Monday, January 24, 2011

Re; Published paper by D Uhlmann (2011), After the spill is gone...

SSRN-After the Spill is Gone: The Gulf of Mexico, Environmental Crime, and the Criminal Law by David Uhlmann (2011)

The Gulf oil spill was the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, and it will become the most significant criminal case ever prosecuted under the environmental laws...(link to PDF article)

David M Uhlmann of the University of Michigan Law School has published this very interesting Scholarly/Legal article regarding the legal ramifications and possible criminal prosecution of those responsible for the failure on the part of those Owners/Operators, to have prevented this Disaster. (This is not spill with all due respect) Just because the media was held by the teeth to keep it a 'spill', it is anything but.  

Deep Water: The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore Drilling - The Report of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling

One of the books that I kept from my classes at University is AMS Ocean Studies: Investigations Manual from the American Meterological Society. Another is How Does Earth Work?: Physical Geology and the Process of Science by G.Smith, and A.Pun University of NM by Pearson/Prentice Hill. And Weather Studies: Intro to Atmospheric Science, by J.Moran

Ocean Studies-Introduction to Oceanography                           How Does Earth Work: Physical Geology and the Process of Science      Weather Studies: Introduction to Atmospheric Science

In a very short time, I learned a LOT about our entire Earth system, from the tiniest chemical building block, to entire Tectonics, and beyond, to the Atmosphere and Space. When the Deepwater Horizon disaster occurred, we were at the end of our Spring 2010 Courses, those of us who study the Earth have been very quiet over this disaster. One reason is an attempt by Industry to stop Google Searches and listings to do with this subject, the other is because we know what it means. 

We are seeing the affects slowly but surely globe wide, in the atmosphere too - actually quite quickly in Geological time. 

The Gulf Coast of the United States was a giant Air Conditioning/Current and Air Cleaning Filter for the Global Waters!! HULLO!

I stopped writing this blog, when in May of 2010, I learned that some groups of people who I thought cared for our planet and environment would do something to stop what was going on down in Louisiana, and found that money will buy off the crime of the deaths of millions worldwide. In Arkansas a mere 900 miles from the Disaster we suffered over 100 days, of over 100 degrees. We had virtually no rain from April until December. We had a couple of flash floods in places, but no rain that could soak into the ground tables. 

According to the Corexit MSDS, BP was not authorized to dispense Corexit, and it was not being used in accordance with the MSDS. It was supposed to used only in small areas, where it could be rapidly cleaned up. 

They have poisoned our Earth's waters. Creatures, coral reefs, waters are dying...not enough Oxygen or Food!! The thing that polluters use to escape liability is they do a minimal test on a portion of the population affected, they are not looking at chemical changes and effects in the endocrine systems, or brains, or DNA! 

 You Hoo!! Is anybody out there? No, all heads are buried in the sand, trouble is...that sand isn't so healthy after all. No telling what the mix will do to the thinking processes?

Jurist Uhlmann thank you for publishing this Abstract, and I look forward to the Harvard Law Review. I am only concerned that our Legal System has been protecting the nastiest polluters for over 40 years. It is citizens who are stuck with the clean-up, because the responsible parties, may abandon, and then file bankruptcy like no regular Citizen of the US or Native Tribes can. It is a shame, but I do believe we are passed the tipping point, and now, it will only be a miracle that saves our Habitat for Human and animal life. 

The best!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

ESA - Observing the Earth - Earth from Space: Queensland inundated

ESA - Observing the Earth - Earth from Space: Queensland inundated (link to ESA Article)

Okay folks, here is another one. Our brethren and sisters in Australia and New Zealand are really having it rough with the flooding. the terrible fires of 07,08, 09, and 10 have not left much to catch the water, this is changing their waterways, and land. Without topsoil, they will not be able to grow anything on this land.

Our Earth is in critical condition, and she will do what it takes to survive. All of the money in the world, living in bunkers, or shooting off to space, will not save life on this planet. It will be selection, if any living thing of this Age/Era/Period survive. 

