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May 2010 Archives

Tar Balls from BP Oil Spill wash ashore in Vermillion Parish

Unsettling results of tests on tar balls discovered by beach combers on Marsh Island and at Chenier au Tigre confirm the balls are from the BP Deepwater Horizon source, says Mark Shirley, an LSU Ag Center agent based in Abbeville. The state departments of Wildlife & Fisheries and Health & Hospitals closed the area off Vermilion Parish for a second time on Wednesday as a precaution. Waters off Marsh Island and Chenier au Tigre to the west on mainland Vermilion Parish were originally closed last week, then re-opened for nearly a week.

Oil Spill Causes Air Quality and Environmental Concerns

It has now been more than a month since the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig, but the effects are just beginning to be felt by people along the Gulf Coast. In addition, to the contamination caused by oil beginning to touch land, there is also a great deal of concern about the potential for air pollution and the release of various petroleum-related chemicals.

Chinese Drywall Cases May Affect Thousands of Homeowners

The combination of a thriving real estate market and a series of major hurricanes has led to another catastrophe. The use of Chinese drywall by construction companies and homeowners now appears to have caused products liability damages reaching far into the millions of dollars.

CPSC Recalls Target Product; Woven Trunk Can Injure Young Kids

Yesterday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a recall of woven storage trunks sold by Target Corporation. The trunks pose a strangulation hazard to young children. Two children have been injured, one with crippling brain damage. The CPSC recall includes 350,000 woven storage trunks. They say the trunk's lid can drop suddenly when it is released, posing a strangulation hazard for small children opening or reaching into the trunks.

Unprecedented Levels of Toxic Oil Dispersant in Gulf Cause Worry

The EPA told BP late yesterday that they had 24 hours to choose an alternate chemical dispersant that is less-toxic than the one they are currently applying by the hundreds-of-thousands of gallons in the Gulf of Mexico to try to break up the crude oil that is rising to the surface and spreading. BP has been trying to stop the growing oil slick since the April 20 explosion of their oil rig, the Deepwater Horizon. The explosion killed 11 oil rig workers and ruptured pipes a mile-deep below the surface of the Gulf, from which oil has been spewing at an estimated rate of 200,000 gallons per day ever since.

Watersports safety requires USCG Approved Vests - your life may depend on it

Summertime is here.  Boating is a popular pastime.  Many enjoy waterskiing, wakeboarding, kayaking, jetskiing and other water related activities.  To safely enjoy these activities - it is imperative to wear an approved United States Coast Guard Vest.  Choosing a vest that is not USCG approved might be fatal.

Children's Deaths Prompt Recall of Toy Dart Gun Sets Sold Exclusively at Family Dollar Stores

WASHINGTON -- The asphyxiation deaths of two boys prompted the government Monday to announce the recall of 1.8 million toy dart gun sets.

CBS 60 Minutes details events surrounding Transocean's Deepwater Horizon's catastrophe

The gusher unleashed in the Gulf of Mexico continues to spew crude oil. There are no reliable estimates of how much oil is pouring into the gulf. But it comes to many millions of gallons since the catastrophic blowout. Eleven men were killed in the explosions that sank one of the most sophisticated drilling rigs in the world, the "Deepwater Horizon." This week Congress continues its investigation, but Capitol Hill has not heard from the man "60 Minutes" correspondent Scott Pelley met: Mike Williams, one of the last crewmembers to escape the inferno. He says the destruction of the Deepwater Horizon had been building for weeks in a series of mishaps. The night of the disaster, he was in his workshop when he heard the rig's engines suddenly run wild. That was the moment that explosive gas was shooting across the decks, being sucked into the engines that powered the rig's generators.

Oil spill may approach Southwest Louisiana early next week

Dr. Jeff Masters,  a noted meteorologist, stated that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has pushed steadily westward along the Louisiana coast, and is expected to reach central Louisiana near Atchafalaya Bay by Thursday, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from NOAA. Winds over the Gulf of Mexico this week will blow from the southeast at 15 - 20 knots, threatening to bring oil to large portions of the Louisiana coast. The Mississippi and Alabama coasts will also be at risk, but the risk to the Florida Panhandle is lower. It appears quite unlikely that oil will get into the Loop Current anytime over the next two weeks, and spread to the Florida Keys and beyond. However, the strong southeast winds are expected to shift more easterly late this week, and drive a westward-moving ocean surface current with a speed of 1 - 2 mph along the west coast of Louisiana late this week. This current may be capable of transporting oil all the way to the Louisiana/Texas border by Monday. However, the concentrations of oil in the water will be much less than what is present close to the blowout, and it is unclear what the potential danger is for the western Louisiana and eastern Texas coasts. The greatest danger is to the Eastern Louisiana coast.

Chemical Assoc. Escalates Attack on Tulane Law Clinic


Deepwater Horizon Owner Transocean Seeks Liability Limit

Oil Slick a "Nightmare" for Louisiana's Fishing Industry

The president of Daybrook Fisheries, Gregory Holt, has called the growing oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico a "nightmare."  The major fish processor exports fish oil and fish meal around the world and employs hundreds of people in southern Louisiana's Plaquemines Parish. Three weeks into the 6-month fishing season, the giant oil slick is already having a terrible impact on the commercial and recreational fishing industry in the region, which normally can bring in $2.4 billion a year. According to Holt, the fishing industry has lost 50 percent of their fishing grounds and 50 percent of their usual catch.

Polluters seek to shut down Law Clinics


BP Oil Blowout Preventer had hydraulic leak prior to explosion

Congressional hearings today elicited evidence that a key safety device known as the blowout preventer used in the BP oil rig in the Gulf had a hydraulic leak and other problems that likely prevented it from working as designed.

Congress Plans Serious Update to Auto Safety Standards

Committees in both the House and the Senate have recently drafted legislation that aims to bring significant changes to auto safety in the U.S. The bill introduced last week by the Senate Commerce Committee is similar to one introduced two weeks ago by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The bills seek to overhaul safety requirements for the auto industry and follow Toyota's recall of over 8 million vehicles worldwide.

BP Still Trying to Stop Oil Flow as it Nears Louisiana Coast

Crews are working today to lower a 100-ton, 40-foot steel box over the main leak in a well 5,000 feet below the Gulf of Mexico that has been gushing oil since the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig 50 miles offshore. The oil rig explosion killed 11 oil rig workers and blew open the well. Oil-giant BP, the owner of the rig, is working frantically on several methods to plug the leaks and stop or collect oil that has reached the surface before most of it reaches the coastline. About 200,000 gallons of oil have been gushing out of the open well every day.

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