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876 oil spills, chemical releases in 8 years in T&T

sgtdjones 2024-02-18 16:57:15 

876 oil spills, chemical releases in 8 years in T&T

Heritage, and its predecessor Petrotrin, are often at the centre of oil spills and leakages.
Last year, there were about four oil leaks from Heritage’s pipelines at Masssahood Junction, Fyzabad.

Investigations Desk

Between 2015 and 2023, T&T had more than 876 confirmed oil spills and chemical releases, according to statistics from the Environmental Management Authority (EMA).
That means an environmental accident occurs once every four days.

In 2022 and 2023 alone, there were 88 confirmed oil spills and chemical releases. That is around one a week.
Between 2015 to 2018, out of 700 confirmed environmental accidents, 377 were oil spills, EMA’s managing director Hayden Romano told a Public Accounts Committee in 2019.
According to the EMA’s annual reports, there were 150 oil spills and chemical releases investigated in 2019; 110 in 2020; 151 in 2021; 47 in 2022; and 41 in 2023.
There has only been one significant fine–$20 million to Petrotrin–and no prosecutions for the breaches of the EMA act despite a call by Ramano that it should be criminalized.
Despite these numbers and the well-known catastrophic environmental impacts of oil spills, there have been no long-term studies to assess its impact, as confirmed by the EMA.
Apart from natural leakages and abandoned vessels, other sources of oil leakages include aged oil and gas infrastructure.
The EMA in its 2015 annual report stated that little has been done to retrofit the infrastructure, leading to oil and chemical spills. They noted that pollutants from industrial facilities include Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons, chlorine, ammonium, mercury, cadmium and copper.

According to scientific research studies, heavy metals, in toxic amounts, can cause gastrointestinal and kidney dysfunction, nervous system disorders, vascular damage, immune system dysfunction, birth defects and cancer.

sgtdjones 2024-02-18 17:02:19 

Trini's brag about Pt Lisas, another decade we will see what is noted below.
Such plants must be located 30 kms away from the population.

According to scientific research studies, heavy metals, in toxic amounts, can cause gastrointestinal and kidney dysfunction, nervous system disorders, vascular damage, immune system dysfunction, birth defects and cancer.

Did Trini's notice that all of the originators of Pt Lisas have moved to Canada..ever wonder why?
Julien in Canada , very ill.

trev114 2024-02-18 17:24:55 

Identifying the vessels involved in the spill

sgtdjones 2024-02-18 21:11:22 

T&T Minister Young

It is documented that the vessel traversed Venezuelan waters en route to Tobago.

Young: Is he attempting to convey that they were towing a capsized vessel?
Even to reach Guyana via the documented route, the invisible Solo tugboat would have to traverse T&T waters.
Young stated, "Prior to anything else, it is critical to recognize that this vessel most likely capsized in international waters."
Unfortunately, in Tobago waters, not a single piece of detritus was discovered in the vicinity of the vessel's final destination, which was inverted on a reef.
That is the only plausible explanation for the government's abrupt absence of accurate and transparent information.

Young claims that more than 350 vessels bear the name Gulfstream.
The source from which he obtained this information should have additionally provided descriptions and specifications of these vessels.
This database ought to have been combed through and reduced to a more feasible assemblage of potential candidates for comparison with the sunken vessel.
Without further ado, determine who in Guyana purchases bunker C fuel via vessels from Aruba.
Does he mean that Guyana engages in illicit commerce with a vessel that lacks an owner?
Attempt to trace the money rather than the fuel.

It is consensus that barges are incapable of self-propulsion and must be towed by towing boats.
It is common knowledge that barges typically transport petroleum fuel and water to supply vessels at sea, rather than crude.
"He said they are all aware that there are occasions in international trade when less than legal activities occur at sea" .

KTom 2024-02-23 11:18:05 

In reply to sgtdjones

“Oil,” you see, is actually a motley stew made up of thousands of different compounds—each with distinctive chemical structures that give them distinct properties. When oil spills into the ocean, some compounds evaporate, while others break down in sunlight, or dissolve in seawater, or get eaten by microbes, or sink and stick to sediments. By the time I arrived, I had missed half the action. I could not explain what happened and why with much certainty.

