Mauritius Declares Emergency After Massive Oil Spill From Japanese Tanker Threatens Coast click button

Mauritius Declares Emergency After Massive Oil Spill From Japanese Tanker Threatens Coast

Last month, a Japanese-owned ship ran aground off the coast of Mauritius, causing over 1,000 tons of oil to leak into the sea. Last week, Mauritius residents “stuffed fabric sacks with sugar cane leaves” in order to create “makeshift oil spill barriers,” as CBS News reported earlier this week.

Why This Matters: If the ship breaks in half, an already horrifying situation will be made worse, seeing as there are still 2,500 tons of oil currently contained in the ship.

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Ten Years Ago, An Explosion and the Worst Environmental Disaster In History Ensued

Ten Years Ago, An Explosion and the Worst Environmental Disaster In History Ensued

Late on April 20, 2010, the deepest oil well in history at that time (operating at a vertical depth of 35,050 feet) exploded killing 11 people and it began spewing oil.  An estimated 210 million gallons flowed into the ocean over the course of 87 days.

Why This Matters:  It is a faded memory, but for those who lost everything in the spill, it is hauntingly familiar to the current COVID crisis.

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Ten Years Later, Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Still A Threat To Gulf Natural Resources

Ten Years Later, Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Still A Threat To Gulf Natural Resources

Numerous organizations (Oceana, National Wildlife Federation, and Skytruth among others) have looked back at the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on the Gulf of Mexico in the ten years since — and sadly, the impacts of the worst oil spill in history are still being felt on Gulf resources — dolphins, turtles, whales, birds among others — and the risks of another catastrophic spill are still high.

Why This Matters:  I (Monica) was involved from day one of the response to the spill and through the early restoration work for two years after it ended, and we tried mightily to minimize the damage and begin restoration immediately

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Supreme Court Holds CITGO Is Liable In 2004 Philly Oil Spill – Must Pay for Clean up

Supreme Court Holds CITGO Is Liable In 2004 Philly Oil Spill – Must Pay for Clean up

The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that under the Oil Pollution Act and the terms of its contract with the shipping company, CITGO Asphalt Refinery must repay the government and the shipper for the $133 million they spent to clean up the 6000 barrel oil spill that occurred when the oil tanker hit an abandoned […]

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Trump Administration Overrules Engineers on Drilling Safety In Rule Rollbacks

Trump Administration Overrules Engineers on Drilling Safety In Rule Rollbacks

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that at the direction of the Trump Administration it purged from the administrative record the written objections of its own engineers to the loosening of certain safety rules and procedures governing offshore drilling equipment.   The Journal found that internal deliberations with experts on the staff in which the experts expressed their concern about the safety of the looser rules are not reflected in the final decision memos issued by agency political appointees with close ties to the oil and gas industry.

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Gulf Oil Spill More Toxic Than First Thought, But Red Snapper in Gulf Rebounding

Gulf Oil Spill More Toxic Than First Thought, But Red Snapper in Gulf Rebounding

A new study that was published last week in Science Advances, says that satellites were not able to fully detect oil in large areas of the Gulf of Mexico during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, and posits that “invisible and toxic oil” made the spill as much as 30% larger than some experts have estimated.

Why This Matters:  Underestimating the amount of oil that escaped during the worst oil spill in US history and where it went is a big deal — it means perhaps BP should have paid even more in civil fines and penalties, and it means that all our best technology and brainpower did not see the error in real-time.
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