Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Coastal Heritage Society of Louisiana Rain Water Lab Results Test Date: August 11 2010 Location: Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana - Inland, Belle Chasse

Coastal Heritage Society of Louisiana Rain Water Lab Results

Test Date: August 11 2010

Location: Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana - Inland, Belle Chasse

Jo, Kindra & Vcik - Coastal Heritage Society of Louisiana

In efforts to continue our awareness, in addition to our Outreach program to affected families (which are growing in numbers daily) and to expose the truth not being told - we continue our testing in spite of Thad Allens order (signed last week) that all testing must be done under the umbrela of their authority. Sorry... thats a no go. If you would like to help us with our outreach program please participate in our $2 fund drive - just put it in an envelope and mail it to us at

CHSL PO BOX 297 Belle Chasse, La 70037

Of course - more than $2 is welcome but we know times are tough all over and figure that most anyone inspired to help can afford $2 plus a postage stamp!

You can also join us on CHSL Radio - our show airs Tuesday nights at 7pm. Click the link below to listen to our FIRST episode. Hosted by Jo, Kindra & Vick with our special guest President Billy Nungesser. We discuss the rain water, our trip out into the marsh and allot more. Be kind - we are not talk show host... and it was our first go at it.


Join us Tuesday Aug. 31 and call in to discuss the situation!

Just a reminder - we ARE an all volunteer (no salaries) group working hard to protect the people, culture and heritage of Coastal Louisiana. It IS a labor of love for us!

Coastal Heritage Society of Louisiana Rain Water Lab Results

Test Date: August 11 2010

Location: Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana - Inland, Belle Chasse


The rain water contained heavy metals, chlorides, sulfates, coliform bacteria and this time we also found volatile organic compounds (VOC) that according to our lab “ must be coming from the petroleum oil and it means that the air is contaminated too“.

Detected - Aluminun, Arsenic, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Nickel, Chloride, Sulfates,1.2 dibromo - -3-chloropropane, Ethylbenzene, Hexacholroethane, Naphthalene, 2-nitro propane, styrene, toluene, 1,2,3, trimethylbenene, Butylbenzene and xylenes.

Some of these chemicals do not even have safe EPA standard levels. Some of them fall below the safe EPA levels however it is very important to remember accumulation. This is for testing less than one quart of rain water. The exposure to the rain and steam is much higher usually on a daily basis in Coastal Louisiana. It is also important to remember that people are being exposed not only directly by the rain but by eating the crops that this rain falls on, the livestock drinking this rain water and the exposure daily in the air as well as a thing as simple as walking barefoot on your lawn. These chemicals accumulate in our bodies and since we are all being exposed in so many ways we feel that it is a very dangerous situation.


Recommended Exposure Limits for Butylbenzene have not been established.

Eye: May cause mild irritation to the eyes.

Skin: May cause mild to moderate irritation to skin. Prolonged or repeated contact with the liquid may cause defatting of the skin resulting in drying, redness, and possibly blistering.

Inhalation: May cause slight to moderate upper airway irritatancy, with higher exposures causing central nervous system depression, headache, and dizziness.

Ingestion: May be slightly irritating to the gastrointestinal tract. If swallowed, may be aspirated resulting in inflammation and possible fluid accumulation in the lungs.


Toluene may affect the nervous system. Low to moderate levels can cause tiredness, confusion, weakness, drunken-type actions, memory loss, nausea, loss of appetite, and hearing and color vision loss. These symptoms usually disappear when exposure is stopped.

Inhaling High levels of toluene in a short time can make you feel light-headed, dizzy, or sleepy. It can also cause unconsciousness, and even death. High levels of toluene may affect your kidneys.

The EPA has determined that the carcinogenicity of toluene can not be classified.


The main effect from breathing high levels of 1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane is damage to the male's ability to reproduce. Studies on workers have shown that men may produce fewer sperm, and eventually become unable to father children. It can also cause headaches, nausea, lightheadedness, and weakness.

Animals breathing high levels of the chemical were not able to reproduce and had damaged stomachs, livers, kidneys, brains, spleens, blood, and lungs. Breathing low to moderate levels also caused damage to the reproductive system. Rats exposed to high levels show an increase in birth defects. It can also cause skin and eye damage from direct contact. The Department of Health and Human Services has determined that 1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane may reasonably be anticipated to be a carcinogen. Animal studies found cancer of the nose in animals exposed by breathing the chemical, cancer of the stomach and kidney in animals that ingested the chemical, and cancer of the stomach and skin in animals who had skin contact with the chemical.