Why? Because this oil spill was entirely natural. The oil had seeped from reservoirs below the seafloor, leaked through cracks in the crust about 150 feet (45 meters) under water. Lighter than seawater, the escaped oil floated to the ocean surface.

I had learned about natural oil seeps in graduate school, and I knew that they account for about 50 percent of oil that ends up in the coastal environment. That’s five times as much oil as is delivered by accidental spills.

The Santa Barbara seeps, for example emit 5,280 to 6,600 gallons (nearly 20 to 25 tons) of oil per day, and natural seeps have been active for hundreds to thousands of years. Local Native Americans used the oil to waterproof their boats. But I just didn’t appreciate how spectacular they were and what a powerful opportunity they provided to study oil spills.

To our surprise, we discovered for the first time that on the oil’s journey up to the seafloor, approximately 1,000 compounds in the oil were devoured by microbes living in the rocks beneath the sea floor. Some ate the oil and created intermediate byproducts. These were subsequently eaten by other microbes that likely converted the oil into natural gas.

We also compared the compounds in oil seeping out of the seafloor with those in oil at the sea surface. We discovered that about 10 percent of the remaining compounds in the oil evaporated within seconds or minutes after it had floated to the surface. That was something we had never been quick enough on the scene to measure before in accidental spills.

Nature had done an amazing job on the oil, but nature appears to have a limit on its capacity to break down oil. Why this happens is one of my keen research interests. We think the compounds in the sediments have remained because their bulky structures make them hard to evaporate, insoluble in water, and more difficult for microbes to digest.

Microbes are astonishing and voracious little critters. They can eat almost anything, but our research at the Santa Barbara oil seeps shows they do it systematically: They select compounds whose size and shape are the easiest for them to degrade. So they will chow down on a simple, straight-chained alkane, but will avoid a hopane with twice as many carbon and hydrogen atoms bonded in rings that offer difficult access for enzymes. If they were at a buffet, they would devour the pudding, soup, and rice first and eschew the chewy corned beef and stale crusty bread.

Another result of our study is that for the first time, we can quantify the amount of oil residue that ends up in seafloor sediments after a “natural” oil spill. To compare the amount the oil in the Santa Barbara sediments with a figure people might understand, it’s equivalent to 8 to 80 times the oil spilled in the Exxon Valdez accident. But our study by no means is a direct comparison on the overall fate and impacts of the Exxon Valdez spill and the Santa Barbara seeps.

That estimate is as close as we could get, since we don’t know how thick the layer of sediments is. But before this research, for all we knew, it could have been the equivalent of 0.0001 or 10,000 Exxon Valdez spills.

Many people in the Santa Barbara region still believe that oil found in the ocean and on nearby beaches comes from oil rigs, but our research points the finger at the natural oil seep. At the same time, this natural oil seep is teaching us many extraordinary lessons about how oil responds in our ecosystem. And that offers better strategies for people to respond to the oil they spill accidentally into our ecosystems.


I think the takeaway is that it's right to worry about acccidental oil/gas spills, but don't worry too much.

sgtdjones 2024-02-23 16:01:54 

In reply to KTom

Specifically, the Gulf of Paria cannot be cleansed on a daily basis like the Santa Barbara region due to tides.
In the Gulf of Paria, restrictions apply owing to the size of the Dragons mouth and Serpents mouth, inflow /outflow .

Research indicates that regions such as the Gulf require over a decade plus to achieve a state of purity...(Hamilton Harbour research identifies C1 to C1000 contaminants from numerous steel mills)

Citizens have been cautioned by the T&T EMA not to consume fish during periods of oil leakage that have occurred within the last century.
Fishermen also report that fish are avoiding the area and that harvests are declining.

The absence of research regarding oil and gas pollution in the Gulf of Paria is noteworthy, given that Venezuela is a part of this body of water.
This complicates the determination of pollution levels.
Such is only discernible in T&T when oil has saturated mangroves or coastlines. Although cleanup has been completed, minor residues persist.
Corrosion of pipelines have occurred in several regions of South Trinidad, where vegetation does not thrive any more

The air and land are both polluted by Pt. Lisas multi-nationals, whose numerous facilities release particles that contribute to the contamination of the Gulf of Paria.
Such contamination cannot be mitigated by the ocean currents through the serpents and dragons mouth owing to the width of such water ways.

