The Gulf of Mexico Is Still Dying

Pathogenic Micro-organisms Proliferate Due
To Polluted And Poisoned GOM ‘Bioterrain’

by Gulf Oil Spill Remediation Cyber-Conference

There have been several significant developments over the past few decades in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) which now require special and immediate attention.  The multitude of oil spills — both large and small — require extraordinary remediation measures, as well as the application of safe and proven technologies which will not make the existing hydrocarbon pollution worse. There are other major sources of water pollution in the GOM which have also became apparent, particularly since the eye-opening 2010 BP oil spill.

The Gulf of Mexico is Dying: A Special Report On The BP Gulf Oil Spill

The BP Gulf Oil Spill drew the world’s attention to the GOM for a variety of reasons. The sheer volume of oil spilt was unprecedented, as were its profound and lasting effects on a large geographic area.  Because it occurred in such a large body of water, many population centers were adversely impacted as they continue to be up to this very day.  However, it was the incompetent and negligent oil spill response from BP that received the justified scrutiny of the entire world.

Some have since advanced the notion that global oil spill response has been forever changed for the better, because of how profoundly BP mismanaged the spill for all to see. In this regard, they speak of a literal sea change regarding the methodologies and modalities, process and procedure, science and technology that are now accepted by many of the nations of the world.

The entire world watched in horror as millions of gallons of the dispersant Corexit were used to ‘disappear’ the gushing oil in the Macondo Prospect throughout 2010 and beyond.  Disappearing the oil actually meant sinking it, after micronizing it, so that both BP and  the US Federal Government could be ‘applauded’ for a successful response.  However, the known health risks/dangers and environmental damage caused by Corexit became so well publicized that it has now been banned in those countries which have learned from the BP fiasco.  The following article provides more details in this regard.

Dispersant Use Like Corexit Sees Precipitous Decline Worldwide

The single revelation about the ramped up toxicity of Corexit-treated oil served to awaken many stakeholders about the safety of dispersant use in our coastal waters. More importantly, this issue also triggered a variety of concerns about the overall condition of the Gulf of Mexico.  Residents along the GOM coast, business owners, annual vacationers, property owners and the like began to research and discover the true state of the Gulf.

It was through a confluence of many disparate circumstances during the gushing, “ginormous”  oil volcano which brought to light the following critical observations about the overall status of the Gulf of Mexico. These various perceptions and insights, when considered in the aggregate and within a much larger context, have allowed to surface an assessment of the GOM which can no longer be denied or ignored.  Continue reading

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13 Year Old Scientist Finds Perfect Solution To The Santa Barbara Oil Spill

Screen Shot 2015-07-18 at 10.03.59 AM

California Coastline Oil Spill
Refugio State Beach
Santa Barbara
2015

13 Year Old Scientist Shows the Experts How Bioremediation Can Clean Up Oil Spills and Save Wildlife

Alana Tessman collaborates with the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization (LAEO) to formulate an effective and nontoxic oil spill response plan for oiled birds and marine life.

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Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization Challenges EPA’s Proposed Clean Water Protection Regulations

LAEO Claims Evasive Bureaucratic Language Masks Outdated Science

While the five-year anniversary mark for the catastrophic 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has captured renewed media and public attention, few discussions seem to be addressing conflicting science on oil spill clean up chemicals, alleged to be one the most ‘insidious and invisible’ threats to earth’s oceans combined with a ‘broken emergency response system for addressing hazardous chemical spills in the United States’.

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LAEO Issues ‘A CALL TO ACTION’ Regarding Sound Oil Spill Remediation And Response Plans

A CALL TO ACTION FOR EARTH’S WATERS

Issued by: Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization

Date: April 20th, 2015 (5th Anniversary of the BP Gulf Oil Spill)

Re: Taking Action to Protect & Preserve Earth’s Waters

PRESS RELEASE

“A CALL TO ACTION” is the product of a 5 year investigation by the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization (LAEO) of oil spill response both within the United States and throughout its territorial waters.  The LAEO also took into consideration research conducted on oil spill response programs and protocols in other countries around the world.

Their extensive examination of the predominant oil spill response techniques and technologies, remediation agents and materials presents a much needed assessment of the state of the art.  Particularly in the wake of the BP Gulf oil spill has the LAEO’s non-profit endeavor proven to be quite valuable for oil-producing nations large and small.

