Category: Pollution


Collapse of the Industrial Civilization | Interview with Michael Ruppert

 

Published on Feb 28, 2013

Michael Ruppert let’s fly with both barrels as he speaks on Peak Oil, who the media are serving, and the truth behind Pat Tilman and Christopher Dorner. Ruppert’s candor is so strong that it is clear to see why he has been persecuted for his journalism, and he also shows why he is resilient enough to keep on speaking his truth.

GUEST BIO:
Michael Ruppert is an investigative journalist and author of two books, Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil and Confronting Collapse: The Crisis of Energy and Money in a Post Peak Oil World. In the 1970s, Ruppert was a narcotics officer for the LAPD. While there, he discovered evidence that the CIA was complicit in the illegal drug trade. He alerted his superiors with this information and soon found himself dismissed even though he had an honorable record. These events spurred Ruppert to begin a new career for himself as an investigative journalist. He was the publisher/editor of the From The Wilderness newsletter which, until its closure in 2006, examined government corruption and complicity in such areas as the CIA’s involvement in the war on drugs, the Pat Tillman scandal, the 2008 economic collapse and issues surrounding Peak Oil. Ruppert has lectured widely on these topics and was the subject of a documentary,Collapse, in 2009 which was based on one of his books. Currently, he hosts the radio show, The Lifeboat, on the Progressive Radio Network.

ADD’L LINKS:
http://www.fromthewilderness.com/
http://www.collapsenet.com/
http://www.thelip.tv

EPISODE BREAKDOWN:
00:01 Coming up on Media Mayhem.
00:50 Welcoming Michael Ruppert
01:44 Getting persecuted as a journalist over Pat Tilman.
04:35 Bringing down the Bush administration.
08:55 The Pat Tilman cover-up.
15:01 Getting push back from controversial stories.
23:14 Media red herrings and distractions from the Right and Left.
27:54 Collapse, peak oil and the Iraq War explained.
36:17 The cognitive dissonance swirling around Christopher Dorner.
45:04 Investigative journalism appears through the cracks.

 

Part 2

 

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Published on Mar 5, 2013

Collapse mastermind Michael Ruppert joins Media Mayhem to continue his conversation about the dirty secrets of the US government. This time he pulls out the big guns when discussing 9/11, the Bush administration, and why Dick Cheney was such an important (and nefarious) figure.
He also gives his thoughts on President Obama, and the overwhelming force that keeps the machine of US government ticking in the direction of criminality.

GUEST BIO:
Michael Ruppert is an investigative journalist and author of two books, Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil andConfronting Collapse: The Crisis of Energy and Money in a Post Peak Oil World.In the 1970s, Ruppert was a narcotics officer for the LAPD. While there, he discovered evidence that the CIA was complicit in the illegal drug trade. He alerted his superiors with this information and soon found himself dismissed even though he had an honorable record. These events spurred Ruppert to begin a new career for himself as an investigative journalist. He was the publisher/editor of the From The Wilderness newsletter which, until its closure in 2006, examined government corruption and complicity in such areas as the CIA’s involvement in the war on drugs, the Pat Tillman scandal, the 2008 economic collapse and issues surrounding Peak Oil. Ruppert has lectured widely on these topics and was the subject of a documentary, Collapse, in 2009 which was based on one of his books. Currently, he hosts the radio show, The Lifeboat, on the Progressive Radio Network.

ADD’L LINKS:
http://www.fromthewilderness.com/
http://www.collapsenet.com/
https://www.facebook.com/MediaMayhem
https://twitter.com/ahopeweiner
http://thelip.tv/

EPISODE BREAKDOWN:
00:01 Coming Up on Media Mayhem
00:41 The Collapse network of outside media.
03:34 30 years of experience in skepticism.
05:24 Osama Bin Laden and the truth.
09:44 9/11 was orchestrated by Dick Cheney.
11:24 Evidence for his case.
16:33 How Cheney consolidated power so effectively.
20:56 The excuse for the Iraq War, and the connection to Pearl Harbor.
26:12 Halliburton and the C.I.A.
31:44 Working with the LAPD and C.I.A. and coming from a background related to security.
34:34 The C.I.A. drug shipment conspiracy.
36:35 Has the LAPD changed since Rodney King?
40:14 Obama and the machine.
43:52 The balance of power and the executive.

