Potential Disaster Looming: Stop the pumps in New Orleans Now!

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posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 02:48 AM
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I must admit, I did not know which forum to post this to…Katrina Aftermath or Fragile Earth? As I have been working on the Katrina Research Project, I considered placing it there (and may still, if the Mods feel appropriate), but after reading the following article, I feel it almost requires its own thread….perhaps its own research project…What I do know is that I am truly scared that we have yet to fully appreciate the full scale of Katrina’s aftermath…

Extraordinary Problems, Difficult Solutions: Massive Floods, Pollution Make for 'Worst Case'



…there may be nothing normal about New Orleans, because the floodwater, spiked with tons of contaminants ranging from heavy metals and hydrocarbons to industrial waste, human feces and the decayed remains of humans and animals, will linger nearby in the Gulf of Mexico for a decade.

"This is the worst case," Hugh B. Kaufman, a senior policy analyst at the Environmental Protection Agency, said of the toxic stew that contaminates New Orleans. "There is not enough money in the gross national product of the United States to dispose of the amount of hazardous material in the area."


Today, it was reported that the pumps in New Orleans have begun the task of emptying nearly 80% of the city from 20 ft. of water.

Pumps begin to drain New Orleans: Work expected to take months, Army Corps of Engineers says

Katrina stands as one of the largest natural disasters to have ever hit the United States. That is clear. There have been very few precedents for an event such as this. Perhaps, in the end, that will be the primary conclusion drawn by the Katrina Research Project on this board. With relief and rescue efforts still underway, everyone is focused on saving lives. And, of course, that makes sense.

But I’m worried now about a new problem…..Are we being too short sighted here? If we are pumping all that waste into the Gulf of Mexico, what near and long term impact will that have???

As is true with everything concerning Hurricane Katrina, it seems our biggest challenge has been getting our minds wrapped around the size of the problem…

Since the 1970s, the Gulf of Mexico has been a body of water in crisis. It currently houses one of the largest Dead Zones on the planet, comprising roughly 20,000 square kilometers.

And guess where???





The Dead Zone has alarmed scientists because of its size and location in the northern Gulf, the most productive fishing and shrimping zone in the Gulf's 580,000 square miles.

More.


Just how dirty is the water being pumped out of New Orleans? Take a moment and think about all of the chemicals flowing from each and every car in NO. Think about your own homes and how many chemicals you have tucked away in cabinets or garages or sheds…Then think about all the commercial retail places that house these things…Think about the industrial complexes that house these things….The list goes on….

And then you need to consider this:



Nearly 25 years after Congress created the Superfund program to clean up toxic waste dumps that industries left behind, scores of tainted sites still exist today within a few miles of the Gulf of Mexico, threatening water quality and ruining people's health.


62 in coastal counties rimming the Gulf of Mexico


Congress created Superfund in 1980 and charged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with making sure environmental and health risks were wiped out quickly at the most hazardous waste sites. To pay for it, the government placed a tax on the industries responsible for toxic releases, namely oil and chemical companies.

By the 1990s, the program was averaging 86 cleanups a year. Then, in 1995, Congress decided not to renew the tax — a decision environmentalists have fought to reverse.

Over the next seven years, the trust fund fell from an all-time high of about $3.7 billion to $400 million. As a result, the number of cleanups were cut in half to fewer than 50 in 2002.


Along Louisiana's U.S. 61, a few miles north of Baton Rouge, is a grass-covered plateau that would be nondescript except for a few rows of green sheds and a barbed-wire fence that surround the 17 acres. About a mile to the west down a two-lane road is the same scene, only the property is more than three times larger.

Buried under the mounds of earth are two of the most toxic sites in the country. And both are within walking distance of the Mississippi River, which empties into the Gulf.


web.naplesnews.com...


How many of these sites exist that were NOT designated as Superfund sites? Has anyone looked???

This is scary stuff, and with only a few minutes of looking on the net, I have found far too much that is alarming enough for me to now hold the position that we should STOP the pumping of NO now! ARE WE PUSHING THE GULF OVER THE EDGE?

Do we really fully understand the potential consequences? Do you believe any of this has been considered at all???? We already have ample evidence of our poor planning and response in the face of Hurricane Katrina? Are we about to make one of the largest historical mistakes of our lives?????



For now, the Gulf is a cash cow.
It generates money for thousands of businesses and tens of thousands of jobs worth more than $20 billion annually for the five states that surround the Gulf — Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas — according to the Gulf of Mexico Foundation, a nonprofit group of business and industry leaders.
web.naplesnews.com...