Because of the serious mistakes made by BP and the U.S. Federal Government during the 87-day gushing oil well in the GOM’s Macondo Prospect, much has been learned about what not to do.  As a result, there has been a sea change in oil spill response planning and implementation throughout the worldwide Oil & Gas Industry.  Curiously, the USA is still one of a few nations which has chosen to continue with the same ineffective technologies and polluting agents to address oil spills both on land and in the waters. Continue reading

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Alaskan Residents Outraged Over Attempts To Justify Chemical Dispersant Use

FOR  IMMEDIATE  RELEASE

EPA/Coast Guard Planned Meetings re Chemical Dispersant Use Being ‘Safe’, Outrages Alaskan Residents and Tribal Governments

Alaska Change Oil Spill Response Alliance condemns planned federal agency-sponsored community meetings being held this week as a deceptive attempt to gain public support for ‘poisoning Alaskan waters’ and a move to erode the power of the Clean Water Act.

Anchorage, Alaska November 12-17, 2013__The Alaska Regional Response Team (ARRT), a federal inter-agency body tasked with formulating response plans to oil and hazardous substance discharges in Alaska, are holding public meetings in five hub Alaskan regions this week to present their revised oil spill response plans. The first meeting, scheduled in King Salmon, Alaska on Wednesday, November 13th will present information on plans that give pre-authorization for the spraying and injection of the same controversial chemical dispersants as were used on the 1989 Exxon Valdez and 2010 Gulf of Mexico British Petroleum (BP) Oil Spills to be used in Alaskan waters.

The Alaska Inter-Tribal Council and the Change Oil Spill Response Global Alliance-Alaska Delegation, say Tribal Nations, fisherman and concerned citizens vehemently oppose the plan because it erodes the regulatory power of the Clean Water Act.  In a widely distributed Public Notification to Tribal Governments and Alaskan citizens, they explain that U.S. policies and laws mandating government to government consultation with Tribal Nations on such plans are being undermined and short circuited by the ARRT.

The ARRT’s ‘questionable Tribal Consultation process’, planned to begin on Nov 13th, “is a misuse of public funds to force through approval of the Coast Guard’s dispersant use plans setting a dangerous precedent for inappropriate government to government consultation with Federally Recognized Tribes” said Walter Parker, an Arctic expert with 40 years experience in oil & gas oversight.  “Chemical Dispersant use in oil spill response should be retired globally as obsolete, and is especially inappropriate for Alaska, since the method is ineffective in frigid waters” he continued.

The Public Notification educational materials distributed to more than 250 potentially impacted Tribal and Fishing communities illustrate that human rights violations are taking place through the ARRT’s inept Tribal engagement processes.  According to the documents, the pre authorization plans would allow for the use of chemical dispersants over the objections of Tribal authorities and environmental groups in the event of an oil spill.

 I.      See attached documents for details:

II. See ARRT website for meeting call in information and other details at: http://alaskarrt.org/Documents.aspx?f=12371

PLEASE CALL IN TO OR ATTEND THESE GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED MEETINGS AND HELP TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS AND THE PUBLIC GET ANSWERS TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

Any proposal for the use of chemical dispersants requires that the following questions be addressed by the inter-agency ARRT presenting their dispersant plans for discussion:

  1. Of greatest importance in oil spill response is rapid reduction of oil toxicity and its impact on ecosystems and threat to human health. Dispersants do not remove oil or reduce toxicity of the oil but increase it, how does the revised plan address this?
  2. Based on 2012 DOI testing and other science we have reviewed, dispersants are not effective in frigid waters below a certain temperature.  How does your plan overcome that?
  3. How will dispersants applied by aerial and/or other application methods not impact marine life, coastal and up-river communities?
  4. Since dispersants do not remove oil and its most toxic compounds but instead sink and disperse them into the water column increasing absorption capacity and ingestion by marine life, how is this addressed in the plan?
  5. How will chemical dispersants not impact Customary and Traditional and Modern Life-ways of hunting, fishing, gathering ability to navigate and access clean water?
  6. What non-toxic alternatives can be used to replace chemical dispersants invented by and/or owned by the major oil companies? (LAEO’s research has found technology that does indeed exist to truly detoxify and swiftly clean up an oil spill, and that technology is being successfully used in many parts of the world today.)
  7. How does the use of chemical dispersants comply with the Clean Water Act?  (see: http://protectmarinelifenow.org/revitalization)

(Note: See also study/position paper at: www.protectmarinelifenow.org which is based on multiple scientific studies cited indicating unquestionable food chain, ecosystem and human health impacts of dispersants.)      If any proposed chemical dispersant guidelines do not meet the criteria at: http://protectmarinelifenow.org/identification for selecting products for oil spill cleanup, they should not be approved.

 FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Nikos Pastos-Center for Water Advocacy,
AI-TC and Alaska Delegation Spokesperson
406-459-1829

Diane Wagenbrenner
VP Special Project Operations
Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization
COSR Global Alliance Media Relations
Ph: 858-531-6200

Carl Wassilie-Yup’iaq Biologist
907.382.3403

Distributed by the Alaska Inter-Tribal Council and Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization and Change Oil Spill Response Global Alliance Initiative for education purposes.

Press Release Available Online at: http://protectmarinelifenow.org/important-briefing-on-alaska-federal-agency-push-for-chemical-dispersant-pre-authorization-november-2013

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Government Recklessly Reopened Fisheries in the Gulf

Based Decision on Skewed Data and Questionable Testing Methodology

You know how it is with almost anything the US Federal Government touches?
The further one gets away from the scene of the crime – in this case the Macondo Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) – the more reality comes spilling out. Concerning the BP oil spill, it was only a matter of time that the verified facts would start to seep out from those scientific research institutions whose only purpose was to unravel the truth.

Everyone knew something was very wrong back in 2010 when the “US Department of Commerce – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) began closing fisheries on May 2, 2010.  It began reopening them, with various spatial and other limits, on June 23. The well was capped on July 15.

Gulf Coast fishermen and tour boat operators, restauranteurs and store owners, hoteliers and motel owners all began to ask how such a decision could have been made while the well was still gushing.

Likewise, state government representatives, county officials and city commissioners all asked the very same questions about the safety of the seafood coming from the GOM.

As did Gulf Coast residents and vacationers, boaters and tourists, and curiosity-seekers of every stripe and color. Everyone wanted to know whether fish from the GOM, especially the shellfish from the northern Gulf region, was safe to eat. After all, the health and welfare of an entire culture revolves around seafood and the industry that produces it.   Continue reading

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A New Look at Oil Spill Response

Just Released:
A New Look at Oil Spill Response
An Analysis of the BP Macondo Spill Cleanup

The Science & Technology Advisory Board of the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization (LAEO) has just published a significant position paper entitled A Call for a Twenty-First-Century Solution in Oil Spill Response.
Bringing energy industry professionals, interagency federal and state officials, and environmental interests together at the same table, the work brings forth an important principle overlooked during the 2010 BP Oil Spill:
The foremost reason one cleans up an oil/chemical spill is to remove the pollutants/toxicity from the environment as rapidly as possible so that living organisms can survive and the ecosystem can sustain itself.
Utilizing this principle as a fundamental standard for oil spill cleanup guidance and policy establishes a valuable frame of reference by which one can evaluate response methods—mechanical cleanup, dispersants, and nontoxic agents—as to their effectiveness and economic viability.

The guidance material contained in this work is a constructive offering for every oil-producing country in the world and their potentially contaminated ecosystems. The paper brings a new analysis and assessment of the BP Macondo disaster response. It contains guidelines for the selection process for oil spill cleanup agents, along with an evaluation process that can be used to grade potential effectiveness of those agents in swiftly removing spilled oil from the environment.
The LAEO analysis challenges the standard that “25 percent cleaned up” is an acceptable industry benchmark for an effective spill response, as research indicates that existing technology can far exceed that.

Recently a special feature covering the 2010 BP spill response (“Science in Support of the Deepwater Horizon Response”), published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal of December 2012, sent mixed messages and missed the importance of the above principle as the basis for measuring response effectiveness . While hailing the cleanup as successful, the Perspective, co-authored by federal interagency scientists and associates, also acknowledged, “Despite aggressive recovery and removal efforts, only around one-quarter of the oil was removed by the federally directed response.” Notwithstanding these statistics, it is unclear how this academic work arrived at an overall conclusion that the spill response was effective, indicating similar methodology will likely be used on future spills.

Long-term and even recent studies of oil spill environmental damage and the response methods employed show that these “successful” methods have failed to remove the toxicity from the environment (and in the case of dispersants, have added toxicity), ending up in enormous destruction to wildlife, marine life, the local economy, and human health.
The Twenty-First-Century Solution paper expresses a significant concern that federal agencies tasked with protecting our waters and natural resources hold the viewpoint that (a) the negative effects of chemical dispersants “need more study before anyone will really know for sure,” while they continue to use them as a preferred preapproved method, and (b) there are no better methods.
This paper’s Call for Action details and builds a science-based case for halting the use of dispersants that contain pollutants and do not remove oil and its toxic components from the environment; and more importantly, it presents an effective nontoxic replacement for current methodology.   Continue reading

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