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Land contaminated by waste from factories in Lanzhou, Gansu province. (File photo/Xinhua)

Land contaminated by waste from factories in Lanzhou, Gansu province. (File photo/Xinhua)

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  • China Begins Soil Pollution Clean-up amid Doubt over Funding

    BEIJING (Reuters) – China has announced its first pilot projects to treat metal pollution in soil and prevent farmland from further contamination, but critics say the government’s overall efforts are underfunded and inefficient.

    The Ministry of Finance will subsidize soil pollution prevention and treatment in three cities in the central province of Hunan, state media reported, as pilot efforts to halt developments that have rendered 3.33 million hectares (8 million acres) of Chinese farmland too polluted to grow crops on.

    Hunan was the source of rice containing dangerous levels of toxic cadmium sold in the southern city of Guangzhou last year.

    Under the plan, the Ministry of Agriculture will monitor and control metal residues to prevent them from leaking into the soil, while the rice crop will be replaced with cotton and other non-edible products.

    But government efforts to protect agricultural and urban soil fall massively short of what is needed, said Lan Hong, a professor at Renmin University’s School of Environmental and Natural Resources.

    In the current five-year plan, the Ministry of Finance has budgeted 30 billion yuan ($4.8 billion) in spending on soil pollution prevention efforts, but Lan said it would cost at least 140 billion yuan, nearly five times above the budget, to solve the problem.

    “The funding is based on data from the Ministry of Environmental Protection, but it is at the lower end of estimates. Some of the environmental damage will only be exposed after many years,” Lan told Reuters.

     

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    Plants used to weed out soil pollution

    Chinese scientists have developed soil remediation technologies to prepare for large-scale applications.

    The technologies focus on using plants to absorb heavy metal contaminants in soil.

    The technologies were developed by the Center for Environmental Remediation of the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Resources Research under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which began research 10 years ago.

    Soil contamination is serious in China, with large areas of cropland polluted, said Lei Mei, a professor at the center.

    Soil remediation technologies have been applied on 133 hectares of land in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, Henan, Yunnan and Hunan provinces and Beijing on a trial basis, and Lei said she believes the technologies will have “good application prospects”.

    A report from the Ministry of Environmental Protection on Thursday showed that about 19.4 per cent of farmland in China was polluted, according to Xinhua News Agency.

    “The publication of the survey result is a milestone for soil remediation in China,” Lei said.

    Read More Here

     

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    Beijing still not releasing soil pollution data: Xinhua

    • Xinhua
    Technical staff examine soil contaminated by heavy metal pollution. (File photo/Huang Chih-liang)

    Technical staff examine soil contaminated by heavy metal pollution. (File photo/Huang Chih-liang)

    China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection will not issue data related to soil pollution for the time being but will discuss the situation after an in-depth investigation, the ministry confirmed on Thursday. The ministry said it will be difficult to investigate soil pollution nationwide, adding that it will conduct further investigations in heavily polluted areas.

    In January, Beijing lawyer Dong Zhengwei sent an application to the ministry asking it to issue soil pollution data, as well as create detailed measures to handle it.

    The ministry said in February that the data is a state secret and refused to issue it. Dong was not satisfied and sent a second request. In response the ministry said soil pollution is still being investigated and related data remains a state secret, adding that data will be released after further evaluation. After news of Dong’s requests spread online, many people began to wonder just how polluted the country’s soil is.

    Ma Jun, head of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, said in an interview with the Legal Daily that polluted soil may affect public health via food, crops and underground water.

    “Soil pollution is related to public health. Therefore, the public should have the right to be informed about the situation,” Ma said.

     

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    FARM NEWS

    China says massive area of its soil polluted


    by Staff Writers
    Beijing (AFP) April 17, 2014


    More dead pigs found in China river: report
    Beijing (AFP) April 17, 2014 – At least 170 dead pigs have been found in a Chinese river, state media reported Thursday — the latest in a string of similar incidents that have raised fears over food safety.
    The animals were found floating in a tributary of China’s second-longest waterway, the Yellow River, in northwestern Qinghai province, the official Xinhua news agency said.The grim discovery follows a series of scandals involving dead pigs in Chinese rivers. Last year 16,000 carcasses were found drifting through the main waterway of the commercial hub of Shanghai.In Qinghai — the furthest west such an incident has been reported — “the source of the dead pigs is still under investigation,” Xinhua said, citing local authorities.Industry analysts say sick pigs are sometimes dumped in rivers by farmers hoping to avoid paying the costs of disposing of the animals by other means.Around 500 dead pigs are recovered every month from a Chinese reservoir in the southwestern province of Sichuan, state-run media reported in March.

