It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

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

page: 7
1
<< 4  5  6    8  9 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 01:55 PM
link   
Based on the results for the chemical sampling so far, there hasn’t been a whole lot found, and the risks from the levels that have been found are fairly well understood.

Granted that there are severe problems associated with the oil spills, but that is another issue entirely.

As far as the long term issues with the pathogens go, the long term fate of these organisms is the issue. Does e-colli survive after being dried out? How many of the pathogens will still remain viable over time?

The fact of the matter is, the best thing for the city is for it to get pumped out and dried out as quickly as possible.




posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 02:57 PM
link   

Originally posted by HowardRoark
The fact of the matter is, the best thing for the city is for it to get pumped out and dried out as quickly as possible.


Still an assumption on your part. Like I said earlier, I'd prefer we knew how high the cliff was BEFORE we jumped. Moreover, to assert that nothing has been found is laughable in the face of the sampling approach the EPA has taken.

I am certain TIME will prove all I have raised here. If not, (which I HOPE is the outcome), I will provide the appropriate public mia culpas..... In the meantime, I'm staying away from the fish...

[edit on 20-9-2005 by loam]



posted on Sep, 23 2005 @ 10:38 AM
link   



Water Pours Into New Orleans Neighborhood

Water poured over a patched levee Friday, cascading into one of the city's lowest-lying neighborhoods and heightening fears that Hurricane Rita would re-flood this devastated city.

"Our worst fears came true. The levee will breach if we keep on the path we are on right now, which will fill the area that was flooded earlier," Barry Guidry with the Georgia National Guard.

Dozens of blocks in the Ninth Ward were under water as a waterfall at least 30 feet wide poured over a dike that had been used to patch breaks in the Industrial Canal. On the street that runs parallel to the canal, the water ran waist-deep and was rising fast.



Here we go again, ROUND 2. This will certainly increase the toxicity issues.

Of course they will pump again...

It will be interesting to see if the EPA will sample again...

My bet is it will be done as languidly as before.



posted on Sep, 24 2005 @ 08:52 PM
link   



Foul plume could drift to our shore

A massive plume of toxic water washed from New Orleans into the Gulf of Mexico is sliding south on its way to becoming a Florida problem.

...

Some observers say the federal government waited too long to begin monitoring the plume.

"There always should have been a plan for this," said Mitchell Roffer, a biological oceanographer from Miami. "Everyone should have been ready to do these kinds of things. ... It wasn't until the public started to complain that the agencies responded."

EPA officials say they're doing the best they can with a volume of pollution unlike anything seen before, and they vow to stay on top of it.



I'm just shaking my head on this thing and have no response.



posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 04:52 AM
link   
Also reported here:

www.local6.com...


The slick is expected to be in an area just northwest of the Florida Keys this weekend but its exact location is not known because Hurricane Rita has obscured the view of it, Reed told Local 6 News this weekend.



"If it does reach the Keys and Florida, it could open up a whole new set of problems," Reed said. "It could also get picked up by currents and brought up here to the coast of east Central Florida."

Water tests by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration won't be ready for weeks.


So, they are aware of the problem, don't have a handle on it and don't have a clue what the ultimate repersussions will be.


Water tests won't be ready for weeks? Meanwhile, the situatuion will have totally changed by then. We'll have to wait and see the further repercussions from Rita now on top of this.

Edit: Loam, I don't think you'll be having to make any mia culpa's anytime soon. You have been right on the button from the get go, and it doesn't appear anyone even looked at it till residents of the gulf being affected actually started screaming about it.

[edit on 9/26/2005 by Relentless]



posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 01:28 PM
link   
From NOAA


NOAA surveys


water movement models (cool)


From the LDEQ:


Recently, officials from the Department of Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency gave a presentation to the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, environmentalists and media. The presentation was based on 46 samples taken by DEQ from dozens of locations in and around Lake Pontchartrain. The sample results show the lake is having minimal effects from Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flood.

more




[edit on 29-9-2005 by HowardRoark]



posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 04:17 PM
link   
Some more of the same data.


