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This new procedure also includes aerated holding tanks with water quality meters which measure toxicity levels as the bioremediation agent treats the effluent.
Alana advances her experiments to validate EA Oil Spill Technology as ‘First Response Tool’
But Alana didn’t stop there — she continued her study and experiments conducting toxicity and adhesion tests on the three types of bioremediation agents listed on the EPA NCP (National Contingency Plan) listings. Her goal this year was to determine if bioremediation-based protocols would be an effective ‘First Response’ tool.
In her study of oil spill cleanup issues, Alana found out that the current Bioremediation Fact Sheet, which government agencies use to determine when and how these agents are used, is 14 years behind the times. It is also missing current science on the more advanced applications currently available and uses of this oil spill technique.
Alana learned from the BP Gulf oil spill that applying chemical dispersants broke up the oil into smaller droplets, sinking them into the water column. This process was utilized over the course of the spill with the incorrect understanding that the oil would become more available for microbes to digest.
In actuality, subsequent studies showed that the dispersant used — COREXIT — created an oil droplet many times more toxic than the already toxic oil (one study showed as much as 52 times more toxic than untreated oil). She also found that there were many gaps in the research which have not proven the effectiveness of dispersant technology. More importantly, research studies neglected to reveal the damage that dispersants could do to our oceans, as well as the harm to wildlife and especially to people.
For her second round of toxicity and adhesion experiments, Alana was fortunate enough to enlist the support of local businesses. GeoTech Engineering in Orange County allowed Alana to use their sophisticated mini Rae3000 meter and their Horiba meter to test the toxic VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds*) and parameters such as pH, temperature, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, and total dissolve solids.
Not satisfied with her experimental procedure after the first round, Alana upped the test medium from four 1000 ml beakers to four 10 gallon fish tanks, adjusted a few other parameters, and retested everything finishing the night before the California State Science Fair.
Having skipped a grade in middle school, Alana ended up taking one of three honorable mentions in the Senior Division of Toxicology out of 36 participants during her first year competing at the high school level. Right on the heels of the Science Fair, the Santa Barbara oil spill took place on May 19, 2015 bringing home the importance of her work.
It has been difficult for her to watch as the days go by, knowing that nothing but fairly ineffective mechanical clean up has been used on this spill while these much more effective bioremediation agents, which could have immediately reduced the toxicity and adhesion of the oil, remain unused. Nevertheless, Alana remains unfazed by the questionable response to the Santa Barbara spill; she knows the time is coming for a more enlightened approach to the oil spills which constantly occur throughout the USA.
And, I would have known that by now the natural microbes would have already been breaking down the oil and cleaning it up. Honestly, I think it’s really sad that they aren’t doing anything like that and that they are instead just trying to have people pick it up, put it in orange plastic buckets and haul it away to pollute another site or wipe rocks down by hand. It’s like they’re using cave man technology at a time when current proven methods are sitting right there waiting to be used.” — Alana Tessman
LAEO and Alana Tessman working on parallel tracks have joined forces
How does a 13 year old young scientist, knowing what she knows about truly effective oil spill response, get the attention of the authorities who are supposed to know better? Luckily she’s gained the attention of the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization (LAEO), which has been leading the way to more effective and nontoxic oil spill clean up solutions.
In fact the LAEO had independently made some of the very same important observations which Alana has made over the course of her research. During the BP spill the LAEO was one of the very first on the GOM coastline assessing the damage and looking for better ways to remediate the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
That historic environmental disaster further compelled the LAEO to seek out every organization, as well as individual scientist, in the country which was committed to a developing safe and effective oil spill response plans. This endeavor went even further as the LAEO looked at every possible process and procedure, material and product which might offer a better way than the inferior protocols routinely used today.
LAEO and Alana have formed a unique partnership. The LAEO Environmental Solutions Institute Division is currently in the process of having her various tests and conclusions peer reviewed for publication. In this way the results, along with other testing they have been conducting, can be shared with policymakers and government agency scientists.
“Our research has irrefutably concluded that the U.S. is way behind the curve on oil spill clean up technology. Industry with its space-age drilling and excavation technology use stone-age methods for cleaning up their hazardous chemical spills. We are working independently to change that since the U.S. EPA and other responsible agencies have not gotten the job done”, said Diane Wagenbrenner, Vice President LAEO. “Our Science and Technology Committee will collaborate with young scientists like Alana along with industry and regulators to force advancement to take place in this field”, she continued.
