: Oil Spill
04-29-2003, 05:09 AM
Wonder if the oil spill will effect the migrants? Already oil has washed ashore in Westport and Fairhaven. Let's hope that it is contained. However, while watching CNN I could see a huge oil slick from the aerial shot that they showed. FishHawk With this post I have reached 500 posts.
I'm not sure about the migrant stripers...I have been wondering that myself over the past day. But the effect that is going to have on the shellfish, and other shore animals is devistating. I heard this morning that the last spill in Buzzard's Bay closed shelfishing for 6 years in some parts. Not too mention the lingering drops of oil that are going to break up and wash ashore all over the Cape.
Here's to light NE wind for a week...
I believe the problem is lack of accountability. When an oil company causes a spill, accidental or otherwise, they should be responsible for ALL costs associated with controlling the damage and impact on people's lives as well as the resources.
If this means the company is drained to the point of going bankrupt, so be it. In fact the more severe the punishment the better. Once the consequences for oil spills (atlantic salmon escapes, etc) becomes as potentially devastating to the companies as it is to the resources, they will take measures to prevent it. If the price of screwing up is the life of the company, they will take measures. Now it's "just a bunch of ducks, clams, and sand" to them. It should be the do or die of the company for anyone transporting hazardous goods.
Until then, we must pull together class action suits and make them pay for total restoration to the point of setting an example and drawing the line to the oil industry.
Did you read the quote?
"We apologize to the people of Massachusetts"
Accepted when you finish cleaning up the *%&$ mess on your dollar.
Anyone know how to instigate a class action suit?
I don't know all the facts, but I do know that I depend on Oil. To heat my apt., drive my car, etc.
Making oil companies go bankrupt doesn't seem to be the best option as I'm sure prices will skyrocket.
I do agree that they should be held accountable, but maybe the way to do this is develop/enforce regulations that enable the safer transport of oil?
Like I said, I don't know all of the facts. What I do know is I hate oil in the bay and I would hate having to pay more than we already do for gas.
Nick, et. al. -
Increasing the risk to the corporate solvency does not change the equilibrium of supply vs. demand. It just changes the way business is conducted for the same numbers of gallons involved in commerce transactions.
In other words, the consumer will not have any less oil available just because one company screwed up and is paying the price. In fact, when Kmart went out of business the consumer did not lose access to general merchandise. One could speculate that it was the opposite, the increased availability that was their demise. Walmart might agree.
I admit I was making an extreme statement, but without a fog cutter sometimes people don't react.
My point is simply this - there is simply not enough risk to oil companies (transport companies, etc) for them to worry about oil spills. The attitude today is "whoops! I'm sorry".
The method to the madness is simply to establish a more urgent level of risk for the board to consider in their operational plans for the year. When they vote on investing in better tanker technology, it's a decision of cost vs. returns. If the risk of a spill is "whoops, sorry" then they will all vote "screw it" and spend the money on a new advertising campaign to improve consumer perception "we keep YOU warm", etc.
One line summary: Oil transport entities don't have enough reason to be more careful because the consequences are not dire enough if they screw up.
My suggestion: Make spills the bane of their existence, not just an afterthought.
OK - if not a threat to solvency, what does anyone suggest we do to make oil business more conscientious about their practices?
04-29-2003, 10:10 AM
See Juro, There ARE some things we agree on!:D
It's all healthy debate even when we don't sing the same tune Case! Sometimes it's hard to see that I might have a big smirk or even laughing mischievously as I post some of this stuff! Trust me I am. At the same a good debate brings things into a light where people reconsider their existing position once in a while, myself included, in any case it's a healthy exchange of ideas.
04-29-2003, 10:31 AM
Aw! Now you have gone and done it, That's 2 things we agree on! I personally learn more from a good debate than you might think, and I enjoy it. I wish more people would chime in though, this is a great site where you can say what you feel and even if your a little timid, don't worry about it! Nothing should be taken with the feeling that your being kicked or looked down on. This is the only site I have ever seen that maintains an even keel when it comes to the posts and I hope we can keep it that way! So, come on guys and girls, jump in the water is warm and has been for some time!
