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Toxic issues hit close to home

Posted: September 4, 2013 - 8:45am  |  Updated: September 4, 2013 - 8:48am

Whether by design, neglect, or accident, the improper use, management, and/or disposal of deadly chemicals results in tragedy. Today, we hear of the tragedy that hundreds have been allegedly poisoned by the government of Syria. “But that’s more than 6,000 miles away,” you say. “Certainly the massacre of hundreds of men, women, and children in Syria by their own government has nothing to do with Alaska.” Oh, really?

Wait a minute ... If the waste material to be dumped by AIMM Technologies in my back yard isn’t dangerous, why not dump it in the sea? If it’s not dangerous, why the special precautions and all the talk of special impermeable membrane liners in the waste pit? Why all the reassurances that there is no real threat? Why are permits needed if there is no danger? Indeed, if this waste is as harmless and benign as the experts have decreed, why not just dump it on our gardens?

Folks, the danger of the waste to be dumped in Nikiski is really rather insignificant compared to the waste that has been dumped here over the past 50 years. Dangerous chemicals have already been found in our drinking water! One might ask “why then will more toxic waste be dumped?” The answer is that no one really takes the threat seriously enough to stop it. AIMM Technologies (a Texas Corporation) figures that since no one has objected in the past, there is no reason not to proceed. Will it take the poisoning of our children to prove that the State Department of Environment Conservation was wrong and that permits should not have been issued? Are we supposed to gamble with the health and lives of our own children? Is the State of Alaska willing to foot the bill for sickness, disease, and cancer that may likely result from the poisoning of our ground water? No, both the State and AIMM will walk away and deny any responsibility. They will say that harmless drilling waste had no impact on Nikiski’s ground water quality, and, even if it were dangerous, there’s so much poison in the water out there that no one will be able to finger us as the culprits.

But such an assumption is not only wrong, it is exceedingly dangerous. The level of carcinogenic (cancer causing) chemicals already in Nikiski’s ground water ought to alarm all those who draw their water from wells north of the refinery.

Because the State of Alaska has refused to protect us from further dumping of proven dangerous chemicals, it is thought that we don’t care. “Go ahead and dump,” they say ... “the folks in Nikiski are already doomed. The water out on the north end is already contaminated, another 10 million gallons of toxic waste will have little affect and even if they test the wells, they’ll never prove that AIMM’s dumping contributed to the danger?”

It may be a stretch to connect the Syrian government’s apparent use of chemical warfare against its own people with the State of Alaska’s willingness to dump poisonous chemicals in Nikiski, but I don’t see it that way. I see it as a grave insult to the protection we the people expect from our government.

AIMM: I know my ground water is poisoned. Your intent to endanger my grandchildren even more is unacceptable!

People of Nikiski: Please don’t let this happen.


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Norseman 09/14/13 - 06:42 am
One thing I think we can all

One thing I think we can all agree on is the fact that the North Road is considered polluted. Anyone who has lived here for even just a few years, like norm, knows that there is quite a few environmental issues associated with the nikiski area.

It would be very interesting to survey the cancer deaths in that area for the past 20 years.

Suss 09/15/13 - 06:38 am
Not closed, what is open?

What sites are you referring to that you claim could be contaminated? A blanket military/industrial with "hundreds of separate sites” does not identify an area of specific concern. Is there a legitimate authority that says there are hundreds of polluted sites identifiable by location and place out North Road that need to be cleaned up, or is this assumption and conjecture? The public does need to know if this is real and conversely the public does not need to be lied to for some grandstanding desire for attention.

spwright 09/15/13 - 07:45 am
Arness Site

Sun. 9/15/13 I am confident that the Arness site in Nikiski has been Tested & proven the Drinking Water is SAFE to drink. Mr Arness gave testimony on KSRM's Radio 92 Sound Off last Thursday 9/12/13. He provided the documented Proof & He also stated that He would Drink the Water. & spent over $20,000 of his own money to prove that point.

It is possible that there are numerous other sites in the Nikiski area that are contaminated & toxic. That remains to be proven. Test Wells would need to be Drilled to prove that point. As always, WHO will provide the $Funding$ for those Test Wells ? SPW

JohnPeterZenger 09/15/13 - 09:20 am
Legitimate Authority?

