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Author Topic: BP OIL SPILL  (Read 33268 times)
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islandmonkey
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« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2010, 06:34:20 PM »

Déjà vu ... 31 years ago!

A must-watch!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/37368377#37368377

I didn't look yet, but it must be Ixtoc 1 as it was also a well that had a blowout preventer explode and took almost 10 months to stop the oil from flowing and it was only in 150 ft of water Sad
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« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2010, 06:38:56 PM »

Déjà vu ... 31 years ago!

A must-watch!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/37368377#37368377

I didn't look yet, but it must be Ixtoc 1 as it was also a well that had a blowout preventer explode and took almost 10 months to stop the oil from flowing and it was only in 150 ft of water Sad

Yes, it is.

It is really worth watching, IM.
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islandmonkey
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« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2010, 06:48:29 PM »

Déjà vu ... 31 years ago!

A must-watch!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/37368377#37368377

I didn't look yet, but it must be Ixtoc 1 as it was also a well that had a blowout preventer explode and took almost 10 months to stop the oil from flowing and it was only in 150 ft of water Sad

Yes, it is.

It is really worth watching, IM.

I will, I researched that spill to the nth degree about 5 wks ago as it was the only spill that was practically a duplicate of this one, they even tried all the same tecniques to stop the leak that BP has and the only true way to really stop one is a relief well, which in reality could take a yr at the depths they will have to drill down to:( And, even then to hit it the first or second time is almost unheard of. They keep telling us the relief wells are 2 months away, I have a better chance of winning the Florida lottery than BP successfully tapping into the well via a relief well that quickly. Even the workers I met from DEP on the beach today told me they may be here for a yr........
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« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2010, 06:49:35 AM »

http://blog.al.com/live/2010/06/gulf_oil_spill_protection_meas.html
Full report: Gulf oil spill protection measures inadequate for Alabama, state officials say
By Mike Brantley
June 07, 2010, 5:20AM

Workers on June 6, 2010, clean up oil that washed ashore along the beach in the Bon Secour National Wildlife refuge.

MOBILE, Ala. -- Gov. Bob Riley said Sunday that as tar balls made it through Dauphin Island's Katrina Cut, heading toward vulnerable marshes, the federal government has not keep its most recent promises to the state.

U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Mobile, who joined Riley at the oil response facility in Mobile, said federal officials -- namely President Barack Obama and Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen -- are favoring other parts of the Gulf Coast, particularly Louisiana, over Alabama.

"It's becoming increasingly apparent that political decisions are being made to protect one part of the Gulf of Mexico but not the other parts," Bonner said. He called that "totally inexcusable and totally unacceptable."

Riley said Friday that Obama, who visited Louisiana, ordered the U.S. Coast Guard to get Alabama what it needs to protect its shores from invading oil. Obama invited Riley to come meet with him in Washington, D.C., this week if he did not get what he requested.
The governor met with Allen, the head of the government's spill response, Saturday and came up with a plan that included placing two, sometimes three, layers of boom at the entrances to the estuaries of Mobile and Baldwin counties and shutting off Perdido Pass.

It also would have meant increasing the number of boats performing skimming operations tenfold.

But by Sunday evening, it was apparent that there wasn't enough boom or skimmer boats available for Alabama to use, Riley said.

"We're still in exactly the same place we were two weeks ago," Riley said during a news conference. "We have no protection for Baldwin County's beaches. We have no protection for Mobile Bay. We have no protection for Dauphin Island. We have no protection for some of the most sensitive areas we have going into the Causeway."

About 86 percent of Alabama's most sensitive areas, including estuaries and marshes, are being protected by one layer of 18-inch boom, a floating barrier that can collapse in rough waters.
Meanwhile, the beaches, the mouth of Mobile Bay and other spots where the governor had originally planned to deploy boom remained vulnerable.

In contrast, Riley said Sunday, Louisiana has twice the amount of boom that it requested and enough boom on standby to complete its protection plan one more time.

Louisiana's coast has been inundated with oil over the last couple of weeks.

Allen told the Press-Register on Friday that Alabama's marshes and rivers were being defended. He said that if oil's going to come ashore anywhere, you'd rather oil come ashore on sandy beaches where it is easier to clean.

In the nation's worst spill, hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil have gushed daily from the Deepwater Horizon well into the Gulf of Mexico since the rig exploded April 20.

Globs of oil and tar balls continued coming ashore along Baldwin County's beaches and
Dauphin Island on Sunday.

"At this point, there's no confirmed additional spottings of oil, other than what we already had," said Malissa Valdes, a spokeswoman for the unified command center in Mobile.

"Gulf Shores is being further cleaned. In Orange Beach, there's a little bit. In Dauphin Island, there's constant re-addressing," Valdes said. "Once it's been done, they don't forget about it. There's constant assessing and cleaning."

She said 55 boats were out skimming for oil along the coasts in Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida panhandle Sunday.
And a total 506 boats in the Vessels of Opportunity program were dispatched in Alabama alone to skim, lay out boom and spot oil.

Also, 7,292 people are out working in the field in the three states, including the beach cleanup teams and others.

At the Bayou la Batre city docks about 1:30 p.m. Sunday, 16 men dressed in blue jeans, T-shirts, boots and bright orange life vests huddled around a supervisor.

They said they had been instructed not to talk to the media. But any ******* on the public docks could see and hear by their conversations that they were heading out to Dauphin Island to collect oil.

"You've got the coordinates," said the supervisor, who was wearing a red vest with the initials VOO -- Vessels of Opportunity. "We do have oil."

The men loaded clear garbage bags full of sorbent boom, which looked like giant rolls of white cotton, onto four shrimp boats.

The men were told to get out to the coordinates and call and ask what to do from there.

"I'm ready to get this stuff up," one of the men said.

About 30 minutes later, more shrimp boats came in from looking for oil. A crewmember of one said they'd found tar balls out in the water near Dauphin Island. Someone from another boat said they'd been out eight hours and didn't see anything.

Smaller boats were coming in and out all day, some getting supplied with orange and yellow floating boom to lay out.
Russell Collier, whose family owns the Bayou Bait Shop at the docks, said 200-300 boats have been going in and out every day. On a normal day this time of year, without the oil, he said, that number would be closer to 40.

He said Alabama needs the help, but he expressed concern that recreational fishers in small boats not suitable to be out in open water were doing work that's being denied to locals who are dependant on the fishing industry.

Collier said he has signed up to work but has not been activated.

"They've got boats no bigger than bathtubs going out there," he said, pointing to a small one as it floated by. "They're coming from everywhere to work."
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Brandi
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« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2010, 05:20:00 PM »

BP buys "oil spill" ad words

If you search for news and information about the oil spill on the internet, your first result will be a link to BP's website that the tagline describes as "how BP is helping." That's because the company has purchased "oil spill" ad words through Google and Yahoo. "Oil spill" has been among the top searches on Google, Twitter and Yahoo for several weeks.

To add insult to injury, the better source of information is the website of the Unified Command, which includes BP and Transocean as well as the government agencies involved in cleanup.

On Friday, President Obama criticized BP for buying $50 million in television advertising, while continuing to push on a number of fronts to limit the amounts it will owe fishermen and taxpayers for its Biblical boo-boo in the Gulf.

Mother Jones reports today on mounting evidence that BP and Transocean ignored warnings of problems on the Deepwater Horizon rig.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/green/detail?blogid=49&entry_id=65205



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« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2010, 05:24:33 PM »

The Amount Of Neurotoxin Pesticide Corexit Sprayed By BP Tops One Million Gallons

BP’s latest oil spill response update for June 4th says the total amount of the dispersant used in the Gulf of Mexico more than 1,021,000 gallons.

But what most people don’t know is that the active ingredient of the toxic chemical dispersant, which is up to 60% by volume, being sprayed by BP to fight the Gulf oil spill  is a  is a neurotoxin pesticidethat is acutely toxic to both human and aquatic life, causes cancer, causes damage to internal organs such as the liver and kidneys simply by absorbing it through the skin and may cause reproductive side effects.

In fact the neurotoxin pesticide that is lethal to 50% of life in concentrations as little as 2.6 parts per million has been banned for use in the UK since 1998 because it failed the UK  “Rocky shore  test”which assures that the dispersant does not cause a “significant deleterious ecological change” – meaning it can delete an ecology or more specifically delete the entire food chain.

Corexit has also earned the highest EPA warning label for toxicity which means the effects of the toxic chemicals to the eye are corrosive resulting in irreversible destruction of ocular tissue and other tissue with corneal involvement along with an burning that can  persist for more than 21 days and effects to human  skin are corrosive resulting in tissue destruction into the dermis and/or scarring.

Corexit was widely used after the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill and according to a literature review performed by the group the Alaska Community Action on Toxics  was later linked with widespread long lasting health impacts in people including respiratory, nervous system, liver, kidney and blood disorders.

