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View Diary: Exxon-Mobil tar sands pipeline ruptures. Neighborhood evacuated. (181 comments)

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  •  A different news report at C & L reported (51+ / 0-)

    he was on the way. Looked him up. Any chance the repercussions of this will push him closer to a come to an environmental Jesus moment?

    The scenes of the oil flowing through that upscale neighborhood may have been made by the person who submitted a still picture to the other news site. Moniker: Log Cabin Democrat.

    The 350 folks need to really push this. The local response  seems to have been exceptional. Keeping the oil out of the lake especially. A warning of how bad these spills could be.

    What if it had happened at 3 am instead of 3 pm? Anytime after 10 or 11 pm might not have been caught until the next morning.  How about if it had happened in a rural area, near a stream?  

    Another near miss, so far, near Parachute, CO.  The original soil contamination was reported by Williams Midstream natural gas plant north of Parachute on 3/8. The probable source was found 3/26 - still not confirmed. Turns out benzene is contaminating ground water, "in some places 3,600 times greater than the level considered safe for drinking".

    Fortunately for the gas plant, hydrological analysis shows the nearby Parachute Creek feeds the ground water rather than the ground water flowing to it. It is still way too close.

    Tests of water from three monitoring wells, about 30 feet from the creek, showed benzene levels ranging from 5,800 parts per billion to 18,000 ppb in a well closest to a trench dug to recover fouled water and oil. The state health standard is 5 ppb.
    Could also contaminate local wells or other water that is consumed by people and animals. Benzene causes a lot of human and animal diseases.
    "The American Petroleum Institute (API) stated in 1948 that "it is generally considered that the only absolutely safe concentration for benzene is zero."PDF

    "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

    by Ginny in CO on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 01:06:00 PM PDT

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    •  but, but, but (33+ / 0-)

      Solyndra received a $535 million yada, yada, yada.
      They might have lost some dollars, but didn't destroy a neighborhood with spilled sunlight.

      Let's see what the cleanup cost for this fustercluck is. Will they have to purchase all of the homes in the area?

      We all stand submissively before the global ATM machine network like trained chickens pecking the correct colored buttons to release our grains of corn. Joe Bageant

      by Zwoof on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 01:11:46 PM PDT

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    •  Benzene is a carcinogen. Other dilutents evaporate (33+ / 0-)

      into the air.  Both can cause serious health hazards to the surrounding population.

      According to a recent article from the Canadian Center on Policy Alternatives speaking about the tar sands oil ("diluted bitumen" AKA "dilbit") spill into the Kalamazoo River in 2010 which they are still trying to clean up two years and almost a BILLION DOLLARS later:

      According to the NTSB’s final report, only two days after the spill the denser bitumen had separated from the dilutants in the dilbit and sunk to the bottom of the river bed, covering about 40 kilometres. Meanwhile, the dilutants -- containing benzene, toluene, and micro-polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) -- began off-gassing in the area, causing symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, headaches, coughing, and fatigue in 60% of the local population. Oil spill expert Riki Ott recently told a Vancouver Island audience (see Sept.-Oct. Watershed Sentinel) that micro-PAHs are major health hazards, causing cancer, asthma, hormone and reproductive problems by “jamming immune system and DNA functions.”
      Those people should not be working there without protective clothing and masks.  60 homes had to be evacuated for several weeks after the Kalamazoo spill.  Several hundred people have reported health problems so far.  

      Keystone will be running along our nation's biggest aquifer, Ogallala, which provides drinking water to 82% of eight states, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas as well as 30% of the country's agriculture irrigation ground water.  Everyone in those states and farmers in the Midwest should be calling on the White House and the Secretary of State to protect us from ourselves on this one.

      •  Yup, those are the symptoms (19+ / 0-)

        Benzene also causes fetal neuro defects like spina bifida.

        For anyone who doesn't recognize Riki Ott, she has been on the Exxon Valdez spill since '89, the BP spill and is one of the star specialists who is really good at explaining complicated situations. One of the reasons I respect Al Jazeera, they use her and other scientists the American Corporate media won't.

        My ex, an Env Eng (MS) worked the Valdez spill as a safety officer. He distributed PPE, monitoring tags and instructions for workers. One of the problems there still haunts us. The exact pollutants, their dangers, and how to protect from them, are unlikely to be fully known in any given situation. There are too many chemicals that can be involved, combining to form shit no one can figure out. The Valdez spill created many health problems over a huge area, to workers and local inhabitants. This is exactly the problem of spills.

        Several hundred people have reported health problems so far.  
        Public health experts need to have a means of following the local populations so when new problems start surfacing they can be identified early. Bottom line: prevention is the best solution and the best way to do that is to have      NO pipelines.

        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

        by Ginny in CO on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 02:16:00 PM PDT

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        •  Hey, I'm late to this fray Ginny, but I have a (10+ / 0-)

          serious concern about the pollutants, not only those which are known, but those which according to the oil companies are trade secrets, like those used in fracking.

          I'm finding it pretty ridiculous that the names of the chemicals that will be injected into the earth are trade secrets.  How are we supposed to know what they will do to our drinking water, or the environment when we aren't allowed to know what they are?

          Something is royally screwed up here.

