ALL 5% TO THE 1% KNOW THIS------THEY DON'T CARE----JUST GET RID OF THOSE GLOBAL WALL STREET POLS AND PLAYERS AND STOP MOVING FORWARD!
We want to look at two approaches to development taken by our WEST COAST US FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES because they are a few decades ahead of today's mid-size US cities now being developed as global corporate campuses third world extreme wealth extreme poverty. We do not want these same PROBLEMS brought to all our US cities.
We saw Los Angeles and San Fran installing SAFE TO STAY policies for disaster ----LA had its city council and mayor giving each other HIGH-FIVES for simply passing legislation that SOUNDS like they want to protect WE THE PEOPLE ----but as in Maryland and Baltimore far-right wing global Wall STreet pols simply PRETEND to pass social protective laws then they do nothing to install or enforce that legislation. So, Los Angeles 99% of citizens are NOT GOING TO BE SAFE ENOUGH TO STAY.
Los Angeles as a US Foreign Economic Zone was developed as global HOLLYWOOD/BOLLYWOOD/TELEMUNDO----lots of global 1% freemason STARS. Its second economic niche are those global sweat shop factories ----LA city hall, its state and national pols all work hard to make LA extreme wealth extreme poverty AND they work hard to PRETEND to protect that 99% of citizens having no intentions of doing so.
'What it will take for residents to live safely in their homes after an earthquake.
Excerpted from the SPUR report Safe Enough to Stay
Urbanist Article February 1, 2012'
Here we see the same kind of votes from LA global Wall Street 5% pols as we see here in Baltimore PRETENDING they are going to install disaster protections while MOVING FORWARD the worst of development placing 99% of citizens on real estate most COMPROMISED. Same thing happening today in Baltimore MOVING FORWARD.
Los Angeles is constructed RIGHT ON TOP of ANDREAS FAULT it developed natural forests with houses that will be engulfed in flames with no ability to evacuate or provide public safety and it plans to fill its US Foreign Economic Zone with more and more global corporate factories tied to garment industry----technology industry----those 99% SOCIAL DARWINISM could care less -----
Los Angeles will have the nation's toughest earthquake safety rules
Lucy Jones, U.S. Geological Survey seismologist, second from left, celebrates with City Atty. Mike Feuer, center, as Mayor Eric Garcetti signs sweeping legislation to require earthquake retrofits on 15,000 buildings in Los Angeles on Friday.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Rong-Gong Lin II, Rosanna Xia and Doug SmithContact Reporters
In a stark recognition of Los Angeles' vulnerability to a major earthquake, the city on Friday enacted the nation's most sweeping seismic regulations, requiring an estimated 15,000 buildings be retrofitted so they will better withstand violent shaking.
The unanimous vote by the Los Angeles City Council caps decades of efforts to strengthen two types of buildings that pose the most serious potential for loss of life in a big quake: Brittle concrete buildings that dot L.A.'s major boulevards and the boxy wood-frame apartment complexes built on top of carports. More than 65 people died when these types of buildings collapsed during quakes in 1971 and 1994.
The action marked a political and psychological milestone for a city that is at the center of earthquake country yet has a tradition of keeping those dangers out of mind.
If you complain about winter to anyone not living in SoCal, you’re sure to be met with eye rolls and the world’s tiniest violin. But you’re among friends here, so we’ll share a little secret.
Several times over the last two decades, efforts to require this type of retrofitting — or simply identify vulnerable buildings — died at City Hall over objections from property owners.
Garcetti said that by passing the law, Los Angeles “finally took our head out of the sand.”
“Today's actions will save lives,” he said in an interview before signing the ordinance into law. “I'm not interested in making history or having the toughest laws. I'm interested in preserving our city's ability to survive and thrive after an earthquake.”
City Councilmen Mitch Englander, left, and Gil Cedillo celebrate the passage of sweeping legislation to require earthquake retrofits on 15,000 buildings in Los Angeles during a council meeting in Van Nuys.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Under the law, property owners will have seven years to fix wood apartments and 25 years to fix concrete buildings. The city has already identified about 13,500 apartment complexes that officials suspect need repairs. A Times investigation in 2013 found more than 1,000 older concrete structures — including landmark buildings in downtown, Hollywood and Westwood — that require close scrutiny for retrofitting pay for the work, which can range from $60,000 to $130,000 for wood apartments and millions of dollars for large concrete towers.
While renters and owners remained concerned about their costs, there has been a growing recognition from both groups that retrofitting was necessary.
“We want the buildings to be safe,” Martha Cox-Nitikman of the Building Owners and Managers Assn. of Greater Los Angeles said earlier this week. “But we need to figure out how we get people there without ruining businesses.”
The City Council is still mulling exactly how the retrofit costs will be shared. The law currently allows owners to increase monthly rents by up to $75 to pay for required earthquake retrofits, but both sides say they do not think Los Angeles renters can afford such a hike.
The city's housing department has suggested that renters and owners pay for the retrofit on a 50-50 basis, allowing owners to charge a monthly maximum surcharge of $38 to pay for the seismic retrofit.
To help pay for the costs, apartment groups are looking for additional financial support, such as breaks on property and state income taxes and business license and building permit fees for owners who retrofit.
One key bill being considered by Gov. Jerry Brown is AB 428 by Assemblyman Adrian Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks), which would allow owners to apply for a tax break equal to 30% of the retrofit costs. If Brown wants to veto the legislation, he must do it by Sunday.
Renters are also hoping that additional financial help will enable owners to pay the majority, if not all, of the cost of the retrofit.
“Clearly, we need to make these buildings safe. And a voluntary ordinance hasn't been working,” said Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival. “This has all been about not whether to do it, but who pays, and what the impact of the costs are going to be on both the landlords and the tenants.”
Owners of concrete buildings will face a significantly steeper price tag. Building owners are hoping the city will give incentives, such as waiving the city's gross receipts tax for businesses to move back into retrofitted buildings after they are vacated for the construction work. (Retrofits are simpler for wood apartments and generally don't require a tenant to move out.)
Just a decade ago, the City Council did not support even counting the number of brittle concrete buildings in Los Angeles. Some business interests remained skeptical that concrete buildings posed a real risk of collapse.
But in 2011, the deadly nature of concrete buildings became clear again when an earthquake struck New Zealand's third-largest city, Christchurch. The collapse of two concrete office towers alone killed 133 people.
Following that earthquake, The Times embarked on an investigation to see how many concrete buildings there were in Los Angeles, and establish where they were, because there was no publicly available list of these buildings. A team of Times reporters mined thousands of city and county records to find more than 1,000 buildings in Los Angeles that appeared to be concrete. The Times did further analysis of a sample of buildings, and only a small fraction had been retrofitted.
Soon after, Garcetti began an expansive campaign to address earthquake safety and appointed U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones as his earthquake science advisor. Jones, who has been a reassuring voice on Southern California radio and television stations after earthquakes, began canvassing the city, bluntly warning residents and owners of how dangerous it would be to do nothing.
“They are the deadliest buildings when they fall,” Jones said of concrete buildings at one of her meetings. “Because concrete is heavy, they kill people.”
Concrete buildings are considered so potentially dangerous because without enough reinforcing steel, chunks of concrete can burst from support columns, causing such buildings to collapse.
To determine whether a concrete building needs retrofitting, owners may have to spend as much as $100,000 on a structural study to ascertain what is inside the columns.
They would have to hire engineers who might install angled steel beams to provide more support, like an exoskeleton. Another solution could be the addition of sturdy interior concrete walls that stretch from the ground to the roof. The fixes could cost $1 million or more. Occupants probably would have to move out during the renovation, at an additional cost.
As Garcetti began his effort, university researchers who had been assembling a first-of-its-kind list of older concrete buildings for research—the first comprehensive attempt to catalog the scope of the problem—agreed to release it to the city and to The Times through a public records act.
The scientists at University of California and Cal State campuses initially resisted providing the list with addresses, fearing lawsuits from owners. But the researchers eventually agreed to provide the list, saying it was time to help the city.
That list is now the starting point for the city's efforts to identify concrete buildings that need further study to see whether a retrofit should occur.
UCLA engineering professor John Wallace said both the UC and Times lists were crucial because their release took the issue of safety from the abstract into something very personal.
“You don't get to pretend this isn't going to happen,” Jones said. “The earthquake is inevitable.”
In about a month, the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety will begin issuing courtesy letters to the owners of 13,500 wood apartment buildings to expect an order from the city to do a seismic retrofit. City officials have spent the last year canvassing the city to compile a list of quake-vulnerable apartments.
The official order letters will be sent on a rolling basis, with building officials focusing on the largest apartment buildings first. Wood apartments on top of carports can be vulnerable to collapse when held up by skinny poles, which can crumple during an earthquake.
It will take longer for city officials to prepare to send orders to the owners of the 1,500 concrete buildings, said Raymond Chan, the Department of Building and Safety's general manager.
