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The BP Oil Spill of April 2010- Progress One Year Later

1 rating: 5.0
Oil Spill Enhanced Technology, Earthquake Engineering
1 review about The BP Oil Spill of April 2010- Progress...

What's new in technological innovation for oil spill technologies and processes ?

  • Jun 22, 2011
Rating:
+5
Since the BP incident, the oil industry  has pledged more than $1 billion to develop systems
to cap a leaking underwater well, and the government has imposed a series of rules to prevent
another major catastrophic event .

Less progress was made on the cleanup part of the spill process, to the disappointment
of the government and environmental constituencies. Currently, it could take more than several
weeks to install a containment system after a deepwater blowout. That could mean hundreds of
thousands of barrels of oil would be poured into the ocean. The oil industry is under greater pressure
since the hurricane season is underway.  There are new technologies on the horizon.
Disaster Recovery Planning and an up-to-date Contingency Plan are still very important lines
of defense in case a catastrophic oil spill ever happens again.

Booms and skimmers are still the main line of defense in case of a major spill.  Booms
serve as floating barriers to keep oil off shore.  These  are made from vinyl, foam or
polypropylene, a common plastic which repels water and attracts oil. Chemical dispersants
are another classic line of defense for keeping oil off  the once pristine coastlines. 
The damage from the Gulf spill did not reach apocalyptic scenarios. 
Over a year later,  oil is still washing up on some beaches .

After the Exxon Valdez disaster, the oil industry formed the Marine Spill Response
Corporation to help battle catastrophic spills.  During the BP oil spill, the MSRC
deployed some 42 skimmers, 65,000 feet of boom and a fleet of other vessels and
equipment.

The EPA Regional Administrator has set forth facilities that could reasonably be
expected to cause "substantial harm" to the environment by discharging oil into
or on navigable waters. These facilities are required to prepare and submit
Facility Response Plans (FRPs). The Oil Pollution Prevention regulation
includes two methods by which a facility may be identified as posing
substantial harm:

o  Through a self-selection process; or
o  By a determination of the EPA Regional Administrator.

The EPA Regional Administrator may consider factors similar to the self-selection
criteria, as well as other factors, including:

o Type of transfer operations
o Oil storage capacity
o A Lack of secondary containment
o Proximity to fish, wildlife or drinking water intakes
o The Spill history

In addition, the EPA Regional Administrator has the discretion to determine
whether or not a facility poses significant and substantial harm.     1)

SkyTruth, SouthWings, and Waterkeeper Alliance  launched the Gulf Monitoring Consortium:  an
innovative partnership that is systematically monitoring oil pollution in the Gulf of Mexico with
satellite images and mapping, aerial reconnaissance and photography, and on-the-water observation
and sampling. This unique effort led by three non-profit organizations will collect and publish images,
observations and sampling data of the Gulf of Mexico to rapidly respond to reported and suspected
oil pollution incidents. SkyTruth, SouthWings and the Waterkeeper Alliance worked collaboratively
during the 2010 Gulf disaster to use their unique expertise to bring the truth about the spill to the public.

The natural fit of the services and tools of these organizations working together will help ensure that
future disasters are discovered and documented, and that the story is fully presented to the public.
This newly formed alliance will actively bear witness to current, ongoing, and future oil pollution to fill
the information gap exposed since the tragic BP / Deepwater Horizon explosion one year ago .    2)

Enviro Voraxial Technology, Inc. has developed a unique Submersible Voraxial® Separator. 
The Submersible Voraxial Separator will be the principal element in EVTN's strategic initiative
to penetrate the oil spill recovery market.  Management believes the new Submersible Voraxial design
is the only oil-water separator that can operate in the water to treat oil slicks.  It can also operate hundreds of feet below the ocean surface to treat underwater oil spills and oil plumes. 

Unlike conventional oil spill recovery methods which require the skimmed oil/water mixture to be
transferred from the ocean onto the vessel for oil-water separation, the Submersible Voraxial
performs oil-water separation in the ocean.  By using this method, the skimming vessels will be
90% more efficient, capture ten times more oil and clean the oil spill ten times faster than
conventional methods.

The Submersible Voraxial is available in different sizes.  A single Submersible Voraxial® Separator
can process over 7,200,000 gallons of oil-water mixture per day, a rate over twenty times greater than
conventional oil spill recovery separators.  The compactness and low energy requirements enable
the Voraxial® to be secured on virtually any size vessel for both deep sea and close to shore oil spill recovery. 

