Slicked and Slabbed Part 4: Slabbed calls bullsh*t on the sand berm scheme. BP is being fleeced to no good end.

Folks the more we learn the more this stinks and believe me we are not fans of BP here at Slabbed. The latest installment in as the berm turns comes courtesy of the Science Insider:

It could be one of the sloppiest engineering plans the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has ever seen—a hand-drawn plan illustrating how engineers would fill in a channel in Dauphin Island to prevent oil from reaching sensitive wetlands. The corps posted the permit application and asked for comment from agencies and public in just a few hours.

The project could be a good idea, scientists say, but it’s hard to tell given the rough plans, and it’s equally hard to have confidence in such a quick evaluation. “It’s very symptomatic of this whole episode,” says George Crozier of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, referring to the Deepwater Horizon leak. “There is a lot of panic and uncertainty.”

The first whopper comes courtesy of the federal agency that brought the nation catastrophic levee failure, the Corp of Engineers:

But federal agencies evaluating the project say they have enough expertise to evaluate the risk of problems, such as whether the project might cause erosion problems or harm endangered species.

In no way shape or form should they be trusted with this with no oversight or review. Even worse no one officially in Alabama seems to know what is going on:

Much about the proposal remains unclear. The official applicant for the USACE permit to fill the gap is BP, which did not return calls. Observers suspect that the Governor’s office asked the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to draft the permit application, but ADEM spokesperson Scott Hughes could not confirm this. “The Department’s role is to ensure that any permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is consistent with the requirements of Alabama’s coastal program,” he writes in an e-mail.

Another mystery is who created the drawings. One of them, simply initialed “C.J.”, has a Post-it note covering up letterhead for Jordan Pile Driving in Mobile, Alabama. D. S. Jordan, the chairperson of the company, says he received drawings from Thompson Engineering in Mobile. The project manager there couldn’t be reached.

The plans first became public on 27 May, when USACE posted them on its Web site in the morning. One option described in the proposal is to block the 2.2-kilometer-wide channel with sheet piling. The other option is to drop in 76,000 cubic meters of rock. Either measure would be removed within a year. USACE asked for comments on two options by 3 p.m. the same day.

Let’s get Rob Young back into the equation as he commented for the article:

Coastal geologist Robert Young of Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina, says he was stunned by the short deadline. Young, who says he often comments on permit applications for coastal engineering projects, only came across the proposal later that evening. “This makes me wonder how many of these emergency permits are out there that I haven’t seen.”

Young and other experts were also flabbergasted by the rough plans. “They’re done by hand on a piece of notebook paper. I’ve never seen anything like this in my life.” Young says it’s difficult to tell from the drawings exactly what the consequences of filling the channel might be. And then there’s the vague note on the map indicating “various buried pipelines.”

And despite all the unknowns the locals are determined to go full speed ahead which makes me wonder what the goal here really is because it certainly has nothing to do with the current mess as we conclude:

D. S. Jordan, who says his company submitted a bid for the work to ADEM, says that the rudimentary sketch wouldn’t be a problem for construction. “Under normal circumstances there would be a much more detailed set of plans and specifications,” he admits, but these plans would be enough to get the job done.

USACE spokesperson Lisa Coghlan isn’t worried either. She says the corps has relevant experts with extensive knowledge of the area. “We’re going to make the best decision we can,” she says. Coghlan expects USACE will make a decision in the next few days.

Bill Pearson of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Daphne, Alabama, was responsible for commenting on the proposal’s possible impacts on wildlife. “We’re pretty well equipped to make a rapid evaluation,” he says. Experts in his office are already familiar with endangered species on and near Dauphin Island and how to reduce the risk of harm from construction if it is approved. “We’re confident that we can keep issues to an absolute minimum,” Pearson says.

Crozier says there are tradeoffs associated with closing the channel. Keeping oil out would be good, but sea grass is now thriving on the landward side, and reducing the tidal flow for a year might not be good for the grasses. On balance, Crozier says it makes sense to block the channel. But the speed with which the project appears to be moving forward still amazes him

Everyone needs to be prepared to follow the money because the fleecing is about to begin and the public will not be the better off for it IMHO. Quite the contrary in fact.