          •  They are serious issues (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cotterperson, lenzy1000, terrybuck, elwior

            Unfortunately, the fairly complicated response just went into cyberspace and I have to get an errand done before the store closes. Will try later :(

            One good thing may have come from it. I possibly have figured out what causes this for me. My pointer sometimes rolls out of the comment box because I have a regular mouse and a touchscreen due to repetitive strain injuries. I think this usually happens when I go to edit something when the pointer is out of the box. Especially delete or return.

            Further experimenting needed.

            "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

            by Ginny in CO on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 04:02:10 PM PDT

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          •  my response to the "Trade Secret" b.s is- (4+ / 0-)

            you can keep your formula to yourself BUT we want to know that the ingredients are not damaging to humans OR the environment. It is definitely Royally Screwed Up when profit interests override safety and common sense. Let them dole their toxins out as dividends and the CEOs can fill their swimming pools with them. (last sentence is snark)

        •  I was a union worker on the Valdez spill (4+ / 0-)

          and although we had rubber boots and overalls, we were never advised as to the possibility of off-gassing chemicals and wore no repirators.

          I was 18 at the time. My youngest was born with an relatively mild Sturg-Webber Syndrome. I never considered that the two might be related.

          •  Probably not a cause for S-W (0+ / 0-)

            It's been around for a long time but, I checked just to be sure, it's not increasing in incidence. Which would be indicative that environmental toxins could trigger it. That doesn't necessarily rule it out. I have seen some really bizarre medical situations (as an RN) that screamed environmental cause, that the docs would not consider. The potential for very unusual situations to trigger something is not going to make a blip on the incidence stats.

            The spill covered a large area which meant many safety officers with varying levels of expertise, plus variations in the conditions. Alan had equipment that some of the others might not have. I think he had some people working areas that did use respirators and others that didn't. Long time to have accurate memories of those details. I am due to call this week, his health is not good and the docs won't admit the Valdez work easily contributed. Ok if I Kosmail if there is anything worthwhile?
            Do you remember where you were working and any other specifics - dates, weather, clean up chemicals...? Kosmail that if you prefer.

            "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

            by Ginny in CO on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 12:40:13 AM PDT

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      •  Aw, who wants to live forever . . . (9+ / 0-)

        if we all die of cancer so the oil companies can make a profit, we just being part of the team.

        I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

        by bobdevo on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 04:00:58 PM PDT

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      •  naïve question (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Does diluted bitumen (ie tar sands product in pipelines) have more benzene, toluene, volatile PAHs, etc., than regular crude?

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 05:08:37 AM PDT

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        •  Not a stupid question, the fossil fuel bitumen, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          from the tar sands is semi-solid or solid.  It looks like coal, but has the consistency of peanut butter.  It cannot be moved through a pipeline, so it is diluted with a toxic liquid chemical cocktail (dilutants) to produce the "dilbit" which can then be piped.  So, yes is the answer to your question.  

          The dilbit is usually at least 30% dilutants that will evaporate into the atmosphere creating toxic fumes/clouds during a spill.

          Another scary fact is that the dilutants are re-used.  They are removed during refining and then piped back across the country.  Can you imagine if a pipeline with 100% dilutants spills?

          Regular crude is liquid like the stuff that comes out of a gusher AND it floats on water.  Although it can be mixed with or have some of the same chemicals, it's not nearly as hazardous because they don't separate during a spill.  Dilbit separates with the butimen sinking or sticking, depending on whether its in water or not, with some parts of the dilutants going into the air.  That's why they have to evacuate homes and should equip emergency workers with hazmat suits.

    •  Timmy was a longtime Bush henchman... (7+ / 0-)

      ...part of the 2000 recount, the Brooks Brothers riot, and part of Alberto Gonzalez' Justice Dept. Now he's a Koch-head, so not sure if a 'come to Jesus' moment is in his future.

      •  Wow, I can't imagine a worse scenario. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        terrybuck, davehouck, elwior

        We could hope he will become an environmental Akin/Mourdock ...

        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

        by Ginny in CO on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 04:20:38 PM PDT

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        •  And, state Sen. Jason Rapert...yes that one... (7+ / 0-)

          ...(who garnered national attention this month with all his anti-abortion legislation) has sponsored a bill that would allow pipeline companies to seize private property through eminent domain. We (Arkansas) are more screwed than ever.

          •  The oil corps in Texass have built a lot of (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            terrybuck, elwior

            their portion of the pipeline, using eminent domain to get some of the land. Maybe there are stats and stories you could collect to spread around to the Arkansas voters.

            This spill may have created fine cracks in some minds. Given how captured the legislature is, nothing may work for now. Next election ....

            "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

            by Ginny in CO on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 12:01:41 AM PDT

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    •  Log Cabin Democrat is the local paper (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ginny in CO, Zwoof, terrybuck, elwior

      My father's family is from Mayflower (and later Conway) and I spent holidays down there as a kid. The Durham Rd 1/2 mile straight east is named after some ancestors of mine, and we used to go duck hunting in the slough a little further east of there.

      It may be bad to say it, but I'm glad this was in the developed area on the opposite side of the expressway - if it'd been in the wildlife management area east of the expressway it might've taken a lot longer to get noticed.

      •  Yup, rural or at 3am would have been much worse nt (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Zwoof, elwior

        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

        by Ginny in CO on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 12:49:33 AM PDT

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