Australia Burning: Fire Ecology, Policy and Management Issues        Wildlife, Fire and Future Climate: A Forest Ecosystem Analysis

There is no telling what will happen next, but with each new disaster, each new swing at the ecology for progress, we are one step closer to our demise. Our Oceans are losing oxygen, the fish and ocean life cannot sustain life in the Ocean any longer.

Little by little, every thing that may seem an inconvenience to humans; in our I want it, now kill it, mow it down, and get it, mode of operation, and as Chief Seattle predicted, what has been done to the land, and to The Peoples of the Land(s), those who may not have seemed valuable, but are all part of the 'system' or again remembering the Great Chief, the Web. We are but a strand in it; whatsoever we do to the strand, we do to ourselves.

Haze over India and Bangladesh

Haze over India and Bangladesh

This cloud, visible via Satellite is most likely an Inverse Convection of toxins, or other pollutants locked in place, like a Giant Salad bowl, turned upside down, or a fishing boat that has been capsized; where it retains that 'last bit of oxygen' you can breathe so you don't drown. There is also, a suction-like affect. That bubble is locked until a force or a chemical, possibly temperature change occurs.

A cloud this large is frightening. There are all sorts of life forms and weather patterns, currents that can be affected by an inverse convection, even birds, and butterflies and all of the other pollinators.

This would be a perfect time and place for some kind of giant Nitrous Oxide, detector, to find out the measurement of pollutants to fresh air. This area has been bombarded with harsh flooding and volcanic activity since Summer of 2010. This is highly alarming to me personally, but I do worry. Can we get a Giant NOX Detector?

I do not blame everything on the terrible practices of the human animal when it comes to disasters and clouds such as these. It is important to note that volcanic activity has been chugging along this ridge of the Earth more and more often.

There was an era of man, not so long ago, especially looking at the larger, Geological picture, where a movement of Love and concern for our Brothers and Sisters across the world. The Love movement was quieted and still remains a small trickle.

Concert for Bangladesh  The Concert for Bangladesh (Limited Deluxe Edition)

One of the most memorable things I can remember was The Concert for Bangladesh, where an outpouring of love and anointed music spread cross the world, and George Harrison, Ravi Shankar, Ringo Star, Bob Dylan, sang to raise money and awareness. Everytime I hear this album, it brings back that spirit.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Final Determination on Mingo Logan Coal Company! January 13, 2011 Logan County W Virginia

EPA Follows Clean Water Act, Section 404(c) Veto Authority and Discharge of Dredged or Fill Materials (404) US EPA (link to document)

On January 13, 2011, the EPA in conjunction with the President of the United States and the Department of Justice have made a FINAL DETERMINATION in regards to the operating permits once granted to the owners/operators of the Spruce Mine #1 

Spruce Mine #1 operations has been out of compliance since they turned in the information on their permit application. They did not tell all of the toxins and gases and metals they would be pouring into the open waterways of Logan County, West Virginia. 

Coal RiverI heard the Mine-Senator Manchin on WDTV 5. "...absolutely wrong, after going through all this permitting them, process...callous" err Senator, I heard " investment". Who cares about the health of my Earth that you are callously making profits on, and the health of your Constituents who have highly toxic water, because when your friends at the mines greased those 404's and 404(c)'s, especially when phone calls are placed to the Environmental State Agency, and heads will roll, if they don't get those permits...

According to the news sources who are bought and paid for by big energy, it is a joke, how they are whining about jobs and investments. The jobs would end soon anyway, because they have about used up every resource imaginable. The permits were gotten without full disclosure and with the help and support of the Corp of Engineers, who overseas the waterways of West Virginia. It is hard to dismiss the fact that in order to get the oversight agency to comply, they had to be bypassed. It is very difficult to go against such power, concentrated in such small areas. Their reach is enormous, but the destruction of our habitat must stop. Coal power is dirty, and everything done to harvest it is deadly and detrimental to our environment and human health.

To quote one of the documents; the first filing on the federal register...

