give me a few minutes.
Oil covers booms hanging on the shrimp boat Mariah Jade in Breton Sound, * By Alex Brandon, AP * Taken: 5/6/2010 (from USA Today - Photo #2 of 85)
This was your idea of something that would work? Did it? Was it the best way to do it in the vast ocean oil spills where it has been used or was it used anyway?
Was it designed to work in marine environments where thousands of miles had to be protected with it or was that never considered in evaluating it?
This isn’t bad design – that isn’t the word for it. But, it doesn’t solve the problem in real world conditions and is only partially effective where it has been and is being used. That would’ve told me to do something about it a long time ago before being at the mercy of only that to use the next time.
Now why didn’t any of the participating educated “specialists,” “experts,” and official agencies involved all of whom made far more than I did last year or this one, know to do something about that?
And, before I forget about it – if I can – the idea that to make the saltwater marshes look like a damn golf course with verdant green grasses from over-stimulating their growth with massive amounts of fixed-nitrogen based chemical fertilizers on it is too horrifically and singularly stupid to even want to talk about it. The failure of that well-renowned “scientist” to accommodate the vast array of species, eco-systems, marine wildlife, birds, worms they feed upon, zoa-plankton or whatever else is there – damn – even I know not to do that.
The destruction of those areas that his stupid idea has affected won’t ever come back to normal not in a hundred years from now and the damn oil will still be there whether people can see it or not – in the sea, in the sand, in the sediments, in the filtering systems that animals and plants use to breathe and in their systems they use to feed and in the cells of every last plant and animal there. How in the hell is that supposed to help – I don’t care what your damn studies say and your little micro tank at your fancy lab paid for by who ever it was paid for says about it.
The herring in the Exxon Valdez spill were one of several species that left the area three years after the spill slime cleanup done by the same idea and the rocks pulled from those coves still have black crude filth across them and so do the areas around the sound. There is not one excuse to rationalize this use of massive fertilizers simply because this man has a pretty slide show and can baffle people with his bullshit.
There is an entire system there – not a pie slice. It is coherent and integrated. The addition of the large amounts of fertilizers to encourage certain types of bacterias that will break down the oil in the roots and rhizomes of those grasses is being done at the expense of every thing else in the estuaries, saltwater marshes and everywhere else it has been used. It is not acceptable and once it is used along with the stresses already present from the oil spilled into the area, the particulate matter from the dead air dropping post burn-off pollutants across the area, and the petroleum based fumes that are permeating every last thing in the area – there is no recovery being made available through this additional process that is an added injury on top of it all.
Rather than restore, doing it that way by foisting more unnaturally occurring nitrogen chemicals into these marshlands increases the damages and particularly, the permanent and irreparable damages that are being done to the areas that support wildlife, birds, marine life and ecosystems which cannot be re-made once they are gone.
That’s my last note on it for right now. Just makes me mad enough to spit nails. To think they got that much money to do things that fucked up – it just isn’t right.
And one more thing – to tell BP and their “specialists” in deepsea oil drilling –
What kind of experts wouldn’t know that the oil would become gas hydrate at those depths and conditions?
What kind of experts got 11 people killed on that rig alone and burned down the entire thing requiring tugboats to come put the fire out? And how many other people were injured at the time and how many more are being injured now or might be injured in the activities of cleaning up the mess?
What kind of experts did that?
What kind of specialist said that there wasn’t really an oil leak in the first place when it turned out there were three?
And, what kind of specialist and team of experts made the analysis that there was no significant oil spill leaking into the Gulf of Mexico?
(Among other things . . . )
With that many experts, specialists and knowledgeable professionals highly paid with the entire world of resources at their disposal, I find it hard to believe we are called upon to defer to their expertise at this point considering the results we’ve all seen so far.
And I don’t care what credentials and education that those safety specialists have who approved this plan and the other plans that were disastrous in this situation, including those at the BP Corporation, TransOcean, Halliburton, the Mineral Management Service, the Department of Interior, the Bureau of Land Management, the Department of Energy and the EPA (and in the state agencies along the Gulf Coast) – but they don’t need to be working there anymore. Because there are a lot of people that could’ve done a much better and more conscientious job than that who are also well-educated and appropriate to the task, with or without the credentials to do so. And none of us could’ve mucked it up any worse than they have already.
Spain’s ‘Coast of Death’ bears evidence of oil spill 8 years later
By Ivan Watson, CNNMay 9, 2010 6:01 p.m. EDT
“We couldn’t come out here,” he said, pointing at the beach. “It was all full of black sludge. Black, black, black. Wherever you put your feet, you had to wear boots and protection.”
Millions of gallons of oil began washing up. Locals called it la marea negra, or the black tide.
It was one of the worst oil spills in modern history.
More than 100,000 volunteers traveled to Galicia to help in a clean-up effort that eventually cost Spain and the European Union billions of euros.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, the pollution killed an estimated 250,000 sea birds. The oil spill also ground Galicia’s multimillion-dollar fishing industry to a halt.
Today, locals point to the rocky beach at Cuña. Despite nearly eight years of wind, surf and rain, thick black tar still clings to the rocks.
A 2006 study by Spain’s University of La Coruna concluded that volunteers working on the oil slick clean-up showed evidence of “an increase in the level of genetic damage in blood cells.” Researchers also detected higher levels of heavy metals in these volunteers, similar to tobacco smokers. The study concluded that clean-up crews were provided with inadequate face masks and protective gear to protect them from airborne contaminants.
(excerpts from the story – lots of good information and a slide show of it)
Now, I will try to stop insulting the experts and specialists in this oil spill disaster if they can start acting like they know what they are doing with intelligent applications of everything available on the menu instead of only the three things they’ve already been doing that haven’t worked.
– cricketdiane, 05-10-10
You’ve got to see these –
Photo 22 / 36
An aerial view of the oil leaked from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead, May 6, 2010.
Credit: REUTERS/Daniel Beltra/Handout
Oil is seen on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico in an aerial view of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill off the coast of Mobile, Alabama, in this handout photograph taken from a U.S. Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft on May 6, 2010 and obtained on May 9, 2010.
Credit: REUTERS/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael B. Watkins/U.S. Navy/Handout
Alarms intended to warn of an imminent explosion never went off, and a failsafe mechanism intended to prevent the blast and the following oil spill did not work, ABC News reported Friday.
