p 108 of Sound Truth & Corporate Myths
(The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill by Riki Ott, PhD)
'Evan Lange' (Acute Exposure 1989 - 1990)
In August, 1989 Evan Lange volunteered to join a 'bioremediation' team (Lange 2003). He had been tending boom all summer from a skiff and he was ready to try something new. He remembered his job switch was 'kind of on the fly. We just jumped ship from Tank Force I to this real specialized group of people and support vessels. They didn't really set us aside to give us much training." He thought it a little strange that he had taken a four-hour training at the beginning of his summer work - at least. "At least they were trying to do something standardized." but then Inipol came along and all he received was second-hand information. No MSDS, no training, nothing.
Lange said he never had the feeling that he was "stepping into a tried and true program. It was more like 'let's make this thing work' kind of thing." He described going out to the beaches with twenty people or so, but he never witnessed twenty people on the beaches dispersing the chemical' Instead he and one or two others would spray Inipol on the beaches, while everyone else watched - from a distance, either above the beach in the grasses or down on boats in the water. "There was a lot of interest in seeing how this worked. It was like they were testing these operations and trying to get workable and useful methodologies."
The first 'methodology' didn't work very well.. Lange explained
p 109 "We were having problems with Inipol getting cold, because the stuff gets pretty viscous when it's cold and it resists flow. We put it into these plastic backpacks, like a home garden fertilizer sprayer. The person carrying the backpack would have to keep it pumped up. The backpacks had a rubber tube with a metal wand and you and you pressed a trigger to spray. It was a very small group of Inipol workers and we'd just walk down the beaches, pumping and spraying the Inipol. When the backpack was empty, you just walk down the beach and get more Inipol."
Lange figured there was "some kind of optimal spray they were looking for. When we pumped the backpacks, the Inipol kind of dribbled out. It was not a nice spray pattern. When it dribbled out it meant you were just spilling it on the beach. The Inipol would kind of make the oil run off the rocks but that's not what we were trying to do, really, we were told we're trying to get the microbes activated and get their populations up. And the best way to get this to happen was to apply the Inipol in a uniform coating over the entire area of application." Lange noticed that even when he managed to achieve the desired uniform coating, the freshly sprayed Inipol immediately melted oil from the rocks. He wondered if this cosmetic cleansing was an unstated desired effect of Inipol use.
Lange and other sprayers gave urine samples every time they returned to their home boat after a round of spraying.. He explained that VECO was checking for blood in the urine and he understood that Inipol could cause kidney damage. He always wore his protective gear - a Tyvek suit and rain gear - and a cartridge type respirator. He tried to be careful.
Lange only went out with the Inipol crews about 6 times before he left the cleanup to attend college in Anchorage. The next summer he applied to work on the cleanup again, because he "didn't have anything better lined up." When VECO found out he had experience with Inipol, he said, "They became very interested in me." This time he took a Hazwoper training course at the VECO headquarters in Anchorage.
Lange said, "VECO definitely had their act together a lot better than they had the first year. It felt very organized and thorough." He worked with an Inipol crew in rotating shifts of two weeks on, one week off. He said it was a very, very intensive and directed effort. They knew what they were doing; we knew what we were doing; and we were all doing it. There was none of this experimental trial and error stuff. It was almost like everything was choreographed. We had a routine. It was not like the first year at all."
Were these some of the 'observers?'
What has happened to them? *