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Earth Crime

Exxon Charged With Illegally Dumping Waste In Pennsylvania 246

Exxon has been charged with illegally dumping over 50,000 gallons of wastewater at a shale-gas drilling site in Pennsylvania. From the article: 'Exxon unit XTO Energy Inc. discharged the water from waste tanks at the Marquandt well site in Lycoming County in 2010, according to a statement on the website of Pennsylvania’s attorney general. The pollution was found during an unannounced visit by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection. The inspectors discovered a plug removed from a tank, allowing the wastewater to run onto the ground, polluting a nearby stream. XTO was ordered to remove 3,000 tons of soil to clean up the area. Wastewater discharged from natural-gas wells can contain chlorides, barium, strontium and aluminum, the attorney general’s statement showed. “Criminal charges are unwarranted and legally baseless,” the XTO unit said yesterday in a statement posted on its website. “There was no intentional, reckless or negligent misconduct by XTO.”'
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Exxon Charged With Illegally Dumping Waste In Pennsylvania

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  • by eksith ( 2776419 ) on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @08:55PM (#44825831) Homepage
    I'm getting sick of these companies getting away with fines or other slaps on the wrist. I want to see at least some of these thugs in the upper tiers behind bars!
  • Re:Yes, it happens (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eksith ( 2776419 ) on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @08:59PM (#44825869) Homepage
    Then it's time to ruin the lives of those idiot managers. Say to the tune of 5-10 years of wearing an orange jumpsuit in lieu of an Armani jacket?
  • Re:Now what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jamesh ( 87723 ) on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @09:16PM (#44825993)

    My friend had a 50,000 gallon above-ground pool in his backyard. If it's even a problem due to exotic chemicals, make them clean it up. It's not that much.

    Why the hell is this a topic aside from obvious desire by some for disasterbation? It would barely be a local news story in some small town.

    So the company has the decision to make...

    (a) $x to dispose of the waste properly

    (b) $0 to simply turn on a tap and let the waste drain away, and (say) $10x to clean it up in the unlikely event that they get caught, which probably comes out of some other departments budget anyway

    Seems that if there is no actual penalty for (b), then (b) is the obvious choice and it's going to keep happening, which I think is kind of a big deal. It should either be illegal with penalties to suit, or legal and let them do it without any fuss.

    If you threw some rubbish on the ground and were caught, and the only penalty was that you had to pick your rubbish up again, where is the incentive to stop doing it again? (assuming you are too lazy to do the right thing in the first place without some incentive)

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @09:20PM (#44826013)

    I want to see at least some of these thugs in the upper tiers behind bars!

    I'd be happy to see them eat their own dog food. Put a GPS ankle-bracelet on them and make them live on the polluted land and drink the polluted water.

  • by nicobigsby ( 1418849 ) on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @09:47PM (#44826175)
    The problem is the goddamn double standard. Spray a few ounces of spray paint on a wall, and you get criminal charges pressed against you. Hell there was a guy arrested for writing in chalk outside Bank of America, on the sidewalks... wash away chalk. But dump 50k gallons of polluted water into the wild and it's all NBD.
  • Free Market (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @09:48PM (#44826181) Journal

    That wasn't "wastewater", that was Exxon's proprietary formula of Hydroxylic Acid. And any children who are found with Hyrdoxylic Acid in their bloodstream better get ready get sued by Exxon.

    Job CreatorsTM, bitches!

  • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @10:03PM (#44826281)

    But they didn't deliberately deface anything - they left a plug out of a tank, which leaked contaminated water at a rate which may not have seemed significant. They seem to have made good on the cleanup. Intent matters - that's why we have murder and manslaughter.

  • by ireallyhateslashdot ( 2297290 ) on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @10:21PM (#44826397)
    And also why we have such a thing as "negligence". They apparently were negligent; either in their maintenance protocols, equipment checks, or, well, making sure that contaminated waste is securely and safely managed. I would say that that warrants a criminal charge, but that's just my opinion.
  • Re:No (Score:1, Insightful)

    by haruchai ( 17472 ) on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @10:37PM (#44826495)

    In America? Not a chance.
    The NRA and the gun-toting loudmouths will make a big fuss about needing firearms to defend against Obama, er, government tyranny, tree of liberty, blood of patriots, blah, blah.

    But to actually rise up against the establishment?
    That's for college students, weed-smoking liberal hippies, unwashed OWS layabouts and Muslims.

