The Tonka Report

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Archive for July 9th, 2010

BP Oil Found In Gulf Crabs: The Food Chain Is Now Contaminated!

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July 9, 2010: Geoff Pender / Biloxi Sun Herald via McClatchy News – July 1, 2010

BILOXI, Miss. — University scientists have spotted the first indications oil is entering the Gulf seafood chain — in crab larvae — and one expert warns the effect on fisheries could last “years, probably not a matter of months” and affect many species.

Scientists with the University of Southern Mississippi and Tulane University in New Orleans have found droplets of oil in the larvae of blue crabs and fiddler crabs sampled from Louisiana to Pensacola, Fla.

The news comes as blobs of oil and tar continue to wash ashore in Mississippi in patches, with crews in chartreuse vests out cleaning beaches all along the coast on Thursday, and as state and federal fisheries from Louisiana to Florida are closed by the BP oil disaster.

“I think we will see this enter the food chain in a lot of ways — for plankton feeders, like menhaden, they are going to just actively take it in,” said Harriet Perry, director of the Center for Fisheries Research and Development at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. “Fish are going to feed on (crab larvae). We have also just started seeing it on the fins of small, larval fish — their fins were encased in oil. That limits their mobility, so that makes them easy prey for other species. The oil’s going to get into the food chain in a lot of ways.” Perry said researchers have not yet linked the hydrocarbons found in the crab larvae to the BP disaster, but she has little doubt it’s the source. She said she has never seen such contamination in her 42 years of studying blue crab.

Richard Gollott is Mississippi’s Department of Marine Resources commissioner for the commercial seafood industry and a seafood processing-plant owner from a family that’s been in the business for generations. He said closure of Gulf fisheries “appears to have been the right thing to do.”…“We are taking a beating with this,” Gollott said. “But we would rather have our industry have a season closed down for a year or even two years rather than get a bad name. We have to take the long-term view. The worst thing in the world would be to take a short-term look at this and not be worried about the public, the consumers.”

Gollott said he is still hopeful Gulf seafood can make a quick recovery, in “months instead of years,” and be safe and plentiful. He said right now the only Gulf seafood he’s supplying is coming from Texas, where fisheries are still clear and open. “You’ve got to be optimistic to be a fisherman,” Gollott said. “As quick as we can get our scientific facts and ducks in order, get FDA to check everything from Florida to Texas and make sure it’s OK, I think we will get our market share back. But that will take some marketing and some work.”

DMR Director Bill Walker said Thursday he was unaware of the USM–Tulane findings. He said DMR biologists continue to test the meat of shrimp and other edible species and have “not gotten any positive hits” for oil. “But we are just testing the edible tissue, for public health,” Walker said. “The more-academic research is looking at other parts of these critters. Sometimes materials will concentrate in the more oily tissue, but not make its way to the edible tissue.”

Perry said the oil found in the crab larvae appears to be trapped between the hard outer shell and the inner skin. Perry said, “Shrimp, crab and oysters have a tough time with hydrocarbon metabolism.” She said fish that eat these smaller species can metabolize the oil, but their bodies also accumulate it with continued exposure and they can suffer reproductive problems “added to a long list of other problems.”

BP-contracted crews cleaned tar balls and patches from mainland beaches on Thursday. Walker said there are reports of oil or tar on or near all the barrier islands, although still in relatively small, isolated patches — “small in the sense of up to several hundred yards at a stretch,” Walker said.

Harrison County Emergency Manager Rupert Lacy said storms the last few days “shook (tar pieces) up, shifted them around,” but cleanup workers “are doing what they need to do,” and getting beaches cleaned. “Until they can get that well capped off and they get those big skimmers out there and really get into the skimming operations, we’re going to see the remnants of this,” Lacy said. “This is not a sprint; it’s a marathon.”

Perry said scientists are having to learn as they go along with the BP oil disaster. “We can go to literature and get information on other spills,” Perry said. “But this is not the same oil, this is not the same spill, this is not the same area and these are not the same species. Plus, the use of dispersant in the amounts they’ve used is totally unprecedented. So this is taking scientists a while to get up to speed and realize the enormity of it.”

As not only a marine scientist but a longtime Coast resident, Perry said the enormity of the disaster gets to her personally sometimes. “I had a sort of breakdown last week,” Perry said. “I’ve driven down the same road on East Beach in Ocean Springs for 42 years. As I was going to work, I saw the shrimp fleet going out, all going to try to work on the oil, and I realized the utter futility of that, and I just lost it for a minute and had to gather myself.

“When you think about it all, how this has changed everybody’s life and how life here revolves around the water and the beach and the seafood — just even going to get a shrimp po-boy — it’s just overwhelming. I think a hurricane is easy compared to this. Let’s just hope and pray first that they get the well capped, then secondly that they keep it from getting inshore into our marshes.”

