Trump Administration Restart of Huge St. Croix Oil Refinery Raises EJ Concerns

Trump Administration Restart of Huge St. Croix Oil Refinery Raises EJ Concerns

The idyllic island of St. Croix, part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, is a Caribbean paradise — and also the site of one of America’s largest oil refineries. The Limetree Bay oil refinery caused one of the biggest oil spills in U.S. history and violated the Clean Air Act, and until early this year had been idled since 2012. 

Why this Matters: The refinery provides jobs on the island that had been hurt by two hurricanes in 2017.  But it also raises numerous troubling issues, not the least of which is that the majority of people living near the refinery are Black and nearly a third identify as Hispanic or Latino, and many are poor.

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Oil Spill Hits Israel’s Mediterranean Coast

Oil Spill Hits Israel’s Mediterranean Coast

by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Clumps of sticky oil washed up on Israel’s Mediterranean beaches this weekend after a tanker was suspected of leaking. Officials are calling it one of the country’s “most serious ecological disasters” that has already seriously harmed marine life, including sea turtles and a fin whale that washed up dead […]

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Chevron Oil Spill Further Highlights Decades-Long Environmental Injustice

Chevron Oil Spill Further Highlights Decades-Long Environmental Injustice

by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer This past Tuesday, local residents observed a sheen on the water near the wharf off of Point Richmond in the San Francisco Bay–the result of a 600-gallon petroleum spill from Chevron’s Richmond oil refinery. The refinery, which processes 245,271 barrels of oil per day, was able to contain the […]

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Deep-Sea Corals Gain Protection in the Gulf of Mexico

Deep-Sea Corals Gain Protection in the Gulf of Mexico

Last week the federal government approved protections for 500 square miles of deep-sea coral habitats in the Gulf of Mexico, NOLA.com reported. The rules, approved by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), prohibit fishing with bottom tending nets and other fishing tools that rip apart fragile corals.

Why This Matters: Deep-sea corals live at depths up to 10,000 feet and protect a diverse array of marine life including shrimp, crab, and other fish caught and sold for consumption around the world.

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Mauritius Scrambling to Save Wildlife and Its Tourism Industry After Devastating Oil Spill

Mauritius Scrambling to Save Wildlife and Its Tourism Industry After Devastating Oil Spill

On Saturday, the Japanese oil tanker Wakashio that ran aground three weeks ago off the coast of the island of Mauritius broke in half. The Panama-flagged vessel was traveling from China to Brazil with no cargo, but it was carrying more than 4,000 tons of heavy fuel oil and diesel, of which between 800 and 1,200 tons have already spilled. 

Why This Matters:  It is unbelievably challenging to clean up an oil spill of this magnitude — just ask anyone who stood on the beaches in Louisiana mopping up oil after the Deepwater Horizon spill.

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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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