And Juro, when I see you, in my minds eye, at the keyboard, the picture is most allways wearing a grin!:whoa:
04-29-2003, 10:38 AM
Were they able to isolate the slick to any degree or are we going to be reminded of this all summer long as we see the damage done to the shoreline?
I find it comical that they would make a public statment like "we aplogise to the people of massachusetts" That is rich. This is not a new problem for the oil companies. Double-hulled transport does not seem to be cutting the mustard here. Didn't this happen just a year or two ago becuase one of their tanker captains was drunk?
I don't know the whole story here but will be looking into it. Just wanted to voice my displeasure over the situation.
04-29-2003, 10:49 AM
Originally posted by juro
Nick, et. al. -
OK - if not a threat to solvency, what does anyone suggest we do to make oil business more conscientious about their practices?
Remove the oil industry from the back pocket of the executive branch. Its a simple suggestion, but one that won't happen with either major political party.
04-29-2003, 10:51 AM
BigDave, I haven't read about it yet today but I think the barge was of the single hull type and that many are still in use. The dbl hull requirements are currently inplace for all NEW Tankers, which leaves alot of exposure to just this type of incident.
The spill of 1978 was somewhat larger, I think, and we STILL have oil showing from it on some of the beaches along West Falmouth! Believe it or not, but when my kids go swimming and come out with what looks like tar on their feet it's a sad reminder!
04-29-2003, 11:01 AM
I hear ya - it is sad. Just read up on it a bit and apparently a 2'x12' crack in the hull led to the 10-mile slick. Wonder how far they motored before they figured it out?
The thing that kills me is that Bouchard transportation was responsible for the '74 and '78 spills as well. Talk about lack of accountability....these guys wrote the book!
Quote: [One line summary: Oil transport entities don't have enough reason to be more careful because the consequences are not dire enough if they screw up]
A: With which I agree completely.
B: Which suggests Federal and State regulations need to be beefed up.
C: Which suggests more dollars need to be funneled to enforcement.
D: Right now, where's the money going to come from ???
(a) Will the Feds ever effectively fund enforcement ?
(b) Will potential funding go to EPA, FEMA, or USCG ?
(c) Will legislation ever be enacted to halt this type of disaster?
I agree with Dave in part; double-hull transport won't cut it if companies don't get strangled to keep up their equipment, or if a grounding incident report isn't mandated - prior to re-inspection and re-deployment of the so-called grounded vessel. But, I think this is reported out as a single-hull coastal barge; shouldn't matter, safety and protection of resources are paramount.
Problem - restraint of trade; whether international or domestic. This vessel, owned by a company known to 'officials', is the same domestic outfit which lost a barge in that NYC detonation, among other incidents. Will it ever be realized that restraint of trade, loss of revenues, whatever, will never meet or exceed the damage an incident like this can cause WITHOUT PROPER, EFFECTIVE AND ENFORCEABLE REGULATORY PROCEDURES ??? (sound familiar ???)
Enact concrete laws and regulations; not some wishy washy crap with all kinds of loopholes to be exonerated through.
Agree with Juro's hand grenade - Make THEM pay to the point of elimination!
Nick - the reports said this oil was #6 crude - the kind of stuff that mirrors the floods in the Kuwaiti desert; the kind of stuff which is refined further, or used as fuel for large, on-line power systems, heater systems or propulsion systems for the giants that carry it back and forth. It doesn't break down easily, as is evidenced by Exxon Valdez and other worse or lesser spills.
That sucker was loaded with industrial fuel; not #2 diesel for your heating system or gas for your four wheeler. Who of us knows where it was headed. We don't want the industry who potentially owned it to suffer with frivolous lawsuits because the transporter screwed up
Yeah, we all depend on fuel, no argument there. We all might just be too altruistic by thinking that protections are strong enough to keep it from happening again and again - obviously we don't have enough controls in place - money buys freedom from compliance just like it does anything else.