With deepwater drilling expanding in the Arctic, Gulf of Mexico and U.S. Atlantic waters, LAEO has expressed deep concern over deficient spill countermeasure plans, that despite lessons learned during the BP spill, are readily signed off as okay by U.S. officials who are supposed to be acting as our environmental protection trustees. According to their research paper,
*Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are toxic petrochemical gases emitted by crude petroleum and therefore present at all oil spill sites. The specific VOCs which are associated with oil spills include the following harmful inhalants:
For more Information Contact:
Vice President Operations,
Science and Technology Coordinator,
Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization
About Lawrence Anthony:
Dr. Lawrence Anthony was a dedicated conservationist who believed that humans need to find more mutually supportive ways of living alongside animals and the natural world. As a 3- time, bestselling author, he gained international renown for his legendary relationship with a herd of wild, traumatized elephants he rescued. His acclaimed book The Elephant Whisperer tells the story of this remarkable relationship. Since he passed away in 2012, the herd has come to his house each year on the anniversary of his death.
Read more… and watch the video’s covering some of his life’s work on our website.
A message from the International President: Barbara Wiseman
Welcome to our on-going environmental news column in E-Mag! We are going to utilize this wonderful opportunity to present interesting educational information so that you can play an even bigger part in preserving and protecting Earth’s waters and all life through the daily choices you make. We want to bring practical information to you. We are not about spreading bad or scary news, but about spreading constructive news and information. Yes, we talk about the problems, but, also, about technologically sound and easy-to-implement remedies and answers. We want to actively engage with you, and other like-minded groups and organizations, to multiply those who are beneficially influencing the direction of our society’s culture, and to promote practical and realistic environmental solutions.
When I co-founded The Earth Organization with Dr. Lawrence Anthony, we wanted to bring a new brand of environmentalism to the world described under a term we coined:
To learn more about this philosophy go to
What we call “Co-Eco Education” is applied through a variety of conservation and education initiatives, helping bring a more harmonious relationship between human beings and nature. We hope you find this useful in your life and for the many people and organizations you impact.Together, we can re-create a healthy, aesthetic planet for all life!
The mission of The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization (LAEO) is to foster the development and implementation of workable solutions to environmental and conservation challenges. We are a unique international conservation organization that’s all about protecting and preserving Earth’s oceans, waters and every member of our inter-dependent life ecosystems. And, we do this work in partnership with industry, government agencies, environmental science and technology professionals, community stakeholders and you!
As a science and education-based non-profit, LAEO raises awareness of the need for a partnership-based approach to survival between all races and cultures of mankind and the natural world, based on a deep understanding of the mutual interdependence between all life.
We are honored to represent Earth, Air, Water and the Animal Kingdom in the pages of E-The Magazine for Female Executives. All these elements are essential to the prosperity and success of mankind. Their utilization and integration in our activities demand respect and conservation. Here we form an alliance with traditional and science based knowledge providers, to bring you vital information for all’s survival.
For More information visit
Other Co-Eco Education Links and Information Resources:
- Optimizing Oil Spill Response- Identification and Assessment Methods for Contingency Planning
- Corrected Definitions for Bioremediation-Key Data for Open Water Spill Use-Enzyme Additive Category
- What is Cooperative Ecology-Guidance for Oil Spill Response Professionals
- Chemical Dispersants and the Clean Water Act
- Spill Solutions Documentation
SANTA BARBARA’S COAST SHOULD
HAVE BEEN SAVED
See A Citizen’s Perspective-Click Here
Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization Challenges EPA’s Proposed Clean Water Protection Regulations Claiming Evasive Bureaucratic Language Masks Outdated Science
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE-EARTH DAY 2015
Earth Day 2015___While the five-year anniversary mark for the catastrophic 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has captured renewed media and public attention, few discussions seem to be addressing one of the most insidious and invisible threats to earth’s oceans—a broken emergency response system for hazardous chemical spills in the United States. For the first time in twenty-one years, major regulatory revisions have been proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address concerns over this system and the chemicals used to clean up spills.
