Global Alliance

 

CHANGE OIL SPILL RESPONSE GLOBAL ALLIANCE

Information and News Stop

CHANGE OIL SPILL RESPONSE CAMPAIGN ACTIONS

See latest submissions and releases at these links:

1. KEY SENATOR LETTER:

Urgent Letter to Key U.S. Senators–Federal Agencies (EPA, NOAA, Coast Guard) Condoning Clean Water Act Violations
Inaccurate EPA and NOAA Science Blocking Non-Toxic Replacements for Dispersants in Oil Spill Response Plans

Download Urgent Request to KEY Senators

2. Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization Public Comment Submission to Federal Agency Regional Response Team members in Alaska.

Download LAEO Public Comment re: Chemical Dispersants to EPA/Coast Guard

3. Click here for Freedom of Information Act Request to Alaska Federal Agency Representatives

Download Freedom of Information Act Request to Federal Agencies in Alaska

4. Also see public comments and chemical dispersant educational materials from Scientists and Oil Spill Response Professionals below:

Download Richard Charter with the Ocean Foundation

Download John French PhD with Pegasus Environmental

Download Alaska Inter-Tribal Council and Center for Water Advocacy

Download Prince William Sound Regional Citizen’s Advisory Council

Endangered Arctic Beluga Whale

TAKE A STAND FOR ALASKAN WATERS

 HELP US GET 5000 SIGNATURES – LOVE ALASKA PETITION EXTENDED UNTIL APRIL!

Don’t permit the destructive method of the Gulf of Mexico toxic oil spill response to be used in Alaska and the Arctic. Insist on a suspension of plans for chemical dispersant use in the Arctic!

Demand effective spill response practices that result in complete removal of oil and other hazardous waste spills from the environment, in compliance with the Clean Water Act.

All Alaskan peoples (and, all people who reside on this planet) should be aware that current Federal and State agency environmental protection plans for Alaska (which favor industry-paid-science recommended ‘ environmental safeguard practices ’) do not employ all available science and technology to remove oil spills.   Deepwater drilling, mining and other permits continue to be approved and issued by U.S. and State officials when submissions/requests contain the very same ‘Cleanup Contingency Plans’  that resulted in horrific ecosystem damage, harmed and/or killed sea life, and ended up with very sick coastal residents in the Gulf of Mexico.  Why is the Alaska Regional Response Team (made up of mainly the Environmental Protection Agency and Coast Guard Officials) pushing for such a plan in Alaska?

Sign this Petition Letter at: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stop-approval-of-toxic-chemicals-in-alaskan-waters

Help Make Our Message for Alaska Loud and Clear:

Sign this public letter, and you will be helping to bring this matter to the attention of government officials and industry professionals of good will who have the desire to bring this problem to an effective resolution.

 

PUBLIC PETITION LETTER

NO ADDED CHEMICALS IN ALASKA/ARCTIC WATERS–CONSTRUCT A BETTER PLAN!

TO COAST GUARD, EPA AND ALL UNITED STATES NATURAL RESOURCE TRUSTEE AGENCIES   

If there were a tanker or drilling spill in Alaska and/or Arctic waters and if these were treated with the same chemical dispersants used in the Gulf of Mexico, the consequences would be catastrophic.

By way of example, as of February 1st, 2011, it was estimated that between 800,000 and 4 million gallons of toxic chemical dispersants were sprayed or injected into the Gulf of Mexico as part of the on-going Deepwater Horizon disaster “clean up” operation that began more than 2 years ago on 22 April 2010. The broad-scale distribution of these poisonous substances has been justified by statements such as “trade-offs have to be made”.

