1979 Methyl tert-butyl
ether replaces tetraethyl
lead in gasoline.
Methyl tert-butyl ether, also known as methyl
tertiary butyl ether and MTBE, is an organic
compound with molecular formula
MTBE is a
volatile, flammable and colorless
liquid that is sparingly soluble.
It has a minty odor vaguely
reminiscent of diethyl ether, leading to
unpleasant taste and odor in water.
MTBE is a gasoline additive, an
oxygenate to raise the octane rating.
Its use became controversial when
found in ground water.
federal and state legislation
1992 MTBE is being used at higher
concentrations in some gasoline to fulfill the oxygenate requirements set by
Congress in Clean Air
1996 Santa Monica closes
7 of 11 drinking water wells in its Charnock well field after discovering MTBE
1999 MTBE, manufactured by the chemical reaction
of methanol and
butylene, is being produced in very large
quantities of more than 200,000 barrels per day in the US.
October 15, 2000 Chevron announces acquisition of
2001 An associate professor of chemistry at Purdue
University finds MTBE in gasoline
supplies in systems where the fuel additive is not required.
examines 200 samples of gas taken from stations in Indiana, Illinois and
Michigan and finds that over 70% of the samples contained MTBE and 25% of the
samples contained "significant amounts of MTBE.
One ounce of MTBE can
contaminate 1,000 tons of water.
California's Water Resources Control
Board reports 48 public water drinking systems serving hundreds of thousands of
residents have been contaminated with MTBE.
This is in addition to tens
of thousands of private wells throughout California and hundreds of thousands
of private wells nationwide.
Enterprises and Unocal
settle a lawsuit filed by an environmental group which requires the oil
companies to remediate MTBE ground water
contamination at a minimum
of 700 sites in California.
ExxonMobil agrees to pay $12
million in partial reimbursement of what South Lake Tahoe Public Utility to
remediate MTBE from ground
water which had to close 12 of its 34 drinking water wells.
2003 ChevronTexaco agrees to pay $9.1 million to
settle a lawsuit arising from MTBE ground water contamination in Cambria,
2004 California Superior
Court judge approved a settlement agreement between a dozen firms and the City
of Santa Monica, California over
contamination with MTBE.
The settlement, which is valued at $312
million, includes $100 million in cash payments plus "a potentially unlimited obligation
to cleanup up the wells."
Defendants included in this settlement
ChevronTexaco, Chevron USA Inc., Chevron Products Co.,
ExxonMobil, Shell Oil,
Shell Oil Products, Shell Pipeline, Equilon Enterprises, Equilon Pipeline,
Texaco Refining, Thrifty Oil, and Best California Gas.
This is believed
to be the largest settlement to date for MTBE contamination.
State had identified over 13,000 sites with ground water contamination by MTBE.
New York had allowed gasoline sold in the state to include 12 to 15%
MTBE, some of the highest mixtures in the nation.
has been discovered in ground water in 28 states and estimates of the costs to
cleanup the contamination range from $30 billion to $100 billion.
estimated costs to filter some 130 municipal drinking water wells in Plainview
Long Island (New York) ranges from $390 million to $1 billion.
has removes some 6,000 leaking underground storage tanks.
2005 oil companies agreed to pay nearly a half billion dollars to settle
lawsuits filed on behalf of municipalities over MTBE contaminated ground water.
2005 Worldwide production of MTBE
has been constant at about 18 million tons/y owing to growth in
which are less subject to
ChevronTexaco agrees to settle a lawsuit by paying
$850,000 for ground water contamination with MTBE. The suit is filed by the Los
Osos Community Services District after MTBE from a former gas station
contaminated ground water and at least one drinking water well.
announced another settlement with a dozen oil companies over MTBE contaminated
ground water beneath Santa Monica, California.
The settling companies,
which will pay $1.5 million to end the suit, include:
Shell Oil; Shell Oil
Products; Equilon Enterprises; Shell Pipeline; TRM; ChevronTexaco; Chevron USA;
ExxonMobil; Mobil Oil; Thrifty Oil; and Best California Gas.
companies have already extracted nearly 350 million gallons of contaminated
Estimates of cleanup costs necessary to remediate MTBE
contaminated ground water nationwide run between $29 billion and $92 billion.
