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A Case Study in Drought: Bullhead City, Arizona

New York Post – Lake Mead at Hoover Dam

Bullhead City, Arizona Primary Hazard: Drought

According to the National Drought Mitigation Center, drought is considered a creeping natural hazard because it has no “clear beginning and end like tornadoes or hurricanes or floods” (National Drought Mitigation Center, 2019, para. 19).  It can develop over many months or years as the climate in a region changes.  This is called “natural climate variability . . . we consider drought to be a normal part of climate just like floods, hurricanes, blizzards, and tornadoes” (National Drought Mitigation Center, 201, para. 7).

Why Bullhead City has the Highest Probability of Drought

Bullhead City, Arizona is a desert community on the Colorado River which sits at an elevation of 566 feet above sea level.  Roughly 40,000 people call it home (City Data, 2017).  Due to an abundance of rain and snow during the 2018-2019 winter season, the U.S. Drought Monitor determined in June, 2019 that Bullhead City had graduated from drought to an abnormally dry area (Associated Press, 2019).  As of this writing, however, the monsoon season—which normally dumps a lot of rain in the area—has been sparse, and Bullhead City is in danger of falling back into drought if the 2019-2020 winter season does not produce adequate precipitation.

Lack of precipitation affects water levels in lakes, rivers, and reservoirs.  Lake Mead, which is held in place by the Hoover Dam, supplies the bulk of water used by residents in Bullhead City and other populated areas along the Colorado River (Associated Press, 2019).

In April, 2019, Congress passed an updated Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan which affects Arizona, California, Nevada, and other states dependent on the Colorado River for water and hydroelectric power.  If Arizona loses its Colorado River allotment, communities will have to pump groundwater, which can be contaminated with natural nitrate and arsenic, or find other alternatives, such as the unpopular use of recycled water (Whitman, 2019).                                                                                                                                         

Removing contaminants raises the cost of water to consumers.  The ideal situation is “to pump only as much groundwater as flows back underground, a balance known as safe yield, by 2025” (Whitman, 2019, para. 13).  But that is a tough goal to implement.  Water conservation measures can stifle growth, an unpopular idea in high-growth areas.

Currently, the Colorado River supplies water to more than 30 million people in seven states, with 70% of that water used for agriculture (Zielinski, 2010).  When government officials designated water allotments to these states in 1922, there were far fewer people living in the region.  And the strain is showing: “the Colorado River no longer regularly reaches the sea” (Zielinski, 2010, para.10).  In fact, it turns into a pathetic mud puddle 50 miles north of the Pacific Ocean.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) plans to build a solar-powered pump station south of Hoover Dam on the Colorado River that would continually refill Lake Mead and produce a continuous supply of hydroelectric power to millions of people in California.  The fear is that this project would shrink water supplies to communities farther down the Colorado River—such as Bullhead City (Grossman, 2018).

Shrinking water supplies, smaller water allotments, and increased demand have fueled tensions between the states dependent on the Colorado River—especially, between Arizona and California.  And those tensions are not going away anytime soon (Runyon & Jaspers, 2019).

Preparedness, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery

Bullhead City has its own Drought/Water Shortage Contingency Plan.  The Arizona State Legislature passed House bill 2277 in 2005 which requires communities to develop and maintain a system water plan that includes three parts: a water supply plan, a water conservation plan, and a drought preparedness plan.  This requirement has become part of the State’s water resource management plan to develop preparedness and mitigation strategies at both the local and state level (City of Bullhead City, 2016).

The United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) also requires local communities to develop drought/water shortage contingency plans to conserve water.  These plans outline community response to reductions in the water supply due to drought, infrastructure failure, or other causes (City of Bullhead City, 2016).

Bullhead City depends solely on the Colorado River for its water supply.  Arizona’s water allotment was designated in the 1922 Colorado River Compact.  “The city of Bullhead City diverts its Colorado River surface water allocation through groundwater wells” (City of Bullhead City, 2016, p. 5).  This is possible because of the Colorado River aquifer that exists.

The Secretary of the Interior can declare a shortage of Colorado River water.  All states dependent on the Colorado River would be forced to share in the water shortage as determined  by the 2007 Record of Decision – Colorado River Interim Guidelines for Lower Basin Shortages and the Coordinated Operations for Lake Powell and Lake Mead.  Bullhead City’s right to Colorado River water is fourth priority, which means that communities with higher priority will get their Colorado River water first.  The Mohave County Water Authority (MCWA) has set aside 107, 239 acre-feet of long-term water credits for Bullhead City.  Bullhead City, along with other Colorado River communities, has been given until 2026 to put preparedness plans in place to respond to drought and water shortages (City of Bullhead City, 2016).

If the water credits are eventually used, Bullhead City has a contract with the Central Arizona Project water canal to use groundwater pumping to recover their allotted water.  The use of such credits would incur extra costs that would be passed on to consumers (City of Bullhead City, 2016).

Bullhead City has developed plans to respond to a 20% and a 40% reduction in water supplies.  Both plans call for the unpopular use of reclaimed (recycled) water.  The extensive use of reclaimed water would require the building of extra infrastructure (City of Bullhead City, 2016). 

The response plan for Bullhead City has been developed as a staged response with the following components: water use reduction; priority users and water reduction; water rates/financial incentives; the role of private water companies; preparedness and mitigation plans for private water companies sub-contracted by Bullhead City; voluntary versus mandatory water reduction; agricultural irrigation versus drinking water; water conservation; public education; stored water recovery and delivery; scenarios of probable water shortage conditions; the use of reclaimed water; demand versus supply evaluation.  These plans would be implemented according to the water level in Lake Mead.  The strictest water management plans would be enforced when the level in Lake Mead is at or below 1,025 feet (City of Bullhead City, 2016).

In the meantime, Bullhead City has waged a public education campaign about the use of xeriscaping using low-water plants and trees; drip irrigation; and harvesting rainwater for landscape use (Water Resources Research Center, 2019).  Tips on conserving water are freely available on the city’s website.  Water rebates are available to consumers.  Water usage reports are available for public perusal.  And water development fees have been imposed to improve water services in the city (City of Bullhead City, 2019).

Bullhead City receives an average of 3 to12 inches of rain a year (Arizona Water Facts, 2019).  Epcor, a private water company, has raised consumer water rates 25% to 35% during the drought.  This situation has prompted Bullhead City to introduce Proposition 415, which would approve a bond up to $130 million to buy out the company (City of Bullhead City, 2019).  If approved, the city will own another source of water and provide water services at a lower cost to consumers.

Identify Gaps and Suggest Expansion of Preparedness, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery Plans

Bullhead City has not done enough to control population growth.  The city advertises itself as the lowest cost of living city in the state based on a 2015 study done by the Council for Community and Economic Research (Merrill, 2015).  This draws more people on fixed incomes from within and outside of the state.  These people can ill afford to pay higher water rates and development fees.  And if water supplies are, indeed, shrinking, Bullhead City can ill afford to add more people to its population.

Furthermore, if Bullhead City plans to use reclaimed water in the future, it needs to build the infrastructure now, and not wait for an emergency situation to arise.

Initial Evaluation and Emergency Management Procedures

Drought is the main hazard facing Bullhead City, Arizona.  It is dependent on water supplied by the Colorado River and the allotment it receives based on the Colorado River Compact of 1922.  Although it has plans in place for a 20% and 40% reduction in water supplies, it has not planned for anything more severe.  At the very worst, the governor of the State of Arizona would declare a disaster and water would have to be trucked in for residential and business use.  A lack of water would lead to social chaos and fighting among citizens.  There would be a mass exodus of people out of town.  Law enforcement would be heavily involved to control the situation. EMS personnel and local hospitals would have to deal with people who were severely dehydrated.  Animals would be abandoned and left to die from thirst.  City officials would be overwhelmed by demands for water.

Interrelationships among the Core Components of the Emergency Management Phases

Drought and water shortages can vary from season to season.  Preparedness plans to deal with these problems and to mitigate the costs and impacts are essential to protect the vital resource of water.  Well-conceived plans must be in place to respond to serious shortages of water for the sake of the community.  If the problem becomes serious enough, there might not be a recovery phase.

Conclusion

The desert was never meant to support millions of people.  Water is a precious resource that has not been taken seriously enough by government officials, city planners, and members of the real estate and development professions.  Bullhead City is dependent on a river it cannot control, weather and climate it cannot control, and State politicians it cannot control.  The city must do whatever it takes to protect its water supply.

Dawn Pisturino

Thomas Edison State University

September 24, 2019

References

Arizona Water Facts. (2019). Bullhead City, Arizona. Retrieved from

       http://www.arizonawaterfacts.com/mtw/bullhead-city.

Associated Press. (2019. June). Arizona out of short-term drought. Mohave Daily News.