    Authorities also found 157 dead pigs last month in a river in central Jiangxi province.

    China is a major producer of pork, which surveys have found to be the country’s most popular meat.

     

    A huge area of China’s soil covering more than twice the size of Spain is estimated to be polluted, the government said Thursday, announcing findings of a survey previously kept secret.

    Of about 6.3 million square kilometres (2.4 million square miles) of soil surveyed — roughly two thirds of China’s total area — 16.1 percent is thought to be polluted, the environmental protection ministry said in a report.

    The study, which appeared on its website, blamed mining and farming practices among other causes.

    “The national soil pollution situation is not positive,” the ministry said, adding that more than 19 percent of the farmland which was surveyed is polluted.

    The ministry last year described the results of its soil pollution survey as a state secret and refused to release the results, a move which incensed environmental campaigners.

    The government has come under increasing pressure in recent years to take action to improve the environment, with large parts of the country repeatedly blanketed in thick smog and waterways and land polluted.

     

    Read More Here

     

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    The American Interest

    Filth to Table

    Relentless Pollution is Poisoning China’s Food, Soil

    © Getty Images

    In many parts of China, officials are caught between two competing priorities: industrial development and food production. Most often, officials’ prime concern is industrial development—characterized by factories and mining, usually—since it is the bigger driver of economic growth. But, predictably, unfettered industrial development results in extremely poor conditions for food production. And it’s getting worse. Much worse. An article in yesterday’s New York Times has some sobering statistics.

    An alarming glimpse of official findings came on Monday, when a vice minister of land and resources, Wang Shiyuan, said at a news conference in Beijing that eight million acres of China’s farmland, equal to the size of Maryland, had become so polluted that planting crops on it “should not be allowed.” [...]

    One-sixth of China’s arable land — nearly 50 million acres — suffers from soil pollution, according to a book published this year by the Ministry of Environmental Protection. The book, “Soil Pollution and Physical Health,” said that more than 13 million tons of crops harvested each year were contaminated with heavy metals, and that 22 million acres of farmland were affected by pesticides.

    The result of farming on polluted land is unsurprising: poisoned food. 155 batches of rice collected from markets and restaurants in Guangdong Province in May were found to have excess levels of cadmium.

     

    Read More Here

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    ENERGY TECH

    Alberta investing in CCS for oil sands


    by Daniel J. Graeber
    Edmonton, Alberta (UPI) Apr 18, 2013


    Canada gives OK to West Coast LNG terminal
    Calgary, Alberta (UPI) Apr 17, 2013 – The approval of an export license for Triton LNG Ltd. from a port in British Columbia gives Canadian energy companies access to new markets, a regulator said.
    Canada’s National Energy Board gave approval for a 25-year application to send about 320 million cubic feet of liquefied natural gas per day from a port to be located either at Kitimat or Prince Rupert, British Columbia.NEB said the approval is in response to the glut of natural gas in North America.

    “One of the major impacts of this increase is lower demand for Canadian gas in traditional gas markets in the United States and eastern Canada,” it said in a statement Wednesday. “As a result, the Canadian gas industry is seeking to access overseas gas markets.”

    Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has sought to add a layer of diversity to an energy export economy that depends on the United States. Asian markets are among the world’s largest consumers of LNG and Harper recently signed a free-trade deal with South Korea.

    NEB said the terminal for LNG hasn’t been constructed yet and needs further regulatory approval before it can begin.

     

    The provincial government in Alberta, Canada, said it set aside more than $1 billion for carbon storage and storage facilities for oil sands projects.

    Provincial Energy Minister Diana McQueen said two projects tied to the oil sands sector would be able to store more than 2.7 million tons of carbon dioxide each year.

    “With [these projects], we are showing the world we take the responsible development of our resources seriously and we’re becoming a world leader in CCS technology,” she said in a statement Thursday.

