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

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posted on Nov, 10 2005 @ 02:38 PM
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Originally posted by loam

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 long term issue of benzene exposure from a surface spill is not really an issue, since benzene volatilizes fairly rapidly from soil and surface waters. It also degrades quickly through photochemical processes or biodegradation.

In those cases where the neighborhoods and houses were impacted by oil spills, those houses will likely be torn down anyway. Furthermore, the cleanup of those areas is the responsibility of the oil companies, not the EPA.

So. All in all, this sounds like another case of alarmist sensationalism.




posted on Nov, 10 2005 @ 06:08 PM
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Originally posted by HowardRoark
So. All in all, this sounds like another case of alarmist sensationalism.


Or blissful ignorance and blind trust.



posted on Nov, 11 2005 @ 01:01 PM
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Originally posted by loam

Originally posted by HowardRoark
So. All in all, this sounds like another case of alarmist sensationalism.


Or blissful ignorance and blind trust.


Yeah, it goes without saying that the authors of that tripe are blissfully ignorant of science, most reporters are. It is when they start trusting alarmists for their information instead of scientists that they start running into trouble.


So let me ask you this, just exactly who will be affected by the presense of benzene in the flood sediments?

The people whose houses were impacted by the oil spilled from Murphy oil?

No. They won't be moving back into those houses.


Children? By what pathway or route would the be exposed?

A good read:

Risk Assessment Basics

(Be sure to read the various chapeters listed on the right side of the page.)



[edit on 11-11-2005 by HowardRoark]



posted on Nov, 12 2005 @ 02:09 AM
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Well, the deed is done now, but when you think about it what was the alternative. Leave NO under water? The water actually went out into Lake Ponchartrain, which was declared unsafe for swimming in my teen years and had been the subject of a massive campaign to revive. But again, the alternative was to re-pollute the lake or leave most of the city uninhabitable.



posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 11:51 AM
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Toxic Residue of Hurricane Stirs Debate on Habitation

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 - The debate over whether the toxic discharges that swept over New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish after Hurricane Katrina have left the area unfit for human habitation reignited on Thursday, as state environmental officials and local environmental and citizens' groups accused one another of misinterpreting data.

A toxicologist for the State of Louisiana said in an interview Thursday that about 95 percent of the city was fit for long-term human habitation.

A few hours earlier, representatives of local environmental and citizens' groups, citing samples the government collected from the sediment in once-flooded areas and their own samples, said at a news conference that without an extensive cleanup of toxic sediments, at least 75 percent of the city was unfit for families with children.

Asked whether the city was safe enough for people to return for the long term, Tom Coleman, a Superfund specialist at the Dallas regional office of the Environmental Protection Agency working in New Orleans, replied: "We haven't said that. And we're not going to say that. Safety is a very difficult concept. For our agency to make that declaration, that would be somewhat of an absolute, and these are not absolute situations..."

more...



What a farse....


Let me ask a question... How many of you would be willing to move your families down there?????


[edit on 2-12-2005 by loam]



posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 02:44 PM
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Good post loam - thanks. It reminded me of an article I had filed to post. Now in the Katrina conspiracies forum:

Katrina Victims Face Insurance Nightmare


I suspect that understanding the insurance angle will help sort through the rest of it...



posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 11:54 PM
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Oh, and in case I haven't driven home the fact that NOTHING the EPA does can be trusted....




Congress Researchers Fault EPA Studies

WASHINGTON - Researchers who work for Congress say the Environmental Protection Agency skewed its analysis of air pollution legislation to favor President Bush's plan.

EPA's analysis "works in favor of" Bush's plan by overstating some costs of competing bills, said a report Friday by the Congressional Research Service. The 2002 Bush plan, dubbed "Clear Skies," remains stalled in Congress.

"Although it represents a step toward understanding the impacts of the legislative options, EPA's analysis is not as useful as one could hope," the report concludes.

It took three years for EPA to provide comparisons of Bush's plan with competing versions by Sens. Tom Carper, D-Del., and James Jeffords, I-Vt.

When it did in October, the EPA said its analysis showed the superiority of the Bush proposal, which relies on market forces to cut pollution from the nation's 600 coal-burning power plants but does not address global warming.