The “Human Health Hazards” are said to be “Chronic” for Corexit  EC9527A according to the EPA.

http://beforeitsnews.com/news/74/010/The_Amount_Of_Neurotoxin_Pesticide_Corexit_Sprayed_By_BP_Tops_One_Million_Gallons.html
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« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2010, 07:39:35 PM »



All this messing washing up on shore is just so sad, I had to make this.

P.S. That is a tar ball.
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islandmonkey
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« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2010, 08:22:22 PM »

The Amount Of Neurotoxin Pesticide Corexit Sprayed By BP Tops One Million Gallons

BP’s latest oil spill response update for June 4th says the total amount of the dispersant used in the Gulf of Mexico more than 1,021,000 gallons.

But what most people don’t know is that the active ingredient of the toxic chemical dispersant, which is up to 60% by volume, being sprayed by BP to fight the Gulf oil spill  is a  is a neurotoxin pesticidethat is acutely toxic to both human and aquatic life, causes cancer, causes damage to internal organs such as the liver and kidneys simply by absorbing it through the skin and may cause reproductive side effects.

In fact the neurotoxin pesticide that is lethal to 50% of life in concentrations as little as 2.6 parts per million has been banned for use in the UK since 1998 because it failed the UK  “Rocky shore  test”which assures that the dispersant does not cause a “significant deleterious ecological change” – meaning it can delete an ecology or more specifically delete the entire food chain.

Corexit has also earned the highest EPA warning label for toxicity which means the effects of the toxic chemicals to the eye are corrosive resulting in irreversible destruction of ocular tissue and other tissue with corneal involvement along with an burning that can  persist for more than 21 days and effects to human  skin are corrosive resulting in tissue destruction into the dermis and/or scarring.

Corexit was widely used after the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill and according to a literature review performed by the group the Alaska Community Action on Toxics  was later linked with widespread long lasting health impacts in people including respiratory, nervous system, liver, kidney and blood disorders.

The “Human Health Hazards” are said to be “Chronic” for Corexit  EC9527A according to the EPA.

http://beforeitsnews.com/news/74/010/The_Amount_Of_Neurotoxin_Pesticide_Corexit_Sprayed_By_BP_Tops_One_Million_Gallons.html

It's really scary because the corexit is far worse than the oil itself:(  But, the shareholders should be reaping huge benefits including Goldman Sachs (who sold close to 5mm shares in March) and the usual Chicago suspects . It's made by NALCO, so now I am really curious why they chose to use the dispersant vs bringing in supertankers which could contain the oil and still salvage 85% of the oil.
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« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2010, 07:03:14 AM »

http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/Obama-knows-whose-ass-to.6346949.jp

Obama knows 'whose ass to kick' over BP oil spill
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Published Date: 08 June 2010
BARACK Obama said today he has been talking to experts and fishermen on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico about BP's catastrophic oil spill "so I know whose ass to kick".
The salty words, part of the US president's recent efforts to show Americans he is engaging with the crisis, came in an interview in Michigan with NBC Today TV show.

He strongly defended his role in dealing with the crisis that began with an explosion on 20 April on a BP-leased oil rig in the Gulf, killing 11 workers.

"I was down there a month ago before most of these talking heads were even paying attention to the Gulf," Mr Obama told NBC's Matt Lauer.

"I was meeting with fishermen in the rain talking about what a potential crisis this could be."

Some have criticised the president for not engaging passionately enough on the spill, even though he has been to the Gulf Coast three times since the disaster.
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« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2010, 07:21:03 AM »

http://www.rightsidenews.com/2010060810491/energy-and-environment/coast-guard-database-makes-oil-spill-penalties-nearly-impossible-to-track.html
Coast Guard Database Makes Oil Spill Penalties Nearly Impossible To Track      Print      E-mail
Written by Ariel Wittenberg   
Tuesday, 08 June 2010 06:30
The U.S. government has investigated potentially thousands of BP leaks, spills and other incidents but the information is stored in a Coast Guard database that keeps key details such as investigative findings and penalties out of the public's reach.The U.S. government has investigated potentially thousands of BP leaks, spills and other incidents but the information is stored in a Coast Guard database that keeps key details such as investigative findings and penalties out of the public's reach.
More than 8,000 incident reports about BP's U.S. spills, emissions, and leaks of oil and chemicals have been filed with the National Response Center during the past decade. They range from minor clumsiness such as a tipped drum of jet fuel to the deadly April 21 explosion on BP's Gulf of Mexico rig. The center relays each new report to the Coast Guard or other relevant policing bodies for investigation. All Coast Guard investigations are stored in the agency's Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement  (MISLE) database.

BP had 550 incidents in Mississippi Canyon, where the now infamous Deepwater Horizon drilling platform was located, according to Bill Allison of the Sunlight Foundation. But MISLE records about investigations and any resulting penalties can be obtained only by filing a Freedom of Information Act request for each individual incident. This means 550 separate FOIA requests would have to be filed to obtain details about the BP incidents in the area surrounding the site where BP's drilling rig exploded in April, he said.
"Technically, it's a database because you can request data from it," Allison said, referring to MISLE. "But you can't query or search the database. You have to already know what you are looking for in order to find it."

This makes tracking trends in the Coast Guard's policing of BP's activity in Mississippi Canyon, nearly impossible, he said. "We would like to look and see how often BP was investigated, fined, caused trouble or had penalties, but we really can't do that the way the data is set up," he said. "Even if we FOIA-ed, it would just get us a pile of paperwork which would be a hassle to go through compared to a query on a database."

The MISLE reports are only accessible via FOIA requests because the Department of Homeland Security - which oversees the Coast Guard - says each report "contains sensitive personal information" of people involved in investigations, including their Social Security numbers. In addition to oil spills, MISLE also contains information about shipping accidents, vessel boardings, pollution discharges, drilling rig accidents, and search and rescue operations.

Representatives from the Coast Guard declined to specifically comment on MISLE access, referring questions to its FOIA webpage. According to the website, FOIA requests are necessary to "prevent individuals, businesses, and government from harm resulting from the release of certain information."

Still, Allison believes there should be a way for the government to protect personal information in the database while giving the public access to investigative reports and penalties assessed to oil companies for leaks and spills.

"It's just a silly way to run a database," he said.

ABOUT THE DATA

What:           Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement (MISLE)

Where:          Coast Guard/Department of Homeland Security

Availability:  Online database with 560 GB of data

Format:          General summary of information about each incident

Usability:      Details about investigations, penalties must be requested via FOIA n/a

 

SOURCE: Sunlight Foundation

The Data Mine is a joint project of the Center for Public Integrity and the Sunlight Foundation.
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« Reply #30 on: June 08, 2010, 10:22:42 AM »

http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/Obama-knows-whose-ass-to.6346949.jp

Obama knows 'whose ass to kick' over BP oil spill
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Published Date: 08 June 2010
BARACK Obama said today he has been talking to experts and fishermen on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico about BP's catastrophic oil spill "so I know whose ass to kick".
The salty words, part of the US president's recent efforts to show Americans he is engaging with the crisis, came in an interview in Michigan with NBC Today TV show.

He strongly defended his role in dealing with the crisis that began with an explosion on 20 April on a BP-leased oil rig in the Gulf, killing 11 workers.

"I was down there a month ago before most of these talking heads were even paying attention to the Gulf," Mr Obama told NBC's Matt Lauer.

"I was meeting with fishermen in the rain talking about what a potential crisis this could be."

Some have criticised the president for not engaging passionately enough on the spill, even though he has been to the Gulf Coast three times since the disaster.

I LMAO~ is it even physically possible to kick his own ass, as he is just as responsible for the clean up because it's in federal waters (anything 3 miles off the coastline is federal, 3 miles in is state), and he knew as did MMS that the well was unstable on MArch 20th and even as early as June of 09, yet he didn't insist that MMS or BP shut this well down. They allowed (MMS) to let BP to continue to operate and even use pencils to fill the forms out.............LOL, heck even I know to erase it and fill out what I would want the record to reflect. They (MMS) put off inspections of this well and worst of all he's NEVER been on this since day one. It took him forever to make a trip to the Gulf Coast and then spent 1 1/4 hours "boots on the ground", guess since he had a mutlitude of scheduled Gold games, parties etc to attend. When he talks about talking to people who know how to stop this I must call BP, it's a FACT that supertankers can contain up to 800 million galllons of oil as it was done successfully in the Persian Gulf 20 yrs ago, so WTF is his reason for the inaction???? Lool at his ties to NALCO and the Chicago/Obama ties to NALCO and it's disturbing. NALCO FYI is the company that makes the toxic dispersant and look at who is tied in to this company, Soros, Gore, University of Chicago etc. Follow the money and it will lead you directly to the source of corruption in this gushing spill which in a worst case scenario could go on until the reseerves are depleted beacuse successfully drilling relief wells at close to 13,000 ft (8,000 of which) is actaully below the floor of the Gulf, and tapping in by intersecting the well pipe is an enginerring nightmare.............again google Ixtoc 1 and notice it took almost 10 months to succefully tap into the well and stop the gushing leak. In the meantime the LA coast has suffered devastating economic and enviromental losses that will further unemploment in that area and kill tons of marine life. So when he talks about kicking someone's ass, besides Tony Hayward he should look in the mirror and realize he allowed this spill to rage on for weeks on end while he has done nothing but point finger abducating his responsibility in it, FTLOG he didn't even know the head of MMS was fired/resigned.........yeah O you are really on top of it!!!!!!!!!