       Retrieved from http://www.mohavedailynews.com/news/arizona-out-of-short-term-

       drought/article_8c36c50a-9259-11e9-ab41-9b4eacdd7bd1.html

City Data. (2017). Bullhead City, Arizona. Retrieved from

       http://www.city-data.com/city/Bullhead-City-Arizona.html

City of Bullhead City. (2019). City of Bullhead City. Retrieved from

       http://www.bullheadcity.com

City of Bullhead City. (2016). City of bullhead city drought/water shortage contingency

       plan. Retrieved fromhttp://www.bullheadcity.com/home/showdocument?id=7546

Grossman, D. (2018, July). The hoover dam changed america – And it might do it again.

       Popular Mechanics. Retrieved from

https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/infrastructure/922539919/the-hoover-dam-

       changed-americaand-it-might-do-it-again.

Merrill, Laurie. (2015, June). Which arizona cities will cost you the least. AZ Central.

       Retrieved from https://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/2015/06/17/bullhead-

       city-cheapest-arizona-city/28899239.

National Drought Mitigation Center. (2019). What is drought. Retrieved from

       http://www.drought.unl.edu/Education/Drought forKids/What is Drought.aspx.

Runyon, L. & Jaspers, B. (2019, February). What is happening with the colorado river drought

       plans. KPBS. Retrieved from

https://www.kpbs.org/news/2019/feb/07/what-is-happening-colorado-river-drought-plans.

Water Resources Research Center. (2019). Low-Water tree and plant guide. Retrieved from

       http://www.wrrc.arizona.edu

Whitman, E. (2019, April). After colorado river drought plan, what’s next for water in arizona.

       Retrieved from https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/content/print/view/11268880.

Zielinski, S. (2010, October). The colorado river runs dry. Smithsonian Magazine.

       Retrieved from https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-colorado-river-runs-

       dry-61427169.

7 Comments »

The Evolution of Emergency Management in the United States

Associated Press

What is “emergency management?”  According to Haddow, Bullock, and Coppola (2017), “the definition of emergency management can be extremely broad and all-encompassing.”  It is an evolving discipline whose priorities have changed in response to diverse events, political leadership, and scientific advances.

The nature of the events and the responses of political leaders have been the most influential in shaping emergency management priorities and organizational structure.  Since emergency management “deals with risk and risk avoidance” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017), no single event will be handled in precisely the same way.  A terrorist attack like 9/11, which was a major criminal event that involved foreigners and foreign countries, will have a much greater impact on the psyche of the American people and affect a broader range of government departments, than a natural event like a hurricane or earthquake.

The U.S. Constitution “gives the states the responsibility for public health and safety – hence the responsibility for public risks – with the federal government in a secondary role.  The federal role is to help when the state, local or individual entity is overwhelmed” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017).

What kind of events can hit American communities?  Natural events include floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, storm surges, tornadoes, wildfires, land movements such as avalanches and mudslides, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, severe winter storms, drought, extremes of heat and cold, coastal erosion, thunderstorms, lightning, and hail.  Technological events can include building fires, dam failures, hazardous material incidents, nuclear and radiation accidents. 

Criminal events include terrorism and the potential use of biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017).      

On May 31, 1889, the South Fork dam in Johnstown, PA failed, and “unleashed 20,000,000 tons of water that devastated” the town and killed 2,209 residents (National Park Service,2017).  The failure was caused by inadequate construction, maintenance, and repair.  This event caught the attention of the entire world, and people banded together to help “the Johnstown sufferers” (National Park Service, 2017).

In 1803, Congress passed legislation authorizing federal funds to help a town in New Hampshire destroyed by fire.  This set the precedence for federal involvement in local events.  But it was under Franklin D. Roosevelt “that the federal government began to make significant investments in emergency management functions” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017).

The Reconstruction Finance Corporation and the Bureau of Public Roads were authorized “to make disaster loans available for repair and reconstruction of certain public facilities” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017) in the 1930s. The Tennessee Valley Authority – established to produce hydroelectric power – also sought to reduce flooding in the valley (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017).

The Flood Control Act of 1936 authorized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers “to design and build flood-control projects” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017).  Now, “humans could control nature” and promote growth and development in areas previously unavailable (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017).

The 1950s and the Cold War brought a whole new dynamic to the discipline of emergency management.  Scientists had succeeded in creating a whole new arsenal of weapons with the capability of destroying the world.  The potential for nuclear holocaust was so great, “civil defense programs proliferated across communities” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017).  People built bomb shelters to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.  A feeling of paranoia gripped the entire nation as U.S. politicians engaged diplomatically with representatives from the Soviet Union.                                                                            

The Federal Civil Defense Administration (FCDA) was a poorly-funded department “whose main role was to provide technical assistance” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017) in the event of nuclear attack.  In reality, however, it was the civil defense directors at the local and state levels who shaped the policies and response to potential disaster.

The 1960s focused attention on natural disasters, and the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 was passed by Congress.  The National Flood Insurance Program was subsequently created, which helped to ease the burden on homeowners located in flood areas and to act proactively before the floods began.  This legislation emphasized “the concept of community-based mitigation” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017).  When communities joined the NFIP, they committed themselves to passing local ordinances which controlled development in floodplain areas.  The federal government produced floodplain maps to support these ordinances.

George Bernstein, who became head of the Federal Insurance Administration under President Richard Nixon, strengthened the program by “linking the mandatory purchase of flood insurance to all homeowner loans that were backed by federal mortgages” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017).  This led to the Flood Insurance Act of 1972.

During the 1970s, “more than 100 federal agencies were involved in some aspect of risks and disasters” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017).  The fragmentation, conflicts, and confusion that resulted were no different on the state and local levels.  When Three Mile Island occurred, these problems became all-too-apparent to the general public.  As a result, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was created by Congress under President Jimmy Carter, with the director reporting directly to the president.

Reorganization Plan Number 3, which created FEMA, sought to establish the following guidelines: FEMA workers “were to anticipate, prepare for, and respond to major civil emergencies” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017); the agency would demand “the most efficient use of all available resources” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017); “emergency responsibilities should be extensions of federal agencies” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017); and “federal hazard mitigation activities should be closely linked with emergency preparedness and response functions” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017).

In the 1980s, civil defense became the priority under President Ronald Reagan.  Director Louis Giuffrida reorganized FEMA, moved multiple departments into one building, and placed the agency’s priority “on government preparedness for a nuclear attack” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017).  Giuffrida resigned after a financial scandal, which undermined the credibility of the agency.  The new director, Julius Becton, worked to restore “integrity to the operations and appropriations of the agency” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017).  Under Becton’s leadership, natural hazards like earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods were given a low priority, confirming that the agency “continued the pattern of isolating resources for national security priorities without recognizing the potential of a major natural disaster” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017).

Senator Al Gore, during Senate hearings, questioned FEMA’s priorities and its preparedness in the event of a major earthquake.  FEMA was pressured to create an earthquake preparedness plan which “would later become the standard for all of the federal agencies’ response operations” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017).

Under George H.W. Bush, multiple natural disasters occurred – including Hurricane Andrew – which affected people’s perception of FEMA.  “People wanted, and expected, their government to be there to help in their time of need” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017).  FEMA was perceived as weak and ineffective.

James Witt was appointed Director by President Bill Clinton.  Witt had extensive experience in emergency management and reorganized FEMA to support community relations, the efficient use of new technology, and an emphasis on “mitigation and risk avoidance” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017).

The 1990s heralded a new wave of natural disasters.  FEMA successfully handled the Midwest floods of 1993 and initiated “the largest voluntary buyout and relocation program to date in an effort to move people out of the floodplain . . .” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017).

Director Witt became a member of Clinton’s cabinet and persuaded state governors “to include their state emergency management directors in their cabinets” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017).  This is how important emergency management had become.

The bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 and the Oklahoma Bombing in 1995 reaffirmed the notion that terrorist events fall into the category of “risks and the consequences of those risks” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017).  Emergency management has been an important part of handling similar events.

FEMA’s Project impact: Building Disaster-Resistant Communities heralded “a new community-based approach” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017) that required communities “to identify risks and establish a plan to reduce those risks” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017).  The ultimate goal was for the community to “promote sustainable economic development, protect and enhance its natural resources, and ensure a better quality of life for its citizens” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017).

Project Impact was defunded under President George W. Bush.  After the unexpected earthquake in Seattle, however, FEMA received a lot of praise from Seattle’s mayor, and the program was restored.  Seattle, it turned out, had been “one of the most successful Project impact communities” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017).

The events of 9/11 proved the effectiveness of FEMA when “hundreds of response personnel initiated their operations within just minutes of the onset of events” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017).  FEMA was then incorporated into the newly-formed Department of Homeland Security and lost much of its effectiveness and power.  The new National Incident Management System (NIMS) fell under the auspices of the Director of Operations Coordination (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017).

The threat of Hurricane Katrina off the Gulf Coast in 2005 prompted President Bush to declare “a disaster in advance of an emergency event for the states in the projected impact zone” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017) and caused DHS/FEMA to shoulder the responsibility.  Their response was a failure.

Obama’s appointee, W. Craig Fugate, designated victims of disasters as “survivors” and developed the Whole Community concept which emphasized “preparedness partnerships that had been developed among federal, state, local, private sector, voluntary, and non-profit entities” (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2017).  Involving people from all sectors of the community has increased the effectiveness of emergency management response to disasters.

