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Pennsylvania Pipeline Bursts, Leaks 55,000 Gallons Of Gas Into One Of US’ Most Endangered Rivers


" A pipeline owned by the same company behind Dakota Access leaked 55,000 gallons of gasoline into a major river, endangering the drinking water of six million people."

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Lots of pipeline hazards lately. We had two significant events in the southeast during the past several months. Definitely need to keep an eye on this.

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176,000 gallons of oil spilled at North Dakota pipeline

13 Dec, 2016 

Source:  Russia Today

A pipeline in North Dakota spilled over 176,000 gallons of oil before it was shut down, state officials say. The spill happened 150 miles from the Dakota Access pipeline protests, with thousands of people rallying against the construction for months.
The data initially came from the state’s Department of Health spokeswoman Jennifer Skjod.

The last week's blizzard in the area hampered the efforts to assess the damage, and the authorities “have no estimate on when or if it will be operational,” Skjod said as quoted by The Huffington Post.

Read more
Campers maintain their tipi as high winds and a blizzard hit the Oceti Sakowin camp while 'Clearly not over': Dakota Access Pipeline saga goes to court in 2017
It's not entirely clear what caused the spill, either, according to Wendy Owen, a spokeswoman for the plant's owner, Wyoming-based True Companies.

The pipeline is partly buried on a hill near Ash Coulee creek, and the “hillside sloughed,” which could have broken the pipeline, Owen told AP.

“That is our No.1 theory but nothing is definitive. We have several working theories and the investigation is ongoing.”

The leak was found by a land owner about a week ago, and usually, such spills should be monitored by a special system, but this time, it failed due to “the intermittent nature of the flow,” Owen added.




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Back-flow incident leads to discontinuation of tap water until further notice

Dec. 14, 2016


"CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - Back-Flow Incident Leads to Discontinuation Of Tap Water Usage Citywide Until Further Notice

Late today an unknown chemical substance may have contaminated the City of Corpus Christi drinking water due to a recent back-flow incident in the industrial district. In an abundance of caution and until results can confirm water safety, the City is issuing an avoid tap water usage until further notice. The City is working the incident with industry, state regulators and consultants to correct the situation as quickly as possible. 



During a recent back-flow incident, unknown chemical substances may have contaminated our drinking water. In an abundance of caution and until we can investigate further and have the water tested, avoid all contact with the tap water. Only bottled water should be used for all drinking, beverage and food preparation (including baby formula and juice), making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes or clothes, washing hands, and bathing until further notice.


Boiling, freezing, filtering, adding chlorine or other disinfectants, or letting the water stand will not make the water safe."



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Take a deep breath – here’s what 2016 revealed about the deadly dangers of air pollution

December 14, 2016 

Source:  theconversation.com

Author: Gary Haq
Senior Research Associate in Sustainable Development, Human Ecology, University of York


Beijing, London, Mexico City, New Delhi and Paris are among the cities that have drawn attention for their dangerously high air pollution levels in 2016 – but they’re not alone. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed that 92% of the world’s urban population now live in cities where the air is toxic.

In India, a study found that 41 Indian cities of more than a million people faced bad air quality on nearly 60% of the total days monitored. Three cities – Gwalior, Varanasi and Allahabad – didn’t even manage one good air quality day.

Over on the African continent, dirty air was identified as the cause of 712,000 premature deaths – that’s more than unsafe water (542,000), childhood malnutrition (275,000) or unsafe sanitation (391,000).

In Europe, it was found that around 85% of the urban population are exposed to harmful fine particulate matter (PM2.5) which was responsible for an estimated 467,000 premature deaths in 41 European countries.

It’s not all bad news though: 74 major Chinese cities have seen the annual average concentrations of particulate matter, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, decrease since 2014 although the Chinese government’s  “war on air pollution” has received criticism.

Health risk

The health impacts of air pollution are well documented; but now, new evidence suggests a link between air pollution and dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, with exposure to poor air quality equivalent to passively smoking six cigarettes a day. Not only that, toxic air has been blamed for more road traffic crashes from pollutants distracting drivers, causing watery eyes and itchy noses.

