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If you think this thread is just about "fish", you have totally missed the point of this thread. How many more lives will be placed at risk, because of this blind, cliff-jumping approach? Do you understand the potential long term impact and how that translates in not just health concerns, but economic ones???
Originally posted by Timcouchfanclub So whats the plan?
Do you just leave the city as is?
Do you tell the people to find some other place to live? What do you do?
But we are in the NOW and right NOW this is about the best looking plan.
Oil spillages threaten Gulf of Mexico
Oil storage tanks ruptured by Hurricane Katrina may have dumped as much as 3.7m gallons of crude oil into the lower Mississippi river and surrounding wetlands.
Officials estimate the spillage at roughly a third of the volume of the huge spill when the tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground off Alaska in 1989. Last night experts said they could not yet assess the short-term effects of the spills but were hopeful there would be few long-term effects. Some of the oil is expected to find its way into the Gulf of Mexico.
But officials at the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality remain cautious because it is difficult to gain access to the area, which can be reached only by water. It is also unclear how much oil has been lost.
The largest spill, believed to be about 3.3m gallons of crude oil, occurred after two 80,000-barrel storage tanks ruptured at a Bass Enterprises Production site at Cox Bay, Louisiana, just above the mouth of the river.
The tanks were not full at the time of the rupture, a company executive said. Nevertheless, if current estimates prove correct, the spill would be big as a 1969 incident following a blow-out at an offshore well near Santa Barbara, California. That accident is seen as seminal to the development of the US environmental movement.
The second spill at the Murphy Oil Corporation refinery at Meraux, Louisiana, is thought by state officials to have released 420,000 gallons of crude into a flooded area around the refinery. The Murphy spill was discovered by aerial surveillance a few days ago. The Coast Guard, the federal Environmental Protection Agency and a clean-up contractor are working at the site to contain the oil. Contractors have also been dispatched to the Bass spill.
Eric Olsen, a spokesman for the National Resources Defense Council, said the environmental group was attempting to monitor the clean-up and remained concerned about possible threats to drinking water. In recent days concern has mounted over toxic water in New Orleans. The polluted water is being pumped into Lake Ponchartrain, where it is likely to cause significant short-term environmental damage.
Frank Manheim, an associate professor at Virginia’s George Mason University and an expert on pollution in Lake Ponchartrain, said the environmental impact “probably will not be very long lasting but it may be severe in the short term”. Experts said Ponchartrain – an estuary on the Gulf – should not suffer significant long-term damage.
But Prof Manheim, a former geochemist at the US Geological Survey, said the floodwater could be polluted with “things that are serious that we don’t know about”, including pesticides and toxic chemicals.
Originally posted by loam
Originally posted by dave_54
What's the alternative? -- letting it sit there until it soaks into the soil and contaminate the entire city for centuries?
That will already be the case.
Do nothing until tens of billions of dollars are spent on building massive water treatment plants?
Perhaps, or as you start that sentence....do nothing. I know that sounds radical, but I didn't deal the cards.
[edit on 7-9-2005 by loam]
Katrina Takes Environmental Toll: Water Could Be Unsafe for Years
By Timothy Dwyer, Jacqueline L. Salmon and Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, September 7, 2005; Page A01
NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 6 -- The dank and putrid floodwaters choking this once-gracious city are so poisoned with gasoline, industrial chemicals, feces and other contaminants that even casual contact is hazardous, and safe drinking water may not be available for the entire population for years to come, state and federal officials warned Tuesday.
Environmental damage 'a creeping catastrophe'
Long after murky water is pumped out of New Orleans and debris is cleared from the Gulf Coast, efforts to recover from Hurricane Katrina will be hampered by the soggy, potentially toxic mess left behind...
Even before the storm hit, many of the region's waterways were among the dirtiest in the nation. Louisiana ranks fourth in the nation for releases of toxic chemicals into rivers and streams, and it leads the nation in releases of chemicals that persist in the environment and build up in the human body, according to government data...