“It was chaos,” Dwayne Martinez said. “Nothing went as planned, like it was supposed to.”
Members of Congress said they plan to investigate what happened.
“We saw that this device didn’t work. And there were three different backup systems, each one of them didn’t work,” said Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. “And now we’re suffering the consequences.”
Investigators say they are focusing on a device called a “blowout preventer” that sits on the seabed and is meant to shut off any leaks of oil or gas.
Documents show the oil industry knew for years of significant problems with the blowout preventers, known as BOPs, ABC News said.
While BP has said it will pay compensation for “legitimate and objectively verifiable” individual claims, there is already concern the company is short-changing Gulf Coast residents.
Alabama’s Attorney General Troy King on Sunday said he told BP to stop circulating settlement agreements among coastal residents that he said stripped people of their right to sue in exchange for $5,000.
BP also on Sunday altered the terms of its waivers for volunteer clean up respondents after it came under scrutiny for forcing the volunteers to give up their right to sue in the case of an accident.
I noticed on the news yesterday that they are finally getting oil absorbing booms out into the Gulf Coast areas – why didn’t they do that in the first place?
And this solution below could work – but it sounds like they are simply getting further permissions from the EPA or whoever to place significantly more chemical dispersants into the water column where the oil is leaking and that permission was given today.
They have already distributed more than 325,000 gallons of the dispersant as reported in the news about it carried in China, I think it was. Their only backup plans include stuffing the blowout preventer that had failed with rubber scrap to clog it up, and the drilling of a relief well which is continuing.
From yesterday – this is my solution which can be done from the ship using a hose to send it to the seabed in a controlled way – and the rovers can be used to manipulate its placements. –
My Note –
One other thought I had – they could freeze the pipe leak shut with liquid nitrogen like they do in science labs. Might work. Its the right pressure for it – they ought to look at that option.
Icy crystals fill oil containment dome
Published: May 8, 2010 at 5:52 PM
BILOXI, Miss., May 8 (UPI) — Engineers moved a 78-ton containment dome to the side of the oil leak on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico after crystals formed inside the dome, officials said.
The icy crystals — hydrates formed when gas combines with water – would prevent crews from pumping oil from the well head to the surface, said Doug Suttles, chief operating officer of BP.
“What we had to do was pick the dome back up, set it over to the side while we evaluate what options we have to actually try to prevent the hydrate formation or find some other method to try to capture the flow,” Suttles told CNN.
Earlier, engineers used underwater robots to maneuver the containment dome over the well’s leaking pipe 5,000 feet under the Gulf.
Suttles said BP was looking at two options: Heating the dome or adding ethanol to dissolve the hydrates.
Once the huge box-like structure is in position, it will sink into the mud forming a water-tight seal that could stem the flow of spilling oil. A pipe would then be connected to the top of the four-story tall box and collected oil would be pumped to the surface into the tanks of a barge.
“This hasn’t been done before and it will undoubtedly have some complications but we are committed to making this work,” Suttles told McClatchy newspapers.
Engineers said if the project works as intended, it would collect about 85 percent of the estimated 210,000 gallons of oil spilling into the Gulf daily threatening ecological disaster.
Suttles said a team of experts assembled by BP was working on a plan to inject material into an existing blowout preventer to stop the leak entirely.
An estimated 85,000 barrels of oil have leaked into the Gulf since the well exploded April 20, U.S. Coast Guard officials said. Environmental models indicate the leading edge of the massive spill could reach the Mississippi Sound by Sunday moving toward Gulfport and Pascagoula, Miss., a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration scientist told McClatchy.
* EPA monitoring Gulf air and water
* Oil spill closes Louisiana wildlife refuge
* Survivors: Oil rig safety features failed
* Oil spill prompts offshore drilling review
* Oil crews lower huge dome into gulf
* Congress looks at oil spill liability
EPA monitoring Gulf air and water
Published: May 8, 2010 at 12:31 AM
WASHINGTON, May 8 (UPI) — As crude oil makes its way inland from the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. government has set up equipment to monitor air and water quality, officials said.
Officials of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said since the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico April 22, the agency has been monitoring and responding to potential public health and environmental concerns.
Air quality monitoring near Venice, La., indicated elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide at one monitor on Wednesday and two monitors Thursday and people near this area may have smelled what smells like rotten eggs. However, the source of the hydrogen sulfide is not known, the EPA said.
Inhaling the hydrogen sulfide may have caused irritation of the eyes, nose or throat, the EPA Web site said.
EPA’s emergency response teams also put up monitoring stations to monitor larger particulate matter.
People may see elevated levels of particulate matter — at moderate levels — along the Gulf — but this is not due to the presence of the crude oil, particulate matter or ozone is not uncommon in the Gulf coast area this time of year from other man-made sources such as factories, power plants, or cars.
There was a story about a kite held video that was being used to go over the Gulf waters to take pictures – I’m looking for it. That is such a great idea – a little scary to keep the camera secured but still – great idea. It could be used over the wetlands areas and islands too – maybe from a boat where some of the coastal preserves sit.
Added On May 8, 2010
Research by Canadian scientist offers insight into oil spill cleanup in the gulf. CBC’s Colleen Jones reports.
(He says – “just leave it alone and it will recover” – okay who is funding them?) – that was Kenneth Lee of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography – apparently he is behind the EPA guidelines and international guidelines for cleanup – involved with “bio-remediation” specifically to use chemical dispersants and place excess fertilizer in the swamps, bayous and saltwater marshes to grow more grasses and bacterias that will filter out the oil (more or less – by otherwise leaving it alone, my note)
My Note –
So, if the oil hasn’t gone into the sediments of the marshes – leave it alone because they have done studies on one grass of the Louisiana coastal marshes which gave them reason for that recommendation?
What about all the rest of the insects, animals, marsh wildlife, marine animals and wetlands plants and species and birds – but they will use their research as an excuse to just “leave it alone and it will recover?” – because one marshland grass will recover?
What kind of scientific inquiry and study is that?
Who are they getting their funds from – and why are they justified in making recommendations like that which will be used as an educated viewpoint for policy decisions and recovery choices?