Applying the lessons of the past, we now know that failure to

control mining practices has resulted in persistent environmental
degradation in the form of acid mine drainage and other impacts that
cost billions to remedy. While the Surface Mining Control and
Reclamation Act (SMCRA), the CWA, and other laws have put in place
controls addressing some environmental impacts, including acid mine
drainage, recent studies and experience point to new environmental and
health challenges that were largely unconsidered until more recently.
We know the regulatory controls currently in place have not prevented
adverse water quality and aquatic habitat impacts from other surface
mining operations. We also know the same types of impacts as those
anticipated from this project have had previously unforeseen
environmental consequences.
Coal Country: Rising Up Against Mountaintop Removal Mining Public health issues surrounding the types of impacts associated
with the Spruce No. 1 project are not well understood. EPA has been
presented with household-specific and anecdotal information that
suggests individual and possibly public surface water and ground water
supplies could be adversely impacted by surface coal mining activities.
In addition, recent published studies directly relate intensity of
surface mining activities within Appalachia to degraded public health
and mortality. EPA has been presented with a petition from a variety of
local stakeholders that outlines many of these concerns and further
relates them to issues of environmental justice.

and refused to change the way they operate, and continued unsafe practices, affecting all of the waterways around them. I will put links to documents that are viewable to the public, showing how toxic the waterways and soil is around Spruce Mine #1. 
  • The press, is not saying is the history of non-compliance of strip miners, and mountain-top miners.
  • Anyone who could do that to a mountain, does not care about nature. 
  • Vetoing of the 404c and 404 permits once issued to Mingo Logan Coal Company, working reclamation of Spruce Mine #1 Surface Mine is due to a long legal battle that Coal money has kept going. Environmental Justice had one victory here on this day.
Thank you Lisa Jackson, and all of the citizens who refused to stop, when the cause seemed impossible. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Facilities Across the Southeast Ordered to Stop Discharging and Comply with Clean Water Act"

Facilities in States of EPA Region 4 Ordered to comply with the Clean Water Act (link)

Region 4 Covers, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. It is also the home of six Native American nations.

On January 13, 2011, the EPA announces a stop discharging notice. All of the States involved in this are  

  • North Carolina, 
  • Tennessee, 
  • Kentucky and 
  • South Carolina.

Operating in these four States are seven (7) entities or businesses that are under this order. For the time being, the time under this order occurred during the last quarter of 2010. Where there were violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA). That is a very quick action to have happened, and thanks to the Regulators in this case deserve a big thank you.

Three of the entities (facilities, or permit holders) who violated storm-water regulations.

"...polluted runoff is discharged, often untreated, directly into local water bodies. The entities cited and their associated violations include:
·         YDV, Inc., for violations at the Compass Pointe Phases 2, 3 and 11 sites in Leland, N.C.;
·         Marion Retail Investments, LLC, for violations at its Grandview Station construction site in Marion, N.C.;
·         Shelby County Schools, for violations at the Shelby County Administration Building in Arlington, Tenn."

The further listing of violations by violators are listed below. 

The City of Oak Ridge, TN - sited for Sewage Overflows, untreated into open water

Licking River Resources, inc - for unauthorized discharge of wastewater associated with surface mining and/or coal processing

Clintwood Elkhorn Mining Companyfor unauthorized discharge of wastewater associated with surface mining and/or coal processing

Lee Mayer #1 Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation

All of these have been ordered to stop discharging pollutants, accidentially or on purpose onto the ground, and or bodies of water near their facilities. Each one has contributed to the failing percentage of clean water. 

The concern is that they must stop and make remediation, but it will be up to the citizens of these areas to inspect, or make sure the Government agencies assigned to protect the environment continue to do so. 

It is all fine and well that they have finally been stopped, but how much damage to our entire eco-system does this stand? We must protect our environment. It is the only one we have. 

Water, Wastewater, and Stormwater Infrastructure Management


Monday, January 3, 2011

Four and four thousand ninety six Blackbirds baked in a Money Pie

Today I count myself very lucky. Do you realize that I live in a State, where the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) was able to ascertain in a matter of minutes that no air toxins were involved in the massacre of  over 5,000, red-winged blackbirds.

Wow, when did they start hiring veterinarians? Who did the autopsies, blood, lung and brain tests already?

