On Marco Island: Independent Reporting, Documenting Government Abuses, Exposing the Syndicate, Historical Records of Crimes Against the Environment

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Friday, August 31, 2007

FDEP Reports on Toxic Water Discharge - Analyzed

An analysis of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) August 28, 2007 report to the city of Marco Island presents concerns in several areas. As this analysis was being prepared, the FDEP for all practical purposes ordered a halt to all dewatering. This report could explain the FDEP’s rationale for the halting, and details some of the adverse environmental impacts resulting from dumping effluence into the waterways.

To obtain the entire analysis, CLICK HERE.

3 Comments:

  • The City of Marco Island continues to reach the goal of installing sanitary sewer lines to the remaining neighborhoods served by septic systems. Complex and conflicting environmental issues continue to challenge the method of construction. While reducing offense odors caused by the removal of ground water for sanitary sewer line construction, there may now be a concern for the microscopic marine life near the water discharge point.

    The City, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) are working together to insure a continuation of sanitary sewer line construction that has the least impact to the local citizens and their environment. All agree that the long-term benefit to water quality and aquatic life will be improved when septic tanks are eliminated.

    Yesterday afternoon, (8-30-07) City staff met with representatives from DN Higgins, Quality Enterprises, the SFWMD and the FDEP to discuss the dewatering activities on Marco Island and the results of limited water quality testing by the FDEP.

    Following receipt of complaints from a citizen, known to oppose the City’s Septic Tank Replacement Program, the FDEP conducted limited testing to determine any negative impacts to the water quality in canals due to dewatering activities associated with the City’s sanitary sewer line project.

    The water quality tests taken by DEP confirm a naturally occurring sulfate concentration in the surface water. The results of the sulfide readings show that invertebrate larvae may be impacted at microscopic levels through the City’s dewatering process.

    In order to lay sanitary sewer pipe in a narrow trench, natural ground water is removed from the high water table through a “dewatering” process. Ground water is then discharged into swales or a storm water outfall, and then into canals.

    Ground water on Marco Island contains high levels of sulfates and sulfides due to the decomposition of organic material (buried mangroves). When dewatering occurs, the sulfides/sulfates are released into the atmosphere and cause an offensive odor. To reduce or eliminate the odors caused by dewatering, the City asked its contractors to discharge ground water directly into the manhole above the storm water outfall pipes to the canals.

    While direct discharge of ground water into the storm water structure reduced or eliminated offensive odors, there may be a negative impact upon microscopic marine life.

    The potential hazard to microscopic marine life from sulfide is localized and transient. Sulfide is oxidized rapidly in surface water. Increasing oxygenation of the water would minimize any toxic effects on aquatic life of microorganisms.

    It is unlikely that increased oxygenation will occur during the hot, summer months. Therefore, the City will again modify the dewatering process as it seeks new ways to eliminate offensive odors while maintaining water quality standards.

    DEP results show a significant decrease in sulfide measured from the groundwater discharge location and contact with the surface water. This demonstrates the capacity to reduce concentrations in the water by returning to the original dewatering practices of discharging ground water into the swales. This allows the release of sulfides before the water flows into storm drainage outfalls to the canals.
    The City of Marco Island continues to investigate how to allow its contractors to continue to remove ground water, since this is the safest and least costly way to install sanitary sewer lines. The City wants to balance the risk to microscopic marine life and its citizens so as to insure timely completion of the sanitary sewer project. While the concentration of sulfides varies significantly from one area of the City to another, construction activities will be altered to find the best balance throughout the City.

    A few of the many options to resolve concerns are as follows:
    1) Returning to the original dewatering method of discharge into the swales.
    2) Reducing the pumping rate into the swales by 50% during the daytime hours.
    3) Continuing to monitor and place the limits of construction barriers appropriately per the SFWMD guidance.
    4) Vacuuming built up silt the outfall structures prior to use in dewatering.
    5) Reallocating staff resources to monitor the dewatering activities more closely.

    SFWMD is the lead agency regarding the dewatering activities, since they have issued the permits to the City’s contractors. DEP intends to provide their surface water sampling results to the SFWMD for their review.

    The FDEP stated: "The centralized sewer project on Marco Island will provide water quality benefits to the estuarine and marine waters surrounding the Island by eliminating high density on-site sewage treatment systems (septic tanks and drain fields), which are known to contribute pollutants to adjacent surface waters." Additionally, the Water Management District echoed the importance of moving forward with the septic tank replacement program.

    It is important to note that that while the focus of the meeting was specific to water quality, the health concerns that have been raised are still being addressed by the City.
    An outside environmental consultant, ENVIRON(*), has been retained by the City and has prepared a sampling plan designed to assess the level of hydrogen sulfide emitted to the atmosphere during dewatering activities. Both ambient air monitoring and ground water sampling will be conducted. They will measure hydrogen sulfide levels in ambient air at various times and various locations throughout the island.
    This work will be conducted by two public health scientists, Dr. Timothy C. Varney, Ph.D, P.G., C.I.H. and Dr. James L. Poole, Ph.D, C.I.H. in conjunction with Dr. Tom Gauthier, Ph.D., an analytical chemist/risk assessment specialist.
    The City of Marco Island is committed to working with the SFWMD, DEP, Collier County Health Department and citizens to address the concerns about dewatering.
    * ENVIRON is an international environmental, engineering and health sciences consulting firm with offices across the U.S. and Europe. ENVIRON has over 1100 employees and the services to the City of Marco Island will be provided by their Tampa, Florida Office.

    Lisa M. Douglass
    Public Information Coordinator
    City of Marco Island
    50 Bald Eagle Drive
    Marco Island, Florida 34145

    By Blogger Mario R. Sanchez, Ph.D., at Friday, August 31, 2007 2:28:00 PM  

  • Isn't interesting that with all that trenching and dewatering in our front yards only 20ft from our drain fields and there is no sign of any contamination from them. We have dug up miles of front yards and have not found one septic failure. The distance to the canals in the back is 4 times futher than the trenching. It looks like the only thing failing us around here is our city councel and city manager.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, August 31, 2007 4:58:00 PM  

  • Lisa Douglas should move to Washington because she is a world class "spin doctor". Returning to pumping into the swales is an idiotic idea. I suggest that all water produced from the de-watering be trucked to the swales of our city councilors, manager and the spin doctor. The city of Marco has absolutely no regard for its citizens health, wellbeing or, lifestyle. I have to question WHY the city proceeds regardless of the consequences to the citizens health. The island is a disaster zone. If I were a tourist (season approaches) I would stay very far away from Mossville. They could care less if they gas you to death.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, August 31, 2007 6:17:00 PM  

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It is not just a matter of money

By Ed Foster

Two workers have been hospitalized for hydrogen-sulfide inhalation caused by a failure to follow OSHA procedures for working in “confined spaces.” Citizens are complaining of pulmonary illnesses that they suspect are related to the release of hydrogen-sulfide gas. The city acknowledges that hydrogen sulfide is in our underground water and is emitted during the dewatering process needed to install sewer lines on Marco.

How does the city respond? The City’s Public Information Coordinator suggests that windows and doors be sealed with duct tape and that people stay inside during working hours or leave the island entirely. The first two suggestions are ridiculous: dewatering is a 24/7 operation to keep the trenches dry enough to work in. It doesn’t stop when the workers go home and if you seal your house tightly enough so that hydrogen sulfide gas cannot enter, you’ll suffocate for lack of oxygen. Advising residents to leave the island is tantamount to evicting them so the city can dig ditches.


It is time to ask: “Why are we doing this?” Forget the cost for a moment (if you can). Why are we destroying our island to install sewers? Are they necessary? In a word, “no”; they are not necessary. The city has never been able to demonstrate a need for sewers. The city has never been able to show significant pollution that could be correlated with the use of septic systems. The city has garnered “letters of support” from various agencies and has been able to elicit “opinions” from agency heads in favor of sewers, but it has never produced one iota of verifiable scientific evidence that indicates the need for sewers on our island.


Water quality tests have shown negligible levels of fecal coliform in our canals. That which could possibly be related to the use of septic systems amounts to approximately 1% of the state-established safe level for water used for recreational purposes (swimming, fishing, boating, etc.) That certainly does not constitute “pollution.” When test data failed to support the need for sewers, the city halved the water-testing budget which certainly puts the lie to any statement that the STRP was instituted to save us from pollution.