Regarding regions along the Atlantic Ocean or the Caribbean Sea, I would consent to your publication.

dayne 2024-02-23 17:06:58 

Guyana will be experiencing the same spills soon if not already, already the fishermen are noticing the decrease in fish around the oil fields.

KTom 2024-02-23 18:43:06 

I thought oily fish were supposed to be good for you. But wait, another health scare:

Levels of mercury persist in tuna, decades after pollution controls were introduced to limit emissions, scientists say.

The poisonous element is released by mining and burning coal and ends up in the ocean, where it builds up in fish.

Levels have fallen dramatically in the atmosphere - but remained stable in tuna since 1971.

Very old mercury lurks deep in the ocean and wells up into the waters where the tuna swim, experts say.


And yet against this backdrop of environmental degradation from the seas to the land to the air, human longevity continues to increase. It's almost as if modernity is doing something right.

sgtdjones 2024-02-23 21:09:24 

In reply to KTom

The ocean is vital to the existence of life on our planet. It supplies more than 97 percent of the world's water supply and more than 70 percent of the oxygen we breathe. Both natural and anthropogenic contamination pose a daily threat to the ocean. Pollution has repercussions not only for the environment and marine life, but also for humanity. Every day, hazardous substances are introduced into our oceans. Either intentionally discharged from industrial sources, these hazardous chemicals migrate naturally from land to our rivers and streams, ultimately reaching the oceans. The ocean contains a variety of heavy metals and chemicals, including lead, hydrocarbons, and pesticides, which have the potential to contaminate water supplies and the food chain through their impact on marine life. Prolonged exposure to these hazardous compounds can lead to severe health complications in humans, including reproductive dysfunction, hormonal imbalances, and harm to the nervous and renal systems.

Ocean pollution is pervasive and affects bodies of water in every region of the world. Human interest in environmental issues has peaked in recent years, but the state of ocean pollution is not improving; in fact, it is deteriorating. Decades of scientific research have accumulated evidence demonstrating the grave dangers that ocean pollution poses to human health. Nonetheless, the complete magnitude of this menace remains inadequately understood. The results of a recent project conducted by Philip Landrigan and published in the journal Annals of Global Health in 2020 highlight the correlation between human health and ocean pollution by conducting the first comprehensive assessment of the numerous health effects of ocean pollution.

There are numerous contributors to ocean pollution. A significant portion of the waste that humans generate, including industrial waste, fertilizers, manufactured chemicals, pharmaceutical chemicals, pesticides, petroleum, plastics, sewage, toxic metals, and urban refuse, enters our oceans. Approximately 80% of these pollutants infiltrate the ocean via rivers, runoff, atmospheric deposition, and dumping from land-based sources.
Microplastics, which are incomplete decompositions of plastic, persist in the environment even after hundreds of years have passed since their initial production. The concentration of these microscopic particles, which can only reach a few nanometers in diameter, is increasing in our environment. Recent research has revealed that the quantity of microplastic in the ocean has increased by a factor of 60 since its inception 15 years ago. This poses a substantial risk to human well-being, given the established associations between microplastics and cancer, decreased fertility, psychological disorders, and congenital anomalies. Plastics frequently comprise an extensive array of hazardous substances, such as carcinogens, neurotoxins, and endocrine disruptors.
Similar to plastic, mercury is a prevalent element in marine environments. The primary cause of mercury pollution is the combustion of coal, which applies to both residential and industrial sectors. Mercury is an inherent component of coal; upon combustion, it is discharged into the atmosphere, where it subsequently accumulates in aquatic environments, including the sea. As a neurotoxin, mercury damages the nervous system, brain, and additional organs.

As a result, mercury contamination poses a significant risk to human health. Fish at the apex of the food chain, including predatory species like tuna and swordfish, have been observed to accumulate the chemical. Mercury may accumulate in the bodies of those who consume these animals.
It is merely a question of time, according to the study.

Philip Landrigan,MD, MSc.. Annals of Global Health

KTom 2024-02-24 09:29:33 

And yet humans, on average, continue to keep living longer. How inconvenient of them.

sgtdjones 2024-02-24 16:29:29 

In reply to KTom

And yet humans, on average, continue to keep living longer. How inconvenient of them.

It is merely a question of time, according to the study.