What's the answer? Is the answer a "class-action"?; maybe. Is there enough 'juice' (money) and 'pissed-off' (organizations and individuals interested in influencing current SOP) and so forth, collectible from this membership, in concert with and aligned in spirit with other 'memberships' to reach the listening devices of the lawmakers???
What'll be the galvanizing item which causes everybody to get on the same train ? - because if it happens due to this one incident, then it ought to effect a bundle of other things we collectively "care" about.
Yeah, make them pay until they don't exist anymore, and don't let them off any federal or state hook, either.
Apologize, my ass.
P.S. - just saw Dave's comment on the other spills - my point exactly - take the protections away by making the lawmakers answer to the victimized, and worry less about their campaign funds.
0500 hrs news said they were recovering dead birds; loons, coot, etc.
04-29-2003, 11:48 AM
This whole thing stinks and the more time goes by the more it stinks. Someone is playing cover-up and hide the truth.
I have it on really good reliable source that this affair started around noon on Sunday with a report of a spill or leak in a barge that was NORTH WEST of Cuttyhunk. The Coast Guard supposedly told the Tug/Barge to lay too until cleared for entrance. Two small Coast Guard boats reportedly were sent West and North of Cuttyhunk where they reported a moderate spill with a Sheen report of 4 out of 10, 10 being heaviest and 0 being no oil showing.
The Coast Guard then directed the tug/barge to proceed to Anchorage Area #7 which is North of Woods Hole, some 14 or more miles from the original call to the anchorage area where the Marine Inspection Office came out before sunset on sunday and divers were put down and confirmed a 2X12 foot gash in the bottom of the barge.
If the incident happened North West of Cuttyhunk who is the idiot that told the tug/barge to continue on into the Bay with a leaking Barge? They should have held the tug/barge outside the Bay until they could apply a negative vacumn to the affected tanks, thus stopping the outflow of oil, and then entered to go to the anchorage area.
We now have a 14 mile plus long slick spreading out across the entire freaking Bay area.
The Coast Guard reported they were notified around 1700 on Sunday but the radio VHF reports were heard starting around 1200 noon on Sunday. Who isn't telling the truth and why are the most important questions to be answered.
Sure there is going to be damage from this spill. It was #6 Bunker Oil this time, not the #2 Home Heating Oil like back in 1978. The '78 spill was way up by Cleveland Ledge and the marshes of North Falmouth are still hurting.
How many years do you suspect this spill and it's effects will be around?
04-29-2003, 12:05 PM
Thanks for stopping by, good to have you here. I know this is your backyard and how concerned you are about this area and this issue! We will all benefit from your experiances around B-Bay and the Elizabeths. I know I will. WELCOME!
04-29-2003, 12:15 PM
I just read the CC Times and they report that the Barge was a single hull and that the owners were deciding wether to rehab it for the new regulation for dbl hull. They had until 2005 to upgrade it. They also gave a quote from the power plant in Sandwich where the #6 was headed, the plant owners wanted to make it clear that the barge AND the oil were not owned by them and that the transportation company has full responsibility.
Nor-Easter's comments have me VERY concerned about the possible cover-up regarding the timing of the call to the CG and the order to move the barge and further the spill! I want to hear more about that!:whoa:
Interesting info provided by Capt. Chet - who'll have to answer for this? and I hope whomever it is, they all get grappling hooks shoved up their A$$es and ripped back out. Wouldn't do any good though; too bad.
Maybe it's time to start shaking the bushes and contact both state and federal representatives to find out what's going on. If there's enough interested response, I'll find my online stuff and post it here for group use.
Here's the Federal side:
108th CONGRESS – 4/03
MASSACHUSETTS CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION
(All Senate Mail Addresses Washington, D.C. 20510)
Edward M. Kennedy (D)
Boston: 2400 JFK Federal Bldg., 02203
Washington: 315 Russell Senate Office Bldg.