The “tradeoffs” have been made and, because toxic dispersants were used, we now have millions of gallons of oil laced with toxic dispersants still suspended throughout the water column and on the sea floor, shifting constantly with the currents. This is causing severe, long-term harm to the public’s health, marine life, the environment, the economy and the Gulf’s way of life.  The same would hold true in Alaska and along every coastline in the United States if ineffective spill response is permitted to continue. Therefore, we respectfully submit the following for immediate action:

  • Whereas, the U.S. Presidential oath of office calls for the preservation of the nation’s natural resources, and that      responsibility is delegated to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA);
  • Whereas, the EPA authorized the use of toxic chemical dispersants to sink the oil from the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil accident violating the Clean Water Act;
  • Whereas, those chemical dispersants, and particularly all versions of the product called Corexit, have been proven, by      scientific studies, to have made the DWH accidental discharge worse than if the oil had been allowed to float to the surface, where it could have been collected;
  • Whereas, per scientific studies, the toxic chemical dispersants have polluted large and indefinable areas of the Gulf waters, making them unpredictable and unsafe for all living organisms;
  • Whereas, per scientific studies, the toxic chemical dispersants have contaminated much of our Gulf’s seafood, endangered the public’s health, shaken the public’s confidence in the quality of our seafood, and prolonged the recovery of the seafood and tourism industries;
  • Whereas, the public’s health has been put at great risk, as can be seen by the alarming rise in health problems which can be directly linked to exposure to the toxic chemical dispersants and dispersed oil;
  • Whereas, per scientific studies, Corexit is a biocide which kills the natural microorganisms that break down oil, retarding the      degradation of the oil itself, and is, thus, a continuing threat to all life in the Gulf;
  • Whereas, there are non-toxic, first-response, bioremediation products and other methods that are already on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Contingency Plan (NCP) list of approved agents for use in cleaning up oil spills;
  • Whereas, the EPA has provided no valid scientific reason for withholding permits for the full and immediate implementation of thoroughly vetted and demonstrably workable, non-toxic, remedies designed to fully detoxify and remediate both the oil and the toxic dispersant within two to four weeks;

We the people demand: 

  • Immediate suspension of chemical dispersant Pre Authorization plans being proposed in Alaska and in existence throughout all other U.S. regions until such time there is unequivocal science that supports safe and effective usage.

 

  • The United States National Response Team Network, Region 10 and Alaska must invest their time and resources into finding effective solutions for:

 

  • Effectively addressing the threat of a major oil spill or chemical accident. The lessons learned from the BP spill have resulted in absolutely no significant change in chemical agent plans as part of the U.S. National Contingency Plan (virtually the same response plan as used on the Exxon Valdez spill two and a half decades ago).  A significant spill by tanker vessels or drilling in Arctic waters would crash our fisheries, destroy sensitive Arctic habitats, impact endangered species and bring economic devastation to Alaska.   This is true because there are no effective spill plans in place that would prevent the catastrophic consequences of a major spill in the Arctic, nor for that matter are we prepared for another major spill anywhere.

 

  • The devastating effects of existing toxic waste spills that have not been effectively addressed throughout Alaska and the United States.

 

  • Holding industry to higher standards in spill countermeasure plans. Their current plans remediate less than 25% of any hazardous spill – which is an unacceptable standard. Federal agencies must stop approving and endorsing such plans! 

 

 

LEARN THE TRUE DATA

More than three years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster we have a backdrop of published scientific studies indicating sick and dying dolphins, coral and other sea life; bacteria-laden tar balls washing onto beaches, an intoxicated Gulf food chain and a Macondo geo-hazard risk zone over a mile below the surface that some experts say has the potential of releasing toxic gas and oil into the Gulf of Mexico for the next 25 years.  Behind this deep water curtain, there are still many unknowns about the BP oil spill events and response. What is important is that the lessons learned from the BP spill are truly learned and utilized for future decision-making.

We are asking that you become aware of what is going on in Alaska and the Arctic to ensure we do not have a repeat of the Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon spill in this sensitive marine mammal and sea life eco system!  In fact, the air you breathe is dependent on that system staying healthy.  Please take a moment to receive this information and join the collective voice against these destructive proposals in Alaska.

Learn a Few Important Facts:

FACT:  Federal Government Natural Resource Trustees are doing very little to clean up the unaccounted for oil-plus-toxic-dispersants     (Corexit ®) incased in the water column and seabed of the Gulf of Mexico still threatening all life along the coast.

FACT: Reports continue to stream in from those living in the Gulf coastal regions exclaiming new oil slicks appearing off their shores.  These are trivialized as “natural seeps” despite ample evidence that man made seabed floor fractures are releasing unusually large amounts of oil daily.