Below we see who will be soaked for profiteering STANFORD AND ITS PATENTED earthquake products that will do nothing when the BIG ONES hit.
We will see landlords pass costs to renters raising the rental fees making real estate too costly for middle/working class and soon even the affluent.
Those citizens tied to the global Wall Street developers and construction firms who will win all these projects are CONGRESSIONAL POLS like Pelosi, Boxer, Feinstein, Waters, and Becerra. Of course that few million will be thrown as patronage to that 5% small businesses.
What these policies do besides sending billions of public revenue to the same global Wall Street corporations is create the feeling that moving more and more people into communities slated to FAIL is OK----
LA city council simply passed these laws to move billions of dollars to global construction corporations using Federal, state, and local taxpayer revenue under the guise of public safety----meanwhile, LA is NEW ORLEANS waiting to happen and LA has millions more 99% of citizens facing far worse than KATRINA.
These STAY IN PLACE policies with expanded development in what are DISASTER ZONES is the OPPOSITE of REAL left social progressive real estate policies----it is far-right wing global Wall Street staging the disasters we see on national media -----
L.A. landlords and tenants will share earthquake retrofit costs under deal approved by City Council
Rosanna XiaContact Reporter Jan 13, 2016
Renters and apartment owners must equally share the financial burden of earthquake retrofitting, the Los Angeles City Council agreed Wednesday, capping a more than year-long debate that allows the city to begin implementing the most sweeping mandatory seismic laws in the nation.
After many housing studies and heated meetings with landlord and tenant groups, city staff proposed a compromise that the City Council unanimously voted to move forward: Owners can pass half the retrofit costs to tenants through rent increases over a 10-year period, with a maximum increase of $38 per month.
"This is a deal that's been a year in the making. And it's the best deal that we could have," said Councilman Gil Cedillo, the head of the City Council committee that mediated the plan. "It took a lot of work to get this done. Those meetings initially were not pleasant .... We’re very happy to get both groups together."
This follows the city’s adoption of an ambitious law that requires an estimated 15,000 buildings across Los Angeles to be retrofitted. The law, signed in October by Mayor Eric Garcetti, caps decades of efforts to strengthen two types of older buildings that proved deadly in past earthquakes: brittle concrete buildings that dot L.A.'s major boulevards and wood-frame apartment complexes with weak first floors. About 65 people died when these types of buildings collapsed during temblors in 1971 and 1994.
Past efforts to require retrofitting — or simply identify the most vulnerable buildings — died at City Hall over the question of cost. Landlords have long been concerned with the financial burden of retrofitting, which could cost as much as $130,000 for a wooden apartment and millions for a larger concrete building.
Tenants have worried that owners would be allowed to recoup all the retrofitting costs through significant rent increases. In 2013, San Francisco passed a landmark law requiring owners to retrofit vulnerable wooden apartment buildings but allowed the costs to be passed on to renters — even those protected by rent control — over a 20-year period. Compliance so far has not been an issue, officials said, and exceptions have been made to help ease the burden on tenants with the lowest incomes.
In Los Angeles, lawmakers grappled with the controversy of passing all the costs on to tenants in a city that already has some of the nation’s highest rents.
Under existing L.A. housing laws, which have rarely been applied to seismic retrofitting, property owners technically could do so through a rent increase of as much as $75 per month.
The 50-50 cost-sharing plan approved Wednesday took more than a year of committee hearings and discussions with building officials, engineers, and owner and tenant groups. Many concerns have now been addressed, both sides acknowledged.
Officials, for example, agreed to allow owners to also pass on half the cost of a building’s seismic evaluation, as well as the interest they would pay on any loans taken out to fund the retrofits, said Jim Clarke of the Apartment Assn. of Greater Los Angeles.
"Is it the best we could get or expect? Probably," said Clark, adding that these considerations make a huge difference for many older, mom-and-pop property owners who invested their retirement nest egg in an apartment building and rely on the rent as income.
Tenant advocates said any rent increase would be a burden, but a $38 maximum increase per month is more acceptable than $75.
"It’s somewhat of a win-lose situation," said Larry Gross, executive director of the tenant advocacy group Coalition for Economic Survival. "Any increase to tenants today has a detrimental impact on their financial stability. On the other hand, we made significant progress on softening the blow. Tenants were looking at paying for the full retrofit cost and looking at $75-a-month increases. We got that cut in half."
With the cost-sharing debate resolved, the issue becomes how the retrofit laws will be implemented in the coming months. Tenant and owner groups worry that a sudden demand for thousands of mandatory retrofits will create price surges for qualified structural engineers and construction contractors.
Housing and building officials must also consider whether they have adequate staffing to process all the retrofit permits and the rent increases. The process needs to be streamlined and not complicated, said Beverly Kenworthy, executive director of the Los Angeles division of the California Apartment Assn.
"There is still a big fat question mark out there. There are a lot of things that have been left open-ended,” Clarke said. "This ordinance ... It'll probably be modified over the next five, 10 years."
Under the new retrofit law, property owners will have seven years to strengthen “soft-story” wooden apartments and 25 years to strengthen concrete buildings. Soft-story buildings have weak first floors because they often are built over carports and held up with slender columns.
The Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety is finalizing a list of roughly 13,500 soft-story wooden buildings that officials suspect need retrofitting. Once the list is finalized, officials will first issue a courtesy letter to every owner explaining the new law and the mandatory retrofit timeline.
It will take longer for city officials to identify which concrete buildings will be included in the new retrofit regulations, officials said. There are an estimated 1,500 buildings — including landmark structures in downtown, Hollywood and Westwood — that may require close scrutiny.
Both tenant and owner groups acknowledge that the retrofits need to be completed, but hope lawmakers won’t consider this the end of the issue. The city needs to continue to find financial aid options for these retrofits, they said, such as low-interest loans, permit fee waivers and tax breaks.
"We look to them to be as aggressive in continuing to seek those funds as they were aggressive in getting the mandatory retrofitting passed in the first place," Gross said. "It's part of the equation."
A retrofit tax credit bill proposed by Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks) passed the Assembly and Senate last year, but failed to get the governor’s signature.
Cedillo, who was on his way to meet with Nazarian after Wednesday's meeting, acknowledged these concerns and said the city would continue to lobby the state for funding options.
"Why are we waiting for an earthquake and then committed to spending billions of dollars, when we can spend millions of dollars before the earthquake, avoid the trauma, avoid the loss of affordable housing, and do so in a preemptive manner that costs us less," Cedillo said. "I will continue to make that argument to the governor and hope that we make some progress."
San Fran is doing that same earthquake planning for STAYING IN PLACE but they have a working, well-thought out plan that has more potential for actually seeing steps put into place. We saw from the article below what are real data housing compromised vs housing safe with what will be needed to actually allow 99% of San Fran citizens to have more of the ability to STAY IN PLACE. What is different from Los Angeles and San Fran? San Fran has developed with high-skilled professionals BEST OF THE BEST IN THE WORLD global 1% and their 2% filling that CITY STATE and global Google et al technology corporations really want to make global labor pool feel San Fran is safe to live.
Greater San Fran suburbs are in the worst of disaster zone mapping but that is OK because only global factories are being built there.
'The ad-hoc nature of development in the nineties left a bad aftertaste. Cheaply built “lofts” had sprung up all over, taking advantage of live-work laws that allowed construction of housing units in industrial areas. These units—often cheaper to build because they had more lenient open space and parking requirements and incurred lower development fees to the city—were intended to provide housing and studio space by artists and small-craft artisans. But in many cases, developers used live-work projects to make an end run around the city’s planning process and build luxury units in industrially zoned areas for the city’s newly rich technology workers that were priced far above the means of most of the city’s artists. In the process, the city also missed out on at least $8 million in fees'.
So, the steps in this San Fran disaster plan are good ones----we will see them actually move forward in providing disaster stations in communities able to address local citizens ----not leaving 99% of citizens having to go to the ASTRODOME.
What we need to remember about SAFE ENOUGH TO STAY is the FEMA trailers brought to KATRINA victims and what a debacle that became to 99% of citizens.
EVERY CITIZEN SHOULD BE EDUCATED ON STAYING IN PLACE EMERGENCY PLANS----WE HAVE DONE THIS FOR 300 YEARS----THE PROBLEM IS GLOBAL WALL STREET POLS HAVE NO INTENTIONS OF SAVING ANYONE OUTSIDE OF THAT CITY CENTER CORE.
What we hear San Fran city council saying is this------the last major earthquake left CA cities empty of population as citizens relocated---they did not FEEL SAFE ENOUGH TO STAY and CA lost all economic activity ----businesses and these current policies are designed to KEEP PEOPLE AND BUSINESSES IN PLACE therefor keeping Greater San Fran citizens' consumption in place.
'What it will take for residents to live safely in their homes after an earthquake.