http://renergie.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/bp-is-not-the-only-responsible-party/


BP is Not the Only Responsible Party
Posted on May 25, 2010. Filed under: BP,Deepwater Horizon,Dispersants,Federalize,Oil Pollution Act,Oil Spill,Responsible Party,USCG |

BP is Not the Only Responsible Party

By Brian J. Donovan

May 24, 2010

INTRODUCTION

The U.S. Coast Guard has named both BP (owner of the well) and Transocean (the owner and operator of Deepwater Horizon) as “responsible parties” in the oil spill that resulted from the explosion on April 20, 2010 and subsequent sinking of the oil rig Deepwater Horizon on April 22, 2010. Cameron (the company that manufactured the blowout preventer that failed to function after the explosion) and Halliburton (which performed drilling services like cementing) may also be found to be legally responsible. Since April 20, 2010, “BP is the responsible party” has been repeated so many times by President Obama, Secretary Salazar, Secretary Napolitano, Admiral Allen, and NOAA Administrator Lubchenco that it has become the truth. The truth is, in addition to Transocean and possibly Cameron and Halliburton, the Minerals Management Service (MMS), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) are also responsible, although not legally liable, for heavy crude oil entering the Louisiana wetlands and the loop current.

Recently Renergie, Inc. submitted unsolicited proposals to U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), the Governor of Louisiana, and the USCG for the purpose of: (a) collecting the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico with three Panamax crude tankers; (b) separating the oil and water onboard the tankers; and (c) transporting the separated crude oil to a shoreside facility. The three tankers employed by Renergie, Inc. would be capable of collecting 1,419,000 barrels of the BP oil spill; and, via a series of  onboard skid-mounted three-stage oil/water separators, be able to separate a combined total of 432,000 barrels/day of the BP oil spill.

To date, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) has not responded.

The Office of the Governor of Louisiana forwarded Renergie’s proposal to BP and the USCG for their review.

The USCG response, sent via three emails, stated, “The Coast Guard is not currently hiring contractors.  BP, the responsible party, continues to handle all contracting requirements.” and “Unfortunately, the Coast Guard does not currently have a mission and is not hiring contractors. However, if BP requests names, I will recommend and forward your company.” As the BP oil spill continues to wash ashore in Louisiana, USCG futher explained, “I am the POC for unsolicited proposals for the Coast Guard. A valid unsolicited proposal must be an innovative and unique product or service that is not commercially available to the Government. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 15.603 provides the specific criteria that must be met before an unsolicited proposal can be submitted. It appears that your product better fits the description of a commercial item offer, which is therefore not suitable for submission as an unsolicited proposal. We appreciate your interest in U.S. Coast Guard requirements.”
AGAIN WTF??????????

This article briefly discusses how MMS, NOAA, and USCG have abdicated their responsibility; reviews current oil response efforts; presents an overview of the Oil Pollution Act; and suggests a viable strategy for moving forward.

MMS

Background
The MMS, a bureau in the U.S. Department of the Interior, is the federal agency that manages the nation’s natural gas, oil and other mineral resources on the outer continental shelf (OCS). The agency also collects, accounts for and disburses an average of $13.7 billion per year in revenues from federal offshore mineral leases and from onshore mineral leases on federal and American Indian lands. The MMS is comprised of two major programs: Offshore Energy and Minerals Management (OEMM) and Minerals Revenue Management (MRM).


OEMM
The MMS plays a key role in America’s energy supply by managing the mineral resources on 1.7 billion acres of the OCS. The OCS is a significant source of oil and gas for the nation’s energy supply. The approximately 43 million leased OCS acres generally accounts for about 15 percent of America’s domestic natural gas production and about 27 percent of America’s domestic oil production. The MMS’s oversight and regulatory framework are meant to ensure that drilling and production are done in an environmentally responsible manner, and done safely.

The offshore areas of the United States are estimated to contain significant quantities of resources in yet-to-be-discovered fields. MMS estimates of oil and gas resources in undiscovered fields on the OCS (2006, mean estimates) total 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of gas. These volumes represent about 60 percent of the oil and 40 percent of the natural gas resources estimated to be contained in remaining undiscovered fields in the United States.

MRM
The MRM collects, accounts for and distributes revenues associated with offshore and onshore oil, gas and mineral production from leased federal and Indian lands.

How MMS Abdicated its Responsibility
MMS fell well short of its own policy that safety inspections be done at least once per month, an Associated Press investigation shows. Since January 2005, MMS conducted at least 16 fewer inspections aboard the Deepwater Horizon than it should have under the policy, a dramatic fall from the frequency of prior years, according to the agency’s records. Under a revised statement recently given to the AP, MMS officials said the last infraction aboard the Deepwater Horizon occurred in August 2003, not March 2007 as originally stated.

The inspection gaps and poor recordkeeping are the latest in a series of questions raised about the agency’s oversight of the offshore oil drilling industry. Members of Congress and President Obama have criticized what they call the cozy relationship between regulators and oil companies.

NOAA has said on repeated occasions that drilling in the Gulf affects endangered species and marine mammals, but since January, 2009 MMS has approved at least three huge lease sales, 103 seismic blasting projects and 346 drilling plans. MMS records also show that permission for those drilling projects was granted without getting the permits required under federal law.
Earlier AP investigations have shown that the Deepwater Horizon was allowed to operate without safety documentation required by MMS regulations for the exact disaster scenario that occurred; that the BOP which failed has repeatedly broken down at other wells in the years since regulators weakened testing requirements; and that regulation is so lax that some key safety aspects on rigs are decided almost entirely by the companies doing the work.
MMS set aside requirements for documentation outlining what companies would do if a “worst-case scenario” spill were to happen. This documentation, which includes the disclosure of blowout scenarios and response plans, is required by law before exploratory offshore drilling is approved.

Reacting to the latest disclosures, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick J. Rahall, D-W.Va., said while he applauded Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s remedial actions, it seems “MMS has been asleep at the switch in terms of policing offshore rigs.” He said the committee, slated to hold hearings May 26-27, will examine these issues “in the context of what our offshore leasing program will look like in the future.”

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by AP, the agency has released copies of only three inspection reports, from Feb. 17, March 3 and April 1. According to the documents, inspectors spent two hours or less each time they visited the massive rig. Some information appeared to be “whited out,” without explanation. VERY INTERESTING, SO WHY WOULD MMS (THE FEDERAL REGULATORS WHO OVERSEE DRILLING NOT QUESTION THISMMS also routinely overruled its staff biologists and engineers who raised concerns about the safety and the environmental impact of certain drilling proposals in the Gulf and in Alaska, according to a half-dozen current and former agency scientists. These scientists said they were also regularly pressured by agency officials to change the findings of their internal studies if they predicted that an accident was likely to occur or if wildlife might be harmed. In a September, 2009 letter, obtained by The New York Times, NOAA accused the MMS of a pattern of understating the likelihood and potential consequences of a major spill in the Gulf and understating the frequency of spills that have already occurred there. The letter accuses the agency of highlighting the safety of offshore oil drilling operations while overlooking more recent evidence to the contrary. The data used by the agency to justify its approval of drilling operations in the Gulf play down the fact that spills have been increasing and understate the “risks and impacts of accidental spills,” the letter states. NOAA declined several requests for comment.

“You simply are not allowed to conclude that the drilling will have an impact,” said one scientist who has worked for the MMS for more than a decade. “If you find the risks of a spill are high or you conclude that a certain species will be affected, your report disappears and they find another scientist to redo it or they rewrite it for you.”

Another biologist who left the agency in 2005 after more than five years said that agency officials went out of their way to accommodate the oil and gas industry. He said, for example, that seismic activity from drilling can have a devastating effect on mammals and fish, but that agency officials rarely enforced the regulations meant to limit those effects. He also said the agency routinely ceded to the drilling companies the responsibility for monitoring species that live or spawn near the drilling projects. “What I observed was MMS was trying to undermine the monitoring and mitigation requirements that would be imposed on the industry,” he said.NOAA

Background
The mission of NOAA is “to understand and predict changes in Earth’s environment and conserve and manage coastal and marine resources to meet our nation’s economic, social, and environmental needs.”

On NOAA’s website, NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco further explains, “NOAA is an agency that enriches life through science. Our reach goes from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor as we work to keep citizens informed of the changing environment around them. NOAA’s dedicated scientists use cutting-edge research and high-tech instrumentation to provide citizens, planners, emergency managers and other decision makers with reliable information they need when they need it. NOAA’s mission touches the lives of every American and we are proud of our role in protecting life and property and conserving and protecting natural resources.”