Today the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization (LAEO) launched an aggressive ‘Take Action for Earth’s Waters’ program. Its explicit purpose is to deal with what they are calling “a threat posed by permissiveness and complacency in a complicated morass of clean water protection regulations that will inevitably result in the destruction of our oceans and waters”.
The EPA published its new rules in the Federal Register in February with a 90-day public comment period, which ironically, just ended on Earth Day, April 22nd.
Having researched spill response deficiencies in U.S. regulations since the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the LAEO has issued a series of publications to educate regulators and the public on system gaps, solutions as well as Cooperative Ecology Thinking. The group plans to distribute their public comment recommendations globally to industry and regulators asking that they join LAEO in collaborative research projects for optimizing oil spill response systems.
“The threat isn’t the inevitable ocean spills, pipeline bursts and train derailments–it is the crazy idea that spills cannot truly be cleaned up despite there being technology and solutions that already exist to fully remove these pollutants,” said LAEO VP Operations Diane Wagenbrenner. “We believe our recommendations are constructive and helpful to the EPA; however, regardless of what they do with them, we will continue to work with all stakeholders until better solutions are implemented,” she continued.
How the EPA will deal with the more than 350 submitted public comments on their revised rules is unknown. The American Petroleum Institute, along with other industry groups, asked for an extension on the 90-day period, which was denied. Given that these revisions are based, in part, on lessons learned during the 2010 BP blowout, many oil spill response professionals are anxious to get into an implementation phase.
Richard Charter an oil spill response veteran and Senior Fellow with The Ocean Foundation sheds light on that in his submitted public comment saying: “Determining whether or not to approve the application of chemical dispersants to maritime spills of crude oil or refined petroleum products is often one of the most controversial and consequential decisions facing resource managers. Proposals for much-needed revisions to an ineffective framework of confusing regulations are long overdue, and while the present iteration of proposed changes to Subpart J represents a good start, more needs to be done to respond to the issues raised in our subsequent comments.”
LAEO and its Change Oil Spill Response Global Alliance, point out that the conglomerate of 14 U.S. government agencies with environmental protection responsibilities and multiple layers of protectors and enforcers are very aware that they do not have truly workable solutions for dealing with oil and hazardous chemical spills. Many environmental groups and professionals have expressed valid concerns in their public comments that 5 years past the BP/Gulf spill should have produced better protections. However, according to most, lessons have not been learned re the “insidious and invisible” dangers of chemical dispersants which appear to still have a dominant position in oil spill response and EPA’s proposals.
Our oceans are being broken because of a dysfunctional system that can actually be fixed. Those responsible for fixing it are not doing so, hence, we along with qualified environmental science and other professionals must form a strong alliance to take this on”, said Barbara Wiseman, LAEO’s International President.
The question remains; will the new EPA proposals protect our waters from oil and hazardous chemicals? Time will tell. But many are saying–we no longer have the time to tell.
For More Information Contact:
Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization
Global Alliance Coordinator
Other Information Sources:
Richard Charter-Senior Fellow The Ocean Foundation Public Comment
Prince William Sound Regional Citizens Advisory Council Public Comment
Government Accountability Project
Alert Project Information Hub
PREVIOUS RELEASES FROM LAWRENCE ANTHONY EARTH ORGANIZATION
EPA/Coast Guard Planned Meetings re Chemical Dispersant Use Being ‘Safe’, Outrages Alaskan Residents and Tribal Governments
Alaska Change Oil Spill Response Alliance condemns planned federal agency-sponsored community meetings being held this week as a deceptive attempt to gain public support for ‘poisoning Alaskan waters’ and a move to erode the power of the Clean Water Act.
Anchorage, Alaska November 12-17, 2013__The Alaska Regional Response Team (ARRT), a federal inter-agency body tasked with formulating response plans to oil and hazardous substance discharges in Alaska, are holding public meetings in five hub Alaskan regions this week to present their revised oil spill response plans. The first meeting, scheduled in King Salmon, Alaska on Wednesday, November 13th will present information on plans that give pre-authorization for the spraying and injection of the same controversial chemical dispersants as were used on the 1989 Exxon Valdez and 2010 Gulf of Mexico British Petroleum (BP) Oil Spills to be used in Alaskan waters.