At a city workshop held in March 2006, the head of the Fort Myers DEP confirmed that Marco waters are not polluted. He denied any plan was afoot to force the city to install sewers and agreed that the location of the Marco Island wastewater treatment plant near the mouth of the Marco River and Gulf is far from ideal. A Rookery Bay scientist who examined the data could find no correlation between nitrogen in our canals with the use of septic systems and opined that the nitrogen buildup was coming from fertilizer runoff and grass clippings.


The Federal EPA, and Florida DEP and DOH in Tallahassee support the use of “managed on-site wastewater treatment,” i.e., properly installed and maintained septic systems, and find them safer than central sewers in many instances. The Federal EPA considers central sewers the second most significant polluter of the environment in the United States; only agricultural runoff is worse. The EPA also estimates that more than 850 billion gallons of raw sewage leak from sewer lines each year on its way to the processing plant. Raw sewage overflows into our lakes, rivers and ocean about 40,000 times each year and is responsible for approximately 2,000 beach closures averaging 10 days in duration. Between 1.8 and 3.5 million people become ill each year from swimming in sewage-polluted waters. These are facts, not opinions; you can verify them yourselves.


So why does the council insist upon sewering the island? In my opinion, it is because they cannot admit to having made a mistake. The STRP is primarily the brainchild of an ex-councilor who refused to run for re-election and defend his Frankenstein. He devised the sewer plan and convinced the council it was necessary because the council trusted him. As one councilor told me two years ago, “He was supposed to be our utility expert. We believed him and followed what he said. Now I feel I’m on a freight train and can’t get off.”


It is time this man’s legacy came to an end. The fact that he once worked for an electric utility does not qualify him to render judgment on a sewer utility. It is time the council admitted that it made a mistake, stop this project dead in its tracks, exercise the city’s prerogative to cancel contracts, and work out a plan to minimize the financial damages that are bound to ensue.


People’s lives, people’s quality of life, and the protection of our environment are at stake. We must get off this freight train now!


Ed Foster

Former Chairman of C.A.R.E.S., Inc.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

A Good Anniversary

We need to celebrate 10 years of cityhood because it came about by exercising our inalienable right to choose our own destiny. Choosing representatives at a community level is a blessing to be acknowledged.

Good choices or bad choices, only the good matters on this date. When anniversaries are celebrated in our personal lives do we dwell on the bumps in the road, or do we rejoice in the positives and look forward to the road ahead?

A majority voted into office the present and all past city governments. These elected officials have exercised the will of the people as they saw fit. Agree or disagree with what they have done or have failed to do, but do exult in their positives and look forward to the road ahead.

Alice came to a fork in the road.
“Which road do I take?” she asked.
“Where do you want to go?” responded the Cheshire cat.
“I don’t know,” Alice answered.
“Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”

Appreciate the positives of what the city has done in ten years, and do look forward to the road ahead in a resplendent area intimately intertwined with nature … because roads like anniversaries do matter.

2 Comments:

  • Some nice, positive suggestions. Thank you.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, August 30, 2007 1:00:00 PM  

  • We have to look to the future always, because there is always room for actions which will improve the interactions between the citizens and its government. Our city exists because our people wanted to have more input and get things done and thought that the county wasn't responding. It will get better!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, September 12, 2007 9:41:00 AM  

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Important Update to Hydrogen Sulfide Toxicity

A recent study conducted by the University of California at Berkley found that very low exposure to ambient hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has rather deleterious effects on human health.

"The interviews show that chronic exposure to relatively low levels of hydrogen sulfide can nevertheless take a considerable toll on people’s health."

The study also looked at State Ambient H2S Regulations and the results are more serious than previously posited by this author. Consider the following graph found in the above noted study:

(click to enlarge image)

As an example of how to read this chart, the state of Montana considers exposure of .05ppm (five hundredths of one part per million, or 5 parts per 100,000,000) of ambient hydrogen sulfide for one hour the most a person can tolerate before their health is appreciably affected.

This study as evidenced in the above noted graph evidences a very serious problem for Marco Islanders. Simply look at the 24 hour mark. There are two states (Massachusetts and Pennsylvania) that for all practical purposes do not allow ANY ambient H2S for periods of exposure greater than 24 hours.

There are two consequential inferences we make from casually analyzing this chart (and the overall study) as related to us on Marco Island.

First, notice that Florida is missing. Unfortunately without a regulation, it is easy – as we have seen – for city and state governmental operatives to claim that the contamination is within regulations. When there aren’t any regulations, then any level of pollution is acceptable.

But environmental and state authorities need to come out from behind their outdated pretexts to consider recent studies and the regulations in place in other states with regard to this highly dangerous poison.

The second and more pressing observation is that even at exceedingly low levels of H2S – at levels that are not even barely perceptible by the average human nose – exposure for as little as 3 minutes has been deemed harmful. And yet, here on Marco Island, we have been exposed for many months, 24 hours a day, to higher levels.

1 Comments:

  • Mario,
    I have looked all over the site and cannot find the large article on the dangers of hydrogen Sulfide. I click on your e-mail at the blog site and it says you have no information.I have gone into the main site but the search only gets me to some othr site that will give information on where you live etc. I really need this article and I am at my whits end to find it. PLease help. Thanks for asking around the univ. for help with our plught. I have promised this article to people and I neeed to get it and anything else you have published on the subject. Thanks, Roberta MArten wemarten@aol.com

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, October 18, 2007 12:11:00 PM  

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Copper Pipe Pitting - State Study

The Interagency Copper Pipe Corrosion Project was initiated in 2000 to study and report on the causes and how to remediate those causes of copper pipe pitting.

In summary, the 2001 final report found that the primary catalyst causing copper pipe pitting is the presence of hydrogen sulfide in the water. The toxic H2S, under certain conditions, reacts with copper pipes to create copper sulfide – a form of copper corrosion. This corrosion, sometimes manifest as “black water” causes the copper pipe pitting.

Nine recommendations were formulated by the participants of the study. The most noteworthy are the following four:
  • New permitting rules for new wells – the rules focus on testing for sulfides (this blog’s primary premise for the creation of copper pipe pitting),
  • Proposed building code amendments,
  • Existing plant upgrades with state-provided funding to minimize the conditions (elements) that cause pipe pitting,
  • Financial assistance for homeowners affected.
It is unknown if the homeowner’s financial assistance package/information was presented to the affected homeowners. Per the study:

“Local governments should consider [sic] establishment of a municipal service taxing unit (MSTU) or municipal service benefit unit (MSBU), pursuant to section 125.01(q) Florida Statutes, to help finance plumbing retrofits in the affected homes.”

Since all of the recommendations were made six years ago, it would be interesting to determine to what extent, if any, the City of Marco Island’s water treatment plant implemented the recommendations.

The entire report can be obtained by CLICKING HERE.

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Penny for your Thoughts ...

A 56oz. glass container was sterilized. The container was then filled with the toxic water being pumped into the waterway beneath the first empty north lot on Twin Oak.

We then placed the following penny (a "before" picture) ...


... in the container.

One hour later ... this is what the penny looks like.

(Note: Per the U.S. Treasury, the penny is copper-plated zinc: 2.5% copper, 97.5% zinc.)

Results from a similar experiment were forwarded to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). Their reply? They don't see a problem with the contamination or it's effects as evidenced above. We are not surprised by their answer.

A question: if this is what happens to zinc/copper when exposed for one hour to the toxic water being pumped into our waterways, what do we think is going to happen to marine organisms when exposed to the toxic water 24 hours a day, day after day?

-----
the control: another shiny penny was placed in waterway water obtained from a non-contaminated site. after 2 hours, no difference in the penny was noted.

1 Comments:

  • just in case someone is wondering ...

    from: http://www.ustreas.gov/education/faq/coins/portraits.shtml#q13

    Is it illegal to damage or deface coins?

    Answer: Section 331 of Title 18 of the United States code provides criminal penalties for anyone who “fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens any of the coins coined at the Mints of the United States.” This statute means that you may be violating the law if you change the appearance of the coin and fraudulently represent it to be other than the altered coin that it is. As a matter of policy, the U.S. Mint does not promote coloring, plating or altering U.S. coinage: however, there are no sanctions against such activity absent fraudulent intent.

    ====
    since there is no fraudulent intent and since the penny is still usable, no issue.