Fax: (202) 224-2417
John F. Kerry (D)
Boston: One Bowdoin Square, 10th floor, 02114
Fax: (617) 248-3870
Springfield: One Financial Plaza, 12th floor, 01103
Fax: (413) 736-1049
Fall River: 222 Milliken Place, Suite 311, 02722
Fax: (508) 6770275
Worcester: 90 Madison Place, Room 205, 01608
Fax: (508) 831-7381
Washington: 304 Russell Senate Office Building
Fax: (202) 224-8525
E-mail Address: john firstname.lastname@example.org
(Members of the U.S. House of Representatives)
(All House Mail Addresses Washington, D.C. 20515)
John W. Olver (D)
Pittsfield Office: Federal Building, Room 205
78 Center Street, 01201
Fax: (413) 443-2792
Holyoke Office: 57 Suffolk Street, Suite 310, 01040
Fax: (413) 532-6543
Fitchburg Office: 463 Main Street, 01420
Fax: (508) 343-8156
Washington Office: 1027 Longworth House Office Bldg.
Fax: (202) 226-1224
Richard E. Neal (D)
Springfield Office: New Federal Building, Suite 309
1550 Main Street, 01103
Milford Office: Post Office Building
4 Congress Street, 01757
Washington Office: 2133 Rayburn House Office Building
Fax: (202) 225-8112
James McGovern (D)
Worcester Office: 34 Mechanic Street, 01608
Fax: (508) 754-0982
Fall River Office: 218 South Main Street, Rm 204, 02721
Fax: (508) 677-0992
Attleborough Office: 1 Park Street, 02703
Fax: (508) 431-8017
Washington Office: 430 Cannon House Office Bldg., 20515
Fax: (202) 225-5759
Barney Frank (D)
Newton Office: 29 Crafts Street, 02458
New Bedford Office: 558 Pleasant Street, Room 309, 02740
Taunton: Jones Building
29 Broadway, Suite 310, 02780
Fax: (508) 822-8186
Washington Office: 2210 Rayburn House Office Building (202) 2255931
Fax: (202) 225-0182
Martin T. Meehan (D)
Lowell Office: 11 Kearney Square, 01852
Fax: (978) 459-1907
Lawrence Office: 305 Essex Street, 4th floor, 01840
Fax: (978) 682-6070
Haverhill Office: Haverhill City Hall, 2nd floor, Rm 201A
4 Summer Street, 01830
Fax: (978) 521-1843
Washington Office: 2229 Rayburn House Office Building
Fax: (202) 226-077
TTY: (202) 225-1904
John F. Tierney (D)
Peabody Office: 17 Peabody Square, 01960
Fax: (978) 531-1996
Lynn Office: Lynn City Hall, Room 514, 01902
Fax: (781) 595-7492
Washington Office: 120 Cannon House Office Building, 20515
Fax: (202) 225-5915
Edward J. Markey (D)
Medford Office: 5 High Street, Suite 101, 02155
Framingham Office: 188 Concord Street, Suite 102, 01701
Washington Office: 2108 Rayburn House Office Building
Fax: (202) 226-0092
Michael E. Capuano (D)
Cambridge Office: 110 First Street, 02141
Fax: (617) 621-8628
Roxbury Office: Roxbury Community College, Room 110, 02119
Fax: (617) 541-6909
Washington Office: 1232 Longworth House Office Building
Fax: (202) 225-9322
Stephen F. Lynch
Boston Office: John Joseph Moakley Federal Courthouse
One Courthouse Way, Suite 3110, 02210
Fax: (617) 428-2011
Brockton Office: Brockton Federal Building
166 Main Street, 02301
Washington Office: 319 Cannon House Office Building
Fax: (202) 225-3984
William D. Delahunt (D)
Quincy Office: 1250 Hancock Street, Suite 802-N, 02169
Fax: (617) 770-2984
Hyannis Office: 146 Main Street, 02601
Fax: (508) 790-1959
Washington Office: 1317 Longworth House Office Building
Fax: (202) 225-5658
State is: www.state.ma.us/legis to find both Senate and House delegates
04-29-2003, 12:30 PM
Jeez Dave, that didn't take long to find! THANKS! Let's do it!
Case, that's an internal file for distribution; all part of the stuff we need to keep updated and available to the general public - no big to copy/paste.