Initial water samples from 24 sites in Lake Pontchartrain show higher-than-normal bacteria after Hurricane Katrina, but nothing to match the alarming predictions that the floodwater could alter the habitat of the lake permanently and damage the fisheries that depend on it, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality said.
Carlton Dufrechou, director of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, said there is no "toxic soup" in Lake Pontchartrain. The lake can recover from the damage caused by bacteria, toxins, pesticides and metals being pumped out of the city into the lake, state environmental officials said last week at a briefing on the lake's status.
Al Hindrichs, water quality coordinator for the Louisiana Environmental Quality Department, said most damage so far seemed to come from the hurricane itself, rather than from the floodwaters being pumped out of New Orleans. The biggest hits to the lake seem confined to the shore areas, officials said. Fish kills were found on the north shore because of low oxygen levels, not toxins or oils, Hindrichs said.


www.ens-newswire.com...

So far, it’s looking pretty good.



posted on Oct, 7 2005 @ 05:27 PM
link   



posted on Oct, 8 2005 @ 04:09 PM
link   
Loam - your work on this thread is outstanding. Thank you for the information - and for standing strong against the media manipulation.




posted on Oct, 24 2005 @ 01:24 PM
link   
No elevated e-coli results, no elevated pollutant results found in fish and shellfish from waters off shore from New Orleans.

www.st.nmfs.gov...



posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 11:06 AM
link   
Oyster shooters anyone?


NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AP) -- Louisiana oysters are being harvested again, although it may be another week or more before people can belly up to an oyster bar and order a dozen on the half-shell.
The beds in the eastern half of the state were tested and retested after Hurricane Katrina to ensure they were clean of chemicals or germs from the water that was pumped out of New Orleans or ran off of other areas.


www.cnn.com...

So far there doesn’t seem to be any hard evidence that pumping out the flood waters from New Orleans has caused any major environmental disaster.

Granted there are some environmental issues down there as a result of Katrina, but they are fairly localized. Any widespread pollution in that area is from decades of prior industrialization, not as a result of Katrina.

Time to let this thread die.



posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 01:55 PM
link   

Originally posted by HowardRoark
Oyster shooters anyone?


Be my guest if you think they are safe enough to eat....Let me ask you....How were these oysters tested? By whom? And, for what?

Yup, sounds safe to me... I'm convinced enough to risk it...



Originally posted by HowardRoark
Time to let this thread die.



Not likely.....




Katrina Floodwaters Not As Toxic To Humans As Previously Thought, Study Says

The floodwaters that inundated New Orleans immediately following Hurricane Katrina were similar in content to the city’s normal storm water and were not as toxic as previously thought, according to a study by researchers at Louisiana State University. Their study, the first peer-reviewed scientific assessment of the water quality of the Katrina floodwaters, is good news for those who’ve been exposed directly to the floodwaters, the scientists say.

But the LSU researchers caution that the same floodwaters that were pumped back into Lake Pontchartrain contain high levels of some toxic metals, especially copper and zinc, and could pose a long-term danger to the area’s aquatic life, which are more sensitive to the metals than humans...

"What we had in New Orleans was basically a year’s worth of storm water flowing through the city in only a few days," says study leader John Pardue, Ph.D., an environmental engineer and director of the Louisiana Water Resources Research Institute at LSU in Baton Rouge. "We still don’t think the floodwaters were safe, but it could have been a lot worse. It was not the chemical catastrophe some had expected..."

The researchers found high levels of bacteria, most likely from fecal contamination resulting from sewage. Levels were within the range of typical storm-water runoff in the city, the scientists say. They also detected high levels of lead, arsenic and chromium and noted that levels of these toxic metals were also similar to those typically found in the area’s stormwater. In general, these particular findings were similar to those obtained by the Environmental Protection Agency in their initial assessment of the floodwaters, the researchers say.

