Strikes Hitting Chinese Suppliers of Toyota and Honda

[One has to wonder how much more the Japanese automaker can take.  Pretty convenient for competitors, huh?]

Second strike hits China Toyota supplier

China/BEIJING (Reuters) – A parts supplier for Japan‘s Toyota Motor Corp said on Friday it was dealing with its second strike in China this week, the latest in a rash of factory labor disputes across the country.

The chance of more industrial action also loomed over a Honda plant in the southern manufacturing heartland of Guangdong, where workers said there had been no apparent progress despite a Friday deadline for management to present a new pay deal.

After protracted talks between worker representatives and managers at Honda Lock that ended late on Friday, workers said the firm continued to resist raising base salaries above the 200 yuan previously offered, though biannual bonus payments and housing allowances would be raised slightly.

“Whether or not this is acceptable depends on everyone’s opinion,” said a worker source who declined to be named.

Spreading discontent among an estimated 130 million strong army of migrant workers, whose toil has powered China’s growth, could undermine the government’s legitimacy and erode the nation’s competitiveness as a low-cost global factory hub.

Wages only make up around 5 percent of overall manufacturing costs but other inputs like energy and water are also getting more expensive. Some firms are already moving production to cheaper neighbors such as Vietnam and Bangladesh.

China’s leaders, who are obsessed by stability but also say they can ensure a better life for those at the bottom end of an expanding rich-poor gap, have muted coverage of the unrest in state media while expressing public support for workers.

“THE POLICE ARE COMING”

Toyoda Gosei said production had stopped since Thursday afternoon at a plant in the northern port city of Tianjin, where it makes parts like instrument panels.

Workers confirmed the strike was still on. Police vehicles could be seen parked inside the factory’s grounds.

A grainy video obtained by Reuters, shot by a worker on his mobile phone inside the factory on Thursday evening, showed scuffles between police and workers, punctuated by screams of “The police are coming!.”

A separate stoppage halted work at another Toyoda Gosei plant on Tuesday, but that factory is now back at work.

In southwestern Chongqing city, a short strike at Chongqing Brewery Co Ltd ended on Friday after talks with management, said Danish brewer Carlsberg, a part owner of the plant, though a witness said it was continuing.

Workers feared that a plan by Carlsberg to raise its stake in the firm to nearly 30 percent would threaten their benefits, a local official told Reuters by telephone.

“There was not good enough communication to the employees about the agreement,” said Carlsberg spokesman Jens Bekke. “They were informed, and now they have gone back to work.”

China’s Communist Party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, this week called for higher workers’ incomes to protect stability, while Premier Wen Jiabao called for better treatment of workers.

The sympathetic, if tightly limited, accounts of worker grievances in state media suggest Beijing wants to avoid outright confrontation with the workers and may welcome some concessions.

NEW DEAL AT HONDA LOCK

In Guangdong, workers at the factory which makes locks for Honda Motor downed tools last week but agreed on Tuesday to go back to work until Friday on the understanding management would present them with an improved deal on wages and benefits.

While the deadline passed, a worker source said that after a flurry of last minute negotiations, the firm continued to resist raising base wages above an earlier offer.

In a text message, the source wrote that the base monthly salary of workers would be raised 200 yuan to 1,139 yuan, while a housing allowance would be increased from 300 to 380 yuan. The value of an existing twice-yearly bonus would also be hiked from 1.2 times a workers’ monthly wage to 1.5 times.

The deal fell well short of the workers’ initial demands.

“On the surface it seems we’ve won something. But in my heart I feel we’ve been defeated,” said the source who declined to be named for fear of reprisals.

Other workers debating the new deal in Internet chatrooms pledged to “strive till the end,” though it wasn’t clear if there was a large enough consensus for a fresh strike in the morning.

Both Toyota and Honda said the strikes were having no impact on car production.

Honda has also been taking dozens of potential new hires to a training center, possibly hedging against further unrest.

The strike at Honda Lock, which manufactures locks, mirrors and wheel sensors, is the third to hit an auto parts supplier for the giant Japanese carmaker in recent weeks.