Some 140 municipalities and water companies have filed lawsuits against
petroleum industry defendants over ground water contamination with the fuel
Twelve oil companies, Premcor
Refining, Conoco, Tosco, Shell
Oil, Shell Oil Products, Phillips Petroleum, BP Products North America, BP
Amoco, Union Oil, UNO-VEN,
Citgo Petroleum, and PDV
Midwest Refining LLC, have agreed to pay $8 million to the village of East
Alton, Illinois to settle their liability for drinking water wells contaminated
Two gas stations are believed to be the source of the
Twenty-one US Senators ask the EPA to provide them with
information contained in a draft report being reviewed by the agency that
concludes that the gasoline additive MTBE should be labeled a
Perchlorate salts, a chemical compound containing the perchlorate
ion, are produced industrially by the oxidation of solutions of sodium chlorate
2004 EPA published a draft
assessment which concludes that perchlorate is harmful to the
human thyroid, particularly in infants, when
concentration in drinking water exceed one part per billion (ppb).
perchlorate contamination in
nearly every one 104 milk samples taken from milk bought in retail stores
in Arizona, California, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, North
Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
The average concentration of perchlorate in the milk samples is 5.76
parts per billion (ppb).
38% of the samples had levels over 6 ppb.
Perchlorate is also found in 128 samples of lettuce from Arizona, California,
Florida, New Jersey, and Texas.
The States of Maryland and
Massachusetts adopted a safety limit on perchlorate in drinking water of 1 ppb.
California set a preliminary limit of 6 ppb for perchlorate in drinking
2005 Texas Tech University's Institute
of Environmental and Human Health finds perchlorate in virtually all
samples of women's breast milk at levels on average almost two times greater
than in cow's milk.
The highest levels found in breast milk, 92 parts
per billion (ppb) and 51 ppb came from two New Jersey women.
exceeding 30 ppb were found in women from New Mexico, Missouri and Nebraska.
The average for all samples was 10.5 ppb.
The study found that
a 9 pound baby drinking breast milk with 10.5 ppb of perchlorate would ingest
more than double the amount of perchlorate deemed safe by a recent National
Academy of Sciences (NAS) report.
The findings concern health experts
because infants and fetuses are the most vulnerable to the
thyroid-impairing effects of the
Perchlorate blocks the
nutrient iodide and
inhibits thyroid hormones, which are
necessary for brain development and cellular growth of a fetus or infant.
A baby with impaired
thyroid development may have neurological defects that result in lower IQ,
mental retardation, loss of hearing and speech and motor skills deficits.
American women with low iodine levels exposed to a perchlorate
concentration in the water of 4 parts per million, 11 million people in 26
states, have suppressed thyroid
function which can lead to health problems in them and
abnormal brain development
in their offspring.
111,1 women tested had an average percholate
level of 2.9 parts per million.
EPA has identified 395 sites throughout
the country with ground
water contaminated by perchlorate - over half of which are in California
and Texas. Only 51 of these at this time are undergoing
2006 Suggested limit of percholate
in drinking water, modified by the George Walker Bush to 25 ppb, is 10 times
higher than it should be.
With any standard lower than
5 ppb, as research suggested, expected costs of cleanup to the DoD and several
of its major contractors is staggering.
In San Bernardino,
California, Lockheed Martin
agrees to clean up perchlorate
Olin Corp is the liable party for perchlorate contamination
in hundreds of drinking water wells in Santa Clara County, California.
The ten mile plume of contamination emanated from a former flare
manufacturing plant Olin Corp. operated from 1955 to 1996.
Santa Clara wells have found some 227 wells with perchlorate above the states
safety limit of 6 parts per billion.
Some wells had levels above 100
parts per billion.
"The evidence on trichloroethylene is overwhelming.
2001 Trichloroethylene, or TCE, is as
much as 40 times more likely to cause cancer than the EPA had previously
We have 80 epidemiological studies and hundreds of toxicology studies.
They are fairly consistent in finding cancer risks that cover a range
of tumors." - Dr. Gina Solomon, environmental medicine UC San Francisco
1400 military properties nationwide are polluted with
The Pentagon buries the information.
trichloroethylene plumes lie under swaths of California, Texas, New York and
The San Fernando and San Gabriel (30 square miles) valley
aquifers of the Los Angeles basin are largely contaminated with
trichloroethylene and there is high
ambient levels of trichloroethylene in the air.
243 wells have been
shut down and in some cases water agencies use cleaner water to dilute
trichloroethylene contaminated ground water.
Several remedial settlements have been reached over trichloroethylene
contaminated ground water in San Bernardino, California -
Lockheed Martin; Lisle, Illinois
and DuPage County, Illinois - Lockformer Co.; Dayhoit, Kentucky -National
Electric Coil/Cooper Industries; Warren, Rhode Island - Jones Apparel/Victoria
Creations; Urbana, Ohio - Siemens Energy & Automation Inc. and Nikko
Indoor air in homes near contaminated sites contain enough
trichloroethylene to create an elevated cancer risk.
has been linked to liver, pancreatic and kidney cancers,
birth defects and
childhood leukemia, just
1,1-Dichloroethane C2H4Cl2 is a
It is a colorless oily liquid with a
It is not easily soluble in water, but miscible
with most organic solvents.
solvents are capable of dissolving or dispersing one or more other
"Organic solvents can be carcinogens, reproductive hazards,
Carcinogenic organic solvents include benzene, carbon
tetrachloride, and trichloroethylene.