Gasoline was also a significant component of the floodwaters, as measured by elevated levels of three of its components: benzene, toluene and ethylbenzene. These compounds were somewhat elevated in comparison to typical stormwater runoff, the researchers say. The chemicals most likely came from cars and storage tanks submerged in the floodwaters, they add.

Compounds found in common household chemicals were also detected in the floodwaters, Pardue says. The waters contained chemical compounds from aerosol paints, insecticides, caulking compounds, rubber adhesives and other common substances, they say, but at levels that typically do not create concern for human health.

If the floodwaters had occurred in another location near more industrial sites in the city and if the wind damage or water surge had been more severe, then the resultant floodwaters could have been a more serious toxic threat, Pardue says. "Instead, the city filled slowly, like a bathtub, and the water velocities and forces on the buildings, including chemical storage facilities, were relatively benign," he says. The large volume of floodwater also diluted the potency of many of the chemicals, he adds.

While serious toxicity to human life was largely avoided, the floodwater may pose a chemical risk to aquatic life in the area, Pardue says. He believes that low oxygen levels in the water that is being pumped back into Lake Pontchartrain could result in fish kills. He also says that heavy metals being discharged into the lake, particularly copper and zinc, can be toxic to fish and other marine life and may bioaccumulate and contaminate seafood collected from the region. More studies are needed to assess the long-term impact of the flood on aquatic life, Pardue says...



What was that you were saying, Howard???? Doesn't sound decided to me at all.



posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 03:02 PM
link   

HISTORIC STORMWATER DISCHARGE
FLOODWATER DISCHARGE:
Concentration Levels In Floodwaters
• Post-Katrina floodwaters were pumped into canals
and then discharged to Lake Pontchartrain
• These floodwater discharge concentrations were
compared to historical permitted discharge
monitoring reports (DMRs) for stormwater
• Comparison of maximum detected results
revealed very little difference between historical
norms and post-Katrina levels



Looking at some historical sample data indicates that the lake was far from pristine to begin with.

Overall, the contaminants discharged were no worse then from a years worth of heavy rains. This has been going on there for decades.

If you want to talk about the need for better sewage treatment, stormwater management and watershed protections, fine. This area obviously needs to address these issues. But please, don’t indiscriminately start claiming that a devastating environmental disaster will occur because of the pumping after the hurricane.

Yes there will probably be some long term effects from the hurricane, but those effects will be minimal at best and difficult to separate from the general environmental damage to the region that has been ocuuring for decades already.




[edit on 25-10-2005 by HowardRoark]



posted on Nov, 6 2005 @ 04:42 PM
link   





Extreme cleanup on tap in New Orleans

Massive effort planned to remove hazardous chemicals deposited in soil by flood


The Army Corps of Engineers is planning one of the biggest environmental cleanups ever attempted: scraping miles of sediment laced with cancer-causing chemicals from New Orleans' hurricane-flooded neighborhoods, The Dallas Morning News has learned.

Contaminants in the sediment include toxic metals, industrial compounds, petroleum byproducts and a banned insecticide, all at levels that signal potential cancer risks or other long-term hazards, a News review of government test results shows.

The cleanup plans would involve crews using front-end loaders to scoop up contaminated sediment that Hurricane Katrina floods left in yards, playgrounds and other spots throughout the greater New Orleans area. In some instances, protecting people might require steps less radical than removing soil, such as planting grass to cover contaminated yards.

It's not clear which remedy would apply in which neighborhoods, or how officials will decide. The plans have not yet been completed or made public but were described to The News by several sources familiar with them.

In all cases, however, the task would be complex and huge, with crews covering nearly an entire city and its suburbs while maneuvering around the remaining debris and damaged houses.

Concern about contamination is a major reason the city is allowing residents from some of the most heavily flooded areas only the chance to check on their houses, not stay, said Dr. Kevin U. Stephens, New Orleans' city health director.

Proper removal of the contaminated sediment will ensure that residents won't face undue toxic risks as a result of the floods, Dr. Stephens said.

"If the corps does what it's supposed to do, it should work," he added.