Better than Special Victims Unit on TV, in just minutes, ADEQ determined that there are no air toxins involved in the death of all of those birds.  Miraculous. Since I used to work in the Air Division of ADEQ, I am going over in my mind just how all of this went down...
  1. ADEM (Arkansas Department of Emergency Management) was called when birds started dropping from the sky. This is standard protocol for a possible spill or what ADEQ calls "UPSET" [the thing is Energy companies are not required to report 'UPSET conditions'. They are self monitored.
  2. ADEM Contacted their person on call 24 hours per day at ADEQ. It is possible that a there was air quality problems stemming from Gas Well, or Sour gas. This happens all the time. It is not reported to the public, the gas well companies have no requirement to report this to ADEQ. 
  3. The Director of ADEQ was notified, and The Director notified the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission,  and Beebe, the Governor may have been in the string of calls.
  4. The Chief of the Air Division got a call.
  5. The head of Manager of Compliance and Enforcement is given the word, This report will be inconclusive. They all are. 
  6. US Environmental Services, makes a load cleaning up the dead birds...who is the consulting / engineering company? Who is so close to the Arkansas pollution commission. who has a lot of interest in Beebe, oh I meant the town... 
  7. Arkansas Reclamation
This would have normally been a call that was answered by ADEQ like this, "Dead birds are not under our jurisdiction, you will have to call another Agency, I don't know who you should call, but it isn't us." 

The results will be inconclusive. No one who works for this State agency will make waves. They will put their heads back down, counting days until retirement. While a few engineering firms make billions off of the pollution problems caused by lackadaisical Environmental Enforcement.

 Will they publish the results of the autopsies they performed to come to these conclusions? It would be a good thing to publicly acknowledge the chain of custody and authority in this massive destruction of birds. What are the actions and steps they took to come to that conclusion? 

If I were a philosopher, I would ask, "Is there any connection?" Arkansas Reclamation of Beebe, and Environmental Services are overseen by?  A.P.C. & E. is there a possible conflict of interest? Just thinking out loud.

There were strong complaints against Arkansas Reclamation, and citizens have been put off and ignored since the first day they started hauling in spent hydraulic fracturing fluids for reclaiming. 

To stop the complaints ARC had to stop getting complaints... In the Director of ADEQ's own works from a 2009 meeting regarding "Land Farms" (which is a shady way of saying land that the fluids are taken and dumped), she said it was a test to see how it would go... 

"Director’s Report
Director Marks discussed Arkansas Department of Environmental 
Quality’s (“ADEQ”) proposed 2009 legislation package.  
She reported that Regulation No. 8 did not go through the 
Legislative Council but will be reviewed in December and would 
be ready to go before the commission in January. 
Director Marks reported on a study that ADEQ is doing on 
commercial land farming activity to see what affect it is having 
on the soils and water bodies of the state. 
Commissioner Schueck asked for an  update regarding the 
complaints against the Arkansas Reclamation Company located in 
Beebe that were discussed at the last meeting. Discussion 
Chair Thompson called on Senator Kim Hendren to speak to th..."
What kind of study is being done? Who is doing it? What are the conclusions? Who is doing the testing?

 You know, on hazardous areas, birds are kept in cages in the offices, because if they start dying, that means it is time for everyone to clear out. The fact that one bird was seen walking next to people on the ground in circles, and cannot fly on this news clip, is very worrying. 

If humans start dropping dead, will the ADEQ be sent to do autopsies? Just wondering... because it would be inconclusive that any environmental problems exists, there is too much money to be made for that conclusion.

This is Progress

An article in the Washington Times, states, "the birds will not be missed", during migration they come in for a month and crap everywhere. Those birds are here for a reason. 

They will be missed as they eat bugs, flies, mosquitoes, and other parasites that feed on mammals. Each time we lose any species we are one step closer to our own demise. This was an ecological system, all parts important. Today we know the most important thing is a couple of ol' boys make money, and Arkansans are left to pay for the clean up. Way to go.

Arkansas must lose the Natural State Hype, and change to the Fracked State!