In the short term, the sheer volume of water should dilute any chemicals that leak into New Orleans. But experts say the city could face long-term problems from contaminated sediment left behind once the floodwaters are pumped away.
"There are going to be concentrations that could turn some areas into brownfields," said Thomas La Point, director of the Institute of Applied Sciences at the University of North Texas, referring to a term used to describe polluted industrial sites.
Some neighborhoods could be so contaminated that they would be unfit for building houses, he said.
Industrial waste is certain to make cleanup efforts more difficult, La Point said. So are the many cans of paints, solvents, fertilizers and pesticides stewing in flooded garages and basements. If the chemicals haven't already leaked into floodwaters, La Point said, household containers soon will rust in the warm, brackish floodwaters inundating New Orleans.
"This is a creeping catastrophe," he said. "We thought they had missed the big shot, but they could be facing very serious problems for years to come."
To speed efforts to pump floodwaters back into Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River, the EPA is waiving the need for Clean Water Act permits. Some of the toxic muck will end up floating downstream or settling to the lake and river bottom.
Originally posted by Timcouchfanclub
In my opinion the most logical way to clean this up is to get the water out ASAP.
Originally posted by Timcouchfanclub
Yeah I have read the posts but how are you supposed to start cleaning up and rebuilding with the water in the city?
Additionally, no one is considering that even with the water gone, you may still not be able to live there because of the contamination.... If that turns out to be true, which I believe it will, what was gained by draining the city? Or, more importantly, what was lost?
Contaminated Water Had to Be Poured Into Lake, EPA Chief Says
By H. Josef Hebert Associated Press Writer
Published: Sep 8, 2005
WASHINGTON (AP - The decision to pour heavily contaminated floodwaters from New Orleans streets into Lake Pontchartrain was a difficult one and could pose new environmental problems in the years ahead, the chief of the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday.
"We were all faced with a difficult choice," EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson said in an interview with The Associated Press. "The choice was, we have to get the water out of New Orleans for the health and safety of the people and we need to put it someplace."
The other option was to pour it into the Mississippi River, where it eventually would move into the Gulf of Mexico, said Johnson. "Our collective judgment was to put it into Lake Pontchartrain."
He said he could not speculate on the possible environmental fallout for the massive freshwater tidal estuary, but the EPA was prepared to "take whatever steps we need to take" to deal with future environmental problems.
Of the watery soup that has engulfed New Orleans, Johnson said: "This water is very unsafe. It's a health hazard."
The first set of samples tested show it has a level of sewage-related bacteria that is at least 10 times higher than acceptable, as well as a surprising amount of lead. Louisiana officials believe it is laced with an assortment of heavy metals, pesticides and toxic chemicals.
Johnston said the EPA is testing for more than 100 chemicals from heavy metals, pesticides, industrial chemicals and PCBs and expects a more definitive word on the makeup of the hazardous brew in the coming days, possibly as early as this weekend.
So far, the EPA tests have been focused in residential areas and in the French Quarter, not the industrial areas where the floodwaters are likely to be more heavily laced with toxic substances, said Johnson.
"We don't know where the lead came from," said Johnson. "The samples that were taken were not near any industrial area." But he noted the city was full of old homes with lead paint and asbestos, which is probably also in the water.
Johnson said the EPA will also examine sediment for lead and other contaminants. If it is also contaminated, the cleanup could include removal of tons of soil and sediment.
"This is a huge area that encompasses three states," Johnson said. "Given the magnitude of this disaster we at this point can't say what the magnitude of the environmental challenges will be."
Johnson said the EPA is also taking air samples and using sophisticated detection systems to determine whether there might have been radiological releases from hospitals or university research facilities. So far no evidence of such releases has been found, he said.
The 630-square-mile Lake Pontchartrain formed some 5,000 years ago by the meandering Mississippi River. Many scientists believe it will survive the latest onslaught, although the effects may linger for decades.