Tag Archives: oil spill

CP oil spill in northern Ontario larger than first reported

5 Apr

Cross Posted from The Globe and Mail

A northern Ontario spill of oil from a derailed train is 100 times larger than Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. initially reported.

The company said Wednesday that only four barrels spilled. On Thursday, it said some oil had flowed beneath the snow and gone undetected. CP now estimates 400 barrels spilled, or 63,500 litres – a slightly greater amount than the company’s spill last week in Minnesota.

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Exxon’s Duck-Killing Pipeline Won’t Pay Taxes To Oil Spill Cleanup Fund

3 Apr

Spilled crude oil is seen in a drainage ditch near evacuated homes near Starlite Road in Mayflower, Arkansas March 31, 2013 (Reuters / Jacob Slaton)

from Think Progress

A technicality has spared Exxon from having to pay any money into the fund that will be covering most of the clean up costs of its Arkansas pipeline spill.

The cleanup efforts themselves took a sobering turn as crews found injured and dead ducks covered in oil.

The environmental impacts of an oil spill in central Arkansas began to come into focus Monday as officials said a couple of dead ducks and 10 live oily birds were found after an ExxonMobil Corp. pipeline ruptured last week.
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Day 2 of the Earth First! Film Fest in Florida

1 Dec
Get yer radical holiday EF! merch at the Earth First! Film Fest

Get yer radical holiday EF! merch at the Earth First! Film Fest

We have an awesome lineup of some radical, entertaining, visual awesomeness! People are coming in from all over and we already have a handful of Earth First!ies crashing in our EF! Journal office (thanks for working in the garden friends!).

So bring yerself over here to see these incredible movies on a big screen, eat food, and hangout with folks.

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Pipeline in northwest Alberta ruptures

5 Jun

Image from spill in Alberta, May 19, 2012

From Deep Green Resistance News

A huge spill has released 22,000 barrels of oil and water into muskeg in the far northwest of Alberta.

The spill ranks among the largest in North America in recent years, a period that has seen a series of high-profile accidents that have undermined the energy industry’s safety record. The Enbridge Inc. pipeline rupture that leaked oil near Michigan’s Kalamazoo River, for example, spilled an estimated 19,500 barrels.

The most recent spill was discovered May 19 emanating from pipe belonging to Pace Oil & Gas Ltd. , a small energy company that produces about 15,000 barrels a day, roughly half of that oil.

The spill has yet to be contained.

The spill took place roughly 20 kilometres southeast of Rainbow Lake, which is 165 km south of the Northwest Territories border. It came from above-ground piping connecting an underground pipeline to a well used for wastewater injection.

To continue reading, click here.

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.

Oil Spills and Global Trade… Yup, We Still Live in an Ecocidal Empire

15 Apr

Here are some reminders from this weekend in Florida, as if you needed more reminders…

Geologist Rip Kirby examined the skin of a graduate student who swam in the gulf and then showered. Under regular light, his skin seemed clean, but ultraviolet light revealed orange blotches — dispersant-mixed oil.

According to an article in St. Pete Times, scientists find that oil from Deepwater Horizon spill is still causing damage in the Gulf of Mexico 2 years later:

“Tiny globs of it, mingled with the chemical dispersant that was supposed to break it up, have settled into the shallows, mingling with the shells, he said. When Kirby shines his light across the legs of a grad student who’d been in the water and showered, it shows orange blotches where the globs still stick to his skin.

“If I had grandkids playing in the surf, I wouldn’t want them to come in contact with that,” said Kirby, whose research is being overseen by the University of South Florida. “The dispersant accelerates the absorption by the skin.”

As those blotches show, the gulf and its residents are still coping with the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which began with a fiery explosion aboard an offshore drilling rig on April 20, 2010.”

——————-

A day earlier, the Florida paper reported on Obama’s visit to the Port of Tampa, one of the biggest ports in the country, where the president touted trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea and Panama that he signed into law, under his goal to double earth-killing exports by 2015.

The AP has reported that 12 Secret Service agents accompanying him in Colombia have been "relieved of duty" due to allegations of misconduct related to prostitution in Cartagena.

Here’s a bit from his 8-minute speech, en route to Colombia: “We are the most inventive country in the world. We’ve got the best entrepreneurs in the world… We’ve got the best infrastructure in the world, and we’re going to keep on at it and make sure that the 21st century is the American century, just like the 20th century.”

Ah, Obama’s family friendly eco-imperialism.. brings a tear to the eye.

U.S. President Barack Obama and his daughter Sasha swim at Alligator Point in Panama City Beach, Florida, August 14, 2010.
REUTERS/Pete Souza-The White House/Handout

Militant fisherfolk alliance demand compensation for Chervon oil spilled in Philippines

22 Mar

DAGUPAN CITY — The militant fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) is pressuring La Union Governor Manuel Ortega to demand damage compensation for oil spilled affected fishermen in San Fernando City from Chevron Philippines, Inc.