Exposure to high levels of ethylbenzene in air for short periods can cause eye and throat irritation. Exposure to higher levels can result in dizziness. Irreversible damage to the inner ear and hearing has been observed in animals exposed to relatively low concentrations of ethylbenzene for several days to weeks. Exposure to relatively low concentrations of ethylbenzene in air for several months to years causes kidney damage in animals. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has determined that ethylbenzene is a possible human carcinogen. There are no studies evaluating the effects of ethylbenzene exposure on children or immature animals. We do not know whether children would be more sensitive than adults to the effects of ethylbenzene. We do not know if ethylbenzene will cause birth defects in humans. Minor birth defects and low birth weight have occurred in newborn animals whose mothers were exposed to ethylbenzene in air during pregnancy.


In the United States, about half of the hexachloroethane is used by the military for smoke-producing devices. Another use of hexachloroethane is in pyrotechnics. It inhibits the explosiveness of methane and the combustion of ammonium perchlorate.

Acute Effects:

Hexachloroethane acts primarily as a central nervous system depressant (possibly resulting in mild paralysis) in humans acutely exposed to it and in high concentrations it causes narcosis.

Hexachloroethane is moderately irritating to the skin, mucous membranes, and liver in humans.

Liver and kidney effects have been observed in animals acutely exposed to hexachloroethane by ingestion.

In one study, chronic inhalation exposure of animals to high concentrations of hexachloroethane resulted in neurobehavioral effects in rats and dogs and increased liver weight in guinea pigs.

In rats chronically exposed to hexachloroethane by ingestion or gavage (experimentally placing the chemical in the stomach), kidney effects have been observed.

Reproductive/Developmental Effects:

No information is available on the reproductive or developmental effects of hexachloroethane in humans.

At the highest concentrations, rats exposed to hexachloroethane by inhalation exhibited maternal toxicity.

In rats exposed to high doses of hexachloroethane via gavage, maternal toxicity, a reduced gestation index, a reduction in the number of fetuses per female, and increased fetal resorption rates were observed.

Hepatocellular carcinomas were observed in mice following chronic oral exposure to hexachloroethane.

An increased incidence of renal neoplasms were observed in orally-exposed male rats, but not in females.

EPA has classified hexachloroethane as a Group C, possible human carcinogen.


If dairy cows are exposed to naphthalene, some naphthalene will be in their milk; if laying hens are exposed, some naphthalene will be in their eggs. Naphthalene and the methylnaphthalenes have been found in very small amounts in some samples of fish and shellfish from polluted waters.

Exposure to a large amount of naphthalene may damage or destroy some of your red blood cells. This could cause you to have too few red blood cells until your body replaces the destroyed cells. This problem is called hemolytic anemia. If your ancestors were from Africa or Mediterranean countries, naphthalene may be more dangerous to you than to people of other origins. These populations have a higher incidence of problems with an enzyme that usually protects red blood cells from damage created by oxygen in the air.

Some of the symptoms that occur with hemolytic anemia are fatigue, lack of appetite, restlessness, and a pale appearance to your skin. Exposure to a large amount of naphthalene, such as by eating mothballs, may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, blood in the urine, and a yellow color to the skin.

Anemia is a common condition in pregnancy that can be due to causes other than naphthalene exposure. However, if you are a pregnant woman and are anemic due to naphthalene exposure, then it is possible that your unborn child may be anemic as well. Naphthalene can move from your blood to your baby's blood. Once your baby is born, naphthalene may also be carried from your body to your baby's body through your milk. When mice or rats breathed in naphthalene vapors daily throughout their lives (2 years), cells in the lining of their noses or lungs were damaged. Some exposed female mice also developed lung tumors. Some exposed male and female rats developed nose tumors.

Based on these results from animal studies, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services concluded that naphthalene is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that naphthalene is possibly carcinogenic to humans.

When mice were fed food containing 1 methylnaphthalene or 2 methylnaphthalene for most of their lives (81 weeks), the gas-exchange part of the lungs of some mice became filled with an abnormal material. This type of lung injury is called pulmonary alveolar proteinosis.


It is "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen" with extensive evidence of it being carcinogenic in rats. Human exposure to 2-NP is nearly completed from occupational exposure and high concentrations of 2-NO are highly toxic and have produced fatalities (INCHEM, 1992). Initial symptoms include headache, nausea, drowsiness, vomiting, and diarrhea and, in causes of fatalities, hepatic failure was the primary cause of death with lung oedema, gastrointestinal bleeding, and respiratory and kidney failure being contributing factors. 2-NP is highly mobile in the environment, soluble in water, bioaccumulative, and highly evaporative.


Styrene is produced in industrial quantities from ethylbenzene, which is in turn prepared on a large scale by alkylation of benzene with ethylene.

The U.S. EPA does not have a cancer classification for styrene, but currently is evaluating styrene's cancer-causing potential through its Integrated Risk Information System program.. The National Toxicology Program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also currently is evaluating styrene's potential toxicity The International Agency for Research on Cancer considers styrene to be "possibly carcinogenic to humans.". Chronic exposure to styrene leads to tiredness/lethargy, memory deficits, headaches and vertigo.