Decisions are still evolving on whatever follow-up testing might occur to check the long-term health of the New Orleans environment after the sediment is gone, said William H. Farland, the Environmental Protection Agency's acting deputy administrator for science.

Local environmentalists complain that they and other members of the public have been shut out of the decisions.

"We've cooperated with the EPA on a great many things over the years," said Wilma Subra, a consulting chemist in New Iberia, La., who is monitoring the hurricanes' environmental impact for the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, an advocacy group. "Now, we're having a hard time getting our calls returned."


Much More....



I smell a rat! Though I do not see the smoking gun yet, I remain convinced that this is the biggest sham in US environmental history. Mark my words... The EPA is NOT to be trusted.



posted on Nov, 6 2005 @ 05:33 PM
link   

Originally posted by loam

I smell a rat! Though I do not see the smoking gun yet, I remain convinced that this is the biggest sham in US environmental history. Mark my words... The EPA is NOT to be trusted.



Okay. I bite. What rat do you smell? What's the sham?

BTW - I agree. The EPA is NOT to be trusted. Ref. The politicization of science.



posted on Nov, 6 2005 @ 05:48 PM
link   

Originally posted by soficrow
Okay. I bite. What rat do you smell? What's the sham?


The sampling and testing methodology is purposefully flawed. This is the 911 science approach taken all over again.

Ask yourself, why all of the secrecy? Why the change in behavior with EPA's interaction with non-governmental groups?

Trust me...we will all learn the truth soon enough.



posted on Nov, 6 2005 @ 05:53 PM
link   

Originally posted by loam

Originally posted by soficrow
Okay. I bite. What rat do you smell? What's the sham?


The sampling and testing methodology is purposefully flawed. This is the 911 science approach taken all over again.

Ask yourself, why all of the secrecy?


My call a while ago was that this all would be manipulated as an excuse to (mis)appropriate land - but I want to know what you think.



posted on Nov, 7 2005 @ 03:59 PM
link   
from the whole article refrenced above:


The Army Corps of Engineers is planning one of the biggest environmental cleanups ever attempted: scraping miles of sediment laced with cancer-causing chemicals from New Orleans' hurricane-flooded neighborhoods, The Dallas Morning News has learned.
Contaminants in the sediment include toxic metals, industrial compounds, petroleum byproducts and a banned insecticide, all at levels that signal potential cancer risks or other long-term hazards, a News review of government test results shows.
The cleanup plans would involve crews using front-end loaders to scoop up contaminated sediment that Hurricane Katrina floods left in yards, playgrounds and other spots throughout the greater New Orleans area. In some instances, protecting people might require steps less radical than removing soil, such as planting grass to cover contaminated yards.


So far they are talking about the typical type of clean up common in most innercity neighborhoods affected by lead based paint (LBP) clean ups today.


It's not clear which remedy would apply in which neighborhoods, or how officials will decide. The plans have not yet been completed or made public but were described to The News by several sources familiar with them.


So, in other words, they are still conducting the risk assessments to figure out where the worst problems are. Does anyone have a problem with that?


In all cases, however, the task would be complex and huge, with crews covering nearly an entire city and its suburbs while maneuvering around the remaining debris and damaged houses.
Concern about contamination is a major reason the city is allowing residents from some of the most heavily flooded areas only the chance to check on their houses, not stay, said Dr. Kevin U. Stephens, New Orleans' city health director.
Proper removal of the contaminated sediment will ensure that residents won't face undue toxic risks as a result of the floods, Dr. Stephens said.
"If the corps does what it's supposed to do, it should work," he added.
Decisions are still evolving on whatever follow-up testing might occur to check the long-term health of the New Orleans environment after the sediment is gone, said William H. Farland, the Environmental Protection Agency's acting deputy administrator for science.
Local environmentalists complain that they and other members of the public have been shut out of the decisions.
"We've cooperated with the EPA on a great many things over the years," said Wilma Subra, a consulting chemist in New Iberia, La., who is monitoring the hurricanes' environmental impact for the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, an advocacy group. "Now, we're having a hard time getting our calls returned."