Workers at Honda Lock said spreading word of successful strikes at other Honda auto parts suppliers had inspired them to agitate for improved compensation as living costs rise.

Labor relations expert Xiaoyi Wen warned more spontaneous unrest could be hard for firms to handle because workers, although unhappy, were afraid of putting themselves forward in negotiations with management for fear of repercussions.

Relations between Japanese auto firms and their Chinese units and suppliers can be more complicated than those of other foreign investors, which may have contributed to making them some of the main flashpoints for unrest in recent weeks, an expert said.

“In our investigations, we consistently found that the most tense relations were with the Japanese and South Korean partners,” said Wen, a researcher at the China Institute of Industrial Relations in Beijing who specializes in labor relations in the automotive sector.

“You find the Japanese and South Korean companies are much more involved in managing production at the factories. Also, they don’t have a tradition of collective bargaining or give-and-take in their Chinese factories,” Wen said.

(Additional reporting by Yumiko Nishitani in TOKYO, Fang Yan in SHANGHAI and John Acher in COPENHAGEN; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Sugita Katyal)

W.Virginia’s Troubled Sister To Bhopal’s Union Carbide Plant

[India is making a monumental mistake by letting these corporate parasites off the hook in Bhopal.  Maybe the Indian government thinks that the “backward classes” need a little thinning-out?  Why let the useless eaters get in the way of corporate blessings?]

Vodpod videos no longer available.
more about “Fatal Tragedy- Bhopal Gas“, posted with vodpod

Carbide plant saw 3 mishaps before the gas tragedy

Bhopal Prior to the leakage of the deadly methyl isocyanate gas from the Union Carbide plant in 1984, three mishaps had taken place in the facility killing two factory workers, according to Madhya Pradesh Assembly records.
BJP MLAs at that time Gaurisankar Shejwar and Babulal Gaur had raised in the state Assembly in 1982 the issue of the death of UCIL employee Mohammed Ashraf and a fitter due to gas leaks in the plant.

As per the Assembly records, the then Labour Minister, Tara Singh Viyogi had confirmed that a fitter (whose name was not given in the reply) had died on October 28, 1975 and Ashraf had lost his life on December 25, 1981 due to leakages of gas in the factory.

The BJP members had also raised the issue of safety and security measures in the wake of two deaths in the plant to which the Minister had replied that he had personally inspected the factory and found that it had adequate arrangements for meeting any exigencies.

Rachna Dhingra of NGO Bhopal Group for Information and Actions said that “an employee Mohammad Ashraf died in the plant in December 1981 due to phosgene exposure while a major fire had occurred in the alpha napthol unit of the plant in 1982.

“Surprisingly, the fire incident was suppressed by the plant authorities despite the fact that it was noticed from a distance by the people living near the plant,” she claimed.


Institute Manufacturing Site

carbide-history

The U.S. EPA announced that Union Carbide records showed that there had been 28 leaks of MIC at the InstituteWest Virginia plant in the years 1980 through 

Institute Manufacturing Site

Bayer owns the plant site proper, the general facilities and the  A new chapter in the history of West Virginia Operations began when Union Carbide Corporation became a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company in 2001. 

Institute WV Chemical Leak Reported as Undetected for Two Weeks 

Feb 18, 2010  Institute WV Chemical Leak Reported as Undetected for Two Weeks 

Explosion

Kanawha chemical plant rocked by explosion; one worker killed, one injured

August 29, 2008

By Tom Breen

INSTITUTE — One worker was killed and a second injured in an explosion at a chemical plant that shook an area west of Charleston.

The explosion, which sent a fireball hundreds of feet into the air and could be felt miles away, occurred about 10:25 p.m. Thursday. The blast occurred in a section of the Bayer CropScience plant where waste products are treated before disposal, Bayer spokesman Mike Wey said.


US Amb. Blake Calls for “Independent” Kyrgyz probe

[It is going to be difficult to find independent organizations, since everyone has their hands in this thing.]