1,2,3, trimethylbenene

Causes mild skin irritation. Repeated or prolonged exposure may irritate the respiratory system. Toxic vapors produced upon heating this material.

Contact with skin, eyes and inhalation of product vapor causes exposure.. Causes mild skin irritation.

Repeated or prolonged exposure may cause eye irritation.

Inhalation of product vapors or mist may cause irritation of the respiratory system. Not Classifiable as a Human Carcinogen. Aspiration into the lungs may cause chemical pneumonia. Contain Aromatic Hydrocarbons


The main effect of inhaling xylene vapour is depression of the central nervous system (CNS), with symptoms such as headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. Volunteers have tolerated 100 ppm, but higher concentrations become objectionable. Irritation of the nose and throat can occur at approximately 200 ppm after 3 to 5 minutes. Exposures estimated at 700 ppm have caused nausea and vomiting. Extremely high concentrations (approximately 10000 ppm) could cause incoordination, loss of consciousness, respiratory failure and death. In some cases, a potentially fatal accumulation of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) may result. Symptoms of pulmonary edema, such as shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, may be delayed several hours after exposure.

Liver and kidney damage has been reported in cases of severe xylene exposure. Results of short-term studies on human volunteers indicate that xylenes can cause neurobehavioural effects such as impaired short-term memory and reaction time and alterations in body balance. Symptoms such as headaches, irritability, depression, insomnia, agitation, extreme tiredness, tremors, and impaired concentration and short-term memory have been reported following long-term occupational exposure to xylene and other solvents. This condition is sometimes generally referred to as "organic solvent syndrome".

Historical reports sometimes associate xylene exposure with certain blood effects, including leukemia, which are now known to also be caused by benzene. An increase in menstrual disorders has been reported in women exposed to organic solvents such as benzene, toluene and xylene. Several human population studies have suggested a link between exposure to organic solvents (including xylene) and increased occurrence of miscarriages or birth defects in children. However, in the majority of cases, there was exposure to a combination of solvents at the same time such as toluene and benzene.


Toxicity Symptoms are weakness, confusion and coma may result with too much chloride exposure.

Chloride is a binary compound of chlorine; a salt of hydrochloric acid.

elevated levels are associated with acidosis and too much water crossing the cell membrane.

Increased levels of blood chloride (called hyperchloremia) usually indicate dehydration, but can also occur with other problems that cause high blood sodium, such as Cushing's syndrome or kidney disease. Hyperchloremia also occurs when too much base is lost from the body (producing metabolic acidosis) or when a person hyperventilates (causing respiratory alkalosis).


Studies have show that high level exposure to aluminum affects the lungs, and causes neurological damage in absorption by the skin.

Studies on mice have found that the absorption of aluminum through the skin causes a greater burden on the body than oral ingestion. Humans also absorb aluminum through the skin: a 2001 study showed that aluminum was still present in blood samples 15 days after one application of aluminum. Consequently, applying aluminum to the skin is a very effective way to get aluminum in your system, and in your brain.

Aluminum was first recognized as a human neurotoxin in 1886 A neurotoxin is a substance that causes damage to nerves or nerve tissue.

The short term symptoms of aluminum toxicity include memory loss, learning difficulty, loss of coordination, disorientation, mental confusion, colic, heartburn,, and headaches. Alzheimer’s is one of the possible long term effects of chronic aluminum exposure.


It combines with other substances such as oxygen, sulfur, or chlorine . Manganese can also be combined with carbon to make organic manganese compounds. Common organic manganese compounds include pesticides, such as maneb or mancozeb, and methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT), a fuel additive in some gasolines.

Manganese effects occur mainly in the respiratory tract and in the brains. Symptoms of manganese poisoning are hallucinations, forgetfulness and nerve damage. Manganese can also cause Parkinson, lung embolism and bronchitis. When men are exposed to manganese for a longer period of time they may become impotent.

A syndrome that is caused by manganese has symptoms such as schizophrenia, dullness, weak muscles, headaches and insomnia. Chronic Manganese poisoning may result from prolonged inhalation of dust and fume. The central nervous system is the chief site of damage from the disease, which may result in permanent disability. Symptoms include languor, sleepiness, weakness, emotional disturbances, spastic gait, recurring leg cramps, and paralysis. A high incidence of pneumonia and other upper respiratory infections has been found in workers exposed to dust or fume of Manganese compounds. Manganese compounds are experimental equivocal tumorigenic agents.


Long-term exposure to copper can cause irritation of the nose, mouth and eyes and it causes headaches, stomachaches, dizziness, vomiting and diarrhoea. Intentionally high uptakes of copper may cause liver and kidney damage and even death. Whether copper is carcinogenic has not been determined yet.

There are scientific articles that indicate a link between long-term exposure to high concentrations of copper and a decline in intelligence with young adolescents. Whether this should be of concern is a topic for further investigation.