    By Blogger Dr. Mario, at Saturday, August 25, 2007 5:35:00 PM  

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Wasting $58,000?

The city announced that it will hire an outside firm to the tune of $58,000 to test the air quality surrounding the myriad dewatering projects on the island. We suggest that the results can be inferred today: there is nothing wrong with the air.

We put forth one feasible supposition for affording this prediction.

Today, the process by which the toxic water is now handled is different from when the initial complaints were made to the health practitioners, the EPA, the FDEP and the city.


As evidenced by the myriad videos and pictures, the polluted water was initially being pumped directly into the open – swales, streets, lawns, etc… With the toxic water basically in the open, the hydrogen sulfide easily and readily escaped from the water.

The pumping of the contaminated water onto the streets, swales, lawns, etc… is no longer taking place. As also evidenced by the latest pictures and videos, the contaminated water is being funneled through a near-sealed environment directly into waterways. Vents and grates are sealed, no more open-air dumping, all of the polluted water flows through pipes that lead directly to waterways.

In this process, the hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is impeded from escaping from the water due to the pressure and flow. If any escapes it is at the point where the water leaves the pipe just above the waterway. Therefore we can surmise that the greatest concentration of hydrogen sulfide does not escape but stays in the water – now in the water of the waterways.

Where the poisonous stink infested entire neighborhoods, the noxious odor is now on and near the area where the toxic water is being dumped into the waterways. Arguably in lesser concentrations given the considerably smaller area by which the hydrogen sulfide can escape.

A casual inspection of the leaking containment areas (notice the ill-placed yellow plastic rims in the pictures) clearly shows the water to be a deep red to murky copper color. We suppose and induce that the hydrogen sulfide is reacting with organics in the water, as well as metals, and creating sulfuric acid (H2SO4) – ergo the color.

Forgive us for delving into basic chemistry to try to prove a point: notice the difference between H2S and H2SO4 – the difference is O4 – or four molecules of oxygen. If it is found that the area where the contaminated water is oxygen depleted, then the likelihood of sulfuric acid being “created” in these waterway dumping areas is high.

Without testing the waterways in and near the discharge areas, the premise that there is sulfuric acid is merely a hypothesis.

So … back to the $58,000. It seems to us that this testing is for a problem that has been somewhat obviated.

And not a new turn of events. By the time the city stalls long enough, and the plethora of environmental groups sympathize with us but tell us they can’t do anything about it, and the alphabet-soup bureaucracies are tortured into responding, the problem is migrated. Its like calling your insect control company to complain about termites eating your door, and by the time they show up to do “tests,” your door is gone so they look at you like you’re nuts.

So … can we skip the test, save the $58,000 and just jump to the point where we are once again looked at like we are nuts? (As opposed to the people responsible for contaminating the environment of course.)

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NBC News Coverage of Contamination

As aired August 23, 2007 6PM News.


Of interest: watch a couple of guys walking around with what appears to be a volt meter
testing the air (forensic analysis of the video shows that the device has a label "Gas Acc..."). The workers claim that there is no hydrogen sulfide because their volt meter-looking device registers zero. But the guys and the reporter can smell it. So the reporter has the presence of mind to call the FDEP - and informs her that if you can smell it, it has to register.

Also of interest: note that where once all of the toxic liquid was being pumped into the open (swales, lawns, streets, etc..), all of that has stopped. All of the vents and injection points are sealed and the toxic liquid is being funneled directly into the waterway. Do you see the guys holding the volt meter looking device where the toxic liquid is being poured into the waterway? No - because they didn't test there - which is where the heaviest concentration of hydrogen sulfide exists presently. Perhaps this doesn't matter since the volt meter looking device doesn't appear to work anyway.

The guys walking around testing the air with the device that apparently does not function properly work for one of the contractors that is pumping the liquid into the environment.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

To Councilors Chuck Kiester and Ted Forcht

I want to publicly thank you so very much for your vote Monday in defense of the citizens' right to petition the government on Marco Island. That defense, of course, was doomed to failure even from the moment the first words of the Pledge of Allegiance were uttered to open that meeting.

The irrational determination of your fellow councilors to block the POP petition from reaching the voters won the day but also won the disdain of over three thousand, (3000), Marco Island petitioners and even of POP opponents as well. Americans instinctively recoil at any dictatorial stench.

Every POP supporter, indeed every Marco Islander, will remember both of you for defending the people's right to petition despite your basic disagreement with the proposed Charter amendment. Hopefully, that sense of fairness and integrity will be found in the next City Council's majority. It will difficult, if not impossible, to erase the disgraceful, tyrannical legacy of the present council.

Again, thank you , Councilors Chuck Kiester and Ted Forcht! Your moral courage suggests political hope for Marco Island might yet be attainable.

Russ Colombo, Chairman
Preserve Our Paradise (POP)

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Good, the Bad and the Entertaining

One of the many benefits of a democracy is that we are entreated to the opinions and insights of other people. Unlike dictatorships where all one hears repeatedly is the banality of the ruling elite, in a democracy we get to hear everything – yes, including some banality from the citizenry – which arguably is more entertaining and unquestionably less lethal.

The citizens of a democracy are allowed to make public comments – many being salient, insightful and useful observations and recommendations. That their elected officials actually consider these comments beyond contrasting elements to special interests of ulterior agendas is determinable through observation.

Last night’s city council meeting showed us as much – the people with good insightful comments, the people putting forth political agendas masked as science but transparently revealed as propaganda, the council treading in the unknown, many trying to do what they thought was right, and some councilors clearly forgetting their 5th grade civic and chemistry lessons thereby deciding based on political expediency, ignorance (albeit bliss) and on the comfort of the advice from the worst advice givers.

Here are the highlights:

  • The STRP was not accelerated. Nor was it decelerated.
  • A councilperson insists that hydrogen sulfide is only a gas.
    • Fact: any gas can be diffused in water
    • Fact: a “gas” can be a liquid, a solid, even disappear depending on pressure, temperature, etc …
    • Fact: not all hydrogen sulfide is released from water
    • Fact: water contaminated with diffused hydrogen sulfide is corrosive
  • The city manager insists that hydrogen sulfide exists naturally in nature
    • Fact: so does uranium, petroleum, arsenic, botulism, mercury, lead, plutonium, iodine …
    • Fact: only the highly inconsiderate or the highly naïve pump concentrations of this stuff into the open without regard for public or environmental safety
  • The only persons expressing concern for the safety and health of our children is …
    • is a man that dislikes children and has no children of his own, while …
    • the MOMS that elected the MOM on MOM issues are nowhere to be seen or heard from
  • The council opts to wait for “government experts” – the ultimate oxymoron – on the health effects of the dewatering process … despite
    • The report from the “government experts” will take “30 or 60 or 90” days
    • An MD and a PhD – experts in their fields – have publicly documented the deleterious effects of the watering on human health, marine health, and on the environment
    • Two workers have already been seriously injured
    • Citizens complaining about the effects of the gas
    • A citizen describing his dog’s horrific injuries from having come in contact with the toxic water
  • A speaker notes that beer has bubbles but they go away after the container is opened. Oh, and that the marshes off of SR92 in the early morning give off hydrogen sulfide gas.
    • Fact: Hydrochloric Acid, Sulfuric Acid, Prussic Acid … all have bubbles – so according to the speaker, we can infer, once the bubbles go away, it is safe to drink Hydrochloric, Sulfuric and Prussic acid.
    • Fact: Water has bubbles
    • Fact: Any liquid infused with a gas has bubbles
    • Fact: Just because the bubbles go away does not make the liquid safe
    • Fact: The marshes are not giving off concentrations of hydrogen sulfide
  • A councilperson reminisces taking the oath of office and thereby swearing to uphold the law as a pretext to deny the POP petition
    • But apparently the oath does not encompass the health of the people or the environment since that same councilperson voted to continue the toxic dumping
  • And the most satirically comical moment if it wasn’t so pathetic: Lift stations are being built 3 years before they will be used.
  • And a speech from a resident that may have been telepathically conveyed from North Korea: “Letting people vote will undermine the authority of the city council. What the electorate think [sic] should not matter.”

