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AP: Gulf Oil Waste Is Headed To Landfills!

From a perpetually outraged Associated Press:

Gulf waste heads to landfills, some with problems

By Garance Burke And Jason Dearen, Associated Press Writers
August 25, 2010

NEW ORLEANS – The cleanup of history’s worst peacetime oil spill is generating thousands of tons of oil-soaked debris that is ending up in local landfills, some of which were already dealing with environmental concerns.

The Associated Press can’t even write its lede without introducing misinformation. California’s 1910 Lakeview Gusher in Kern County leaked more than twice as much oil as the Deepwater Horizon rig – even using the ridiculously high estimates for the latter.

Indeed, using the more realistic estimates, even Mexico’s 1979 Ixtoc I spill was far larger. But when has the AP ever let the facts get in the way of its rewriting of history?

The soft, absorbent boom that has played the biggest role in containing the spill alone would measure more than twice the length of California’s coastline, or about 2,000 miles. More than 50,000 tons of boom and oily debris have made their way to landfills or incinerators, federal officials told The Associated Press, representing about 7 percent of the daily volume going to nine area landfills.

To put these numbers in perspective, New York City alone generates at least 13,000 tons of garbage a day, 91,000 tons of garbage every week. All of which has to find its way to landfills.

A month after the oil stopped flowing into the Gulf, the emphasis has shifted toward cleanup and disposal of oily trash at government-approved landfills in coastal states.

Too bad these oil soaked booms can’t be burned in power plants to generate more electricity for all of our electric cars.

Environmental Protection Agency officials say the sites meet federal regulations, are equipped to handle the influx of waste and are being monitored closely, although three sites have state environmental issues. State records show two are under investigation and one was cited in May for polluting nearby waters.

Some residents and experts question the wisdom of adding crude-covered refuse to dumps, since it could take years for potential problems to surface. They worry about the impact on groundwater if contaminants leach past liners enclosing the decaying garbage.

Weathered oil is less toxic than fresh oil, the EPA says, but can still contain some levels of benzene and other risky chemicals.

We’re no environmental experts, but we strongly suggest that oil is not nearly as toxic as much of what ends up in landfills. Oil is certainly not as toxic as the lithium which is found in the batteries being made for electric cars – which will eventually find their ways into landfills.

Both BP and the EPA are sampling the waste each week at the landfills, and the EPA and U.S. Coast Guard officials alike say so far it has not turned out to be hazardous. In some landfills, the spill waste is being mixed directly with regular household and industrial trash, which can contain chemicals, plastics and food.

It is too soon to tell if the potential hazards from the oily waste would be greater than any risks posed by what’s already in the landfills, experts say

But hope springs eternal in the breast of the AP.

"The oily waste may not be the most toxic thing in those landfills," said Kurt Pennell, an environmental engineer at Tufts University who sits on a National Research Council committee studying groundwater problems near landfills and Superfund sites. "But obviously if … the landfill isn’t well controlled, that is problematic."

EPA Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus, who oversees the agency’s waste management plans, said the landfills can handle the oily waste properly.

"The landfills … have the system in place, the kind of liner, the kind of monitoring systems to manage this so that there are not environmental impacts," Stanislaus said in an interview. "If there are any issues of concern, we will revisit." …

Never mind all that.

The AP has found something else to wax hysterical about.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, August 25th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “AP: Gulf Oil Waste Is Headed To Landfills!”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    1990 – I consulted with a group of brilliant cats who had designed and created a LandFill In A Box. A 10 acre site, landscaped to be unseen by the public. 100,000 sqft tilt up concrete building. Loading ramps, roll up doors. Live floors at the ramps. Garbage truck pulls in, dumps its payload, drives away. The live floor carried he trash to conveyors, delivering the material to giant hammer mills in-line which pulverized everything to the consistency of rock wool (as an image).

    This was then fed into a re-designed retort vessel made from asphalt rotary cookers. This pressurized rotating vessel was filled with material, live steam and genetically tailored microbes and 12 hours later what fell out the other end was the finest top-soil you ever saw. Allowed to cool 24 hours and then bagged for sale.

    The EPA came down on the project like the wrath of God. Carol Browner, a personal friend of our attorney who got her her start in Florida politics made herself scarce and wouldn’t take his phone calls (Browner, head of the EPA).

    Turns out we’d stepped on the Johnsons of waste companies that own holes in the ground … landfills … and they had the financial clout to twist Washington’s teats and put the smackdown on our answer to waste management.

    And that … friends … is how business really works in a hyper-federal environment.

    It means nothing to have a better idea that is less costly, more environmentally friendly and good for everyone.

    The idea is for the graft to flow, corruption be protected and above all …. provide a way for The Politician to dip his beak in your deal and help him stay in office. Do that better than the other crooked SOB and you can get going just fine.

  2. NoNeoCommies says:

    And you can forget trying to extract any of the oil for its actual original intended use.
    It is stained by the sins of BP and can never be used for evil profit.
    We have to drill another well elsewhere to replace the lost oil.

  3. paragshah says:

    Landfills contains many dangerous pollutants that mix with air which a really harmful to living beings. A proper place must be selected to gather all the landfills and recycled as quickly as possible without letting it exposed for longer.
    Landfill problems

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