There is much to explore here… At a minimum, we need to ask if those who are making decisions in response to Katrina have really considered these questions.

While politics may or may not have played a roll in the initial response to the storm, it is clear that it is now playing a much BIGGER role. That, more than anything, worries me!

It would be helpful if members with expertise in any of these areas could help determine how big this really is? What is the science behind the Gulf and the Gulf Stream? Would consequences be delivered elsewhere along the coast? What’s the impact to our Caribbean Neighbors? What industries would be impacted? How much toxic material is there likely to be?

The questions are many, but I feel they need to be asked now, or we will hear from our government again that “no one really understood and thought it wasn't foreseeable”!

I hope I am wrong.


[edit on 6-9-2005 by loam]

[edit on 20-9-2005 by John bull 1]




posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 03:00 AM
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thats a really great point man, i wonder how many people thought of that

i give you a way above and double


and i dont have much to say, you summon it up pretty well, its another disaster waiting to happen



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 04:15 AM
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I totally agree with you.

Not long ago I posted saying I felt NO had to be built somewhere else. Now, with your post, there´s even more reasons to do it.

It is a total irresponsability to build NO again where it is now. Below sea level? And after such experience?
Are we crazy? Or do we like catastrophies? As if NO is reconstructed where it is, something similar to Katrina can happen again, or even worse.

Now you have added a very important reason for not pumping the water.
How many reasons do they need to STOP and THINK?

It had to be forbidden to pump and construct NO there again.
I think the State should give grants for those who lived there, but instead to construct it again, to build somewhere else. That will really help, their children and the Nation.



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 04:20 AM
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You got it right.

There was discussion about this earier in the media, the question was, where to stick the water?

Pumping it into the gulf really is short term thinking, and creating a long term problem.

Best to let it lie where it is, put a dirty great fence around NO, and slowly start dismantling the bits with preserving.



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 06:49 AM
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My previous post was posted (the same as this one) on September the 6th, even though it appears as the 5th
It´s happening all over ATS.

Anyone knows why?



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 07:23 AM
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One big problem is that they are pumping it into the lake rather than the river because with the river it has a chance to disipate some but I do not know how often the lake water returns to the sea. I know I would not want to swim or eat anything out of it for a very long time.



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 07:25 AM
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International date line ? maybe?


but ya I saw on the news that stuff being pumped into the ocean... eww



but where would we put it mabye set up a on site treatment plant?




posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 07:33 AM
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i think they gotta seal it all in and clean it up in-situ...they are only gonna make the problem bigger long term if they pump it into the gulf...talking of the gulf stream and i dont know if it has anything to do with it..we had wierd weather patterns here in europe a few weeks ago...and a news report stated it was the gulf stream moving at a funny angle through europe...can anyone elaborate???



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 10:15 AM
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In November 2004, the Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center (NHRAIC) published What if Hurricane Ivan Had Not Missed New Orleans?




Since 1976, the Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center (NHRAIC) has served as a national and international clearinghouse of knowledge concerning the social science and policy aspects of disasters. The Center collects and shares research and experience related to preparedness for, response to, recovery from, and mitigation of disasters, emphasizing the link between hazard mitigation and sustainability to both producers and users of research and knowledge on extreme events.

A basic goal of the Center is to strengthen communication among researchers and the individuals, organizations, and agencies concerned with reducing damages caused by disasters. More than a quarter century of cultivating discourse among these groups has placed NHRAIC center-stage in both the national and global hazards communities.

The Center is funded by a consortium of federal agencies (Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Science Foundation, U.S. Geological Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Forest Service), the Institute for Business and Home Safety, and the Public Entity Risk Institute.
The Center is guided by a National Advisory Committee comprised of representatives of federal agencies that have an interest in hazards as well as stakeholders from academia, state and local government, the private sector, and the nongovernmental community. The Center has always promoted an all-hazards approach for dealing with environmental extremes and has been a leading proponent of cooperative partnerships among varying disciplines.


www.colorado.edu...


On the issue of toxicity in the aftermath of a hurricane hitting New Orlean's, they write:




If a hurricane of a magnitude similar to Ivan does strike New Orleans, the challenges surrounding rescue efforts for those who have not evacuated will be different from other coastal areas. Rescue teams would have to don special breathing equipment to protect themselves from floodwaters contaminated with chemicals and toxins released from commercial sources within the city and the petrochemical plants that dot the river’s edge. Additionally, tank cars carrying hazardous materials, which constantly pass through the city, would likely be damaged, leaking their contents into the floodwater and adding to the “brew.” The floodwater could become so polluted that the Environmental Protection Agency might consider it to be hazardous waste and prohibit it from being pumped out of the leveed areas into the lake and marshes until treated.