11 thoughts on “Slicked and Slabbed Part 4: Slabbed calls bullsh*t on the sand berm scheme. BP is being fleeced to no good end.”

  1. Considering what I just read in this post Sop, I’m gone to give van Heerdon the benefit of the doubt if he is indeed consulting for BP. One reason being that he is the same respected expert he was before doing so; secondly, I feel more confident in the assessment of the situation by BP with his being part of the mix; and finally, I can think of no one more qualified to critique the evaluations made by the Corps of Engineers than he.

    With that said, I think the berns are a huge ecological disaster waiting to happen, and will most probably compound the already worsening situation to a degree of such irreparable harm we truly cannot fathom.

    And of course the local politicians are licking their chops, it’s brother-law time ! (Did you see the faces of Roberts and Young on TV…what a tell). Qu’est-ce qu’un tas de merdes de poulet sans vergogne !

  2. A sand berm will only last as long as wave action doesn’t wash it away. The NOD is very familiar with this procedure as they have pumped sand along the coast for the Barrier Islands both east and west of the Mississippi. Without some type of protection placed over the sand on the Gulf side this will always happen. They have spent untold millions doing this for many years just to see it washed away.

    The only successful delta today is natural from the mouth of the Atchafalaya River, because it is building over a vast area and being placed by the natural flow of that river.

    Man made attempts are futle at best. They restrict the placement of the sand/silt to very small areas and of course do not place any positive armor on the lee side of the berm. A sand bump in front of severe wave action will never last as that action pulls the sand to its natural repose.

    Sheet piling cannot be used where there is possible oil or gas lines buried like we have all over the marsh. The core of a berm need not be rock. The rock should be placed along the leeward face for armor. The best armor would be to use the concrete articulating mats that are used to control the channel sides of the Mississippi River. Instead of placing them perpendicular as they do in the river, place them parallel and cover a greater length and less depth as the natural sand slope should not require the other placement to cover it completely. Also by its nature it will follow the lay of the berm and has the ability to be anchored against excessive wave action.

  3. If SOP permits (no pun intended) I’m going to “vent” about some related subjects: (1) Since the 1930’s my Family (and some others) have owned surface rights and mineral rights on an island in Barataria Bay, within “spitting distance” of “Grand Terre”, which history buffs will recall as the headquarters of Jean and Pierre Lafitte and their pirate band. The Island has ALWAYS been a “bird rookery”, and before the DEEPWATER HORIZEN disaster was written about in the “Lame Stream Media” as “internationally known”. My paternal Grand-Father, who purchased the Island, and who was a dedicated ornithologist, would have been pleased. Last night, while looking at Brian “Mr. Vienna Sausage” (that’s “another story) Williams on NBC television, I heard Queen Bess Island, which has been in the news quite a bit of late, referred to as “a Federal Bird Preserve”. Why those sons-of -bitches! Just who the [email protected]%& do they think they are? Many species of birds inhabited Queen Bess Island before the United States came into existence. Birds will be there long after the United States is “gone” (probably through self-destruction). Now the “punchline”: For Federal beaurecrats to bestow the title: “Keepers of a Federal Bird Sanctuary” on privately owned land on which their colleagues did more damage to the bird population than anything in recorded history is_____. Well, I just don’t know what to call it, other than an act of WAR, to which The Duchy of Kilnamanaugh will respond appropriately and decisively. THINK: The Federally permitted deep water drilling, coupled with the lack of oversight, is as much to blame for the catastrophe than what BP, Transocean, etc. did or failed to do. And now “The Federal Government” is here “to help”, which means RUN LIKE HELL! (2) Has anyone started attempting to measure the separate economic impacts caused by (a) the casualty and discharge and containment and clean-up and remediation versus (b) the shut-down of deep water drilling for an indeterminate period of time? I daresay that (b) may be greater than (a) if the focus is on “people” and “the Nation”, rather than on the tortfeasors and their insurers. If any of you saw John Dane on the tube last night, he was “spot-on”. There are ample competent marine surveyors out there to inspect one rig at a time, and to review their operational and drilling plans, rather than shut-down an entire industry “for nothing”. There’s a “secret agenda” at work here; I just haven’t figured out what it is. But I know this: IT’S STUPID AND WILL HURT MORE PEOPLE THAN THE SPILL. Ashton O’Dwyer, from The Duchy of Kilnamanaugh.