US envoy urges Kyrgyz probe

YORKISHLOK (Uzbekistan) – A SENIOR US envoy called on Friday for an independent investigation into ethnic clashes in Kyrgyzstan that have killed nearly 200 people and forced tens of thousands from their homes.

‘I think it’s important that there be an investigation… but given the large number of ethnic Uzbek refugees here in Uzbekistan whose stories need to be heard, the Kyrgyz investigation needs to be accompanied by an investigation by an independent body,’ Robert Blake, the US assistant secretary of state for south and central Asian affairs, told AFP by telephone during a visit to Uzbekistan.

Mr Blake was in Uzbekistan’s border region of Andijan on Friday, where the United Nations estimates that more than 100,000 people took refuge following the clashes between Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbeks in southern Kyrgyzstan.

‘The government of Uzbekistan has done a terrific job of meeting the needs of the refugees, the most immediate need in the short term is for the government of Kyrgyzstan to stop the violence and with it the flow of refugees,’ Mr Blake added. — AFP

Armenia, Azerbaijan confirm rapprochement over ‘Madrid principles

ST PETERSBURG – Daily News with wires
Dmitry Medvedev (C) speaks with Serge Sarkisian (R) and Ilham Aliyev (L) during a meeting in St. Petersburg on Thursday. AFP photo
Dmitry Medvedev (C) speaks with Serge Sarkisian (R) and Ilham Aliyev (L) during a meeting in St. Petersburg on Thursday. AFP photo

The presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia have confirmed their readiness to continue dialogue on agreeing upon the “Madrid principles” for a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, according to the Russian president’s press secretary.

The confirmation came during the two leaders’ talks with their Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, RIA Novosti reported, according toAzerbaijan’s Trend news agency.

The basic principles to resolve the conflict, known as the Madrid principles, were presented to Armenia and Azerbaijan by the foreign ministers of France and Russia and the U.S. assistant secretary of state in the Spanish capital in November 2007.

At trilateral talks hosted by Russia in January, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian President Serge Sarkisian were presented with an updated version of the Madrid document by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Minsk Group.

“There was mentioned the rapprochement of parties’ positions on a number of disputable provisions of the text of the basic principles of settlement,” said Medvedev’s press secretary Natalia Timakova, noting that the trilateral meeting covered key problems in the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement.

“The presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia confirmed readiness to continue dialogue aimed at finalizing the document with the mediation of Russia, the U.S. and France as co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group,” she said.

Nagorno-Karabakh is an enclave in Azerbaijan that has been occupied by Armenian forces since the end of a six-year conflict that left some 30,000 people dead and displaced approximately 1 million prior to a 1994 truce. The territory’s unilateral independence is not recognized by the international community.

Pentagon Afghan Doubts–The Right Thing To Do, Or Prolonging the Mistake?

Afghan debate spotlights Pentagon’s mixed messages

Soldiers from Charles Company of the 1st Royal Canadian Regiment climb down from an observing post in Camp Masoom Ghar in Panjwa'i district, southwest of Kandahar City, May 19, 2010. REUTERS/Nikola Solic
Soldiers from Charles Company of the 1st Royal Canadian Regiment climb down from an observing post in Camp Masoom Ghar in Panjwa'i district, southwest of Kandahar City, May 19, 2010. REUTERS/Nikola Solic

(Reuters) – Debate over the U.S. war strategy in Afghanistan is exposing what some see as discord within the Pentagon about how to cast the fight for Kandahar and the extent and pace to which progress can be shown.

The apparent mixed messages come at a sensitive moment for the Pentagon, where some worry that a wave of negativity is undercutting public support for President Barack Obama’s strategy before it gets fully underway.

At a news conference on Thursday, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell brushed aside suggestions of divisions within the military over strategy.

Any gap between Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen, over the strategic importance of securing Kandahar was “rhetorical” rather than “substantive,” Morrell said.