FACT: Federal and State government oil spill cleanup policies are wholly inadequate and result in adding more toxic chemical poisons to our waters and environment. 

FACT: These policies, expressed in the US National Contingency Plan governing all emergency response to toxic spills, have been unduly influenced by vested interests who prefer to hide spilled oil and other hazardous waste using chemical dispersants, not clean it up.

FACT: The Alaska Regional Plan Federal Officials are pushing these ineffective and harmful plans on Alaska.

FACT: All attempts to obtain authorization from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the use of proven, non-toxic, safer oil spill cleanup methods are stopped by them for unknown reasons, but  seemingly to shield industry from the ‘extra expense’, hide spills and keep in place spill response that doesn’t clean up their messes.

FACT: The EPA and Coast Guard Officials have refused to allow anything but toxic chemical dispersants to be used on oil spills in U.S. navigable waters and continue to justify the devastation caused by such as “necessary tradeoffs”.   It is time they stop misusing public funds to do this and invest in finding safe and effective clean up technologies.

More information available at: http://protectmarinelifenow.org/alaska-alliance/important-briefing-on-alaska-federal-agency-push-for-chemical-dispersant-pre-authorization-november-2013

 

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AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL OIL SPILL RESPONSE PROFESSIONALS

The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization along with the Change Oil Spill Response Global Alliance, a growing number of Native American Tribes, Citizen’s Coalitions, government officials and public throughout the world have a CLEAR position on Chemical Dispersants = don’t use them

That said, we also realize that when suggesting that something NOT BE DONE, there should also be a SOLUTION or remedy put in its place as opposed to just saying ‘no, we object’.

There is technology in existence today that if used to replace dispersants would not only completely remediate an oil spill but restore ecosystems suffering from the long term effects.

It appears the entire National Response Team (NRT) network has lost sight of the problem sought to be solved when there is an oil or hazardous material spill of which, chemical dispersants do not solve.

So what is the PROBLEM to be solved when there is oil or other hazardous substance spill?

Of greatest importance in oil spill response is how to rapidly reduce the associated toxins and their threat to sensitive ecosystems, sea life, sea mammals, fisheries and human health.

The PROBLEM with an oil spill is the fact that it contains approx 50,000 compounds, many of which are toxic to living organisms.

How is this threat removed by the use of chemical dispersants that contain some of these same toxic compounds?

Inaccurate, outdated science is being used to legitimize chemical dispersant use and your government Natural Resource Trustees are focused on the wrong problem–how to de-goo, dilute, sink and disperse the oil before it reaches shorelines and sensitive habits rather than remove it completely from the water column.

This has resulted in permitting and advocating an environmentally destructive ‘solution’ that has been part of the National Contingency Plan and industry spill countermeasure plan tool kits for oil and hazardous spills for more than two decades. 

Oil industry and shipping companies may benefit from the dispersing and sinking methods, but people and marine life do not!

Current case in point: The Alaska Regional Response Team (ARRT) officials working to gain preauthorization approval have expressed in their proposed Alaska Oil Dispersants Guidelines the following:

‘there are many uncertainties regarding the efficacy [effectiveness] and toxicity of dispersant use

Section 1.2 “Background” (para 2 & 3) Oil spill dispersants do not actually reduce the total amount of oil in the environment. Rather, they may change the inherent characteristics of the dispersed oil, thereby changing the oil’s transport, fate, and potential effects’.

Hence, the fundamental question becomes: Why are the Environmental Protection Agency, Coast Guard and other federal officials pushing through a plan advocating the use of chemical dispersants as a tool when there are so many uncertainties?

There are ample scientific studies (post Exxon Valdez and now post BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico), which indicate the efficacy of chemical dispersants are at best questionable and from our extensive reviews represent a serious threat to ocean ecosystems and very high health risks to the smallest micro-organisms up through to mammals in the food web and now documented grave risks and impacts to the health of human beings.

The Alaska Unified Plan must consist of known effective measures for dealing with and removing oil or other hazardous spills across the diversified environmental regions of Alaska thatdo not damage fisheries, the resources or the people subsisting there and the public’s health.   ARRT’s current plan would result in only a fraction of a toxic spill being cleaned up with long term devastating consequences.

