Aftermath of Deepwater Horizon Spill- health aspects

The Gulf Study Four Years after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill:

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Gulf Long-term Follow-up Study (GuLF) is a long term health study with over 100,000 participants composed of oil spill cleanup workers and volunteers who responded to the April 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The NIEHS held a teleconference on April 11th to update members of the media, the public and study participants on the progress of the study. This post provides a summary of the call, including a review of progress made and preliminary observations. Go to: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/news/newsletter/2014/5/spotlight-gulf/index.htm

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UPDATE: See the comment section for an additional recommended source of information.

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One more source of information about the general recovery from the major spill incident is this recent CRS report.

Sometimes Money Is Not Enough – e.g., Gulf of Mexico After the BP Spill

English: Map entitled "Fishery Closure Bo...An opinion piece in the Wash. Post, June 2, titled The Gulf of Mexico Cannot Wait, makes it clear that receiving money is not enough to move forward on a complicated and delicate project to deal with the harm done by the BP Oil spill to the Gulf of Mexico. Bureaucratic squabbling and lack of vision for dealing with the environmental and ecological issues has prevented progress.

Here are the direct links to two items mentioned in the article:

Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force – precedents

Ever since the H. Sandy Task Force was formed, with the HUD Secretary named as the lead, I have been trying to figure out where this idea came from. I think I have part of the answer.

After the Deepwater Horizon-B.P Oil Spill (2010), Pres. Bush issued an Executive Order that created the Gulf Coast Reconstruction effort.  The organization was headed by then Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mobus, who was the former governor of MS. His mission was to create the Long-Term Gulf Coast Restoration Support Plan.

Then to implement the plan, the president asked EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to chair the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task. Force. This was an advisory body whose purpose was “… to focus on efforts to create more resilient and healthy Gulf Coast ecosystems, while also encouraging support for economic recovery and long-term health issues.” This group was formed by Executive Order #13554 on October 5, 2010.

For more information, see the Restore the Gulf website.

If anyone has any more information, or knows of other precedents, please let me know.

Scientific Lessons Learned from the Deepwater Horizon Spill

English: Platform supply vessels battle the bl...

In an article titled Responding to Future Oil Spills: Lessons Learned from Deepwater Horizon, the HSWire (Dec.3) mentioned an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The NAS issue includes a 10 page article titled Science in Support of the Deepwater Horizon Response.  A copy is available here: Deepwater Horizon Paper-Dec 2012

Hurricane Isaac Stirred up BP Oil Deposits

Hurricane Isaac (2000)

See Storm Isaac tars Louisiana beaches with oil from BP spill, from Reuters, Sept. 12.

* Hurricane Isaac unearthed oil buried by previous storms

* BP claims “robust recovery” of Gulf ecosystems

* US govt, Louisiana point to lingering ecological damage

Two years after the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, mats of oily tar from BP Plc.’s ill-fated Macondo well have turned up on Louisiana’s shore after Hurricane Isaac stirred up submerged oil deposits, BP officials said on Tuesday.

BP said the oil that washed ashore after Hurricane Isaac made landfall in Louisiana on Aug. 28 was not unexpected, after Tropical Storm Bonnie in July 2010 buried oil under tons of sand. Isaac’s winds and tidal surge peeled back layers of sand and exposed tar balls and tar mats that were buried under up to five feet of sand, BP said.

One more take on the same topic appeared in the Huff Post today.

For the folks in LA and adjacent states, the 3 big disasters of the past 7 years must seem to be interconnected.

Two Years Since Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill – some gaps, some new reports – updates

From the Homeland Security Wire, April 23 — Scientists: Deepwater Horizon exposed gaps in deepwater oil spill knowledge

On the second anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a national team of scientists warns that inadequate knowledge about the effects of deepwater oil well blowouts threatens scientists’ ability to help manage comparable future events.

See also the Homeland Security Digital Library post on April 20th  for 3 sources of information about the spill and its aftermath.

Some ground level truth, via Huffington Post, April 27.

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Nagging and Lagging Problems with Off Shore Drilling Safety

Platform supply vessels battle the blazing rem...