What is happening with the EPA today??? As evidenced by my previous post in this thread, they certainly have acknowledged that Katrina IS our "worst case" scenario, and that "...there is not enough money in the gross national product of the United States to dispose of the amount of hazardous material in the area." Are they being ignored by the rest of the federal government???

What is happening here? Who in our government is discussing this and who in our government is making the decisions? They clearly envisioned a possible scenario where we should NOT pump New Orleans dry. Why has the government's position on this matter now changed?


[edit on 6-9-2005 by loam]



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 10:39 AM
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Here is the website for the EPA's response activity since the storm.

Notice how there is no mention of findings??? Or where those would be published??? I'm coming up dry....still looking...



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 10:50 AM
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posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 11:20 AM
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More evidence this issue is being WILLFULLY IGNORED!




Draining New Orleans Could Take a Month

Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, commander of the Army Corps of Engineers, declined to make a firm estimate for completing the pumping, but said, ``We're certainly talking weeks.''

His predecessor, Robert B. Flowers, estimated at least a month. He told The Associated Press that optimistically, the pumps could lower the water as much as a foot a day, but it is likely to start more slowly.

There are six pumping stations in the city and the corps could bring in auxiliary pumps, Flowers said.

Draining New Orleans is not like pulling the plug on a bathtub drain; much of the city is below sea level so the water will have to be pumped up and out.

Contamination by oil, chemicals and sewage also complicates the effort, Flowers said.

Removing the water would be slowed if it has to be treated before it can be discharged, he said, though it might be possible to get some type of dispensation so it can be pumped quickly into the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain.



What?!? We are looking for "special dispensation"????



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 11:53 AM
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You will see the effects in the form of a red tides and black water.

I don't think letting the city go to rot and taking years to clean and filter all the polluted water is an option considering the economy is on the verge of a meltdown.

Gulf is already pretty much ravaged with dead zones, and who says the current adminstration is even remotely ecologically minded? Drill it or kill it is the modus operandi lately, so bash them eco-nuts over the head thars a war on ya know. -sarcasm

Virulent algae creates red tide of death - Aug. 22, 2005
A virulent algae bloom is laying waste to huge expanses of the Gulf.
Scientists are split on why it's so severe.

We already are in deep dung...a little more won't change much.

[edit on 6-9-2005 by Regenmacher]



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 12:02 PM
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Originally posted by Regenmacher
I don't think letting the city go to rot and taking years to clean and filter all the polluted water is an option considering the economy is on the verge of a meltdown.


Therein lies the rub.... This could ensure such a meltdown....



Gulf is already pretty much a dead zone


Not true. Refer to the posts above. It is threatened, but not dead. Additionally, it plays a HUGE economic role for this and other Caribbean countries...



Virulent algae creates red tide of death - Aug. 22, 2005
A virulent algae bloom is laying waste to huge expanses of the Gulf.
Scientists are split on why it's so severe.


We are not talking about red-tide here. We are talking about heavy metals, industrial chemicals, fossil fuels, etc... in massive quantities being dumped in a potentially dangerously compressed period of time...



We already are in deep dung...a little more won't change much.


That is the point of this thread??? Who told you "a little more"??? The government? Do you trust that answer after reading my posts???

Let me point something else out to you.....After 911, many of the relief and rescue workers began suffering from an acute respiratory illness. You can read about it here. Now ask yourself this: What is the difference in scale between those buidlings in NY and the entire city of New Orleans?

Think of all the people, rescuers and victims alike, wading for days in that dangerous filth. Or think about the months or years that will be required to remove the debris and wipe the city clean of its "toxic sludge".

What do you think the long term health effects will be? The economic consequences?

It just isn't that simple.


[edit on 6-9-2005 by loam]



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 12:04 PM
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Here is a small amount of data from the American Chemical Society, dated September 2, 2005:

Natural Disaster Impacts Chemical Enterprise




The petroleum, natural gas, and petrochemical industries along the Gulf Coast remain hindered or closed. Academic colleagues from several colleges and universities remain out of telephone or e-mail contact, their whereabouts largely unknown. And the devastation to research laboratories and other facilities along with the potential for lasting environmental damage remain unknown but of acute concern.