Industrial exposure to copper fumes, dusts, or mists may result in metal fume fever with atrophic changes in nasal mucous membranes. Chronic copper poisoning results in Wilson’s Disease, characterized by a hepatic cirrhosis, brain damage, demyelination, renal disease, and copper deposition in the cornea.

Jo wuth CHSL

One more Vid for you guys.... of us taking water and air samples Aug 19th out in the marsh!


These pages are for general reference and awareness purposes only and MUST NOT be relied upon as a sole source to determine matters where life and health are concerned. It is important that you speak to your medical Doctor concerning any health concerns that you may have.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Despite "All Clear," Mississippi Sound Tests Positive for Oil

Despite "All Clear," Mississippi Sound Tests Positive for Oil

by: Dahr Jamail and Erika Blumenfeld, t r u t h o u t | Report

Laboratory confirmed oil-soaked sorbent pad. (Photo © Erika Blumenfeld 2010)

The State of Mississippi's Department of Marine Resources (DMR) opened all of its territorial waters to fishing on August 6. This was done in coordination with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the US Food and Drug Administration, despite concerns from commercial fishermen in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida about the presence of oil and toxic dispersants from the BP oil disaster.

On August 19, Truthout accompanied two commercial fishermen from Mississippi on a trip into the Mississippi Sound in order to test for the presence of submerged oil. Laboratory test results from samples taken on that trip show extremely high concentrations of oil in the Mississippi Sound.

James "Catfish" Miller and Mark Stewart, both lifelong fishermen, have refused to trawl for shrimp because they believe the Mississippi Sound contains submerged oil.

James Catfish Miller, third-generation fisherman.

James "Catfish" Miller, third-generation fisherman. (Photo © Erika Blumenfeld 2010)

"I can't tell you how hard it is for me not to be shrimping right now, because I'm a trawler," Miller told Truthout as he piloted his shrimp boat out of Pass Christian Harbor, "That's what I do. I trawl."

But Miller and Stewart have been alarmed by their state's decision to reopen the waters, and have been conducting their own tests for oil in areas where they have fished for years. Their method was simple - they tied an absorbent pad to a weighted hook, dropped it overboard for a short duration of time, then pulled it up to find the results.

Miller and Mark Stewart attaching the sorbent pad to the weighted hook.

Miller and Mark Stewart attaching the sorbent pad to the weighted hook. (Photo © Erika Blumenfeld 2010)

Hook with pad

(Photo © Erika Blumenfeld 2010)

Hook with pad closer.

(Photo © Erika Blumenfeld 2010)

Hook with pad close up with hand.

(Photo © Erika Blumenfeld 2010)

On each of the eight tests Truthout witnessed, the white pads were brought up covered in a brown oily substance that the fishermen identified as a mix of BP's crude oil and toxic dispersants.

The first test conducted was approximately one-quarter mile out from the harbor, and the pad pulled up was stained brown.

Man with pad.

(Photo © Erika Blumenfeld 2010)

"They're letting people swim in this," Miller exclaimed, while holding the stained pad up to the sun.

Miller and Stewart were both in BP's Vessels Of Opportunity (VOO) program and were trained in identifying oil and dispersants.

This writer took two samples from two absorbent pads that were brought up from the water that were covered in brown residue and had them tested in a private laboratory via gas chromatography.

Miller and Dahr Jamail holding oil-soaked sorbent pad.

Miller and Dahr Jamail holding oil-soaked sorbent pad. (Photo © Erika Blumenfeld 2010)

The environmental analyst who worked with this writer did so on condition of anonymity, and performed a micro extraction that tests for Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH). The lower reporting limit the analyst is able to detect from a solid sample like the absorbent pad is 50 parts per million (ppm).

The first sample this writer took was from a sorbent pad dropped overboard to a depth of approximately eight feet and held there for roughly one minute. The location of this was 30 18.461 North, 089 14.171 West, taken at 9:40 AM. This sample tested positive for oil, with a hydrocarbon concentration of 479 ppm. Seawater that is free of oil would test at zero ppm of hydrocarbons.

The second sample this writer took was from a sorbent pad dropped overboard to a depth of approximately eight feet and held there for roughly one minute. The location of this was 30 18.256 North, 089 11.241 West, taken at 10:35 AM. This sample tested positive for oil, with a hydrocarbon concentration of 587 ppm.

"For the sorbent pads, I had to include the weight of the actual pad itself, so that the extraction was done as a solid," the environmental analyst explained. "Had I had enough liquid in these samples to do a liquid extraction, the numbers would have been substantially higher."

Jonathan Henderson, with the nonprofit environmental group, Gulf Restoration Network, was on board to witness the sampling.

Jonathan Henderson, coastal resiliency organizer of the Gulf Restoration Network.

Jonathan Henderson, coastal resiliency organizer of the Gulf Restoration Network. (Photo © Erika Blumenfeld 2010)

"I can verify that the shrimp boat captain retrieved what appeared to be an oily residue," Henderson told Truthout. "My suspicion is that it was oil. It felt like oil to the touch, and it smelled like oil when you sniffed it."

