On August 6, five environmental organizations comprising the Gulf Monitoring Consortium announced their findings from a review of pollution reported from petrochemical and fossil fuel processing facilities during and immediately after Hurricane Isaac. Based self-reporting by “responsible parties” to state and federal authorities, GMC members found operators blamed the storm for at least the following pollution from their facilities:
341 ,044 gallons of oil, chemicals, and untreated waste-water
192.3 tons of gases and other materials (354,819 pounds)
12.6 million gallons of untreated “process area water” from one overwhelmed facility
After an additional review of pre-storm aerial surveys; post-storm monitoring efforts in the air, on the ground, and in the water; and analysis of satellite and aerial survey imagery, the Consortium concludes:
Substantial amounts of pollution were released into the environment due to damage from the only hurricane to make landfall on the Gulf Coast in 2012.
Harmful chemicals, including recognized neurotoxins and carcinogens, were released due to damage from the storm.
Despite advance warning of the storm path and intensity, operators used the weather as an excuse for polluting.
Fossil fuel infrastructure in the Gulf Region is vulnerable to predictable tropical weather events.
Oil from the BP / Deepwater Horizon disaster continues to wash ashore.
Download the full report: Gulf Coast Coal and Petrochemical Facilities Still Not Storm Ready
Updated August 7, 2013 10:40 am
Below: Image highlights from GMC monitoring trips and Investigations – photos may be reproduced so long as credit is attributed to the individual or organizations named.