Of particular interest was the argument that certain decisions should or should not be made because the next council will invariably cancel the STRP. We find this line of reasoning irrational. All councils should act in the now. Particularly this council. Two reasons: the majority of this council will look for any reason to do the wrong thing so why give them one more reason? Secondly, such rationale is tantamount to wagering. That is all we need – a casino run by the present “staff” management.

The discussion centering on POP was as odd as it was revealing. Based solely on the argument put forth by the city attorney du jour, no citizen initiative will ever make it on the ballot. And here was democracy at its best and at its worst. Two councilors – Messieurs Forcth and Kiester - readily disagreed with the petition but voted to let it go in front of the public. Such courage gives us hope in the knowledge that there are two councilors that know what it means to be an elected representative of a democratic republic. But the other five take the cake. Hiding behind the advice of the worst advice givers ever in the history of the world, the legal advice was negative. Enough said. One councilor went off needing to listen to the advice of “our attorney” (presumably the council’s and not the publics’). Well guess what esteemed councilor, let us make an appointment for you at Tommie Barfield so you can learn invariable for the first time in your life that attorney’s have a disgusting and disreputable reputation for giving advice – as the Dread Scott decision, Jim Crow laws, denying women the right to vote, justifying infanticide, (and many more decisions based on illicit advice) have long demonstrated. It only takes courage and vision and the will to do the right thing that moves this great republic forward, and not by hiding behind the advice of lawyers for the sake of justifying cowardice.

The chill on the democratic process and on citizens’ right to petition their government was furthered when the council decided to “discuss” seeking attorney’s fees from the Recall effort. When one councilor suggested that the council had already tread on this highly illegal maneuver, the caucus responded almost in unison – they will look to seek the attorney’s fees from the “chairman” of the Recall effort, not the petition signers. Do we look that obtuse? Federal courts will not allow such a maneuver: how is any group every going to be formed for the purpose of garnering petitions (a U.S. constitutional right) if the “head” (translation – anyone the governing body does not like) can be sued if the petition fails?

But let’s end on a positive note: a citizen suggested that special headsets be provide for people (like himself) that are hearing impaired. Good idea. And make them available to the council.

4 Comments:

  • A little humor is most appreciated. Put me down for two (headsets for hearing what is really being said at our meetings).

    I had the same thoughts about the pros/cons of pointing out the obvious (counting chickens before they hatch) regarding the results of the upcoming election and decided that it is better for the public to understand that the decisions made by the current council can and will affect the city's contractual obligations, ergo, cost to our residents after the new council is seated should it decide to cancel the STRP. Hopefully, they will put some pressure on the councilors to give some rational thought to their decisions to obligate the city to contracts that may or may not ever be implemented. Chuck Kiester

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, August 22, 2007 1:46:00 PM  

  • Thank you Mr. Kiester for your bravery to know that we can have the right to vote even thou some may not agree with it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, August 23, 2007 11:19:00 AM  

  • Chuck Kiester:

    Your integrity in voting to allow the POP petition to go forward despite disagreeing with its proposed Charter amendment has been rightfully applauded.
    Now it is your sense of humor that is so refreshing and appreciated, such as your recent statement: " ...put some pressure on the councilors to give some rational thought to their decisions... " Considering the dismal track record of this council, that is one of the most humorous lines I've heard in recent history! I'm hoping your wonderful optimism will be shared by the next newly elected councilors!

    Russ Colombo

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, August 24, 2007 7:16:00 AM  

  • Wayne Waldack is the idiot referred to in this article saying that the council should not listen to people. He will make a great replacement for Minozzi and Tucker and Moss

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, September 01, 2007 9:17:00 AM  

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Dumping Toxic Fluids into Marco Island Waterway

The unfettered dumping of highly toxic liquid directly into the waterways continues.

Our positions is that it is inconsequential if the city received a permit or not - this is just wrong. Just because it's legal does not make it morally, ethically or intellectually right.

Videos taken August 21, 2007. Click arrows to play ...




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Friday, August 17, 2007

Harming Homes, Environment & Health

Title:

Harming Homes, Environment & Health:
Furthering the Hydrogen Sulfide Discussion on Marco Island

This new research furthers the discussion on the health, environmental and economic impact on Marco Island caused by the hydrogen sulfide contamination.

Click Here to Read On-Line OR Click Here to Download the PDF

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New Sewer System ...


click on image to enlarge ...

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Hurricane Dean

Keep an eye on this one.

Click the link below to watch near real-time visible tracking of the storm.

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/carb/loop-vis.html

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

City Sponsored Ruse Exposed

Note: A one Coral Aiken-Miller spoke at a city council meeting portraying herself to speak for the board of elections while stating "facts" that would support the council's agenda of extending their term limits. This person is the wife of Jim Miller - the manager of the failed STRP program - a program that will be canceled by the new council. The following is a stark rebuke to this person's statements and representations. Click on image to enlarge.



2 Comments:

  • This city will stop at nothing to get what they want. All these tricks they pull on the citizens must be exposed at the next election.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, August 16, 2007 8:57:00 AM  

  • Is Carol Aiken-Miller an employee of representative of the County Election Board or other County office? Why did she choose to give such false information?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, August 22, 2007 3:45:00 PM  

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Copper Pipe Pitting & Hydrogen Sulfide?

There seems to be an appreciable causal relationship.

Areas where there is appreciable amounts of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) have been shown to exhibit a higher propensity of pipe pitting. Consider:


In environments with hydrogen sulfide (H2S) corrosion, the most common types include uniform corrosion, pitting corrosion, corrosion fatigue, sulfide stress cracking, hydrogen blistering, hydrogen embrittlement, and stepwise cracking. For more on the theory and mechanisms for each corrosion type, go to the theory page. 1

Signs of hydrogen sulfide corrosion is depicted in one example as shallow round pits with etched bottoms.

This phenomenon is actually documented and even has a name - Hydrogen Sulfide Corrosion Cracking (HSCC). Pitting is a known effect of HSCC.2 In this study, the introduction of chlorine as a catalyst is documented. Note that our water is highly chlorinated.

It is suggested that university-level chemists and researchers explore this possibility.

=====
References:
1. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.
http://octane.nmt.edu/waterquality/corrosion/H2S.htm
2. Effect of Structure and Strength on the Corrosion Resistance of Corrosion-resistant Steels and Alloys in Media Containing Hydrogen Sulfide and Chlorine Ions. Fel`dgandler, E.G. ; Svistunova, T.V.
http://www.osti.gov/energycitations/product.biblio.jsp?osti_id=381327

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Before, During & After ...




Provided by Juan C.
(click on any image to enlarge)

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Friday, August 10, 2007

More Toxic Dangerous H2S

Recorded on Fieldstone on Aug 10, 2007. Note two workers standing in contaminated liquid. Listen to passerby gaging.

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Just an FYI ...

click on image to enlarge

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Hidden Agendas

By Roger Hall

First, I would like to disclose that I am a candidate for city council. It is my desire to have the elections as soon as possible. Second, the citizens need to know that Coral Aiken-Miller is actually the wife of Jim Miller, the STRP project manager for the city of Marco Island. It is probable that there will no longer be a need for Mr. Miller’s position after the next election. It would seem to be in Mr. and Mrs. Miller’s interest to have the election delayed as long as possible.

When Coral Aiken-Miller made her presentation to the City Council at last Monday’s council meeting none of us knew her relationship and possible bias. Most of us thought she represented the Board of Elections and was asking for more time so the Board of Elections could get their records organized to insure maximum voter turnout. Her presentation was replete with the use of the word “we” and the inference she was working with the Board representing Marco Island.

As a result of her comments and alleged facts, the council moved to continue the motion for a January election date to reconsider the March or November 2008 date. The council has received over 700 e-mails in support of the January date. There has been wide spread opinion from everyone from the Supervisor of Elections to Don Farmer to the NDN supporting the January date. The January date was the result of two months of council discussions. After the July council meeting we all thought the January date was a “done deal”. As the result of the misrepresentations of one woman, all of that was undone.

I commend the city establishment for their selection of Ms. Miller as a spokesperson. She appears very credible and has a great speaking voice. It is unfortunate she not only failed to disclose her possible bias but that the facts she offered, both at the council meeting and in her letter to the editor are not accurate.

The board of elections strongly rejects the representation that they need additional time or the help of Ms. Miller in order to scrub the files in preparation for the next election. In fact they strongly support a January election. Ms. Miller neither represents them nor the city in organizing the voter files.