On August 11, the two fishermen brought out scientist Dr. Ed Cake of Gulf Environmental Associates. (Video from the "Bridge the Gulf Project" of that trip with Miller and Stewart finding an oil and dispersant mixture on open Mississippi fishing waters.)

Dr. Cake wrote of the experience: "When the vessel was stopped for sampling, small, 0.5- to 1.0-inch-diameter bubbles would periodically rise to the surface and shortly thereafter they would pop leaving a small oil sheen. According to the fishermen, several of BP's Vessels-of-Opportunity (Carolina Skiffs with tanks of dispersants [Corexit?]) were hand spraying in Mississippi Sound off the Pass Christian Harbor in prior days/nights. It appears to this observer that the dispersants are still in the area and are continuing to react with oil in the waters off Pass Christian Harbor."

Shortly thereafter, Miller took the samples to a community meeting in nearby D'Iberville to show fishermen and families the contaminated sorbent pads. At the meeting, fishermen unanimously supported a petition calling for the firing of Dr. Bill Walker, the head of Mississippi's DMR, who is responsible for opening the fishing grounds.

On August 9, Walker, despite ongoing reports of tar balls, oil and dispersants being found in Mississippi waters, declared "there should be no new threats" and issued an order for all local coast governments to halt ongoing oil disaster work being funded by BP money that was granted to the state.

Recent weeks in Mississippi waters have found fishermen and scientists finding oil in Garden Pond on Horn Island, massive fish kills near Cat Island and Biloxi, "black water" in Mississippi Sound, oil inside Pass Christian Harbor and submerged oil in Pass Christian, in addition to what Miller and Stewart showed Truthout and others with their testing.

Stewart, third-generation fisherman.

Stewart, third-generation fisherman. (Photo © Erika Blumenfeld 2010)

"We've sent samples to all the news media we know, here in Mississippi and in [Washington] D.C.," Stewart, a third-generation fisherman from Ocean Springs told Truthout, "We had Ray Mabus' people on this boat, and we sent them away with contaminated samples they watched us take, and we haven't heard back from any of them."

Raymond Mabus is the United States Secretary of the Navy and a former governor of Mississippi. President Obama tasked him with developing "a long-term Gulf Coast Restoration Plan as soon as possible."

Mabus has been accused by many Gulf Coast fishermen of not living up to his task.

Thus, since neither the federal nor state governments will conduct the testing they feel is necessary, Miller and Stewart decided to take matters into their own hands.

Stewart had on board another homemade method of capturing oil in the water column. He took two tomato cages and filled them with sorbent pad, layered it in plastic to hold it together, and left a hole at the bottom for the water to flow through, creating a large sorbent cone that could flow through the water.

Stewart had on board another homemade method of capturing oil in the water column.

(Photo © Erika Blumenfeld 2010)

The method proved fruitful. After several tests in the water column, being careful to never let it touch bottom, the cone was turned a dark brown with what turned out to be a very high concentration of oil.

"Normally we have a lot of white shrimp in the Sound right now," Stewart told Truthout of the current situation in the Mississippi Sound. "You can catch 500-800 pounds a night, but right now, there are very few people shrimping, and those that are, are catching nothing or maybe 200 pounds per night. You can't even pay your expenses on 200 pounds per night."

"We think they opened shrimp season prematurely," Miller told Truthout. "How can we put our product back on the market when everybody in America knows what happened down here? I have seen so many dead animals in the last few months I can't even keep count."

Jonathan Henderson holding the oil-soaked sorbent cone.

Jonathan Henderson holding the oil-soaked sorbent cone. (Photo © Erika Blumenfeld 2010)

On August 19, several commercial shrimpers, including Miller and Stewart, held a press conference at the Biloxi Marina. Other fishermen there were not fishing because they feared making people sick from toxic seafood they might catch.

Protesters with signs against BP.

(Photo © Erika Blumenfeld 2010)

"I don't want people to get sick," Danny Ross, a commercial fisherman from Biloxi told Truthout. "We want the government and BP to have transparency with the Corexit dispersants."

Ross said he has watched horseshoe crabs trying to crawl out of the water and other marine life like stingrays and flounder also trying to escape the water. He believes this is because the water is hypoxic due to the toxicity of the dispersants, of which BP admits to using approximately 1.9 million gallons.

"I will not wet a net and catch shrimp until I know it's safe to do so," Ross added, "I have no way of life now. I can't shrimp and others are calling the shots. For the next 20 years, what am I supposed to do? Because that's how long it's going to take for our waters to be safe again."

David Wallis, another fisherman from Biloxi, attended the press conference. "We don't feel our seafood is safe, and we demand more testing be done," Wallis told Truthout. "I've seen crabs crawling out of the water in the middle of the day. This is going to be affecting us far into the future."