How NOAA Abdicated its Responsibility
A. Allowing MMS to Grant Permission to Oil Companies for Drilling Projects Without the Permits Required Under Federal Law


NOAA has said on repeated occasions that drilling in the Gulf affects endangered species and marine mammals. NOAA knew that MMS was granting permission for drilling projects to oil companies without the permits required under federal law. “MMS has given up any pretense of regulating the offshore oil industry,” said Kierán Suckling, director of the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental advocacy group in Tucson, which filed notice of intent to sue the agency over its noncompliance with federal law concerning endangered species. “The agency seems to think its mission is to help the oil industry evade environmental laws.”

B. Failure to Accurately Estimate the Amount of Oil Being Released

It has been estimated that approximately 5,000 barrels a day (bbl/day) of oil is being released into the Gulf of Mexico. Repeated endlessly in news reports, this figure has become conventional wisdom. However, the 5,000 bbl/day estimate was hastily produced in Seattle by a NOAA unit that responds to oil spills. It was calculated with a protocol known as the Bonn convention that calls for measuring the extent of an oil spill, using its color to judge the thickness of oil atop the water, and then multiplying. Alun Lewis, a British oil-spill consultant who is an authority on the Bonn convention, said the method was specifically not recommended for analyzing large spills like the one in the Gulf of Mexico, since the thickness was too difficult to judge in such a case.

Ian R. MacDonald, an oceanographer at Florida State University who is an expert in the analysis of oil slicks, said he had made his own rough calculations using satellite imagery. They suggested that the leak could “easily be four or five times” the government estimate, he said. Steven Wereley, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University, analyzed videotape of the seafloor gusher using a technique called particle image velocimetry.  A computer program simply tracks particles and calculates how fast they are moving. Wereley put the BP video of the gusher into his computer. He made a few simple calculations and came up with an astonishing value for the rate of the oil spill: 70,000 bbl/day.

Dr. MacDonald believes NOAA  had been slow to mount the research effort needed to analyze the leak and assess its effects. Sylvia Earle, a former chief scientist at NOAA and perhaps the country’s best-known oceanographer, said that she, too, was concerned by the pace of NOAA’s scientific response.

The government has made no attempt to update its estimate since releasing it on April 28th. “I think the estimate at the time was, and remains, a reasonable estimate,” said Dr. Lubchenco, the NOAA administrator. “Having greater precision about the flow rate would not really help in any way. We would be doing the same things.”

Scientists have come down hard on BP for refusing to take advantage of methods available to measure the oil. The New York Times reported that BP was planning to fly scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute to Louisiana to conduct volume measurements. The oceanographers were poised to use underwater ultrasound equipment to measure the flow of oil and gas from the ocean floor when BP canceled the trip.

An accurate measurement of the flow of oil could change the way people remember this spill and their opinion of BP.  Once the leak is plugged and the oil is dispersed throughout the Gulf, who’s to say for certain whether BP’s blown well gushed 5,000 or 80,000 barrels of oil a day? By allowing BP to obscure the spill’s true magnitude, NOAA seems to agree.

C. Failure to Track and Monitor the Massive Oil Plumes Beneath the Surface

NOAA, whose job it is to assess and track the damage being caused by the BP oil spill that began four weeks ago, is only monitoring what’s visible - the oil slick on the Gulf’s surface – and currently does not have a single research vessel taking measurements below.

The one ship associated with NOAA that had been doing such research is back in Pascagoula, MS, having completed a week-long cruise during which scientists taking underwater samples found signs of just the kind of plume that environmentalists fear could have devastating effects on sea life of all shapes and sizes.

Frank Muller-Karger, an oceanography professor at the University of South Florida who testified before the House Energy Committee, said that testing for oil beneath the surface should be a top priority. “I think that should be one of our biggest concerns, getting the technology and the research to try to understand how big this amorphous mass of water is, and how it moves,” he said. “It’s like an iceberg. Most of it is below the surface. And we just have no instruments below the surface that can help us monitor the size, the concentration and the movement.”

“The fact that NOAA has missed the ball catastrophically on the tracking and effects monitoring of this spill is inexcusable,” said Rick Steiner, a University of Alaska marine conservationist who recently spent more than a week on the Gulf Coast advising Greenpeace. NOAA officials “haven’t picked it up because they haven’t looked in the right places,” he said. “There have to be dozens of these massive plumes of toxic Deepwater Horizon oil, and they haven’t set out to delineate them in any shape or form.” Steiner said, “NOAA is not only failing to fully measure the impact of the spill but, if they rationally want to close and open fisheries, they need to know where this stuff is going.” “And truly, they really need 20 or 30 vessels out there yesterday,” Steiner said. “And I think they know that. And so all the spin – that they have this under control, that there’s no oil under the surface to worry about – they’re wrong, and they know it.”

D. Conflict of Interest in Sample Testing

The question is whether a lab paid by BP can provide an unbiased assessment of the environmental damage from the BP oil spill.

Local environmental officials throughout the Gulf Coast are feverishly collecting water, sediment and marine animal tissue samples that will be used in the coming months to help track pollution levels resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake, since those readings will be used by the federal government and courts to establish liability claims against BP. But the laboratory that NOAA officials have chosen to process virtually all of the samples is part of an oil and gas services company in Texas that counts oil firms, including BP, among its biggest clients. Pursuant to OPA, BP is paying for testing the samples, which simultaneously gives BP control over this process. Some people are justifiably questioning the independence of the Texas lab.

USCG

Background
The USCG is one of the five Armed Forces of the United States and the only military organization within the Department of Homeland Security. The USCG protects against hazards to people, maritime commerce, and the environment, defends our maritime borders, and saves those in peril. It responds quickly to disasters to restore the nation’s waterways. It promotes resiliency of the Marine Transportation System. When called upon, it defends the nation at home and abroad alongside the other Armed Forces. In the heartland, in the ports, on the seas, and around the globe, the USCG is Here to Protect, Ready to Rescue.

The USCG is the principal federal agency responsible for maritime safety, security, and environmental stewardship in U.S. ports and inland waterways, along the coasts, on the high seas, and in other regions where our nation’s maritime equities are at stake. As such, the USCG protects our nation’s vital economic and security interests throughout the maritime domain, including the marine transportation system, our natural and economic resources, and our maritime borders.

The USCG provides the primary federal maritime presence to enforce laws, secure the maritime border, conduct response operations, protect the maritime environment (“by responding  to oil and hazardous substance accidents and reducing their impact on the marine environment”), and ensure the resilience of the Marine Transportation System that is vital to the U.S. economy.

How USCG Abdicated its Responsibility
USCG Admiral Thad W. Allen, National Incident Commander, said during a recent visit to Mississippi that he saw no reason for the government to assume control of operations from BP. “BP is the responsible party. They have to be in charge and they have to be accountable and we have to conduct oversight,” he said. “Personally, whenever I have problem I call (BP CEO) Tony Hayward” on his cell phone, Allen said.
WTF

USCG responses to unsolicited proposals clearly state,
(a) “The Coast Guard is not currently hiring contractors.  BP, the responsible party, continues to handle all contracting requirements;” and
(b) “Unfortunately, the Coast Guard does not currently have a mission and is not hiring contractors. However, if BP requests names, (USCG) will recommend and forward your company.”

Although USCG has completely abdicated its responsibility, one has to admire the forthright and transparent manner in which it has done so
.

OIL SPILL RESPONSE

USCG
The National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan, more commonly called the National Contingency Plan (NCP), is the federal government’s blueprint for responding to both oil spills and hazardous substance releases. The NCP is the result of our country’s efforts to develop a national response capability and promote overall coordination among the hierarchy of responders and contingency plans.

Secretary Napolitano has declared the Gulf Coast incident a “spill of national significance.” A spill of national significance (SONS) means a spill that due to its severity, size, location, actual or potential impact on the public health and welfare or the environment, or the necessary response effort, is so complex that it requires extraordinary coordination of federal, state, local, and responsible party resources to contain and clean up the discharge.

Admiral Allen has explained that the USCG has established four operational priorities:
(a) stop the flow of oil from the well; (b) attack the oil that is in the sea with all available means – mechanical skimming, dispersant delivery, in-situ burning; (c) protect the shoreside resources by deploying boom around the resources; and (d) recover and mitigate the impacted areas.

BP
Source Subsea Control and Containment
In its May 20, 2010 update report on subsea source control and containment, BP stated, “Subsea efforts continue to focus on progressing options to stop the flow of oil from the well through interventions via the blow out preventer (BOP), and to collect the flow of oil from the leak points. These efforts are being carried out in conjunction with governmental authorities and other industry experts.

The volume of oil being collected by the riser insertion tube tool (RITT) containment system at the end of the leaking riser is estimated to be about 3,000 barrels a day (b/d) of oil. The oil is being stored on the drillship Discoverer Enterprise, on the surface 5,000 feet above.