Read that again from the American Chemical Industry...."along with the potential for lasting environmental damage remain unknown but of acute concern."




Among the many federal employees being deployed to the area are teams dispatched by the Environmental Protection Agency to assess damage to drinking water and sewage treatment plants as well as to industrial facilities. EPA says the main focus of its response team in New Orleans so far has been rescue of stranded survivors.



What??? The EPA's main focus is on rescue of stranded survivors??? How???




EPA’s airborne spectral photometric environmental collection technology (ASPECT) plane is flying over chemical and oil facilities in flooded areas from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. Thus far, the agency reports it has found no major structural damage to those facilities and no major spills.

The ASPECT aircraft found a pipeline near Burris, La., leaking crude oil into a marsh, the agency reports. EPA says the Coast Guard is responding to that leak.



Ok, that sounds good.....BUT, then:




According to a Sept. 2 Associated Press report, an explosion in New Orleans followed by a series of smaller blasts and black smoke came from a chemical storage facility near the Mississippi River...



And????

Still digging...

[edit on 6-9-2005 by loam]



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 12:39 PM
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Originally posted by loam
More evidence this issue is being WILLFULLY IGNORED!




Draining New Orleans Could Take a Month

Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, commander of the Army Corps of Engineers, declined to make a firm estimate for completing the pumping, but said, ``We're certainly talking weeks.''

His predecessor, Robert B. Flowers, estimated at least a month. He told The Associated Press that optimistically, the pumps could lower the water as much as a foot a day, but it is likely to start more slowly.

There are six pumping stations in the city and the corps could bring in auxiliary pumps, Flowers said.

Draining New Orleans is not like pulling the plug on a bathtub drain; much of the city is below sea level so the water will have to be pumped up and out.

Contamination by oil, chemicals and sewage also complicates the effort, Flowers said.

Removing the water would be slowed if it has to be treated before it can be discharged, he said, though it might be possible to get some type of dispensation so it can be pumped quickly into the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain.





i think more along the lines that the gov't knows exactly what its doing,

later on they can plead the crossed-communications-ploy yet again.
The flood waters appear to be being pumped to where it came from...
back into Lake Pontchartrain.
But, you might be correct to think that the Corps of Engineers (Gov't)
is/is not using the confusion of the moment to pump out the flood water
willy-nilly into any outside the city direction.
An accusing party would have to provide 'evidence' of wanton, environmental contamination, when normalicy is restored.
Such behavior by our Army Corps of Engineers seem very improbable, to me.

I'll also wager that, the engineers & pollution scientists, suggest an immediate and swift pumping out process....the flood waters havn't had time to become saturated with excessive ammounts of toxicity.

for instance, the home purchased cocktail of chemicals, i.e. bleaches, lyes,
cleaners, et al, are mostly in sealed containers!...If the high level flood waters are not lethal enough for the emergency rescue people to be donning HazMat suits or wet-suits/gloves/headcover/masks to protect themselves!!! Not Yet Anyway!

However...there's a 95 acre section of central New Orleans
called the ASL= Agricultural Street Landfill
which is a buried toxic materials landfill which neighborhoods are built on.
When that area starts 'perculating' up...theres big trouble ahead.

Maybe thats what the bold text in the excerpt is referring to??
in talking about a slow-down in the pumping process & filtering the flood waters(which cannot exceed the parts-per-million guidelines of contaminates or carcinogens)
There's always reasons for actions taken by leaders or govt's
i don't think i'm too far off in some of the what-ifs presented here,
nice & informative & encompassing thread your doing...

a way-above vote your way....



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 01:00 PM
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Please don't take these responses the wrong way....


Originally posted by St Udio
I'll also wager that, the engineers & pollution scientists, suggest an immediate and swift pumping out process....the flood waters havn't had time to become saturated with excessive ammounts of toxicity.


Are you kiding? I can see the gas spills from the cars on my television! With all due respect, you will lose that bet.



for instance, the home purchased cocktail of chemicals, i.e. bleaches, lyes,
cleaners, et al, are mostly in sealed containers!


Let's just say you are right, though I disagree- taking a quick survey of my own home, I can see tons of dangerous stuff where that is NOT true. What do you think will happen when the clean-up effort begins? Will they search every nook and crany of New Orleans to safely and gingerly dispose of these items? Or, will they bull-doze severly damaged structures (which most will be after having sat in water for weeks or months) in mass?