The history and development of emergency management prove how events influence and shape government policies, departmental organization, leadership priorities, and government response to national emergencies.  When all citizens get involved, emergency preparedness and response protect communities and mitigate the costs of recovery.

Dawn Pisturino

Thomas Edison State University

August 8, 2019

Copyright 2019-2021 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

References

Haddow, G.D., Bullock, J.A., & Coppola, D.P. (2017). Introduction to emergency

       management. Cambridge, MA: Elsevier Inc.

National Park Service. (2017). Johnstown flood national memorial pennsylvania.

       Retrieved from http://www.nps.gov/jofl/index.htm.

7 Comments »

The Basics of Gas Exploration, Production, and Distribution

Offshore natural gas drilling

The Basics of Gas Exploration, Production, and Distribution

Gas and oil traps are formed by geological events such as tectonic plate shifting, glacier movement, and extreme temperature changes. As long as the gas cannot escape from the area, it will be trapped in place (Blewett, 2010).

When reservoir rock is subjected to high pressure and other conditions, it can become fractured or deformed, creating a space that can fill up with oil or natural gas. Anticlines are structural traps which occur when layers of rock are pushed upward, causing an arch. Synclines occur when the rock is pushed downward. Domes are similar to anticlines but have a more rounded appearance (Busby, 1999).

Faults occur when rocks crack due to outside forces and sections, or plates, slide out of alignment. Sections of rock can slide upward (dip-slip) or sideways (strike-slip). Thrust faults appear on the earth’s surface as mountain ranges. Fractures can divide traps into smaller compartments and increase the permeability of sedimentary rocks. Shales and chalks are normally porous and impermeable. When fracturing occurs, it can make these rocks more permeable, making it possible for gas to get trapped inside the rocks (Busby, 1999).

Stratigraphic traps are harder to access than structural traps because the gas and oil have been trapped within the layers of rock. These traps form as the result of changes in the porosity and permeability of the rock due to the way in which sediment has been deposited. Gas cannot escape the rock. Large fields of gas and oil can be trapped in this way (Busby, 1999).

Combination traps have the characteristics of both structural and stratigraphic traps. A salt dome occurs when a large quantity of salt gets trapped in sedimentary layers and breaks through the earth’s surface, forming “a plug-like structure” (Busby, 1999).

Carbonate rock reservoirs formed when ancient caves collapsed, causing fractures in the rocks. A new cave system was created, forming a reservoir for gas and oil to be trapped inside (Busby, 1999).

In order for any oil or gas field to be productive, there must exist the right combination of “reservoir rock, trap, and cap rock or other seal” (Busby, 1999). There must be “source rock that has generated gas or oil, reservoir rock to hold the gas, a trap to seal it off, and the right timing” (Busby, 1999). Without a trap in place, the gas will disperse out of the area (Busby, 1999).

The largest producing gas fields in the United States are as follows:

Marcellus Shale is an unconventional shale formation which stretches beneath two-thirds of Pennsylvania and parts of New York, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, and Virginia. This area is estimated to hold 6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.  The most productive wells lie 5,000 to 8,500 feet below the earth’s surface (Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, 2020).

This natural gas can only be accessed through vertical and horizontal drilling and the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking). The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection inspects and monitors these wells “from construction to reclamation to ensure that the site has proper erosion controls in place, and that any waste generated in drilling and completing the well was properly handled and disposed. Also, unconventional well operators are required to submit a variety of reports regarding well drilling, completion, production, waste disposal, and well plugging” (Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, 2020).

The Newark East gas field in Texas is composed of Barnett Shale. Currently, 5,600 wells and 150 rigs are in operation. The field is estimated to hold 1,951 billion cubic feet of natural gas (Geo ExPro, 2007; Oil Price, 2015).

The B-43 Area in Arkansas is estimated to hold 1,025 billion cubic feet of natural gas, but not much other information was available (Oil Price, 2015).

The San Juan Basin is found in Colorado and New Mexico. It is estimated that the field holds 1,024 billion cubic feet of natural gas. Not much other information was available (Oil Price, 2015).

The Haynesville/Bossier Shale formation is located in eastern Texas and western Louisiana. The natural gas is found at depths greater than 10,000 feet below the earth’s surface. The area is producing 2,680 million cubic feet per day of natural gas and 420 barrels per day of condensate (Railroad Commission, 2020).

The Pinedale gas field in Wyoming is the sixth largest gas field in the United States. It covers 70 square miles. Its layers of sandstone are 6,000 feet thick and form a 30-mile anticline. Operators use horizontal drilling to access the natural gas. In 2015, it produced 4 million barrels of gas condensate and 436 billion cubic feet of natural gas. Its gas reserves hold 40 trillion cubic feet of natural gas—enough to provide energy to the entire country for 22 months (American GeoSciences, 2018).

The Carthage natural gas field near Carthage, Texas produced 13,912,377 million cubic feet of natural gas in June 2020. Not much other information was available (Texas Drilling, 2020).

The Jonah field is located south of Pinedale, Wyoming. It covers 21,000 acres and is estimated to hold 10.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Chevron is one of the energy companies involved in both Jonah and Pinedale (Wyoming History, 2014).

The Wattenberg field covers 180,000 acres in Colorado. Horizontal wells are drilled to access the natural gas. It has a complicated geological structure due to “crustal basement rock weakness [ caused by super-heated] organic Niobrara source rocks” (PDC Energy, 2020).

Prudhoe Bay in Alaska has been producing oil and gas for 40 years. It covers 213,543 acres and holds 46 trillion cubic feet of natural gas (NS Energy, 2020). Pump station 1, at the beginning of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, is situated within the Prudhoe Bay field. The natural gas is held in place by “an overlying gas cap and in solution with the oil” (Department of Environmental Conservation, 2020). The Alaska LNG project will be using natural gas from the Prudhoe Bay field to produce liquefied natural gas (NS Energy, 2020).

The most common technique for drilling wells is rotary drilling because “it can drill several hundreds or thousands of feet in a day” (Busby, 1999). A long piece of steel pipe with a drill bit on the end is suspended from a rig and driven into the ground by a diesel engine. The rotating bit drilling into the earth “creates the wellbore or borehole” (Busby, 1999). The bit must be changed after 40 to 60 hours of drilling.

Directional drilling is being used more commonly now to access oil and natural gas in unconventional traps (tight formations). Rotary rigs can now drill in many different directions to reach gas in multiple areas, drill offshore, or drill under populated areas (Busby, 1999).

Horizontal drilling can increase the recovery of natural gas “from a thin formation . . . a low-permeability reservoir . . . isolated productive zones . . . by connecting vertical fractures . . . prevent production of excessive gas or water from above or below the reservoir . . . to inject fracturing fluids” (Busby, 1999).

Offshore drilling is more expensive because the average rig drills down to around 10,400 feet. “An offshore exploratory rig must be able to move across the water to different drilling sites” (Busby, 1999).

Drilling barges are used in shallow waters. Jack-up rigs can be raised or lowered and drill down to a depth of 350 feet. A semisubmersible platform floats on pontoons and anchors at the drilling site. These platforms can drill down to 2,000 feet. Drill ships float over the drill site and can drill down to almost any depth (Busby, 1999).

Once a productive field has been discovered, a fixed or a tension-leg platform is permanently anchored at the site. The legs on fixed platforms can be anchored with piles driven into the ocean floor; whereas, tension-leg platforms float above the field and are anchored by “steel tubes connected to heavy weights on the sea floor” (Busby, 1999).

Drilling a dry hole can be one of the biggest expenses associated with drilling wells. More common issues include something breaking inside the well or objects falling into the hole. Drilling must then be stopped and the problem corrected (Busby, 1999).

Pressures become higher as the rig drills deeper. When this occurs, gas and water “can flow into the well, dilute the drilling mud, and reduce its pressure” (Busby, 1999). When the flow of fluids is uncontrolled, this is called a blowout.

“Natural gas is produced from most reservoirs by expansion, where the pressure of the expanding gas underground forces it into the well” (Busby, 1999). When the pressure drops in the well, gas production decreases. It can be stimulated with the use of a compressor (Busby, 1999).

Once the gas has been purified and processed, it is transported through pipelines from the gas field to distribution companies and industrial customers. Compressor stations along the line maintain the pressure needed to keep the gas flowing smoothly through the pipe. The gas flow is measured at the beginning and end of each pipe section, at each compressor station, and each intersection where the pipe branches off into two pipelines. Large industrial customers receive natural gas directly to their facilities, which “requires high-volume meters” (Busby, 1999).

Economically, it is essential to measure natural gas flow accurately at all points of the supply chain because “an error of 1% in measuring 300 million ft3 of gas per day can lead to a difference of about $2 million per year” (Emerson, 2016). After all, customers pay for the amount of energy delivered.

Differential pressure (DP) meters “measure volumetric flow through a calibrated orifice (generally a plate), are inexpensive, and simple in concept” (Emerson, 2016). Measurements must be corrected for density (mass), temperature, pressure, and gas composition. DP meters are not as acceptable as more advanced technologies (Emerson, 2016).