That's rich. You need some authority figure to rely on?

If no 'authority figure' speaks to the pollution, you want to assume it doesn't exist, and there's no concern?

There's a long history of military dumping in this state, there's no question that industrial sites throughout the state have been and continue to be contaminated.

Reserve pits were constructed near most wells. Drilling waste regularly contains barium, benzine, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, lead, nickel, silver and xylene and zinc.

It wasn't until the mid 80s that the oil companies were crowing about how safe the practice of injecting drilling waste down the hole was. How the toxic materials were isolated and out of sight, out of mind. You think what went into those reserve pits was not toxic? And not all operations inject the waste. Unlined pits were once normal. So-called lined pits spring leaks.

You want an 'authority figure' to step up and tell you what is already common knowledge?

When a compressor plant blew up out north it was years before any authority figure told the public there was a massive spill of PCBs. Not to mention PCB laden contaminated dirt was once used on gravel roads in the area for dust control.

There are sites documented on the refuge where groundwater is still not remediated after 'spills'.

Look into the record of how many spills and how large went directly into the Swanson River.

I've only scratched the surface of what's known, there's plenty more documented pollution and untold 'unreported', not yet discovered incidences.

You can wait for your authority figure, you can probably find some like 'bigtalkahh' who will tell you there's nothing to fear, nothing to see.

Yeah, waiting for an authority figure to say something sounds real rational.

Suss 09/15/13 - 10:59 am

Show the people the documented sites, not all the hundreds just the "common knowledge" ones out North Road that are of immediate concern and proven by you or your expert opinion to be of concern to the health of the community. Again, specifics are needed, no more assumptions on your part and your credibility is thin, as we are talking about human life at risk and you would rather blather on with wild sweeping generalities, or anecdotal stories from all over the state. Just name them for the sake of the children. I have heard lots of North Road stories; please add to list of what is wrong with living there. I have found one in Soldotna that scares the desire to eat at this place right out of me..

You want me to assume, or you assume I assumed? Here you go..........
"No, thanks. I'll leave you to your own assumptions. I've learned to avoid assumptions, too often they are erroneous. I notice you've made a number of assumptions, none of which have you provided any basis to support their being either correct or factual."

"Don't get me wrong. Though you're welcome to your own assumptions, however misguided they may be, ...they are, in the end, only your assumptions, and despite the additional assumption that you can freely assign your assumptions to others as well, your assumptions are just that, yours and yours alone. Enjoy them if and when you can."

"Once you've demonstrated that your 'powers of assumption' are infallible, then you can ask if someone wants to share your assumptions. Even if you were to do so, you still wouldn't be free to assign your assumptions to others."

JohnPeterZenger 09/15/13 - 08:24 pm
As long as we're being candid.

Allow me to assure one and all I am not the least bit concerned about anyone contending my 'credibility' is thin, thick or nonexistent. If you entertain the notion that making such sophomoric remarks is going to cause me any unease, you've miscalculated.

Instead of using a computer to learn something, some several of you think you might better spend your time attempting to hound others into doing what you could do for yourself. Unfortunately, that folly seems to be on the rise.

Demand that someone provide you with documentation? When access to that documentation is freely available and not restricted in any way? Needy much?

Here's a thought. Some several of you could spend more time looking up information, reading that information and 'learning' how that newly found information should impact your arbitrary misconceptions. I'm not going out on a limb by saying several could well afford to spend less time 'commenting' on subjects that they're not the least bit informed of and instead spend comparatively more time just simply ingesting new information.

One wouldn't want anyone to make the assumption that you're maybe that hapless and dependent that you couldn't be bothered to, or wouldn't even attempt to seek such basic info on your own? You wouldn't want people to think you had no initiative.

Or is typing keywords in a browser and then reading the results just too daunting and too harrowing? In reference to this thread, key words like AKDEC, Toxic, Contaminated, Hazardous Waste, OIl spill, PCBs etc.

Maybe look to see if the data is already sitting there. Maybe look up some of the work other people have already provided.