Excerpted from the SPUR report Safe Enough to Stay
Urbanist Article February 1, 2012'
This is the BUSH-ERA answer to SHELTERING IN PLACE----it sent hundreds of billions of dollars to BUSH trailer home corporations while victims were victimized again. If we look at San Fran's plans for STAYING IN PLACE we will see these same plans ----from trailers and outhouses to trucked-in fresh water-----know what? THIS IS CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY DEVELOPMENT PLANS and trillions of dollars are being pushed to these West Coast US FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES as millions and millions more global labor pool citizens are filling these areas. No evacuation plans---- no relocation funding------all because the global 1% Wall Street wants to protect that US FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE built on real estate we all know is MOST COMPROMISED.
FEMA Isn't Relying on Trailers to House Hurricane Victims
(AndrewHarnik/AP)Tuesday, 19 Sep 2017 10:42 AM
The hurricanes that battered Texas and Florida have likely spawned the worst disaster-created housing crisis since Hurricane Katrina left hundreds of thousands of Gulf Coast residents without homes more than a decade ago.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it's not borrowing from its much-maligned Katrina playbook to rely on government-issued trailers or mobile homes to shelter residents displaced by hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
"We don't have enough FEMA trailers for all the homes that were destroyed," FEMA Administrator Brock Long said last week at a briefing in Washington. "If you combine Harvey and Irma, this is an extraordinary event that is going to require innovative solutions when it comes to housing."
After Katrina struck in 2005, federal lawsuits accused FEMA of recklessly providing scores of storm victims with shoddily constructed trailers that exposed occupants to toxic fumes. FEMA, which stopped using the cramped travel trailers, has touted the safety features of its latest generation of mobile homes.
Long, however, said manufactured housing will not be the primary way people in Texas and Florida are provided temporary housing in the coming months.
Harvey flooded more than 79,000 homes with at least 18 inches of water, according to a FEMA official. More than 740,000 households have registered for FEMA aid, such as rental assistance and money for damage repairs. The agency already is paying for tens of thousands of Harvey victims to stay in hotels and motels in 33 states.
Long is working with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to find ways to get people back in their flood-damaged homes more quickly, without using manufactured housing.
"The way we've done business in the past has not necessarily been successful. It's been a frustrating road," Long said Friday.
During a record-setting hurricane season in 2005, Katrina's devastation sent FEMA scrambling to meet the unprecedented need for temporary housing in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Less than one month after Katrina's landfall, Hurricane Rita roared ashore and demolished roughly 23,000 more homes in Texas and Louisiana.
FEMA purchased more than 140,000 new trailers and mobile homes to house Katrina and Rita victims near their storm-shattered properties or in makeshift trailer parks.
By March 2006, FEMA learned of concerns that travel trailers were exposing occupants to elevated formaldehyde levels. Formaldehyde, a chemical commonly found in building materials, can cause breathing problems and is classified as a carcinogen.
Many trailer occupants began complaining of headaches, nosebleeds and difficulty breathing. Government tests on hundreds of trailers in Louisiana and Mississippi found formaldehyde levels that were, on average, about five times higher than in most modern homes.
Storm victims' attorneys accused the trailer makers of using substandard building materials and methods in a rush to fill FEMA's orders. The lawyers also claimed FEMA downplayed the formaldehyde concerns for months and initially balked at air quality tests to avoid legal liability.
A team of attorneys sued the federal government and travel manufacturers on behalf of tens of thousands of storm victims. But a federal judge dismissed all claims against the federal government, ruling FEMA couldn't be held liable for deciding to use travel trailers after Katrina and Rita.
"They're basically bullet-proof when it comes to deciding the type of emergency housing they provide," said Gerald Meunier, who was one of the lead plaintiffs' attorneys for the litigation. "We said, 'It was a dumb choice. You just picked the wrong kind of housing.'"
Michael Byrne, FEMA's federal disaster recovery coordinator for Harvey, said the agency will be moving manufactured housing units into the flood-ravaged region "as the demand presents itself" to help state and local officials "fill the gap."
"We're not going to put people in anything that's substandard," Byrne said. "We've learned lessons."
SHELTERING IN PLACE is setting the stage for exactly this-----we will see millions of citizens tied to subprime housing for months---years -----while US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE city centers are very quickly replaced with plenty of evacuation transportation planned via helicopter and private planes------this is how third world nations operate ---and these are the policies MOVING FORWARD is installing in all US FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES.
Our US citizens having grown up during CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA and our new immigrant citizens may not even KNOW what existed in US for 300 years as WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% had elected officials sworn to oath to PROTECT AND SERVE the citizens in their communities. That is why for 300 years we have had public structures both agencies and employees enough to assure a population could be safely evacuated and sheltered after DISASTER. The US Constitution states our government IS OF, BY, AND FOR THE PEOPLE.
PLEASE STOP ALLOWING GLOBAL 1% TO DISMANTLE ALL PUBLIC INTEREST SERVICES AND PROTECTIONS BUILDING THE WORST OF DEVELOPMENT AT THE VERY TIME CLIMATE CHANGE BRINGS FLOOD, FIRE, AND EARTHQUAKES ARE INTENSIFYING.
Global 1% are developing today with the intentions of ABANDONING US FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES tomorrow----we must have SUSTAINABILITY FOR THE 99% and not sustainability for global 1% and their global corporate campuses.
Just as allowing LEAD WATER PIPES installed in US cities last century ----KNOWING THEY WOULD POISON POPULATIONS----the far-right wing global 1% could care less that trailers were toxic.
'When a boomtown looks like a refugee camp
When Shapiro arrived in North Dakota, he was following a rumor: that the oil boom in the Bakken Shale had attracted the Katrina trailers from across the country like filings to a magnet. What he didn’t expect was to find the trailers surrounding the towns of the Bakken boom at Katrina-level densities. These boomtowns were hard to distinguish from refugee camps'.
Today Gulf Coast states are watching as hurricane after hurricane wash more and more toxic chemicals into gulf and onto coastline----it is a toxic waste dump on par to China Foreign Economic Zone PORTS.
These same far-right wing global Wall Street pols are the ones planning today's disaster policies and development----in LA---in San Fran---in Seattle, and in all US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones as Baltimore MD. THESE PLAYERS STILL DON'T CARE! GET RID OF GLOBAL WALL STREET POLS AND PLAYERS.
This is what being that HOMEOWNER/RENTER will look like under LA/San Fran/Seattle disaster plans-----real estate property will be called CATASTROPHIC and insurance will be declared VOID.
People are still living in FEMA’s toxic Katrina trailers — and they likely have no idea
By Heather Smith on Aug 27, 2015
As soon as Nick Shapiro turned into the parking lot of the Tumbleweed Inn in Alexander, N.D., he recognized the trailers. They were off-white, boxy, almost cartoonish, and unadorned with any of the frills — racing stripes, awnings, window treatments — that a manufacturer would typically add to set a trailer apart on a display lot.
But these trailers had never seen a display lot. Shapiro had first seen them when he was living in New Orleans in 2010, doing fieldwork for his Oxford University PhD. In New Orleans, everyone knew what they were, and the city was desperate to get rid of them. They had been built fast, and not to last. The fact that some people were still living in them because they had never gotten enough money to rebuild their homes, or had run afoul of unethical contractors, was just an unwanted reminder of how far the city still had to go to recover from Hurricane Katrina.
But in the oil fields of Alexander, where Shapiro found them, people had, at best, only a dim memory of hearing something bad about the trailers on the late night news.
Only one person in the improvised trailer park near the Tumbleweed Inn knew where the trailers were from. Now 19, he’d lived in one as a child, after his family’s home was destroyed when the levees around New Orleans broke in 2005. “It feels like home,” he said, looking around the park. “Not the landscape. The trailers. I’m used to it.”
Most of the people living in the trailer park were like him: men, young, drawn to North Dakota from all over the U.S. by the prospect of making $16-an-hour minimum in an oil boomtown. So what if they had to pay $1,200 a month to live in a trailer out on the prairie? They made it work. They slept in bunk beds, seven to a trailer, so that they could save as much as they could, and then get the hell out of there.
Get me 120,000 trailer homes, pronto!
The story of the trailers — which Grist has assembled from Freedom of Information Act requests, interviews, and the public record — goes like this: Less than 24 hours after the New Orleans levees broke, trailer companies were in touch with local officials for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), setting up contracts to provide housing for people whose homes were destroyed in the flood. Since 80 percent of New Orleans, plus a whole lot of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama coastline, had been flooded, the need for housing was overwhelming. At the time, there were about 14,000 trailers in lots around the country, waiting to be sold; FEMA needed 120,000. It ordered nearly $2.7 billion worth of travel trailers and mobile homes from 60 different companies, and the production lines cranked into overdrive.
This map shows initial deployments of FEMA trailers in Louisiana between September 2005 and October 2009:
Maps by Clayton Aldern. Video above by Mariel Carr.