Ultrasonic meters measure volumetric flow rates by measuring “speed and sound in the gas” (Emerson, 2016). They have an accuracy of 0.35% to 0.5%. Some are available with an accuracy of 0.25% (Emerson, 2016).

Coriolis meters “measure mass flow and density” (Emerson, 2016) but temperature, pressure, and gas composition still need to be measured. These meters tend to be rather expensive (Emerson, 2016).

Flow computers “measure, monitor, and may provide control of gas flow for all types of meters” (Emerson, 2016). They record data from volumetric flow measurement, temperature, gas composition, and density in order to calculate flow rate. Every calculation is dated and timed (Emerson, 2016).

Shale gas is usually composed of less than 50% methane and roughly 50% of ethane, propane, butane, pentane and other gases. CO2, H2S, and sand can also be present. DP meters are excellent meters to use at the gas field site and when impurities are removed from the gas (Emerson, 2016).

Once the natural gas has been purified of water and CO2, the natural gas is processed through liquid separators and H2S separators. At this point, a Coriolis meter or ultrasonic meter is used (Emerson, 2016).

Ultrasonic meters are generally used on transmission pipelines, while Coriolis meters are used on distribution lines. To accurately calculate the Btus (British thermal units) per pound, a gas chromatography device is used (Emerson, 2016). One Btu equals “the energy released by burning a match” (U.S. Energy Administration, 2020).

Dawn Pisturino

Thomas Edison State University

October 30, 2020

References

American GeoSciences. (2018). The pinedale gas field, wyoming. Retrieved from

https://www.americangeosciences.org/geoscience-currents/pinedale-gas-field-wyoming.

Blewett, R.L. (Ed.) (1999). Shaping a Nation: A Geology of Australia. Canberra: Australia

       National University.

Busby, R.L. (Ed.). (1999). Natural Gas in Nontechnical Language. Tulsa, OK: PennWell.

Department of Environmental Conservation. (2020). Prudhoe bay fact sheet. Retrieved from

https://www.dec.alaska.gov/

Emerson. (2016). Selecting flow meters for natural gas fiscal measurement. Retrieved from

https://www.emerson.com/documents/automation/article-selecting-flow-meters-for-natural-

       gas-fiscal-measurement-daniel-en-us-177810.pdf.

Geo ExPro. (2007). Producing gas from shales. Retrieved from

https://www.geoexpro.com/articles/2007/03/producing-gas-from-shales.

NS Energy. (2020). Prudhoe bay oil field. Retrieved from

Oil Price. (2015). The top 10 largest oil and gas fields in the united states. Retrieved from

https://www.oilprice.com/Energy/

PDC Energy. (2020). Wattenberg field. Retrieved from

https://www.pdce.com/operations-overview/wattenberg-field/

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. (2020). Marcellus shale. Retrieved from

https://www.dep.pa.gov/Business/Energy/Pages/default.aspx.

Railroad Commission. (2020). Haynesville bossier shale information. Retrieved from

https://www.rrc.state.tx.us/oil-gas/major-oil-and-gas-formations/haynesvillebossier-shale-

       information/

Texas Drilling. (2020). Carthage. Retrieved from

       http://www.texas-drilling.com/panola-county/carthage.

Wyoming History. (2014). Jonah field and pinedale anticline natural gas success story.

       Retrieved from https://www.wyohistory.org/encyclopedia/jonah-field-and-pinedale-

       anticline-natural-gas-success-story.

U.S. Energy Administration. (2020). British thermal units. Retrieved from

https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/units-and-calculators/british-thermal-units.php.

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9/11, the Incident Command System, and the National Incident Management System

Incident Command System and the National Incident Management System

[Twenty] years ago, America changed forever.  Protecting our nation from terrorist attacks became the primary objective.  The systems and operations developed to prepare, plan, mitigate, respond, and recover from terrorist attacks expanded to include ALL disasters.  We now have a national disaster plan which is utilized at the local, tribal, state, and federal levels.

Brief Overview of the Events of 9/11

At 8:46 a.m. on September 11, 2001, American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City.  Seventeen minutes later, United Airlines Flight 175 smashed into the South Tower.  At 9:37 a.m., American Airlines Flight 77 nose-dived into the Pentagon building in Arlington, Virginia.  All three airplanes had been hijacked by members of the radical Islamic terrorist organization, Al Qaeda (Haddow, 2017; 911 Memorial, 2018).

“The use of fuel-filled planes caused catastrophic fires in all three buildings impacted, and this led to collapse of both World Trade Center towers and the wing of the Pentagon directly affected” (Haddow, 2017, p. 393).  The federal government has spent more than $20 billion on the response and recovery of the World Trade Center attacks alone.  On the positive side, the events of 9/11 led to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and the development and implementation of a more comprehensive and advanced national response to disasters, regardless of size and cause (Haddow, 2017).

The Core Components of the National Incident Management System (NIMS)

“NIMS was created to integrate effective practices in emergency preparedness and response into a comprehensive national framework for incident management” (Haddow, 2017, p.247).  Its flexibility allows it to adapt to any kind of disaster, from routine incidents involving local communities to large-scale events, such as hurricanes or earthquakes (DHS, 2008).  NIMS provides a template for “coordination and standardization among emergency management/response personnel and their affiliated organizations” (DHS, 2008, p.7).

The National Incident Management System is guided by five core components: preparedness; communications and information management; resource management; command and management; and ongoing management and maintenance.  The National Integration Center is responsible for directing NIMS, using the latest technology and operational systems (DHS, 2008).

Preparedness is a multi-task discipline which uses assessment skills; advanced planning; appropriate procedures and protocols; up-to-date training and practice exercises; skilled personnel with the proper licensure and certification; the latest technology and equipment; and the ability to evaluate responses to events and revise protocols and procedures for improved responses to future events (DHS, 2008).

Communications and information management are crucial to emergency responders because all command and coordination stations must share a common goal and operating system in order to work effectively as a team (DHS, 2008).

Resource management demands that “the flow of resources [personnel, equipment, etc.] be fluid and adaptable to the requirements of the incident” (DHS, 2008, p. 8)  Without a well-coordinated movement of resources to the disaster site, responders cannot do their job in a timely and efficient manner.

Command and management “enable effective and efficient incident management and coordination by providing a flexible, standardized incident management structure” (DHS, 2008, p. 8) which involves the Incident Command System, Multi-agency Coordination Systems, and public information.  Jurisdiction, authority, and multi-agency involvement must be decided and coordinated before and during the disaster event for the response to be successful.

Ongoing management and maintenance by the National Integration Center ensures that the National Incident Management System will always perform at a top-notch level.  Failures and successes must be evaluated and addressed and systems refined accordingly (DHS, 2008).

How the Components of NIMS Support and Complete the Incident Command System (ICS)

“NIMS was developed as an outgrowth of ICS that allows for increased interorganizational coordination that is not necessarily addressed under standard ICS structures.  The system is designed to be a more comprehensive incident management system than ICS because it goes beyond the field-level incident command and control and addresses all phases of emergency management, as well as all stakeholders (including the NGO and private sectors).  It does not, however, replace ICS” (Haddow, 2017, p. 248).

The National Incident Management System provides a template by which the ICS can operate more efficiently.  It is an upper management organizational system that oversees the entire operation of a disaster event (Haddow, 2008).

The Incident Command System falls under the command and management component of the National Incident Management System.  ICS addresses all hazards, regardless of cause, at the federal, state, tribal, and local levels.  NGOs and the private sector are also included (DHS, 2008).

The ICS standardizes the use of common terminology for all agencies involved; inventories and describes resources used; and records incident fatalities (DHS, 2008).

A flexible organizational system adapts the ICS to the needs of a particular event.  A small, community-based incident will require less manpower and fewer resources than an event on the scale of Hurricane Katrina (DHS, 2008).

ICS develops a set of objectives by which an event can be measured, studied, and evaluated.  This is important for quality improvement.  The Incident Commander or Unified Commander creates an Incident Action Plan which “should guide all response activities” (DHS, 2008, p. 47).  There should be enough staff and supervisors involved to make the work flow go as planned (DHS, 2008).

The Incident Commander determines and oversees the locations of command facilities.  Resources must be carefully managed to control costs and availability.  Communication systems must be set up and maintained to provide optimal information sharing and communication (DHS, 2008).

How NIMS and ICS were Utilized in the Events of 9/11

The events of 9/11 resulted in a large number of fatalities among first responders.  It became necessary to re-evaluate and re-write appropriate procedures and protocols.  At that time, there were no procedures in place to deal with terrorist attacks.  The Department of Homeland Security was created, which absorbed FEMA into its structure.  The National Incident Management System gradually developed and was finally published in 2008 (Hadddow, 2017).

As soon as the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City was attacked on 9/11, New York City emergency dispatchers sent police, paramedics, and firefighters to the site.  Battalion  Chief Joseph Pfeifer of the New York City Fire Department dispatched additional fire personnel and equipment.  The Port Authority Police Department, which was responsible for the security of the World Trade Center, went into action to help with evacuation and rescue (911 Memorial, 2018).