Obama decided in December to send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan as part of a revised strategy that puts a focus on securing Kandahar, the Taliban’s birthplace, to try to turn the tide in the nearly nine-year-old war.

Mullen told Congress this week the campaign for the southern city of Kandahar was make-or-break for the overall war effort, saying: “As goes Kandahar, so goes Afghanistan.”

Similar comments by Mullen in March surprised some Pentagon officials, who thought he was raising the stakes too high by portraying Kandahar as a game-changer.

In comparison, Gates has sought in recent statements to play down suggestions that the entire war effort hinged on Kandahar, telling reporters last week in Brussels: “I think it’s important to remember that Kandahar is not Afghanistan.”

Gates said Kandahar and neighboring Helmand were important but were “not the only provinces that matter in terms of the outcome of this struggle.”

Messages within the Pentagon have also varied over how soon it will be clear whether the new counterinsurgency strategy can ensure success or should be modified.

Gates has stressed it is critical to show progress by year-end, when the White House will review the war effort, and that he believed that was an achievable goal.

And in congressional testimony this week, Mullen said it would be clear by year-end “where we are with respect to reversing the momentum.”

HOW AND WHEN TO JUDGE SUCCESS

Still, some top military officials have said privately they doubt they will really know if the war strategy is working until next summer, around the time Obama plans to begin a troop withdrawal, conditions permitting.

General David Petraeus, who oversees the Afghan campaign as head of U.S. Central Command, initially appeared this week to qualify his support for Obama’s July 2011 date to start a gradual withdrawal, telling lawmakers: “In a perfect world … we have to be very careful with timelines.”

The next day Petraeus put himself more squarely behind the timeline.

While Gates voiced confidence a transition to greater Afghan control would begin in parts of the country this coming winter, General Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, was more cautious, saying only that it should begin in the next year.

Underscoring the importance the Pentagon places on public perception, Gates pushed back at tough questions from lawmakers about the strategy, saying: “I think frankly the narrative … has been too negative.”

Some Pentagon officials have expressed concern about bleak accounts by journalists on the front-lines in southern Afghanistan. Morrell also singled out “talking heads” on television and members of Congress for their questioning.

An excessive focus on violence and setbacks in southern Afghanistan ignored improvements there and in the rest of the country, the Pentagon press secretary said.

“There is a wider picture here that at least recently has been overtaken, overshadowed by the intense focus on Helmand and Kandahar,” Morrell said.

Morrell said Gates was not trying to diminish the “importance of Kandahar to the ultimate success of the Afghan operation,” but wanted to put it in perspective, disputing comparisons to the campaign to secure Iraq’s capital, Baghdad.

Asked whether the United States could succeed in Afghanistan without succeeding in Kandahar, Morrell said: “I think Kandahar is essential to the ultimate success of the operations in Afghanistan.”

“Ultimately, it’s up to us to prove (progress) conclusively. And we’re perfectly prepared to do that. We just want to make sure that the time is provided to do it,” Morrell said.

(Editing by Todd Eastham)

Kyrgyzstan. In whose hands the Uzbeks were a bargaining chip?

Kyrgyzstan. In whose hands the Uzbeks were a bargaining chip?

A. Momokonov

In whose hands were Uzbeks bargaining chip

Today, God may take away from his face in Kyrgyzstan. After a relative lull Kyrgyzstan again reminded them of the world unrest. The country has made a leap in its own bloody past. In the south of Kyrgyzstan are continuing ethnic clashes.

Happening here is something terrible, unimaginable. Amazingly, the media are not reported and the tenth of what is happening here. Genocide, ethnic cleansing, mass extermination of a point and Uzbeks – that they are characterized by events in the country. Whole blocks of houses burned to the ground Uzbek, people slaughtered their families, women, children, mountains of corpses on the streets, the wounded, whom no one has help.

According to official figures, the victims of riots in Osh and Jalal-Abad were 170 people, representatives of the Uzbek community reported that the death toll exceeded 2000 people. Witnesses also claim that the number of victims is much higher – one in Osh riots killed from 1500 to 2000 the Uzbeks. According to UN estimates, the number of refugees in Uzbekistan, ranging from 80000 to 100 000.
According to the Kyrgyz Ministry of Health, during the conflict needed medical attention in 1762 people, 826 of whom were hospitalized.