Still, a month after Katrina and Rita hit landfall, Louisiana had only managed to get 109 families into trailers. The alternatives were overcrowded shelters, or squatting in the wreckage of the flood.
As new trailers arrived, they brought hope: They were shiny and new, and most importantly, had never been buried under 12 feet of water. But when the people who were supposed to live in them opened the doors, many noted a strong chemical smell inside. Some thought it was OK: It smelled kind of like a new car in there! Others did not think it was OK, especially after they started to get nosebleeds and headaches, and began to have trouble breathing. Local pediatricians began to notice an epidemic of respiratory infections in children in the area — and all of them seemed to be living in FEMA trailers.
“After the storm, about half of the people I knew were in FEMA trailers,” said Sierra Club organizer Becky Gillette. “Some of them were fine. The smokers didn’t complain much. But I had a friend who would wake up in the middle of the night, gasping for air.” Gillette knew a fair amount about air pollution — she’d worked on social justice campaigns around the local oil refinery. The link between mobile homes and formaldehyde was well documented; the low ceilings and small size concentrated any fumes emanating from the particleboard they were built with.
Even after the National Institutes of Health declared formaldehyde to be a carcinogen, the Department of Housing and Urban Development didn’t bother to regulate levels of formaldehyde for travel trailers or motor homes, under the theory that they were only temporary lodging. Formaldehyde test kits were about $35 apiece, and they added up fast. Gillette ordered 32 of them — over $1,200 worth. When 30 of the 32 tested positive for high formaldehyde levels, she shared the information with FEMA — which, she said, did nothing. So Gillette got a grant from the Sierra Club to buy even more kits.
FEMA — or at least some parts of FEMA — did know that the trailers were dangerous, though that would not emerge until the congressional hearings on the issue in 2008. FEMA appears to have stopped testing trailers in early 2006, after a field agent discovered that one trailer, which was occupied by a couple expecting their second child, had formaldehyde levels at 75 times the recommended threshold for workplace safety. The couple was relocated, and management pushed back against further testing, even after a man was found dead in his trailer a few months later. “Do not initiate any testing until we give the OK,” a FEMA lawyer named Patrick Preston advised on June 15, 2006. “Once you get results and should they indicate some problem, the clock is running on our duty to respond to them.”
That same month, the Sierra Club announced that, out of 44 trailers tested with kits purchased from Gillette’s grant, 40 had dangerously high formaldehyde levels. Mary DeVany, an occupational safety consultant who worked with the Sierra Club on interpreting the results, theorized that the plywood that was used to build some of the trailers wasn’t heat-treated properly. Trailers built by three companies in particular — Pilgrim International, Coachman Industries, and Gulf Stream Coach — had the highest levels. Kevin Broom, a spokesperson for the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, told reporters that trailer residents needed to open their windows.
Used trailers, warning stickers, and the free market
FEMA ultimately succeeded in deploying 140,000 trailers up and down the ravaged Gulf Coast. Then it had to start figuring out what to do with them as people began to rebuild their lives and leave them behind. The agency had planned on getting rid of the trailers by selling them, possibly even to the people who were living in them, but that was no longer an option. In July of 2007, FEMA suspended sales of the trailers to the public, and in November, it announced plans to move as many residents as possible out of the trailers — partly, a FEMA spokesperson said, because of formaldehyde levels.
Around the same time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began running its own tests. It announced the results in early 2008: On average, the 519 trailers the CDC tested had five times the formaldehyde levels found in most modern homes, but a few were dramatically higher — about 40 times the recommended levels. The CDC’s then-director urged FEMA to relocate anyone still living in trailers, particularly children and the elderly, before summer, when heat would make the fumes even worse.
Even unoccupied, the trailers were costing nearly $130 million a year to store, according to federal records, but what to do with them had become a loaded question. Congressional hearings held in spring 2008 established that the trailers were unsafe. In February of 2009, the CDC started a $3.4 million pilot program designed to find people — especially children — who had lived in FEMA trailers and track the their health over time. And a massive class-action lawsuit filed by trailer residents against FEMA and the trailer manufacturers continued to work its way through the court system.
But on Jan. 1, 2010, a court injunction banning the sale of the trailers expired, and FEMA handed them off to the General Services Administration (GSA) to auction them off, for about 7 percent what FEMA had originally paid for them. The GSA made buyers sign an agreement promising not to sell them as housing, and it slapped stickers on them saying that they were not to be used for human habitation — just storage or recreation.
This map shows the locations of FEMA trailer auction buyers. Mouse over a cluster for the number of trailers purchased. Note that data are circa 2011–12, and many trailers have been resold (and relocated) since then:
Observers were aghast. “What if Toyota ordered a recall, then simply put a sticker on its vehicles saying they were unfit to drive before reselling them?” said Becky Gillette. In late 2008, FEMA had quietly sold about a thousand Katrina trailers and mobile homes as scrap; six months later, they were spotted in mobile home parks in Missouri and Georgia. What was to stop the same thing from happening over and over again — stickers or no stickers?
Nick ShapiroAs it turned out, nothing. FEMA trailers began to turn up everywhere, particularly in places where people needed a lot of housing fast, no questions asked. The stickers that read “NOT TO BE USED FOR HOUSING” were gone from the trailers almost as soon as they left the auction lot, though none of the buyers would admit to removing them.
The trailers showed up later in 2010, at the Deepwater Horizon spill. They showed up in 2011 in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee, in neighborhoods that had been flattened by tornadoes.
That was when Shapiro decided to follow up and started testing the trailers himself. He’d become preoccupied with them — how ubiquitous they remained despite their known risks. He defrayed his expenses by calling in favors; there was the analytical chemistry lab that agreed to run the tests for free, and a colleague who applied part of a grant from the National Science Foundation toward shipping.
Word got out that he was testing trailers, and people from Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Georgia, and Illinois began to seek him out. Every test he did came in above the 16 ppm (parts per million) threshold that had been established as the new FEMA standard after the congressional hearings. None of the people who contacted Shapiro had been told, before they bought the trailers, that they were dangerous to live in. Most of them told Shapiro they couldn’t afford to move; they just appreciated knowing the risk.
Those who did try to get rid of the trailers, though, found that it wasn’t easy. Marty Horine of Clinton, Mo., bought a 32-foot ex-FEMA Gulfstream Cavalier for her son in 2007, two weeks before the trailers were officially declared unfit to live in.
Horine tried to return the trailer. The seller refused, and promptly declared bankruptcy. Horine contacted the General Services Administration, the government agency that had handled the trailer auctions. (“I’m a retired schoolteacher,” she says, dryly. “We’re a little bit of a bulldog, schoolteachers.”) But the GSA told Horine that it would only take the trailer back if she brought it to Hope, Arkansas, the site of the original auction, and it would only buy the trailer back for what the GSA had sold it for. Horine had bought hers from a reseller, for $6,000, while that reseller had bought it at auction for around $1,000.
Nick ShapiroHorine still sees FEMA trailers for sale in Clinton from time to time. Three years ago, over a hundred of them appeared for sale on a nearby lot, with the stickers scraped off. “I went over there, just acting dumb, because that’s not hard to do,” Horine drawled. “Then I said to the girl who was in charge of selling them, ‘You know this is illegal.'” The woman said that she didn’t know what Horine was talking about, but Horine noticed that the trailers were gone the next day.
Horine’s trailer remains unoccupied. She feels that selling it would be unethical. Even if she sold it on the cheap to someone who was aware of the risks, who’s to say that person wouldn’t turn around and sell it as a home to someone else? “It’s still sitting down there,” she said when I called her, as though she were describing a visitor that had overstayed its welcome.
Shapiro began to file public records requests to find out as much as he could about the trailers, and where they went. Now, when people contacted him, he had a collection of spreadsheets that he could search through to verify whether their trailer was one of the 120,000.
When a boomtown looks like a refugee campWhen Shapiro arrived in North Dakota, he was following a rumor: that the oil boom in the Bakken Shale had attracted the Katrina trailers from across the country like filings to a magnet. What he didn’t expect was to find the trailers surrounding the towns of the Bakken boom at Katrina-level densities. These boomtowns were hard to distinguish from refugee camps.
How the trailers had made their way to North Dakota from Louisiana was a riddle. Back in 2010, FEMA donated several hundred trailers to the local Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa; it would not have been hard for the trailers to migrate again out of Turtle Mountain and into the oil fields. Shapiro was expecting to find oil and gas workers living in them. But instead the trailers were occupied by young men seeking their fortunes in the service economy that had sprung up around the oil and gas workers.
The oil and gas workers lived in nicer trailers, a few feet away. But the ones the service workers occupied were falling apart: Mold was blooming out of vents and improperly sealed crevices. In a sense, the trailers had been embalmed; now they were beginning to decompose.