Ortega recently called for an investigation after thousands of liters of oil leaked from the depot’s pipelines in February. In a press statement, Pamalakaya national chairperson Fernando Hicap welcomed the probe ordered by Ortega and the cease and desist order issued by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) against operators of oil depot at Poro Point.

But the fisherfolk leader said the aside from the environmental impact, local leaders and environment officials should also look into the economic impact of the oil spill to poor fisherfolk and other villagers sourcing their day-to-day livelihood Continue reading

BP Oil Spill: Prosecutors Reportedly Preparing Criminal Charges

29 Dec

Federal prosecutors are preparing the first criminal charges against BP in connection with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the worst of its kind in U.S. history, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The charges, reportedly to be revealed early next year, center around several engineers and may include providing false information about the risks of drilling in the Guld of Mexico in federal documents, the WSJ reported.

The charge carries a penalty of a fine as well as up to five years imprisonment.

People familiar with the matter told NPR that no final decisions have been made about the charges, adding that even if prosecutors go ahead with the charges, attorneys for the engineers will have a chance to appeal to other Justice Department officials. BP spokesmen declined to comment to Bloomberg Businessweek on the WSJ report.

The Deepwater Horizon spill off of the coast of Louisiana in 2010 killed 11 and led to more than 200 million gallons of oil spewing under the water. After three months of searching for solutions, the well was finally capped, but not before the oil destroyed hundreds of miles of coastline and devastated the tourism and fishing industries.

The full economic impact of the oil spill is still unknown, with economists’ estimates expected to trickle in sometime next year, the Press-Register reports. Shortly after the spill, economists predicted that in a worst case scenario, the disaster would cost Alabama about two percent of its economic output. Still, the spill’s effects weren’t limited to states like Alabama, which were directly impacted. Businesses around the country were forced to contened with the spill’s aftermath; in restaurants as far away as New York City, business owners felt the pinch of a seafood price hike, according to CBS News.

As of March, the spill had cost BP $41 billion and severely damaged the company’s reputation. In addition, it likely cost BP’s former CEO Tony Hayward his job.

In October, the Obama administration granted BP permission to resume exploratory drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, saying that the company’s plans met the administration’s standards for deepwater drilling. But if the crisis were ever to happen again, the same laws would still be in place.

Despite a push from some Democrats to raise the cap on the amount that companies are required to pay to cover economic damages from an oil spill, the legislation never came to fruition.

Still, BP did set up a $20 billion compensation fund for victims of the spill. The Justice Department named BDO Consulting to conduct an independent audit of the claims fund, which is expected in March.

New Zealand Oil Spill Decimating Bird Population

18 Oct

According to the New Zealand government an oil spill from a grounded container ship in the Bay of Plenty has killed 1,250 seabirds with hundreds of others in rescue centers. However, conservationists say the avian death-toll is far higher with most contaminated birds simply vanishing in the sea.

“The number of birds being found washed up on the beaches will be a very small proportion of the birds being affected,” explained Karen Baird, Seabird Conservation Advocate with NGO Forest & Bird. “A lot of oil-covered birds will simply sink at sea and some of the more lightly oiled birds will be flying back to their colonies.”

After grounding itself on a reef, the container ship, MV Rena, released 350 tons into New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty, polluting some of the nation’s favorite beaches and decimating wildlife in the area.

Baird has warned that the oil disaster could injure and kill seabird chicks as well as adults. Since it is breeding season, adult birds may be unwittingly bringing oil back to their nests. Many chicks are also expected to starve when their parents don’t return.

New Zealand’s Environment Minister, Nick Smith, has already called the spill the nation’s ‘worst environmental disaster’. But it may not be over: the ship still contains 1,400 tons of oil that could spill if the vessel breaks up on the reef. Currently, efforts are underway for a salvage crew to pump the leftover oil out of the ship before this happens.

For complete article click here.

Reportback on the first ever Radical Mycology Convergence

17 Sep

(re-posted from Radical Mycology)


Over 200 people gathered in northern Washington state this past Labor Day weekend to learn about the many uses of the fungal kingdom at the world’s first Radical Mycology Convergence. For four days, people gathered from several countries and various cultural backgrounds to teach and learn together about mycoremediation, the use of fungi as a tool to help combat mass pollution and ecological degradation. In an age when so many human caused disasters are occurring throughout the world, the fungi are beginning to be seen as a strong option for tackling some of these great problems long thought impossible to solve.

WHY RADICAL MYCOLOGY?

Access to mycological information is not easy. With a cultural view that fears fungi, a schooling system that undervalues them, and only a small number of courses on advanced mycology worldwide, it is easy to see why the fifth kingdom is so disregarded and misunderstood. As one of the youngest natural sciences, mycology (the study of fungi) has largely been kept in the hands of professionals since its development with much of the official work focusing simply on taxonomy and species edibility/toxicity. However, in the last few decades (and really just the last few years) the greater fungi have started to gain more acceptance and familiarity to those outside of academia as their uses beyond the dinner plate are starting to be realized.