BP also continues to develop options to shut off the flow of oil from the well through interventions via the failed BOP. Plans continue to develop a so called “top kill” operation where heavy drilling fluids are injected into the well to stem the flow of oil and gas, followed by cement to seal the well. Most of the equipment is on site and preparations continue for this operation, with a view to deployment in the next few days. Options have also been developed to potentially combine this with the injection under pressure of a variety of materials into the BOP to seal off upward flow.

Work on the first relief well, which began on May 2, continues. The DDII drilling rig began drilling the second relief well on May 16. Each of these wells is estimated to take some three months to complete from the commencement of drilling.

Surface Spill Response and Containment
In its May 20, 2010 update report on surface spill response and containment, BP stated, “Work continues to collect and disperse oil that has reached the surface of the sea. Over 930 vessels are involved in the response effort, including skimmers, tugs, barges and recovery vessels. Intensive operations to skim oil from the surface of the water also continued. Some 187,000 barrels of oily liquid have now been recovered. The total length of boom deployed as part of efforts to prevent oil reaching the coast is now more than 1.9 million feet. In total over 19,000 personnel from BP, other companies and government agencies are currently involved in the response to this incident.”

BP’s surface spill and containment strategy primarily involves: (a) the use of dispersants; (b) skimming the oil from the surface of the water; and (c) deploying boom to prevent oil from reaching the coast.

Dispersants: An Out-of-Sight, Out-of-Mind Strategy
To date, 785,000 gallons of oil dispersant has been applied by BP since the April 22 sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig, an unprecedented application and for a duration and at depths also without precedent.

Dispersants break oil into droplets that decompose more quickly. But scientists worry that extensive use of the chemicals in the BP spill is increasing marine life’s exposure to the toxins in oil. Environmentalists consider their use effective for ridding surface waters of oil but say when the toxins are broken down and become embedded on the sea bed they pose a significant threat to marine life.

BP is using the dispersant “Corexit 9500.” While Corexit 9500 is on the EPA’s approved list, BP is using this dispersant in unprecedented volumes and has been using it underwater at the source of the leak, a procedure that has never been tried before. The EPA has acknowledged that “much is unknown about the underwater use of dispersants.” Moreover, of all the chemicals approved by the EPA for use on oil spills, Corexit 9500 is among the most toxic to certain organisms. It also is among the least effective in breaking up the kind of oil that is prevalent in the area around the spill site, EPA tests concluded. Corexit might also be contributing to the formation of large undersea “oil plumes” thousands of feet below the surface.

Sylvia Earle, the National Geographic’s explorer-in-residence and former chief scientist at NOAA, stated that “the instructions for humans using Corexit warn that it is an eye and skin irritant, is harmful by inhalation, in contact with skin and if swallowed, and may cause injury to red blood cells, kidney or the liver.” “People are warned not to take Corexit internally,” she said, “but the fish, turtles, copepods and jellies have no choice.”

Earle further states, “We don’t know what the effect of dispersants applied a mile underwater is; there’s been no laboratory testing of that at all, or the effect of what it does when it combines with oil a mile underwater.” One problem with breaking down the oil is that it makes it easier for the many tiny underwater organisms to ingest this toxic soup.

Pursuant to NCP Section 300.310, “As appropriate, actions shall be taken to recover the oil or mitigate its effects. Of the numerous chemical or physical methods that may be used, the chosen methods shall be the most consistent with protecting public health and welfare and the environment. Sinking agents shall not be used.” Sinking agents means those additives applied to oil discharges to sink floating pollutants below the water surface. The question is whether BP’s dispersants are “sinking agents” when they are applied a mile underwater at the source of the well leak.

Carl Safina, president and co-founder of Blue Ocean Institute, a New York-based conservation organization, believes BP’s dispersant strategy has more to do with PR than good science. “It takes something that we can see that we could at least partly deal with and dissolves it so we can’t see it and can’t deal with it,” he said. It’s not at all clear to me why we are dispersing the oil at all,” Safina said. “It’s an out-of-sight, out-of-mind strategy. It’s just to get it away from the cameras on the shoreline.

Skimming
Since April 22, only 187,000 barrels of “oily liquid” have been recovered by BP. This equates to collecting a total of only 19,000 to 28,000 barrels of oil. BP  states, “over 930 vessels are involved in the response effort…” By now, BP should realize that small boats are used for small oil spills, but large ships must be used for large oil spills.

The three tankers employed by Renergie, Inc. would be capable of collecting 1,419,000 barrels of the BP oil spill; and, via a series of  onboard skid-mounted three-stage oil/water separators, be able to separate a combined total of 432,000 barrels/day of the BP oil spill. AGAIN A PROVEN METHOD OF CONTAINMENT THAT HAS BEEN USED FOR OVER 20 YRS

Boom: Public Relations in Open Water
The use of the boom strategy is nothing more than “public relations in open water.” Deploying boom may be an effective containment strategy in the calm waters of rivers, lakes, or municipal swimming pools but, as has been demonstrated over the past month, in the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico the boom will be breached. PROVEN FACT THESE CONTAINMENT BOOMS DO NOT WORK IN ANY WTAER WITH A WIND OVER 1 KNOT, THE WIND AND CURRENT PUSH THE BOOMS ON SHORE AND THE OIL IS EASILY BREACHED BY THESE BOOMSTHE OIL POLLUTION ACT OF 1990

Pursuant to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA), for an offshore facility the total of the liability of a responsible party and any removal costs incurred by, or on behalf of, the responsible party, with respect to each incident shall not exceed the total of all removal costs plus $75,000,000.

However, this limit on liability “does not apply if the incident was proximately caused by gross negligence, willful misconduct of, or the violation of an applicable Federal safety, construction, or operating regulation by, the responsible party, an agent or employee of the responsible party, or a person acting pursuant to a contractual relationship with the responsible party.”

OPA broadened the scope of damages (i.e., costs) for which an oil spiller would be liable. Under OPA, a responsible party is liable for all cleanup costs incurred, not only by a government entity, but also by a private party. In addition to cleanup costs, OPA significantly increased the range of liable damages to include the following:

• injury to natural resources,
• loss of personal property (and resultant economic losses),
• loss of subsistence use of natural resources,
• lost revenues resulting from destruction of property or natural resource injury,
• lost profits resulting from property loss or natural resource injury, and
• costs of providing extra public services during or after spill response.

OPA Section 4201 provides:
(c) FEDERAL REMOVAL AUTHORITY
(1) GENERAL REMOVAL REQUIREMENT
OPA Section 4201(c)(1)(B) amended Section 311(c) of the Clean Water Act of 1972 to provide the President with three options:
(1) perform cleanup immediately (“federalize” the spill);
(2) monitor the response efforts of the spiller; or
(3) direct the spiller’s cleanup activities.

OPA Section 4201(c) further provides:
(2) DISCHARGE POSING SUBSTANTIAL THREAT TO PUBLIC HEALTH OR WELFARE (A) If a discharge, or a substantial threat of a discharge, of oil or a hazardous substance from a vessel, offshore facility, or onshore facility is of such a size or character as to be a substantial threat to the public health or welfare of the United States (including but not limited to fish, shellfish, wildlife, other natural resources, and the public and private beaches and shorelines of the United States), the President shall direct all Federal, State, and private actions to remove the discharge or to mitigate or prevent the threat of the discharge.

(B) In carrying out this paragraph, the President may, without regard to any other provision of law governing contracting procedures or employment of personnel by the Federal Government -
(i) remove or arrange for the removal of the discharge, or mitigate or prevent the substantial threat of the discharge.

Oil spill response authority is determined by the location of the spill: the USCG has response authority in coastal waters, and the EPA covers inland oil spills. As the primary response authority in coastal waters, the USCG has the ultimate authority to ensure that an oil spill is effectively removed and actions are taken to prevent further discharge from the source. During response operations, the USCG coordinates the efforts of federal, state, and private parties. USCG response efforts are supported by NOAA. NOAA provides scientific analysis and consultation during oil spill response activities. Assistance can include oil spill tracking, cleanup alternatives, and knowledge of at-risk natural resources. Moreover, NOAA experts begin to collect data to assess natural resource damages during response operations.

A VIABLE STRATEGY

A viable strategy would be to establish three operational priorities: stop the flow of oil from the well, collect the oil that is in the sea, and restore the impacted coastal areas. Each task should be assigned to the entity with the most expertise in that particular area.


I. Stop the Flow of Oil from the Well
BP should perform this task. BP has in-house technical expertise and the ability to assemble a team of outside engineering and offshore oil & gas experts to cap the well. The only viable permanent solution is to drill a relief well. Hopefully, either the “top kill” or “junk shot” procedure will stop the flow of oil while the relief well is being drilled. MMS should merely monitor BP’s efforts.  AGAIN, THIS COULD TAKE A YR AS THE IXTIC SPILL RELIEF WELL TOOK ALMOST 10 MONTHS IN 160 FT OF WATER
II. Collect the Oil that is in the Sea
USCG should perform this task. Pursuant to OPA Section 4201, and given that the BP oil spill is a “discharge posing substantial threat to public health or welfare,” President Obama should federalize the collection of the oil that is in the sea. This could be done without having to federalize the operational priority of stopping the flow of oil from the well.

