Tag Archives: toxic

1,000 Toxic Chemical Accidents You Have Not Heard Of

9 May

by Mike Ludwig, Cross Posted from Truthout

photo from ashbygirls.blogspot.com

photo from ashbygirls.blogspot.com

The April 17 explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, that killed 15 people and injured 200 was perhaps one of the most severe chemical accidents of its kind in recent memory, but it was by no means the first.

Earlier this month, for example, Tyson Foods and its affiliates agreed to a $4 million civil settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Justice Department for violations of the Clean Air Act at 23 facilities in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri where the toxic chemical anhydrous ammonia was released during several occasions between 2006 and 2010, causing property damage, multiple injuries to workers and one death.

The Tyson incidents did not involve a massive explosion like the disaster in Texas, but the accidents have one potentially deadly element in common: anhydrous ammonia.

Investigators now believe that large stores of ammonium nitrate caught on fire and caused the explosion at the West plant. But the plant also held two 12,000-gallon tanks of anhydrous ammonia that could have exacerbated the disaster in Texas if they leaked or exploded, according to the Center for Effective Government (CEG).

During the past 15 years, 1,000 accidents have occurred nationwide at chemical facilities that hold large quantities of anhydrous ammonia, according to data recently compiled by CEG.

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Enbridge Oil Spill Whistle-Blower Trial Updates

25 Apr

 July 2010, more than a million gallons of tar sands crude spilled into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River. This is the largest inland spill in US History. A fired cleanup worker with a dark past claims he was ordered to cover up oil to meet federal deadlines. His case went to trial last week.

Even today two years later, one can still scoop up handfuls of Tar Sands Oil from the marshlands surrounding the river. The communities living around the river are still sick with nerve damage and other illnesses related to the chemicals diluting the Tar Sand Oil. Enbridge still claims the river is clean.

On Earth covers the story of the Enbridge spill, and its attempted cover up in a four part series. Click here for the full series.

Fracking debate heating up in New Zealand

12 Aug

Heated debate over fracking, the mining process which could be used to extract gas in western Southland, is raging in the gas heartland of Taranaki.

A protest group, Climate Justice Taranaki, has called for a ban or moratorium on the practice, which it believes threatens aquifiers with toxic chemicals.

The issue has become an environmental flashpoint across the globe, but Taranaki is the first New Zealand region where there have been anti-fracking protests.

“What we are seeing, especially in the United States and Australia, is groundwater aquifiers being depleted and poisoned by toxic chemicals,” Climate Justice spokeswoman Emily Bailey said. “The resource companies don’t seem to be telling us what’s going on.”

Fracking is conventionally used to improve the flow of oil and gas wells by injecting a water-chemical mix into a well and subjecting it to high pressure, which forces the rock surrounding the well to crack open, releasing more oil and gas. In Southland, it could be used to extract shale gas from potentially huge deposits recently discovered under the Waiau Basin.

Anti-frackers believe the practice uses toxic chemicals which can permeate underground aquifiers and contaminate water.

The panic over fracking for shale gas was ignited by a provocative film, Gasland by Josh Fox, which claimed to expose the huge environmental damage caused by fracking in parts of the United States.

Article by Alex Fensome. For more information and full article go to source of cross-posting here

For more recent articles on the anti-fracking movement in New Zealand visit here, here and here

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