The good news was, after four years of air-quality readings in FEMA trailers, the levels of formaldehyde were dropping. This spring, Shapiro returned to retest a trailer owned by a retired Mississippi couple that he had tested when they contacted him back in 2011. Back then the air had measured 105.6 ppb of formaldehyde – dangerously high.
In 2015, the level was down to 20 ppb — a fifth as high, but still over the 16 ppb safety threshold. What exactly did this mean? It’s hard to say, because no one has systematically studied how the toxic trailers might have actually harmed their residents. The CDC had a plan, known as KARE (aka, Katrina and Rita Exposures), to register and track the health of FEMA trailer residents, but it never moved past the pilot stage. Shapiro says he asked CDC why and received a letter saying that the decision to not proceed rested solely with FEMA.
Shapiro gave the couple a prototype “air remediation device” – a houseplant hooked up to an aquarium pump with the diaphragm reversed. In the last year, he’d been working with a research group called Public Lab on low-cost ways that people could monitor and clean the air in their own homes. For Shapiro, the project was a morale-booster in the face of the relentlessly dispiriting trailer research. But he also worried that the plant was a kind of cop-out — a form of potted surrender to the fact that not all environmental justice campaigns result in actual environmental justice.
He tested the couple’s trailer again, anyway. A month after the installation of the “remediation device,” the formaldehyde levels had fallen 40 percent, to 12 ppm. A decade after Katrina had summoned the trailers into existence, the ill-fated homes might almost be safe to live in.
Looks like both BUSH and his HALLIBURTON got the TRAILER FUNDING and here is CLINTON'S HOPE ARKANASAS getting the storage.
When we watch as our utility workers tied to disaster home energy home natural gas repairs travel in fleets just like this roaming from disaster to disaster working 24 hours a day for weeks ----RATHER THAN HAVING OUR CITIES AND COUNTIES WITH PUBLIC WORKS TRUCKS ABLE TO DO THEIR OWN WORK----we are looking at FAILED STATE POLICY. Real estate in Arkansas developed on to sit and hold miles of stored FEMA trailers ----real estate in Arizona holding miles of unused jets-----
THE DISASTERS TIED TO GULF OF MEXICO ------UNLIMITED TOXIC CHEMICAL PROCESSING PLANTS----WASHING ONTO SHORELINES IS NOW THE DEVELOPMENT POLICIES FOR OUR US EAST COASTS AND WEST COASTS AT THE VERY TIME CLIMATE CHANGE AND EARTHQUAKE ACTIVITY INTENSIFIES. OUR EAST COAST BEACHES AND FAMILY-OWNED LAND IS GOING, GOING, GONE IF MOVING FORWARD CONTINUES.
FEMA Trailers from Hurricane Katrina
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Published on Jan 21, 2012
While passing by the Hope, Arkansas airport, I shot a video of thousands and thousands of FEMA mobile homes and travel trailers that I saw stored there. This is nowhere near all of them, they have nearly as many stored in Beauregard Parish Airport, in DeRidder, Louisiana. I was driving about 45 mile per hour, and the trailers just kept going and going. Notice in some parts of the video just HOW MANY rows deep these trailers are! I know this is just a side view, but it's absolutely amazing how many of these were crammed onto the airport property.
People are still living in FEMA's toxic trailers
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Published on Aug 27, 2015
Ten years ago Hurricanes Katrina and Rita tore into the Gulf Coast and displaced over a million residents. For many of these people, trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency became their homes. But many of the new occupants soon found it hard to breathe, suffering flulike symptoms, stinging eyes, and nosebleeds. The culprit was formaldehyde, which emanated from the hastily assembled, substandard materials used to make the trailers. The toxic FEMA trailers became an embarrassment to the agency and, in the eyes of many, emblematic of the government’s mismanaged response to the disaster. A decade after the storms Distillations followed CHF researcher and medical anthropologist Nicholas Shapiro as he went searching for the remaining FEMA trailers. His search took him to the oil fields of North Dakota, where a different kind of housing crisis is taking place. To read more follow this link: http://grist.org/politics/people-are-... Video by Mariel Carr. Special thanks to reporter Nick Shapiro. Video produced by The Chemical Heritage Foundation, a library, museum, and center for scholars in Philadelphia that fosters dialogue on the role of science and technology in society. Find out more about their multimedia magazine at http://distillations.org. Help us caption & translate this video!
When citizens in Maryland and Baltimore look at development policies only in their own communities----and not statewide and nationally they not only lose opportunities for owning real estate or renting where they want to be ---but they are losing the ability to move ---to evacuate anywhere near where they want to live. We can be sure our Gulf Coast 99% of citizen will not admit the Gulf coastline is TOAST ---but it is. This happened because our southern states are controlled by far-right wing extreme wealth extreme poverty pols ALT RIGHT ALT LEFT pretending to be right wing conservative Republicans or left wing social progressive Democrats ----KILLING BY DEVELOPMENT the future for our children and grandchildren.
So, these several years are seeing Gulf Coast citizens moving to BALTIMORE and with that comes the willingness to allow global 1% to do ANYTHING THEY WANT. We see the FREEMASON SIGNS FLASHING----the GREEK 5% SHOW ME THE MONEY ----MOVING FORWARD these same destructive real estate development plans off Maryland's coast and in our Baltimore City. WHERE IN THE WORLD WILL THE FAMILIES OF THOSE PLAYERS MOVE NEXT? They will be under the bus.
We said NO TO OFFSHORE DRILLING ON EAST AND WEST COAST just for this reason. Today its MOVING FORWARD under the guise of off-shore windmills----offshore industrial fish farming-----add offshore oil drilling---and all the real estate on our Eastern Shore coast will look just like Gulf of Mexico.
Who knew Atlantic hurricanes would intensify -----storms and flooding soar----and today is only the beginning of climate change weather intensity hitting all that offshore oil, natural gas export terminals----all of global Wall Street CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA 5% pols and players. Where are West Coast oil and natural gas drilling and export terminals going? Right where earthquake and tsunami damage will be worse.
Thousands of Invisible Oil Spills Are Destroying the Gulf
There are about 30,000 oil spills in US waters nationally. This map only show the spills that have been reported since 2005
Hurricane Ivan would not die. After traveling across the Atlantic Ocean, it stewed for more than a week in the Caribbean, fluctuating between a Category 3 and 5 storm while battering Jamaica, Cuba, and other vulnerable islands. And as it approached the US Gulf Coast, it stirred up a massive mud slide on the sea floor. The mudslide created leaks in 25 undersea oil wells, snarled the pipelines leading from the wells to a nearby oil platform, and brought the platform down on top of all of it. And a bunch of the mess—owned by Taylor Energy—is still down there, covered by tons of silty sediment. Also, twelve years later, the mess is still leaking.
The Taylor Energy site will continue to leak for the next century, according to the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Since the storm, its oil slick stretches over eight square miles on an average day. Meanwhile, Taylor Energy gone bankrupt with only 9 wells plugged, and is suing the federal government for $432 million in trust for leak response, saying there's nothing left to do. “Taylor is the most blatant example of everything that can go wrong with conventional offshore drilling,” says David Manthos, program coordinator at environmental watchdogging nonprofit SkyTruth.
While the Taylor Energy spill is the worst case scenario, it's not the US’s only low-profile leaker. Every year thousands of oil and chemical spills occur in waters around the country, but unless you live in a highly impacted area like Louisiana, you probably only hear about a handful of them. That's partly because the Coast Guard classifies many spills—up to 100,000 gallons—as minor or moderate, and small spills get less of everything: less media attention, less regulation, less environmental impact assessment, and most critically, less funding to clean them up.
It makes sense that not every greasy pelican is national news. But as a group, they probably should be. Oil is toxic. Oil spills, however small, have a cumulative environmental impact. But the regulations in place to prevent them are limited, and in some cases, absurd. For instance, the US Coast Guard basically relies on oil companies to use the honor system when reporting leaks. And since oil leaks happen not only because oil technology is often either too old or too new, but also because of human error, that's what we call a real conflict of interest.
Size Doesn't Matter
Oil leaks have been around longer than humans have been drilling. In Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of California, petroleum naturally seeps up through the seafloor. But natural oil seeps are slow, and old. The oil droplets rising through the water from the seafloor create only the thinnest of slicks on the surface, and the organisms that live over these seeps—like oil-gobbling bacteria—have evolved to cope with it. But the majority of ocean life never developed the appetite for oil.
Or much defense against it. Air breathing animals like dolphins and turtles suck in oil if they surface in a slick, and when even small amounts of oil end up in their lungs, they suffer fatal pneumonia-esque health issues. Plants and algae can't photosynthesize under a grungy film. And even a few molecules of oil can kill fish larvae.
Human physiology isn't a fan either. "Oil slicks can be very noxious. My graduate students have become ill from the fumes when we've gone out there," says Ian MacDonald, an oceanographer at Florida State University. MacDonald and his students have turned the collapsed Taylor Energy site into something of a lab, because it reliably leaks between 84 and 1,470 gallons per day.