EPA officials dismissed any notion of playing favorites.

more...



yeah, right...



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 04:34 PM
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Environmental fear mongering:


The arsenic levels in all of the samples require soil removal or cleanup to protect residents' health, according to the EPA's regional (Region 6) guidelines. The average level of arsenic NRDC found in Orleans Parish, for example, was more than 12 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of soil -- more than 30 times higher than the level (0.39 mg/kg) requiring cleanup in residential areas to protect against cancer.

www.yubanet.com...

While that level of arsenic is rather high, it is also, unfortunately, at the natural background level for Louisiana.


6. The state background level for arsenic in soil was 7 mg/kg under RECAP 2000. In the new document (RECAP 2003), the background arsenic level for soil is given as 12 mg/kg in Tables 1 (SoilSSni and SoilSSi) and 2 (Soilni and Soili). Why did the background level change?

Under RECAP 2000, the arithmetic mean was used to represent the background concentration regardless of the number of samples comprising the background data set. Under RECAP 2003, if the background data set contains < 7 data points then the arithmetic mean is used as the background concentration and if the background data set contains > 8 sample points, then the arithmetic mean plus one standard deviation may be used as the background concentration (refer to Section 2.13 for further guidelines). The data set used to calculate the state background arsenic concentration in soil consists of 83 data points (Total Metal Concentrations in Louisiana Surface Soils, LSU Cooperative Extension Service, 1990). Therefore, to be consistent with RECAP 2003, the state background concentration was recalculated to represent the arithmetic mean plus one standard deviation:


www.deq.state.la.us...


In fact, the state has some arsenic in well water issues also.
www.dhh.louisiana.gov...



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 09:22 AM
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As I predicted...it was only a matter of time...




Mysterious illness could have Katrina ties

Pafford Ambulance Service EMT Greg Coleman watched the polluted water of a flooded New Orleans stain, rust and generally erode the metal slide action of his Glock handgun.

Now the toxic water is threatening his health, as well as other Ruston-area first-responders who answered medical and law enforcement calls for assistance after back-to-back hurricanes earlier this year that may have changed Louisiana’s Crescent City and other Gulf Coast parishes forever...

Coleman is not alone. Other area law enforcement and emergency service volunteers also are reporting medical problems and attempting to alert the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to recognize the health hazard being dubbed the Katrina Rash or New Orleans Crud...



Trust me, these reports will get worse...



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 09:36 AM
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WyrdeOne just reported here that the feds are turning the money and oversight of New Orleans/Louisiana renewal over to corporate interests.

Louisia na Recovery Corporation

So watcha think? Will the Recovery Corporation be honest and do a real clean-up? Or just play it for profit?






posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 09:51 AM
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Originally posted by soficrow
WyrdeOne just reported here that the feds are turning the money and oversight of New Orleans/Louisiana renewal over to corporate interests.

Louisia na Recovery Corporation


the feds are not turning money over to corporate interests. a plan is being presented to The House. The article states that the plan is still being tweaked and that the liberals are behind it and the conservatives are not but it has not yet been passed and nothing is happening yet.



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 10:18 AM
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Great thread Loam, very good indeed.

I see the passion in your arguments and I will in no way indict you for such admirable commitment.

I would like to ask a few questions along with pointing out a few commonly known facts. Please understand that these questions and facts are not presented with an agenda to flame, cause one to defend a position, or anything of the sort.

Consider these questions asked across a table in a quiet bar some place while sipping a beverage. Hey, look they got shrimp here . . . came from the gulf - want some? My treat. (There's an opening for you)


The deed has happened and the issue as I see it is one of what to do from here. I hope this is a correct starting point because if it is not - boy am I going to look dumb!

While everyone agrees that the materials contained in the contaminated water is envoronmentally devistating, not everyone agrees on what to do with it. This brings me to a commonly agreed upon point.
*Fresh water generally flows to the ocean. I doubt many will argue the point.

