Enbridge, the company responsible for the biggest inland oil spill in the U.S. and part owner of the Dakota Access Pipeline, wants to double the capacity of tar sands coming to the US from Canada on its Alberta Clipper pipeline. Submit a public comment!
An oil pipeline has ruptured, spilling 600,000 gallons of toxic oil into the environment. This massive spill is destroying the ecosystem, which may never fully recover. Demand that the oil company responsible for the spill be held accountable.
When we start to look for it, we quickly find there is a literal sea of distressing environmental news flooding our phones and computers every day. Seeing this deluge of negativity, it’s easy to start to lose faith. But the winners of the Bow Seat’s 2016 Ocean Awareness Contest reminds us that we have the power and the creativity to change the course of our oceans’ fate. Bow Seat is an organization dedicated to, “inspire[ing] the next generation of ocean caretakers through education and engagement with the arts, science, and advocacy.” As a part of this mission, Bow Seat hosts The Ocean Awareness Contest. Every year, they ask middle schoolers and high schoolers across the world to submit a piece of artwork addressing ocean pollution and the challenges we face going forward. They say a picture is worth 1000 words, and these images speak volumes. Here are a few of some of the compelling pieces centered around ocean plastics from the 2016 winners.
This piece is titled, “Message in a Bottle” by Jessica Yang. It shows how the 40 billion plastic bottles we put in landfills every year make their way into our oceans and affect marine life.
We have a responsibility to future generations to maintain our most precious resource. These children clearly see the danger plastic poses to our oceans and marine life – we owe it to both these young ones and animals to stop our reckless behavior and prevent plastic pollution. Join One Green planets #CrushPlastic movement to learn about easy ways that you can help to save our planet’s oceans and the animals that live in them.
Let’s #CrushPlastic! Click the graphic below for more information.
Sunday’s brutal police assault against peaceful Dakota Access Pipeline activists left one water protector, Sophia Wilansky, at risk of losing an arm, and her distraught father spoke out Tuesday and Wednesday against the shocking show of force and demanded government action.
Wayne Wilansky, a 61-year-old lawyer and yoga teacher from New York City, spoke to a reporter in a Facebook live feed about his daughter’s devastating injury, allegedly caused by a concussion grenade.
“This is the wound of someone who’s a warrior, who was sent to fight in a war,” Wayne said. “It’s not supposed to be a war. She’s peacefully trying to get people to not destroy the water supply. And they’re trying to kill her.”
Most of the muscle tissue between Sophia’s left elbow and wrist as well as two major arteries were completely destroyed, Wayne said, and doctors pulled shrapnel out of the wound.
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Stop Trump from bringing back fossil fuels.
‘They Always Break!’ Latest Pipeline Leak Underscores Dangers of DAPL
Posted on October 26, 2016 by GJEP staff
A major crude oil pipeline in Oklahoma sprung a leak late Sunday night; the company has yet to provide an estimate of volume spilled
By Deirdre Fulton
Underscoring once again the dangers of America’s unreliable fossil fuel infrastructure, a significant U.S. oil pipeline has been shut down after a leak was reported Monday morning.
Enterprise Products Partners said Monday it had shut its Seaway Crude Pipeline, a 400,000-barrel per day conduit that transports crude oil from Cushing, Oklahoma to Gulf coast refineries. The leak occurred Sunday night in an industrial area of Cushing. The company did not provide an estimate of the volume spilled, but said there was no danger to the public.
“Oil pipelines break, spill, and leak—it’s not a question of if, it’s a question of where and when.”
—Anna Lee Rain YellowHammer, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
“Seaway personnel continue to make progress in cleaning up the spill, substantially all of which has been contained in a retention pond at Enbridge’s facility,” the company said in a news release (pdf), explaining that the pipeline is a “50/50 joint venture” between Enterprise and Enbridge Inc. “Vacuum trucks are being used to recover the crude oil and return it to storage tanks on-site.”
“The impacted segment of the legacy pipeline has a capacity of 50,000 barrels,” the release added, “however the actual amount of crude oil released will be significantly less and won’t be determined until recovery efforts are complete.”
