Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Posts Tagged ‘Exxon Valdez’

Alaska tug grounds, leaks diesel at Prince William Sound

Posted by feww on December 25, 2009

Tugboat meant to help prevent oil spill disasters in Prince William Sound runs aground leaking up to 35,000 gallons of diesel

The Pathfinder, a 136-foot tug with six crew, on its way back to port in Valdez grounded on Bligh Reef and radioed for help at 6:15 pm Wednesday, the Coast Guard said.


The Pathfinder, a 136-foot tug, is surrounded by a spill containment boom Thursday, Dec. 24, 2009. The tug ran aground on Bligh Reef – the same reef as the Exxon Valdez 20 years ago. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Marc Lester). Image may be subject to copyright.

Two of the tug’s fuel tanks which were damaged contained about 127,000 liters (33,500 gallons) of diesel fuel, or a quarter of their full capacity, AP reported.

The tug is owned by Crowley Maritime Corp., and is part of a system set up supposedly to prevent oil disasters like  Exxon Valdez from occurring, hit Bligh Reef, a submerged navigation hazard. In 1989 the infamous Exxon Valdez ran aground after hitting the same reef, spilling some 42 million liters of crude oil and causing and ecological disaster.

Yet Another BP Pipeline Leak in Alaska

The above news came just a day or so after BP said it had discovered another oil leak in an oil pipeline connected to a well at the Prudhoe Bay oil field, the third leak reported by the company in less than 4 weeks.

On December 2, BP discovered another leak from a pipeline at a different well at Prudhoe Bay, which leaked about 30,000 litters of oil,  Alaska’s environmental officials said.

On November 29, 2009 a ruptured pipe at the Lisburne field leaked about 175,000 liters of oil and water.

Related Links:

Posted in Alaska Oil Spill, Bligh Reef, BP, ecological disaster, Prince William Sound | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Exxon Mobile Court Orders Only Fraction of Damages

Posted by msrb on June 16, 2009

Federal Appeals Court Waters Down Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Damages 10 to 1

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Exxon Mobil Corp to pay litigants just over $500 million (plus interest), only a fraction of the original punitive damages stemming from Exxon Valdez disaster.


The Exxon Valdez, three days after the vessel ran aground on Bligh Reef. Photo: NOAA

A jury in 1996 had awarded total punitive damages of $5billion to  Alaska natives, business owners and other litigants against the 1989 Exxon Valdez massive oil spill off Alaska.

“The opinion issued on Monday by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals set the punitive damages figure, and determined the date from which the interest would run, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the maximum ratio of punitive to compensatory damages is 1:1 under maritime law.” Reuters reported.


A few days after the vessel grounded, a storm pushed large volumes of  oil onto the rocky shores and beaches of Prince William Sound, Alaska. Pooled oil from the Exxon Valdez sits between rocks on the shore. Photo: NOAA

To add insult to injury, the court decided each party should bear its own attorney fees and court costs. This means the lions’ share of the money would go to the lawyers.

ExxonValdez Disaster
Grounded.  Photo courtesy of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council. Exxon Valdez oil supertanker struck Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound (March 24, 1989), spilling an estimated 11 million gallons of crude oil in what was the largest environmental disasters in the US history. Only about a quarter of 26 monitored species have recovered to pre-spill numbers.

Interestingly the order regarding costs was a split decision by the judges. They want the litigants believe that there is at least  minority of judges which are more understanding.

The Exxon Valdez supertanker disaster, which contaminated about 1,250 miles of Alaska’s coastline, is considered the worst oil spill in the US history, with a clean-up price tag of about $2.5 billion.

Exxon Valdez spill map
Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Area.  Image Source: Ecotrust

Related Links:

Posted in Alaska's coastline, ExxonMobil, John D. Rockefeller, marine ecosystems, Standard Oil | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

TVA Spill Update

Posted by feww on December 25, 2008

500 Million 1.1 Billion Gallons of Coal Sludge Destroys Tennessee Homes

TVA spill is over 40 times bigger than the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska

Sent by Bonnie Swinford [Mountain Justice]

The Tennessee Valley Authority, better known as TVA, has a coal-burning power plant located near Harriman, Tennessee, along Interstate 40 between Knoxville and Nashville. On Monday, December 22 around 1:00 a.m. residences living near the Kingston coal plant were flooded with approximately 500 million gallons of nasty black coal waste. It covered 400 acres of land up to 6 feet and flooded into tributaries of the Tennessee River – the water supply for Chattanooga TN and millions of people living downstream in Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky.

sludge-retention-wall-collapsed
One of the homes which was destroyed when TVA  retention pond wall collapsed in Harriman, Tenn. Photo: AP. Image may be subject to copyright.