  • The representation that a November election would provide for greater voter turnout is not supported by the facts. A simple review of the board of elections web site which documents the voter turnout percentage since 2001 reflects that the range is between 48% and 51% regardless if it is a mail in ballot or poll ballot. The only anomaly is the June 2007 mail in ballot which was 42%. Most people agree that this was a result of a combination of voter rejection of anything to with the STRP and confusion over a very convoluted ordinance.
  • The statement that this would give the candidates more time to prepare and present their positions to the voters flies in the face of the fact that there are already four announced candidates, all with their own web sites, that are prepared for an election tomorrow. If the other potential candidates cannot get a campaign organized for a January election they don’t have any business running for council.
  • The concept that an early November election would provide greater voter turnout by an informed electorate refutes common sense. The campaigning period would be September and October, prime hurricane season and the period when the fewest people are on the island. How many of the snowbirds are here during the first week in November vs the last week in January to cast their vote?

Ms. Miller sent an e-mail to the council on August 9, 2007 correcting a number of the misstatements made in her presentation. While this serves to clean up the record, the acknowledgement of those misstatements will never be heard by the citizens. Most telling is her representation that “Again, I do not prefer any opinion or favor any specific choice for a vote date.” One can only assume that Ms. Miller forgot her Letter to the Editor titled “Reasons to Change Council Vote to November” published by the Sun Times on August 8, 2007.

The citizens of Marco Island have lost faith in the credibility of their government. This is a result of years of duplicity and the distortion and manipulation of the facts as well as the attempts of rewriting history by the city and their representatives as evidenced above. The citizens are fed up! I believe the next council will be elected on the basis of honest, representative government committed to serve the people’s agenda, not that of the CM or the developers. Thank you for your time.

Roger Hall
Marco Island

1 Comments:

  • Is it possible that nobody on the City Council new the identity of Coral Miller? Certainly Mr. Moss knew her. Everyone is worried about hydrogen sulfide but the stench of this latest duplicity by our city officials is much worse. It will not end too soon.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, August 10, 2007 4:42:00 PM  

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

City Contamination Follow-Up

The following is a composite video of three news stories as aired on August 7 (ABC), and August 8 (CBS and ABC) covering the hydrogen sulfide poisoning as a results of the STRP construction.



The following link is to yet another scientific evaluation of this highly dangerous poison (courtesy of John Putnam).

Material Safety Data Sheet

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Hydrogen Sulfide - The Facts

The link below is to a research paper providing scientific evidence refuting the city of Marco Island's claim that Hydrogen Sulfide - the gas permeating all STRP construction zones - is "nothing to worry about".

Please read it carefully as it affects your health.

CLICK HERE FORE Hydrogen Sulfide - The Facts" PAPER.

4 Comments:

  • Excellent article Mario. I hope it gets the distribution it deserves.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, August 05, 2007 12:10:00 PM  

  • a follow-up. the city has already sent an email relegating the effects of h2s to industrial sites.

    we trust that this was an oversight in reading - health effects of h2s are measured in volume and irrespective of where the h2s originates.

    namely, it does not matter where a human being inhales 10PPM or 200PPM of H2S - the effects are exactly the same.

    By Blogger Dr. Mario, at Sunday, August 05, 2007 8:40:00 PM  

  • the following excellent work-place documentation and analysis was provided to the city on aug 5, 2007 by Mr. Butch Neylon
    ==========================
    Dear Lisa;
    Together with Mr. Putnam and Dr. Sanchez who know a fair amount about H2S, I would like to wade in on this North Barfield accident issue and ask you to provide me with copies of all confined space training certificates, entry logs, calibration certificates for air monitor devices used in this manhole, description of ventilation equipment used, listed PPE used by the two workers, (at a minimum three were required), accident reports filed by the city and or the contractor, OSHA representative contacted, and any other information or records that exist as a result of this accident.

    The sheer nature of and published accounts of this accident clearly show that proper procedures were not followed regarding entry to and subsequent removal of these men from this manhole, and your statements that the workers were trained bring into question not only the contractor, but the city’s procedures and training of their employees regarding confined space entry. If they were trained, it didn’t stick!

    There are specific safety standards that apply even to construction on Marco Island. There are federal standards that are widely ignored by contractors and city employees on Marco Island when it comes to construction and it is high time this practice stopped. You may wonder why so many are upset, well let me try to put this in context for you.

    For several decades now the federal government through the Occupational Safety and Health Act has been making construction sites all over our country safer for the workers on those projects. They have been wildly successful with the incidents of injury and death dropping markedly over the years. Not only is construction safer for the workers, but it is also safer for the people in and around construction sites by virtue of safer work practices.

    These benefits, however, do not just appear on a modern jobsite, they are the result of scrupulous adherence to the laws and recommendations laid out in the OSHA code. That is virtually nonexistent on Marco, and the results are clear. So when is the City going to take a proactive role in assuring adherence to construction safety regulations. Regardless of what you think, the City has responsibility in this. We not only suffer directly as a result of arrant disregard for proper safety procedures, but we also have liability for not forcing the contractors who work for us to comply. We have the language in our contracts but as we have seen with other aspects of Marco contracts we don’t enforce it. Why?

    Just in case you don’t know what I am asking for in the first paragraph, I have included a section of the confined space entry requirements from the OSHA code for your review. A quick read of this section will show you what was required by law to enter the manhole on North Barfield. What training the workers were supposed to have. And what records were supposed to be kept after inspecting and testing the air in the manhole. By the way, had this been done, the accident would not have happened.

    Those are the records that I am requesting to see and the City should also be reviewing at this point, not to assess blame, but to pass the message to all contractors that safety is the primary requirement to do work on Marco Island. One man is dead, two nearly were, we have all been and continue to be exposed to dangers associated with this ongoing construction and all of this could have been prevented with proper adherence to safety training. This is a long time overdue, and we must enforce safety for all our sakes.

    Regards,

    Butch Neylon

    • Part Number:


    1910

    • Part Title:


    Occupational Safety and Health Standards

    • Subpart:


    J

    • Subpart Title:


    General Environmental Controls

    • Standard Number:


    1910.146 App C

    • Title:


    Examples of Permit-required Confined Space Programs






    Example 1.

    Workplace. Sewer entry.

    Potential hazards. The employees could be exposed to the following:

    Engulfment.

    Presence of toxic gases. Equal to or more than 10 ppm hydrogen sulfide measured as an 8-hour time-weighted average. If the presence of other toxic contaminants is suspected, specific monitoring programs will be developed.

    Presence of explosive/flammable gases. Equal to or greater than 10% of the lower flammable limit (LFL).

    Oxygen Deficiency. A concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere equal to or less than 19.5% by volume.

    A. ENTRY WITHOUT PERMIT/ATTENDANT

    Certification. Confined spaces may be entered without the need for a written permit or attendant provided that the space can be maintained in a safe condition for entry by mechanical ventilation alone, as provided in 1910.146(c)(5). All spaces shall be considered permit-required confined spaces until the pre-entry procedures demonstrate otherwise. Any employee required or permitted to pre-check or enter an enclosed/confined space shall have successfully completed, as a minimum, the training as required by the following sections of these procedures. A written copy of operating and rescue procedures as required by these procedures shall be at the work site for the duration of the job. The Confined Space Pre-Entry Check List must be completed by the LEAD WORKER before entry into a confined space. This list verifies completion of items listed below. This check list shall be kept at the job site for duration of the job. If circumstances dictate an interruption in the work, the permit space must be re-evaluated and a new check list must be completed.

    Control of atmospheric and engulfment hazards.

    Pumps and Lines. All pumps and lines which may reasonably cause contaminants to flow into the space shall be disconnected, blinded and locked out, or effectively isolated by other means to prevent development of dangerous air contamination or engulfment. Not all laterals to sewers or storm drains require blocking. However, where experience or knowledge of industrial use indicates there is a reasonable potential for contamination of air or engulfment into an occupied sewer, then all affected laterals shall be blocked. If blocking and/or isolation requires entry into the space the provisions for entry into a permit-required confined space must be implemented.

    Surveillance. The surrounding area shall be surveyed to avoid hazards such as drifting vapors from the tanks, piping, or sewers.