    Alberta holds some of the largest oil deposits in the world at its Athabasca deposit, located in the east of the province.

    The heavier grade of crude oil found there is seen as a threat to the environment because it’s carbon-intensive to produce.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    An open-pit mine in the oil sands, Fort McMurray, Alberta

    Pictures: Satellite Views of Canada’s Oil Sands Over Time

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    Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    By Emily Atkin December 30, 2013 at 1:45 pm Updated: December 30, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    Just one week after Al Jazeera discovered that regulatory responsibility for Alberta, Canada’s controversial tar sands would be handed over to a fossil-fuel funded corporation, federal scientists have found that the area’s viscous petroleum deposits are surrounded by a nearly 7,500-square-mile ring of mercury.

    Canadian government scientists have found that levels of mercury — a potent neurotoxin which has been found to cause severe birth defects and brain damage — around the region’s vast tar sand operations are up to 16 times higher than regular levels for the region. The findings, presented by Environment Canada researcher Jane Kirk at an international toxicology conference, showed that the 7,500 miles contaminated are “currently impacted by airborne Hg (mercury) emissions originating from oilsands developments.”

    The Canadian government touts Alberta’s oil sands as the third-largest proven crude oil reserve in the world, next to Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. The region’s heavy crude oil is mixed with clay, bitumen, and a good deal of sand — hence the name “oil sands.” This makes for a unique and energy-intensive extraction process that some scientists say produces three times the greenhouse gas emissions of conventionally produced oil. Environment Canada has said it expects production emissions from tar sands to hit 104 million tonnes of CO2 by 2020 under current expansion plans.

     

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    “History will reflect on this moment and it will be clear to our children and grandchildren if you made the right choice,” laureates write.

    - Andrea Germanos, staff writer

    Jimmy Carter with his grandson Hugo. Photo: Jeffrey Moore/The Elders

     

    A group of 10 Nobel Peace Prize laureates including former President Jimmy Carter has sent a letter to President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry urging them to reject the “linchpin for tar sands expansion” — the Keystone XL.

    The open letter, which appears in a full-page ad in Wednesday’s Politico, is the third sent by a group of Nobel Peace Laureates to Obama urging him to reject TransCanada’s tar sands carrying pipeline, and the first one to which Carter has added his name. Carter is now the first ex-president to voice opposition to the pipeline.

    This additional letter shows “the growing urgency we feel for the hundreds of millions of people globally whose lives and livelihoods are being threatened and lost as a result of the changing climate and environmental damage caused by our dangerous addiction to oil,” the signatories, which also include landmine activist Jody Williams, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and human rights activist Shirin Ebadi, write.

    “You stand on the brink of making a choice that will define your legacy on one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced – climate change. As you deliberate the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, you are poised to make a decision that will signal either a dangerous commitment to the status quo, or bold leadership that will inspire millions counting on you to do the right thing for our shared climate,” the laureates write.

    As for the argument some have made that if the pipeline is rejected the Alberta tar sands crude will just travel by rail, the laureates write that this is “a red herring” because “[i]ndustry experts agree that the Keystone XL project is the linchpin for tar sands expansion and the increased pollution that will follow, triggering more climate upheaval with impacts felt around the world.”

    Photo: Steven Tuttle/cc/flickrSusan Casey-Lefkowitz, International Program Director at NRDC, one of the groups sponsoring the Politico ad, writes:

    As leaders struggle with what the need to fight climate change means in terms of energy decisions at home, the voice of moral leaders such as these Nobel Peace laureates becomes more important than ever. And they are sending a clear message that political leadership is essential to stand up to entrenched fossil fuel interests and to take the kinds of decisions that will put us on the path of a cleaner energy future.

    “History will reflect on this moment and it will be clear to our children and grandchildren if you made the right choice,” the laureates’ letter states.

    The State Department recommendation on the project is expected soon. While the State Department’s review is required because the northern leg of the pipeline crosses an international border, the final decision sits with President Obama, who has indicated his decision could come in the next few months.

    Next week, Carter will join two fellow members of The Elders, Pakistani pro-democracy activist Hina Jilani and former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, in leading a discussion on climate leadership and activism Paris.