Platform supply vessels battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon. ( Wikipedia)

This seems to be a week with all kinds of deficiencies in emergency management getting media coverage. Too bad none of the news is good.

Today, the Huffpost writes Oil Spill Commission Action Group Gives Congress Low Grades For Regulatory Reform On Drilling. Some quotes follow:

Two years after BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig foundered and sank in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 crew members and unleashing an 87-day torrent of oil that soiled surrounding beaches and poisoned delicate coral reefs, a pair of assessments paint a somewhat bleak picture of the subsequent regulatory reform.

Following the BP spill, which was set in motion on April 20, 2010, President Barack Obama established an investigatory body — the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling — that was charged with determining the cause of the accident and recommending steps to make offshore energy development more safe.

In January 2011, that commission issued a final report outlining a variety of “critical” safety recommendations. The panel disbanded two months later. On Tuesday, a group of former members of that commission, now calling itself Oil Spill Commission Action, issued an assessment of the government’s implementation of those suggestions.

The group — which includes former Democratic Senator from Florida Bob Graham, Natural Resources Defense council president Frances G. Beinecke and Cherry A. Murray, the dean of Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, among others — said that while some progress has been made, Congress in particular has failed to pass much-needed legislation.

See also this editorial in the NYTimes on April 17th, which provides a recap of outcomes in the two years since the spill. It too excoriates Congress for lack of action.   [Thanks to Bill Cumming for calling this article to my attention.]

Related articles

Four Updates on Aftermath of the BP Oil Spill

English: Deepwater Horizon oil spill at Chande...

Image via Wikipedia

(1) A Review of the year in photos  — some of the results are good, some are bad.  See these pictures provided by the Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 4, 2012.

(2) Some scientific results re bacteria that ate the oil:  Spill Study Explains How Bacteria Cleansed Gulf; Wall St. Journal, Jan. 9, 2012.

(3) From the LicartaRisk co. a report on what BP did wrong re risk management. Jan. 10, 2012

(4) In a NY Times opinion piece, writer Joe Nocera has some kind words for BP and thinks it has been a “responsible party.”

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Deepwater Horizon: One Year Later – 4 views

Fire boat response crews battle the blazing re...

Image via Wikipedia

Deepwater Horizon: One Year Later, covered in an interview in The Atlantic, April 20, 2011, with author of new book on the topic. One excerpt:

You write that “as Bush blew 9/11’s possibilities, Obama is blowing this blowout.” In light of the President’s recent “Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future,” what lessons has he learned from the disaster, one year on, and how has he exploited them?

I’m a little bit less certain about my answer to that question. What Obama has learned is of course subject to being thwarted by the Congress. He seems always to be cautious about appearing too strident and trying to throw lots of bones to the opposition, to quietly peddle a wiser, longer-term vision. I personally wish he wouldn’t do that. The people who voted him in voted him in because we—I’ll say we—were really sickened by what had preceded him and what the Republicans were doing in Congress and in the White House, and we really wanted big, bold change, the kind of change that candidate Obama was talking about. I think we still want that, and his kind of soft-peddling the boldness and the change only makes the people who hate him hate him more, and the people who support him support him less.

I’m still looking for a fight out in the open. I wish he would continue to articulate a very clear vision about moving forward—about building the energy infrastructure, the smart grid that we would need, the new energy technologies that we would need, and creating an environment for new investors that would be much more conducive—so that American companies are not going to Germany and China to do this work.

So I’m a little less sure of what my answer is to what he has learned. I would rather that he would come out and tell us. I suspect that he knows and thinks all the right things, but his approach to the politics makes him look more hesitant, and then the actual politics make him a lot less able to implement his vision. But he’s not articulating a clear vision that at least half the country, who would be inclined to rally around him, can rally around.

Three more  articles, who of which feature graphics,  are listed below.

  1. One Year After the BP Spill: What’s Changed and What Hasn’t, by Amy Harder, National Journal. April 19, 2011
  2. http://www.nationaljournal.com/pictures-the-gulf-oil-disaster-one-year-later-20110419
  3. http://mediagallery.usatoday.com/The+Gulf+coast+one+year+after+the+spill/G2173