Organic solvents recognized as
reproductive hazards include 2-ethoxyethanol, 2-methoxyethanol, and methyl
Organic solvents recognized as neurotoxins include n-hexane,
tetrachloroethylene, and toluene.
Many classes of chemicals are used as
organic solvents, including aliphatic hydrocarbons, aromatic hydrocarbons,
amines, esters, ethers, ketones, and nitrated or chlorinated hydrocarbons.
Organic solvents are used in many industries.
They are used in
paints, varnishes, lacquers, adhesives, glues, and in degreasing and cleaning
agents, and in the production of dyes, polymers, plastics, textiles, printing
inks, agricultural products, and pharmaceuticals.
Millions of US
workers are exposed to organic solvents.
The level of exposure depends
upon the dose, duration, and work being done." -
volumes of 1,1-dichloroethane are manufactured, with annual production
exceeding 1 million pounds in the United States.
Common use of
1,2-dichloroethane is in the production of
P-dichlorobenzene is a white colored liquid with the odor
of moth balls.
an carbon compound with
the formula C6H4Cl2.
It is a derivative
of benzene, consisting of two adjacent chlorine atoms.
It is used an
insecticide for termites and locust borers by the United States Forest Service
to combat bark beetle outbreaks.
Doucette finds 1,2-dichloroethane (DCA), a toxic chlorinated solvent, in
gingerbread man Christmas ornaments made in China at Hill Air Force Base, an
aircraft-maintenance facility north of Salt Lake City.
Each gram of
gingerbread man polymer contained 2.3
milligrams of 1,2-dichloroethane and the emission rate of the
toxic chlorinated solvent
fumes remains dangerously elevated for nearly a year.
contamination reported at US military bases:
1,2-dichloroethylene, 420000.0 ppb
1,2-dichlorobenzene 32000.0 ppb
1,2-dichlorobenzene 20000.0 ppb
1,2-dichlorobenzene 590000.0 ppb
1,2-dichloroethane 12000.0 ppb
1,2-dichloroethane 16000.0 ppb
1,2-dichloroethylene 11000.0 ppb;
Vinyl chloride 19000.0 ppb
1,2-dichlorobenzene 130000.0 ppb
1,1-dichloroethylene 23000000.0 ppb;
1,2-dichloroethane 1100000.0 ppb;
Barium and compounds 2590000.0 ppb;
Acenaphthene 11000000.0 ppb;
Butyl benzyl phthalate 11000000.0 ppb;
Polychlorinated biphenyls ...
1,1-dichloroethane 16000.0 ppb;
Phenol 26000.0 ppb;
Antimony and compounds 29700.0 ppb;
and compounds 41800.0 ppb;
Vinyl chloride 45000.0 ppb;
Zinc 132000.0 ppb;
Arsenic 180000.0 ppb;
Nickel and compounds
Methyl ethyl ketone 25000.0 ppb;
Trichloroethylene (TCE) 53000.0 ppb;
Acetone 77000.0 ppb;
Barium and compounds 216000.0 ppb;
Tustin USMC Air
1,1-dichloroethane 39000.0 ppb;
1,2-dichloroethylene 780000.0 ppb
Selenium 45500.0 ppb;
Cadmium and compounds 68590.0 ppb;
Methylene chloride 100000.0 ppb;
Chloroform 130000.0 ppb ...
1,2-dichlorobenzene 38000.0 ppb
1,1-Dichloroethane 63000.0 ppb;
1,2,4-trimethylbenzene 65000.0 ppb;
Antimony and compounds 73900.0 ppb;
Arsenic 104300.0 ppb;
and compounds ...
1,2-dichloroethylene 37000.0 ppb;
trichloroethylene (TCE) 23000.0 ppb;
vinyl chloride 68000 ppb
1,2-dichloroethylene 3000.0 ppb;
compounds 700.0 ppb;
(Diethylamino)Ethane 1100.0 ppb;
Silver and compounds 5500.0 ppb
Carbon Tetrachloride 7000.0 ppb;
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Truth of the Way of the Lumière Infinie - a rational gnostic mystery
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industrial military entertainment complex and is responsible for the collapse
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