  • Re:No (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <[mashiki] [at] [gmail.com]> on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @11:07PM (#44826657) Homepage

    Yeah those "college students, weed smoking liberal hippies, and unwashed OWS layabouts" have done a really good job. Remind me again which political groups that they've worked for that have been acted for/to american society? And of course those "NRA gun-toting loudmouths" were also the backbenchers behind the tea party which ... gee...actually made a serious impact on the political landscape.

  • by I'm New Around Here ( 1154723 ) on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @11:35PM (#44826787)

    I wonder who came up with that specific 'fact', that oil is a contaminant right at 'one part per million'. It certainly makes the "one gallon of oil can make one million gallons of water undrinkable" line sound horrible, but what is the basis in fact?

    Is 0.8 ppm safe, but 1.0 deadly? What about 0.6 ppm? Is water contaminated when one gallon of oil spills into a 2-million gallon tank? For that matter, oil floats on top of water, so how does the lower 99% get contaminated? If somehow a gallon of oil was mixed into water in such a way that every molecule of oil was separate, and each molecule floated 7 inches from any other one, how many gallons would be contaminated by that oil?

  • Re:No (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @12:00AM (#44826905)

    a serious impact on the political landscape.

    Yes, but not a good one. Eric Cantor and Mitch McConell have yet to do anything useful or intelligent.

  • Re:No (Score:2, Insightful)

    by haruchai ( 17472 ) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @12:11AM (#44826977)

    The reason for using weapons matters, not just the fact that someone is willing to open fire.
    Those Ted Nugent loudmouths talk a big game and while I'm sure many are serious, most will shit themselves like he did when called to action.

    Although I disapprove of guns in schools for any reason, I'd sooner arm elementary school teachers than any of the 2nd amendment wingnuts.
    At least I know the people like the ones at Sandy Hook will actually put their lives on the line for what they believe in, whether or not they believe they have a right to pack heat.

    Here's right-winger David Frum's take on the matter:
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/15/opinion/frum-guns-race/index.html [cnn.com]

  • Re:No (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jamstar7 ( 694492 ) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @01:07AM (#44827179)

    a serious impact on the political landscape.

    Yes, but not a good one. Eric Cantor and Mitch McConell have yet to do anything useful or intelligent.

    They're not supposed to. They're meat puppets. They got the corporate hand shoved so far up their asses, they're chewing the Koch brothers' fingernails.

  • Re:No (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@noSpAM.gmail.com> on Thursday September 12, 2013 @03:12AM (#44827625) Journal

    Just wait until the stock bubble bursts [youtube.com] which will make the great depression look like a flash crash (those that have crunched the numbers say it could take a half a century or more to recover) and then get back to us,mmmkay?

    You have nearly HALF the population getting some form of government assistance, THIS is why you haven't seen an "Arab Spring" in the USA despite a dead economy and jobs being shipped overseas by the hundreds of thousands yearly, this "bread and circuses" keep the teeming masses of poor just enough above water to keep them quiet...what do you HONESTLY think is gonna happen when those checks no longer come? Every rich person with any brains will "get to teh choppa" and fly the fuck out of here, the rest? Won't be looking so good by the time the mess is over.

    Look at the numbers in the video folks, starting around 3.30, you'll see when this stock bubble pops it'll make 1929 look like 2008. The ONLY reason the peasants have been passive so long is the so called "safety net" that keeps them in food, clothes, and a home,when that ends? remember there is nothing more dangerous than people with absolutely nothing to lose and the poor outnumber the top 5% by a good 100,000 to 1, not great odds.

  • by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @04:47AM (#44827885) Journal
    It means that 1.0 or below is considered safe to consume, it says nothing about what level makes you sick/dead just that anything above 1.0 is not considered safe.

    For that matter, oil floats on top of water, so how does the lower 99% get contaminated?

    Why do so many geeks have so much trouble comprehending simple guidelines? The water at the bottom is below 1.0ppm and therefore safe to consume, matter of fact many Aussies put some oil in their water tank to prevent mosquito wrigglers (the little fuckers can't come up to breath when there's a layer of oil on top). Note that not all oils float nice and neatly on the top of the water, heavy crude oil has a tendency to form tarballs and sink to the bottom, given a large enough body of still water, light oil will spread out to an unbroken film exactly one molecule thick.

Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious animal on earth.