I Wish I Were Far From the Madding Crowd

June 27, 2010

More on the oil spill and the dispersants

Richard Denison of the Environmental Defense Fund has been blogging about the oil spill dispersants being used on the BP oil spill.

Most concerning is the fact that EPA data show dispersants plus oil are more toxic than either alone.

Meanwhile, the Society of Environmental Journalists Daily Glob blog reported on June 25 that “Spill-Related Measures Advance in Congress”.

NOAA

NOAA Response – Provides a wide variety of information about the Deepwater Horizon Incident, including trajectory maps and links to such sources as IncidentNews (http://www.incidentnews.gov/), which provides information from NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) about the BP oil spill and other incidents.

GeoPlatform.gov/gulfresponse (http://www.geoplatform.gov/gulfresponse/) is a new online tool that provides you with near-real time information about the response effort.  Developed by NOAA with the EPA, U.S. Coast Guard, and the Department of Interior, the site offers you a “one-stop shop” for spill response information.

The site integrates the latest data the federal responders have about the oil spill’s trajectory with fishery area closures, wildlife data and place-based Gulf Coast resources — such as pinpointed locations of oiled shoreline and current positions of deployed research ships — into one customizable interactive map.

Other mapping sites the Daily Glob links to include:

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Tired of being a guinea pig?

Toxic chemicals are everywhere

There are ten of thousands of chemicals in your life, some of which can be harmful.

We are all exposed

Many toxic chemicals are found in the bodies of virtually every person on the planet, even those living in remote communities. In fact, the blood of nearly every American contains hundreds of chemicals, including those used in flame retardants, food packaging and even rocket fuel.

I Am Not a Guinea Pig is a new online campaign created by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) that provides tools and information Americans from all walks of life can use to press for fundamental reform of our nation’s toxic chemical law, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  (EDF press release)

The “I Am Not a Guinea Pig” campaign is aimed at helping to ensure that the voices of millions of Americans who are concerned about and affected by exposures to untested and unsafe chemicals are heard as Congress begins the first serious effort to overhaul the 34-year-old TSCA.

The campaign will use a variety of social media, including a website, a Facebook page with daily updates, and a #NAGP Twitter hashtag.  It supports the efforts of the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition to enact an effective chemical safety law.

The campaign’s goal is to engage Americans across the country to push for substantive reform of our toxic chemicals law.

To encourage support for a strong bill, EDF has joined with other members of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, a coalition that EDF helped found that includes over 200 health and environmental groups representing 11 million people across the nation. Key coalition partners in EDF’s campaign include:

The “I Am Not a Guinea Pig” website describes how we’re all exposed to toxic chemicals.  It includes a short video on “Chemicals in Your Home” and other videos on exposure to toxic chemicals.

The site notes that some groups are especially at risk

Teens and Toxic Chemicals in Products

Many teens don’t realize products they use every day may contain chemicals that can disrupt their still-developing biochemistry.

Kids & Chemicals: Developing Brains At Risk

Exposure to toxic chemicals in the womb, during infancy and childhood can result in lifelong problems with learning, behavior and development.

Health Professionals and Toxic Chemicals

Health care institutions regularly use a surprising number of highly toxic materials that can affect the health of doctors, nurses and other hospital staff.

June 20, 2010

So BP wasn’t supposed to take responsibility?

Filed under: Congress — Myles Tougeau @ 9:19 pm
Tags: ,

I was stunned when I first heard about this.  It’s hard to believe that some people are so in the pocket of the oil and gas industry that they would respond like Barton did.

(It was heartening to hear the Republican response, but I also read that Barton was reading from talking points prepared by the Republican Study Committee.)

I haven’t tracked down links to Barton’s apology for his apology yet.

Rep. Joe Barton apologizes to BP for Obama “shakedown”

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/ynews_ts2660
The article notes that Barton, the Ranking Minority Member on the committee, “has received more than $1.5 million in campaign donations from the oil industry, according to Open Secrets, a nonpartisan watchdog group.”  http://images.opensecrets.org/barton.html?cid=N00005656&cycle=Career

GOP leaders quickly disclaim ‘shakedown’ apology

Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida, one of Barton’s Republican colleagues in the House who represents the Florida Congressional district containing Pensacola, called on Barton to step down as the ranking Republican on the committee.

From the Hill (http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/103885-gop-lawmaker-demands-barton-step-down-from-top-committee-spot)

Rep. Miller: “I condemn Mr. Barton’s statement. Mr. Barton’s remarks are out of touch with this tragedy and I feel his comments call into question his judgment and ability to serve in a leadership on the Energy and Commerce Committee,” Miller said in a statement. “He should step down as ranking member of the Committee.”

“I am shocked by Congressman Joe Barton’s reprehensible comments that the government should apologize for the ‘shakedown’ of BP,” he said. “BP has caused the greatest ecological and environmental disaster our nation has ever seen. They are the responsible party and they should pay for losses and damages, not the taxpayer. I am optimistic and hopeful that BP acted in good faith by opening the $20 million escrow account, as several of us have requested.”

This is where reliance on fossil fuels has gotten us.  The question is, will we learn from this?

BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Haven’t posted in a while.  Guess I’ve been a little depressed about the BP oil spill in the Gulf.  Here are some links to information about it and health effects from the oil.

Unified Command for the BP Oil Spill

http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/site/2931/

The Daily Glob (Society of Environmental Journalists blog tracking Gulf Oil Spill News) – http://dailyglob.sej.org/

Includes a collection of news media sources, government sources, Congressional hearings, commercial sources, research and experts, mapping and infographics, and other sites (such as the Earth Portal Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill page).

Gulf Oil Spill Health Hazards

http://www.sciencecorps.org/crudeoilhazards.htm

National Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

NRDC Senior Scientist Gina Solomon, MD, MPH has been blogging http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/gsolomon/ and testifying http://energycommerce.house.gov/Press_111/20100225/Solomon.Testimony.pdf about the health hazards in the Gulf. She has also made the two videos listed below. Dr.Solomon is also Director of the UCSF Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency Program, Associate Clinical Professor at UCSF, and Associate Director of the USCF Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit.

Proper safety gear for working with dispersants and the oil spill

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GMT5QRyjgM

In Venice, Louisiana, NRDC Senior Scientist Dr. Gina Solomon discusses health concerns associated with oil and dispersants and demonstrates safety gear.

Air Quality Monitoring Near the Gulf Spill

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uDbkf_d-RU

NRDC Scientist Gina Solomon discusses air quality issues related to the Gulf Spill.

Other occupational and environmental videos of possible interest at NRDCFlix – http://www.youtube.com/user/NRDCflix

NIOSH Oil Spill Response

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/oilspillresponse/

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