BP Fisherman: Oysters Are All Dead

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: As I’ve reported before, this will completely devastate a massive food source of the United States and surrounding countries– SJH

Link to original article with additional video below…

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/07/01/96909/oil-found-in-gulf-crabs-raising.html

Residents Outraged: BP Is Dumping Oil Cleanup Waste In Landfills

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July 9, 2010: David Edwards / Raw Story – July 9, 2010

The Gulf area may have to live with oil long after the beaches have been cleaned. Some residents are outraged that BP has been dumping oily waste in landfills in their areas.

After BP crews scoop up the oil off Gulf beaches, the waste is transported to Mississippi’s Pecan Grove landfill. Even workers’ protective suits, gloves, shovels, rakes and anything else that touches oil is buried there.

The Board of Supervisors in Harrison, Mississippi passed a resolution saying they don’t want any BP waste in their community but there is little they can do. BP has cut deals with Waste Management, the owners of the landfill. They answer to the state instead of local county government.

“We don’t want it,” President of the Board of Supervisors Connie Rocko told CNN’s Randi Kaye. “It is valuable landfill space and hazardous to our citizens. Take your waste somewhere else or please find an alternative.” Rocko is concerned that oil could find its way into the water table and be harmful to the residents.

But Waste Management’s Ken Haldin says there’s nothing to be worried about. “It is an understandable concern because there is a lack of awareness,” he told CNN.

Haldin explained that Pecan Grove landfill is designated a nonhazardous site which means no liquid waste can be dumped there. There is a liner underneath the landfill that is designed to prevent waste from seeping into the water table. In the past 24 hours alone, 150 tons of BP waste has been dumped there, said Haldin.

The EPA has ordered that BP waste disposal efforts must be transparent. The company must post details of all collected waste at their website. But considering accusations that BP and the Coast Guard have tried to prevent reporters from covering the cleanup efforts, some may have grounds to question that transparency.

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: Ahem! “[S]ome may have grounds to question that transparency”?!?! What the hell Gulf oil disaster is the reporter of this story watching? See the July 8, 2010 CNN report below– SJH

Link to original article with CNN video below…

http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0709/bp-dumping-oil-waste-gulf-landfills/

BP Has Created A Corporate Police State In The Gulf Coast Region!

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July 9, 2010: Gregory Patin / Madison Independent Examiner – July 8, 2010

Reporters and photographers are reporting numerous incidents where they have been prohibited from approaching areas where oil has fouled Gulf beaches and have been prevented from taking photos or gathering enough information to publish reports. BP clean up workers have been forbidden from talking to the press. 

The incidents of BP officials and the U.S. Coast Guard barring reporters from recording the effects of the disaster have been recorded in mainstream media, and date as far back as the third week of May. Who owns the Gulf coast, the American people or BP?

One may be tempted to answer that the federal government owns it. Keep in mind, however, that all federal officials – elected, appointed or hired – supposedly work for the taxpayers that pay their salaries. Apparently that is no longer the case in the corporatocracy known as the United States of America, because federal officials, police agencies and the U.S. Coast Guard seem to have pledged their allegiance to BP rather than the U.S. Constitution and the American people.

At least the Obama administration has managed to plug one thing: the flow of information related to the oil disaster from the beaches of Gulf states. The ability to document a disaster, particularly through images, is key to focusing the nation’s attention on it and the resulting clean-up efforts. Yet Americans are being denied this information.

Take, for example, this recent report that has been all-but buried in the sand. In response to an ongoing investigation between PBS’ Frontline and Propublica that reported that a trouble-plagued BP refinery in Texas that blew up in 2005 and killed 15 people also spewed tens of thousands of pounds of toxic chemicals into the skies just before the Deepwater Horizon disaster, a free-lance photographer named Lance Rosenfeld tried to get some photos of the site. The release of toxic fumes from the BP facility in Texas City, TX  began April 6 and lasted 40 days. Here is his experience:

I parked my car on the shoulder of Hwy. 197 near the Texas City sign that is in the pictures,…took the pictures [and] walked back to my car and drove a couple of miles to a gas station….I noticed that what looked like a security truck…was following me, although he continued on when I pulled into the Valero gas station….Moments later two Texas City police cars pulled in next to my car, essentially blocking me in, although I wasn’t trying to go anywhere, I was trying to get gas.

The first police officer asked me what I was doing and said he had gotten a report that I was taking pictures near the refinery. I told him I am a photojournalist and had only taken some pictures of a Texas City sign. He asked to see the pictures and I told him I didn’t think I had to show them, legally. Another police officer walked up and again asked to see the pictures.

He said I could show him the pictures or he could handle this another way, including calling Homeland Security and taking me in. I agreed to show him the pictures on the back of my camera….Meanwhile, the truck that had been following me showed up, driven by a security guard with a BP patch on his uniform. The first police officer seemed to fade back during all this….I asked the second police officer– Officer T. Krietemeyer–for his card, which he gave me.

Officer Krietemeyer took my name, driver’s license, the car license number, my D.O.B., Social Security Number and phone number. The BP security guard asked for my personal information and I declined because he is a corporate security guard and I had already given it to the police. Then the BP security guard asked Officer Krietemeyer for my information, which he gave him.