The coal ash, slurry or sludge is a byproduct left over after TVA burns their coal and they have a huge mountain of this coal waste material stored in a gigantic pile next to their Kingston power plant, alongside the tributary of the Tennessee River. Coal ash contains mercury and dangerous heavy metals like lead and arsenic, among many other potentially toxic and radioactive contaminates. Materials found naturally in coal are concentrated in the ash and more toxic than they start.

This Tennessee TVA spill is over 40 times bigger than the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska. This is a huge environmental disaster of epic proportions.

|
Orthographic aerial photograph of Kingston Fossil Plant coal fly ash slurry spill, in Kingston, Tennessee, taken the day after the event).

Note: The slate blue areas are the ash slurry that fills the retention area and covers areas to the north and east outside the breached dike.
Source:   Tennessee Valley Authority website http://www.tva.gov/emergency/photo_gallery/pages/123002.htm
Date:    December 23, 2008

United Mountain Defense has been at the site of the spill sharing information about the extremely serious threats to human health and the environment. We have been going door to door passing out information about the chemicals that may be present in impacted drinking water. TVA is advising families to boil water however they are not informing anyone about the reasons for needing to boil the water or sharing any chemicals that may be present in their water.

TVA Sludge Disaster
Two more of the homes that are buried in 6 feet of sludge. Source: TVA/NYT

TVA Sludge Disaster Close-up
Image close up. See above for details.

TVA has reported that preliminary water test show that the drinking water at the nearby water treatment facility meets standards, but lots of community members have well water or depend on water being pumped from a spring located in the flooded area.

There is also still the potential for more sludge to enter the water supply thorough waste runoff.

TVA says the area is not toxic but you can see coal sludge in the water and dead fish on the banks. The members of this community are without clean water and many without electricity or gas heat. We met people who were given motel rooms by TVA and others on the same street that have been without heat for days in 27° (F) weather and others who have been vomiting for more than 12 hours after drinking the water.

Aerial Footage of Retaining Wall Failure (Footage from TVA website)


We visited approximately 40 households and many people were frustrated they had not received any information other than what they could figure out from the minute long television segments or an isolated phone call from the water or gas utility. Residents say that they are not surprised by the flood because TVA has been fixing leaks in the retention wall for years and one person said this wall had been leaking for months before it broke.

TVA Coal Ash Disaster Dec 22 2008


United Mountain Defense is actively creating a plan of action to deal with this issue. We plan to spend as much time as possible in Harriman meeting people, taking photos and video, gathering water samples, passing out information and reporting what we learn.
Please check our news blog on this site for updates and to learn more about our TVA Santa Protests that occurred throughout December.

Check out the Santa Protest Videos
http://dirtycoaltva.blogspot.com/

We greatly appreciate all support and suggestion for dealing with this massive disaster can be sent to umdvolunteerhouse@yahoo.com

If you are able to test water samples for heavy metals or other specialized water testing please let us know.

We will not stand by as safety and environmental compliance taken a back seat to megawatt production.

Feel free to send checks for copies, paper, gas and general support funds to United Mountain Defense P.O. Box 20363 Knoxville, TN 37920 Please mark check: “For TVA Spill

We demand the following from TVA

  1. TVA provides clean drinking water to all residents with water affected by the coal ash spill, indefinitely.
  2. TVA and the State of Tennessee hold multiple public hearings and investigate the bursting coal ash dam.
  3. TVA and the State of Tennessee identifies the locations of all the coal ash, what toxins exist in the coal ash, and how it will be cleaned up and safely disposed of in landfills with liners.
  4. TVA provides public disclosure of all existing coal ash ponds and makes sure each pond receives a current inspection by the state of Tennessee. TVA upgrades all coal ash ponds to include safety liners.
  5. TVA installs a warning system and provides education for all residents likely to be impacted by any problems with other ash ponds.
  6. TVA completely cleans up and restores the affected properties and water ways.
  7. TVA pays restitution for human suffering involved in the ash pond failure.
  8. TVA establishes a citizen advisory board with voting power for all of its operations.
  9. TVA stops burning any coal from surface mines and Mountain Top Removal coal mines.
  10. TVA cuts their emissions of mercury, heavy metals, hydrochloric acid, and sulfuric acid to zero pounds per year.
  11. TVA agrees to not mine for coal in Royal Blue Wildlife Management Area.

Feel free to contact TVA and forward this list of demands. Make sure to be polite.

Tennessee Valley Authority
400 W. Summit Hill Dr.
Knoxville, TN 37902-1499

865-632-2101                         800-882-5263

tvainfo@tva.com

Related Links:

Latest News: EPA: Rivers high in arsenic, heavy metals after sludge spill

Other News: Still buried in SLUDGE

NASA Images: Coal Ash Spill, Tennessee

.

Posted in Alabama, Kentucky, Mountain Justice, Tennessee | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »