The goal for the petition was 5,000 signatures. Well, it's reached 5,000 signatures already and there are 12 days left! Let's help them blow way past that goal.
On May 9, 2013 a clear view of the oil slick flowing from the damaged Taylor Energy well, that has been leaking since 2004, could be seen by Landsat-7, a USGS satellite.
Tell EPA to do the necessary testing and set toxicity standards to ensure that dispersants are used only if they are demonstrated to be safe for waters and applied in safe quantities.
New Orleans - April 15, 2013. Plaintiffs including the Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) and Save Lake Peigneur, Inc. filed a lawsuit in the 16th Judicial District Court of Louisiana against the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (LDNR), alleging that the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Office of Coastal Management, violated the Louisiana Constitution and its own Guidelines by issuing a Coastal Use Permit (CUP) to Jefferson Island Storage & Hub, LLC (JISH), for a project to create two new natural gas storage caverns in the Jefferson Island salt dome underneath Lake Peigneur.
This years session will consider many bills of significant importance to anyone concerned about the environment of Louisiana.
Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper, Waterkeeper Alliance, and Gulf Waterkeepers File FOIA Lawsuit After US Coast Guard Denies Information on Ongoing Taylor Energy Oil Leak in the Gulf.
FOIA Lawsuit Comes 1 Year After Waterkeeper Organizations Sue Taylor Energy Over Clean Water Act Violations.
New Orleans, LA - On Tuesday, March 5, 2013, Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper, in collaboration with Waterkeeper Alliance and several Gulf of Mexico Waterkeeper organizations, filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the United States Coast Guard over unfulfilled requests for public records related to the ongoing Taylor Energy oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
"The decision to void the Energy Efficiency Rules passed in December is a major step backwards for Louisiana," notes Jordan Macha, Gulf States Representative with the Sierra Club.
Jon Bowermaster talkes with LEAN's Michael Orr about the new project, SoLa2050.org, and the lingering consequences of the BP oil disaster.
Learn more about South Louisiana through stories, maps and images.
LEAN launched a new website today as a multi-media platform to educate, inspire and connect people around the many facets of the environment in South Louisiana. An article in the advocate does a great job of explaining this new online resource:
A complicated and contentious situation is beginning to be resolved after an 8 - 4 vote yesterday, January 23, 2013, approving a public works project to build a buffer zone around the North Baton Rouge Waste Water Treatment Plant. An article in The Advocate today outlines the meeting:
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Toxic Release Inventory for 2011. See the important numbers for Louisiana here.
As usual, 2012 has been a busy year. LEAN spent its 26th year working hard continuing to protect the health of communities across Louisiana and the environments they depend on. A few highlights of LEAN's work in 2012 are outlined below.
We are saddened to inform you that community leader, environmental justice activist and school board member, Albertha "Alp" Hasten, passed away on Monday, November 19, 2012 at her home in White Castle, LA. She was 62.
Doctor Who Treated Those Made Sick by BP’s Oil Disaster Worries Medical Settlement is Not Fair, Will Exclude Those with Serious Symptoms
Residents living near the Stolthaven Facility in Plaquemines Parish express concern of contamination and possible health impacts resulting from Hurricane Isaac.
The Stolthaven - Braithwaite Terminal in Plaquemines Parish is a bulk liquid storage terminal that receives and ships hazardous, toxic and non-hazardous products by ship, barge, truck and rail. The facility consist of 91 permitted storage tanks with a total storage volume of 2.4 million barrels.
NEW ORLEANS, LA - The Sierra Club, Christian Ministers Missionary Baptist Association of Plaquemines, and Louisiana Environmental Action Network are challenging the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality’s approval of a Clean Air Act permit for a proposed coal export terminal in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. The Armstrong Coal Company, based in St. Louis, Missouri, intends to develop a new terminal that would ship up to 10 million tons of coal per year through the Mississippi Delta. The proposed terminal could cause serious environmental and public health impacts, exposing the residents of the historic community of Ironton and other nearby towns to coal dust and toxic runoff. In addition, the proposed terminal would impair state-wide efforts to restore Louisiana’s coastline by directly interfering with a major wetland restoration project.
Stolthaven Chemical Facility in Plaquemines Parish reports a large release of multiple chemicals during Hurricane Isaac, and then reports that it isn't sure how much, if any, was released.
Despite the fact that we live in an area that gets hit by hurricanes every few years, and has for untold millennia, Louisiana Industry is consistently unable or unwilling to take the steps necessary to prevent environmental impacts due to hurricanes. When a hurricane hits it consistently leaves in its wake a slew of oil spills, lost hazardous material containers and chemical plants and refineries releasing pollution due to power outages, start-up and shut-down, and flooding. Isaac was no exception.
Louisiana Coastal Parishes Damage Assessment
by Wilma Subra
A convoy of 40 electrical repair trucks loaded with equipment, were encountered on the highway headed to the worse damaged areas.Crossings the Atchafalaya River in Morgan City, the river banks were lined with shrimp boats and oil service vessels decorated for the blessing of the fleet associated with the Shrimp and Petroleum Festival.
The sinkhole in Bayou Corne has raised many questions and concerns about the industrial utilization of salt formations and the possible impacts to our environment and communities.
Washington, D.C. -- A coalition of conservation, wildlife and public health groups in the Gulf region and in Alaska filed a citizen suit under the provisions of the Federal Clean Water Act today to compel the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue a rule on chemical oil dispersants. EPA's current rules --which during the 2010 Gulf oil disaster failed to ensure that dispersants would be used safely --do not fulfill the requirements mandated by the Clean Water Act.
When it rains it flares. Lightning from a thunderstorm yesterday led to an unusually large flare at Dow Chemical Co. in Plaquemine, LA. Local residents note that flaring during inclement weather happens all too often.
The numerous petro-chemical facilities in Louisiana's industrial corridor continue to put workers and the community at risk with accidental releases of toxic materials.
You have probably heard in the news recently about Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 6 Administrator Dr. Al Armendariz stepping down from his position as Regional Administrator.
The BP Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and burned in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 50 miles from the coast of Louisiana on April 20, 2010. Eleven workers were killed. The rig sank into the Gulf of Mexico on Earth Day, April 22, 2010. Large quantities of Louisiana Sweet Crude were released into the Gulf of Mexico from the Macondo well for 87 days.
The EPA has objected to Nucor's permits in response to petitions filed by Zen-Noh Grain Corporation, a company that owns a grain elevator next to the new plant site and who is concerned the air pollutants from the plant could harm the elevator's workers and contaminate the grain. Louisiana Environmental Action Network and Sierra Club also petitioned EPA to object to Nucor's permits but EPA will not address the issues raised in these petitions until LDEQ has resolved EPA's present objections.
Slidell residents and LEAN members in several neighborhoods which are abutting a concrete crushing operation set up by Tammany Holding Company and others in the backyards of their residential communities won in civil court on March 27, 2012. Now, the commercial operators have 15 days to become a better neighbor or face fines and other actions, said Attorneys Mike Stag and John Fontenot, SmithStagLLC.
This morning (March 22, 2012), Just a little over one month after the EPA announced new rules on regulating pollution from plants producing polyvinyl chloride, an explosion, chemical release, and fire was reported at Westlake Chemical's Geismar Vinyls Complex near Geismar, LA in Ascension Parish.
"Incidents like this one highlight why LEAN has worked hard for 26 years to demand that the industrial facilities in Louisiana be held to the strictest environmental and safety standards possible," said Marylee Orr, Executive Director of Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN), "Our experiences have shown us that fair but stringent and consistent oversight and regulation is necessary to reduce the number of these kinds of incidents as well as 'everyday' emissions. It is not too much to ask that the health and safety of our communities be protected."
While the fire is reported to be under control, residents are concerned about the possibility of exposure to the chemicals released during the incident. Residents are also concerned by any ongoing releases that may have resulted from the explosion and fire.
Jean Kelly, spokesperson for the Department of Environmental Quality said, "the plant was releasing vinyl chloride monomer, hydrochloric acid, chlorine and hydrochloric acid solution," in an interview with the Times-Picayune.
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA -- Louisiana Environmental Action Network and its Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper program along with Waterkeeper Alliance and several Gulf Coast Waterkeeper organizations filed suit in Federal Court today, February 2, 2012, against Taylor Energy Co., LLC under the citizen suit provisions of the Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation Recovery Act, for ongoing violations stemming from an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that has continued to flow for seven years.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program released data for the calendar year 2010. The 6 greenhouse gases required to be reported consist of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and the fluorinated gases PFC-14, PFC-116 and HFC-23. In the United States, carbon dioxide accounted for 95% of the greenhouse gas emissions, methane accounted for 4% and nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases 1%.
In the wake of the BP Oil Disaster many Gulf Coast residents continue to face health challenges. Read more to watch the video.
The Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone along the Louisiana coast, commonly called the "Dead Zone" has been a well documented problem for decades now. However, the state and federal environmental agencies have failed to take even the most basic regulatory steps to address this problem. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finally proposed to add these waters to the official list of impaired waters.
Today the Environmental Protection Agency announced they issued Mercury and Air Toxics Standards(MATS) for Power Plants. The Standards cover air emissions of Mercury, Arsenic, Nickel, Selenium, Cyanide and Acid Gases from Power Plants.
On December 9, 2011, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of the Inspector General issues a report entitled EPA Must Improve Oversight of State Enforcement.
On August 13, 2011 "tar logs" were collected by LEAN members from the shore of Ship Island off the coast of Mississippi. The tar logs, as they are being called, are brick sized globs of petroleum hydrocarbons that have been rolled into a cylindrical "log" shape by wave action. Samples of the tar logs were sent to a commercial laboratory for analysis.
On December 5th, 2011, The Sierra Club, Louisiana Environmental Action Network, the Steps Coalition and Mississippi Coalition for Vietnamese-American Fisher Folk and Families sponsored an educational forum to discuss the BP Oil Disaster and its impacts to our environment and communities, and how Gulf Coast researchers are addressing these concerns.
The latest "Watch Lists" available from the EPA are for September and October 2011. In September and October 2001, Louisiana had a total of 51 facilities on the Environmental Protection Agency "Watch List" for violations of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery (hazardous materials) Act.
It has been over fourteen months since the Deepwater Horizon sank releasing BP's oil into the Gulf of Mexico and coastal residents who feel that their health was impacted by the BP oil disaster are still struggling to find answers and relief.
As you may have heard the Temple-Inland Inc. paper mill in Bogalusa, LA discharged chemical laden effluent into the Pearl River late last week resulting in a fish kill.
..."It took only a minute or two to begin to see the carnage. At first it was a few fish here and there hung up near the bank of Pearl River but once we got into Porters Bayou it quickly became clogged by large rafts of dead fish and clams. There were every kind of fish that you would expect to find. Channel catfish, flathead catfish, blue catfish, freshwater drum, buffalo fish, American eel and a variety of shad and bream were the easiest to recognize and made up the bulk of the dead fish we saw. There was also a really astounding number of dead clams, many large baseball to softball size clams and smaller clams as well. The other creatures that we saw dead in large numbers were the the larval forms of the dragonfly and the mayfly.
Our partners at the Government Accountability Project will be in Louisiana and other Gulf coast states from August 10th - 16th to take statements from oil spill clean-up personnel (former or current, public or private-sector), and residents with health or safety concerns believed to be related to the BP Oil Spill.
We are encouraging all of our members with first hand information about the spill, conduct of BP, it's sub-contractors or otherwise to come forward at this time with health and safety related matters.
This is your opportunity to be part of the official record.
The wetlands of South Louisiana are a fragile ecosystem that has faced enormous threats and abuse. From the ongoing crisis of coastal erosion to severe hurricanes and oil spills, Louisiana's coastal areas and the people that inhabit them are under many threats. The oil spill of 2010 has hopefully helped us to realize the extraordinary need for us to focus on the restoration of our coast as well as the need for commercial and industrial interests in our area to act responsibly.
It has been well over a year since the oil disaster of 2010 began in the Gulf of Mexico; it's end however is no where in sight. As time goes on and problems are left unresolved their impacts increase with each passing day. This past week the Alliance for Justice released a report describing the many problems with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility process. As perhaps the only viable option for fishermen, and local business owners to be "made whole," it is a tragedy that so many are left irrevocably damaged and inadequately compensated.
Following a report last week from our partners at SkyTruth and SouthWings, the Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper crew made our way to Breton Sound this past Friday in 'Julia' our 17' patrol boat. The goal was two fold. First check the status of the Well Head that had an oil slick emanating from it last week. Second, document the decaying oil and gas infrastructure in the area.
Lake Peigneur has had a long and complicated history with the the oil and gas industry of Louisiana. It has unfortunately been the setting for one of the most dramatic drilling accidents ever recorded. The disaster of 1980 changed the lake forever and to this day has left the region with unresolved questions and concerns. Since the 1980 disaster no new data has been established to determine the integrity of the Jefferson Island Salt Dome and the cause of ongoing bubbling in Lake Peigneur has never been determined. Take Action on the following page.
In Louisiana, as a result of operations of the PVC production facilities, Vinyl Chloride is present in the ambient air in the Environmental Justice communities located in proximity to the PVC facilities. The Vinyl Chloride fugitive emissions from the PVC production facilities consist of 55 to 78% of the total Vinyl Chloride air emissions. Even with the proposed toxic air emission reductions, the ambient air will continue to be contaminated with Vinyl Chloride and associated HAPs.
The Vinyl Chloride emitted into the air by the six PVC facilities in Louisiana is more than double the Vinyl Chloride emissions released into the air from the four PVC facilities in Texas, which ranks second in the United States behind Louisiana.
The Louisiana State Court of Appeal ordered the State Department of Environmental Quality to test the environmental impact of discharges from produced waters from oil and gas production activities within Louisiana territorial waters in the Gulf of Mexico, upholding the position of the Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) and its attorney Stuart H. Smith that DEQ failed to protect the public from pollution and possible radiation poisoning when it issued oil and gas permits for exploration without proper monitoring of the resultant impact on territorial waters.
After decades of complaints and multiple convictions, waste water system manager, Jeffrey Pruett is sentenced to jail time and $850,000.00 in fines.
Several communities in North Louisiana have been denied their basic right of access to clean water for decades. Residents have voiced complaints about murky and contaminated tap water, raw sewage being discharged into open residential street side ditches, and improper termination and refusal of water and sewage services.
Jamie Griffin a hotel worker talks about the numerous health problems that have arisen directly during the time of exposure to BP Oil.
As we all know, people along the Gulf Coast are still suffering effects from the events of the oil spill of 2010. For over a year now, LEAN, along with many others, have been working to bring attention to this problem and ultimately find solutions. Perhaps the greatest problem we face in trying to resolve the health concerns of those effected is finding medical professionals willing and capable of diagnosing and affectively treating these conditions. Dr. Mike Robicheaux has been addressing this health crisis almost single handedly since last year.
I want to share with you some of the information on the nuclear situation in Japan from Yayoi Haraguchi, who has been a LEAN member for many years and visited us two months ago along with her father and her two daughters to present us with a copy of her dissertation in which LEAN was part of her doctoral work.
When we first got word of the earthquake, we, like thousands of others were frantic to receive word from Japan. Was Yayoi safe? Was her family injured? After several days we received word that she and her family were indeed alive but that the ongoing nuclear havoc is having far reaching consequences. I would like to share two emails she sent to me describing all that is going on.
Please take the time to read them and then join with me in sending her much love and prayers that she and her family remain safe and well.
-Yayoi if you receive this E-alert. Please know that we are all remembering you in our thoughts and prayers - much love and admiration from me to you.
Louisiana Environmental Action Network
Please click read more
Dr. Susan Shaw, Director of the Marine Environmental Research Institute, discusses her ongoing efforts to study the effects of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This interview was conducted at Harmony for Health's "Unity for the Gulf" fundraiser at New Orleans House of Blues on April 20, 2011, the one-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion.
Louisiana charter boat captain, Louis Bayhi, discusses the severe health problems he's experienced after serving on clean up crews in the wake of the BP oil spill.
Last week at the Baton Rouge Press Club Dr. Michael Robicheaux spoke in-depth about the large number of sick people that he has been treating since the BP oil disaster occurred. The sick include workers who worked on the response to the disaster as well as divers, fishermen and coastal residents.
LEAN Technical Adviser, Wilma Subra, has been named the Domestic Honoree at the 9th annual Human Rights Awards
Wilma Subra in the field collecting samples.Since 2001, the Human Rights Awards Gala has brought together activists, supporters, and friends to recognize the efforts of exceptional individuals and organizations working for human rights from around the country and around the world.
On June 1, 2011, the work of Gulf Coast Activist Wilma Subra (Domestic Honoree) will be honored at the 9th annual Human Rights Awards. Wilma is an accomplished environmental scientist who has been on the front-lines fighting for the rights of local communities in Louisiana following the Gulf Spill. This year’s International Honoree is U.N. Ambassador for Bolivia Pablo Solón, a strong proponent of climate justice and the rights of nature.
The wetlands here look typical, with nothing unnatural about the appearance of the water or the browning of the mid winter marsh grass. But with minimal effort it is easy to shatter the sense of normalcy of both of these sights.
Evaluation of the Results of Whole Blood Volatile Solvents Testing
By Wilma Subra
Louisiana Environmental Action Network
Evaluation of the Results of Whole Blood Volatile Solvents Testing
Samples of blood were collected on December 16, 2010, from four males, age 3, 36, 42 and 43, and one female, age 38. The individuals tested were a diver who came in contact with the BP spill chemicals, individuals who visited the coastal communities and wetlands, documenting the impacts of the BP spill, and individuals exposed along the beaches. The whole blood samples were analyzed for Volatile Solvents by Method 0762, Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry, by Metametrix Clinical Laboratory in Duluth, Georgia
In response to the BP Oil Disaster, the Lower Mississippi River Keeper (LMRK), Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN), and Subra Company have performed monitoring, sampling and analysis of the environment and seafood in the coastal estuaries and wetlands of Louisiana. Monitoring of the environmental and human health impacts were initiated immediately following the Deepwater Horizon explosion and resulting crude oil spill on April 20, 2010. Physical and chemical field sampling and analysis of the wetlands and ecosystems, along the coast of Louisiana, were initiated on August 2, 2010. The field sampling has been performed and continues to be performed on an ongoing basis since August 2, 2010, from Atchafalaya Bay eastward to the Louisiana/Mississippi state line.
Results of sampling performed by the Lower Mississippi River Keeper in St. Bernard Parish on October 26, 2010
Tissue samples were collected from a cove, 1.4 miles from the southern end of a â€œspoil canalâ€ south of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO). The sample of oysters contained 84 mg/kg of Petroleum Hydrocarbons and 2 Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) (3.6 ug/kg). The redfish sample contained 84 mg/kg Petroleum Hydrocarbons.