The root of his expertise and interest in oil-spills can be traced to a sandy beach in Nova Scotia where Dr. Lee and his team noticed during field tests in 1985 that the addition of fertilizer to a spill encouraged the growth of oil-degrading bacteria.
Four years later, in March 1989, the team’s theory was practised on a worldwide stage when his bioremediation methods were used on a 100-kilometer stretch of Alaska coastline blackened by some 10.8 million gallons of crude oil that spewed from the hold of the grounded tanker Exxon Valdez.
Considered by many to be the worst American environmental disaster since Three Mile Island, the Exxon Valdez spill validated Dr. Lee’s bioremediation techniques at a scientific level.
But the overall clean-up operations also provoked lingering concerns that some oil spill clean-up techniques may have worsened rather than alleviated the devastation.
Undeterred by the controversy and anxious to bolster his techniques with scientific proof, Dr. Lee conducted further collaborative field trials in the U.S., France, the United Kingdom, Norway and the Netherlands.
Evaluation of Monoterpene Producing Plants for Phytoremediation of PCB and PAH Contaminated Soils
EPA Grant Number: R829404
Title: Evaluation of Monoterpene Producing Plants for Phytoremediation of PCB and PAH Contaminated Soils
Investigators: Crowley, David E. , Borneman, James
Institution: University of California – Riverside
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch Project Period: November 1, 2001 through October 31, 2004 (Extended to September 30, 2005)
Project Amount: $393,135
RFA: Phytoremediation (2001)
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation
Plants produce a variety of chemicals with structures that are analogous to those of many commercially produced chemicals. Rhizodeposition of these substances can beneficially affect xenobiotic degradation by promoting selective enrichment of degrader organisms, enhancement of growth-linked metabolism, and induction of genes for enzymes that facilitate cometabolism. In previous research, we have exploited the ability of plant monoterpenes to induce bacteria to cometabolize PCBs.
Data from the literature and our prior research suggest that terpenes produced in situ by plants also should be effective for promoting degradation of many organic contaminants, including PAHs and other recalcitrant contaminants.
The objective of the proposed research is to evaluate monoterpene-producing plant species for use in phytoremediation of PCBs and PAHs, and to investigate the ecology of indigenous xenobiotic degrading bacteria in the rhizosphere of monoterpene producing plants.
Experiments will test four hypotheses: (1) the rhizosphere selectively enriches for diverse populations of xenobiotic degrading microorganisms that occur at higher population densities in the rhizosphere as compared to the bulk soil; (2) plant and microbial substances that are released into the rhizosphere enhance the expression and activity of inducible enzymes that work in concert to degrade xenobiotic soil contaminants; (3) monoterpene producing plants selectively enrich for diverse populations of xenobiotic degrading microorganisms that will occur at higher population densities in the rhizosphere as compared to the plants that do not produce these substances; and (4) plant enhanced remediation of PAH and PCBs in the rhizosphere can be enhanced by the addition of earthworms to improve soil aeration for aerobic degradation processes.
Experiments will use selected xenobiotics as growth substrates for substrate induced respiration assays in conjunction with molecular analyses of rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere soils to ascertain the active biomass and species richness of bacteria that degrade PCBs and PAHs.
Microbial community analyses will be conducted using 16S rDNA profiles generated by PCR-DGGE and by high resolution methods employing oligonucleotide probing on bacterial clones using a DNA microarray. Monoterpene and nonterpene producing plants will be screened for differences in their abilities to promote xenobiotic degradation, and the rate of degradation will be correlated with microbial biomass and gene expression levels.
Results of this research will provide fundamental information on the mechanisms by which various plants influence xenobiotic degrading populations in the plant rhizosphere. Previously, most studies of the rhizosphere have relied on culture-based methods that identify relatively few bacterial species as compared to the hundreds or potentially thousands of species that comprise the rhizosphere community.
Our experiments will determine the active biomass of bacteria that degrade different model contaminants including PCBs, PAHs, and chlorobenzoates. We will identify the predominant species and ascertain, for the first time, the true extent of the diversity of xenobiotic degraders in the rhizosphere of different species. By comparing the rhizospheres of plants that are grown in clean and contaminated soils, we will be able to determine the importance of soil history in influencing the population size of xenobiotic degraders.
Publications and Presentations:
Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 29 publications for this project
Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 5 journal articles for this project
Promoting the use of standard methods for comparison of results, Dr. Lee developed biotest methods to monitor habitat recovery and co-chaired an international working group that produced guidelines for marine oil spill bioremediation for the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
Global acceptance of this procedure has altered
the design of oil spill response operations,
stimulated commercial development of bioremediation agents,
cut operational clean-up costs and above all,
helped to maintain the quality of our oceans and coastal habitats.
A pragmatic perfectionist, Dr. Lee is as unfailingly frank as he is persuasive. As he told a recent on-line environmental panel: “It is virtually impossible to remove all traces of oil following a spill event. The question ‘How clean is clean?’ remains.”
At the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, Dr. Lee is known as the undisputed leader in the development of a wide range of strategic programs for offshore oil and gas research issues.
As the founding executive director of the Centre for Offshore Oil and Gas Environmental Research (COOGER), Dr. Lee set a precedent by successfully adopting an integrated approach to research issues that involved every stakeholder with an interest.
In 1999, the veteran Department of Fisheries and Oceans researcher, Kenneth Lee convinced the skeptical citizenry of St. Croix, Quebec that the long-term benefits of conducting a controlled test of his bioremediation techniques to counter oil spills outweighed the potentially harmful environmental impact of the spill itself.
The studies became the source behind the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) operational guidelines for the clean up of wetland oil contamination. They also continue to serve as the foundation of ongoing global research into a series of countermeasure techniques he pioneered, including phyoremediation (plant enhanced contaminant degradation) and surf washing. (which is to put fertilizers on the marsh grasses – despite what that might do to the species in the area and to let the surf wash the oil away, my note.)
Subsequently, the Executive Committee of the IOCCG (which consists of senior representatives of the principal donor agencies plus the Chairman), met in Washington at the NASDA offices on 5 – 6 December, 1996.