"A lot of fishermen feel as we do. Most of them I talk to don't want the season opened, for our safety as well as others," Wallis added. "Right now there's barely any shrimp out there to catch. We should be overloaded with shrimp right now. That's not normal. I won't eat any seafood that comes out of these waters, because it's not safe."

Miller told Truthout that when he worked in BP's VOO program, "I came out here and looked at the oil and they didn't let us clean it up most days. Instead, I watched them spray dispersants on it at night, and now we're seeing acid rain burn holes in our plants. I've seen them spray Corexit from Carolina Skiffs with my own eyes. For the last several weeks now they keep shoving these lies in our face. You can only turn your head so far, for so long."

The hydrocarbon tests conducted on the samples taken by this writer only represent a tiny part of the Gulf compared to the massive area of the ocean that has been affected by BP's oil catastrophe. A comprehensive sampling regime across the Gulf, taken regularly over the years ahead, is clearly required in order to implement appropriate cleanup responses and take public safety precautions.

On their own, Miller and Stewart have made at least seven sampling runs, covering many tens of miles of the Mississippi Sound, and have, in their words, "rarely pulled up a sorbent pad that did not contain oil residue."

BP $20B Fund Denies Deepwater Horizon Dead and Injured Compensation

August 20th, 2010 | Author: Maritime Law Staff

HOUSTON, TX — Dead and injured victims of the Deepwater Horizon disaster that occurred April 20, 2010, have been denied the right to collect monies from the BP $20 billion dollar compensation fund.

While the fund protocol says that all workers injured or killed as a result of the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon or the spill are eligible to file claims, a letter sent by BP’s lawyers toHouston maritime lawyer, Steve Gordon, representing several of the victims of theDeepwater Horizon, states otherwise.

An excerpt from the BP letter states:

“To be clear, it is BP’s position, consistent with this indemnification, that any settlement between Transocean and any of its injured or deceased employees must include a full release of all BP entities from any and all claims or liability in connection with the Deepwater Horizon incident,” said the letter, from John T. Hickey, a lawyer for BP. “This full release of all BP entities would indeed bar any subsequent claims against the fund being established by BP and the claims facility that will be administered by Mr. Feinberg.”

The letter was handed over to the House Judiciary Committee, which is investigating liability issues and the claims process.

The maritime law firm of Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., located in Houston, Texas, represents the family of Karl D. Kleppinger, Jr. one of the eleven workers killed on theDeepwater Horizon and 8 other injured crew members who survived (all considered Jones Act seamen under maritime law).

In an excerpt from an email dated August 2, 2010 to Ken Feinberg, administrator of the BP $20B fund, Gordon asks that his clients be allowed to recover monies from the $20B compensation Fund established by BP.

We are writing you to determine if theses claimants will be considered by you to recover monies under the BP Fund that you are administering. We sought determination from BP and they said our clients would not be considered. I attach the letter from Mr. John Hickey for your review.

BP’s position is, as you can see, that since Transocean’s insurer is obligated to indemnify BP for claims from Transocean’s employees, then BP should not further compensate them as that would be a, in their opinion, “double recovery”. Personally, I believe the evidence thus far amassed at the United States Coast Guard hearings shows that the actions, or inactions, of Transocean and BP certainly contributed to this tragedy and BP should pay these families and injured men and women directly.

Since Mr. Hickey is not the final decision maker on this issue and, from all I can read and digest, Mr. Feinberg is, I thought it prudent to ask you if theses claimants, and others similarly situated, will be able to receive funds under the BP Fund.

Please let me know if you will consider the claims of the Kleppinger Family and our 8 survivors. Obviously, though our request is not made on behalf of the other ten families and other injured we do not represent, they are probably interested in your decision as well. Thank you very much.

The House Judiciary Committee is also very concerned that Mr. Feinberg may not compensate the most obviously deserving persons. It is egregious that BP refuses to compensate human life by leaving out the dead and injured from this fund.

On August 20 the New York Times has brought to light this obvious inequity.

Published by maritime lawyer Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP

Friday, August 27, 2010

Long Beach spends BP grant on boats, ATVs, emergency gear

Long Beach spends BP grant on boats, ATVs, emergency gear

Posted: Aug 12, 2010 6:24 PM CDTUpdated: Aug 12, 2010 6:41 PM CDT
Click image to enlarge

By Trang Pham-Bui – bio | email

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) – It is the latest addition to the Long Beach Fire and Police Departments' fleet. The new 24 foot boat came equipped with emergency fog lights, GPS, and radar. Its $50,000 price tag was paid for by the BP grant.

"The day we got it in, that night, we used it in the harbor for about five hours, placing absorbent boom, pom poms out to protect the inlets to the harbor," said Long Beach Emergency Management Director George Bass.

And to detect tar balls along the beach, the city received four, four-wheel drive pick-up trucks, portable light stations, along with barricades and road signs with message boards in case of road closures.