Except, Size Definitely Matters
Each red dot above represents an oil spill reported to the National Response Center between 2005 and today. They're concentrated in the Gulf, but you can zoom out to see spills in other areas, are click on a spill to see when someone reported it.
Even a few thousand gallons of spilled oil is consequential. Even more consequential are more than 30,000 of those so-called small spills each year. Which is probably the bare minimum spill estimate, says Manthos of SkyTruth. Really, it's hard to know if this figure is complete, and even harder to calculate the volume of oil being leaked. Some new oil equipment is smart enough to know when, and measure how much, it leaks. But those sensors can malfunction. Plus most oil infrastructure is way older. Most of the time oil companies, activists, and the US Coast Guard are all doing some version of educated guessing.
Their biggest clues comes from the size and color of an oil slick. Neither of which are great. "If you’ve ever tried to estimate the size of something in a plane going 200 miles per hour, you know it’s probably off," says Scott Eustis, a coastal wetlands specialist at the Gulf Restoration Network. Color gives a clues about an oil spill's thickness. But anyone who has even had one of those 'What if my blue isn't the same as your blue, man?' conversations knows why that could get tricky.
The volumes that oil companies and others do calculate and report get compiled in a National Response Center database. And if you ask an oil lobbyist, it all totals to about one million gallons per year. And those oil company-provided numbers are what the US Coast Guard relies on to levy fines against those that spill. Which is a problem, because oil companies have a financial incentive to lowball the spill estimates, because the fines levied against them often triple if they cross that major spill threshold. "It's the fox watching the henhouse," Manthos says.
At SkyTruth, Manthos uses satellite imagery and remote sensing data to get a much more definitive picture of spill size and color than you can get from sticking your head out of a helicopter door. "We make an estimate and compare it to estimate they submit, and they usually don't add up," he says. "An environmentally concerned person might have a tendency to overreport. If the report comes from someone working on a oil platform, those volumes are frequently underreported." And does not account for the many spills that go unnoticed somewhere along the 2.4 million miles of oil pipe in the United States. "There's so much infrastructure and no one monitoring it," says Jonathan Henderson, founder and president of environmental watchdog organization Vanishing Earth. "It's impossible to say how much damage is being done."
Not for lack of trying. When SkyTruth contributed to a study comparing oil companies' estimates to more objective satellite data, they found that on average, the volume of oil spilled is at least 13 times higher than reported—Thirteen million gallons is more than an Exxon Valdez per year. And oil companies don't need to be accurate. "There are penalties for not reporting something that you should have seen," Manthos says. "But no penalties for underreporting."
The Coast Guard's self-defense on these enforcement matters isn't too convincing. "The Coast Guard would likely seek enforcement action," says Lieutenant Katie Braynard. She would not comment more specifically.
Aging Infrastructure and Poor Regulation
American oil infrastructure is old. On this map, each dot represents a still-standing platform or rig. The lighter the dot, the older the construction. The oldest date back to the 1960s. You can click on a rig to see the installation date.
The US government spends a lot of money subsidizing the oil industry—some $5.3 trillion in benefits according to an International Monetary Fund study. But the government does not require the industry to do sweeping upgrades of its aging, leaky equipment.
The infrastructure issues are a mixture of growing pains and poor maintenance. "There's two ways things go bad," says Eustis. There's new stuff, like Deep Water Horizons: under-tested, in deep water, under high pressure, and far from land. But that new stuff is, as you can now guess, rare. Many more leaks come from rust bucket rigs that are chronically broken and patched, instead of rebuilt, says Eustis. These rigs are usually close to shore, have changed hands a few times, and are now operated by the subcontractor of a subcontractor of a subcontractor of a subsidiary of a major oil company. "That’s where the oil production started," MacDonald says. "Everything close to land is 20, 30 plus years old." And the older they are, the more they leak.
Many aren't even operational anymore. According to Henderson, about 36,000 abandoned wells dot the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico, sites where the oil companies either drilled and didn't find anything below the sediment, or sapped a reserve to the point where it made more sense to move resources on to other, juicier wells.
But that doesn't mean that these wells are exhausted: in many cases small (or not so small) amounts of oil are still hanging out in the reservoir or the pipes connected to it. "There’s all these ticking time bombs out there rusting," Henderson says. "And it’s inshore too. Thousands of wells and pipelines in the wetlands were abandoned with oil still in them, and because of rising sea levels and coastal erosion, now they’re sitting in salt water and they’re corroding and leaking." Or sitting in the path of some future hurricane.
An issue of this magnitude clearly isn't down to a few shady companies. A certain amount of environmental ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ is built into the system. "The process for getting an oil lease is the simplest system in the world: whoever bids the most bonus gets the lease," says Jacqueline Weaver, a professor at the University of Houston Law Center who specializes in oil and gas law. "There is no real pre-qualification of lessees, no assessment of their fitness to operate." All they look at now is financial ability. So whether you're a reputable and responsible oil company, a petrol-curious dude who came into some cash, or the most notorious oil spiller in the galaxy, your chances of expanding your oil empire are equal.
Having few incentives other than financial ones breeds a poor safety culture. "The problem is 80% of the accidents are human error. Some of the actors in shallow water are just very sloppy," Weaver says. She attributes the situation in part to the cowboy mythos of American oil exploration. As far as they're concerned, they don't need help outside their own bootstraps, so they sure as heck don't need the National Academy of Sciences or government regulation to tell them how to do their jobs.
And that leads to issues that sound insane to an outsider: "On oil rigs, people always turn off all the alarms because they can’t sleep," Weaver says. "And even if they do leave them on, you don’t notice when there's an accident because the alarms are always going off." But to be fair, a sizable portion of the blame for that problem falls at the feet of their managers pushing for more and more oil flowing at faster and faster rates. And those managers are responding to the demands of, well, capitalism's appetite for oil.
Leaky Past, Leakier Future
Ah, capitalism. Despite environmental concerns, the world, and especially the United States, is still slurping up a lot of oil. And President-elect Trump's position on offshore oil drilling and preserving the jobs of oil workers makes that unlikely to change in the next four years. But Weaver doesn't necessarily see a future where every tract of land off US coasts is suddenly fair game. "The net effect of putting a huge amount of land on the market is driving down the price," she says. "That's just the United States losing money."
Besides, new development isn't nearly as scary as the leaky infrastructure—and regulatory holes—that already exist. Like the Taylor Energy site, with barely a decade of leaks behind it, and many more to come.
'About 3,000 properties in Anne Arundel have moved out of flood risk zones, while only 435 are moving in, according to the county’s Office of Planning and Zoning'.
Scientists KNOW these JUKED stats are playing into developers hands-----especially in Maryland and Baltimore where real estate deals are filled with fraud. What kinds of development are happening in ANNE ARUNDEL? This is to where much AFFORDABLE HOUSING is moving -----we see here SELECTIVE fees tied to taxation/insurance all moving REGRESSIVELY AND REPRESSIVELY to WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% as our housing options slowly disappear. These several decades will see our Glen Burnie that flood plain being made uninhabitable.
We showed mapping of dead zones due to coastal pollution with MARYLAND saying our Chesapeake Bay DEAD ZONE pollution is under control -----WAKE UP----OUR CHESAPEAKE BAY is well on its way to being that GULF OF MEXICO disaster. There is no pollution mitigation happening in Maryland---they pass laws that are NEVER ENFORCED.
'It should also be noted that this plan focuses on the potential impacts of sea level rise in the
County and does not attempt to address the broader issue of climate change or to address the
entire realm of potential consequences related to climate change'.
Flooding from Hurricane Isabel washes through the intersection of Aliceanna and South Wolfe streets in Fells Point in 2003.
(The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)New FEMA flood maps could mean big changesIt could determine who needs coverage, and what it costs
By: Capital News Service Dani Shae Thompson September 29, 2014
ANNAPOLIS — A long line of anxious property owners snaked through the cafeteria, past a sign-in table and down the hall — each of them waiting to be told whether they were in or out.
Floodplain maps have been redrawn by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Delaware, a change that could shift properties into or out of a flood risk zone.
The updated maps are used to calculate flood insurance rates, so for homeowners whose properties moved into FEMAs designated flood risk areas, the map change could mean paying more for flood insurance.
Likewise, for properties that are no longer in a flood risk area, flood insurance costs may be lowered or insurance may no longer be required.
Over 200 Anne Arundel County residents attended a FEMA community open house in Edgewater’s South River High School on Sept. 9 to find out whether their property was among those affected.
One by one, attendees were directed to a long table of computers, monitors, and printers staffed by FEMA outreach team members.
Vivian and Harry Crispell, a couple from Churchton, were among those waiting in line to hear the news.
“We’ve lived in our home for 30 years and have always had flood insurance,” said Vivian Crispell.
During that time she has seen the price of that insurance slowly climb.