BTW - that's only a couple pages of the whole file :whoa:
Excellent breakdown. I am surely not saying that I don't think they should be held TOTALLY responsible for their actions. And after reading this and more, I do feel that more liability needs to be placed in the hands of the Shippers. Accelerating the Double Hull act is also a must, and while it isn't an end all to the situation, it may have helped to slow or eliminate this and future spills.
I find it rather amusing that the destination for the oil came out and publicly denied ownership. Like it or not, its everyone's problem in the area now. And while monetary blame should be placed on the shipper, to be so forth right in denoucing any ownership bugs me.
Chet, great info. Very curious to see where this leads. Although all we can do now is try to fix this problem ASAP and prevent another as best we can.
There is no use in crying over spilt milk, but there is use in designing a better cup.
that sonofabitchin' barge was most likely cracked before it was loaded, which busted it open once out to sea.
Just for the hell of it, in case anybody ever wanted to know - #6 oil is so thick it requires a pre-heater to heat it enough to get to the burners - it sucks to work around it if there's any kind of leakage, believe me.
I keep editing this.
Nick, the building of a better teacup isn't the problem; it's already been done. If this pig had any sign of a leak, it could have been found under pressure. Why shouldn't each and every one of these scows be mandated to be pressure tested before loading cargo - and make the owner responsible for scheduling, testing and certification of seaworthiness, costs included, with a certificate drafted by and returned to the USCG with a test report done by certified outside contractors - sure, outside contracting can be paid off to cheat and lie, but whose gonna lie about a pressure test if it means a piece of their ass???
And - how many of these things - single hull, I mean, do you think are sunk right next to the wharves they were tied to when they sank??? - more than you can imagine.
Nick - none of this sounding off is flaming at you, either, so don't make me call you on the FONE !:tsk_tsk:
(Damn editor:eyecrazy: ) If there's a deadline of 2005 to convert single hulls, then why not make inspection mandatory and condemn every damn on that doesn't hold up to Superman's powers - bcuz not all of them are pieces of $&!#.
Don't worry dave, I know its not at me...just good discussion. I agree that the solution is out there...and maybe the "cup design" is actually more of a "we should get the cup out and use it" like you say.
I really like the idea of forcing more regulation upon these ships. If there is a way to test the pressure load capability of these monsters, THEN IT SHOULD BE DONE.
04-29-2003, 03:12 PM
Aside from making the bastards financially liable for this kind of violence (and that's exactly what negligence of this degree is), I say they should be made to go swimming in a vat of whatever sludge they're spewing out there.
Contact your senator, but what we really need here is the address of the captain and the ship's owner.
04-29-2003, 05:44 PM
I just read an article in the Falmouth Enterprise, you should see the list of "Incidences" this company has had over the years! I don't have time now But I'll post the LIST in the morning!:tsk_tsk: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
We are gifted with one of the most beautiful and richest coastlines on this green earth. There has never been a day since the first day I looked out over the horizon over the breathing surf on Cape Cod that I haven't felt a special sense of redemption just to be there. When I lay the day's first footsteps on the cool sand with the burning red dawn coming up over the water, I feel like I've come to be with an old friend, a soulmate who has never let me down. He asks only one thing of me, and that is to keep an eye on the antics of my own kind.
These guys have got to go - strike three you're out.
04-30-2003, 07:35 AM
DAMN, I forgot to bring the paper with me this am to post the list of problems with this company. Sorry guys, I'll have to post later!
04-30-2003, 07:46 AM
I like Juro's "Three Strikes And You're Out" concept.
My suggestions for "at Bats":
Strike One: Pay for all clean up expenses
Strike Two: Pay for clean up expenses; Multi-million dollar fine(equal to clean up cost); mandated additional safety testing by USCG (cost of which is paid for by company) and placed on 5 yr probation period after right to carry, in waters the incident occured, is suspended for 6 mths.
Strike Three: If another incident occurs in 5 yr period, even one #@&^%X!!! drop spilled......"Liscense to carry" is lost permanently.