(1) Timecharter Crude Tankers to Collect the Oil
This would involve the following 3-step process: (a) collecting the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico with three Panamax crude tankers; (b) separating the oil and water onboard the tankers; and (c) transporting the separated crude oil to a shoreside facility. Three Panamax tankers would be capable of collecting 1,419,000 barrels of the BP oil spill; and, via a series of  onboard skid-mounted three-stage oil/water separators, be able to separate a combined total of 432,000 barrels/day of the BP oil spill. Since April 22, only 187,000 barrels of “oily liquid” have been recovered by BP.
AGAIN THIS TECNIQUE HAS BEEN USED SUCCESSFULLY IN THE PERSIAN GULF SPILL, SO WTF ISN'T THE GOVERNMENT DOING THIS, AFTER ALL IT IS IN FEDERAL WATERS, I'D GET IT DONE AND BILL BP

(2) Discontinue the Use of Dispersants
BP has been using dispersant in unprecedented volumes and has been using it underwater at the source of the leak, a procedure that has never been tried before. The EPA has acknowledged that “much is unknown about the underwater use of dispersants.” Moreover, of all the chemicals approved by the EPA for use on oil spills, Corexit 9500 is among the most toxic to certain organisms. The volume that is being used is creating a toxic soup that is more dangerous than the oil spill. As noted above, BP’s dispersant strategy has more to do with PR than good science. It takes something that we can see that we could at least partly deal with and dissolves it so we can’t see it and can’t deal with it. It’s an out-of-sight, out-of-mind strategy.


(3) Reposition Skimming o the Northern Edge of the Spill
BP claims, “Over 930 vessels are involved in the response effort, including skimmers, tugs, barges and recovery vessels.” USCG should immediately reposition several skimming vessels to the northern edge of the spill to mitigate the oil damage to Louisiana’s wetlands.

(4) Expand Coordination with NOAA
NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration should provide better scientific analysis of the incident. NOAA’s assistance should include an accurate measurement of the flow of oil from the well, oil spill tracking and monitoring (both surface and underwater), the collection of test samples and data to assess natural resource damages. Accurate information is crucial to our understanding of the true rate of flow, to improving our ability to gauge the amount of oil currently in the Gulf, and to preparing for the impacts this spill may have on our environment, fisheries and coastal communities.

(5) Deployment of Research Vessels
USCG should direct NOAA to immediately deploy 20 research vessels to identify, track and monitor the massive underwater plumes of oil in the sea. The undersea plumes may go a long way toward explaining the discrepancy between the flow estimates, suggesting that much of the oil emerging from the well could be lingering far below the sea surface. Depending on the depth of the plume, USCG could deploy a tanker to collect the underwater oil before it either reaches shore or enters the loop current.

(6) Discontinue Deployment of Boom
BP claims, “The total length of boom deployed as part of efforts to prevent oil reaching the coast is now more than 1.9 million feet.” The use of the boom strategy is nothing more than “public relations in open water.” Deploying boom may be an effective containment strategy in the calm waters of rivers, lakes, or municipal swimming pools but, as has been demonstrated over the past month, in the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico the boom will be breached. The use of boom in the Gulf of Mexico is a waste of time, money, and manpower. Since containment is not possible, all available resources should be used to collect the oil.

III. Restore the Impacted Coastal Areas
EPA should perform this task. Again, pursuant to OPA Section 4201, and given that the BP oil spill is a “discharge posing substantial threat to public health or welfare,” President Obama should federalize the restoration of the coastal areas impacted by the oil. This could be done without having to federalize the operational priority of stopping the flow of oil from the well.

CONCLUSION

The blowout of April 20, 2010 aboard the Deepwater Horizon was clearly preventable. The fact that the BP oil spill has been allowed to reach coastal Louisiana is inexcusable. BP’s surface spill response and containment efforts would be comical if they were not so devastating. The  environmental and economic damages suffered by victims of the BP oil spill will be enormous and on-going. The livelihoods of all persons whose businesses rely on the natural resources of the Gulf Coast are at risk. Commercial fishermen, oyster harvesters, shrimpers, and  businesses involved, directly or indirectly, in processing and packaging for the seafood industry will experience the end of a way of life that, in many cases, has been passed down from one generation to the next.

BP should remain in charge of stopping the flow of oil from the well. Pursuant to OPA Section 4201, and given that the BP oil spill is a “discharge posing substantial threat to public health or welfare,” President Obama should federalize the collection of the oil that is in the sea and the restoration of the coastal areas impacted by the oil. Both of these activities could be done without having to federalize the operational priority of stopping the flow of oil from the well.

Under OPA, BP, as the responsible party, is liable for all cleanup costs incurred, not only by a government entity, but also by a private party. In addition to cleanup costs, OPA significantly increased the range of liable damages to include the following: injury to natural resources, loss of personal property (and resultant economic losses), loss of subsistence use of natural resources, lost revenues resulting from destruction of property or natural resource injury, lost profits resulting from property loss or natural resource injury, and costs of providing extra public services during or after spill response.

Pursuant to OPA, trustees for natural resources can collect “the cost of restoring, rehabilitating, replacing or acquiring the equivalent of the damaged natural resources.” Such resources include land, fish, wildlife, wetlands, groundwater and drinking water. If a resource can’t be rehabilitated, the defendant has to provide something of equal value, for instance by creating a new wetland.


Given BP’s documented violation of federal safety regulations aboard the Deepwater Horizon, e.g., using an improper cementing technique to seal the well, failing to adequately test and maintain blowout prevention equipment and drilling deeper than BP’s federal permit allowed, there will be no limitation on BP’s liability.

However, now is not the time for finger pointing or litigation. It is now time to implement a viable strategy.

APPENDICES

References
EPA: http://www.epa.gov/oem/content/lawsregs/opaover.htm

Marine Log: http://www.marinelog.com/DOCS/NEWSMMIX/2010may00011.html

MMS: http://www.mms.gov/

National Contingency Plan

NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov/

Oil Pollution Act of 1990

USA Today: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2010/05/how-responsible-is-us-government-for-gulf-oil-spill/

USCG: http://www.uscg.mil/

About the Author
Brian J. Donovan is an attorney and marine engineer with over thirty-four years of international business experience.

Mr. Donovan, a member of The Florida Bar, The U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida and The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, holds a J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law (where he was recipient of the “Global Law & Practice Award” as the outstanding graduate in the areas of International Law and International Business Law) and a B.S., with honors, in Marine/Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering from the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

Mr. Donovan, with deep family roots in southern Louisiana, has first-hand knowledge of the catastrophic devastation of the Louisiana Gulf Coast caused by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He fully appreciates that the damage caused by Katrina and Rita may pale in comparison to the massive and potentially unprecedented environmental and economic impact of the BP oil spill of April, 2010.

UPDATE No. 1

Oil Flow Rate Estimates

On May 27, 2010, USGS Director Dr. Marcia McNutt announced that the National Incident Command’s Flow Rate Technical Group (FRTG) has developed an independent, preliminary estimate of the amount of oil flowing from BP’s leaking oil well. Based on three separate methodologies, the independent analysis of the FRTG has determined that the overall best initial estimate for the lower and upper boundaries of flow rates of oil is in the range of 12,000 and 19,000 barrels per day. Measurement of the flow of oil is extremely challenging, given the environment, unique nature of the flow, limited visibility, and lack of human access to BP’s leaking oil well. As the FRTG collects more data and improves their scientific modeling in the coming days and weeks ahead, they will continue to refine and update their range of oil flow rate estimates, as appropriate.

UPDATE No. 2

Undersea Oil Plumes

On May 15, 2010, The New York Times reported that scientists are finding enormous oil  plumes in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including one as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick in spots. Researchers from the University of Georgia, University of Southern Mississippi, University of South Florida and Louisiana State University have added to this preliminary body of evidence suggesting that some of the oil – no one knows what proportion – is dissolving into the water and forming huge plumes of dispersed oil droplets beneath the surface. This is worrisome because it raises the possibility that sea life, including commercially important species of fish, could be exposed to a greater load of toxins than conventional models of oil spills would suggest. The undersea plumes may go a long way toward explaining the discrepancy between the flow estimates, suggesting that much of the oil emerging from the well could be lingering far below the sea surface.

UPDATE No. 3

Dispersants: An Out-of-Sight, Out-of-Mind Strategy

Pursuant to NCP Section 300.310, “As appropriate, actions shall be taken to recover the oil or mitigate its effects. Of the numerous chemical or physical methods that may be used, the chosen methods shall be the most consistent with protecting public health and welfare and the environment. Sinking agents shall not be used.” Sinking agents means those additives applied to oil discharges to sink floating pollutants below the water surface. The question is whether BP’s dispersants are “sinking agents” when they are applied a mile underwater at the source of the well leak.