    ___________________

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    Calgary Herald

    Nobel laureates condemn Keystone as climate-change trigger

    Nobel laureates condemn Keystone as climate-change trigger

    Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter sits down for a conversation with Mark Updegrove, director of the LBJ Presidential Library, on the first day of the Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library on April 8 in Austin, Texas. Carter is one of 10 Nobel Peace Prize winners who have issued a letter urging President Barrack Obama to reject the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would connect Alberta’s oilsands to refineries on Texas’s Gulf Coast.

    Photograph by: Ralph Barrera-Pool/Getty Images/File , Postmedia News

    WASHINGTON — Ten Nobel Peace Prize winners from as far afield as Yemen, South Africa and Argentina have signed a letter asking U.S. President Barack Obama to deny a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline that would transport oilsands bitumen to Texas Gulf Coast refineries.

    The laureates, who include former U.S. president Jimmy Carter and Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, argue that denial of a permit would send a strong signal to the world that the U.S. is rejecting a fossil fuels future.

    “Let this reflect the growing urgency we feel for the hundreds of millions of people globally whose lives and livelihoods are being threatened and lost as a result of the changing climate and environmental damage caused by our dangerous addiction to oil,” the letter says.

    Rejection of the pipeline would set “a powerful precedent” and “would signal a new course for the world’s largest economy,” the letter says.

    “History will reflect on this moment and it will be clear to our children and grandchildren if you made the right choice.”

    The letter underscores Obama’s dilemma: By allowing the assessment process to take so long, he has awakened both national and international interest in a project that normally would garner only passing concern.

     

    Read More Here

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    Earth Watch Report  -  Hazmat

    "James

    James Holland, hydrologist/geologist with the Kanab Field Office of the United States Bureau of Land Management, examines an oil-covered rock with the Forest Service’s Joe Harris and BLM’s Sarah Schlanger in Little Valley Wash in the Upper Valley region of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

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    April 01 2014 07:40 AM Environment Pollution USA State of Utah, [Little Valley Wash, Grand Staircase National Monument] Damage level Details

     

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    Environment Pollution in USA on Tuesday, 01 April, 2014 at 07:40 (07:40 AM) UTC.

    Description
    Hikers exploring the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Southern Utah last week happened upon an oil spill over four miles in length in an area known as Little Valley Wash. The spill is thought to be old, based on the dense, asphalt-like consistency of the oil, said Larry Crutchfield, Bureau of Land Management public affairs specialist. And it’s a good thing the oil is so thick, he added, because that means the spill will stay put for a while. “The good news is that there is no oil actively moving in the wash,” Crutchfield said. Because the oil in the wash is nearly as thick as asphalt, he added, it is not posing an immediate threat to surrounding areas. However, he said there is evidence suggesting it did move last September when massive monsoon rains created a violent flash flood in the wash. The area typically does receive some rain in the springtime, he said, but not nearly enough to fill the part of the wash where the oil is, which is far upstream. The BLM isn’t taking any chances, however, and plans to secure the area with booms and other equipment to help protect monument resources and water sources. Although preliminary reports last week suggested the spill may have originated from a leak that occurred last month in a nearby pipeline operated by Citation Oil, Crutchfield said the oil found in the wash is very unlikely to have come from a recent leakage.”The Citation oil line did spring a pinhole-sized leak,” Crutchfield said. That leak spilled about 10 barrels of oil before it was discovered and patched last month. The oil that flows through the pipeline has a low viscosity and would be very fluid, he said �” not the thick, viscous, asphalt-like substance found in the wash. The oil in the wash appears to have been there for some time, he said. In fact, investigators currently suspect the spill had been buried beneath the wash until it was exposed by a violent flash flood last fall, which explains why the spill hadn’t been reported in previous years. When asked who might have buried the spill, Crutchfield said it’s quite possible that it was covered by sediment deposited by an earlier flood. There is no way of knowing for sure before BLM investigators complete their assessment of the incident. “We have an idea of where the oil may have come from, but it would be entirely inappropriate for me to speculate at this point,” Crutchfield said. The first priority, he said, is to assess the danger that the oil poses to the surrounding environment. “The important thing at this stage is that we are taking action,” he said. “Citation Oil is taking action. We are working together to figure out what exactly happened.”

