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Kalamazoo River PCB content or Oil Spill - Essay Example

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Name Professor Course Date Kalamazoo River Oil Spill The Alliance for Great Lakes (AGL) is a great advocate for environmental conservation, the main concern being water resources in the United States. AGL is on the forefront in the fight for a cleaner environment…
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Kalamazoo River PCB content or Oil Spill
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Download file to see previous pages It stretches across several states, and drains into Lake Michigan. The rivers course covers about 178 miles and its median flow is about 2000 cubic feet per second. The archeological artifacts show the use of this river by humans for a period of over 10000 years. The river is home to abundant aquatic life and a natural habitat for several fish species. It has ponds and a natural scene that is conducive for most aquatic invertebrates. The river has though undergone a lot of pollution from industrial wastes in the past. Despite the continued efforts to clean the river of industrial wastes, the presence of chemicals left behind by previous pollution is still a setback to the efforts. A major oil spill that occurred in the Kalamazoo River in 2010 spelled a major disaster as a broken pipeline leaked a million gallons of diluted bitumen into the river. The occurrence sparked the most costly cleanup operation in the history of the United States. It took over 750 million dollars to clean up the leak, but the long term effects still remain to date. The Alliance for Great Lakes blames the leaks on companies trying to minimize costs and use of substandard pipelines, which lack proper maintenance. Oil spills are a major cause of worry in relation to the effects they have on the environment, oil in its form inhibits penetration of gases and can easily suffocate marine by cutting oxygen supply. After the oil spill, the Kalamazoo had dead fish all over the surface; fishing activities ban for some time affected the livelihood of the people. Enbridge Energy Partners came under criticism, as they owned the pipeline. The effects of the Kalamazoo oil spill are both direct and indirect. The spill led to the closure of sections of the river for dredging. The dredging works cost Enbridge more than the insurance cover they had undertaken and was subject to many legal battles. They also came under public criticism due to closure of sections which used by many people. The slow pace of the cleanup exercise too attracted public criticism and dissatisfaction. It ended up bringing back the subject of pollution experienced previously on the river, according to a survey AGL conducted people complained of companies being allowed time to conduct more research on the effects rather than concentrating on removal of the toxic wastes from the river. The presence of carcinogenic chemicals like polychlorinated biphenyl’s from wastes of landfills left by paper mills from recycled carbonless paper a now illegal chemical. Despite a major cleanup exercise, AGL believes everything changed after the leak. Some people vacated the area; others still live in uncertainty and are unsure of what long-term effects to expect. The land along the shores soaks with oil and solid materials still float along the riverbed. The scars of the disastrous spill are still visible. The period it takes to clean up an oil spill completely is hard to tell especially on such a large water body. The effect on wildlife is under research and turtles and ducks submerged in oil. The effect of this oil coating on feathers and turtle shells is may cause a change in breeding patterns, a negative effect on the animal’s reproduction or even damage to organs in their bodies. The uncertainty breeds anxiety on the actual impact expected to result. There is a drastic change in the food chain, and already there is a drastic reduction of fish in the most affected parts of the river. Certain insects ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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