Invisible Threat

On May 28, 2010, Reuters reported that the toxic dispersants applied underwater by BP may work their way up the food chain.


David Hollander, a University of South Florida oceanographer, headed a research team that discovered a six-mile (10-km) wide “oil cloud” while on a government-funded expedition aboard the Weatherbird II, a vessel operated by the university’s College of Marine Science. “We were collecting samples down to two miles (3 km) below the surface,” Hollander told Reuters in an interview on Friday.

Hollander said the contaminants – which could eventually be pushed onto the continental shelf before shifting slowly down towards the Florida Keys and possibly out to the open Atlantic Ocean – raised troubling questions about whether they would “cascade up the food web.” The threat is that they will poison plankton and fish larvae before making their way into animals higher up the food chain, Hollander said.

The underwater contaminants are particularly “insidious” because they are invisible, Hollander said, adding that they were suspended in what looked like normal seawater. “It may be due to the application of the dispersants that a portion of the petroleum has extracted itself away from the crude and is now incorporated into the waters with solvents and detergents,” he added. He said dispersants, a cocktail of organic solvents and detergents, had never been used at the depth of BP’s well before, and no one really knows how they interact physically and chemically under pressure with oil, water and gases.

Roughly 850,000 gallons (3.2 million litres) of dispersant had been used by BP to combat the Gulf oil spill as of May 27, 2010, including 150,000 gallons (570,000 litres) released below sea level.  TOXIC DISPERSANT
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islandmonkey
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« Reply #31 on: June 08, 2010, 10:50:10 AM »

More info and follow up on Gulf of Mexico oil catastrophe.
Added: Saturday, June 5th 2010 at 2:10pm by JoAnneMor
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This oil disaster is looking more and more like an intentional incident. This I don't necessarily agree with but as Rahm Emanuel says "Never let a good crisis go to waste"


It has come to light, not only did Goldman Sachs sell their stock holdings in BP, 20 days before the alleged "accident", but it appears Tony Hayward, BP's CEO also sold his shares just prior to the incident. I will attach he Bloomberg snapshot I saved showing GS's sale.
The Telegraph in UK and Diaily Kos are reporting that info today.


BP chief Tony Hayward sold shares weeks before oil spill
The chief executive of BP sold £1.4 million of his shares in the fuel giant weeks before the Gulf of Mexico oil spill caused its value to collapse.
Tony Hayward cashed in about a third of his holding in the company one month before a well on the Deepwater Horizon rig burst, causing an environmental disaster.


Mr Hayward, whose pay package is £4 million a year, then paid off the mortgage on his family’s mansion in Kent, which is estimated to be valued at more than £1.2 million.

More:>

http://is.gd/cDKYs

BP’s Hayward sold 33% of stock AFTER company sought advice on how to respond to oil spills
Tony Hayward cashed in about a third of his holding in the company one month before a well on the Deepwater Horizon rig burst...


   Mr Hayward, whose pay package is £4 million a year, then paid off the mortgage on his family’s mansion in Kent...

   There is no suggestion that he acted improperly or had prior knowledge that the company was to face the biggest setback in its history. ...

   Since he disposed of 223,288 shares on March 17 , the company’s share price has fallen by 30 per cent.

 

However, evidence shows that BP executives were aware of the looming disaster before March 17.

According to the May 31 Bloomberg article 'BP Lacked Well Control Six Weeks Before Gulf Rig Disaster, E-Mails Show':

BP Plc told regulators six weeks before its well in the Gulf of Mexico exploded that workers were having trouble maintaining control, according to e-mails released yesterday by the House Energy and Commerce Committee investigating the spill....

   "We are in the midst of a well control situation on MC 252 #001 and have stuck pipe," wrote [BP executive Scherie Douglas in a March 10 e-mail] referring to the subsea block, Mississippi Canyon 252, of the stricken well. "We are bringing out equipment to begin operations to sever the drillpipe, plugback the well and bypass." ...

   The e-mails shows that as early as the second week of March, BP was enlisting help from J. Connor Consulting Inc., a Houston-based firm that advises some of the world’s biggest energy companies on how to respond to oil spills.

More:>

http://tinyurl.com/27verhm
Add this to Goldman Sachs selling their BP stock, and you have a real problem!


http://bit.ly/auUfyk

 Proof Goldman sold 4.6 million shares of BP March 31, 2010.
We already discussed the dispersants and how they have been been funded, as well as stockpiled and by who.


Now look at the selling of stock by the major players, just before an alleged accident.


As you know by my article yesterday, there are 3 confirmed ruptures.
First one at site of Horizon. Second 8 miles away. Third 22 miles away.
You see the recent advertisements by BP saying they are doing everything they cam and that BP has 1,300 boats in the water.


Have a look at live satellite sometime. There are not 1,300 boats in the water.


Bobby Jindall applied for permits to build 22 barrier islands. O gave him permits for 4.Said they wanted environmental impact study.
What study? That's an intentional stalling tactic.
Here's a study result: Oil bad for environment. Sand not bad for environment.



My advice La. Build the islands. To heck with permits. What politician would dare complain? That would be a fool's move on their part!


If you think this is only going to affect the Gulf region, you may want to have a look at this projected path:

This shows the graphic of the oil getting in the loop current, goind around the Keys and up the East coast which will cause an enormous enviromental disaster that is unprecedented on historic propotions that will most likely kill the Coral Reef Sad


You may have noticed, O went to the Gulf yesterday. He never said a word about a containment plan, the toxicity of the dispersants or even mention the now known fact there are 3 separate ruptures.
http://tinyurl.com/2b339xs


He never mentioned help offered and refused from not only EXXON and Shell, but from other countries. Did you know the Saudis have and have offered their Supertankers, that are specifically designed to vacuum oil off the ocean surface? Why are they not welcome?
You see the oil is about to enter the Gulfstream current Loop. Why are we not preventing that?
Where are the resources.



Please note the deadly silence from the Enviro-Groups. Why?






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« Reply #32 on: June 08, 2010, 10:57:57 AM »

I am bringing over some of the post I made in JSM's thread:


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quote from: joesamas mama on June 06, 2010, 09:35:12 AM
Quote from: islandmonkey on June 06, 2010, 01:58:52 AM
Quote from: Brandi on June 06, 2010, 01:51:24 AM
Yeah, I got your point about paid workers needing to do the work they were hired for, IM.

Some of the people paid are locals whose jobs have been displaced by the disaster, I hear.

This is a massive disaster, I don't know the answer to making the people who were hired to clean do their jobs, not just during media presence times.

People hired to do a job have the responsibility to do the job. Period.




Exactly! The workers here were transported in on buses and the locals hired for use of their fishing vessels have only had about 120 out of 1300 called upon to help (that was in LA). The ones here are bused in, put up in hotels and all their expenses paid which is why I was enraged to see them doing nothing unless the media is shooting video. I think Buck Lee is correct, we don't need them here since they aren't working, we can hire our own and bill it to BP, but the locals are more than willing to do their share. However after I get all the photos tomorrow of them sitting on the bum and upload it to youtube and send it to Fox, maybe someone will light a fire under them since that may be the only thing to move them from their tents.

You go GIRL!! Post the youtube here when you get it finished. I am proud to have you as a fellow monkey. I just saw that BP commercial about them cleaning up, blah, blah, blah. We don't have BP's here or I would certainly boycott them. <insert monkey mad icon>


I am working on it!!!!! Problem with boycotting the stations is they are mom and pop stores as BP hasn't run the gas stations in many, many yrs and it doesn't hurt BP just your average family struggling to get by, now other products made by BP such as Castrol motor oil etc. is another story. I did just hear Orlando Salinas who is ont he beach near my house say that BP was having a meeting inland and "getting an earful from angry locals", LOL!! They deserve it and more.......
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« Reply #33 on: June 08, 2010, 11:10:59 AM »