     

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    Sun Independent.com

    Massive oil spill discovered at Grand Staircase National Monument

     

    Monday, 03-31-2014, 08:30 PM
    Written by Michael Flynn

    Hikers exploring the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Southern Utah last week happened upon an oil spill over four miles in length in an area known as Little Valley Wash.

    The spill is thought to be old, based on the dense, asphalt-like consistency of the oil, said Larry Crutchfield, Bureau of Land Management public affairs specialist. And it’s a good thing the oil is so thick, he added, because that means the spill will stay put for a while.

    “The good news is that there is no oil actively moving in the wash,” Crutchfield said. Because the oil in the wash is nearly as thick as asphalt, he added, it is not posing an immediate threat to surrounding areas. However, he said there is evidence suggesting it did move last September when massive monsoon rains created a violent flash flood in the wash.

    The area typically does receive some rain in the springtime, he said, but not nearly enough to fill the part of the wash where the oil is, which is far upstream. The BLM isn’t taking any chances, however, and plans to secure the area with booms and other equipment to help protect monument resources and water sources.

     

    Read More Here

     

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    Published: Friday, April 4 2014 7:46 p.m. MDT

    James Holland, hydrologist/geologist with the Kanab Field Office of the federal Bureau of Land Management, left, points to asphalt-like patches of oil in Little Valley Wash in the Upper Valley region of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument near Escalante on Friday, April 4, 2014. Holland, along with Joe Harris of the Forest Service, Mark Bing, central regional manager of Citation Oil and Gas Corp., Terry Tolbert, wildlife biologist, and Julie Sueker of Arcadis Environmental Consulting Group, hiked the 4-mile stretch of the wash where the oil was discovered.

    Laura Seitz, Deseret News

     

    ESCALANTE, Garfield County — Remnants from at least one large oil spill found by hikers on March 23 in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument has officials wondering how and when the damage occurred.

    As many as 4 miles in the Little Valley Wash now contain the aftermath of the spill, with about 1.5 miles of 6-inch thick oil flows contained in the mostly dry stream bed. Bureau of Land Management officials who manage the monument say it’s likely the leak happened decades ago.

    BLM officials hypothesize that the spill became encased in sediment deposits over time, making it difficult or impossible to see in most areas. Last September, intense floods washed down the drainage, possibly unburying the oil deposit and carrying parts of it downstream for 2.5 miles.

    Boulders and tree trunks in the drainage now demonstrate the depth of the initial oil flows, with steady black lines as many as 2 feet above the stream bed. Black splotches are found in other areas, with vegetation collecting the oil as it flowed along with the flood waters.

    Long stretches of oil patches not mixed with sediment have liquified in regions exposed to the sun.

    “It’s not what we want to see here,” associate monument manager Sarah Schlanger said during an examination of the area Friday.

     

    Read More Here

     

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    Monsanto under investigation for ‘illegal dumping’

    by SEAN POULTER

    Last updated at 18:04 12 February 2007

     

    Monsanto is under investigation amid allegations it sanctioned the dumping of toxic waste on sites across the country despite evidence that it would poison the landscape for generations.

    The activities of the US chemical giant, best-known in the UK for its support of GM farming, are being examined by the government’s Environment Agency and public health bodies.

    The focus of the investigation is a site in south Wales that has been called ‘one of the most contaminated’ in the country.

    It appears that toxic chemicals were dumped in the Brofiscin quarry in the 1960s and 1970s despite the fact there was no licence for these materials and the site was not lined or sealed.

    This meant a cocktail of highly poisonous chemicals has been able to escape into the environment and threatens to poison local streams and rivers.

    The quarry, which is on the edge of the village of Groesfaen, near Cardiff, first erupted in 2003, spilling fumes over the surrounding area.

    Since then surveys have found that 67 chemicals, including Agent Orange derivatives, dioxins and PCBs which could have been made only by Monsanto, are leaking from the site.

    The Environment Agency says that if the dumping were to take place today there would be a criminal prosecution and civil action to raise the money needed to clean up the site.

    However, it appears that much of the dumping was carried out during years when Britain’s regime for environmental protection was more lax.

    Consequently, there are doubts as to how far any legal action can go or which companies should be liable for clean-up costs that are expected to run into tens of millions of pounds.

    A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “Our overall aim is to understand the current risks to ground water and surface waters and to determine the most cost-effective way forward to protect the local environment and to recover costs from those liable.”