It is often poor, young, old and disadvantaged people who are worst affected by poor air quality. Air pollution is responsible for the deaths of 600,000 children under the age of five every year. Ethnic minorities were more likely to be exposed to high pollution levels than other groups. In London, black, African and Caribbean people were exposed to higher illegal nitrogen dioxide levels (15.3%) because of where they lived, compared to the rest of the city’s population (13.3%).

Air pollution also affects regional climate, which impacts on future water availability and ecosystem productivity. Black carbon is a particulate matter created through the burning of fossil fuels (such as diesel) and biomass. As well as effecting human health, it is responsible for glacial melting in the Himalayan and Tibetan Plateau. Black carbon deposits on snow and ice darkens surfaces, resulting greater absorption of sunlight and faster melting.


Link:  https://theconversation.com/take-a-deep-breath-heres-what-2016-revealed-about-the-deadly-dangers-of-air-pollution-70375

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Texas city residents told not to use tap water after chemical leak

15 Dec, 2016

Source:  Russia Today

Officials in Corpus Christi, Texas have identified the chemical that possibly contaminated the city’s water supply. Residents were advised 12 hours before not to use tap water over a chemical leak, prompting a rush on bottled water.

City officials said at a news conference on Thursday the chemical leaked is an asphalt emulsifier, Indulin AA-86, which can burn skin if a person comes in contact with concentrated amounts. Upward of 24 gallons may have entered the water supply.

The possible contamination has been traced to an asphalt producer, Valero, on an industrial property where officials said there was no means to stop the leak.

Corpus Christi spokeswoman Kim Womack said city inspectors did not find a “backflow preventer” on the property. She said the company that owns the property and the one leasing it claims there is one.


Link:  https://www.rt.com/usa/370456-texas-city-residents-banned-water/


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Smoggy Beijing, under alert, orders factories to shut or cut output

Dec. 17, 2016        By Josephine Mason and Meng Meng


Buildings are seen in heavy smog in HarbinView photos
Buildings are seen in heavy smog in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, December 17, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer


"BEIJING (Reuters) - Beijing's city government ordered 1,200 factories near the Chinese capital, including a major oil refinery run by state oil giant Sinopec, to shut or cut output on Saturday after authorities issued the highest possible air pollution alert.

On Friday, China's environmental watchdog issued a five-day warning about choking smog spreading across the north and ordered factories to shut, recommended residents stay indoors and curbed traffic and construction work.

Red alerts are issued when the air quality index (AQI), a measure of pollutants in the air, is forecast to break 200 for more than four days in succession, surpass 300 for more than two days or overshoot 500 for at least 24 hours.

The Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Centre showed an air quality reading of 297 by Saturday afternoon as haze started to envelop the capital, after an earlier reading of around 120. Levels in the 301-500 band are considered hazardous to health.

Traffic on the city's roads was lower than usual as residents complied with limits on car use and many of the city's 22 million residents sat out the haze at home."



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Florida’s Largest Lake is Slowly Being Poisoned, a Victim of Politics as Usual

Dec. 13, 2016      Alex Pietrowski



"Water is life, unless said water has been poisoned and is toxic, then water kills life.

As the Standing Rock movement enters the next phase of their struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the world has for once mustered en masse for an environmental cause, many incredibly important battles for water and life are being lost around the nation, in want of attention and action, yet kept off the radar of public consciousness.

Take for example, the ongoing disaster at Florida’s largest inland body of water, Lake Okeechobee, which is now a poisoned wasteland spreading deadly algae blooms from coast to coast. This event is the direct result of man-made activity, primarily the policies, politics and practices of surrounding sugar cane farming, although cattle ranching, suburban development, and golf courses are also major factors.

“How many more marine animals must perish before we make a change in our water management programs? How many more ecosystems must be permanently damaged before our heads turn? How many communities must suffer from inadequate water conditions before we decide that enough is enough? The answers to these questions still remain unclear.” (source: http://floridafishermen.net/seastoday_news_by_lou_sea)


The lake, and many of the connecting bodies of water, all the way to both the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic Coast, is so chemically out of balance it is producing dense, thick toxic green algae blooms, fueled in their growth by heavy fertilizer run off and heavy rains. The result is a creeping mass of choking, oxygen-less sludge that kills everything in its wake, including sea mammals, fish, and birds.

