from : http://spectregroup.wordpress.com/2010/04/29/a-controlled-burn/

And Other Bad Options

1. Create a Burn Zone
“Emergency teams launched a “controlled burn” operation on Wednesday to stop a giant oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico from washing up on Louisiana’s ecologically fragile coast. A fleet of skimming vessels deployed by the US Coast Guard and British energy giant BP were sweeping the most dense concentrations of crude into a 500-foot (150-meter) fire resistant boom. “This oil will then be towed to a more remote area, where it will be ignited and burned in a controlled manner,” a joint statement said. US Coast Guard told AFP that the initial burn-offs would be evaluated before any larger operations were attempted. “Today they are just seeing this as a kind of trial fire to see if it even can be done,” she said. “I believe that they use an actual accelerant to start it. You can’t just throw a match in it and have it start.” The accident has not disrupted offshore gulf oil production, which accounts for more than a quarter of the US energy supply.”

In Situ Burning
“Federal officials should have started burning oil off the surface of the Gulf last week, almost as soon as the spill happened, said the former oil spill response coordinator for the NOAA. Ron Gouget, who also managed Louisiana’s oil response team for a time, said federal officials missed a narrow window of opportunity to gain control of the spill by burning last week, before the spill spread hundreds of miles across the Gulf, and before winds began blowing toward shore. Gouget was part of the group that created the 1994 In-Situ Burn pre-approval plan that was designed to allow federal responders to begin burning oil as soon as a major spill occurred. “They had pre-approval. The whole reason the plan was created was so we could pull the trigger right away instead of waiting ten days to get permission,” Gouget said. “If you read the pre-approval plan, it speaks about Grand Isle, where the spill is. When the wind is blowing offshore out of the north, you have preapproval to burn in that region. If the wind is coming onshore, like it is now, you can’t burn at Grand Isle. They waited to do the test burn until the wind started coming onshore.” Asked why officials waited for a week before conducting even a test burn, Gouget said, “Good question. Maybe complacency was the biggest issue. They probably didn’t have the materials on hand to conduct the burn, which is unconscionable.” Gouget said officials could still make a big dent in the amount of oil that will hit seashores over the next several months by burning. “If they set up multiple boat/fire boom sets & begin a ‘bucket brigade’ grabbing fresh oil, they can set up a production system to remove huge amounts,” Gouget said. “They’ve got to ramp up the burn program. It’s one of the most important tools they have to limit the damage.””

2. Send Underwater Robots
“Underwater robots dived to the ocean floor yesterday in a new effort to staunch the 42,000 gallons of oil a day being pumped into the Gulf of Mexico in America’s worst offshore oil rig spill in 40 years. The robots will attempt to activate a blowout preventer, a 450-tonne valve on the ocean floor that offers the only timely option for stemming the flow. The plan put into operation yesterday called for four underwater robots to dive 1,500 metres (5,000 ft) below the surface of the water to try to activate the gargantuan system of pipes and valves that sits next to the well on the ocean floor. BP said it was the first time such an operation had been mounted at this depth.”

3. Build a Containment Dome
“Just in case robotic submarines are not able to plug up the oil leak on a sunken rig in the Gulf of Mexico, engineers rushed Tuesday to build a giant containment dome to keep the spill quarantined. “It’s a dome that would be placed over the leak and instead of the oil leaking into the water column it would leak into this dome structure,” said a US coast guard spokesman. “They started working on the fabrication of this dome structure fairly recently and its estimated it will take two to four weeks to build.” The dome would gather the oil and allow workers to pump it out of the dome. “If you could picture a half dome on top of the leak and the oil collects inside of this dome and is pumped out from there, that is the idea behind it,” said Danner. The dimensions of the dome are still being worked out, but officials said it would be similar to welded steel containment structures called cofferdams that are already used in oil rig construction.

Categories: Spectre Group Reports | Tags: | 3 Comments

About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2023: I publish an email newsletter called LANDLINE = https://jaybabcock.substack.com Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca.

3 thoughts on “A 'CONTROLLED BURN'

  1. what an absolute sick and twisted tragedy. what else is it going to take for people to realize that their precious modern science is going to literally poison our world?

  2. This is not because of science, it is because of greed and stupidity. The wrong people are calling the shots, then comes the round of finger pointing and blame casting. Why were there no double and triple redundant fault controls? Does anybody out there know what “fail-safe” means? We should be focused on new energy storage technology and then we could use alternative energy systems easily. The cost of wind and solar is far too high for the average person to afford. That is the real sin, that energy is all around us but we are forced to deal with its control, or to pay for thirty years for a system of questionable utility.

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