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The Real Impact of Environmental Disasters

THE REAL IMPACT OF ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTERS As technology develops and resource needs grow, so does the capability to create large-scale environmental disasters. But the true cost of these disasters affects a multitude of areas and is often not fully revealed until much later. CLEANUP COSTS The initial costs of these disasters are the cleanup costs - how much must be spent to attempt to get the area back to normal. These costs can vary widely depending on the severity and type of disaster. SOME COSTLY CLEANUP EXAMPLES: DEEPWATER HORIZON OIL SPILL: The explosion on oil company BP's Deepwater Horizon rig 5+ KILLED 11 WORKERS AND SPILLED 1111 11111 MILLION GALLONS COST TO CLEAN UP: of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 $414 BILLION EXXON VALDEZ OIL SPILL: In 1989, the Exxon Valdez cargo ship wrecked against a reef AND DUMPED ABOUT COST TO CLEAN UP: $2.1 BILLION 11 in 1989 MILLION GALLONS $3.9 BILLION of crude oil into Prince William Sound, off the coast of Alaska in current dollars TVA COAL ASH SPILL: In 2008, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was responsible for one of the worst environmental disasters of its kind in history. 6' DEEP IN SOME AREAS 5.4 MILLION CUBIC YARDS OF COAL ASH SLUDGE, a byproduct of a coal-powered electricity plant, let loose, covering more than 300 acres in coal sludge COST TO CLEAN UP: ABOUT $1.2 BILLION but still ongoing LOVE CANAL: LIBBY MINE ASBESTOS CONTAMINATION: IN 1978, INDUSTRIAL CHEMICALS UNTIL CLOSURE IN 1990, dumped by the Hooker Chemical company oozed through the grounds of the working-class Love Canal section of Niagara Falls, vermiculite was mined 6 miles north of Libby, MT, and contained a particularly EXPOSING CITIZENS TOXIC VERSION OF ASBESTOS. The citizens and miners of Libby were exposed to asbestos through the air and the products TO THE 80+ The largest cash settlement in EPA Superfund history, won from the W.R. FOR DECADES industrial chemicals which were buried beneath the area Grace Corporation COST TO CLEAN UP: COST TO CLEAN UP: ET $400 MILLION $493 MILLION $250 MILLION $270 MILLION over 21 years in current dollars in 2008 in current dollars COSTS TO COMMUNITIES The costs of disasters are not isolated to the cleanup. All disasters have lasting effects on the communities nearby. LIVELIHOOD 1 IN 5 NEARLY HOMEOWNERS DOES NOT HAVE ENOUGH INSURANCE to rebuild their home after a disaster НЕ A. A. A. 800 households affected by the TVA coal ash spill will have a hard time getting compensated. EACH MUST HIRE THEIR OWN ATTORNEYS TO FILE INDIVIDUAL CLAIMS. $20,000 $40,000 $60,000 In a county where the average household income is $41.000, real legal help may be hard to come by AFTER THE EXXON VALDEZ OIL SPILL, ALASKA LOST SUBSTANTIAL REVENUE THE GULF COAST SUFFERED SIMILAR SETBACKS AFTER THE DEEPWATER HORIZON SPILL OVER $300 MILLION (S563 MILLION IN CURRENT DOLLARS) |BETWEEN 2009-2010, the Gulf of Mexico reported a of economic harm to the 32,000+ people whose livelihood depends on commercial fishing 29% of people with 39% DECLINE plans to visit Louisiana canceled or postponed their trips due oil spill Tourism decreased by in commercial fishing landings overall, representing a $62 million ($67 million in current dollars) loss in dockside sales the 35% in southwest Alaska the year after the spill 2 years after the spill, losses to recreational fishing were estimated at $31 MILLION (S53 MILLION IN CURRENT DOLLARS) HEALTH AND SICKENED MORE THAN In Libby, MT, the exposure to asbestos from the mine killed an estimated 2,000 400 PEOPLE 11111 LOVE CANAL CITIZENS SUFFERED a chemical burns A miscarriages birth defects A cancers 1111 auto-immune diseases from exposure to toxic chemicals COSTS TO ENVIRONMENT/WILDLIFE After the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the Alaskan environment was heavily damaged L ESTIMATED WILDLIFE CAUSALITIES: 300 harbor seals 900 bald eagles 25,000 seabirds 1,000 harlequin ducks Up to 22 killer whales 12 YEARS after the spill (2001), oil could still be found on 2,800 sea otters 50% OF 91 randomly selected beaches Prince William Sound lost 28% of its potential stock of pink salmon Oil impacted nearly 1,300 miles of shoreline SIMILARLY, THE DEEPWATER HORIZON SPILL DAMAGED THE GULF COAST ENVIRONMENT, although the full extent may not be known for years Nearly 8,000 BIRDS, SEA TURTLES, AND MARINE MAMMALS were found dead or injured in the 6 months after the spill After the coal ash spill, TVA has dredged ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTERS ALSO DISRUPT ESSENTIAL ECOSYSTEM SERVICES THAT THE more than ENVIRONMENT PROVIDES US, SUCH AS 3.5 MILLION $33 | CO2 clean erosion carbon food water control sequestration While the true value of ecosystem services is unknown, a preliminary study done in 1997 suggests that worldwide, the environment provides $48 CUBIC YARDS which equals about of sludge from the rivers affected; yet millions more remain. It's unknown if the area will recover completely. TRILLION TRILLION in services, in current dollars COSTS TO CORPORATIONS The corporations responsible for environmental disasters are held rily accountable for the damages, and also suffer losses in public opinion and stockholders. mon AFTER THE DEEPWATER HORIZON OIL SPILL, BP committed billions of dollars to restore its reputation and to account for damages $179 MILLION to Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi for regional and national tourism campaigns $82 MILLION Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi for state-led seafood testing and marketing programs The Gulf Coast holds about 18% of U.S. commercial seafood landings to $105 MILLION to the Gulf Region Health Outreach Program to improve the availability, scope and quality of health care in Gulf communities $100 MILLION to establish a fund through the Baton Rouge Area Foundation for unemployed rig workers who are affected by the moratorium on deepwater drilling $2.394 BILLION to the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation over a period of five years $10,692,165.749 AND COUNTING.. IN LEGITIMATE CLAIMS FOR DAMAGES FROM THE ACCIDENT, AS OF MARCH 31, 2013 MANY COMPANIES SIMPLY CRUMBLE UNDER THE WEIGHT OF LAWSUITS - it takes a large corporation to withstand the ramifications CHECK OUT Environmental disasters take a huge toll. If you're interested in creating positive change for the earth and its inhabitants, and maybe stopping the next environmental disaster, the online Master in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School can give you the understanding and skills you need to make a difference. ENVIRONMENTALLAW.VERMONTLAW.EDU FOR MORE INFORMATION. SOURCES: Inflation calculator used: ES/faq.shtml k.L.lulb.lulJlulllult.

The Real Impact of Environmental Disasters

shared by mrchibolin on Oct 09
From the Deepwater Horizon spill to the Exxon Valdez spill, billions had to be spent on cleanup, lives were lost, and wildlife suffered. The impacted communities are still suffering from the after eff...


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