Has it occurred to these people that people are busy? Believe me, as with anything else the EPA will hold plenty of public meetings to discuss the issues. Just because you are with the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, doesn’t mean that you will get preferential treatment over the rest of the public.


EPA spokeswoman Eryn Witcher said the agency is releasing information as quickly as possible, but she and other EPA officials emphasized that they can offer only their best advice. Decisions, such as repopulating New Orleans, are strictly up to city officials, she said.


I think we just identified the source of the problem.


Information about the possible long-term risks in dozens of New Orleans neighborhoods is crucial as people decide whether to return home and as the city decides where or whether to rebuild.


All the more reason to take the time to be sure that the information is as accurate and complete as possible. This takes time.


Despite one widely publicized study that said the Katrina floodwater was no more polluted than typical urban floods, The News' examination of the EPA's tests of flood-deposited sediments reveals long-term health concerns if the contamination were to remain.


Am I the only one that finds that statement to be misleading, stupid and sensationalistic?

It appears from that statement that The Dallas Morning News is trying to compare the contaminants found in the flood waters to the contaminants in the sediment, in spite of the fact that they are two totally separate issues.

They are implying that there is something wrong if the two sets of data don’t match, feeding the fears of people who don’t really understand how this works.

Hardly what I would consider an example of responsible journalism.


Contaminated sediment was always a more serious long-term worry than floodwater, since the water was quickly removed. In September, experts advised the EPA that toxic dust could spread as the sediment dried.


Notice how they back peddle here. Of course the sediments are a bigger long term worry. What his has to do with the floodwater sampling I don’t know.


The EPA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta also warned that comprehensive tests were needed "to identify any widespread contamination or selected hot spots and to ensure the safety of returning inhabitants or for redevelopment."
The EPA's sampling plan, assembled in just a few days in mid-September and quickly reviewed by outside scientific experts, targeted nearly 200 toxic substances in sediment left by the receding water.
Between Sept. 10 and Oct. 1, field crews of up to 100 government and contractor employees took sediment samples from about 300 sites in the New Orleans area. A few additional sediment samples came after Oct. 1.
Workers took only the top layer of soil, trying to avoid any contaminated earth that might have been there before the floods.


Do you have any idea how long it takes to analyze and QA/QC 300 samples?


The EPA initially told its outside science advisors that it would compare the results to screening levels that the agency's regional office uses to gauge potential long-term health risks in soil at toxic waste sites.
The EPA considers the screening levels to be very conservative, aiming in most cases to make sure that a person exposed to the contaminant for 30 years would have no more than a 1-in-1 million chance of developing cancer as a result.
The levels are not legal limits for contamination in soil. Instead, they guide experts to problems that might need a closer look – like a forest ranger using powerful binoculars to scan the woods for tiny wisps of smoke.
However, the EPA never published a comparison of New Orleans sediment tests to screening levels. Instead, it worked with federal health officials to use other measurements that looked for short-term hazards, a method more likely to protect those most immediately at risk, such as first-responders and rescue workers.


This paragraph is confusing and misleading. What I think they are trying to say is that the EPA has risk based lean up standards based on one set of exposure pathways and risk criteria, and that other agencies (i.e. OSHA) has different standards for different population (i.e. worker protection standards).

Further it is not clear what “other measurements” were used. Although I’m guessing that they collected some airborne dust samples as well.

What is the problem with this? The Dallas Morning News seems to be implying that there is something wrong here, yet I don’t see it, certainly the workers are entitled to proper protection also. The health protection standards for the worker population are not the same as for the general population. They never have been.