     

    Read More Here

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    Posted: 03/28/2014 8:27 am EDT Updated: 03/28/2014 8:59 am EDT
    In this March 22, 2014 file photo, a barge loaded with marine fuel oil sits partially submerged in the Houston Ship Channel. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard, PO3 Manda Emery, File)

    In this March 22, 2014 file photo, a barge loaded with marine fuel oil sits partially submerged in the Houston Ship Channel. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard, PO3 Manda Emery, File)

     

     

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The barge operator that spilled nearly 170,000 gallons of tar-like oil into the Houston Ship Channel, closing one of the nation’s busiest seaports for several days, will be fined by Texas regulators regardless of the outcome of state and federal investigations.

    Investigators are still trying to pinpoint the cause of last weekend’s accident involving a barge owned by Houston-based Kirby Inland Marine Corp., but Texas law considers the company carrying the oil a responsible party, said Greg Pollock, deputy director for the Texas General Land Office’s oil spill response division.

    “What that will be now I can’t say because we don’t have a closed case,” Pollock said.

    It won’t be the first fine for the company, which has paid more than $51,000 for at least 77 spills since 2008, most of which were minor incidents.

    Saturday’s accident closed the main artery linking the area’s busy ports with the largest petrochemical complex in the country. The channel in Texas City, about 45 miles southeast of Houston, typically handles about 70 ships and 300 to 400 tugboats and barges a day, and sees more than 200 million tons of cargo move through each year.

    The channel wasn’t fully reopened until late Thursday. At its height, the closure stranded some 100 vessels.

    “As long as the weather holds up, we can get caught up in a couple days,” said Capt. Clint Winegar of the Houston Pilots, an association of sea pilots.

     

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    Coast Guards Aims to Reopen Houston Ship Channel

    Nearly 170,000 gallons of tar-like oil spilled

    By Juan A. Lozano and Nomaan Merchant
    |  Monday, Mar 24, 2014  |  Updated 8:49 PM CDT

    NBC 5

    No timetable has been set to reopen a major U.S. shipping channel after nearly 170,000 gallons of tar-like oil spilled into the Texas waterway.

    As workers in bright yellow suits picked quarter-sized “tar balls” out of the sand along Galveston Bay on Monday, strong incoming tides kept washing more ashore.

    Elsewhere, crews lined up miles of oil booms to keep oil away from the shoreline and bird habitats, two days after a collision in the Houston Ship Channel dumped as many as 170,000 gallons of oil from a barge into the water along the Gulf Coast and shut down one of the nation’s busiest seaports.

    With cleanup well underway, the Coast Guard said it hoped to have the channel open to barge traffic as quickly as possible but that more tests were needed to confirm the water and the vessels traveling through the channel were free of oil.

    The closure stranded some 80 vessels on both sides of the channel. Traffic through the channel includes ships serving refineries key to American oil production.

     

    Officials believe most of the oil that spilled Saturday is drifting out of the Houston Ship Channel into the Gulf of Mexico, which should limit the impact on bird habitats around Galveston Bay as well as beaches and fisheries important to tourists.

    “This spill — I think if we keep our fingers crossed — is not going to have the negative impact that it could have had,” said Jerry Patterson, commissioner of the Texas General Land Office, the lead state agency on the response to the spill.

    The best-case scenario is for most of the slick to remain in the Gulf for at least several days and congeal into small tar balls that wash up further south on the Texas coast, where they could be picked up and removed, Patterson said. Crews from the General Land Office are monitoring water currents and the movement of the oil, he said.

     

    Read More Here

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    seattlepi.com

    British Columbia city challenges oil pipeline: What about fire or leak?

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    Burnaby, B.C., is standing up to Big Oil.

    The Vancouver suburb wants to know where a proposed oil pipeline is going to go, especially if Burnaby fire crews are expected to handle a leak, rupture or conflagration.

    The vast Alberta oil stands project, along with oil development in North Dakota, is outstripping the capacity of North America's pipelines.  Hence, oil is increasingly being moved by rail.  A disaster in Quebec raises questions for the Northwest. (Getty Images)

    The big, Houston-based Kinder Morgan pipeline company wants to double the capacity of its existing Trans-Mountain Pipeline. The pipeline transports crude oil from Alberta beneath the city of Burnaby (population 202,000) to a refinery on the shores of Burrard Inlet.

