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View Diary: Activists Claim Exxon Intentionally Diverted Oil Spill Into Wetland (88 comments)

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  •  Possibly (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, Catte Nappe, MGross

    I don't know the physical layout of the area, nor the current extent of oil/bitumen/whatever you want to call it  contamination (I'll just use oil for brevity hereinafter), but if the wetlands already were contaminated (and destined for destructive removal and replacement as a new wetland anyway), remedial planners may have concluded that it's easier to set up containment around the contaminated part of the wetlands (since it was going to be cleaned up anyway) and then use it as a temporary repository for the upland oil. Consequently, pressure washing the upland oil/contaminated soil material down into the wetland, where it can be more efficiently removed might make sense An axiom of environmental remediation is that it is easier, faster, less costly, and often safer for cleanup workers to remediate a smaller area or volume of highly contaminated environmental media than a much larger area of less contaminated environmental media.

    Then, as you suggest, the wetland could be reconstructed after the contaminated water, soil, and vegetation are removed for treatment (especially water), burning/thermal desorption (if there's enough heat value to make sense) or landfilling.

    I understand the alarm expressed in this diary, and I fully understand the mistrust of entities such as Exxon Mobil (not a client of mine, btw), but I don't think we know enough about the current situation or the rationale being used by those responding to this tragedy to reliably conclude they're not taking the appropriate remedial actions given the difficult and complex task with which they are dealing.

    If they were a little more forthcoming about what they are up to and relax the ridiculous limits on media access (though media often get the story wrong in situations like this anyway) it's possible there would be less anxiety, more understanding, and less conspiratorial speculation.  

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