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Tagged : gulf-oil-spill


American Lung Association names 2010’s eleven biggest ‘clean air’ events

January 3rd, 2011


The American Lung Association has released its list of the 11 biggest “clean air” events of 2010. Eight events marked milestones that provide greater protection from dangerous air pollutants, while three represented delays that have life-threatening consequences. This year’s Lung Association list also commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Clean Air Act, the historic law credited with helping protect Americans from breathing dirty, unhealthy air.


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Alaska seeks court ruling on offshore drilling ‘moratorium’

September 14th, 2010

The state of Alaska has filed a petition in federal court to overturn the Obama administration’s moratorium on drilling in federal waters of the Arctic.

The problem: Interior Department officials insist that no such formal moratorium exists.

Filed in U.S. District Court in Anchorage, the petition says the Interior Department “arbitrarily and capriciously imposed” a moratorium on drilling in federal waters off Alaska after the Deepwater Horizon disaster “without considering and weighing the potential effects on Alaska, including economic harm to the State of Alaska and Alaska residents.”

Interior Department officials, however, insist that the drilling moratorium imposed on deepwater Gulf of Mexico operations is separate from a policy decision to take a go-slow approach on new Arctic offshore drilling.


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Interior Department review could delay Alaska drilling projects

September 10th, 2010

Continued uneasiness about the safety of offshore oil drilling may lead to delays in Royal Dutch Shell’s plans to proceed with five planned wells in Alaska’s Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.

“We will be making that decision in the several months ahead,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said at an Anchorage news conference, citing pending reports on offshore drilling safety and the results of an investigation into the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The review process could thwart Shell’s plans to prepare a drilling program for the brief 2011 open-water season.


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Oil spill may be causing increase in open water swarming

August 24th, 2010

One more reason to be skeptical about assertions that the BP oil spill has been largely cleaned up: An increase in the number of creatures swarming to escape oxygen-depleted sea waters.
The phenomenon – called “jubilees” by Gulf Coast residents who traditionally take the opportunity to scoop up free seafood in buckets – usually appears during summer and causes swarms along the shoreline. This year, scientists say, jubilees are occurring in open water for the first time, due to an increase in low-oxygen areas possibly resulting from the more than four million barrels of oil the BP spill dumped into the Gulf.


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Expert: Public missing full impact of Gulf oil spill

July 13th, 2010

While tar balls, oil-covered birds and dying turtles are the prevailing images of the Gulf oil spill, at least one marine biologist believes the public many not fully grasp the scope of the disaster. “Birds, sea turtles, and dolphins get most of the press, but all marine organisms in the Gulf of Mexico are threatened by the catastrophic oil spill,” says Paula Mikkelsen, a visiting fellow in Cornell University’s department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and an associate director of the Cornell-affiliated Paleontological Research Institution. “Every habitat – from intertidal oyster bars and mangroves to deepwater sand plains — depends upon clean water to survive.”


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Government gives BP a new directive on oil spill waste management

July 2nd, 2010

The U.S. Coast Guard has issued a new directive to BP on how the company should manage recovered oil, contaminated materials and liquid and solid wastes recovered in cleanup operations from the BP oil spill. The Coast Guard, along with the Environmental Protection Agency — in consultation with the states — said it will hold BP accountable for the implementation of the approved waste management plans and ensure that the directives are followed in the gulf coast states.


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BP at center of controversial Alaska blowout preventer investigation

June 29th, 2010

A report in the Anchorage Daily News suggests that BP’s problems with blowout preventers predate the issues that led to the device’s failure in the current Gulf oil spill, and that the company may have a history of ignoring or attempting to cover up problems. According to the newspaper, in 2005, two Alaska state agencies received complaints that a BP drilling contractor routinely cheated on tests of blowout preventers, and that BP was aware of the cheating. The publication also acquired records revealing that the agencies in question routinely allowed companies accused of wrongdoing to be part of the investigation.


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Native plant may blunt oil spill’s effects

June 29th, 2010

A botanist at the Academy of Natural Sciences believes he may have a natural solution to help reduce the impact of the Gulf oil spill on the Mississippi delta: the delta bulrush. Dr. Alfred Schuyler, who first profiled and then named the plant, says Schoenoplectus deltarum has natural properties that could be of use in diluting the effects of the spill. The Academy’s curator emeritus of botany says the detoxification properties of bulrush could be instrumental in decomposing the oil and reducing its impact on other threatened marsh plants.


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Marine organic matter may aid Gulf cleanup

June 21st, 2010

Can nature help preserve itself in the aftermath of the massive BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill? A pair of University of Alabama biology professors are about to find out.

Dr. Behzad Mortazavi (assistant professor of biological sciences) and Dr. Patricia Sobrecky (professor and chair of biological sciences) have received a National Science Foundation Rapid Response Research grant to explore environmental cleanup solutions in the Gulf. Their project: “RAPID: Accelerating biodegradation of hydrocarbons from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico with Naturally Occurring Marine Substrates.”


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Track the oil spill damage and response on a new federal map

June 14th, 2010


As part of it’s continuing effort to be transparent about what’s happening in the gulf, the federal government today announced a new website where anyone can see a map of the gulf overlaid with the current location, size and shape of the oil spill. NOAA shepherded the website in an effort to provide a variety of information in “near real-time.”

The map, as depicted here, shows the area closed to fishing because of the oil slick demarcated by a red line. The bright yellow spot marks the Deepwater Horizon wellhead. Coastal regions are color-coded to show the level of oil exposure. Zoom in to see where the worst hit and so-far unhit beaches are. Different colors label these areas as having heavy, moderate, light or no oil contamination.


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BP shareholders file lawsuit over Gulf oil spill

June 10th, 2010

Citing the company’s history of safety lapses, cost cutting, and workplace disasters, shareholders who purchased stock in BP have filed a class-action lawsuit based on claims that the company mislead investors prior to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


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BP shareholders file lawsuit over Gulf oil spill

June 10th, 2010

Citing the company’s history of safety lapses, cost cutting, and workplace disasters, shareholders who purchased stock in BP have filed a class-action lawsuit based on claims that the company mislead investors prior to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


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