Although it said it found no toxic threats that would be "immediately hazardous to human health," the EPA cautioned people working in the formerly flooded areas, as well as any returning residents, to avoid contact with contaminated sediment.
"We've made it very clear" that the stuff in many yards is dangerous, Dr. Farland said.
But some other experts say the no-contact warning would do people little good under real conditions. "What are they supposed to do, fly over their yards?" asked Ms. Subra.
In an attempt to understand possible long-term health concerns, The News reviewed the EPA test results of every chemical test at every site in Orleans Parish through Oct. 1 and compared them with the EPA's screening levels for residential soil. The raw data was posted on the agency's Web site.
Altogether, the samples contained at least 77 of the nearly 200 chemicals tested for, the review found. Although most were below the screening levels, at least 15 were higher.
Eight of those that were higher than screening levels are known, probable or possible causes of cancer in people. The most widespread was arsenic, a known human carcinogen.


And a very, very very, common contaminant in most peoples back yards. Arsenic is the main ingredient of pressure treated wood. Improper handling of this wood during the installation and maintenance of treated wood decks and other structures has resulted in high arsenic contamination all over the place. Arsenic was also a very common component of pesticides for termite control.


It appeared at virtually every site tested. All but one of the sites that contained the toxic metal had more than the EPA's cancer-risk screening level for arsenic in residential soil, which is 0.39 parts per million.
The highest arsenic level found was 78 parts per million, 200 times the screening level.


Like I said, arsenic is a common contaminant in many soils
www.google.com...

while 70 ppm, is pretty high, it should be pointed out that 0.39 ppm is higher than most natural background levels.
soil.scijournals.org...


The vast majority of the sites tested had 10 times the cancer screening level.


Which is in all probability due to natural background levels.


Cancer-causing petrochemicals were also widespread, as were toxic components of diesel fuel. About 150 residential test sites had as much diesel as the soil around a leaking underground tank.


Now that has to be the stupidest statement of this article so far.

Since contaminant levels from a leaking underground storage tank can range from zero, to saturated (free product), you could make this statement about any place in the U.S.

It’s not that I don’t beleve thatthere are hydrocarbon contaminants, there are, especially in those areas hit by actual oil spills, it is just that I object to the stupid, and sensationalistic B.S. represented by this article.


A component of creosote called benzo(a)pyrene occurred above the screening level at 100 sites. The highest was 570 times the screening level.


BAP is also produced when you barbeque meat, did you know that?



A related chemical, benzo(b)fluoranthene, was above the screening level at 68 sites. The EPA says those two chemicals probably cause cancer, while California state officials say they definitely do.


yeah, In California, everything causes cancer.



The banned insecticide dieldrin, used against termites until 1987, showed up at 58 locations. As with arsenic, virtually all the samples had levels higher than the EPA guideline for safe neighborhood soil.


Yeah, but the houses didn’t have termites, now did they? You could make the same statemnt for every city in a termite prone area.


Lead exceeded the EPA guideline at 17 sites. Several others appeared only a few times.
The screening levels alone are not enough to judge the actual long-term risk, EPA officials cautioned. A single site in a neighborhood might not be representative; the surrounding area might actually be higher or lower.

Only a formal risk assessment, a routine procedure in typical toxic-waste cleanups, would fully explain how much long-term danger a site poses. But that would require much more information than the EPA has been able to gather, given the extremely tight deadlines and dangerous field conditions that the Katrina disaster imposed.
And the EPA's sampling and cleanup plans addressed only the flood-deposited sediment outdoors. Planning for any cleanup inside homes or other buildings would be a state and local responsibility.

So what are they complaining about? They know that a full risk assessment will take time.


Corps officials expect the sediment removal work to take from 45 to 58 days after plans are approved. The corps is said to be developing four different projects for different areas, but concerns raised by other federal agencies could result in a single plan for the entire flood zone, sources familiar with the planning said.
Corps spokesman Jim Pogue said FEMA would tell the corps to start work after other federal agencies and New Orleans and Louisiana officials agree on the plans.
Environmental groups trying to monitor the cleanup say they want more information on how the government will guarantee people's health for decades, not just weeks.
"We're saying the same thing that we've said since the beginning," said Marylee Orr, executive director of the Louisiana Environmental Action Network. "It's the long-term risk that's the real concern."
Dr. Farland, the EPA scientist, said the agency shares that concern.
"We're not saying ... that there would not be a concern," he said. The main question is "How do we remove the source of any concern?"


once again, someone who doesn’t understand the differences in exposure levels set for residential properties and for occupational exposures.