She and her husband lived in their home during Hurricane Isabel in 2003. The water came up to their house, set back about 500 feet from the shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay, but didn’t do any damage.
There on the monitor, new digital flood insurance rate maps displayed two images of their property on the screen—before and after snapshots that showed an aerial view of where the floodplain was and where it had been moved in relation to the property.
A series of colorful, shaded regions on the maps denote areas of high risk, moderate risk, low risk and no risk.
“Looks like we’re in the clear!” Harry Crispell said.
According to the previous version of the flood insurance rate maps, the Crispells’ home was in a low-risk flood area. Now, their property is shown in a no-risk zone.
Anne Arundel County redrew its floodplain maps in 2012, and FEMA followed last year. For some other counties, the new digital versions are replacing paper floodplain maps that date back 10, 20 or even 30 years. The need for updated and more accurate maps prompted FEMA’s coastal flood hazard analyses in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
The agency’s extensive study began in 2009 and made use of more modern digital mapping technologies and storm surge modeling.
FEMA completed its newest versions of the maps in Maryland county by county, starting in 2013. New digital flood insurance rate maps have already gone into effect for Baltimore County, Baltimore and Kent County, and will be effective in 14 other Maryland counties by early 2016.
Garrett, Allegany, Washington, Frederick, Montgomery and Howard counties are not being remapped as part of the study.
Although most of the digital maps are available online, regional FEMA representatives have been touring the coasts of Maryland, Virginia and Delaware to hold open house events like the one in Edgewater.
Open houses have already been held in all affected counties except Talbot, where a meeting will be scheduled for 2015.
Like the Crispells’, neighbors Richard Hull and Steve Boccabello also received good news about their homes near the Loch Haven marina in Edgewater.
According to the previous flood zone map, both of their properties were within the low-risk zone, meaning their mortgage lender could require them to get flood insurance.
Now, both have moved out of the risk zone completely, meaning their flood insurance rates could be reduced or no longer necessary — a result that was common for many open house attendees in Edgewater.
About 3,000 properties in Anne Arundel have moved out of flood risk zones, while only 435 are moving in, according to the county’s Office of Planning and Zoning.
Among those properties moving from moderate risk to no risk on FEMA’s new map is a row of businesses on Market Place Street near the Annapolis Harbor.
For Karen Johnson-Gedney, owner of City Dock Coffee on Market Place Street, moving out of the flood zone doesn’t mean she will be opting out of her flood insurance.
“I will likely keep some degree of flood insurance simply because I lived through Hurricane Isabel in 2003 and I remember the devastation. They say that was a ‘once in a lifetime’ storm, but who knows,” she said.
A small plaque on the wall near the register marks where about a foot of water flooded the coffee shop.
Hurricane Floyd in 1999 also hit Annapolis hard, flooding the city docks with 11 inches of rain and badly damaging the Liberty Tree, an Annapolis landmark.
“People who were around during Isabel or Floyd know how bad the damage was and even if they aren’t in a high-risk area they want to feel protected, “ said Greg Clem, customer service representative for Henry M. Murray Agency Inc. in Annapolis.
“It’s peace-of-mind coverage.”
Reduced insurance rates for those in flood risk zones may be obtained if a community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, a program that helps residents obtain lower-cost, federally backed flood insurance—so long as that community enforces FEMA flood development regulations.
Maryland has 141 communities participating in the National Flood Insurance Program. The full list can be found at http://www.fema.gov/cis/MD.html.
For participating communities, properties changing from low risk to high risk may be able to save money with the program’s “grandfather rule,” which allows homeowners to lock in their current insurance rate, so that it will not significantly increase right after the new maps go into effect.
Many factors go into determining flood insurance rates, but property owners can contact their mortgage lender and insurance agent to determine whether their rates will change as a result of the new digital maps.For more information about the National Flood Insurance Program, visit https://www.floodsmart.gov/.
How does a global investment firm developer continue to be called NON-PROFIT? We keep allowing these global Wall Street Baltimore Development policies PRETEND it is about MIXED INCOME OWNERSHIP/RENTAL. If WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% are not demanding NOW REAL mixed income development in our BALTIMORE CITY CENTER----we will be those WEST COAST US FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE citizens pushed to and living in the worst of conditions regarding toxic waste dumping and climate change flooding and disaster.
There is ABSOLUTELY NO INTENTION OF HAVING REAL AFFORDABLE HOUSING MIXED INCOME FOR 99% OF BALTIMORE CITIZENS AND THAT TIED TO GLOBAL CORPORATE CAMPUSES WILL BE CONTROLLED BY THAT CORPORATION.
MICA is global Johns Hopkins' industrial arts campus with intentions of reinstating OLD WORLD DARK AGES artisan workshop structures so this campus will be that global corporate industrial campus and Druid Heights will an extension of MICA student housing as is happening to the East of MICA campus. This is bad not only for today's community citizens---it has intent of enslaving global labor pool workshop labor to these industrial artisan workshops---and yes, they will live in these very contained development for the 99% inside what are CITY CENTERS filled with global 1% and their 2%.
This is yet another extension of GLOBAL JOHNS HOPKINS' CAMPUS THIS IS WEST CAMPUS WHILE HOPKINS HAS ITS MEDICAL EAST CAMPUS-----taking all of Baltimore City Center controlling all the housing north to Northern Parkway. This plans for a HUGE GLOBAL JOHNS HOPKINS CORPORATE CAMPUS.
Mixed-income project to replace public housing in Druid Heights
Aug 19, 2015, 11:39am EDT
A nonprofit's plan to redevelop 149 properties, most of which are vacant lots and distressed public housing in West Baltimore, is moving forward.
On Wednesday, the city's Board of Estimates approved the sale of 149 properties in Druid Heights and Upton to the Boston-based nonprofit The Community Builders. The sale price was $149, or $1 per property, because the developer's investment will help eliminate blight, promote economic development by generating tax income and improve the surrounding community, according to the request from the Department of Housing and Community Development.
The Community Builders owns, operates and manages 10,000 apartments, including Pedestal Gardens public housing in Druid Heights. The nonprofit has completed 320 housing projects in 15 states.
The developer plans to replace the 203-unit Pedestal Gardens and the 149 properties with high quality, mixed-income housing. The project will create 90 new mixed-income rental townhouses and apartments. The four blocks that comprise Pedestal Gardens will be redeveloped over the course of five years, replacing the aging buildings with upgraded properties "that better reflect the architectural charm of Eutaw Place and Madison Street," the proposal said.
The Community Builders will provide 40 off-site housing units for residents currently living in Pedestal Gardens.
And this is how the DRUID HEIGHTS real estate is sold today-----the same East Baltimore Development of global Johns Hopkins campus heading to West communities with all kinds of propaganda from 5% black, white, and brown citizens and organizations of how this will help existing citizens.
What global 1% play on in Baltimore is RACE AND CLASS----so it becomes OK to push out that 99% of poor citizens because a 5% think THEY ARE MOVING IN. The only thing these 5% players are MOVING FORWARD to in future is being that global corporate campus global labor pool employee enslaved to third world wages and quality of life----$3-6 a day with bed and a meal.
These are the communities filled with those pesky 5% FAKE ALT LEFT PLAYERS. WAXING IN MEMORY OF INDUSTRIAL BALTIMORE 1800- EARLY 1900s-----US CITIES AS FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES will look nothing like anything in early American history---we are MOVING FORWARD TO DARK AGES
Real Estate development regarding health care has the major new hospitals being rebuilt right here in what is slated to be the most expensive extreme wealth community in Baltimore both being called medical health for the 99%. No real health structures MOVING FORWARD IN BALTIMORE outside of clinics and national chains.
We have a concentration of medical hospital facilities inside a Baltimore City Center that will simply be enfolded into ONE GLOBAL HEALTH SYSTEM HEALTH TOURISM structure----NO ROOM AT THIS MEDICAL SYSTEM for the 99% of Baltimore or Maryland citizens.
Inside the Rebirth of Baltimore’s Upton/Druid Heights Community
February 26, 2015
by Chris Peak
A nursing student sits with Dyneake Hall and her 5-year-old son Tavion Graham during a "Health Party," an outreach component of the Promise Heights program, at the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Elementary School in Baltimore. Nursing students discussed what happens at a typical well-child visit and talked with Hall about growth and developmental milestones. Courtesy University of Maryland, Baltimore
A determined native is ensuring kindergarteners are ready for school.The West Baltimore neighborhood of Upton/Druid Heights was once the nation’s premier African-American community — a Harlem before the renaissance. It was the place where you’d see Thurgood Marshall in a trim suit walking to the train station, on his way to the courtrooms in Washington, D.C. Then came desegregation and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which sparked riots that burned the central shopping district. Vacant lots became “shooting galleries” for heroin and crack addicts, and urban renewal policies replaced neighborhoods of stately row houses with towering projects and freeways.
