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Rena’s Oil is Removed–Now What About All Those Containers?

Salvage crews working tirelessly for the past six weeks on the grounded Rena cargo ship have successfully pumped the remaining oil from the ship (1,454-tons), averting further environmental devastation to the marine ecosystem.  Although it is a monumental moment in the salvage operation on the Astrolabe Reef, the teams now have to contend with the removal of countless containers still aboard the listing ship, as well as attempting to retrieve containers that have littered the sea.

New Zealand officials have hailed the work of the salvage teams after all but a trace of oil were removed from Rena since October 5.  While the oil spill was very substantial, officials had feared for the worst during the heavy seas that blasted against the cracking, listing ship.  The 47,000-ton Rena has miraculously managed to stay intact, and the salvors pumped tons of fuel off the ship since the initial spill which heavily polluted beaches and damaged local wildlife.  They pumped the heavy fuel oil from Rena’s tanks onto an adjoining tanker, moving all of the oil away from potential spillage.  It is a true triumph of determination from the salvage teams to remove the oil and prevent further damage amid the heavy weather conditions and high danger mission.

There is not much time to celebrate, though, as the salvage teams are planning their next mission: removing the cargo containers.  A crane barge is being brought into position to begin the complicated task of the precarious containers.  Maritime New Zealand projects that the risky operation will take several months, during which the Rena could still face a break up.  MNZ said that if they are able to remove 6 containers per day from the Rena, it will take 7 months to recover all cargo.

Head of the salvage unit, Arthur Jobard, told the Guardian that the teams are taking this time to make sure all equipment and systems are ready and working efficiently before commencing the operation, in addition to waiting on calm weather to make the crane operating less dangerous.  Jobard stated that once the testing has been successfully completed, the salvors will lower men down in a cage to ready the containers for removal.

Even though the mission is not close to over, New Zealand rejoices over the salvage work that has been achieved, and as their affected beaches are slighted to open later in the week due to successful shore cleanups. 

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EPA Announces Winners of Apps for the Environment Challenge

Release Date: 11/08/2011
Contact Information: Latisha Petteway (News Media Only), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 202-564-3191, 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the winners of its Apps for the Environment challenge, which encouraged new and innovative uses of EPA’s data to create apps that address environmental and public health issues. Developers from across the country created apps with information about everything from energy efficient light bulbs to local air quality. A few even developed games to help people learn environmental facts.

“Innovators from across the country have used information to help people protect our health and the environment,” said Malcolm Jackson, EPA’s Chief Information Officer. “The winners of the Apps for the Environment challenge demonstrate that it’s possible to transform data from EPA and elsewhere into applications that people can use.”

The five winners are:

·    Winner, Best Overall App: Light Bulb Finder by Adam Borut and Andrea Nylund of EcoHatchery, Milwaukee, Wis.
·    Runner Up, Best Overall App: Hootroot by Matthew Kling of Brighter Planet, Shelburne, Vt.
·    Winner, Best Student App: EarthFriend by Ali Hasan and Will Fry of Differential Apps and Fry Development Company, Mount Pleasant High School in Mount Pleasant, N.C. and J.H. Rose High School in Greenville, N.C..
·    Runner Up, Best Student App: Environmental Justice Participatory Mapping by Robert Sabie, Jr. of Western Washington University, Bellingham, Wash.
·    Popular Choice Award: CG Search by Suresh Ganesan of Cognizant Technology Solutions, South Plainfield, N.J.

Winners will demonstrate their submissions at the Apps for the Environment forum today in Arlington, Va. The forum will include panels on business, technology, and government initiatives, breakout sessions by EPA’s program offices, upcoming developer challenges and future directions about environmental applications.

All contestants will retain intellectual property rights over their submissions, though winners agree that their submissions will be available on the EPA website for free use and download by the public for a period of one year following the announcement of the winners.

More information about the winners and other submissions: http://appsfortheenvironment.challenge.gov/submissions

More information about EPA’s Apps for the Environment forum: http://www.epa.gov/appsfortheenvironment/forum.html

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Alaska Awards Crowley Environmental Contract

Crowley's Ocean Rangers Have Protected Alaska's Environment Since 2008.

The State of Alaska's Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) has announced that it has awarded a contract to Crowley Maritime Corporation to continue administering the State of Alaska's Ocean Ranger Program, effective November 2011. The contract directs Crowley to recruit, hire, train and organize the logistics of placing Ocean Rangers on board cruise ships each season to act as independent observers and to assure compliance with federal and state environmental health, sanitation and safety requirements. Potential non-compliant observations are reported to ADEC for corrective action. Ocean Rangers are required as part of a law adopted by the citizens of Alaska in a 2006 ballot measure.

"We are very pleased to continue working with ADEC to help protect Alaska's pristine waterways," said Crowley's Todd Busch, senior vice president and general manager of technical services. "Managing the Ocean Rangers program for ADEC is very relevant for us as it is in alignment with Crowley's corporate values as they relate to environmental stewardship. We take pride in continuing this important work to protect the people and environment of Alaska."  Crowley and ADEC have worked together since 2008 to build the program into what it is today, and ADEC relies on Crowley to implement the program and develop the Ocean Ranger training, guidebook, manuals, reports and more. Today Crowley recruits, deploys and schedules the rangers, supplying them with all necessary communication tools and outfitting needs for on-board reporting, as well as providing travel, IT and payroll support.

Crowley is accepting resumes from qualified, licensed third assistant engineers or higher rating. Preference will be given to qualified Alaska residents and applicants must either be existing AMO members or make application for membership prior to assignment. To work as an Ocean Ranger, candidates will be required to attend and complete a mandatory certification program. In addition to passing both a knowledge based and practical proficiency exam, candidates must complete on-the-job training.

Since 1953, Crowley has provided various marine, petroleum distribution, and energy support services in Alaska - from the North Slope to Southcentral Alaska and both coastal and inland communities including those along the Kuskokwim and Yukon Rivers - and today has offices and operations throughout the state with more than 650 employees. The company has consistently provided unique solutions to Alaska's logistics and marine transportation challenges and played an important role in Alaska's business development and in protecting its environment.

With a storage capacity of more than 39 million gallons, Crowley is strongly positioned as a leader in the Alaska fuel industry, providing transportation, distribution and sales of petroleum products to more than 280 communities across Alaska. Crowley supports the energy industry on the North Slope with summer sealifts of large production modules and various marine transportation services. At the southern terminus of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline, Crowley provides tanker escort and docking services in Valdez Harbor and Prince William Sound for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company's Ship Escort/Response Vessel System, utilizing some of the most technologically advanced and powerful tugboats in the world. Crowley also provides tanker assist and escort services at Tesoro Alaska Company's Nikiski refinery in Cook Inlet. More about Crowley: www.crowleyalaska.com

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