  4. Well one is given an opportunity to shut down the economy of the nation, lay off more honest workers than jobs created, and support the non-workers with your taxes; so one takes that step with the approval of the far left & environmentalist wacks!

    I wonder what will be done now that someone was digging without proper clearence and ruptured a major gas line in Texas. Do you think they will stop the gas & oil from going north?

    There may be some very good engineers in the COE, and there may be very good geoglists in MMS, however, the inspection and oversight leaves a lot to be desired and that comes from the top! If they know their SOP Manuals & Regulations, perhaps they just don’t think they need to be followed.

    That caused the destruction of the New Orleans area by the COE and now if investigated that may also be the reason for the current oil spill in the Gulf. I just love putting the investigations into the hands of those in charge to see that things are done according to SOP, nad no one has any action taken against negligence. The only action taken to date is against MMS head for accepting “gifts”.

    I would like to know how to get on the “put it in your pocket” gang instead of the “take it from you” gang as a taxpaying citizen!!!

    The Feds have many many ways of taking things from us. Still say they all read animal farm in Washington D.C. because they have it down pat!!!

    1. You raise an important point Wayne. If the worst happens and these berms really screw up the environment who is the responsible party? Typically the government gives itself immunity for boneheaded stuff.


  5. Uhhhh, has any of you folks picked up the old Bible lately? That thing about the four horse’s trumpet etc. It started with that tower in that town Babylon. A place you could do as you pleased. The birth place of politics, Lawyers, hookers, basicly anything God didn’t want you get the idea. Anyway when the almighty had enough the first time he made everyone speak a diffrent language and that worked until the flood. At which time the first of those of evil from the time of being kicked out of the garden. After that it was going to take a little more time giving others a chance to learn all those things going on which made no sense, up to the point we now have not Babylon which was made desolate forever. The problem is we now have Babylon the Great. Just mixing the colors of the American flag and you get a scarlet color.

    The difference this time with the spill deal is this. We as humans have fought to kill one another since Cane killed Able but never have we intentionally caused the destruction of the waters. To fight evil and destruction is having it on Earth as it is in Heaven but this isn’t that. Before this is over we’ll all get hungry. If my understanding is right there’s only one horse left.

    See when attorneys ignore you and treat you like shit as they make you appear crazy and extort you life from you. You can say things like this and it matters little to most of the folks reading it. It’s also a great way to lead your enemies to the devil.

  6. Immunity should only happen when all that could be done according to Design, operation & maintenance per established procedures was done and, regulation and prescribed design manuals are followed.

    Malfeasence should be a punishable offense & liability should go along with it. There are Disciplinary Regulations for civil employees in the Federal Government that seem to be ignored as much as the others. The humans have been run off & the pigs are in charge. Animal Farm reigns!!!!!

  7. I’m thinking Kierkegaard, “Moins je pense, plus j’existe.”

    So maybe a little bit of French Zen Sarcasm should be directed toward BP:

    Duct tape is like ‘The Force’. It has a
    light side and a dark side,
    and it holds the universe together.

    So BP ya’ll get it now, engineer some Zen, do whatever you got to do AH’s, and do it in the present !

  8. And the Cajun girls say
    doop doodoop doodoop doop’de’doo
    doop’doo’doop doo’doop doop’de’dooo
    doop’doo’doop doop’doop’dee’doo doop’de’doop
    dee’doop doop’dee’doop

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