“Local industry has long been using Okeechobee’s waters as a dumping ground for an assortment of chemicals, fertilizers, and cattle manure. David Guest, managing attorney of the Florida branch of the environmental law group Earthjustice, called the lake a “toilet.” While the pollution was once confined to the lake, it now flows toward Florida’s coastal communities via local rivers. The water, which is flowing out of the lake at 70,000 gallons per second, will soon pollute the ocean waters in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.” [Source: https://thinkprogress.org/florida-officials-drain-lake-full-of-toilet-water-to-coast-6c4df2805b05#.t2nlyb875)

The series of levees, dikes, and canals that handle run off from the lake in times of heavy rainfall, such as earlier in 2016, are now suffering from extensive contamination and even though the public has at times rallied in protest for political change, the contamination continues in large part because of the political factors involved with the local industries."


Recently, Weather.com published an authoritative article on the structure and struggles of the political grid lock that has prevented meaningful change in favor of a solution."




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The places in Australia where you can’t drink the water

DECEMBER 22, 2016

By Charis Chang
Source:  news.com.au


WHEN you’re the father of three children, spraying your gardens with contaminated water day-in, day-out, it’s hard not to feel like “collateral damage”.

Queensland resident Brad Hudson is one of hundreds of Australians who may have been exposed to contaminated water, food and soil for years and are only just starting to wake up to the risks.

For 15 years, Mr Hudson used bore water to shower, clean and irrigate his garden in Oakey without realising he was exposing himself and his family to potentially cancer-causing chemicals used in firefighting foams: PFOS and PFOA.

Mr Hudson’s 10 acre property is just 400m away from the Army Aviation Centre, one of the 18 sites around Australia that the Department of Defence believes could be contaminated by the foams used for nearly 50 years.

Investigations have only just started to reveal the extent of the problem, and it’s now believed the chemicals have leached into the ground and surface water.

Both chemicals have been linked to kidney cancer, testicular cancer, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, pregnancy-induced hypertension and medically diagnosed high cholesterol in humans.

In September, the United Nation’s Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee to the Stockholm Convention, said that PFOS and PFOA were linked to six diseases, including some cancers, and warranted a global response.

But the official line from the Federal Government is that there is no substantial proof the chemicals cause significant human health risks.

Experts have slammed the government’s position and say that the chemicals are a serious risk to human health.


Link:  http://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/the-places-in-australia-where-you-cant-drink-the-water/news-story/e4eb54914663bc0dc49db3accf0980a7?utm_content=SocialFlow&utm_campaign=EditorialSF&utm_source=News.com.au&utm_medium=Facebook



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Ammonia Detected in Earth's Atmosphere for First Time

December 22, 2016

By Laura Geggel, Senior Writer 


In an unexpected first, researchers have discovered ammonia in Earth's lowest atmospheric layer, a new study said.

The detected ammonia was most concentrated in the upper layer of the troposphere above India and China, countries that have experienced population and economic booms in recent years. The gas (NH3) is most likely coming from livestock farming and fertilization in those countries, the researchers said.

Plants and crops need ammonia to grow, but too much of it can harm the environment and human health. However, the newly detected ammonia may have an unexpected silver lining: The gas is involved in cloud formation, so it may act as a cooling agent and help compensate for the human-caused greenhouse gas effect, the researchers said. [Infographic: Earth's Atmosphere Top to Bottom]

Now that researchers are aware of the ammonia, they can incorporate it into models assessing and predicting climate change, the researchers added.

The troposphere

The troposphere reaches from 4 miles to 12 miles (7 to 20 kilometers) above sea level and includes up to 80 percent of Earth's atmosphere and weather phenomena.

During an investigation, a team of researchers from Germany, Colorado and Mexico collected satellite data from different regions of the upper troposphere between June 2002 and April 2012, and calculated the three-month averages of ammonia concentrations.