...If the high level flood waters are not lethal enough for the emergency rescue people to be donning HazMat suits or wet-suits/gloves/headcover/masks to protect themselves!!! Not Yet Anyway!


Says who???? Moreover, if they couldn't get basic supplies into the city, why do you believe an absence of those items indicates a lack of need? Also, just how many of those items would be nationally available? And, aren't you forgetting about the victims? They couldn't drop-ship food, let alone any of those things-- not that they would anyway...


There's always reasons for actions taken by leaders or govt's


Perhaps....but that doesn't exclude incompetency or imply all motives are well intentioned.



nice & informative & encompassing thread your doing...
a way-above vote your way....


Thanks. Keep denying ignorance...... We could use more of that right now.


[edit on 6-9-2005 by loam]



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 01:31 PM
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lets see:...i can't retort every point...so i'll just do these few.


Originally posted by loam
Please don't take these responses the wrong way....



Are you kiding? I can see the gas spills from the cars on my television! With all due respect, you will lose that bet.


refer to the line i used about contaminates or carcinogens being present in established ammounts...if the toxics are present and exceed the regulated guidelines...a different handling process is required.
I see those colorful 'slicks' occassionally in the finger lake of my backyard,
looks can be decieving...and is not a adequate guide for the chemical composition of suspected contaminated water....

____________________________________________________


for instance, the home purchased cocktail of chemicals, i.e. bleaches, lyes,
cleaners, et al, are mostly in sealed containers!


Let's just say you are right, though I disagree- taking a quick survey of my own home, I can see tons of dangerous stuff where that is NOT true. What do you think will happen when the clean-up effort begins? Will they search every nook and crany of New Orleans to safely and gingerly dispose of these items? Or, will they bull-doze severly damaged structures (which most will be after having sat in water for weeks or months) in mass?


That is the time for the HAZA-MAT Protective suits & Respirators, etc
I expect them to BullDoze the former ghettos & old underground dump sites


_____________________________________________________


There's always reasons for actions taken by leaders or govt's



Perhaps....but that doesn't exclude incompetency or imply all motives are well intentioned.


Or another series of inaction & 'benign Neglect' which I -& others- feel
is a factor in the mess there in N.O.

_____________________________________________________
[edit on 6-9-2005 by loam]

LINK: www.torontosun.com...



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 01:41 PM
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St Udio

On the "containers issue"...

Just look at these two photos... I'm sure I could find more....

external image
24.26.194.142...
And this one....

external image
24.26.194.142...
Tell me what you see? If structures were demolished, why would "containers" be safe?

Also, note the slicks from every vehicle and from the demolished structures.... Quite visible....

(edit to resize images and add links to full size pictures )



[edit on 6-9-2005 by pantha]



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 02:07 PM
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Originally posted by loam.

What do you think the long term health effects will be? The economic consequences?

It just isn't that simple.

Your preaching to the choir here and I understand your reasoning to raise these issues, but who in power is going to listen to them?

Citigroup, ExxonMobil, GE, BP or Halliburton?

Yes, it is that simple to the current adminstration and the transnationals.
Since when have the conglomerates given into foresight beyond profits in the last several decades?

To be honest (no sarcasm this time), I am thoroughly disgusted with the way things are being handled, but I see I have little power to changed it. Things have not changed for the better. So, I have resigned to watching the fall of this rape, pillage and throw away society and ease the burden to those I can.

www.firstfoodbank.org...

Red tides will show you the effects of the recent pollution is what I am getting at. These will be precursor indicators, before the entire Mississippu delta dies off.

Let's clarify: The sentiment for McWorld Big Money Inc is, "who cares, what is a little more dung?"

I say it's too late and too little. We as a society are on the downward spiral and will go thru global economic and infrastructure collapse before it changes. Denial still runs rampant even in the masses, and the cycle of destruction will usually have to run its course before it changes. The same way an addict won't quit his destructive behavior until he hits the proverbial brick wall.

Below is what I see coming and your post just puts another layer into the whole idea that TPTB don't give a damn.

Global War - WWIII: How close are we?



I see your not familiar with my writng style and taking my sarcasm as a literal interpretation of my own feelings. I changed that generality about the gulf as a dead zone, but you already replied.

Surf the wave or drown in the riptide and good luck on your endeavors.


p.s. I am prone to play devil's advocate to stir up thought and learning too.



[edit on 6-9-2005 by Regenmacher]





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