At this meeting it was decided that a Project Office should be set up at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Canada, and that a project scientist should be appointed, initially on a half-time basis, effective from 1 January 1997. It was also decided that the IOCCG should contribute to existing newsletters to disseminate information about the IOCCG, using the not-for-profit magazine, backscatter, published by the Alliance for Marine Remote Sensing (AMRS) as its primary outlet. The first issue with an IOCCG contribution was published in February 1997. In addition, the IOCCG submitted a contribution for the February 1997 issue of the CEOS newsletter. It was also decided that there should be a server for the IOCCG on the World-Wide Web. Dr. Schlittenhardt of the JRC (Joint Research Center) agreed to make available to the IOCCG use the server in Ispra, Italy for this purpose.
3. Establishment of a Project Office for the IOCCG
A project office has been set up at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada and Dr. Venetia Stuart has been appointed as Project Scientist, on a half-time basis, as start-up staffing.
The International Ocean-Colour Coordinating Group (IOCCG) was established in 1996 following a resolution endorsed by the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS). The group is made up of an international Committee of experts comprising representatives from both the provider (Space Agencies) and user communities (scientists, managers). The main objectives of the IOCCG are to develop consensus and synthesis at the world scale in the subject area of satellite ocean colour. Specialised scientific working groups are established by the IOCCG to investigate various aspects of ocean-colour technology and its applications, and to publish IOCCG Monographs on their findings. The IOCCG also has a strong interest in capacity building, and conducts and sponsors advanced training courses on applications of ocean-colour data in various developing countries.
The IOCCG is an Affiliated Programme of the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR), and an Associate Member of CEOS. The activities of the IOCCG are supported by financial contributions from national Space Agencies and other organisations, and upon infrastructure support from SCOR
Approximately 3 million gallons (10,000 metric tons [tonnes]) of oil or refined petroleum product1 are spilled into the waters of the United States every year (NRC, 2003). This amount represents the total input from hundreds of spills, many of which necessitate timely and effective response. When these oil spills occur in the United States, the primary response methods consist of the deployment of mechanical on-water containment and recovery systems, such as booms and skimmers.
Under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90), the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) passed rules for vessel and facility response plans that specified the minimum equipment and personnel capabilities for oil containment and recovery. This requirement has significantly expanded mechanical response capability above that which existed in 1989 at the time of Tanker Vessel (T/V) Exxon Valdez spill (the event that led to passage of OPA 90).
Mechanical recovery, however, is not always sufficient because conditions at the spill are often outside of the effective operating conditions of the equipment. OPA 90 also called for national and regional response teams to develop guidelines to address the use of other on-water response strategies, specifically the use of chemical dispersants and in-situ burning.
Throughout the Unites States, many regional response teams have identified zones where dispersants and in-situ burning are “pre-approved” for use. This pre-approval means that the response and re-
The terms oil, refined product, or petroleum hydrocarbon are used interchangeably in this report.
Although significant steps have been taken over the last 15 years to reduce the size and frequency of oil spills, the sheer volume of petroleum consumed in this country and the complex production and distribution network required to meet the demand make spills of oil and other petroleum products inevitable (NRC, 2003). Oil spill contingency plans, therefore, specify appropriate response to spills whenever and wherever they occur. Spill response in the United States has traditionally focused primarily on physical containment and recovery approaches. For spills on water, these approaches emphasize controlling and recovering spilled oil or petroleum products through the deployment of mechanical equipment such as booms and skimmers.
The effectiveness of mechanical response techniques is variable and highly influenced by the size, nature, and location of the spill as well the environmental conditions under which the response is carried out. Essentially, mechanical response works satisfactorily under a finite subset of all possible spill scenarios.
“Essentially, mechanical response works satisfactorily under a finite subset of all possible spill scenarios.” (from 2003 – of the EPA knowledge set for well over the fifteen years they admit and the last seven years they have been using the same things, my note.)
In-situ burning refers to the controlled burning of oil close to where the spill occurred. For spills on open water, the oil must be collected and
held by fire-resistant booms or trapped in ice to ensure that the oil has a minimum thickness to be ignited and sustain burning. The advantages of in-situ burning include rapid removal of oil and no need for oil recovery, transport, storage, and disposal. The major disadvantages of in-situ burning include the black smoke, difficulties of collecting and containing a large amount of the oil to burn, lower effectiveness as the oil weathers (spreads, emulsifies), and sensitivity to sea state and weather conditions that reduce the viability of all response options (Michel et al., 2004). Worldwide, there have been 43 known intentional in-situ burns of oil on water (Fingas, 1999b; Michel et al., 2004). Of these, only thirteen were actual spills (the rest were planned tests). Of these, four were in ice, two were attempts to burn the oil inside the holds of the ship (Torrey Canyon and New Carissa), and four were of uncontained slicks. In the United States, the only on-water in-situ burning at a spill was the 1989 test burn during the Exxon Valdez oil spill, which was the first time a fire-resistant boom was used at a spill (Michel et al., 2004).
Dispersants are chemical agents (surfactants, solvents, and other compounds) that reduce interfacial tension between oil and water in order to enhance the natural process of dispersion by generating larger numbers of small droplets of oil that are entrained into the water column by wave energy. The small dispersed oil droplets tend not to merge into larger droplets that quickly float back to the water surface and reform into surface slicks. Instead, the small droplets stay suspended in the water column, spreading in three dimensions instead of two and being distributed by turbulent diffusion.
The use of chemical dispersants, as well as in-situ burning, revolves around changing the fate of spilled material within the environment, as opposed to attempting recovery or removal of that material from the environment. They are therefore generally viewed in the United States as secondary options intended to support or supplement mechanical response, and requiring risk-based decisionmaking at the time of a spill.
Early efforts to disperse oil slicks on water and along shorelines used degreasing agents or detergents that contained highly toxic components and resulted in high mortality to rocky shore communities (Smith, 1968). Recent formulations are much less toxic such that the toxicity associated with dispersed oil droplets is essentially a function of the toxicity of the oil itself. As a consequence, U.S. policymakers have been exploring the potential for dispersant use for nearly two decades. In 1989, the National Research Council released Using Oil Spill Dispersants on the Sea. That report focused on the possible effects and effectiveness of using dispersants to combat spills in open waters. Highlighting a number of specific research efforts that should be pursued, one of the report recommendations was that “dispersants be considered as a potential first response option”
From earlier post I was working on today which applies to this one –
My Note –
I would like to note that none of these labs and studies being done by the Minerals Management Service or in academic groups have the extraordinary pressures involved in the actual real world environments. Neither are they able to work at the same constraints of subsea temperatures, surface conditions of choppy seas and winds, subsea pressures found in the 1 mile down range or in the 300 feet down range, and they are not working with all the conditions at the same time.