After evaluating over a hundred thousand oil spill cleanup suggestions, BP sent a technology team to
EVTN's Fort Lauderdale facility to observe a Voraxial Separator cleaning a simulated oil spill. 
EVTN received favorable comments regarding the performance of the Voraxial and significant interest
in the Submersible Voraxial.  EVTN subsequently received a purchase order to test its
Submersible Voraxial as part of BP's Rapid Attack Team program.  As stated by BP,
"The Rapid Attack Tactic may revolutionize our near shore operations    3)

There are disaster possibilities in the Gulf other than oil spills. The possibilities include hurricanes,
Tsunamis and underwater earthquakes.  An earthquake in any coastal region might lead to a tsunami. The event depends upon the kind of motion caused by the earthquake. A tsunami
requires a massive displacement of water. In the case of the recent Asian tsunami, a part of the earth's crust collapsed as two tectonic plates collided displacing a lot of water  subsequently causing a huge upswelling that led to the tsunami event.

If all the conditions precedent  are met - a big earthquake can lead to displacement of the
earth's crust precipitating a massive displacement of water thereby leading to a
dangerous tsunami in the Gulf of Mexico or anywhere along the coastal USA.


Earthquakes don't always create tsunamis  because such events rarely happen along
a subduction zone. A subduction zone describes a condition wherein two tectonic plates
move toward one another, converge and lift, releasing a tremendous amount of pressure .
This dynamic becomes the focal point for a tsunami.

Luckily, the rates of subduction are very slow to occur during the year, with the
average rate of convergence being well under a foot per year.  More tsunamis are created
around Alaska and Japan  because the tectonic plates in these vicinities move vertically
and are subduction zone spheres as opposed to the California San Andreas fault
which has horizontally moving tectonic plates.

A map on the USGS website shows the relative extent of influence of the New Madrid Faultline,
which is quite dramatic.    An 1895 Charleston, MO quake covered the eastern half of the US, including the states central to the New Madrid fault line   i.e.   Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee,
Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana.


The impact reached at least half of the states of  Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia,
North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Iowa, and crossed the border into  New York and Florida. An important issue to consider is the possibility of earth tremors beneath the sea in the region of the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the potential impact of a major earthquake along the New Madrid Faultine and the fallout as far as the Gulf and oil platforms in that area.     4)


The most widely felt tremors in North America were a series of  four that hit near New Madrid,
Missouri in the 54 days from December 16, 1811 through February 7, 1812. They ranged from magnitude 7.6 to 8.2. The largest was felt from the East Coast to the Rocky Mountains and
from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. New Madrid also represents an intracontinental
fault system.    5)

References:
1) http://www.epa.gov/emergencies/content/frps/frpwho.htm

2) http://skytruth.org/

3) Enviro Voraxial Technology

4) Satellites Reveal Earthquake Faults Along Eastern U.S.  
    By Robert Roy Britt  Senior Science Writer  posted March 22,  2000 on Space.com

5) http://gascentrifugeuranium.blogspot.com/201...ing-for-hurricanes.html

Credits: The regular text was published first by Blogcritics on June 21, 2011.
The bold italicized text was added and is the subject of the article on the Lunch website.
What's new in technological innovation for oil spill technologies and processes ?

What did you think of this review?

Helpful
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Thought-Provoking
12
Fun to Read
9
Well-Organized
9
Post a Comment
June 28, 2011
Thank you. This article took a lot of research and effort to commit to writing.
 
June 28, 2011
Looks like you're informing more people about important issues. Great job with your articles!
June 28, 2011
Thank you very much. The public is anxious to get as much qualitative information as possible.
June 28, 2011
That is so positive and important!
 
June 23, 2011
There are 3 categories for "Helpful, 3 categories for "Thought Provoking", 3 categories for "Fun to Read" and 3 categories for "Well organized". So, the highest rating total is 12 points which is a 3 for each of 4 categories. In any event, thanks much for the effort and appreciation expressed. I hope that more members read the article and provide commentary on the details. This is an issue which is vitally important for anyone living in the MO. area southward into the Gulf. Our "soon to be accomplished" exit from Afghanistan should provide more domestic resources to pay for earthquake engineering and civil engineering infrastructure.
 
June 23, 2011
Thank you for the comments. Is there any reason that no-one is rating the article?
June 23, 2011
I clicked on thought provoking and not sure it changed the rating - is that the best rating to give? I just clicked on all of them. I didn't know I could rate each category- thank you.
 
June 23, 2011
Did you know that Enviro Voraxial is also one of the 10 finalist for the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE . http://www.iprizecleanoceans.org/ Great Article!!
June 23, 2011
Thank you for the compliment. As in the above, please consider rating the article. The public apathy on this subject has to change otherwise little will get accomplished.
 
June 23, 2011
Great article-many thanks. Happy to see the voraxial credited as Enviro Voraxial Technology has the fastest oil water separator on the market with many other features such as no pressure drop, small foot print and water cleaned to EPA standards. Here is a link to the referenced article #3) http://www.evtn.com/pdf_publications/rapid_attack.pdf and a link to their site http://www.evtn.com
 
June 23, 2011
Thank you for the kind comment.
 
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