Today, Upton/Druid Heights is best known as the backdrop for HBO’s crime drama “The Wire.” Residents aren’t expected to live past 63 years of age, a full two decades less than someone who lives in an upscale part of town, like Roland Park. The median household income is a paltry $13,388, and unemployment hovers around 17.5 percent, pushing half of all citizens below the poverty line. For the kids, the situation is just as bleak. Only about half are considered “school ready” by the time they’re in kindergarten; by eighth grade, only 40.6 percent test proficient in reading, and one in three young adults has been arrested.
“It’s almost like a community that everyone’s forgotten and overlooked,” says Bronwyn Mayden, a West Baltimore native who’s heading up Promise Heights, a comprehensive anti-poverty initiative in one of the city’s neediest neighborhoods. Mayden, a former civil rights advocate whose mother was a lifelong public school teacher, grew up in Upton/Druid Heights. Ask her to describe her surroundings, and she’ll tell you about the community’s assets rather than its drawbacks. Dreary statistics don’t faze her, and her sense of ownership for her hometown is peppered throughout her speech. Rarely does she refer to buildings by their formal names; instead, she calls them my schools, my churches.
Spearheaded by Mayden, a faculty member at the University of Maryland-Baltimore’s (UMB) School of Social Work, Promise Heights is founded on the belief that children raised in this neighborhood need comprehensive support to have a shot at success. The initiative rallies local organizations and coordinates their services around four public schools and several Head Start programs in Upton/Druid Heights. Centralizing aid has not only made parents aware of programs they’d never heard of, but it also enables teachers to focus on their primary job — educating kids — rather than having to spend all their time trying to contain the damage caused by family issues, medical conditions and trauma.
“There’s no way that high-poverty schools can do this alone,” says Mayden. “You’re spending zillions of dollars, but we’re not dealing with families. You’re not doing it in a holistic way.”
With dozens of services — including parenting classes, prenatal care and counseling for violent trauma — extending out from one central hub, social workers from UMB are stationed in schools, meeting kids and identifying their needs. If a teacher notices that a student is nodding off in class, for instance, he can refer her to a social worker. Once the root of the problem is discovered — like an untreated medical problem, perhaps — the student can be referred to the appropriate aid organization.
“If we don’t ensure that those homes, families and communities are as healthy, productive and stable as possible, then we know that students will not only fail, but will also create chaos for those around them,” says Henriette Taylor, a social worker at one of the elementary schools. Adds Mayden, “We invite partners into this community which has been so disinvested, so that we don’t have to become the expert in everything.”
The Breathmobile, a mobile clinic that provides treatment for asthma, is just one of the 40 partnerships that constitute Promise Heights. The respiratory disease the number one reason why Baltimore students miss school: Parents worry that school will exacerbate their child’s inability to breathe, or worse, when asthma isn’t treated, a kid ends up in the emergency room. But since these families live in an underserved area, they often don’t have access to quality specialized medical care. “Just physically getting there, they don’t drive or have the money to get the transportation,” says Lisa Bell, nurse practitioner and program coordinator of the Breathmobile program. Its goal, she continues, “is to eliminate any of those barriers that exist.”
The University of Maryland Children’s Hospital’s Breathmobile, which screened and treated 49 students in Upton/Druid Heights last school year, parks right outside neighborhood schools during the day, so students only need to walk outside for preventative care. Parents receive home treatment, educational resources and an individual plan.
Information that Bell jots down inside the remodeled RV might make its way back to the central office of social workers, who can follow-up to see if a child is allergic to a parent’s secondhand smoke or if there’s rats or cockroaches (whose droppings are a common allergen) in the family’s home. From there, UMB’s social workers and nurses can make home visits, set up tenants with legal services or just check in on the treatment.
So far, the model has had enormous success. The neighborhood is reversing perceptions from “The Wire” with small improvements: One school has a new library with 4,000 books, and 300 volunteers came together to build a playground. In school, students are performing better. Almost 92 percent of toddlers are now considered “school ready,” and the chronic absenteeism rate has been cut in half, down to 10.7 percent last school year.
Promise Heights was funded through a planning grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Promise Neighborhoods, “an all-encompassing, all-hands-on-deck anti-poverty effort” that President Barack Obama first vowed during a campaign speech in 2007. Meant to take the wraparound model pioneered by Harlem Children’s Zone — what’s known as “cradle-to-college-to-career” — across the nation, the Dept. of Education has distributed $213 million to 48 communities. Funding, however, hasn’t been renewed in Congress, and the grant backing a significant portion of Promise Heights’ $1.5 million budget recently ran dry.
Despite the fact that Mayden must now devote almost all her time to writing grant proposals and fundraising in a city of limited resources, she continues to work towards urban renewal from within. “If you ask me my end game, I’m trying to help every child in this neighborhood of extreme poverty to graduate from high school and to help as many as possible get to college and to graduate from college,” she says. “I think we have a lot of assets that we can build upon.”
We have to remember what CLIMATE change intensified storms and sea level rise will wash ashore as 4th industrial revolution US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE MOVES FORWARD. It took Bush family only several decades to totally destroy the coastlines and interiors of all of Gulf Coast states----these are the same global 1% now bringing this to our West and East Coastlines----building INTERNATIONAL PORTS OF BALTIMORE ET AL all will operate just as these in Texas/Louisiana.
THERE ARE NO DEMOCRATS INVOLVED-----LABOR AND JUSTICE 99% DOES NOT KILL THE AIR, WATER, AND SOIL WE NEED TO SURVIVE.
As citizens who REALLY CARE about Baltimore and Maryland Eastern Shore being that REAL LEFT social progressive we shout for 99% of black, white, and brown citizens
WAKE UP----WE DO NOT WANT OUR US COASTAL REAL ESTATE TO BECOME ONE GREAT BIG INDUSTRIAL CLIMATE CHANGE STORM DAMAGE DISASTER ZONE.
It only takes a few decades to destroy culture, communities, small businesses, and environment all killing PUBLIC HEALTH. ALL of this US FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE MASTER PLAN from our US cities to our coastline is interconnected---we cannot be myopic looking only at our own streets or blocks---think how the next generation will simply live.
Global Johns Hopkins is Bush/Cheney is MOVING FORWARD a Baltimore left third world these few decades ready to make those third world industrialized real estate policies soar these next few decades.
Stop dumping offshore fracking waste into Gulf of Mexico"
The agency has no business rubber-stamping the dumping of dangerous, disgusting chemicals without even trying to understand the risks."
Center for Biological Diversity
July 14, 2017
| News Report
A Trump administration proposal to continue allowing oil companies to dump unlimited amounts of offshore fracking chemicals into the Gulf of Mexico violates federal law and threatens imperiled marine wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity warned this week.
In a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Region 6 office on its proposed wastewater-discharge permit for offshore oil and gas drilling activities off the coasts of Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi – where thousands of offshore drilling platforms are located – the Center for Biological Diversity explained that the proposed permit violates the Clean Water Act because it causes an undue degradation of the marine environment. The Center for Biological Diversity’s letter notes that “scientific research has indicated that 40 percent of the chemicals used in fracking can harm aquatic animals and other wildlife.”
“The Trump administration is letting the oil industry dump unlimited amounts of toxic fracking chemicals into these wildlife-rich waters,” said Center for Biological Diversity attorney Kristen Monsell. “The EPA is supposed to protect ocean water quality, not turn a blind eye as oil companies use the Gulf as a garbage dump for fracking waste.”
THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION-----OH, REALLY???? WE WERE SHOUTING AGAINST FRACKING WASTE DUMPING SEVERAL YEARS AGO AND OFF CA AS WELL.
Earlier this year the EPA’s Region 6 office responded to a Freedom of Information Act request from the Center for Biological Diversity for records analyzing the effects of fracking chemicals on Gulf water quality and marine life. Officials said they didn’t have any responsive records, meaning the agency has been allowing the oil industry to dump its fracking wastewater into the Gulf without studying its environmental impacts, as federal law requires.
Federal waters off Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi host the largest concentration of offshore oil and gas drilling activities in the country. Previous records requests revealed that oil companies dumped more than 75 billion gallons of wastewater into these waters in 2014 alone.
At least 10 fracking chemicals routinely used in offshore fracking could kill or harm a broad variety of marine species, including marine mammals and fish, Center for Biological Diversity scientists have found. The California Council on Science and Technology has identified some common fracking chemicals to be among the most toxic in the world to marine animals.
Fracking chemicals raise grave ecological concerns because the Gulf of Mexico is important habitat for whales, sea turtles and fish and contains critical habitat for imperiled loggerhead sea turtles. Dolphins and other species in the Gulf are still suffering lingering effects from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
“It’s the EPA’s job to safeguard our oceans from being contaminated with fracking wastewater,” Monsell said. “The agency has no business rubber-stamping the dumping of dangerous, disgusting chemicals without even trying to understand the risks.”