President Bush was notified at 8:50 a.m.  At 8:55 a.m., the South Tower was declared secure, and no evacuation attempts were made. Four minutes later, it was decided to evacuate both towers.  And, at 9:00 a.m., all civilians were ordered to evacuate the World Trade Center complex.  At 9:02 a.m., evacuation efforts were underway, when the South Tower was attacked at 9:03 a.m.  President Bush was further informed at 9:05 a.m., and Mayor Rudy Giuliani arrived at the New York City Police Department Command Post (911 Memorial, 2018).

At 9:30 a.m., the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management evacuated its office at the World Trade Center.  Vice-President Dick Cheney was evacuated from the White House (911 Memorial, 2018).

The Pentagon attack occurred at 9:37 a.m.  Emergency personnel immediately responded.  At 9:45 a.m., the White House and the U.S. Capitol Building were evacuated (911 Memorial, 2018).

The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed at 9:59 a.m.  At 10:15 a.m., the Pentagon E-ring collapsed.  The North Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed at 10:28 a.m., and the evacuation of lower Manhattan began at 11:02 a.m.  At 5:20 p.m., the entire World Trade Center collapsed.  All efforts after that were dedicated to putting out the fires, securing the crime site, finding and rescuing survivors, recovering the dead, identifying victims, and removing and cleaning up debris and body parts (Haddow, 2017; 911 Memorial, 2018).

In 2002, two after-action reports were released: Improving NYPD Emergency Preparedness and Response and Arlington County After-Action Report on the Response to the 9/11 Terrorist Attack on the Pentagon.  These reports helped to shape improvements in the emergency management discipline (Haddow, 2017).

The NYPD report identified twenty areas of improvement, with six warranting immediate action: “clearer delineation of roles and responsibilities of organizational leaders; better clarity in the chain of command; radio communications protocols and procedures that optimize information flow; more effective mobilization of response staff; more efficient provisioning and distribution of emergency and donated equipment; a comprehensive disaster response plan with a significant counterterrorism component” (Haddow, 2017).

It is easy to see here how the implementation of the National Incident Management System would have improved the response to the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks.  The Command and Management Component would have helped to define the authority of the Incident Commander and to clarify the chain of command.  The Communications and Information Management Component would have centralized communications and information sharing to present a clear picture of what was happening and what was needed.  The Resource Management Component would have coordinated the flow of personnel and equipment to the site to more efficiently deal with the disaster.  The Ongoing Management and Maintenance Component would have ensured that a comprehensive plan was in place to manage a major terrorist attack.  The Preparedness Component would have ensured that New York City was ready to bring all agencies together to work as an expert team in responding to a major disaster (DHS, 2008).

The response to the Pentagon attack was deemed a success due to its quick, coordinated, well-prepared response based on the Incident Command System.  Arlington County already had a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan in place.  The Arlington County Fire Department had already considered the possibility of a weapons of mass destruction scenario and was well-prepared to respond (Haddow, 2017).

Conclusion

It is unfortunate that disasters have to occur in order to improve emergency management as a discipline and emergency response as a necessity of life.  But complacency is not an option.  Preparation is the key to effective response and recovery when disasters do occur.  The Incident Command System, guided by the core components of the National Incident Management System, is an effective tool for coordinating and managing preparation, planning, mitigation, response, and recovery of major disasters on the local, tribal, state, and federal levels.

Dawn Pisturino

Thomas Edison State University

September 18, 2019

Copyright 2019-2021 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

References

911 Memorial. (2018 ). 9/11 Memorial Timeline. Retrieved from

       http://www.timeline.911memorial.org/#FrontPage

Department of Homeland Security. (2008). National incident management system.

       Retrieved from http://www.fema.gov/nims.

Haddow, G.D., Bullock, J.A., & Coppola, D.P. (2017). Introduction to emergency

       management. (6th ed.). Cambridge, MA: Elsevier.

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Why does Australia have so much Natural Gas?

Gorgon Project, Chevron.com

Chevron is a multinational corporation with offices, plants, pipelines, partnerships, and subsidiaries located all over the world. One of the company’s largest and most important overseas projects is the Gorgon Project – and associated smaller projects – situated off the coast of Western Australia.

Australia does not produce a lot of oil, but it produces an abundance of natural gas. This phenomenon is due to the geology of the Australian continent (Blewett, 2012, p. 221).

The Northern Carnarvon Basin, created during the Paleozoic period, is located off the northwestern coast of Australia, on the northwest shelf. “The basin is Australia’s premier hydrocarbon province where the majority of deep water wells have been drilled (greater than 500 meters water depth) . . . Almost all the hydrocarbon resources are reservoired within the Upper Triassic, Jurassic, and Lower Cretaceous sandstones beneath the regional early Cretaceous seal” (Geoscience Australia, 2020). The faults on this area run north or northeast, among “structural highs and sub-basins” (Geoscience Australia, 2020) which occurred over four geological phases involving glacial and tectonic activity (Geoscience Australia, 2020).

The basin covers 535,000 square kilometers, with water depths up to 4,500 meters. Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic sediment covers the area, up to 15,000 meters thick. The area comprises two Mesozoic petroleum supersystems (Geoscience Australia, 2020).

Total petroleum systems of the northwest shelf include the Dingo-Mungaroo/Barrow system and the Locker/Mungaroo/Barrow system. In the Dingo-Mungaroo/Barrow system, the hydrocarbon source rock is composed of Jurassic Dingo Claystone. The reservoir rocks comprise the Triassic Mungaroo Formation, Jurassic rocks, and the Cretaceous Barrow Group. In the Locker/Mungaroo/Barrow system, the source rock is composed of Triassic Locker Shale. The reservoir rocks comprise the Triassic Mungaroo Formation and the Cretaceous Barrow Group. Muderong Shale makes up the vast seal over much of the area (Bishop, 1999, p.6-7).

A total petroleum system is composed of several elements: the depocenter, which is the basin; the source, which is made of rocks containing organic materials; the reservoir, which is made of porous, permeable rock, such as sandstone; the seal, which is made of impermeable rock, such as shale; the trap, which holds the accumulation of source rocks; the overburden, which is composed of sediments subjected to heat; and the migration pathways, which allow the source rocks to form a link with the trap (Blewett, 2012, p. 176).

Additionally, there must be geochemical processes which cause “trap formation, hydrocarbon generation, expulsion, migration, accumulation, and preservation” in a precise order with exact timing (Blewett, 2012, p. 176). Millions of years of geological events, such as the shifting of tectonic plates and glacier movement, as well as extreme changes in weather, such as the change from the Ice Age to a more temperate climate, formed the particular geology which makes up the Australian continent and its surrounding oceans (Blewett, 2012, p. 217).

“The main trap styles in the [Carnarvon] basin are anticlines, horsts, fault roll-over structures, and stratigraphic pinch-outs beneath the regional seal” (Blewett, 2012, p. 220). Australia has an abundance of natural gas due to the type of vegetation which decayed and became trapped in “non-marine coaly source rocks” (Blewett, 2012, p. 221) and the fact that some basins did not evolve long enough to create the conditions to produce oil.

Chevron entered the Western Australia oil and gas market when it purchased Caltex in 1952. In 1980, the Gorgon natural gas field was discovered west of Barrow Island; and in 2003, Chevron received permission from the Western Australia government to build a natural gas plant on Barrow Island (Chevron Australia, 2020).

Barrow Island is located 60 kilometers off the northwest coast of Western Australia. Chevron’s Gorgon Project includes three liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing plants capable of producing 15.6 million tonnes per annum (MTPA), and a domestic natural gas plant capable of producing 300 terajoules of natural gas per day (Chevron Australia, 2020). According to the operators of the Dampier-Bunbury Pipeline, which transmits this natural gas to distributors, one terajoule of natural gas can provide energy to the average household in Western Australia for 50 years, so Chevron’s Gorgon Project is a significant contribution to Western Australia’s regional economy (Dampier Bunbury Pipeline, 2020). The project is expected to be productive for 40 or more years (Chevron Australia, 2020).

The onshore Gorgon Project also includes three acid gas removal units, two LNG tanks, four condensate tanks, three CO2 compression plants, two monoethylene glycol (MEG) processing plants, 2 inlet processing units, and ground flare capabilities. Marine facilities, an airport, employee housing, a fire station, laboratory, warehouse, workshop, and a permanent operations facility complete the physical structure of the Barrows Island onshore project (Chevron Australia, 2020).

“A subsea gas gathering system is located on the ocean floor at the Gorgon and Jansz-Io fields, located about 65 and 130 kilometers respectively off the west coast of Barrow Island” (Chevron Australia, 2020). From there, natural gas from both fields is transmitted to the Barrow Island facility by undersea pipelines. After processing, gas for domestic use is transmitted through a 90 kilometer domestic gas pipeline that ties in to the Dampier-Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline. Once the LNG is processed, it is stored and shipped by large LNG tankers to Japan and other Asian countries (Chevron Australia, 2020).