Just like the asinine scientist in bioremediation who is studying one grass to make a recommendation about the entire ecosystem of the marshes that are affected by the oil spill and that will be affected by the oil spill – these are not real world environmental studies – and they are not taking into consideration all of the variables and parameters that must be included in real world analysis because that is what is there and what is actually required to be dealt with as recovery efforts progress.
Some of the nifty environmental efforts and alternative energy goodies page
Generally lots of good stuff and very upbeat – but none of it does much good unless it gets put to use, obviously, my note
(Things about the oil spill are not on that page)
My Note –
It is much like the news reporter on bloomberg news suggesting that all the pretty birds standing in a sanctuary preserve off the coast of Louisiana that were “protected” from the oil by the booms to keep it away from them, failed to recognize that the birds eat the fish that have been exposed to the petroleum.
Fish breathe through gills that take in the water and process the wastes from their systems back out – that is affected by crude oil and by oil mixed with dispersants that are toxic. And then, those cells of that fish are consumed by the birds who rely on them for their food – (they obviously can’t go to McDonald’s and get a happy meal when their food source is covered with and permeated by crude oil) – as well as by larger mammals that rely upon the fish as food.
The air they are breathing is concentrated petroleum fumes from the crude oil and whatever else is caused by the exhaust of the hundreds of boats skimming around to try to fix this thing. The water they rely upon for everything is polluted and their food sources are polluted and toxic. What do they think is going to happen?
Is it really rational to believe that it will just magically be okay?
Do the birds and marine mammals know not to go past the booms to get them a bit of some fish or whatever else they have on the menu?
– cricketdiane, 05-08-10
Bedford Institute of Oceanography – from the story on CNN above (today)
This Web site provides information on grants and contributions awarded by Canadian Evaluation Assessment Agency.
Beginning on 31 May 2006, and every three months thereafter, this Web site will be updated to include information on grants and contributions awarded in the previous fiscal year quarter.
The rules and principles governing government grants and contributions are outlined in the Treasury Board Policy on Transfer Payments. Transfer payments are transfers of money, goods, services or assets made from an appropriation to individuals, organizations or other levels of government, without the federal government directly receiving goods or services in return, but which may require the recipient to provide a report or other information subsequent to receiving payment. These expenditures are reported in the Public Accounts of Canada. The major types of transfer payments are grants, contributions and ‘other transfer payments’.
My Note – This video from CNN – shows how the Mineral Management Service labs determine what will work on the oil spills and crude oil accidents – but look – what the real environment in the Gulf of Mexico looks like when the booms need to be used –
Workers spread oil booms along a railroad trestle that crosses the water in Bay St Louis, Miss – Oil Spill Gulf of Mexico – Photo USA Today – By Dave Martin, AP – Taken: 4/30/2010 – These waters and condition do not resemble those in the Minerals Management Facilities Tanks where the booms were designed to work
USA Today Slide Show of the Gulf Oil Spill and Recovery Efforts
My Note – Comparing the conditions used to design things that work on oil spills and the real conditions even in a slightly choppy water – leads to the conclusions that the two are not even close.
When looking at the oil on the water of the study tank – there is no oil dispersed in globs throughout the water column below the surface crude, but in the real Gulf Coast oil disaster there is.
(also from the CNN story on the page linked above)
(CNN) — A four-story oil-containment dome is near the 5,000-foot-deep Gulf of Mexico seafloor, and BP workers are using remote-controlled craft to start placing it over a gushing wellhead, the U.S. Coast Guard said Friday afternoon.
Though “chemical industries,” broadly defined, would include such industries as cement production, the sulfur industry, the cottonseed industry, the salt industry, and the oil and gas industryqqv the term is here considered as applying to those industries engaged in the production of chemical compounds most of which find industrial use directly or by further conversion.
The production of chemicals in Texas makes up the largest manufacturing industry in the state. Chemical industries did not get a significant beginning in Texas until World War I. After a brief recession at the end of the war, the industry rose steadily until by 1925 state production figures showed that the value added by manufacture through chemical processes reached a total for the year of $1,126,000.
Chemical production, exclusive of oil, salt, gas, and food industries, was the twenty-eighth ranking Texas industry. Legislative grants made in 1937 and 1938 to the Bureau of Industrial Chemistry at the University of Texas were repaid by the discovery of a number of new processes for the chemical utilization of Texas raw materials. Between 1939 and 1949 more than $750 million was invested in chemical plants in the state.
During World War II with the development of petrochemical units to produce synthetic rubber and other strategic materials, the industry saw its biggest growth in the shortest period of time. After 1950 the enormous proliferation of the industry placed it first among all Texas manufactures in value added.
Capital investment for new chemical-manufacturing plants and equipment totaled about $457 million in 1965-more than 40 percent of all new manufacturing investment in the state. In 1989 capital expenditures for the chemical and petrochemical industry accounted for 51 percent of manufacturing investment in the state.
In the United States Census Bureau’s classification Chemicals and Allied Products, the number of production workers in Texas increased from 6,847 in 1939 to 17,475 in 1947.
A total of 433 establishments was included in this classification, and the value added by manufacturing in 1947 was given as $234,496,000.
In 1968 the Texas chemical industry employed more than 60,000 workers, mostly in the coastal area. The Houston vicinity, including Freeport, Bay City, and Texas City, had the heaviest concentration of plants.
Second in size was the chemical industry of Beaumont-Port Arthur-Orange. Other major centers near the coast were Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Victoria, and Seadrift.
Total chemical-plant investment in 1968 within a 150-mile radius of Houston was estimated at $7 billion. Inland centers of chemical production during the 1960s included Big Spring, Borger, Denver City, Longview, Odessa, and Pampa.
Historically, the principal growth of the chemical industry has been along the Gulf coast, but during the 1940s there were plants engaging in the production of soap and edible oils, sulfuric acid, and various synthetic catalysts in the Dallas area, while in the Laredo area antimony metal and antimony oxide were produced (seeANTIMONY SMELTER).
In the 1990s, the industry continued to be concentrated on the coast and employed more than 116,000 people in 1992. Inland plants operated in Borger, Longview, and Midland.