Here's a few hints. Check the Alaska Community on Toxics and what they have posted. Check the records for criminal pollution fines levied and paid. Here's an idea, check with AKDEC, they regulate hazardous waste. They maintain records and they're paid to help you find such information, ....even if you can't use a computer. (they actually have 'telephones' for the late adopter and the computer averse)

Still at sea? There's an excellent library in Kenai, it's full of these things called 'books'. Books are both, data storage devices, and they act as data distribution vehicles. They are pretty nifty. They don't even need a battery.

The overall effect can be useful. Spend some time learning and you might even learn how 'remediation' is actually nothing but another current day myth.

(one of the many current day myths that shouldn't be given any credence whatsoever in this day and age, but still, some prefer myth in place of reality, so too many myths still persist)

Show the 'people' documentation you say? The 'people' ? ....or you? No one I know has any doubt about whether there is or is not documentation showing a pattern of toxic mess all of which was inherent in the actions of the oil and gas industry and the military. A goodly portion of the 'documentation' has been published in this paper and several others over the years and is and has been publicly available and discussed, deliberated over, and adjudicated upon for decades. The Clarion even has an archive where you'll find several examples of such 'documentation'. You might not even have to leave this site. And in the case of the Clarion's archives? , ....nearly anyone can look at it.

Here, I'll make an assumption. (...and it won't be long at all before this specific assumption is altered, before it is verified and substantiated, so don't bother getting worked up about you hearing of another making an assumption)

This is the assumption soon to be validated. Several of you still won't attempt to inform yourself before commenting again. You won't or seemingly can't even respond to, or respond within some small bit of context, ...some won't even admit reality itself could intrude on their internalized musing, or maybe reality is denied because of some imaginary and pervasive dread of some type, who knows?

For those many of you, here, on a platter, is one link.

Even being provided a link, I'm still pretty sure some of you might need to ask a helpmate to assist you in using the data found at the link.

(for assistance, try one of the younger people in the neighborhood, They're usually fairly tech savvy and most importantly, they're not typically affrighted or panicked upon discovering something upends their preconceptions)

....or you could call the AKDEC, the link is to their data.

Suss 09/16/13 - 06:35 am
Well, well, well.

Thanks for the link that shows the red, yellow and green markers of dirtiness. What I did not find was an explosion involving PCBs; perhaps a young helpmate will direct me to this event. The majority of the sites marked on the central peninsula appear to be from LUST or spills. The clean up of these sites marked by the green triangle far out number the yellow and fewer yet get the red triangle. I prefer the data search that allows for more detail to be called up instead of a limited popup balloon for information.
The red-zoned site mentioned is a place where food is prepared and served and has well water. The need for inside air monitoring is troubling.
Active sites of concern for ground contamination with water wells in the vicinity really deserve their own color.

JohnPeterZenger 09/16/13 - 10:11 am
Yes, perhaps a young helpmate

can go ahead and type a few keywords into a browser to reach links to the compressor explosion.

(...although, it too is noted on the linked map)

You speak of sites being 'cleaned up', perhaps one might discover what actually defines being 'cleaned up'? Many of these incidents aren't cleaned up as much as just signed off as being 'acceptable'.

As I noted above, remediation is a myth.

Happy hunting, and be sure to share all you find with 'the people'.

Watchman on the Wall
Watchman on the Wall 09/17/13 - 04:44 pm
For the 36 years I've lived

For the 36 years I've lived here on the Kenai it's been close to or higher than a 2 out of 3 people going to the hospital are from N.Kenai.
There are contaminated sites every where and or long term spills of oil, gas or diesel. Take all the city of Kenai land around the Clarion that was oil related businesses that spilled stuff nonstop. The Court house had to have all it's land cleaned before they could build it. Well if one took a water sample from the ground they would find it's all bad.
It's too late now to say your sorry, the damage is done and it can't be fixed for anyone on private wells in the contaminated areas for miles around.
What are you gonna do, and they are about to allow more dumps out in N.Kenai? We may need to start floating ice burgs down for fresh water for those folks. Then there is the Kenai city water wells that keep failing the tests for good drinking water, what are they gonna do?

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