The Dampier-Bunbury Pipeline (DBP), at 1600 kilometers long, is the longest pipeline in Australia. Built in 1984, it is expected to last for another 50 years. Every year, it receives 112,000 hours of planned maintenance to ensure its safety and optimal condition. Twenty-seven turbine compressor units, located at ten sites along the pipeline, exert enough pressure to push the natural gas along the pipeline. It has functioned at 99% efficiency for the last ten years. Owned by the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group, more than 2 million homes and businesses benefit from the pipeline. The company also supplies natural gas to power generators, mines, and manufacturers — and other companies can tie in to the pipeline (Dampier Bunbury Pipeline, 2020).

DBP owns 34,000 kilometers of distribution networks, 5,500 kilometers of transmission pipelines, 52 petrajoules of storage capacity, employs 315 workers, and contracts with 1,600 contractors. The company’s goal is to provide natural gas at the lowest possible cost. The company provides 21% natural gas for power generation; 39% for mineral processing; 9% for other industrial purposes; 9% for retail outlets; 22% for mining.  Alcoa and BHP Billiton are two of its large industrial customers. The company provides natural gas to Synergy and Alinta for power generation (Dampier Bunbury Pipeline, 2020).

DBP operates the Dampier-Bunbury Pipeline for the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG). It also plans and constructs metering stations, executes the tie-ins for other companies, and provides an odorization service. In 2013, “DBP completed the metering station for the connection of the Chevron-operated Gorgon Project” (Dampier Bunbury Pipeline, 2020).

Transmission pipelines are usually 6-48 inches in diameter and can handle pressures of 200-1500 psi. The high pressures move the natural gas through the line. Distribution pipelines are separated into main lines and service lines and carry natural gas to homes and businesses. They operate at lower pressures for safety reasons (Pipeline Safety Trust, 2019).

Compressors fueled by electric or natural gas use high pressure to push the gas through the pipeline. Compressor stations are located about every 50 to 100 miles along the line, and pressures can be adjusted as needed (Pipeline Safety Trust, 2019).

Gas pipeline operators, such as DBP in Western Australia, monitor the pipeline for problems using “a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system (SCADA). A SCADA is a pipeline computer system designed to gather information such as flow rate through the pipeline, operational status, pressure, and temperature readings” (Pipeline Safety Trust, 2019). These readings help operators to address problems quickly and easily. Operators, for example, can isolate a section of pipe that is malfunctioning or adjust flow rates via the compressors and valves (Pipeline Safety Trust, 2019).

When a transmission line reaches the utility company’s “city gate,” it begins to transmit gas into the lower pressure distribution system that ultimately delivers the gas to homes and businesses. This is where the odorant is added to the gas. Gas mains, which are usually 2-24 inches in diameter, utilize pressures up to 200 psi. The service lines, on the other hand, only use pressures up to 10 psi (Pipeline Safety Trust, 2019).

The gas utility company is responsible for monitoring flow rates and pressures along the distribution line. When regulators sense a change in pressure, they will open or close in order to adjust the amount of pressure in the line. Relief valves release excess gas if the pressures build too high (Pipeline Safety Trust, 2019).

Pipeline operators, such as DBP in Western Australia, must monitor pipes for corrosion, leaks, breakages, and construction workers digging too close to the lines. They must follow pressure specifications determined by government regulatory bodies, otherwise, pipelines can become a safety and environmental hazard to the local community (Pipeline Safety Trust, 2019).

Barrow Island is a Class-A nature reserve, and Chevron has worked hard with the Western Australia government to maintain the local habitat for the native flora and fauna. Their goal to reduce CO2 emissions has led them to construct a CO2 injection system which allows them to inject excess CO2 from natural gas into a deep underwater trap called the Dupuy Formation, located two kilometers underneath Barrow Island. This system is projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% and is fully supported by the Australian government (Chevron Australia, 2020).

Chevron is a well-respected energy corporation in Western Australia. The Gorgon Project alone is projected to contribute $400 billion to Australia’s Gross Domestic Product and $69 billion in taxes to the federal government between 2009 and 2040. With its booming natural gas industry in place, Australia is now a leading producer of natural gas in the world market (Chevron Australia, 2020).

Dawn Pisturino

Thomas Edison State University

October 27, 2020

Copyright 2020-2021 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

 References

Bishop, M.G. (1999). Total Petroleum Systems of the Northwest Shelf, Australia: The Dingo-

       Mungaroo/Barrow and the Locker/Mungaroo/Barrow. Reston: U.S. Geological Survey.

Blewett, R. (Ed.). (2012). Shaping a Nation: A Geology of Australia. Canberra: Australia

       National University.

Chevron Australia. (2020). Gorgon project overview. Retrieved from

https://www.australia.chevron.com.

Dampier Bunbury Pipeline. (2020). About dbp. Retrieved from https://www.dbp.net.au.

Geoscience Australia. (2020). Energy. Retrieved from

https://www.ga.gov.au/scientific-topics/energy.

Pipeline Safety Trust. (2019). Pipeline basics & specifics about natural gas pipelines. Retrieved

       From http://www.pstrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/2019-PST-Briefing-Paper-02-Nat

       GasBasics.pdf.

3 Comments »

Is Your House Sitting on an Ancient Gas Line Ready to Explode?

Richard Williams lived in an historic home in Shreveport, Louisiana. The home – and the cast iron natural gas main supplying the home – were built in 1911. The pipe cracked in 2016, allowing the gas to accumulate in a storage shed behind the home. Williams investigated a strong odor of gas in his backyard – with a lit cigar in his mouth – and the subsequent explosion killed him (Wooten & Korte, 2018).

An Internet search will reveal numerous natural gas explosions which have occurred over the last few decades as a result of ancient and faulty pipes. Since 1990, approximately 264 people have died due to natural gas accidents (Wooten & Korte, 2018).

In 1991, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration began a program to mandate pipeline operators to replace cast iron natural gas pipes and to protect existing pipes from excavation. This has been a slow process because “the work is expensive, often difficult, and sometimes perilous” (Wooten & Korte, 2018).

Richard Williams and his neighbors had complained for a year about a terrible gas smell in the neighborhood. When Centerpoint Energy finally came out and fixed the service line which was connected to the gas main and the meter, they neglected to fill in the hole they had dug. The pipe began to leak again, and this was later attributed to “improper backfill” (Wooten & Korte, 2018) of the hole. Williams’ brother, a lawyer, contends that Centerpoint Energy and the city of Shreveport are at fault because they “were negligent in maintaining the gas pipes . . . [and it was] Centerpoint’s choice not to remove dangerous cast iron pipes from its system, even though Centerpoint knew just how deadly they were” (Wooten & Korte, 2018).

According to the United States Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, “10% of the incidents occurring on gas distribution mains involved cast iron mains . . . [even though] only 2% of distribution mains are cast iron” (U.S. Department of Transportation, 2020).

Why are cast iron pipes so dangerous? Cast iron is vulnerable to graphitization, which makes the metal more brittle. Any kind of earth movement can cause the pipe to crack and start leaking. Furthermore, “cast iron pipelines were linked using bell and spigot joints with packing material stuffed in the bell to form a gas tight seal” (U.S. Department of Transportation, 2020). When dry gas replaced wet manufactured gas, the packing material dried out, causing leakage. Operators have used clamping and encapsulation to repair these joint leaks, but repairs do not solve the problem. Cast iron pipes – and other ancient pipes – need to be replaced altogether (U.S. Department of Transportation, 2020).

According to Wooten and Korte, “more than 53,000 miles of natural gas mains were built before 1940 . . . Decades of freezing and thawing, corrosion, vibration, and shifting soil can eat away at the cast iron and untreated steel pipes that were once the state of the art in natural gas distribution” (Wooten & Korte, 2018).

Other causes can include excavations by workers or homeowners; incorrectly installed pipes; incorrectly jointed pipes – and it can take years for the problem to become apparent and reach crisis dimensions. Approximately 85,000 miles of cast iron pipes and bare-steel pipes remain in service, posing a hidden danger to humans and structures alike (Wooten & Korte, 2018).

U.S. Department of Transportation. (2020). Cast and wrought iron inventory. Retrieved from

https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/data-and-statistics/pipeline-replacement/cast-and-wrought-iron-

       inventory/

Wooten, N. & Korte, G. (2018, November). Pipeline peril: Natural gas explosions reveal silent  

       danger lurking in old cast iron pipes. Shreveport Times. Retrieved from

https://www.shreveporttimes.com/story/news/2018/11/10/pipeline-peril-natural-gas-

       explosions-reveal-silent-danger-lurking-old-cast-iron-pipes/1924228002

Dawn Pisturino, RN

November 17, 2020

Copyright 2020-2021 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

Thomas Edison State University

NOTE: This is the kind of national infrastructure that Joe Biden and the Democrats should be concentrating on instead of playing politics with people’s lives and spending trillions of dollars on nonsensical wish list projects.

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Chevron – Still a Good Investment

Chevron has been successfully supplying “affordable, reliable, ever-cleaner energy that enables human progress” for more than 140 years. But the company is facing unprecedented challenges in the face of COVID-19, [a hostile political landscape], and a slumping oil and gas market.