With this in mind we can ask which is the best course of action to take regarding such contaminated water? As I see it we can either pump it directly back into the ocean or we can pump it into an inland lake in the hopes that it filters somewhat before getting back to the ocean that it will immutably get to anyways. Or it can be left to sit and filter same as the lake senario. The last point would suggest where water has entered storage facility tanks below water level that it could continue to leech over many months (years?) into the sitting water. I don't think this is a good course of action. Jump in if I'm wrong with such a position.

The point I am making is one of the water getting to the ocean any way. (Waitress comes around. "Excuse me, can I get some shrimp for me and my buddy, Loam?" Loam faints.................thud!!) Yikes!


What I am appealing to here is common sense outside government influence, environmental studies that many times are in conflict with other studies, or a tide of influence outside of common sense -- you know, it's a conspiracy!, we're all gonna die! Outside stuff like that.

Please note that the use of the term common sense is not used to impinge any one's charater, not at all. It is a term used to cull personal, gut feel, what's right or wrong, perspectives. In short, your personal gut feelings.

Mine is one of feeling that pumping the water into an inland lake is as good as anything that, within financial viability, might be done. I know it will contaminate the aquifers and ground soil. I know it will not get all the polluted material. (Waitress comes around again. "How's your friend?" She asks. "Oh, he's fine. He does not care for gulf shrimp. Let me order us something different. How about some Canadian beef?" Loam faints again..................thud!!)
Loam, you're turning out to be a cheap date


So partner, I guess I'm just asking what your gut feel is.

In advance, thanks for your thoughtful reply.

Edited to fix a typo, it's a curse, and to tip the waitress.

[edit on 5-1-2006 by FEMA]



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 10:22 AM
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Originally posted by Crakeur
The article states that the plan is still being tweaked and that the liberals are behind it and the conservatives are not but it has not yet been passed and nothing is happening yet.



Hmmm. Don't think this is a Democrats versus Republican thing - the whole mess is pretty dirty, and needs more than a superficial analysis. Certainly more than a toe-the-party-line response.

Off the top, I'd say the Dems negotiated a corporate pay-off to get people without insurance coverage a return on their properties. The "developers" do get the cash, and it still looks like planned appropriation to me. From the article:




The passage of the bill has become increasingly important to Louisiana because the state lost out to the greater political power of Mississippi last month when Congress passed a $29 billion aid package for the Gulf states region. The package gave Mississippi about five times as much per household in housing aid as Louisiana received - a testimony to the clout of Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi, a former Republican National Committee chairman, and Senator Thad Cochran, chairman of the Appropriations Committee.

Louisiana officials say they were forced to go along with the appropriation, because they may not have received an aid package at all otherwise. But now they are focused even more intently on Mr. Baker's buyout bill; many economists here say there may be no alternative to buyouts for homeowners who cannot make mortgage payments on ruined properties.

To finance these expenditures, the government would sell bonds and pay them off in part with the proceeds from the sale of land to developers.


Source: Big Government Fix-It Plan for New Orleans




posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 10:27 AM
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I was merely pointing out that it is not a done deal and the oddity that a conservative republican has come up with a plan being backed by liberals and getting some opposition (albeit not much apparently) from republican conservatives



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 10:40 AM
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Originally posted by FEMA
Great thread Loam, very good indeed.

I see the passion in your arguments and I will in no way indict you for such admirable commitment.

I would like to ask a few questions along with pointing out a few commonly known facts. Please understand that these questions and facts are not presented with an agenda to flame, cause one to defend a position, or anything of the sort.

Consider these questions asked across a table in a quiet bar some place while sipping a beverage. Hey, look they got shrimp here . . . came from the gulf - want some? My treat. (There's an opening for you)



Thanks, FEMA, I'll pass on the shrimp... I'd suggest you do the same or you will find that the date was not as cheap as you assumed. Ambulance services are expensive, ya know?



Originally posted by FEMA
The deed has happened and the issue as I see it is one of what to do from here. I hope this is a correct starting point because if it is not - boy am I going to look dumb!


When this thread started, the deed had not been done. The original point I was making was that all options (including letting the water just sit) should have been considered until we fully understood the true nature of the problem and the associated risks. I maintain that no real effort was made to determine any risks involved before making the decision to pump. (The EPA's sampling was pathetic.) In my view, the decsion was a political one and not a scientific one. The discussion then moved to the government's efforts to deny that fact.