These are the smaller purchases: 20 water backpacks, six life vests, four laptops, GPS, binoculars, digital cameras and hand-held radios. Bass said these are the types of equipment and gear his cash-strapped city just can't afford to buy.

"It's equipment that we truly needed, but unfortunately, through the budget process, these things, you ask for them, the needs are not as high as the other items. Being able to get this equipment now is just truly great for us," said Bass.

The city's Public Works Department also received some new items through the BP Grant, including a mini hoe and dump truck to clean out bayous. And a large trash truck to pick up debris is on order.

The vehicles, equipment, and gear can be used to respond to other emergencies besides oil spills. For instance, the new boat allows emergency crews to conduct rescue operations in foggy and rainy conditions. And the hand-held radios allow local officials to communicate with state agencies during disasters.

"The oil spill's going to be with us for a number of years. We're going to be dealing with this," said Bass. "But the blessing is we got equipment to be able to respond to it now, and not just right now, but in the years to come."

The Long Beach Police Department also purchased two pick-up trucks, two ATVs and uniforms for the Beach Patrol. Among the items the Harbor Master received were an ATV and a 16 foot boat. The grant also paid for overtime for those employees involved in the oil spill response. All the OT and equipment totaled $700,000.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

NOAA Reopens More than 4,000 Square Miles of Closed Gulf Fishing Area

DATE: August 27, 2010 9:49:25 AM PDT

NOAA Reopens More than 4,000 Square Miles of Closed Gulf Fishing Area

Key contact numbers

  • Report oiled shoreline or request volunteer information: (866) 448-5816
  • Submit alternative response technology, services or products: (281) 366-5511
  • Submit a claim for damages: (800) 916-4893
  • Report oiled wildlife: (866) 557-1401

Deepwater Horizon Incident
Joint Information Center

Phone: (713) 323-1670
(713) 323-1671

Today NOAA reopened 4,281 square miles of Gulf waters off western Louisiana to commercial and recreational fishing. The reopening was announced after consultation with FDA and under a re-opening protocol agreed to by NOAA, the FDA, and the Gulf states.

On July 18, NOAA data showed no oil in the area. Light sheen was observed on July 29, but none since. Trajectory models show the area is at a low risk for future exposure to oil, and fish caught in the area and tested by NOAA experts have shown no signs of contamination.

"Scientists, food safety experts, members of the fishing industry and local, state, federal officials, are working together every day to ensure that seafood from the Gulf is safe to eat," said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "We will remain vigilant and continue to monitor and test seafood in reopened waters."

Between July 26 and July 29, NOAA sampled the area for both shrimp and finfish, including mackerel and snapper. Sensory analyses of 41 samples and chemical analyses of 125 specimens that were composited into 14 samples followed the methodology and procedures in the re-opening protocol, with sensory analysis finding no detectable oil or dispersant odors or flavors, and results of chemical analysis well below the levels of concern.

At its closest point, the area to be reopened is about 185 miles west of the Deepwater/BP wellhead. The entire area is heavily fished by fishermen targeting reef fish, menhaden and shrimp.

"Because of our strict adherence to the reopening protocol agreed to by the states and the federal government we have confidence that seafood harvested from this area is free from harmful oil residues and can be enjoyed by consumers around the nation," said Margaret Hamburg, M.D., Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.

NOAA will continue to take samples for testing from the newly re-opened area, and the agency has also implemented dockside sampling to test fish caught throughout the Gulf by commercial fishermen. To view the fact sheet released today on the administration-wide effort to ensure Gulf seafood safety, click here.

Fishing closures remain the first line of defense to prevent contaminated seafood from entering the marketplace. NOAA continues to work closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Gulf states to ensure seafood safety. NOAA and FDA are working together on broad-scale seafood sampling that includes sampling seafood from inside and outside the closure area, as well as dockside and market-based sampling.

The closed area now covers 48,114 square miles, or about 20 percent of the federal waters in the Gulf, which was 37 percent at its height. On July 22, NOAA reopened 26,388 square miles of Gulf waters off of the Florida Peninsula, and on August 10 opened 5,144 square miles off the Florida Panhandle.

NOAA will continue to evaluate the need for fisheries closures and will re-open closed areas as appropriate.

NOAA has a number of methods for the public to obtain information or be notified when there is a change to the closed area:

  • Call 1-800-627-NOAA (1-800-627-6622) to hear a recording of the current coordinates in English, Vietnamese, and Spanish.
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio for messages about the closure.
  • Follow us on Twitter: @usnoaagov to get a tweet when the closed area changes.

NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Visit us atwww.noaa.gov or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/usnoaagov.