The incident comes after another pipeline rupture in Pennsylvania early on Friday, where 55,000 gallons of gasolinepoured into the Susquehanna River, and about one month after a major gasoline pipeline run by Colonial Pipeline Co. had to halt pumping for a couple of weeks due to a spill in Alabama.
Meanwhile, UPI reports that “[t]he release from the Seaway pipeline is the second associated with the Cushing storage hub in less than a month. Plains All American Pipeline reported problems with infrastructure from Colorado City [Texas] to Cushing earlier this month.”
Environmentalists, Indigenous people, and energy companies are in the midst of a heated debate over pipeline safety. Water protectors and their allies along the proposed route of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) have been saying for months that the project threatens their right to safe drinking water.
“Oil pipelines break, spill, and leak—it’s not a question of if, it’s a question of where and when,” 13-year-old Anna Lee Rain YellowHammer, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, wrote in a recent appeal.
“With such a high chance that this pipeline will leak,” she wrote of the Enbridge-backed DAPL, “I can only guess that the oil industry keeps pushing for it because it doesn’t care about our health and safety. The industry seems to think our lives are more expendable than others’.”
Copyright © 2016 · All Rights Reserved · Global Justice Ecology Project
The US EPA Office of Inspector General (OIG) states that the US “EPA had authority, sufficient information to issue emergency order protecting Flint residents from lead-contaminated water as early as June 2015“. Nonetheless, Regina “Gina” McCarthy, head of the US EPA since July of 2013, decided to let Flint drink lead. More recently the US EPA, under her rule, has determined that Americans should drink highly radioactive water, when a nuclear accident occurs – one can’t say if, the question is only how quickly the next nuclear accident occurs: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2016/07/22/gina-mccarthy-says-let-them-drink-radioactive-water-100s-and-1000s-of-times-the-legal-limit-or-dehydrate-gina-and-moniz-dance-the-nuclear-waltz/
(We recommend that you watch the video on mute. The background music is inappropriate and appears trance inducing.)
“As Common Dreams previously reported, the EPA’s region 5 office knew as early as April 2015 that Flint’s public drinking water was contaminated with high levels of toxins, particularly lead… some Flint residents still don’t have access to clean…
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The next administration will need to act fast. Methane poses a significant threat to our public health and our climate — it’s 87 times more potent than carbon dioxide when it comes to disrupting our climate over a 20 year period.
Send an email by June 16th to stop new oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and protect sea turtles and dolphins.
Toxic battery plant has to tell its 12,000 neighbors they might get cancer
By Aura Bogado on May 19, 2016
A smelter in the Los Angeles area has 30 days to tell its 12,000 neighbors that the plant’s arsenic emissions put them at a high risk for developing cancer. It also has to come up with a plan to reduce those emissions — but that could take years, if it happens at all.
Quemetco operates a lead-acid battery recycling plant in City of Industry, a largely Latino community in the San Gabriel Valley, east of downtown L.A. The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) notified the company on Tuesday that it must inform neighbors of the high cancer risk its operation poses in City of Industry and three adjacent communities. As it happens, all four are neighborhoods full of people of color, mostly Latino and Asian.
The arsenic, a carcinogen, gets into the air as a byproduct of Quemetco’s lead smelting. But health officials didn’t consider the level at which the plant emits arsenic life-threatening until about a year ago, when the state updated its health risk assessment standards. After an extensive evaluation, the state determined that previous guidelines had underestimated the consequences of toxic emissions such as arsenic, especially for children.
Aside from having 30 days to inform its neighbors of the high cancer risk, Quemetco has 180 days to come up with a proposal to reduce its arsenic emissions in line with AQMD’s standards. Once regulators approve its new proposal, the plant then has another three years to implement it. That means it could take nearly four years for Quemetco’s neighbors to finally breathe a small sigh of relief. And that’s only if things go according to plan.
Quemetco’s lead-acid battery recycling plant – the only one operating in the western U.S. – hasn’t had a great record of complying with air-pollution regulations. California’s toxic substances agency outlined a plan to test for arsenic and lead within a half-mile radius to Quemetco last October. The company opposed the plan, claiming that it was impossible to know whether Quemetco or another company was polluting the area. The two struck a deal, which initially limits the scope of testing to a smaller, quarter-mile area Quemetco suggested.