    Testing. The atmosphere within the space will be tested to determine whether dangerous air contamination and/or oxygen deficiency exists. Detector tubes, alarm only gas monitors and explosion meters are examples of monitoring equipment that may be used to test permit space atmospheres. Testing shall be performed by the LEAD WORKER who has successfully completed the Gas Detector training for the monitor he will use. The minimum parameters to be monitored are oxygen deficiency, LFL, and hydrogen sulfide concentration. A written record of the pre-entry test results shall be made and kept at the work site for the duration of the job. The supervisor will certify in writing, based upon the results of the pre-entry testing, that all hazards have been eliminated. Affected employees shall be able to review the testing results. The most hazardous conditions shall govern when work is being performed in two adjoining, connecting spaces.

    Entry Procedures. If there are no non-atmospheric hazards present and if the pre-entry tests show there is no dangerous air contamination and/or oxygen deficiency within the space and there is no reason to believe that any is likely to develop, entry into and work within may proceed. Continuous testing of the atmosphere in the immediate vicinity of the workers within the space shall be accomplished. The workers will immediately leave the permit space when any of the gas monitor alarm set points are reached as defined. Workers will not return to the area until a SUPERVISOR who has completed the gas detector training has used a direct reading gas detector to evaluate the situation and has determined that it is safe to enter.

    Rescue. Arrangements for rescue services are not required where there is no attendant. See the rescue portion of section B., below, for instructions regarding rescue planning where an entry permit is required.

    B. ENTRY PERMIT REQUIRED

    Permits. Confined Space Entry Permit. All spaces shall be considered permit-required confined spaces until the pre-entry procedures demonstrate otherwise. Any employee required or permitted to pre-check or enter a permit-required confined space shall have successfully completed, as a minimum, the training as required by the following sections of these procedures. A written copy of operating and rescue procedures as required by these procedures shall be at the work site for the duration of the job. The Confined Space Entry Permit must be completed before approval can be given to enter a permit-required confined space. This permit verifies completion of items listed below. This permit shall be kept at the job site for the duration of the job. If circumstances cause an interruption in the work or a change in the alarm conditions for which entry was approved, a new Confined Space Entry Permit must be completed.

    Control of atmospheric and engulfment hazards.

    Surveillance. The surrounding area shall be surveyed to avoid hazards such as drifting vapors from tanks, piping or sewers.

    Testing. The confined space atmosphere shall be tested to determine whether dangerous air contamination and/or oxygen deficiency exists. A direct reading gas monitor shall be used. Testing shall be performed by the SUPERVISOR who has successfully completed the gas detector training for the monitor he will use. The minimum parameters to be monitored are oxygen deficiency, LFL and hydrogen sulfide concentration. A written record of the pre-entry test results shall be made and kept at the work site for the duration of the job. Affected employees shall be able to review the testing results. The most hazardous conditions shall govern when work is being performed in two adjoining, connected spaces.

    Space Ventilation. Mechanical ventilation systems, where applicable, shall be set at 100% outside air. Where possible, open additional manholes to increase air circulation. Use portable blowers to augment natural circulation if needed. After a suitable ventilating period, repeat the testing. Entry may not begin until testing has demonstrated that the hazardous atmosphere has been eliminated.

    Entry Procedures. The following procedure shall be observed under any of the following conditions: 1.) Testing demonstrates the existence of dangerous or deficient conditions and additional ventilation cannot reduce concentrations to safe levels; 2.) The atmosphere tests as safe but unsafe conditions can reasonably be expected to develop; 3.) It is not feasible to provide for ready exit from spaces equipped with automatic fire suppression systems and it is not practical or safe to deactivate such systems; or 4.) An emergency exists and it is not feasible to wait for pre-entry procedures to take effect.

    All personnel must be trained. A self contained breathing apparatus shall be worn by any person entering the space. At least one worker shall stand by the outside of the space ready to give assistance in case of emergency. The standby worker shall have a self contained breathing apparatus available for immediate use. There shall be at least one additional worker within sight or call of the standby worker. Continuous powered communications shall be maintained between the worker within the confined space and standby personnel.

    If at any time there is any questionable action or non-movement by the worker inside, a verbal check will be made. If there is no response, the worker will be moved immediately. Exception: If the worker is disabled due to falling or impact, he/she shall not be removed from the confined space unless there is immediate danger to his/her life. Local fire department rescue personnel shall be notified immediately. The standby worker may only enter the confined space in case of an emergency (wearing the self contained breathing apparatus) and only after being relieved by another worker. Safety belt or harness with attached lifeline shall be used by all workers entering the space with the free end of the line secured outside the entry opening. The standby worker shall attempt to remove a disabled worker via his lifeline before entering the space.

    When practical, these spaces shall be entered through side openings -- those within 3 1/2 feet (1.07 m) of the bottom. When entry must be through a top opening, the safety belt shall be of the harness type that suspends a person upright and a hoisting device or similar apparatus shall be available for lifting workers out of the space.

    In any situation where their use may endanger the worker, use of a hoisting device or safety belt and attached lifeline may be discontinued.

    When dangerous air contamination is attributable to flammable and/or explosive substances, lighting and electrical equipment shall be Class 1, Division 1 rated per National Electrical Code and no ignition sources shall be introduced into the area.

    Continuous gas monitoring shall be performed during all confined space operations. If alarm conditions change adversely, entry personnel shall exit the confined space and a new confined space permit issued.

    Rescue. Call the fire department services for rescue. Where immediate hazards to injured personnel are present, workers at the site shall implement emergency procedures to fit the situation.

    Example 2.

    Workplace. Meat and poultry rendering plants.

    Cookers and dryers are either batch or continuous in their operation. Multiple batch cookers are operated in parallel. When one unit of a multiple set is shut down for repairs, means are available to isolate that unit from the others which remain in operation.

    Cookers and dryers are horizontal, cylindrical vessels equipped with a center, rotating shaft and agitator paddles or discs. If the inner shell is jacketed, it is usually heated with steam at pressures up to 150 psig (1034.25 kPa). The rotating shaft assembly of the continuous cooker or dryer is also steam heated.

    Potential Hazards. The recognized hazards associated with cookers and dryers are the risk that employees could be:

    1. Struck or caught by rotating agitator;

    2. Engulfed in raw material or hot, recycled fat;

    3. Burned by steam from leaks into the cooker/dryer steam jacket or the condenser duct system if steam valves are not properly closed and locked out;

    4. Burned by contact with hot metal surfaces, such as the agitator shaft assembly, or inner shell of the cooker/dryer;

    5. Heat stress caused by warm atmosphere inside cooker/dryer;

    6. Slipping and falling on grease in the cooker/dryer;

    7. Electrically shocked by faulty equipment taken into the cooker/dryer;

    8. Burned or overcome by fire or products of combustion; or

    9. Overcome by fumes generated by welding or cutting done on grease covered surfaces.

    Permits. The supervisor in this case is always present at the cooker/dryer or other permit entry confined space when entry is made. The supervisor must follow the pre-entry isolation procedures described in the entry permit in preparing for entry, and ensure that the protective clothing, ventilating equipment and any other equipment required by the permit are at the entry site.

    Control of hazards. Mechanical. Lock out main power switch to agitator motor at main power panel. Affix tag to the lock to inform others that a permit entry confined space entry is in progress.

    Engulfment. Close all valves in the raw material blow line. Secure each valve in its closed position using chain and lock. Attach a tag to the valve and chain warning that a permit entry confined space entry is in progress. The same procedure shall be used for securing the fat recycle valve.

    Burns and heat stress. Close steam supply valves to jacket and secure with chains and tags. Insert solid blank at flange in cooker vent line to condenser manifold duct system. Vent cooker/dryer by opening access door at discharge end and top center door to allow natural ventilation throughout the entry. If faster cooling is needed, use an portable ventilation fan to increase ventilation. Cooling water may be circulated through the jacket to reduce both outer and inner surface temperatures of cooker/dryers faster. Check air and inner surface temperatures in cooker/dryer to assure they are within acceptable limits before entering, or use proper protective clothing.

    Fire and fume hazards. Careful site preparation, such as cleaning the area within 4 inches (10.16 cm) of all welding or torch cutting operations, and proper ventilation are the preferred controls. All welding and cutting operations shall be done in accordance with the requirements of 29 CFR Part 1910, Subpart Q, OSHA's welding standard. Proper ventilation may be achieved by local exhaust ventilation, or the use of portable ventilation fans, or a combination of the two practices.