All concerned U.S. Federal Government agencies and members of the ARRT would better serve the public if they employed current science and the best scientific solutions to oils spills in its spill response plans and engaged with all sectors to find and use better technology that does not put the arctic environment and resources, wildlife and people in danger.

If a spill is covered up by using chemical dispersants, there will be no necessity or will to invest in finding response methodology that will resolve the toxicity problems associated with an oil or other chemical spill.  We say:

THE  NRT  MUST  DISCONTINUE  EFFORTS  TO  GAIN  PRE-AUTHORIZATION  FOR  DISPERSANT AGENT  USE  IN  ALASKAN  WATERS  AND  WITHDRAW  PRE-AUTHORIZATION  ALREADY PUT IN  PLACE  ALONG  ALL  U.S.  COASTLINES.  

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WE  URGE  YOU INVEST  TIME  AND  PUBLIC  RESOURCES  INTO  FINDING  EFFECTIVE  SOLUTIONS  FOR:

a)     The devastating effects of existing toxic spills that are not being effectively addressed in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico or elsewhere in the US by using dispersants.

b)     Addressing the threat of a major oil spill or chemical accident by tanker vessels in Arctic waters which would be an international nightmare to deal with regardless of WHERE it spills due to the unique ICE and oceanographic conditions.

c)      Hold industry stakeholders to higher standards in spill countermeasure plans. Their current plans remediate less than 25% of any hazardous spill – which is an unacceptable plan. Federal agencies need to stop approving and endorsing such plans!

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The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization along with the Change Oil Spill Response Global Alliance have found better technology for addressing the toxicity and other problems oil spills cause—Study up on these solutions now at:

www.protectmarinelifenow.org/solutions

 Let’s work TOGETHER!

JUST PUBLISHED STUDY RAISES CONCERNS OVER OIL SPILL RESPONSE SEAFOOD MONITORING PROTOCOLS.

 

(Click this image for the full paper)

An important scientific study has just been published concerning the impacts of the BP Macondo 2010 Oil Spill on Gulf of Mexico ecosystem and fisheries. The new evidence shows that concentrations of toxic oil compounds found in seafood samples were up to 3,800 times greater than thresholds considered safe for human consumption by the USEPA. The data presented in the independent Marine Pollution Bulletin (MPB)  published study are based on samples taken across several media—seafood, fauna and flora, sediment, and water which were collected in the GOM from the south coast of Texas to west coast of Florida between June, 2010 and November, 2010. Concentrations of toxic oil compounds in all media were high compared to results produced by other investigators.

The study appearing in the peer-reviewed scientific journal MPB published by Elsevier Ltd, will likely be of interest to coastal communities, various user groups in the Gulf of Mexico, and numerous US Federal Government agencies. “It represents new information to add to the BP oil spill database and may serve as additional information for the court cases. Federal regulators and the science community will most likely log it and re-evaluate it, comparing it to their own results.” said Paul Sammarco, the lead scientist on the paper.

Acting as publicists for the authors and for general public education purposes, the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization is distributing this material and assisting with more information requests and the scheduling of interviews. Please feel free to contact our public information coordinator Diane Wagenbrenner for this purpose at: 858-531-6200 or email: vpcomm@theearthorganization.com. Specific questions concerning the science paper itself can be put in writing and will be directed to Paul Sammarco.

View and download our complete Media Kit containing the following:

  1. Press Release
  2. PDF copy of the published study
  3. Summary-Fact Sheet
  4. Co-authors, Statements and Quotes
  5. Co-authors, Scientist’s Bio Sketches

 

 

The Change Oil Spill Response (COSR) Global Alliance initiative’s purpose is to partner with industry, regulators, and all stakeholders to find a better way forward through the development and exportation of best practice in toxic waste/oil spill cleanup systems. Current model projects are ongoing in Los Angeles, Nigeria, India and the Middle East.

As a member of the alliance, you are part of a quality control network that works to ensure true science and technology is applied to environmental situations resulting in preserved, restored and prosperous ecosystems. You are subscribing to pure Independent Science over Influenced Science.

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