I protested and asked on what legal grounds could the police officer share my information with BP? I was never on BP property. They told me it was standard procedure and I told them I didn’t agree with it and didn’t understand what legal authority they had to share that information.

They said that when there is a Homeland Security threat, then BP files a report. I said I wasn’t a Homeland Security threat, that Officer Krietemeyer had already determined that the pictures posed no threat. Also, I was not under arrest, so why was BP getting my information? I asked the BP guard for his information, which he gave me: Gary Stief, BP Security.

They both told me they would call Homeland Security/FBI agent Tom Robison to come down and explain it, as if that were a threat to me. I said I didn’t think that was necessary but Officer Krietemeyer called Mr. Robison anyway and handed me the phone…when he got on the phone he asked what my problem is. I told him I didn’t understand why BP was getting my information….He said, “Oh no you’re not, you’re staying right there until I get there.”

Mr. Robison arrived several minutes later and asked what my problem was. His demeanor was aggressive and antagonistic. I repeated myself, in a respectful manner. He aggressively explained that a refinery like this is a terrorist target and any time people take pictures of it, they have to investigate.

He asked who I was working for. I said I’m a freelance photojournalist working on assignment for ProPublica. He asked for verification of that so I showed him the letter from (ProPublica senior editor) Susan White. Officer Krietemeyer took down the information. Mr. Robison tried to dig at what the article was about, and I stayed mostly vague because I’m not the writer….Eventually he asked if it’s about BP and I said yes, which seemed to make him angrier.

I then felt like Mr. Robison and Mr. Stief, the BP guard, started harassing me, primarily by keeping me there and talking to me in an aggressive and antagonistic manner, and relating what I had done to terrorist activity, ignoring what had actually happened. Mr. Robison twice asked Officer Krietemeyer if had he reviewed the pictures carefully and concluded there was no threat, to which Officer Krietemeyer said yes.

While that may have been a long account of a relatively short-lived incident, it is indicative of the intimidation that journalists, especially free-lancers that are not part of the corporate media establishment, have been subjected to in the Gulf states since the BP oil disaster. I recently spoke with a friend who writes for a major publication and was told, “don’t even go there.” So, instead, I’ll just post a link to the top 20 photos that BP and the federal government do not want you to see here. And a video of a Gulf flyover taken on June 21 below:

[The Tonka Report has also already posted this video in a previous article – Very Powerful!]

Normally, with a story like this, I would be lamenting the lack of corporate media coverage, but many mainstream news sources have reported that journalists and photographers are being denied access to the Gulf coast by BP, local law enforcement and federal officials.

New York Times, June 7: Journalists struggling to document the impact of the oil rig explosion have repeatedly found themselves turned away from public areas affected by the spill, and not only by BP and its contractors, but by local law enforcement, the Coast Guard and government officials…another example of a broader problem of officials filtering what images of the spill the public sees.

AP via the Boston Globe: In at least two cases, a media organization and a seaplane pilot (see above video) say BP PLC appeared to have a role in deciding on access. Other media, including the AP, have reported coverage problems because their access has been restricted.

Ted Jackson, a photographer for The Times-Picayune newspaper in New Orleans, said Saturday that access to the disaster area “is slowly being strangled off.”

The details of how this disaster is being handled may not be as important as the big picture. BP and the U.S. government are using police powers to intimidate, threaten, detain and potentially imprison anyone who seeks to report the truth of what is happening on the Gulf Coast.

Obviously, the U.S. Government and BP share the same interest – preventing the public from knowing the magnitude of the spill and the inadequacy of the clean-up efforts. What could possibly be happening in the Gulf of Mexico right now that is so drastic that BP and the federal government is willing to destroy our rights in order to protect their secrets?

The police state behavior of this, however, may be even more significant. In effect, BP, a British corporation, is now controlling American law enforcement officials and a branch of the U.S. military. It is impossible to know where government actions end and corporate actions begin because the line between them no longer exists.

Your rights as a free citizen have been obliterated in the past 10 years, and what is happening in the Gulf is a good example of that. America is on the verge of becoming a fascist corporatocracy that answers to the financial interests of huge corporations – at the expense of the freedoms and tax dollars of the people.

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: I received a very disturbing email tonight from a friend in New Orleans stating that people there are suffering “mysterious seizures”. She also said that when linking to my site she receives a “warning” from Google that the site may be unsafe and could “compromise” her computer. I have received no notification whatsoever from Google or WordPress, have checked the site thoroughly, as well as contacted several people from other areas of the country and not one of them reported receiving this “warning” which immediately raised suspicions of yet another government attempt at censorship in order to prevent the people in the Gulf coast regions from accessing information concerning the truth about the Gulf oil false flag disaster. Thus far, the only person to my knowledge experiencing this false “warning” from Google lives in none other than New Orleans, Louisiana. Hmmm… This, my friends, is the definition of a Police State! – SJH   

Link to original article below…

http://www.examiner.com/x-23316-Madison-Independent-Examiner~y2010m7d8-BP-turning-Gulf-Coast-into-corporate-police-states