Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday Globe Special: Scrubbing the California Coast

I was led to believe the oil spill was all cleaned up only a couple weeks ago. WTF?

"Workers clean up oil spill on California beaches by hand" by Alicia Chang Associated Press  June 20, 2015

GOLETA, Calif. — Along a stretch of beach heavily marred by a crude-oil spill, workers in hard hats and white protective suits use wire brushes and putty knives to scrape the black substance off cobblestones and cliff faces.

The painstaking task at Refugio State Beach marks a new front in the cleanup after an underground pipeline leaked last month and released up to 101,000 gallons of oil, about 21,000 gallons of which flowed into a storm drain, sullied the beach, and washed out to sea.

I wish I could scrub away the self-internalized war terminology by the whoreporate reporter that frames every damn article.

Because the region is home to threatened shorebirds and cultural resources, a decision was made early on to clean oil-stained beaches using hand tools instead of heavy equipment or chemicals.

The environmental toll from the largest coastal spill in California in 25 years is still being tallied. Progress has been made in corralling the slick in the ocean and removing flecks of oil on sandy beaches. Scrubbing rocks by hand will take time, however.

After doing this for more than eight years,  I've seen this script. Pretty much the same regarding any oil "spill" -- as if it were an oopsie, no harm done!

‘‘It’s a very labor-intensive process, but that’s where we’re at now,’’ Carl Childs of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, one of several agencies involved in the cleanup, said recently.

There is no timetable for when the cleanup will end.

The effort so far has cost at least $65 million, which is being paid for by Texas-based Plains All American Pipeline.

A heavily corroded section of Plains’ 10-mile pipeline that moves oil from offshore rigs to inland refineries ruptured on May 19, causing two state beaches to close and prompting a fishing ban.

Kind of makes me rethink the damned if you do, damned if you don't pipeline issue.

One of the beaches, El Capitan State Beach, is set to reopen this week.

The spill blackened a section of the Santa Barbara County coastline that was also fouled during an offshore oil-platform blowout in 1969 that spewed an estimated 3 million gallons of crude, killing thousands of birds and other animals.

Cleanup techniques have evolved since the 1969 disaster that helped usher in a new era of conservation.

I'm all for it! Corporate protectors of the environment with the propaganda pre$$ backing them!

Back then, crews used straw to soak up oily sand. That technique is no longer used because straw is difficult to pick up and removing too much sand can harm a beach. 

Just blame Sandy and shaddup!

In the latest spill, workers shoveled tar balls and contaminated sand into plastic bags that were carried away for disposal. The workers had to be careful not to disturb populations of western snowy plovers that were in the middle of their breeding season.

The last time the Globe sang about the plovers was the last I saw of it.

‘‘We’re more concerned about the impact of the cleanup doing more injury than the oil did originally,’’ said Kim McCleneghan, of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, who responded to both spills.

About 91 percent of 97 miles of coastline — mostly sandy beaches — surveyed by teams of experts from various federal and state agencies has been given the all-clear.

Great! You can go in first!

Significant work remains to clean oil-covered cobblestones and boulders dotting beaches. Workers scrape rocks until just an oil stain remains. That cannot be scrubbed off and must wear away naturally with time, McCleneghan said.

Once the expert teams are satisfied with the cleanliness of a beach or stone, monitoring continues to make sure there is no setback. 

I feel so much better.

Santa Barbara County is home to one of the largest naturally occurring oil seeps in the world where thousands of gallons of oil ooze from cracks in the seafloor every day. Frequently, the sticky substance ends up on the soles of swimmers and surfers.

But it isn't up on the beach and all, right? 

I mean, if they are going to try and say, oh, no, this isn't some pipeline from some oil company, this is ALL NATURAL then why isn't it happening more? This the worst spill since an oil platform back in '69 but it ain't a pipeline or nothing? 

Folks, whatever it is, this GARBAGE BEING SPEWED by the AUTHORITIES and their pre$$ is beyond belief. They have forfeited their right to be believed after all this time even if they are right (sad). Do I know what happened? No, I'm sitting here typing trying to figure it out. What I do know is I'm done believing agenda-pu$hing spew in any form from a fart-mi$ting paper.

The natural seeps generally flow at a low rate unlike significant accidental spills, which release large volumes of oil at once.

Oil “fingerprinting” can distinguish natural seeps from spills.

Crews are removing oil no matter if it came from the pipeline or if it occurred naturally, said Wade Bryant, senior environmental scientist at CK Associates, an environmental consulting group.

The cause of the spill remains under investigation. Last week, Plains All American Pipeline completed flushing the idled pipeline, a process that should allow for a more precise calculation of how much oil escaped.

They flushed it, huh? And now there is a slick.... sigh!

Compared with the 1969 spill, the environmental damage in the latest episode has been much less severe.

You should be suspicious and skeptical of anything maximized by the pos agenda-pushing paper, and note those things that are ignored or missing.


At least they are all coming together in California over that water situation (do oil spills screw up the sieves of desalination technology?)

Glad I didn't go to the beach this week.