Chemical products accounted for 24 percent of the value of all manufacturing shipments in Texas, according to a 1989 survey.
Producers of chemicals also led the state in paying the highest hourly wages. Workers in both petrochemical and chemical plants averaged between $16.92 and $18.69 an hour.
In the Brownsville area after World War II Carthage Hydrocol Company produced high-octane gasoline, alcohols, and other oxygenated materials. The Corpus Christi area also had a number of plants producing acetic acid, formic acid, and formaldehyde (Hoechst Celanese Corporation of America); soda ash, caustic soda, and chlorine from local salts and oyster shells (Southern Alkali Corporation); and corn starch, oils, and other corn products from milo maize.
A $52 million plant for the production of electrolytic zinc and cadmium was also located in the Corpus Christi area, and near Port Lavaca ALCOA ran a large plant converting bauxite to aluminum by an electrolytic process. In the 1950s Wharton County sulfur production (Texasgulf and others) was the largest in the world (seeSULFUR INDUSTRY).
During the 1930s Dow Chemical Company invested more than $100 million in facilities at Freeport for a wide range of chemical production. The only tin smelter (seeTIN SMELTING) in North America was located in Texas City, as was a carbon black manufacturing company.
Monsanto Chemical Company, which operated out of Texas City originally, currently has plants in Alvin near Chocolate Bayou. Immediately after World War II a large variety of chemical industrial plants in the Houston area produced hydrocyanic acid, phosphate fertilizers, electrolytic chlorine, and caustic soda (Diamond Alkali-Diamond Shamrockqv), anhydrous hydrofluoric acid, sulphuric acid, and superphosphate fertilizers, hydrochloric acid and bone black, freon, phenathiazin, and DDT (DuPont-Grasselli Division), and ammonium sulphate (Phillips Chemical Company, a subsidiary of Phillips Petroleum).
Shell Chemical Company also built and operated a $50 million plant for diversified chemical and petroleum products and research.
At Baytown in conjunction with Humble Oil and Refining Company (now Exxon Company, U.S.A.), the largest petroleum refinery in the United States at the time, there was a toluene plant and a butyl rubber polymerization plant.
In this area also General Tire and Rubber operated a large synthetic rubber plant (seeSYNTHETIC RUBBER MANUFACTURE). In the Beaumont-Port Arthur-Orange industrial triangle, plants produced a variety of petrochemicals and organic chemicals, butane, synthetic rubber (B. F. Goodrich and Firestone Chemical Companies), and oxygen. McCarthy Chemical Company in Baytown operated the largest oxygen plant in the United States.
Major companies in operations in the 1990s included Dow Chemical, E. I. DuPont de Nemours and Company, Hoechst Celanese Chemical Group, Incorporated, Occidental Chemical Corporation, Quantum Chemical, ARCO, Huntsman Chemical Corporation, and Union Carbide Corporation. Many companies that manufacture chemicals in the state are also members of the Texas Chemical Council, the Austin-based state trade association of the industry.
Most of the new chemical plants after 1960 fell into one of three broad product categories: petrochemicals, based on oil and gas; industrial inorganics; and finished products, such as detergents, paints, and medicinal preparations. The greatest growth has come in the first of these three.
Petrochemicals. The largest-volume petrochemical product was ethylene, produced in more than a dozen Texas plants, most of them along the coast. Ethylene is an intermediate product, used in the making of dozens of chemicals. Some of these were polyethylene, made in larger amounts than any other plastic, vinyl plastics, styrene plastics and rubber, and cellulose acetate, as well as solvents, cleaning agents, antifreeze compounds, and many other products.
The preparation of most of these petrochemicals was carried on in several phases, often in different plants, which were frequently connected by pipelines.
The term “spaghetti bowl” has come into use to describe the elaborately interconnected production complexes that have grown up along the Houston Ship Channel and the Sabine-Neches Waterway and Sabine Pass Ship Channel.qqv Texas produced 70 percent of American ethylene production in 1989, making it the fifth largest producer in the world.
Synthetic rubber, pioneer product of the state’s petrochemical industry, was made in larger volume in 1968 and in a wider range of types than ever before. Ten Texas plants, along the coast from Houston to Beaumont-Port Arthur and also in Borger and Odessa, turned out various polymers and copolymers for use as rubber. In 1970 Texas produced 80 percent of the nation’s synthetic rubber.
Some of the basic building blocks of the petrochemical industry were compounds that could be separated or derived from either natural gas or petroleum: ethane and ethylene, butane and butylene, propane and propylene.
Others, such as benzene, toluene, and xylene are produced only from oil. In spite of the occurrence of oil and gas in almost all parts of Texas, most petroleum refining was carried on along the coast, where low-cost water transportation could be used. The petrochemical industry, closely tied technologically and economically to refining, developed principally in already established refining centers.
Most major Texas petrochemical products were organic chemicals, but a few were not. Synthetic ammonia, made from the hydrogen contained in natural gas, was in rapidly increasing demand for use in agricultural fertilizers. It was made not only in the Houston area but also in East Texas and on the High Plains, where demand was strong for agricultural chemicals. Texas has been the leading state in production of fixed-nitrogen fertilizers, chiefly ammonia-based.
Carbon black, used largely in tire rubber, was an important product of the Texas chemical industry. In the past most of the carbon black plants based their production on natural gas and were located in the gas fields of the Panhandle.
However, the grades of black in demand for use in synthetic rubber in 1968 were more readily made from oil, and the industry has moved to the Gulf Coast, where petroleum-based feedstocks can be purchased from the large coastal refineries.
Sulfur is a Texas petrochemical to the extent that large amounts have been recovered from hydrogen sulfide-bearing natural gas, mainly in the Permian Basin and Panhandle gas fields. Similarly, helium was extracted from natural gas at Amarillo, Dumas, Gruver, and Masterson, which were close to gas deposits that contained enough helium to justify its extraction.
Industrial inorganic chemicals. Aside from petrochemicals, the state’s largest-volume chemical outputs were generally those derived from salt, sulfur, sea water, oyster shell, and other raw materials drawn mainly from reserves along the Gulf Coast.