The Alaska Inter-Tribal Council and the Change Oil Spill Response Global Alliance-Alaska Delegation, say Tribal Nations, fisherman and concerned citizens vehemently oppose the plan because it erodes the regulatory power of the Clean Water Act. In a widely distributed Public Notification to Tribal Governments and Alaskan citizens, they explain that U.S. policies and laws mandating government to government consultation with Tribal Nations on such plans are being undermined and short circuited by the ARRT.
The ARRT’s ‘questionable Tribal Consultation process’, planned to begin on Nov 13th, “is a misuse of public funds to force through approval of the Coast Guard’s dispersant use plans setting a dangerous precedent for inappropriate government to government consultation with Federally Recognized Tribes” said Walter Parker, an Arctic expert with 40 years experience in oil & gas oversight. “Chemical Dispersant use in oil spill response should be retired globally as obsolete, and is especially inappropriate for Alaska, since the method is ineffective in frigid waters” he continued.
The Public Notification educational materials distributed to more than 250 potentially impacted Tribal and Fishing communities illustrate that human rights violations are taking place through the ARRT’s inept Tribal engagement processes. According to the documents, the pre authorization plans would allow for the use of chemical dispersants over the objections of Tribal authorities and environmental groups in the event of an oil spill.
I. See attached documents for details:
- Briefing to Tribal Governments and Coastal Residents-Urgent Action Required
- Tribal Exclusion Fact Sheet
- An Open Letter to Oil Spill Response Professionals
- Sample Tribal Resolution to Ban Chemical Dispersants
- A Case Against Chemical Dispersants
II. See ARRT website for meeting call in information and other details at: http://alaskarrt.org/Documents.aspx?f=12371
PLEASE CALL IN TO OR ATTEND THESE GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED MEETINGS AND HELP TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS AND THE PUBLIC GET ANSWERS TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:
Any proposal for the use of chemical dispersants requires that the following questions be addressed by the inter-agency ARRT presenting their dispersant plans for discussion:
- Of greatest importance in oil spill response is rapid reduction of oil toxicity and its impact on ecosystems and threat to human health. Dispersants do not remove oil or reduce toxicity of the oil but increase it, how does the revised plan address this?
- Based on 2012 DOI testing and other science we have reviewed, dispersants are not effective in frigid waters below a certain temperature. How does your plan overcome that?
- How will dispersants applied by aerial and/or other application methods not impact marine life, coastal and up-river communities?
- Since dispersants do not remove oil and its most toxic compounds but instead sink and disperse them into the water column increasing absorption capacity and ingestion by marine life, how is this addressed in the plan?
- How will chemical dispersants not impact Customary and Traditional and Modern Life-ways of hunting, fishing, gathering ability to navigate and access clean water?
- What non-toxic alternatives can be used to replace chemical dispersants invented by and/or owned by the major oil companies? (LAEO’s research has found technology that does indeed exist to truly detoxify and swiftly clean up an oil spill, and that technology is being successfully used in many parts of the world today.)
- How does the use of chemical dispersants comply with the Clean Water Act? (see: http://protectmarinelifenow.org/revitalization)
(Note: See also study/position paper at: www.protectmarinelifenow.org which is based on multiple scientific studies cited indicating unquestionable food chain, ecosystem and human health impacts of dispersants.) If any proposed chemical dispersant guidelines do not meet the criteria at: http://protectmarinelifenow.org/identification for selecting products for oil spill cleanup, they should not be approved.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Nikos Pastos-Center for Water Advocacy,
AI-TC and Alaska Delegation Spokesperson
VP Special Project Operations
Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization
COSR Global Alliance Media Relations
Carl Wassilie-Yup’iaq Biologist
Distributed by the Alaska Inter-Tribal Council and Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization and Change Oil Spill Response Global Alliance Initiative for education purposes.
“We Watched Our Friends Die”
Change Oil Spill Response Global Alliance-Alaskan Delegation Challenges EPA/Federal Regulators
May 22, 2013, Valdez, Alaska–The words of an Alaskan tribal elder, “We watched our family and friends die,” represent the tearful feelings of many about the use of chemical dispersants in their waters. Used by workers during the Exxon Valdez oil spill cleanup and more recently on the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Corexit dispersants brought severe illness and early death to many of their relatives working to save their life-supporting ecosystems according to documentation in a formal submission compiled by an Alaskan Change Oil Spill Response Alliance Delegation presenting at the Alaska Regional Response Team (ARRT) semi-annual meeting today.