    The pipeline expansion appears greased — Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants to turn Canada into an oil-exporting power — but Burnaby is unwilling to lie down before the carbon economy.  Its city attorney, Greg McDade, asked in a letter to Canada’s National Energy Board:

    “What would happen in the event of a fire?  What would happen in the event of a leak? There seems to be a suggestion that the city of Burnaby and its fire department can take care of all those things.”

    Tough questions from Burnaby deserve attention south of the border.  Expansion of the Trans-Mountain Pipeline has one major purpose — export of oil by tanker through international waters of the San Juan and Gulf Islands out the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  Destination: Asia.

    If the Trans-Mountain expansion is approved, oil tanker traffic out of Burnaby would increase from five to an estimated 34 ships each month.

     

    Read More Here

     

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    Common Sense Canadian

    CNRL pipeline leaks 70,000 litres near Slave Lake

    Posted April 2, 2014 by Canadian Press in Energy and Resources

    CNRL pipeline leaks 70,000 litres near Slave Lake

    SLAVE LAKE, Alta. – A pipeline owned by Canadian Natural Resources Limited has spilled 70,000 litres of oil and processed water northwest of Slave Lake, Alta.

    The Alberta Energy Regulator says the breach happened on Monday and was reported by CNRL (TSX:CNQ) the same day.

    The regulator says the spill is not an emergency, the oil is not near any people, water or wildlife, and a cleanup is underway.

     

    Read More Here

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    Millions of asthmatics unable to breathe as giant cloud of Saharan sand and toxic air covers Britain in layer of smog

    • Air pollution set to hit 10/10 due to dust from Sahara mixing with local pollution and toxic air from Europe
    • Parts of the South Coast, West Country, Midlands and South Wales are worst affected by the problem
    • Dust has been generated from two source areas – one in central Algeria and another in southern Morocco
    • Meteorologists say it’s ‘particularly bad with weather conditions creating “perfect storm” for air pollution’
    • Those in affected areas advised to reduce strenuous outdoor exercise, especially if they get a sore throat
    • Adults and children with lung problems, heart problems and pensioners should avoid vigorous activity
    • Asthma sufferers may have to use inhalers more frequently for a few days until levels drop on Friday
    • But the dust does have positive aspects for fish in the Atlantic Ocean and the Brazilian rainforest

    By Mark Duell and Fiona Macrae and Ted Thornhill

    Published: 18:13 EST, 1 April 2014 | Updated: 10:56 EST, 2 April 2014

     

    Millions of asthmatics were today having trouble breathing as a potentially-lethal cloud of Saharan sand, toxic air and local pollution sat over Britain.

    One sufferer said she felt like she had ‘a baby elephant sitting on my chest’, while another said her lungs felt like they had ‘cobwebs’ inside them.

    Even those without health difficulties have been told by experts to reduce outdoor exercise, with air pollution set to hit 10 out of 10 in some areas.

    Britons are being warned they may suffer breathing problems, with parts of the South Coast, West Country, Midlands and South Wales worst affected.

    Those in affected areas are advised to reduce the strenuous outdoor exercise they do, especially if they start to suffer from a cough or sore throat.

     

    Protection: A cyclist uses a pollution mask in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, as a potentially-lethal cloud of Saharan sand, toxic air and local pollution sits over Britain

    Protection: A cyclist uses a pollution mask in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, as a potentially-lethal cloud of Saharan sand, toxic air and local pollution sits over Britain

    Not a good day for seeing far: A misty bird's eye view of London from the Shard building near London Bridge

    Not a good day for seeing far: A misty bird’s eye view of London from the Shard building near London Bridge

    Winding river: Air pollution in London this morning as the Government warns people with breathing problems to stay indoors

    Winding river: Air pollution in London this morning as the Government warns people with breathing problems to stay indoors

    Distant: The Millennium Dome is shrouded in smog in London, as seen from a viewing gallery in the Orbit sculpture during a tour organised for the media

    Distant: The Millennium Dome is shrouded in smog in London, as seen from a viewing gallery in the Orbit sculpture during a tour organised for the media

     

     

     

     

    Pollution graphic from Press Association

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