These inorganics include chlorine, soda ash, caustic soda, and sulfuric acid, all of which figure very importantly in a wide variety of chemical process operations. In 1963 Texas plants shipped more chlorine (valued at $23 million) and more caustic soda (valued at $36 million) than plants in any other state. Most of this came from production centers in or near Corpus Christi, Houston, and Port Neches.
Finished chemical products. The end products turned out by the chemical industry in Texas have fallen mostly into three categories: detergents and soaps, paints and varnishes, and pharmaceutical chemicals. Output of these products has been more heavily concentrated in Dallas than in any other Texas city. In fact, one Dallas plant accounted for most of the state’s total employment in soap manufacture.
In 1993 there were 167 producers of soap, cleaners, and toilet goods in the state, with $1.2 billion in gross sales. The making of paint and related products was a significant manufacture in Dallas and particularly in Houston.
Seventy-eight paint plants in Texas shipped products valued at $118 million in 1963. In 1988 there were ninety plants that had gross sales exceeding $281 million.
In 1993, the number of plants dropped to eighty-five but gross sales exceeded $416 million. After World War II the Texas drug industry was small and rather specialized. Substantial quantities of veterinary medicines were produced and also some synthetic organic chemicals for medical use.
However, there were no major production centers in 1968. In 1987, seventy-one manufacturers in the state reported gross sales of $432,774,592. By 1993 there were eighty-seven producers of drugs in the state reporting revenues of more than $1 billion.
In response to the growing community concern about chemical pollution, several chemical companies joined Clean Industries 2000, a voluntary program of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, to reduce various types of pollution to 50 percent of 1987 levels by the year 2000. Members improve environmental management within their corporations and adhere to environmental regulations.
Companies also organize and participate in various environmental outreach programs and projects. Texas members include Phillips 66, Howell Hydrocarbon and Chemicals, DuPont, and OxyChem.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: M. A. M. Anari and Jared E. Hazelton, The Chemical Industry of Texas (College Station: Center for Business and Economic Analysis, Texas A&M University, 1992). Texas Chemical Council, The Texas Chemical Industry (n.p.: Union Carbide Corporation, n.d.). Texas Water Commission, Clean Texas 2000 Environmental Partnership (1992).
“Shell Chemical Company also built and operated a $50 million plant for diversified chemical and petroleum products and research.”
My Note –
So, let me see if I’ve got this straight. We have a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that is continuing to spread for days across wider and wider swaths of the ocean. The specialists and experts are not using a bunch of hair for 50 cents a ton, from hair salons and pet groomers across America stuffed in a bunch of pantyhose ends and overruns that would’ve cost maybe another 50 cents per ton in order to get up the oil despite knowing and acknowledging that it works.
But, instead they are continuing to work from a playbook at the same prepared page from 1985 – and certainly 2003, in order to use stuff that they know kindles a greater swath of damage and toxins that stay in the water and air and ecosystem, kills wildlife, marine life, birds and fish, along with permanently damaging the waters and air wherever those methods are used.
And, the information contained in the EPA book listed above, notes these facts, but they are doing it by that set of methods anyway. The controlled burning was never intended to be used in a massive crude oil spill nor in an area significantly close to other oil rigs, drilling operations, shipping, terminals – and land. That method was intended for small spills to be contained and burned off such as a tanker spill or from an oil derrick off by itself away from shore and far from other petroleum industry operations. But, no – controlled burning is among the methods they are using in the Gulf of Mexico which has been described as an industrial zone and it is.
Hmmmm…. and the fixed nitrogen fertilizers that are going to placed on the saltwater marshes will make them look all verdant and lush and green so the oil can’t be visible anymore. Eventually the rhizomes and roots and bacteria in exaggerated populations will distribute the oil through their cells, but in the meantime – plants, animals, insects, fishes, marine coastal wildlife, naturally occurring processes of the marshlands and water quality will be altered permanently and irretrievably. But they are going to do it that way regardless, despite knowing that because it is the plan.
And, the chemical dispersants are known to be toxic also but they are using those, too. And planes are flying over the Gulf distributing those toxic agents across large areas of the sea, affecting marine life and wherever it would touch when it eventually settles wherever it settles. But, knowing this – they are doing that instead of using the peat moss based product that has been known for awhile and isn’t toxic and does work, nor are they using the hair in pantyhose design that is also known to work, is retrieved with the oil easily and isn’t toxic, as well. And they have known about those for well over 15 years. Certainly, these have been known since the Exxon Valdez spill.
So, let me get this straight – since 1985 they’ve known the dangers of controlled burns and right now, they are aware these controlled burns were never intended for a spill of this size. And, the EPA knows the damage it causes and the risks involved in an area so completely cluttered with oil rigs, oil drilling practices and terminals, shipping and everything else involved in these petroleum industries’ operations throughout the Gulf of Mexico.
Aside from the National Guard efforts and the “containment dome” – all of the methods that are being used contain products purchased in some way from the oil / petroleum / and chemical industries who are also the ones in the Gulf of Mexico making profits from our national resources that they’ve paid about 5 cents on the dollar to access. And, all of the planned measures that they are using follow the same playbook that was in use since the Reagan administration helped us out and undermined all the safety regulations in place to protect the public and the environment.
Okay, got that part. Now the other thing is that we, the taxpayers seemed to have paid for the lion’s share of the research they are using from the USGS, to NOAA, to Department of Energy, to Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management, EPA and countless other departments, agencies, academic research grants made with tax money, state resources, coastal resource and oceanographic society resources, and countless others. The research was paid for by tax money we gave into the Treasury and State coffers.
Our money paid for them to build plants, have land for nearly nothing, have ports, access to ports and shipping with subsidies to help them do it, research that we paid for to explain how to drill and where to drill and what to do with it once they got it drilled. (And, otherwise facilitated them at every step and stage of the process with money, subsidies, grants, favorable tax incentives, knowledge, expertise, science, engineering, government resources and manhours, and unimaginable other goodies not available to any of the rest of us.)
Alrighty then, got that part.
And, then despite all that they get to do stupid, dangerous, horrendous, and life-threatening stuff because it suits them to do it that way.
Yep, that seems to be about it.
Except for this part –
When a university, a scientist, engineer or academic research facility is influenced to prove what the funding agency or business sponsor wants proven despite facts discovered to the contrary, it is no longer considerd simple public relations or marketing tactics being employed by the business or agency that engages in it. That is the point at which it becomes something else – especially where it involves government money, profits made from so doing, or other gratuities given or received as a result, including a resulting credentialed respect being acquired by those engaging in it.