Despite mounting opposition, the ARRT consisting of federal and state agency officials responsible for protecting and safeguarding Alaskan lands and waters, is ready to give the green light to Corexit/chemical dispersant preauthorization plans presented at their 22 May meeting in Valdez, Alaska. The Alliance Delegation submitted a formal demand to completely eliminate dispersant use in the ARRT Unified Plan and to enact an alternative plan requesting immediate preauthorization of a ‘Bioremediation Agent–Enzyme Additive Type’ non-toxic oil spill cleanup technology to replace their chemical methods.READ MORE…
OUR CAMPAIGN IN THE NEWS!
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Numerous other newspapers and online media covered the below press release. Here’s just a few of them:
OIL INDUSTRY’S ADDICTION TO TOXIC DISPERSANTS
COSTING EVERYONE BILLIONS
(Not just BP!)
NEW STUDY PUBLISHED, CITES EPA MISGUIDANCE IS AT FAULT
Los Angeles-20 April 2013-Year 3, Gulf Oil Spill Disaster
An entirely new approach to oil spill problems associated with drilling, transport, pipelines and storage mishaps could find surprising common ground between the oil industry and environmentalists, according to a new position paper just released entitled: A Call for a Twenty-First-Century SOLUTION in Oil Spill Response. Written and compiled by the Science and Technology Board of the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization (LAEO), the analysis not only brings to light the dangerous flaws associated with current oil spill cleanup methods, but outlines technology they claim will not only save marine life, oceans, animals and people, but also save millions (and in BP’s case could have saved billions) of dollars in damages and cleanup costs to oil companies and local economies impacted by spills.
Citing recent scientific papers showing that the industry’s ineffective remedies are more destructive than the oil itself, LAEO’s paper asserts the source of the problem has been the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ‘misguidance’ documents their investigation uncovered that have been perpetuated and enforced throughout the industry. “These faulty guidelines and ineffective remedies for spill problems have resulted in industry officials with a 25-year addiction to chemical dispersants used in our oceans and who mistakenly think that these are the best tools for managing environmental damage and profit loss from oil spill fines,” said Diane Wagenbrenner, one of the paper’s joint authors and Advisory Board member of LAEO.
“Spill it, boom it, skim it, sink it, disperse it, and hide it’ is a mantra that recurs throughout most oil spill incidents including now the ExxonMobil Pegasus pipeline in Mayflower, Arkansas currently being treated with boom and adsorbents that are as ineffective as paper towels in cleaning up a massive spill,” said Barbara Wiseman, LAEO’s International President another joint author of the paper. “We intend for this publication to correct the EPA’s inaccurate guidance documents that have been barriers to effective clean up—and we believe, that even the oil companies will welcome it.”
The LAEO paper discusses ineffective handling of the Gulf of Mexico BP oil spill disaster when predominantly treated with the industry’s favorite spill killer: Corexit™. Originally developed by ExxonMobil, it is a toxic, hydrocarbon-based, oil-dispersant agent. The analysis makes an undeniable case that the use of chemical dispersant violates the Clean Water Act by contaminating the water column and seabed.
“The fact is, the Gulf ecosystem is still in crisis and certain members of the EPA have been using these erroneous documents to stand in the way of our and others’ efforts to get the waters truly cleaned up. BP’s pension-dependent shareholders could have saved billions, if the use of non-toxic, already-EPA approved technology had not been blocked by top EPA officials who themselves violated the Clean Water Act during the Deepwater Horizon disaster,” stated Jeanne Pascal, retired EPA attorney and another joint author. “Inadequate oil spill response outcomes have become the industry norm.”
Alongside publishing its industry guidance reform paper, LAEO launched a government and public education and awareness campaign on 20 April coinciding with the third-year anniversary of the start of the BP Gulf Oil Spill and Earth Month. The position paper and their ‘earth troops’ Oil Spill Response Action Kit can be found at www.ProtectMarineLifeNow.org. The BP spill anniversary day inaugurates their Change Oil Spill Response Now campaign aimed at building a global consensus and Internet presence promoting safe, non-toxic, cost-effective oil spill response.
For More Information Contact:
858-531-6200 or email: email@example.com