The AQMD confirms that Wayne Nastri, who took over as the agency’s top executive last month, recused himself from any decisions on the plant because Quemetco is his former clients
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MCPL VanPutten/Canadian Armed Forces/Handout via Reuters
The Alberta wildfire is dumping mercury into the atmosphere
By Melissa Cronin on May 19, 2016
Alberta’s massive wildfire is sending more than just smoke into the air.
The Fort McMurray fire, which merged with another smaller wildfire last week, has displaced residents and cleared nearly everything in its path, including swaths of the region’s dense boreal forests. The combined blaze has already released the equivalent of 5 percent of Canada’s annual carbon dioxide emissions and is expected to continue to burn for the next few months. The fires have also filled Fort McMurray’s air with dangerous contaminants, ozone, and nitrogen dioxide, pushing its air pollution to off-the-charts levels. Along with all that carbon, the fires are releasing mercury into the atmosphere.
When a huge fire rages through a boreal forest, it is probably going to hit some peatlands, 80 percent of which are located in high latitudes. Peat contains more mercury than other soils, accumulated in layers that can build up over thousands of years. Peatlands are largely stable sinks for mercury — until a wildfire comes along.
“All of a sudden, you have this big release in a fire,” said Christine Wiedinmyer, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s Atmospheric Chemistry Observations and Modeling Lab. “The mercury that before was staying in one place is now in the atmosphere, and can be transported downwind, adding more mercury in places where we don’t necessarily want it.”
And mercury may be able to travel far away from its source. By some estimates, mercury in the atmosphere can travel around the Earth for about a year before being deposited on land or water.
“The mercury level in rain is not only from us — the sources are also global, like when it gets released Europe and Asia and deposited down,” said Yanxu Zhang, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University who studies mercury and other pollutants. “It has the capability for long-range transport, which makes it harder to control and combat.”
Mercury exposure can cause insidious effects even at low levels, worsening health problems that already exist. It depends on the dose and the type of mercury, and there are three types: elemental, which can cause neurological damage; salts, industrial pollution causing kidney problems; and organic, the type that gets into the food chain and causes birth defects and is why pregnant women are advised against eating fish.
“In a lot of cases, mercury has a lasting impact — but the degree to which that resonates is something we don’t understand yet,” said Dave Krabbenhoft, a research hydrologist at the U.S. Geological Survey who’s been studying mercury contamination for 28 years.
The 2012 U.S. mercury and air toxics rule, meant to clean up the industrial kind of mercury pollution from power plants, is expected to prevent some 11,000 premature deaths, 4,700 heart attacks, and 130,000 asthma attacks every year, saving up to $70 billion in healthcare costs annually.
Boreal fires could roll back some of those numbers. Since these fires take place in less-populated areas, they are often left to burn longer, releasing more mercury. This problem will only be exacerbated by the increasing intensity and frequency of boreal fires due to climate change.
We don’t yet know exactly how much mercury Alberta’s fires are releasing — and we might not know for years, until scientists can complete a post-mortem review. But one thing’s for sure: Those plumes of smoke aren’t healthy for you.
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The reefs surrounding the Florida Keys are rapidly dissolving due to increased ocean acidification. Demand these valuable natural resources be protected before they disappear forever.
An integral part of conserving jaguars is safeguarding their habitats. In some parts of their range, this includes tropical rain forests. But these forests are rapidly disappearing (Whitworth, Downie, von May, Villacampa, & MacLeod, 2016). But while this is cause for immediate action, it is not cause for despair. A recent study suggests that under the right conditions, even clear-cut tropical rain forests can recover (Whitworth et al., 2016; Greenspan, 2016).
Whitworth et al. (2016) carried out extensive surveys in Peru’s Manu Biosphere Reserve, which I have written about before. They found that regenerating (secondary) forest areas contained 87% of the known species in uncut (primary) patches. This included multiple species of conservation concern; such as the short-eared dog (Atelocynus microtis), giant armadillo (
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