And that includes on any side of the equation. When the oil companies hired public relations staff or contracted companies to perform that work, it didn’t give them carte blanche to do absolutely anything. There is an acceptable range of strategies for persuading the public, including the scientific community and policy-makers, and then there is a line of truth and untruth that is crossed and it comes into an intentional act of misinformation, deception, deceit, criminal negligence, conspiracy to defraud and similar illegal practices.
When the oil industry decided that they could prove they were ready to successfully mitigate the damage from their oil drilling enterprises and exploratory drilling practices, they used a typical and common set of public relations strategies. These did a very good job of misinforming states’ citizens, states’ policy makers and leaders, Federal government employees and specialists, Federal agencies and Congressional members, members of the general public and the leadership of nations around the world. They were obviously lying and that is evident from the facts unfolding before us. That makes it more than pr and brings it into the realm of intentional practice.
Further, in 1969 – after the oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, the oil, gas, petroleum, drilling, mining, chemical, industrial, manufacturing and various chemical process-based specialties knew that the EPA guidelines were the law. That did not change.
As of that moment and thereafter, the burden of safety was placed in no uncertain terms on the profit-making enterprise engaging in those practices that might be in any way lethal, harmful, dangerous, disastrous, permanently or irrevocably life-altering to people, employees, the public, the economic wherewithal of the communities affected by it, the animals, the wildlife, the marine life, the ecosystems and / or the future lives of our citizens.
Since that legislation was enacted, it legally requires that every business and industry, including the gas and oil businesses, take the safety measures in the first place and on a continuing basis, err on the side of caution and safety this time and every time, and that with the responsibilities inherent in the freedom to be in business and profit from America’s resources and her consumers is included an absolute requirement to create those profits with every measure of safety and conscientiousness. There isn’t another choice on that menu.
Thirty years ago, it was known that cars were engulfing the air with petroleum based fuel exhaust fumes such that cities across America looked like an aerial swamp almost every day sat above them. The oil and gas industries have spent literally tons of money to make no change, no change, no change in the ways things are done whether it is in the cars we drive, the transportation systems generally, the ways that ships use fuel and influenced damn near every industry using any of their petroleum based products.
So, for over thirty years, the due date by which change could occur has in each case been pushed forward ahead of somewhere out ten years or fifteen or twenty-five or thirty more before anything can be changed and be different than the way it is being done now. Some of those changes have been studied and studied and researched and researched to the point that the industry of profit became the studying of it further and again and another time.
That has tied up money that could have put any number of things into operation, but it didn’t because the lobbyists for the oil industry, the chemical industry, the chemical processing industry, the shipping industry, the automotive industry and the Wall Street tycoons behind them wanted things to remain the same. So, here we are and it is not less than we had before, neither is it more – but rather extensions of the same thing across the board taken to new generations of muddy skies and nasty water, lead filled dirt, and coasts that look like an oil-filled cesspool – and new places to pollute irreparably on the planet from Bhopal to the coast of Spain, across the waters of South America and throughout the Khazakstan and Alaskan landscapes.
And, now they tell us it would get us all in trouble to do it any differently and that it would take at least another thirty years before anything could be brought online to do things differently or to have different cars or different ships or different energy sources or different processes or different anything. What part of the lesson on lying did they miss?
How many times do we have to say “never again” before it becomes absolutely more than we will put up with for another day?
It is not the responsibility of the EPA to be convinced by these industries that they are safe and doing things responsibly – it is the job of the profit-making industries and their shareholders to make sure they are doing so and prove it by fact. And, the facts have proven the exact opposite is the case in every measure except for in the one spreading out from the public relations firms, lobbyists and industries themselves, faster than the oil in the Gulf of Mexico is spewing into the water at 210,000 gallons a day, conservatively.
When our tax money supported them, subsidized them, incentivised them, supporting their profit-making pursuits, these industries became comfortable with those revenues being a continuing, unalterable stream to underwrite their operations. They charged at the end-product retail level as it suited their whims while cutting measures of safety as an excuse of increasing profitability even as their profits soared above 300%. Their tax breaks would make anyone envious, until the realization occurs of what that is chatteling from all of us. And, yet they would go on in the same way as always without reserve or regard for the safety of people’s lives, for the environment, for our nation or for our world.
When the Gulf of Mexico becomes awash in oil and ablaze from the fires they’ve set to “clean it up” – who will stop it, what will stop it, what will make that worthwhile? When the Gulf of Mexico is devoid of life in the marine environments throughout the coast and waters off our coast, will the oil executives that caused it be sitting in their offices with their feet under their oak desks continuing to count their profits? Will the shareholders still have their increased and ever-increasing dividends that used to allow them to go take a cruise along the Gulf and watch the porpoises and sunsets without an oil slick? Will anything be different?
I say that is enough. People throughout the world have said that is enough. And, the idea that we can’t do anything else has already been disproved. It is time to do some things differently across the board without another moment’s waste. Fix the spill in the Gulf using the effective ways that people have suggested which are not toxic. Do it now and stop burning off the oil taking the risk that the whole damn place will catch fire. And, get a bunch of hair in some pantyhose or peat moss or something else nontoxic and get the damn shit out of the marsh lands and islands and waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
And, Stop using the same damn Playbook to the benefit of profit-makers who have no regard for our laws, our lives, for our safety, our nation’s people and communities, for our wildlife and marine life, our lands, our air, for our National Wealth and Our National Resources, for our States, our oceans and waters, for the value of our money, for our Government, and for our Nation’s best interests.
The companies that have engaged in these practices of deception and endangerment are an insult to humanity and a disgrace of our nation. They have carried the future and the reputation of America into a vision of inconsolable terror for the people affected by the exploding oil rigs, a garbage dump from the trashed harbors and ports filled with mechanical and crude oil chemical pollution, and horrific expanses of once pristine ocean waters that have been turned into a thick, toxic, slimy industrial chemical soup. That is enough.
– cricketdiane, 05-08/09-10
Going to get off the computer for awhile now and then go do something else.
Will start some other post tomorrow – with or without the oil spill disaster included in it, I haven’t decided yet.
Goodnight. (or Goodday, depending on which it is there now.)