Aug 24 2011

BP Oil Spill Part Two?: New Oil Slick Found in Gulf

Published by under Energy,Water/Maritime

Oil Spill, via wikimedia

The appearance of an oil sheen in the Gulf of Mexico near the source of last year’s major BP spill sparked new fears in a community still suffering from oil spill jitters.   BP has denied that the oil is coming from any of its wells, including the capped Macondo well that was the source of the worst oil spill in U.S. history.  They nevertheless sent boats and booms to the capped well and investigated the site with submersibles to ensure that there are no leaks.  The source of the oil sheen is not currently known, but there are several other abandoned oil wells that may be the culprits.  So far, this incident is another reminder of the ever-present danger of oil spills, which increases in offshore rigs, and the reality that minor spills and leaks from such rigs happens on a regular basis.  This summer also saw more two major oil leaks: the Shell leak in the North Sea and the ruptured ExxonMobil pipeline that spilled into the Yellowstone River. Continue Reading »

Comments Off on BP Oil Spill Part Two?: New Oil Slick Found in Gulf

Apr 20 2011

One Year Later: The BP Oil Spill

Published by under Energy,Water/Maritime

Anchor-handling tugboats battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon, via wikimedia

Today is the one year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  On that fateful day, eleven people lost their lives in the explosion on the rig and seventeen more were injured.  This then touched off a disastrous oil leak from the blown wellhead that brought words like “blowout preventer” and “dispersant” into our collective understanding.  Speeches were made and hearings held in Congress as lawmakers attempted to get to the cause.  Meanwhile, attempts to stop the relentless flow of oil continued for months and workers in the Gulf of Mexico were frantically trying to keep the oil offshore and out of the wetlands, with limited success.  When the well was finally capped, the future of the Gulf of Mexico was uncertain.

One year later, the Minerals Management Services is no more, replaced by the unfortunately named Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE).  BOEMRE is setting a breakneck pace trying to balance pressure from the industry to get permits approved and environmentalists worried about another spill.  The oil in the Gulf is still around and recently there has been a rash of mysterious dolphin deaths, with dead baby dolphins washing up on the beaches.  Residents and scientists still worry that large oil plumes may exist underwater, sink to the seafloor, create “dead zones” for fish, and affect crab and shrimp harvests.  If anything, this anniversary is a reminder that the full effects of this disaster have not been fully felt or understood yet and we should not forget that. Continue Reading »

Comments Off on One Year Later: The BP Oil Spill

Apr 08 2011

Twitter Link Round-Up: Looming Government Shut Down and More Earthquakes

Published by under News

Photo by Kelci Block

Afraid you missed something interesting in the world of environmental law?  Read on for a (non-comprehensive) list of articles posted on our Twitter feed @WMELSBlog.

– TH: @TreeHugger After finding new “super bugs” in water in New Delhi, India, WHO says we are losing the battle http://bit.ly/i2nW38

– HP: @HuffPostGreen Gulf residents say dead sea turtles are left rotting on the beaches http://huff.to/hX7O5y (RT)

– TH: @TreeHugger Carbon offsets are resurrected http://bit.ly/h8DvoG

– NYT: @thecaucus Proposed changes to the Clean Air Act are part of the reason budget compromise is being held up http://nyti.ms/eHp8dt

– WaPo: @washingtonpost Interior Department announces that #ifgovernmentshutsdown they will be closing national parks http://wapo.st/hWCYHO Continue Reading »

Comments Off on Twitter Link Round-Up: Looming Government Shut Down and More Earthquakes

Mar 25 2011

Twitter Link Round-Up: More Nuclear News and World Water Day

Published by under News

Photo by Kelci Block

Afraid you missed something interesting in the world of environmental law?  Read on for a (non-comprehensive) list of articles posted on our Twitter feed @WMELSBlog.

– MJ: @MotherJones The Gulf Gets Oiled, Again http://mojo.ly/fGYTbk (RT)

– NYT: @nytimes Crisis in #Japan is reviving a fight in the US over spent fuel rods stored at Yucca Mountain http://nyti.ms/gdccbf

– Guardian: @guardianeco Obama administration announces massive coal mining expansion http://gu.com/p/2zxyv/tf (RT)

– LAT: @LATimesscience Japan’s fishing industry a major casualty of nuclear crisis http://lat.ms/hx6Ohy (RT)

– SA: @sciam The results of a forensic study of the #BP blowout preventer http://bit.ly/eSga7e

– NG: @NATGEONEWS Could a hole in the #ozone be forming over the north pole? http://bit.ly/hJ4He0 Continue Reading »

Comments Off on Twitter Link Round-Up: More Nuclear News and World Water Day

Mar 07 2011

Health in the Gulf: A New 10 Year Study on the Health Effects of the Gulf Oil Spill

Published by under Water/Maritime

Volunteers cleaning the coastline in Galicia in the aftermath of the Prestige oil spill, via wikimedia

After the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the nation’s primary focus was on the health of the ecosystems affected by the disaster.  However, birds and crabs were not the only animals exposed to the toxic chemicals; workers who were involved in the cleanup, especially on the beaches, have reported some alarming side effects.  Federal researchers have recently announced the start of a new 10 year study into the health effects those workers are suffering, planning to follow 20,000 workers, most of whom live in Lousiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. The study is being led by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences who are beginning the process of sending out invitations to take part in the study.  The first thousand were sent out last week, the goal being to send out approximately 100,000 invitations in all. The government is providing the initial $8 million investment with BP pitching in another $6 million. Continue Reading »

Comments Off on Health in the Gulf: A New 10 Year Study on the Health Effects of the Gulf Oil Spill