Surprisingly, they found atmospheric ammonia about 7.5 miles to 9.3 miles (12 to 15 km) above sea level in the same area and time period in which Asian summer monsoons happen. In this region — above north India and southeast China — the ammonia had a concentration of 33 pptv (33 ammonia molecules per trillion air molecules), the researchers found.

A thorough search failed to reveal ammonia at these levels during any other season or anywhere else on Earth, the scientists said.


Source:  Live Science

Link:  http://www.livescience.com/57305-ammonia-detected-in-atmosphere.html

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Reports of ammonia leak at Buckeye, Arizona fertilizer plant cause hazmat response

Jan. 4, 2017

"Officials are responding to a hazardous materials threat following reports of an ammonia leak at a fertilizer factory in the town of Buckeye, Arizona, according to the local media.

A hazmat team was called in at around 5:45am local time after employees of Fertizona smelled a strong odor of ammonia, KTVK-TV reports, citing the Phoenix Fire Department.

Officials have so far spotted no obvious leaks, Captain Reda Bigler of the Phoenix Fire Department said, as reported by KTVK. Officials have set up a ‘hazard zone’ while checking the situation.

snip   tweets

A nearby road has been closed due to the incident, KNXV-TV reports.

Fertizona is the largest agricultural fertilizer and crop protection retailer, the company says on its website."



Tx w

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Largest Diesel Pipeline Spill in Years Floods Iowa Farmland with Toxic Slush
Jan. 27, 2017     Claire Bernish

"Just after President Donald Trump signed sweeping executive actions greenlighting both the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines, a 12-inch underground diesel pipeline in Iowa spilled an estimated 138,600 gallons of fuel into agricultural land.
“It’s a big one — it’s significant,” Jeff Vansteenburg, field office supervisor for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, told the Des Moines Register.
According to federal authorities, this is the largest diesel spill in the United States since 2010.
An investigation is now underway to determine the cause of the rupture and cleanup crews have thus far removed “about 25,000 gallons of diesel and a slush-diesel mixture” from the area near Hanlontown.
Magellan Midstream Partners L.P. operates the pipeline, which has sensors to alert for any sure problems occurring — but company spokesman Bruce Heine said the cause of the rupture remains unclear.
As Vansteenburg explained, for perspective, sizable underground diesel tanks at a typical gas station hold between 10,000 and 15,000 gallons — this leak spilled enough fuel to supply ten stations.
“The product is under pressure,” he continued, “so as soon as a leak develops, it starts coming out pretty fast.”

Karen Grimes, spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, noted for the Register neither a nearby wildlife protection area nor Willow Creek had been contaminated by the spill, which was discovered on Wednesday.
“They found that it’s basically pooled into a farm field that’s near the break and has not reached the water in the state,” Grimes explained. “There’s a little creek, but it has not reached any surface waters at this time.”
Although the 939-acre Hanlontown Slough Waterfowl Production Area nature preserve sits just south of the spill, David Miller of the Department of Natural Resources told the Globe Gazette, “There’s a big pool of diesel fuel out in a field and it has not gotten into Willow Creek or the Hanlontown Slough as far as we can tell,” and Magellan’s crews are “going to recover all the liquid product and they’re going to excavate all the contaminated soil.”
Despite the size of the spill, the Worth County Sheriff’s Office claimed no evacuations were necessary and there was no immediate risk to public health.
Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources initially responded to the scene, and the leak has reportedly since been contained.



This is exactly why the protests, and why I wasn't thrilled with the approval of the DAPL and KeystoneXL.

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Con Edison spills gallons of oil into East River

Natalie O'Neill         May 9, 2017

snip   tweet w/pics


"As if the East River wasn’t toxic enough.

A Con Edison substation spewed gallons of oil into the polluted waterway — prompting a clean-up effort that delayed ferry commuters Tuesday, according to reports.

“The East River route will be subject to delays for the remainder of the day as a result of an oil spill on the East River,” NYC Ferry announced on Twitter.

Officials set up a “safety zone” blocking all water vessels from the area while cleaning up mineral oil that gushed from the company’s substation on John Street in DUMBO Sunday, Gothamist reported.

A “catastrophic” transformer failure caused a 37,000-gallon tank of dielectric fluid — mineral oil used to prevent electric discharges — to leak into the river at around 12:20 p.m. Sunday, Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer Allyson Conroy told the site.

A Con Edison rep said the firm responded swiftly to the oil spill, which could be seen in the water as far away as Queens."



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Woodside Petroleum says oil spill off WA did not cause lasting environmental damage

reported May 19, 2017  happened in April, 2016

Irena Ceranic

Oil rig

Woodside Petroleum said it reported a leak from an oil well in April last year  (ABC)

"Woodside Petroleum says an oil spill off the coast of Western Australia, which was kept secret by the offshore regulator for more than a year, has not caused lasting damage to the environment.

The oil and gas giant said it reported the leak from a well in the Cossack field on the North West Shelf to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) in April 2016.

But the leak was not disclosed until this week when NOPSEMA referenced the 10,500-litre spill in its annual offshore performance report without naming the operator or location.

In a statement to the ABC, a spokesperson for Woodside said the company estimated the leak continued for 60 days at a maximum rate of about 175 litres per day, and was the result of a "seal degrading on a subsea hydraulic valve control line".

The company insisted no environmental damage was caused."



Tx w

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Cookware, packing toxins polluting drinking water in 27 US states – report

June 8, 2017

"From California to Flint, Michigan and New Jersey, harmful toxic chemicals linked to cancer can be found in water supplies of multiple US states and in the tap water of 15 million people, according to a new study.

The perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) in question come from everyday products including cookware, outdoor clothing, food packaging and firefighting foam, and were detected in record high levels in the water supply in 27 states.

"It's a much larger number than we thought before," said Bill Walker, managing editor of Environmental Working Group who joined with Northeastern University in Boston to conduct the research.

The team's findings came from analysis of federal drinking water data and publicly documented legal cases of toxin pollution and documented in an interactive map.

snip    tweet

Among the toxins found were Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), formerly used to make DuPont’s Teflon, and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), formerly an ingredient in 3Ms Scotchgard.

In 2016, following protest and petition from contaminated communities and elected officials, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lowered its nonbinding health advisory to 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for either chemical, or the two combined. A part per trillion is about one drop of water in 1,000 Olympic-size swimming pools."

snip   tweet

The standard "may be 100-fold too high," said a Harvard University environmental health professor, and one of the leading researchers on public health effects from PFCs.

"The so-called safe drinking water limits are not safe; they are unsafe," said Philippe Grandjean, according to Detroit Free Press.

The water contamination occurred in 47 locations around the country. The pollution comes from former industrial sites (20), current and shuttered military bases (21), and in many cases, from unknown sources.

Among the findings: a 2017 Department of Defense test at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in New Jersey found wells with combined PFOA/PFOS levels of 250, 216 and 71 ppt.  <<Joint Base Lewis-McChord is outside Tacoma, Wash, not in New Jersey!

In Warrington, Pennsylvania, the US Navy discovered the two toxins in public/private wells in 2013, at 350 ppt, 290 ppt and 120 ppt.

In Chittendon County, Vermont at the National Guard base, at Champlain Cable and IBM plants, levels were at 9,300 ppt, 7,200 ppt and 190 ppt respectively.

In Flint, Michigan, water samples from 2015 showed elevated levels at 229-410 ppt of PFOS.

snip  tweet

At the former Mather Air Base in Rosemont, California, the nearby well showed PFOS levels of 160 ppt in 2015




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On May 29, 2018  people in Salem, Oregon received this alert via TV/Cellphone

Alert: Emergency Alert System
Posted by grandpah on 30 May 2018, 3:30 am
Sender Name: OEM,1,OR
Issued: 2018-05-29T20:28:00-07:00
Expires: 2018-05-29T23:28:00-07:00
WEA Text: Civil Emergency in this area until 11:28PM PDT Prepare for Action OEM,1,OR
Description: WATER EMERGENCY FOR THE SALEM AREA Levels of toxins have been detected in the City of Salem water system that supplies water to City of Salem City of Turner Suburban East Salem Water District and Orchard Heights Water Association.
Instruction: Children under the age of six people with compromised immune systems people receiving dialysis treatment people with pre-existing liver conditions pets pregnant women or nursing mothers or other sensitive populations should follow this advisory. At this time people not on this list may continue to drink the water unless additional messaging is received. Please visit cityofsalem.net for the most up to date information.
Urgency: Immediate
Severity: Severe
Certainty: Observed
Categories: Safety,
Resource links:
EAS Broadcast Content
Type: audio/x-ipaws-audio-mp3
Area Description: Linn, OR
Area Description: Marion, OR
Area Description: Polk, OR



They were told not to boil it first as that would make it more toxic. After scaring people in the area half to death, this article came out.