    Electrical shock. Electrical equipment used in cooker/dryers shall be in serviceable condition.

    Slips and falls. Remove residual grease before entering cooker/dryer.

    Attendant. The supervisor shall be the attendant for employees entering cooker/dryers.

    Permit. The permit shall specify how isolation shall be done and any other preparations needed before making entry. This is especially important in parallel arrangements of cooker/dryers so that the entire operation need not be shut down to allow safe entry into one unit.

    Rescue. When necessary, the attendant shall call the fire department as previously arranged.

    Example 3.

    Workplace. Workplaces where tank cars, trucks, and trailers, dry bulk tanks and trailers, railroad tank cars, and similar portable tanks are fabricated or serviced.

    A. During fabrication. These tanks and dry-bulk carriers are entered repeatedly throughout the fabrication process. These products are not configured identically, but the manufacturing processes by which they are made are very similar.

    Sources of hazards. In addition to the mechanical hazards arising from the risks that an entrant would be injured due to contact with components of the tank or the tools being used, there is also the risk that a worker could be injured by breathing fumes from welding materials or mists or vapors from materials used to coat the tank interior. In addition, many of these vapors and mists are flammable, so the failure to properly ventilate a tank could lead to a fire or explosion.

    Control of hazards.

    Welding. Local exhaust ventilation shall be used to remove welding fumes once the tank or carrier is completed to the point that workers may enter and exit only through a manhole. (Follow the requirements of 29 CFR 1910, Subpart Q, OSHA's welding standard, at all times.) Welding gas tanks may never be brought into a tank or carrier that is a permit entry confined space.

    Application of interior coatings/linings. Atmospheric hazards shall be controlled by forced air ventilation sufficient to keep the atmospheric concentration of flammable materials below 10% of the lower flammable limit (LFL) (or lower explosive limit (LEL), whichever term is used locally). The appropriate respirators are provided and shall be used in addition to providing forced ventilation if the forced ventilation does not maintain acceptable respiratory conditions.

    Permits. Because of the repetitive nature of the entries in these operations, an "Area Entry Permit" will be issued for a 1 month period to cover those production areas where tanks are fabricated to the point that entry and exit are made using manholes.

    Authorization. Only the area supervisor may authorize an employee to enter a tank within the permit area. The area supervisor must determine that conditions in the tank trailer, dry bulk trailer or truck, etc. meet permit requirements before authorizing entry.

    Attendant. The area supervisor shall designate an employee to maintain communication by employer specified means with employees working in tanks to ensure their safety. The attendant may not enter any permit entry confined space to rescue an entrant or for any other reason, unless authorized by the rescue procedure and, even then, only after calling the rescue team and being relieved by an attendant or another worker.

    Communications and observation. Communications between attendant and entrant(s) shall be maintained throughout entry. Methods of communication that may be specified by the permit include voice, voice powered radio, tapping or rapping codes on tank walls, signalling tugs on a rope, and the attendant's observation that work activities such as chipping, grinding, welding, spraying, etc., which require deliberate operator control continue normally. These activities often generate so much noise that the necessary hearing protection makes communication by voice difficult.

    Rescue procedures. Acceptable rescue procedures include entry by a team of employee-rescuers, use of public emergency services, and procedures for breaching the tank. The area permit specifies which procedures are available, but the area supervisor makes the final decision based on circumstances. (Certain injuries may make it necessary to breach the tank to remove a person rather than risk additional injury by removal through an existing manhole. However, the supervisor must ensure that no breaching procedure used for rescue would violate terms of the entry permit. For instance, if the tank must be breached by cutting with a torch, the tank surfaces to be cut must be free of volatile or combustible coatings within 4 inches (10.16 cm) of the cutting line and the atmosphere within the tank must be below the LFL.

    Retrieval line and harnesses. The retrieval lines and harnesses generally required under this standard are usually impractical for use in tanks because the internal configuration of the tanks and their interior baffles and other structures would prevent rescuers from hauling out injured entrants. However, unless the rescue procedure calls for breaching the tank for rescue, the rescue team shall be trained in the use of retrieval lines and harnesses for removing injured employees through manholes.

    B. Repair or service of "used" tanks and bulk trailers.

    Sources of hazards. In addition to facing the potential hazards encountered in fabrication or manufacturing, tanks or trailers which have been in service may contain residues of dangerous materials, whether left over from the transportation of hazardous cargoes or generated by chemical or bacterial action on residues of non-hazardous cargoes.

    Control of atmospheric hazards. A "used" tank shall be brought into areas where tank entry is authorized only after the tank has been emptied, cleansed (without employee entry) of any residues, and purged of any potential atmospheric hazards.

    Welding. In addition to tank cleaning for control of atmospheric hazards, coating and surface materials shall be removed 4 inches (10.16 cm) or more from any surface area where welding or other torch work will be done and care taken that the atmosphere within the tank remains well below the LFL. (Follow the requirements of 29 CFR 1910, Subpart Q, OSHA's welding standard, at all times.)

    Permits. An entry permit valid for up to 1 year shall be issued prior to authorization of entry into used tank trailers, dry bulk trailers or trucks. In addition to the pre-entry cleaning requirement, this permit shall require the employee safeguards specified for new tank fabrication or construction permit areas.

    Authorization. Only the area supervisor may authorize an employee to enter a tank trailer, dry bulk trailer or truck within the permit area. The area supervisor must determine that the entry permit requirements have been met before authorizing entry.

    [58 FR 4549, Jan. 14, 1993; 58 FR 34846, June 29, 1993]

    By Blogger Dr. Mario, at Sunday, August 05, 2007 8:42:00 PM  

  • workers' requirements NOT followed hence their injury:

    Part Title:
    Occupational Safety and Health Standards

    • Subpart:
    J

    • Subpart Title:
    General Environmental Controls

    • Standard Number:
    1910.146 App D

    • Title:
    Confined Space Pre-Entry Check List


    Appendix D to §1910.146 -- Sample Permits

    Appendix D-1

    Confined Space Entry Permit
    Date and Time Issued: _______________ Date and Time Expires: ________
    Job site/Space I.D.: ________________ Job Supervisor:________________
    Equipment to be worked on: __________ Work to be performed: _________

    Stand-by personnel: __________________ ________________ _____________

    1. Atmospheric Checks: Time ________
    Oxygen ________%
    Explosive ________% L.F.L.
    Toxic ________PPM

    2. Tester's signature: _____________________________

    3. Source isolation (No Entry): N/A Yes No
    Pumps or lines blinded, ( ) ( ) ( )
    disconnected, or blocked ( ) ( ) ( )

    4. Ventilation Modification: N/A Yes No
    Mechanical ( ) ( ) ( )
    Natural Ventilation only ( ) ( ) ( )

    5. Atmospheric check after
    isolation and Ventilation:
    Oxygen __________% > 19.5 %
    Explosive _______% L.F.L < 10 %
    Toxic ___________PPM < 10 PPM H(2)S
    Time ____________
    Testers signature: _____________________________

    6. Communication procedures: ________________________________________
    _____________________________________________________________________

    7. Rescue procedures: _______________________________________________
    _____________________________________________________________________
    _____________________________________________________________________
    _____________________________________________________________________

    8. Entry, standby, and back up persons: Yes No
    Successfully completed required
    training?
    Is it current? ( ) ( )

    9. Equipment: N/A Yes No
    Direct reading gas monitor -
    tested ( ) ( ) ( )
    Safety harnesses and lifelines
    for entry and standby persons ( ) ( ) ( )
    Hoisting equipment ( ) ( ) ( )
    Powered communications ( ) ( ) ( )
    SCBA's for entry and standby
    persons ( ) ( ) ( )
    Protective Clothing ( ) ( ) ( )
    All electric equipment listed
    Class I, Division I, Group D
    and Non-sparking tools ( ) ( ) ( )

    10. Periodic atmospheric tests:
    Oxygen ____% Time ____ Oxygen ____% Time ____
    Oxygen ____% Time ____ Oxygen ____% Time ____
    Explosive ____% Time ____ Explosive ____% Time ____
    Explosive ____% Time ____ Explosive ____% Time ____
    Toxic ____% Time ____ Toxic ____% Time ____
    Toxic ____% Time ____ Toxic ____% Time ____

    We have reviewed the work authorized by this permit and the
    information contained here-in. Written instructions and safety
    procedures have been received and are understood. Entry cannot be
    approved if any squares are marked in the "No" column. This permit is
    not valid unless all appropriate items are completed.