 Re: JSM's BEGGING FOR BAN THREAD #16 5/30/10 -
« Reply #1416 on: June 06, 2010, 04:43:38 PM » Quote 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ok, just got back in from the beach and walked east to see if I could find the workers..........LOL, what was I expecting from that crew. I got on the beach before 12:00 and they were no where to be seen until about 1:30ish, I walked down and told them there were a few tar balls in front of where I live and they told me they couldn't clean them up?? Whatever, so I watched them again do nothing. There were 2 men standing in the very same spot as they were yesterday and shoveling about one tar bar a minute, hello-you have a freaking shovel scoop up as many as possible at a time and fill the bags. I finally went down and did it myself and it took me about 4 minutes to scoop it up witha seashell, and finally I resorted to using my hands beacuse I could get more with my hands than the seashell. I was able to clean it up and fill a plastic bag in that short period of time. I decided to walk west and was fully anticipating being pissed again at the next crew and was pleasantly surprised to see their entire crew working and they had about 130 bags filled before noon and another 50+ (from my estimate) filled and waiting to be hauled off. I introduced myself and they gladly gave me their crew name Northeast Tanker crew and even their names which shocked me because the other crew refused to answer anything at all, which is irrelevant since I have all thier faces on photographs. The Northeast tanker crew was the ones I saw at the public beach yesterday when the governor and Jimmy Buffet were here (they were pulled from their normal spot for the photo op and I assume it's because they are the only crew in the 9 blocks I walked that actually had NO TAR BALLS left). They told me they expect to be here a full yr and wanted to stay in the section of the beach they have been assigned and I hope they do because htey came down and cleaned up what I wasn't able to get without question. I also talked to a supervisor from DEP who told me that 130 men were fired yesterday because all of the complaints from locals after watching them do nothing and expected more to be fired this week, he also laughed when he told me that the crew that did nothing told him they were supposed to work 15 minutes and rest 30 minutes.......we laughed together and I found him to honestly seem to be equally pissed even though he doesn't live here. The Northeast tanker crew doesn't either, most are from the Boston area and they were telling me they had never seen a beach so gorgeous in their life and intended to do everything to keep it that way, I offered them anything they want, water, coke etc, since I truly appreciate a group that cares and want to keep them near my stretch of the beach. I took photos which I will send everywher I can of locals (which weren't out as much as usual due to the extremely rough surf and impending storm approaching) cleaing up the tar balls, pic's of the Northeast tanker crew and the "no name crew" that does nothing. They were none too happy with me taking pic's of them and their snail's pace style of work, but thay can bite me because this is my home, my backyard and expect you to do what you are paid to do. So, their it is - my extremely long post about another day cleaning up the beach. Here are a few pic's............can you guess which ones are the crew that work?? Also note, they seagrass washed up due to the storm and rough surf and was all over the beach, this is not the oil just a plankton like natural substance that comes in when we have rough weather.





The first group of pic's is a crew who won't tell me their name, answer any questions and bagged about 25 bags the entire day. I went out about 11:30 and their tent ws empty and they were no where to be found until 1:30 ish, where 2-3 workers took 2 days (I was out Sat and Sun watching this crew) clean a 5 x 5 area, while I cleaned up 150 tar balls in a matter of under 5 minutes, they have shovels and I just used my hands as other locals used seashells to scoop it up. The Northeast Tanker crew which is west of me had 230+ bags filled before noon that day and another 60 ish between 1:00 and 2:00 and yesterday had tons of bags even though we had no oil they were cleaning the sea grass so when oil does wash ashore it will be easier to clean. Of course they didn't mind telling me their name or where they were from (Boston area) because they were working their @ss off. I thanked them profusely and they actualy thanked me for coming out to the beach, WOW I was impressed by this crew, sadly they are an anomally and this was also the crew that was moved to the public area when Jimmy Buffet was on the beach with the governor........my guess, photo op because BP wants to potray how efficeint they are and since we have tons of reporters here from AP, CNN, FOX, CBS etc., it was best to have this crew in the background. Also theytold me they expect to be here for a year.
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« Reply #34 on: June 08, 2010, 11:13:25 AM »

Totally forgot to post the proof of Goldman Sachs huge sell of BP stock after MMS learned the well was unstable and before the explosion................also remember Goldman Sachs is tied into NALCO who makes the toxic dispersant Corexit
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« Reply #35 on: June 08, 2010, 11:43:35 PM »

‘Oil Rising Up from Seabed’ – People are Miscalculating Risks
By Nathan A. Martin|Jun 8, 2010, 1:07 PM
Senator Bill Nelson says that oil is now leaking from the seabed floor and that the casing used in the well may be broken or shattered.

This raises new questions about the possibility of inferior casing, about the amount of oil actually coming out of the ground, and about the likelihood of relief wells actually working and how long they will take to work.

Even if they do work, what will be the damage to the coastline, the food chain, and how far around the globe will it travel if it continues to spew for months, or if the relief wells fail, even years?

I contend that humans are vastly miscalculating RISK. We have miscalculate the financial risk and allowed private central bankers to create a money system that requires never ending growth – a mathematical impossibility. We poke hole after hole into the ground (2,500 wells in progress now) in more and more difficult places and do not require corporations to use redundant fail safe systems – like we do for airliners. We should have seen these possibilities and required nothing but the highest levels of safety. Just as we should require a money system that is not guaranteed to fail over time, one that only works to enrich the very few people who control money’s production.

Now we have oil gushing into the Gulf at extremely high rates and we fiddle fart around. If that casing is shattered and oil is leaking up through the seabed floor, this is an entirely different ballgame than the one we have been spooned.

If we even mention the word “nuclear” people freak out. Again, this is miscalculating the risk. The greater risk is poisoning the entire food chain and watching oil and chemicals travel the oceans of the world. If it turns out that oil is seeping up through the ocean floor, an underground explosion may be the only option – and it may be an option that we are fools not to use sooner than later. Using it AFTER the ocean is poisoned is simply moronic, no other word for it.

Concerns over radiation leaking are vastly over perceived. Mankind has set off HUNDREDS of underground explosions and never produced anything even remotely approaching the damage being done right NOW by this one oil well. We need to be examining the nuclear option and evaluating the soil between the well head and the oil reservoir. Call me nuts if you want, but we should have been prepping for this from day one. We should be drilling a parallel shaft to the well NOW in preparation.

Mankind invented a very dangerous thing in nuclear weapons. We now have the opportunity to put them to use on behalf of mankind, yet we refuse to help ourselves with our own technology. The greater RISK may very well be in letting the oil run. I say that collapsing the well and sealing the fissures surrounding it now may be the lower risk thing to do – at a minimum we should be discussing, evaluating, and preparing for it in light of the facts and not our emotions. This means that we need to know the full extent of what’s going on, and we need that transparency now.

Videos and more at: http://wallstreetpit.com/31174-oil-rising-up-from-seabed-people-are-miscalculating-risks
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« Reply #36 on: June 09, 2010, 09:25:11 AM »

http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/06/presidential_commission_on_bps.html
Presidential commission on BP's oil spill needs to start their work: An editorial
Published: Wednesday, June 09, 2010, 6:59 AM     Updated: Wednesday, June 09, 2010, 7:32 AM
President Barack Obama announced the creation of a special White House commission to investigate the BP oil spill 25 days ago.
A few days later, he named the seven-member commission's co-chairs: William Reilly, former EPA administrator under President George H.W. Bush, and Bob Graham, a Democrat who was governor of Florida in the 1980s.
Since then the names of two more members have surfaced -- both of them environmental experts and one of them an advocate for restoring Louisiana's coastline. The three other members have yet to be named, and no official appointments have been made other than the chairmen.

For a panel that is supposed to wrap up its inquiry in six months, and whose work will directly affect Louisiana's future well being, this is a terribly slow start.
President Obama said in his May 22 radio address that the purpose of the commission "is to consider both the root causes of the disaster and offer options on what safety and environmental precautions we need to take to prevent a similar disaster from happening again."

He said he was directing the commission to produce "recommendations on how we can prevent - and mitigate the impact of - any future spills that result from offshore drilling." Meanwhile, he ordered a six-month moratorium on deepwater exploratory drilling in the Gulf and tied it to the commission's work.

The commission, as described by President Obama, has a big task ahead. It is puzzling why it is still awaiting members and has yet to be fully launched.

If Mr. Reilly and Mr. Graham are going to be able to do what the president has asked, they need to get started. President Obama ought to name the remaining members of the commission immediately. We hope that list includes a Louisiana resident who understands the workings of our economy.
It has been seven weeks since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, setting in motion the worst oil spill in U.S. history. South Louisianians are simultaneously grieving the loss of lives and livelihoods. Oil is invading our fisheries and coating marshes and seabirds. Thousands of fishers are out of work and now thousands more oil service jobs are threatened.

We need to see the commission get on with its work.
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« Reply #37 on: June 09, 2010, 09:31:49 AM »

http://news.yahoo.com/video/us-15749625/ap-exclusive-scuba-diving-in-the-gulf-oil-spill-20239801

AP Exclusive: Scuba Diving in the Gulf Oil Spill

47 minutes ago - AP 3:23 | 2852 views

A rare and different perspective at the oil spill from beneath the surface. The AP's Rich Matthews got an exclusive look at the spill by joining a dive team who explored how the oil is impacting the…
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« Reply #38 on: June 09, 2010, 09:55:29 AM »

Due to high volume because of the Natalee Holloway case I have disabled new attachments.  That means for the time being you won't be able to upload from you PC it will have to be in photobucket or on the web.  Just thought you should know.
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« Reply #39 on: June 10, 2010, 08:59:45 AM »

http://www.coosavalleynews.com/np85720.htm
Alabama Waterway Closed
CVN News

06-10-2010

The U.S. Coast Guard closed Perdido Pass, the main waterway into the resort town of Orange Beach due to thick waves of oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf.

BP had deployed several thousand feet of boom, but the oil seeped under it into the main channel and down the waterway. Many areas of the marshy shoreline are now coated with oil residue.
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