Chairman Mike Wirth continues to reaffirm the company’s slogan: “The right way. The responsible way. The Chevron Way.” And he proudly emphasizes the basic solidness of Chevron and its future. Based on the company’s past performance, he is probably right. Chevron has the money, resources, and innovation to weather any storm.

In 2019, according to its annual report, Chevron beat its competitors in several important areas. The company “delivered 15.2% Total Stockholder Returns; increased [its] dividend payment 6.2%, making it the 32nd consecutive year of increased per-share dividend payouts; increased share repurchases to a run-rate of $5 billion per year; generated more than $27 billion in cash flow from operations and returned $13 billion to shareholders; lowered [its] net debt ratio to 12.8%, further strengthening the company’s balance sheet.”

Additionally, the company produced 3.06 million oil-equivalent barrels per day, an increase of 4 per cent over 2018. This was largely due to its projects located in the Permian Basin, and the roll-out of the Wheatstone LNG project off the coast of Western Australia. These projects helped to balance out losses and the sale of assets in Denmark and Great Britain.

Chevron also boasted 11.4 billion barrels of net-oil-equivalent reserves, $237.4 billion total assets, and $139.9 billion from sales and other revenues in 2019. The company exhibited a strong corporate balance sheet. But the 2020 annual report has not yet been released [as of the writing of this paper].

The company released a statement on December 3, 2020 that it is reducing its long-term spending on capital investments due to lower oil and gas prices because it does not expect conditions to change very soon. Its position reflects the attitude of the oil and gas industry as a whole. [Since then, Joe Biden has been inaugurated as President and put policies in place that have raised gas and oil prices significantly. His policies threaten the oil and gas industry as a whole].

Chevron only plans to spend $14 billion to $16 billion per year from 2022 to 2025. This represents a 27% reduction in investments from what it had originally forecast. The new forecast is necessary as the company, along with other energy companies, cut oil and gas production, laid off workers, and put projects on hold. Continued spikes in COVID-19 during the winter and a stay-at-home work force have contributed greatly to reduced demand and lower prices [pre-Biden].

While European companies are using these conditions to invest more heavily in renewable energy and low-carbon fuels, Chevron remains committed to oil and natural gas, with smaller investments in wind, solar, biomethane, and hydrogen energy. It plans to invest less money in high-cost projects such as the Tengiz oil project in Kazakhstan and invest more money in reliable projects such as the Permian Basin and the Gulf of Mexico.

Chevron has now surpassed Exxon Mobil in market value, making it the largest American oil and gas company. The company will invest $14 billion in capital projects in 2021, with $300 million set aside for investments in renewable energy. Chevron’s stable business model has allowed its stock to remain a solid investment.

As a multinational corporation with offices, plants, pipelines, partnerships, and subsidiaries all across the globe, Chevron’s success is based primarily on its relationships with its stakeholders — management, work force, investors, partners, contractors, and members of the local community. The company relies on “the inspiration, creativity, and ingenuity of [its] people” to keep the company fresh, innovative, a solid investment, and a positive place to work.

The company’s Business Conduct and Ethics Code, Operational Excellence Management System, and written safe-work practices ensure that all employees will be held accountable for supporting a company culture that gives priority to “process safety, the health and safety of [the] work force, and protection of communities and the environment.” The company’s commitment to lowering its carbon footprint, investing more in renewable energy and ground-breaking technologies (such as methods for reducing corrosion on pipelines and drilling deeper underground and underwater), makes it an exciting investment and even more exciting place to work.

Since the company has been around for a long time, it has the resilience and experience to face any challenge, from operating the world’s largest LNG facility on Barrow Island off the coast of Western Australia, to minimizing its human and industrial imprint on the island’s Class A Nature Reserve, to specializing in recovering natural gas from shale and tight rock formations in underwater fields, to building one of the largest CO2 Injection projects below Barrow Island.

Chevron strives to hire the best-qualified people and contract with the best-qualified companies to maintain the integrity of the company and its projects. In Western Australia, for example, it is a major supplier of natural gas for the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group, which owns the longest natural gas pipeline in Australia, the Dampier-Bunbury Pipeline.

The Dampier-Bunbury Pipeline receives 112,000 hours of scheduled maintenance every year, has operated at 99% efficiency for the last 10 years, and is expected to last for another 50 years. Since Chevron’s largest LNG project, Gorgon Project, is expected to be productive for the next 40 years, this is an ideal situation for both Chevron and the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group.

According to Chairman Mike Wirth, “an investment in Chevron is an investment that drives human progress, lifts millions out of poverty, and makes modern life possible. It is an investment that values operating with integrity, getting results the right way, and striving for humanity’s highest aspirations: to create a more prosperous, equitable, and sustainable world.”

A good example is Chevron’s Gorgon Project, which is located off the coast of Western Australia. The project is expected to pour $400 billion into Australia’s Gross Domestic Product and $69 billion worth of taxes into the federal government between 2009 and 2040. As a result, Australia is fast becoming a leading producer of natural gas in the global market.

Natural gas is safer, cleaner, and more reliable than some other forms of energy, including electricity. It is transported through gathering pipelines, transmission pipelines, and distribution pipelines. But natural gas is also a hazardous substance. Chevron uses risk management principles to identify and minimize risks to property and human lives. Risks are assessed throughout the system, rated according to severity, and safety measures are put in place to minimize and eliminate safety hazards.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is the primary regulator of energy companies and pipelines in the United States. It is responsible for “regulating the safety of design, construction, testing, operation, maintenance, and emergency response of U.S. oil and natural gas pipeline facilities.” The safety of the public and the environment is the primary concern of PHMSA.

PHMSA sponsors an Integrity Management Program which requires all pipeline operators to evaluate the environment and population surrounding a pipeline. It is critical that operators understand the consequences of a pipeline failure to the local community and take measures to prevent an incident from happening. When operators develop this kind of awareness, they are more likely to make certain that inspections and scheduled maintenance get done. They will be better prepared to handle the situation if a pipeline safety hazard occurs.

The Office of Pipeline Safety, which is part of PHMSA, performs “field inspections of pipeline facilities and construction projects; inspections of operator management systems, procedures, and processes; and incident investigations.” The agency can enforce safety regulations when violations are found.

Chevron’s Operational Excellence Management System addresses safety, health, and wellness issues throughout the company and its facilities around the world. Chairman Mike Wirth’s personal mission is “to eliminate high-consequence personal and process safety events. This means no fatalities or serious injuries and no fires, spills or explosions that can affect people or communities.”

According to Wirth, the company must focus on three important areas: 1) understanding the risks and benefits of managing oil and gas operations; 2) identifying the safety measures needed to minimize and eliminate the risks; 3) implementing, maintaining, and improving those safety measures.

All members of the company are expected to take a proprietary interest in promoting a culture of safety. This means every employee takes responsibility for his own and his peers’ actions. Every member must act as part of a team to achieve safety and performance goals.

The two key elements of the Chevron safety code are: “Do it safely or not at all” and “There is always time to do it right.” Failure to follow this code resulted in a major safety hazard during routine maintenance at the Gorgon Project in Western Australia, costing the company millions of dollars.

Driving down costs is also an important part of Chevron’s Operational Management System. Using energy and resources wisely, and maintaining a safe and secure environment, ensures that all stakeholders will benefit from the company’s efficient management of its operations.

Chevron invests a lot of resources in developing its current and future work force. The company is a strong proponent of teaching high school children science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills (STEM). It needs qualified geologists, chemists, IT specialists, healthcare workers, engineers, and other specialists to keep the company performing at a high standard. It supports special programs which help low-income men and women get the job skills they need to land a high-paying job with Chevron or another energy company. And it strongly encourages girls to gain STEM skills. The company promotes diversity and a global perspective that defines it as a “global energy company most admired for its people, partnerships, and performance.”

In spite of setbacks, a global pandemic, [a hostile political landscape], and suffering oil and gas prices [which are now too high], Chevron will be strong as long as it conducts business according to its core values.

Dawn Pisturino

December 22, 2020

Thomas Edison State University

Trenton, New Jersey

Copyright 2020-2021 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

Please contact author for sources.

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DHS, FEMA, and the National Incident Management System

9/11

Introduction

After the end of the Cold War, America faced new challenges as the world’s leading military power. The failure of the old Soviet Union left a leadership vacuum which created new opportunities for terrorist organizations, petty dictators, and rogue countries to asset their influence and power. The end result was the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2001 by an Islamic group known as Al Qaeda.

Amid all the post-attack horror and shock, two questions stood out: what did the U.S. government know — and why wasn’t the threat taken more seriously? Congress created the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States on November 27, 2002 to answer those questions and to address the need for a more comprehensive national preparedness system.

A Discussion of the Origins of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Al Qaeda was organized by Osama bin Laden in 1988 after the Soviet Union abandoned Afghanistan. After the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 and several attacks on foreign soil, the CIA concluded in 1995 that there would be increasing terrorist attacks against and in the United States but attributed these attacks to loosely-affiliated individuals with special training who could disappear underground. It wasn’t until 1996-1997 that the CIA became aware of Bin Laden’s terrorist organization. In spite of this knowledge, officials failed to share the complete information about Bid Laden and his activities in their updated reports.