Clean up objectives will be set for the appropriate exposure pathway.

Worker protection during the clean up is a totally separate issue.

Why are people confusing the two?



posted on Nov, 8 2005 @ 07:09 AM
link   
Yeah, all that you say would be fine, if anything the EPA says was TRUSTWORTHY.


In case there is any confusion, let me remind readers of the following:


SCI/TECH: U.S. Still Silencing Scientists

Senators Accuse EPA of Minimizing Health Hazards in New Orleans

Study: 9/11 Dust Causing Health Problems

Bill Would Let E.P.A. Relax Rules for Cleanup

Cover-up: toxic waters 'will make New Orleans unsafe for a decade

EPA's Suppression of Information Following World Trade Center Disaster

You may continue to believe blissfully in what you wish. I, however, remain far more skeptical.


[edit on 8-11-2005 by loam]



posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 01:55 AM
link   





Did some in New Orleans return too soon?

New Orleans is bustling with salvage operations and plans to raise the city from the ruins of Katrina. But if environmental activists had been in charge of the cleanup, the recovery would have looked a lot different.

Bowing to anxious residents, local officials have opened the city and its suburbs for rebuilding.

Activists see that pressure as natural, but they are angry that the federal Environmental Protection Agency didn’t step in and halt the return of people in the worst-hit areas until scientists had a better idea of the extent of contamination in the wreckage, air and soil.

They accuse the agency of leaving the false impression that all areas were safe for return when in fact only a limited number of neighborhoods were tested, and of not stressing in public announcements this basic fact: The test results released in the first two months after Katrina are not an indicator of long-term health risks.

“The EPA and other health agencies should immediately broaden the environmental testing that is done,” Kim Dunn Chapital, director of Dillard University’s Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, told the Senate Environment Committee last Wednesday...



Looks like I'm not the only one skeptical...





The case of benzene

At issue is how to test for contaminants inside homes, on streets and in lawns, and then how to publicize those results.

Take benzene. Refineries make the colorless liquid from crude oil, and it is used as a gasoline additive, among other things. But benzene can also cause leukemia if exposure is long-term, and it has been detected in the air and sediment in parts of New Orleans, home to many refineries and chemical plants.

Figuring emergency responders would not face long exposures to contaminants, the EPA compared initial benzene samples to the limits for one-day exposure.

That limit is 50 parts benzene per billion parts air. Anything below that is considered safe if exposure is just for one day. The limit drops to 4 parts per billion when exposure is over a two-week period.

Only one tested site was above 50, a neighborhood in the suburb of Chalmette where floodwaters damaged a refinery storage tank, causing a major spill.

But activists say that most residents aren’t likely to return home for just a day, and that limits for two-week exposure should have been used — and publicized.

In testimony before Congress in September, Erik Olson, an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, noted that the initial EPA sampling found 14 sites with benzene levels twice the two-week limit of 4 ppb standard, ranging from 8.2 to 21 ppb.



The article continues....




Activists unconvinced

But the overall EPA approach doesn’t sit well with Karen Rolfes, director of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, an environmental group active in the New Orleans area long before Katrina.

“I’ve got one word for it,” she said of the EPA’s testing: “Pathetic.”

“There certainly has not been enough sampling,” she said, and in the worst-hit areas, particularly Chalmette, “residents have no idea that EPA has done any sampling.”

Rolfes blames both local officials and the EPA, but she’s particularly livid with how the EPA in its initial news release described the Chalmette results as showing just “slightly elevated levels” of benzene and toluene, another refinery product used in paints and adhesives.

“You cannot call those slightly elevated,” she says of the readings, which reached 170 ppb. “That’s 40 times greater” than the two-week standard.

More...



Yeah, I know....Bla, bla, bla.... We should believe everything the EPA tells us...






[edit on 9-11-2005 by loam]



new topics




 
1
<< 4  5  6    8  9 >>

log in

join