It is surprising to note that most people do not realize that fungi are not only on, in and a part of all living (and once-living) things but that they play an extremely important role in the life cycle of plants as well. Acting like stewards of the forest, certain fungi create complex networks of “mycelium” (that white stuff you see when you pull back a decaying log) underground that serve to channel nutrients and water between plants and to help maintain the health of entire ecosystems. The fungi are also responsible for the decomposition of all woody material, turning dead plant matter in to fresh soil for new plants to thrive in. Without the fungi the world would be piled high in dead trees with no new ones growing.

In the last decade or so, mycologists have discovered that the same enzymes that fungi naturally produce to digest their food can also be used to break down toxic pollutants and petroleum products. Species have been discovered that can digest plastics, disposable diapers, motor oil, DDT, and Agent Orange as well as sequester and concentrate heavy metals out of polluted soil for later disposal. This emerging field of “mycoremediation” has only barely gained a foundation from which to grow on as in-depth research and experimentation in the last few years has been scant at best and suppressed at worst. As such a powerful ally in the fight to save the planet before ecological collapse, the fungi are now more worthy of investigation than ever before*. Thus, the RMC was formed to foster a community of people interested in developing and implementing mycoremediative techniques to provide a resource for peer learning and encouragement.

* This is not to say this information addresses the problem of eliminating the manufacturing of these products. Rather it provides a way to actually deal with existing problems alongside efforts to stop their proliferation.

WHY A CONVERGENCE?

The intent of the organizers of the RMC in forming the event was three fold: 1) To share mycological information in an accessible manner using the simplest techniques and a minimal amount of equipment 2) To promote the use of mycoremediation techniques & 3) To build an all-inclusive & non-hierarchical network of amateur & professional mycologists. We feel we were quite successful in our efforts to a degree beyond any expectations.

Despite a full schedule all weekend, the RMC went off without a hitch. Workshops included sterile and non-sterile cultivation methods, mycopermaculture/mushrooms in the garden, mycomedicinals, mushroom paper and dye making, and fungi and lichen identification. There were also presentations on ethnomycology in Mexico by professional mycologists from Baja California. Folks from the Amazon Mycorenewal Project spoke on their work to clean up oil spills in Ecuador using oyster mushrooms. And a representative from the Mushroom Development Foundation spoke to their work teaching Indian farmers to grow mushrooms from agricultural waste. All this took place on a communal farm with nightly group fires, a raging talent show and raffle, and great swimming holes. Add in a general sense of commonality and you get an inspiring weekend of learning and building a community where one had not existed before.

Many presenters demonstrated techniques they had developed on their own to reduce the use of fossil fuels and expensive equipment from cultivating mushrooms. James from Amateur Mycology in Colorado stated that he hadn’t thrown away a piece of paper for 2 years as he was turning it all into mushrooms. James also spoke of successes in using mushroom beds as living mulch in a greenhouse to increase plant yields. Another workshop demonstrated tissue culturing in open air using only hydrogen peroxide and alcohol to sterilize your equipment. A big take away message from the weekend was that there is so much yet to be discovered about mycology–and so few people doing it–that it will take the work of amateurs to increase understanding.

As a culmination to the weekend, we implemented 2 small remediation projects at the host farm to put theory to practice. We set up 2 beds of King Stropharia mushrooms to help decompose the humanure produced at the farm. We also installed various burlap sacks inoculated with Blue Oyster mushrooms around the farm’s spring to help filter the water of possible runoff from a nearby road as well as prevent erosion to the surrounding hill side.

Through the RMC we created an environment that encouraged skill and knowledge sharing by embracing diversity and working toward the greater goal of a healthier planet and way of life. With the advances being made over the last few years, working with the fungi has never been easier than now, at a time when their capabilities are of greatest import. This information deserves to be in the hands of those who want it and the Radical Mycology Convergence was one step among several toward reaching that goal.

CONCLUSIONS

On the final day of the convergence an open discussion was held to reflect on the RMC and to discuss ideas for future gatherings as well as how folks plan to implement this information in their local communities. The consensus showed that those present were excited to begin the process of developing a web-based forum or wiki to enable cultivators and experimenters to share techniques and experiences in relation to low-tech cultivation and remediation work. Similarly, free publications will be produced that teach these techniques and demonstrate case studies of the work people are doing with fungi. Also, a decentralized formal network will be created of groups of people doing this work so as to stay connected, organize future/regional RMCs, and to collaborate as desired.

A truly unique event, the first Radical Mycology Convergence was a huge success drawing in all types of people to live and learn together. The RMC demonstrated the power of a shared concern for the future of the planet to overcome personal differences in political or worldviews and the need to embrace novel ideas for tackling some of the world’s problems. We found that out of their backyards and garages, people are developing novel ways to work with the fungi to reduce their waste streams, filter their water, produce food and potent medicines easily, as well as work to clean up their local landbases thru remediation work.

The meme of radical mycology is only just developing. Time will tell how common this information and these techniques will become in the future. For now we invite those interested in learning more to follow the links and articles at www.radicalmycology.com.

In sporidarity,

The Radical Mycology Convergence organizers

radmycology@gmail.com