Between 1998 and 2001, more information was compiled about Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, but the CIA failed to comprehend the importance or urgency of the information. Even when select individuals tried to point out the threat and devised plans of action, those plans were usually shot down by Washington, D.C. bureaucrats as too expensive, too unrealistic, or too inadequate.

Part of the problem was the expectation that a major terrorist attack would be achieved through chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapons. And since Al Qaeda possessed none of these, the threat it posed was minimized. The few small-scale attacks the group had achieved overseas, such as the attack on the U.S.S. Cole in October 2000, were not considered important enough to beef up national security. And the idea of using airplanes for suicide bombings was not considered a credible scenario for most Washington bureaucrats — including Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

It’s no surprise, then, that the American people were horrified to learn that a small group of radical Islamic terrorists — armed only with simple box cutters — were able to hijack American commercial jets and slam into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The federal government was compelled to act.

The Department of Homeland Security was created by President George W. Bush with Executive Order 13228 on October 8, 2001 in response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The mission of the new department was “to develop and coordinate the implementation of a comprehensive national strategy to secure the United States from terrorist threats or attacks.” It was specifically mandated “to coordinate the executive branch’s efforts to detect, prepare for, prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks within the United States.”

President Bush’s order covers the five basic elements of emergency management: preparedness, prevention (mitigation), protection, response, and recovery in coordination with federal, state, and local agencies, private businesses, and non-profit organizations. But one of the most important features of the order is the gathering and dissemination of information relating to homeland security with “state and local governments and private entities.” The order establishes the Homeland Security Council, with members representing the most important departments in the federal government.

An Examination of the Relationship between the DHS and FEMA

With the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, President Bush focused the nation’s attention on terrorism and potential terrorist threats and attacks. Executive Order 13228 orders the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to “assist in the implementation of national security emergency preparedness policy by coordinating with the other federal departments and agencies and with state and local governments, and by providing periodic reports to the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council on implementation of national security emergency preparedness policy.”

Section 503 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 transfers accountability and responsibility of the Federal Emergency Management Agency — including its Director — to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security as part of the department’s overall goal of building a comprehensive National Incident Management System (NIMS). “NIMS was [ultimately] created to integrate effective practices in emergency preparedness and response into a comprehensive national framework for incident management. NIMS enables responders at all levels to work together more effectively and efficiently to manage domestic incidents no matter what the cause, size, or complexity, including catastrophic acts of terrorism and disasters.” By making NIMS “a requirement for many federal grant programs,” the federal government has been able to promote a formalized, centralized, and coordinated national response plan which “provides a systematic, proactive approach to guide departments and agencies at all levels of government” in the event of disaster. “NIMS provides the template for the management of incidents, while the NRF [National Response Framework] provides the structure and mechanisms for national-level policy for incident management.”

Section 507 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 outlines the role and functions of FEMA and mandates that the agency follow a comprehensive emergency management program (NIMS) which includes mitigation, planning, preparedness, response, and recovery. The act designates FEMA as the leading agency for implementing the national emergency response plan.

FEMA successfully responded to the Midwest Floods of 1993, the Northridge, California earthquake, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Seattle earthquake, and the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. But, once FEMA was absorbed into the Department of Homeland Security, its effectiveness declined. The agency’s response to Hurricane Katrina under President George W. Bush, for example, was considered a failure.

FEMA’s failure has been attributed to loss of autonomy and access to the White House, loss of power and status, redistribution of funds and personnel to projects given higher priority (such as terrorism), excess bureaucracy in the upper levels of the Department of Homeland Security, and a lack of coordination with state and local governments. Congress passed several reform bills to help resolve these issues.

Discussion of HSPD-5 and HSPD-8

Although the Homeland Security Act of 2002 ordered the development and implementation of a comprehensive national response plan, it was Homeland Security Presidential Directive-5 (February 28, 2003) which formally called for the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to come up with a national incident management system and national response plan that would improve coordination between departments, states, and local governments in the event of a major incident.

Homeland Security Presidential Directive-8 (December 17, 2003) proposed policies that would strengthen domestic preparedness to deal with major disasters (including terrorist attacks). Once again, coordination responsibility fell onto the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security with the goal of keeping the country ready at all times. This directive was aimed particularly at first responders by providing training programs and offering incentive rewards to the states.

With the Department of Homeland Security in control of devising and implementing a well-coordinated national response plan, it is ironic that the department failed so miserably in the face of Hurricane Katrina.

Conclusion

With the continued threats facing America, it is more important then ever for the country to avoid complacency and stay alert in order to recognize, prevent, and respond effectively to potential and actual disasters. We must learn from both our successes and our failures as we move forward into the future.

Dawn Pisturino

Thomas Edison State University, 2019

Copyright 2019-2020 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

Please contact author for sources.

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The Hoover Dam – What if it Broke?

hoover_dam_1

The Hoover Dam – What if it Broke?

I.

At any given time, Lake Mead – which is held back by the Hoover Dam — can supply water to 29 million households in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. Turbines and generators at Hoover Dam turn water energy into electrical energy. A failure at Hoover Dam would cut off both water and power to all of these seven states, and especially, to all the communities located in the Colorado River Basin.

A breach in the Hoover Dam wall would cause 10 trillion gallons of water from Lake Mead to form a tsunami wave that would travel down the Colorado River, destroying Davis Dam, Parker Dam, and several bridges, and wiping out Lake Mead, Lake Mohave, and Lake Havasu. Communities located on the Colorado River would be flooded.

There would be an immediate loss of hydroelectric power, irrigation water, and drinking water that millions of people in all seven states depend on. The economic losses would be devastating.

Bullhead City, Arizona is one of the cities located on the Colorado River. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation would immediately notify Bullhead City and Mohave County [in Arizona] of the impending catastrophe. The Mohave County Disaster Plan for uncontrolled releases from dams would be activated, involving the Mohave County Department of Risk and Emergency Management and multiple other departments in Bullhead City and Mohave County. The Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Arizona State Parks Department, and the Lake Mead National Recreation Area [in Nevada] would also be involved.

It would require expert and efficient coordination and excellent communication capabilities to evacuate 30,000 people (the ones in Bullhead City, Arizona living closest to the river) in 90 minutes, before the water held back by Hoover Dam and then Davis Dam, hit Bullhead City. In spite of all evacuation plans to move people to Golden Valley and Kingman, Arizona, people would greet the news of a Hoover Dam failure with disbelief and then panic. Highway 95 is the only main route through Bullhead City. It would be jammed with traffic. People on higher ground might be safe from flooding, but they would be trapped by lack of alternate roads out of the city. Law enforcement would be essential to keeping the traffic moving.

It is my estimate that if 10,000 people managed to get out of town in 90 minutes, 10,000 residents would be trapped on higher ground, and 20,000 fatalities would result from drowning and injuries. Thirty miles of Highway 95 would be flooded by water. At least 16,000 homes and businesses would be flooded or destroyed. The local hospital, which sits on a hill, could only be accessed by helicopter. The sewer systems would be flooded, contaminating the environment. Remaining residents would be without power and water. They would have to walk through the hills to highway 68 or be flown out by helicopter. The American Red Cross and other volunteer organizations would have to set up emergency shelters in Golden Valley and Kingman, Arizona within two hours to help the survivors.

The Mohave County Board of Supervisors would ask the Governor of Arizona to declare an emergency situation. He, in turn, would ask the President of the United States to declare Bullhead City [and all other cities along the Colorado River] a disaster area. Bullhead City and Mohave County would be overwhelmed. FEMA would be mobilized.

II.

If an unknown terrorist group launched a nuclear device at Hoover Dam and caused a rupture in the concrete wall, the scenario would be the same as described above. In addition to physical and environmental damage and loss of human life, the air and water would be contaminated with radiation and debris. The 10,000 people who managed to stay behind on dry land would have to be rescued and evacuated over 24 hours due to exposure to radiation.

Emergency shelters would need to be set up within two hours by the American Red Cross and other volunteer organizations in Golden Valley and Kingman, Arizona to supply food, water, and other basic needs to survivors. But over the next day, wind currents would bring the radiation over the mountains and into Golden Valley and Kingman. Local law enforcement would pass out gas masks and be on patrol to control panic, looting, and general disorder while State and County emergency workers evacuated the area.

The Mohave County Board of Supervisors would ask the Governor of Arizona to declare an emergency situation. He, in turn, would ask the President of the United States to declare the area a disaster zone. FEMA would be mobilized to the area.

Conclusion: When President Trump talks about our deteriorating infrastructure, We the People need to take it more seriously. There are a number of dams across the country which need much-needed repairs and reinforcement. Waiting for a disaster to occur is unacceptable. When he talks about preventing terrorists from entering the country, he knows what he’s talking about. Our deteriorating infrastructure is vulnerable to attack.

Dawn Pisturino

September 2019 and April 23, 2020

Copyright 2019-2020 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

Contact author for sources.

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