    Permit Prepared By: (Supervisor)________________________________________
    Approved By: (Unit Supervisor)__________________________________________
    Reviewed By (Cs Operations Personnel) :
    _________________________________ ____________________________________
    (printed name) (signature)

    This permit to be kept at job site. Return job site copy to Safety
    Office following job completion.

    Copies: White Original (Safety Office)
    Yellow (Unit Supervisor)
    Hard(Job site)

    Appendix D - 2

    ENTRY PERMIT

    PERMIT VALID FOR 8 HOURS ONLY. ALL COPIES OF PERMIT WILL REMAIN AT
    JOB SITE UNTIL JOB IS COMPLETED

    DATE: - - SITE LOCATION and DESCRIPTION ______________________________
    PURPOSE OF ENTRY ______________________________________________________
    SUPERVISOR(S) in charge of crews Type of Crew Phone #
    _______________________________________________________________________
    _______________________________________________________________________
    COMMUNICATION PROCEDURES ______________________________________________
    RESCUE PROCEDURES (PHONE NUMBERS AT BOTTOM) ___________________________
    _______________________________________________________________________
    * BOLD DENOTES MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS TO BE COMPLETED AND REVIEWED
    PRIOR TO ENTRY*

    REQUIREMENTS COMPLETED DATE TIME
    Lock Out/De-energize/Try-out ____ ____
    Line(s) Broken-Capped-Blanked ____ ____
    Purge-Flush and Vent ____ ____
    Ventilation ____ ____
    Secure Area (Post and Flag) ____ ____
    Breathing Apparatus ____ ____
    Resuscitator - Inhalator ____ ____
    Standby Safety Personnel ____ ____
    Full Body Harness w/"D" ring ____ ____
    Emergency Escape Retrieval Equip ____ ____
    Lifelines ____ ____
    Fire Extinguishers ____ ____
    Lighting (Explosive Proof) ____ ____
    Protective Clothing ____ ____
    Respirator(s) (Air Purifying) ____ ____
    Burning and Welding Permit ____ ____
    Note: Items that do not apply enter N/A in the blank.

    **RECORD CONTINUOUS MONITORING RESULTS EVERY 2 HOURS
    CONTINUOUS MONITORING** Permissible _________________________________
    TEST(S) TO BE TAKEN Entry Level
    PERCENT OF OXYGEN 19.5% to 23.5% ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
    LOWER FLAMMABLE LIMIT Under 10% ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
    CARBON MONOXIDE +35 PPM ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
    Aromatic Hydrocarbon + 1 PPM * 5PPM ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
    Hydrogen Cyanide (Skin) * 4PPM ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
    Hydrogen Sulfide +10 PPM *15PPM ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
    Sulfur Dioxide + 2 PPM * 5PPM ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
    Ammonia *35PPM ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
    * Short-term exposure limit: Employee can work in the area up to 15
    minutes.
    + 8 hr. Time Weighted Avg.: Employee can work in area 8 hrs (longer
    with appropriate respiratory protection).
    REMARKS:_____________________________________________________________
    GAS TESTER NAME INSTRUMENT(S) MODEL SERIAL &/OR
    & CHECK # USED &/OR TYPE UNIT #
    ________________ _______________ ___________ ____________
    ________________ _______________ ___________ ____________

    SAFETY STANDBY PERSON IS REQUIRED FOR ALL CONFINED SPACE WORK
    SAFETY STANDBY CHECK # CONFINED CONFINED
    PERSON(S) SPACE CHECK # SPACE CHECK #
    ENTRANT(S) ENTRANT(S)
    ______________ _______ __________ _______ __________ _______
    ______________ _______ __________ _______ __________ _______
    SUPERVISOR AUTHORIZING - ALL CONDITIONS SATISFIED____________________
    DEPARTMENT/PHONE ___________________________
    AMBULANCE 2800 FIRE 2900 Safety 4901 Gas Coordinator 4529/5387

    [58 FR 4549, Jan. 14, 1993; 58 FR 34846, June 29, 1993]

    By Blogger Dr. Mario, at Tuesday, August 07, 2007 9:01:00 AM  

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The POP Insurance Policy

We all have insurance – or rather, all of us that are here legally that is. Insurance is seemingly at times a necessary evil. From factors out of our control to the failings of human nature we seek through insurance to mitigate our exposure by simply paying someone else to take on part of the risk for us.

If life was perfect and the universe did not exist through chaos, confusion or randomness we would not need insurance. And in more practical terms, if people did their jobs correctly and if people behaved honestly for the most part we would not need insurance.

There are similar problems with government. They are clearly not perfect, do exist through chaos, confusion and randomness, are unduly influenced and make too many mistakes. So what is one to do when dealing with governments?

Well, we create more laws that at times fuels the chaos, confusion, randomness, influence and mistakes. And at times laws are enacted that stems the tide. If governments would only do what they were elected to do.

Many – yes, many as evidenced by the number of petitions signed – have stated that the Marco Island city council has not done its job when it came to their sworn oath as to the city manager. Since the city council – in near unanimity – ignored the cries of many citizens, these same people took out an insurance policy.

Just like we take out insurance policies against bad storms, and bad neighbors, and bad drivers, citizens have taken out a policy against bad government.

Coming up for consideration in the next council meeting is a new insurance policy – the POP referendum.

This insurance policy simply states that if the city council refuses to act responsibly by managing, controlling, supervising and dictating the will of the people to the city manager, then the citizens will have an opportunity to make such a determination. And if that determination affirms bad government, then the city manager is out.

The criticism of the POP insurance policy has been repeated ad nausea by the Hate Slate, the city apparatchiks, and the usual suspects. Since we’ve all heard them before, no need repeating them here – except one.

Our particular favorite is the one that goes something like this: if the POP insurance goes on the books, no “respectable” “professional” “experienced” “qualified” city manager, or one that belongs to the International City/County Management Association (“ICMA”) will take the city manager job on Marco Island. Ipso facto, we will have to hire the next city manager from a pool of dishonest unprofessional inexperienced nincompoops that don’t belong to some self-aggrandizing clique – and presumably don’t want the $150,000 a year position in soon-to-be-once-again paradise.

If this is true, then why did the city council put us in this unenviable position?

Because this city council thinks that the present city manger has done a great job – that’s why! Yes, that’s right – regardless of the threats, and intimidation, and violation of civil rights, and terms of contracts that go un-enforced, and asbestos dumping, and disruption and contractors that are behind schedule and the ever disappearing $30million - $60million reserves, our esteemed elected officials purport that the city manager has done such a superb performance that the present inhabitant of the position warrants a … bonus!

This brings us back to the insurance policy.

Throughout the history of this great country there has been those that threaten doom and gloom when power is bestowed or restored to the people. Such is the case here with threats that only Mr. Magoos and the Three Stooges types that are not members of the ICMA will apply for the city manager position if the POP insurance policy is instituted.

(That’s ok – Mr. Magoo was honorable, the Three Stooges were well intentioned, and not being part of an club that heralds a code of ethics that it does not enforce is a bonus.)

Throughout the history of this great country, power in the hands of the people rarely (if ever) leads to the predicted apocalypse. Why direct democracy is repeatedly questioned when it has such a stellar track record is truly unfathomable.

So, drive safely. But if you regrettably get into an accident because of some irresponsible driver, then call your insurance company – it’s called prudence.

So, vote intelligently. But if you regrettably get councilpersons that flip-flop on issues or compromise their oath, then invoke your POP policy – it’s called democracy.

But that would be in America – not here on Marco Island.

In yet another farcical denigration of its citizens, the city has rejected the POP petition on the grounds – and this is a quote – “Litzan said the referendum’s language is misleading because it asks the simple question of whether voters approve of the city manager’s performance, but excludes information about the consequences of a ‘NO’ vote.

Excuse us? Did the city’s sham Septic Tank Replacement Program Bond/Loan Referendum of June 26, 207 detail the consequences of a ‘NO’ vote? No, it did not.

So the city’s referendum got on the ballot without spelling out the consequences of a ‘NO’ vote, but yet they use that pretext to reject the POP petition.

And do you see why we need insurance to guard us from governments like the one now on Marco Island?

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