Of course some politician will say: "ya, but they get 9 innings"
How many of us work in a place in which we can continuously screw up and all we have to say is "I'm sorry"? (weather men excluded of course):)
Right now the consequences appear to be:
Strike One: "I'm sorry"
Strike Two: "I'm very sorry"
Strike Three: I'm very, terribly, really sorrry":eyecrazy:
04-30-2003, 07:49 AM
Good site for info on the spill;http://www.buzzardsbay.org/oilspill-4-28-03.htm
that is a good site Case. lots of great info.
Do we really want three strikes? Three spills is 3 spills too many.
04-30-2003, 02:34 PM
Why is this a local story only? This should really be of national concern. I am amazed that the first time I heard about it was when I looked at this site.
Thanks for the link, bcasey.
04-30-2003, 07:21 PM
OK Here's the list of incidences as published in the Falmouth Enterprise yesterday.
1. In feb. of this past year a barge owned by Bouchard Transportation exploded while unloading gasoline at a facility on Staten Island. Two people were killed and one seriously injured and thousands of gallons of gas went into nearby waters.
2. Last March one of their vessels leaked some 2000 gallons of heating oil in New Yorks East River. The captain was found guilty of being drunk at the time of the incident and was sentenced to probation and fined $15000.00. Bouchard Transportation paid a $75,000 civil penalty and $1.3 million to clean up the spill.
3. In 1993 a Bouchard barge collided with two other vessels in Tampa Bay, sending 300,000 gallons of gasoline into the water.
4,5,&6. In 1997 a Bouchard barge ran aground in Boston Harbor while another spilled gasoline into the Hudson river and a third leaked 4000 gallons of diesel fuel into Lond Island Sound.
7 & 8. In 1999 Bouchard was involved in two more incidents- a 4,000 gallon spill and explosion on the Delaware River and another spill on the Hudson River.
The same company has also spilled oil before in Buzzards Bay.
9. In 1977, a Bouchard barge ran aground not far from Cleveland Ledge, spilling an estimated 100,000 gallons of #2 heating oil. The spill forced the closure of shellfishing in Bourne.
10. In 1974, the same barge spilled it's cargo off Red Brook Harbor in Cataumet, contaminating about 70% of the shellfish beds in Bourne.
Many Falmouth residents still recall when the barge Florida, carrying a load of diesel oil to the Canal Electric Plant and towed by New York Central Tug 34 went hard aground off Little Island in West Falmouth spilling about 174,000 gallons of oil into the bay in Sept. 1969. The damage was so severe that there was no shellfishing along West Falmouth shoreline for almost 10 years. The town eventually secured a $300,000 damage settlement from the tugboat company, Narragansett Marine Salvage Inc. out of New Bedford. Petroleum Carriers Inc. of Tiverton, Rhode Island, owned the 200-foot long barge Florida.
BTW, Bouchard Transportation has established a hotline for anyone with claims questions at 1-800-995-4045
don't know about you but I don't think this is the company I want transporting ANYTHING thru MY HOME WATERS or YOURS!!!
One has to wonder how they continue to operate! There has to be some reason other than this brilliant resume that is keeping Bouchard in business. One could easily suspect some shady relationships between decision makers who overlook past performance as they renew contracts, who knows.
- get the state, federal or even the electric plant itself to require
transport services with better track records (dump these bums)
- work with knowlegable organizations in getting coastal laws in
place requiring stringent rules like double-hulled ships within
our waters for transport of hazardous materials
- impose an appropriate degree of hurt on companies who screw
up to create incentive to practice safer methods and fund coastal
04-30-2003, 11:54 PM
"A Heritage of Barge Experience and Family Pride"
This is what Bouchard proudly proclaims on their website.
Based on Case's summary in his previous post I feel confident in saying that the Bouchard family should feel more shame than pride regarding the family's barge experience.
Their record is shameful at best.
I have found records that summarize class action suits pending against Bouchard as a result of their negligence in Tampa and at Staten Island. It would be great to see a class action suit stirred up as a result of this latest debacle in Buzzard's Bay.
I find it somewhat fitting that the top 2 links that you get when you type "Bouchard Transportation" into Google are links regarding pending lawsuits against Bouchard.