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Disposing of the BP Spill Waste: More Secrecy


Business  (tags: BP oil spill disaster, BP, spill waste, Texas, lack of information )

Bev
- 3238 days ago - chron.com
Thousands of barrels of oily water and other waste products generated by the gusher are in Texas or on there way for disposal in salt domes, injection wells and other processing facilities. But secrecy abounds.



   

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Bev B (1)
Wednesday July 7, 2010, 5:43 am
more public scrutiny.
Copyright 2010, HOUSTON CHRONICLE
July 6, 2010, 11:07PM
Share Del.icio.usDiggTwitterYahoo! BuzzFacebookStumbleUponEmail Close [X]Texas beaches got their first taste of the BP oil spill over the July Fourth weekend as a smattering of little tar balls washed ashore on Bolivar Peninsula and Galveston Island. Because of the small amounts, it's uncertain whether they were transported by ocean currents or by ships fouled by passing through the main oil slick south of the Mississippi delta.

However, thousands of barrels of oily water and other waste products generated by the spill are already in Texas or on the way, shipped here for disposal in salt domes, injection wells and other processing facilities.

As with other aspects of the spill, public information is sketchy on the content and quantity of the waste coming to Texas and what safeguards are being taken to prevent contamination of groundwater and air in communities near the Lone Star disposal sites. The Chronicle's Monica Hatcher found that the government, BP and contractors involved in the spill cleanup could not provide a comprehensive description of the disposal operation.

Estimates of the amount of oil leaking from the Macondo well have varied wildly since the Deepwater Horizon exploded in April, killing 11 workers and initiating the biggest oil spill in U.S. history. Since then, skimmers have collected an estimated 671,000 barrels of oily water, but only a fraction of that amount has made it to Texas so far. A waste management plan filed by BP after the spill identified Houston area facilities, including the BP refinery at Texas City, as disposal points for liquid wastes.

Much of the spill waste is not recyclable, and cannot be burned. Entombment in secure geological formations such as salt domes is a common method of disposal.

As environmental consultant Richard Steiner told Hatcher, "It would be nice to know that there is integrity in these salt domes so they are not fracturing and that pollutants won't contaminate the ground water supplies."

Last week the federal Environmental Protection Agency issued guidelines to BP requiring disclosure to communities of waste shipments in their area and access by local government to disposal facilities. They also require additional analysis of waste products and public disclosure of results.

Unfortunately, the rules only apply to the four states most affected by the spill: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Texas, a major destination for waste shipments, is inexplicably not included.

As a result, even state regulators are in the dark concerning the composition of spill waste. BP informed the Texas Railroad Commission that it was sending nontoxic waste, including unused drilling mud and water used to clean vessel storage compartments. However, other sources indicated some of the most toxic sludge is Texas-bound because many of the facilities licensed to dispose of it are located here.

Through luck, it appears that our coastline has escaped a direct impact from the environmental disaster so far. To keep it that way, we need to have a much better handle on the spill waste being brought into the state and its disposal.

State regulators and local governments must have the same access to information that the EPA has mandated for other states.
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday July 7, 2010, 7:22 am
Best Online Work At Home. Earn $200-$800 Weekly." Plus: You Also Earn A Basic Salary of $1000 Per Month
 

Bev B (1)
Wednesday July 7, 2010, 7:30 am
With all due respect Adnan...cute picture person....take your BS somewhere else!
 

Aurelia G (3)
Wednesday July 7, 2010, 4:13 pm
Quote from the article: "Through luck, it appears that our coastline has escaped a direct impact from the environmental disaster so far. To keep it that way, we need to have a much better handle on the spill waste being brought into the state and its disposal.

State regulators and local governments must have the same access to information that the EPA has mandated for other states."
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Very well said, but who is going to try and enforce that kind of logical reasoning? It's way past time that BP do something more than lip-service to everyone harmed by this enormous, never ending disaster!
 

Ricardo C (66)
Wednesday July 7, 2010, 5:49 pm
Almost all politicians have their hands in this mess (unbeknownst to most Americans) and that is why there is such a mystery about it all. President Obama is hard pressed on this issue and he is trying to get out of their grip, which will be almost impossible due to the power that Congress exerts in America. President Obama is getting all the blows, just as any other President would get from this political "mafia". I have learned, that no matter who is in charge, Republican or Democrat, it's all the same B.S. (Bamboozle Strategy)!

 

TERRANCE N (65)
Wednesday July 7, 2010, 8:23 pm
Why is BP in control of the cleanup when the whole world is being affected by this tradgedy? I have no confidence in BP to stop this gusher. They world needs to be involved led by the United States with BP following in the distance.
 

Jorge M (0)
Thursday July 8, 2010, 12:19 am
BP should have (and could have) already solved this problem long ago, but unfortunately capitalist business practices state that if the cost of the fix is greater than the cost of the damage, then let it be damaged...
 

Past Member (0)
Thursday July 8, 2010, 9:07 am
Noted! Thanx Bev!
 
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