False civil emergency alert text panics Oregon’s Marion County

Bruce Brown    May 31, 2018

"A vague but false civil emergency alert text sent to many residents of Marion County, Oregon, caused a significant panic on Tuesday evening, KATU reported.

The text message, sent at 8:29 p.m. PT on May 29 read:

Emergency Alert
Civil Emergency in this area until 11:28PM PDT
Prepare for Action OEM,1,OR

The message was supposed to notify residents of Salem, Oregon, the state’s capital city, about a tap water advisory. Instead, recipients of the whole county in which Salem is located were advised to “prepare” for some unqualified “Action.”     <<this really had people running in circles 

According to the Marion County Sheriff’s office, residents immediately started calling 911 to find out what was going on and what they should do about it.

Dispatchers at the 911 center told people not to call 911, that there was no emergency.

More than two hours after the disturbing text alert went out, the Marion County Sheriff’s office tweeted, “THERE IS NO CIVIL EMERGENCY. The message was intended to notify those affected by the water issue in Salem. PLEASE DO NOT CALL 911.”

A subsequent tweet by the City of Salem in response to a citizen’s query stated, “@OregonOEM sent this on our behalf. You can find out more information about the drinking water advisory on the City’s website: cityofsalem.net/Pages/drinking-water-advisory.aspx”

In a message to KATU, the Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM) explained a “technology issue” resulted in dropped data including the water advisory link in the message that went to phones. The message went out correctly to televisions but reverted to a default message on phones.

“The alert that was sent had to do with the water drink notice, sent on behalf of Marion County,” OEM spokesman Cory Grogan told KATU. “There were additional details that were supposed to go out, but for some reason, it went to the default message instead.”

The Salem tap water issue that was intended for the text alerts is a serious concern. The drinking water advisory explained that routine water testing of treated drinking water found low levels of cyanotoxins created by algal blooms in the city drinking water source, the Detroit Reservoir. Children under six, people with compromised immune systems, and other sensitive populations were advised not to drink tap water until otherwise advised.

Oregon OEM Director Andrew Phelps followed up later Tuesday evening with a statement that read in part:

“Beginning this evening, we are conducting a forensic analysis of the steps we took to send the message and ensure our procedures are written and practiced in a way that will prevent a confusing message from being sent from our system in the future.

“We understand the importance of emergency alerts and need to get it right, every time.”


Then on the 31st also, this.

Toxins in Salem drinking water prompt Oregon governor's emergency declaration

Bradford Betz                   May 31, 2018

"Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued a state of emergency Thursday for Marion and Polk counties, five days after the discovery of toxins in the tap water in Salem, the state's capital and second-largest city.

Following the emergency announcement, National Guard troops were deployed to truck in fresh water, the Oregonian reported.

Greg Walsh, Salem's emergency preparedness manager, said the city is working with partners to provide an alternative water distribution center. 


"If we get results (Thursday) and the advisory continues," Walsh said, "then we will instantly activate points of distribution for water." 

State law enforcement authorities are also looking into claims of price gouging on bottled water in the area. Officials have received more than a dozen complaints so far and expect more as consumers become aware they can report the incidents.

On Saturday, an out-of-state lab had discovered cyanotoxins in Detroit Lake, which has been providing water to Salem and surrounding communities for decades. But city officials did not issue a public advisory until Tuesday, the Statesman Journal reported.  <<so they knew on the 26th of May, no alert until the night of the 29th, (when an incorrect alert went out) then no emer. declared until the 31st.  Is this a primer on how not to cause a panic? 



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