Friday, May 16, 2014

The Glendale/Atwater Village Oil Spill: What Will Be The Lasting Effects?

oil spill

Watching with concern from afar that massive oil spill at the Glendale/Atwater Village border (hoping Golden Road is OK!) and wondering about the long-term effects of this mess. My friend Damon Nagami wrote an informative post on Switchboard, the Natural Resources Defense Council Staff Blog about what may transpire:

Although this spill appears to have happened in a largely industrial area, hundreds of homes in the community of Glendale can be found less than a thousand feet to the east, and the Glendale Narrows section of the Los Angeles River lies a couple thousand feet to the west. The potential health impacts to residents from exposure to crude oil are serious. After the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, my colleague Dr. Gina Solomon blogged about residents in onshore areas closest to the spill experiencing headaches, dizziness, nausea, eye irritation, and respiratory problems. And later that year, as OnEarth Magazine’s early coverage showed in harrowing detail, the massive Kalamazoo River pipeline disaster struck, exposing numerous communities in Michigan to similar symptoms as a million-plus gallons of heavy Canadian tar sands oil erupted into the waterway. In some ways, it's an apt comparison: the pipeline that spilled here today is owned by Plains All American and likely carried heavy California crude from Bakersfield. While that stuff is not quite as nasty as the tar sands spilled in Michigan, they are very similar in nature.

Oil-related impacts to the LA River would be devastating as well. The spectacular seven-mile Glendale Narrows stretch of the river has a soft bottom and lush vegetation, providing habitat for wildlife including shorebirds such as herons, egrets, and kingfishers, as well as riverside paths for walkers, joggers, bicyclists, birdwatchers, and nature lovers from all over Los Angeles. Exposure to toxins from crude oil can take a lethal toll on river life, as well as cause genetic damage, liver disease, cancer and harm to animals’ reproductive and immune systems.

And here's Damon discussing the spill with KNBC-TV:

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