Originally posted by FEMA
While everyone agrees that the materials contained in the contaminated water is envoronmentally devistating,


On the contrary, the government advanced the position that nothing was materially bad.


Originally posted by FEMA
Mine is one of feeling that pumping the water into an inland lake is as good as anything that, within financially viability, might be done. I know it will contaminate the aquifers and ground soil. I know it will not get all the polluted material...

So partner, I guess I'm just asking what your gut feel is.


It may be that we yet learn that some parts of NO will never be safe (at least in the foreseeable future) for human habitation. If that becomes true, then what purpose did spreading the contaminants into other areas serve?

My position was one of knowing how high the cliff was before jumping.

That was not done. And the justifications and denials are easily found for what in the end was a political decision, and not a scientific one.



[edit on 5-1-2006 by loam]



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 12:23 PM
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Hello again Loam, thank you for your thoughtful and expeditious reply.


Thanks, FEMA, I'll pass on the shrimp... I'd suggest you do the same or you will find that the date was not as cheap as you assumed. Ambulance services are expensive, ya know?


Yes, I suppose you are right; not to mention those firefighters who insist on giving the *hind-lick* manouver. (Inside firefighter joke.)


Forgive me for not being clearer when I state the deed has happened. I meant it in the context of nature had come and gone doing her deed, leaving the area flooded.


I maintain that no real effort was made to determine any risks involved before making the decision to pump.


Your -- quite correct -- observation above is at the heart of my post. What I'm trying to gather is a concensus of common sense outside of the government's actions or lack thereof. Metaphorically speaking, they just saw a hole in a dike and slammed a reactionary finger into it. What would common sense dictate in such an emergency?


While everyone agrees that the materials contained in the contaminated water is envoronmentally devistating


I made this comment from a perspective of the common sense, that the point is not a hard-sell perspective, it's one that most level-headed folks would agree on.


It may be that we yet learn that some parts of NO will never be safe (at least in the foreseeable future) for human habitation. If that becomes true, then what purpose did spreading the contaminants into other areas serve?


I agree 100%. Your perspective dovetails perfectly with mine. The question remains: What would common sense dictate when faced with such a question.

I'm trying to get outside of they did this, they did that, for this reason, for that reason, to, faced with the same decissions what would the use of common sense have changed? - if anything at all?

Don't get me wrong Loamster, It's a hell of a question to answer and, quite frankly, I'm asking it because I really, honestly, and utterly do not have an answer. And, if you don't have one that is completely okay.

As I first stated, I don't have an agenda here. You'll not read a harsh word from me or be challenged for your perspective.

(How about some pizza, Loam? My treat)



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 12:47 PM
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Originally posted by FEMA
(How about some pizza, Loam? My treat)



Now you're talkin'



Originally posted by FEMA
The question remains: What would common sense dictate when faced with such a question.


The answer begins with an honest, comprehensive, and scientific assessment as to the current situation and associated risks (both short and long term). From there, the most reasonable options will become apparent.



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 01:03 PM
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Thanks for your answer Loam, it's thoughtful and sound.

About that pizza, did I mention it had shrimp on it?


Thanks again Loam.

Kindest regards,

FEMA.



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 01:30 PM
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Shrimp pizza?????


I don't care how pristine they might be... Yuk!


Originally posted by FEMA
Thanks for your answer Loam, it's thoughtful and sound.


No problem, FEMA. I just wish our government response had been as well.



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 01:39 PM
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Originally posted by FEMA
While everyone agrees that the materials contained in the contaminated water is envoronmentally devistating,



Originally posted by loam
On the contrary, the government advanced the position that nothing was materially bad.


I’m still looking for any hard evidence that the contamination was all that bad and/ or widespread.

Certainly the residential areas impacted by the Murphy Oil spill were bad, I won’t deny that.

But as a whole, the contamination doesn’t appear to have been any worse than what you would see in the outflows of any large metropolitan area after a heavy rain.

Many of the larger metropolitan areas in this country still have significant dependence on combined sewer systems. Chicago and Milwaukee for instance routinely close their beaches after heavy rains due to high e-colli counts.




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