We have all had frustrations with the response to the recent Gulf oil disaster. One such frustration that we at Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper felt early on was the lack of solid data about the impacts from the disaster. This frustration prompted us to begin an environmental sampling project.
LEAN/LMRK technical advisor, award winning chemist Wilma Subra, put together the sampling protocols. We coordinated with world-class commercial laboratories who would process the samples. We prepared Julia the LMRK patrol boat and were ready to go.
HOW TO CLEAN UP AN OIL SPILL
THE MANUAL BP COULDN’T FIND
STEP ONE: Use an Oil Well Leak Solution
- Go around and/or over the wellhead
- One solution stabilizes pressure and ‘adheres’ to the ocean floor like a bandage over a wound while a chemical mixture is used to “clot” the oil
- The other solution is a large ring that sinks to the ocean floor over the wellhead, is connected through strong oil resistant mesh walls to a second ring that floats at the surface – allowing the oil to be captured from this large “hose”
In response to this summer's Gulf oil disaster a Think Tank was brought together in New Orleans, LA by award winning filmmaker Josh Tickell and his wife and partner Rebecca Tickell. A group of many talented, intelligent, and interested individuals came together to pool their resources and knowledge to find solutions to the Gulf oil disaster. Having such diverse areas of expertise, life experiences, and viewpoints working together towards the same goal made the resultant solutions both well-informed and inventive; while also remaining acutely attuned to the sensitive issues surrounding the oil spill. The following document was developed from the Think Tank.
The Louisiana Environmental Action Network released the following evaluation on November 26th 2010
Evaluation of the Results of Whole Blood Volatile Solvents Testing
By Wilma Subra and Marylee Orr
Louisiana Environmental Action Network - Baton Rouge, LA
11/23/10 - http://www.LMRK.org continues thier samples project, this time out and around the area West of Venice, LA
Nature sightings included:
A pod of dolphins, blue herons, ibis, osprey and white pelicans, mullet, small fish, gnats.
Unatural Sightings included:
A leaking and abandonded natural gas well, more industry air pollution from flaring, invasive water hyacinth, dying marsh grass that looked to have been oiled.
The LMRK crew, and Deputy Director of Waterkeeper Alliance Marc Yaggi, traveled from Venice, LA down the MS River through South Pass, East Bay, and Southwest Pass. LMRK continues tissue sampling to better understand the state of the health of the organisms, especially those typically fished and consumed in the Mississippi river basin post oil spill disaster. Our trip today included passing through what can only be considered and oil and gas graveyard consisting of long neglected wells and infrastructure. Along the way we saw BP Cleanup workers in on a beach in East Bay with birds in direct proximity to contaminated area (photos after the break).
Report By: Wilma Subra
Report by: Wilma Subra
Results of sampling performed by the Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper in Terrebonne Bay on August 19, 2010
On August 19, 2010, in Terrebonne Bay south of Point-au-Chien, Modato Island was covered with vegetation, bare areas, and a large number of dead shore birds. The area was designated by the Lower Mississippi River Keeper as "Dead Bird Island." The area also contained a number of shore birds in distress, nests containing eggs and a seagull that died shortly after sampling was complete. Samples were collected along the shore of the island, 10-12 inches deep, under the vegetation matted material washed in by the tide. The soil/sediment sample was contaminated with 48.4 mg/kg of Petroleum Hydrocarbons and 10 Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons (0.039 mg/kg).
The question, 'where has all the oil gone?' has been answered in the media in recent days by scientists providing much speculation about how the oil may go away but little hard data about what is actually happening in the Gulf. We cannot let the future of the Gulf rest on speculation.
The danger of this conjecture is that people are already beginning to tune out and assume that everything is fine, even within the spill response.
Dr. William Sawyer, a toxicologist, is part of a team of scientists hired by law firms - led by Smith Stag of New Orleans - that are representing Louisiana fishermen and environmentalists