Turbine at The Dalles Dam spills up to 200 gallons of oil

Turbine at The Dalles Dam spills up to 200 gallons of oil

SOURCE: US Army Corps of Engineers DATE: December 3, 2020 SNIP: On Thursday, Dec. 3, a thrust hub cooling water pipe broke, spilling up to 200 gallons of oil into the Columbia River at The Dalles Dam. The equipment is part of a fish unit turbine designed to provide attraction water for migrating fish. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District is dedicated to rapid spill responses and is in the process of containing as much oil as possible. The turbine is now isolated from the river. Corps technicians are assessing how much oil actually spilled into the river, as some of the 200 gallons may be contained in a draft tube or collection channel within the...
Was Plastics Being Mixed With Oil In Mauritius Spill To Produce A Horror ‘Frankenstein Fuel’?

Was Plastics Being Mixed With Oil In Mauritius Spill To Produce A Horror ‘Frankenstein Fuel’?

SOURCE: Forbes and Woods Hole Institute DATE: November 3, 2020 SNIP: Fresh concerns have been raised by international experts about the type of oil spilled into the coral lagoons of Mauritius in August, and which continues to impact marine life in the region. Leading international scientists from both France and the United States late last week highlighted the highly ‘complex,’ ‘unusual’ and ‘surprising’ traits of the oil, which they have never seen in a major oil spill before. They have urgently called for samples of the original oil from the Wakashio to be sent to laboratories for further testing. Speculation continues to circulate about the mysterious oil that was in the Wakashio and which caused the environmental catastrophe in Mauritius this summer. It is likely to leave a devastating legacy for decades to come. Once more, questions are being raised about what could have been mixed with the ship fuel oil and why proper oil fingerprinting has still not been conducted. In major oil spills, cleanups would never have begun unless the basic characteristics of the oil are known – a process that takes mere hours. Each oil behaves very uniquely in different climates and regions, and even the UN’s shipping regulator, the IMO, admitted in August that they did not know how this oil would behave in Mauritian waters given the Southern Hemisphere’s winter conditions. That would make it all the more important to run an analysis of the characteristics of the oil before beginning any cleanup operation. This would be even more important given the acute toxicity that has led to over 50 whales and dolphins dying...
Mauritius races to contain oil spill, protect coastline amid high winds, rough seas

Mauritius races to contain oil spill, protect coastline amid high winds, rough seas

SOURCE: CBC DATE: August 9, 2020 SNIP: Thousands of students, environmental activists and residents of Mauritius were working around the clock Sunday, trying to reduce the damage to the Indian Ocean island from an oil spill after a tanker ran aground on a coral reef. Nearly 1,000 tonnes of oil from the Japanese ship’s cargo of 4,000 tonnes has already escaped into the sea, officials said. Workers were seeking to stop more oil from leaking, but with high winds and rough seas on Sunday, there were reports of new cracks in the ship’s hull. Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth has declared a state of emergency and appealed for international help. He said the spill “represents a danger” for the country of 1.3 million people that relies heavily on tourism and has been hurt by travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Satellite images show a dark slick spreading in the turquoise waters near wetlands that the government called “very sensitive.” Wildlife workers and volunteers, meanwhile, ferried dozens of baby tortoises and rare plants from an island near the spill, Ile aux Aigrettes, to the mainland. “This is no longer a threat to our environment, it is a full-blown ecological disaster that has affected one of the most environmentally important parts of Mauritius, the Mahebourg Lagoon,” said Sunil Dowarkasing, an environmental consultant and former member of parliament. “The people of Mauritius, thousands and thousands, have come out to try to prevent as much damage as possible,” said Dowarkasing, who spoke from the relief efforts at Bois des Amourettes by the...
Mauritius facing environmental crisis as shipwreck leaks oil

Mauritius facing environmental crisis as shipwreck leaks oil

SOURCE: The Guardian DATE: August 6, 2020 SNIP: The Indian Ocean island of Mauritius is facing an environmental crisis after oil began leaking from a bulk carrier that ran aground in July and started to break up in rough seas. “We are in an environmental crisis situation,” said the environment minister, Kavy Ramano, while the fishing minister, Sudheer Maudhoo, said: “This is the first time that we are faced with a catastrophe of this kind and we are insufficiently equipped to handle this problem.” The ministers said all attempts to stabilise the ship had failed because of rough seas and efforts to pump out the oil had also failed. Ecologists fear the ship could break up, which would cause an even greater leak and inflict potentially catastrophic damage on the island’s coastline. “The ministry has been informed … that there is a breach in the vessel MV Wakashio and there is a leakage of oil,” said an environment ministry statement. “The public in general, including boat operators and fishers, are requested not to venture on the beach and in the lagoons of Blue Bay, Pointe d’Esny and Mahebourg.” The carrier, belonging to a Japanese company but Panamanian-flagged, ran aground on 25 July and its crew was evacuated safely. Images from social media showed a slick of black oil spreading out from the stricken carrier. The ship had no payload at the time but was carrying 200 tonnes of diesel and 3,800 tonnes of bunker fuel, according to the local press. The grounding happened at Pointe d’Esny, which is listed under the Ramsar convention on wetlands of international importance and...
Oil tanker off Yemen risks spilling four times as much oil as 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster

Oil tanker off Yemen risks spilling four times as much oil as 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster

SOURCE: ABC News (Australia) and CNN DATE: July 17, 2020 SNIP: The United Nations has warned there could be a disastrous oil spill four times the size of the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster near Alaska if action is not taken to deal with a deteriorating oil tanker stranded off the coast of war-torn Yemen. The Safer tanker is carrying 1.1 million barrels of crude oil and has been stranded off Yemen’s Red Sea oil terminal of Ras Issa for more than five years. On May 27, water began leaking into the engine room, threatening to destabilise it, UN aid chief Mark Lowcock told a Security Council meeting. While divers from the Safer Corporation were able to fix the leak, Mr Lowcock — who has mentioned the plight of the tanker during monthly council briefings on Yemen for more than a year — warned that “it is impossible to say how long it might hold.” In a statement after the briefing, the 15-member Security Council “expressed deep alarm at the growing risk that the Safer oil tanker could rupture or explode, causing an environmental, economic, and humanitarian catastrophe for Yemen and its neighbours.” “Time is running out for us to act in a coordinated manner to prevent a looming environmental, economic and humanitarian catastrophe,” Inger Andersen told the UN Security Council on Wednesday. Seawater flooded the aging tanker’s engine room in late May and is threatening to destabilize the ship, according to the UN. Andersen said that “no effort should be spared” to conduct a “a technical assessment and initial light repairs” on the vessel. But she added that in...