    FDA: Mississippi oysters safe to eat

    FDA: Mississippi oysters safe to eat

    Posted: Aug 25, 2010 4:45 PM CDT
    Updated: Aug 25, 2010 4:45 PM CDT
    Click image to enlarge

    BILOXI, MS (WLOX) – Experts testing Gulf seafood for oil contamination announced Wednesday that Mississippi oysters are safe for human consumption. The only problem is Mississippi oysters aren't available for harvest right now. Mississippi's Oyster Season usually doesn't open until September or October.

    The testing was conducted by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), in coordination with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

    "We are pleased with the results that have come back from FDA and NOAA which show that our Mississippi oysters are safe to eat," said MDMR Fisheries Director Dale Diaz. "Like all the seafood samples collected and tested from Mississippi territorial waters since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, our Mississippi oyster tissue samples have undergone rigorous testing and have been proven to be well below levels of concern for hydrocarbons."

    "In the testing for the reopening of federal waters, we are finding similar results to what has been found in Mississippi state waters. Of the more than 1,700 federal samples tested, the levels of contaminants detected are 100 to 1,000 times lower than the threshold for what the FDA has identified as potentially harmful to humans," said Dr. John Stein of NOAA's Seafood Safety Program responding to the Gulf oil spill.

    The procedures for reopening a fishery or proving seafood tissue samples are safe for consumption involve extensive sampling and testing. According to DMR:

    1. There must be a low threat of oil exposure; the threat of exposure will be based on past observations and the status of the spill and conditions.
    2. Evaluation of oil movement based on confirmation that the closure area is free of visible oil on the surface by visual observation and/or aerial reconnaissance or water testing.
    3. Assessment of seafood contamination by sensory testing – Determine if the seafood is contaminated by tissue collection and sensory testing. The acceptable condition is that all specimens must pass sensory testing conducted by a NOAA-FDA expert sensory panel or a NOAA-FDA trained panel of state assessors.
    4. Assessment of seafood contamination by chemical analyses – Chemical analyses are performed on samples that pass sensory assessment to confirm that PAH concentrations are below the applicable FDA levels of concern for human health. Tissue samples will continue to be tested every other week to insure seafood quality.

    Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

    BP awards $3 million to coast tourism

    From Denise: Just my opinion, but why millions for tourism to bring people here to be poisoned? We KNOW the seafood and the water are NOT safe!

    BP awards $3 million to coast tourism

    Posted: Aug 25, 2010 10:25 PM CDTUpdated: Aug 26, 2010 8:28 AM CDT
    Click image to enlarge

    By Jessica Bowman – email

    HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The Mississippi Coast tourism industry is still trying to get back to where it once was. Wednesday's announcement that BP will give $3 million to help fund coastal activities will go a long way toward that goal.

    Applause echoed around the room as the President of the Harrison County Tourism Commission, Kenneth Montana, announced the grant money.

    "Working together we can put the wow, the wow, back into a trip to the fantastic Gulf Coast," Kenneth Montana said.

    Back in June, the commission approached BP privately with a plan. That plan would maximize tourism and provide supporting funds for our local events.

    "We came up with a vision to create a foundation, a fall promotional campaign. A fall combination of events and festivals and attractions and activities to market an extravaganza that would stretch over two and three months," said Montana.

    A $1,175,000 payment will support Harrison County events and activities including Biloxi Seafood Festival, Chefs of the Coast, Cruisin' the Coast, horse shows, Mississippi Hotel & Lodging Association Charter Boat Fishing Tournament, Fall Classic Mississippi Youth Soccer Tournament, Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Rendezvous & Harbor Grand Opening, Magnolia Classic USFA Fast Pitch Softball Tournament, Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo and a Familiarization Tour of convention and coliseum facilities by national tourism magazines, agencies and media.

    In Hancock County, a $995,000 payment will support events and activities including motor coach promotions, Second Saturday Art Walk, Diamondhead Arts & Crafts Fair, a country concert weekend, a Cruisin' the Coast event in Hancock County, WaveFest and Snowflakes on Mississippi's West Coast.

    And in Jackson County, a $580,000 payment will support events and activities including the Ocean Springs Art Walk, Mississippi Gulf Coast Blues & Heritage Festival, Walter Anderson Museum of Art Exhibit Opening, Zonta Festival, Ocean Springs Feast of Flavors, Welcome Center Familiarization Tour, a Cruisin' the Coast event in Jackson County and the Gautier Mullet & Music Festival.

    A $250,000 payment will promote golf tourism in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties and provide incentives for golfers who book a 3-day/3-night golf package. MGCGA will invite to participate and work with any lodging property located in the three Mississippi Gulf Coast counties that can manage golf packages.

    The funding amounts for each event have been designated by BP. Montana said the money given has to be used on related benefits to the coast by November 7 of this year.

    "We can do this. We can attract these extra people to our resort destination," Montana said.

    The $3 million will be split between the Harrison, Hancock and Jackson County tourism boards along with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Golf Association. This payment is in addition to the $15 million BP gave the state for tourism promotion in May.

    Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.