Entire squads of young people of Kyrgyz nationality drunk rush through the streets with weapons in hand, killing and burning everything in its path. Rioters burned whole blocks of houses, shops, bazaars, the streets of rampant looting. The extremists who call themselves “Kirghiz” shooting at people. The walls are painted nationalist Annals Ozbekterge olum.
Bold, cynical criminals called “Kirghiz”, raiding and burning belonging Uzbeks cafes, shops and houses of culture, cars and private homes, kill the elderly and children.Severe Provocation to achieve its goal: the streets started to bleed.
Such a scenario – it is not uncommon, not a brilliant deal, not a discovery. A well-known since the ancient times, today he knows us better than all of Kosovo and Bosnian textbooks.

At the same time the authorities have stated that the organization were involved in riots Tajik mercenaries sabotage – shot from the dark cars of both ethnic groups.
Meanwhile, the two close in spirit, language, religion, fraternal peoples Kyrgyz and Uzbeks conflict could not be. According to ethnic Uzbeks in the city wreaking havoc to five thousand well-armed bandits and thugs who attack the house, burned buildings and cars. It accuses the Uzbek minority is not in the attack all the Kyrgyz nation.Friends-Kyrgyz help them as they can, and with them are hidden from the fire.

We can see that happening – a cynical provocation, aimed to ensure that bleed with the Kyrgyz Uzbeks, has a goal to deliver the south of the country into chaos.
So who initiated the massacre, on whose will the lives of thousands of innocent Uzbeks served as a bargaining chip, who for the sake of personal interests expendable lives and honor the people?
Answer is obvious and lies in the plane. Laura torturers and murderers of this “celebration” and must belong to get all Kurmanbek Bakiyev. It was he who led our nation to the brink of disaster. He provoked the shooting of Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan, in order to split the Kyrgyzstan to the north and south.
According to statements by Kyrgyz officials, there is irrefutable evidence that employers militants are “cut off from power,” approximate the family of former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev. According to experts, in this way, the former high-ranking officials are trying to establish control over the southern regions of the country.

It should be noted, for Bakiyev’s presidency, his family turned to informal owners south. After the expulsion of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev in Bishkek seemed that his clan may be about to collapse. But do not forget that Bakiyev has money, he tried to taste of power and is now ready to go to any lengths to recover at least some benefits. And does not despise any method to come to power again.
All this is confirmed by the fact that bakievets of Arawana, former head of the Accounting Chamber under Bakiyev Iskender Gaypkulov assembled multitudes near Arawana, distributed machines and requires that it be given the post of Governor of the district. Threaten to attack the center Aravan area where live mostly Uzbeks.
To the place it should be noted on the figure of one of five brothers, former president Akhmad Bakiyev, who was an active participant in the events of March 2005 in Jalalabad, from whence the Kyrgyz “people’s revolution.” It is noteworthy that he did not hold any official posts, but is in a very influential person.

In an interview with one of Russian editions of the former deputy head of the State National Security Service of Kyrgyzstan Arthur Medetbekov argued that one of the largest narkokanalov in the region, going through Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to Kazakhstan, then to Russia and European countries, Ahmad Bakiyev in his hands with crime bosses . According to the local population in the Jalalabad area Achmat Bakiyev is the governor and the mayor, prosecutor and chief of ATC …
This situation can also be a place of the deposed potentates – Uzbeks in southern Kyrgyzstan Bakiyev refused to support that because it happened under Bakiyev worst aggravation of inter-ethnic issues, and many Uzbeks began to feel discriminated against by government employees.
I can not say that the unrest in southern Kyrgyzstan are just some of Bakiyev. Murders in Osh lay on the conscience of a number of representatives of the interim government, which must be held accountable for their delay and indecision. ”

It should be noted that the interim government there is no agreement among themselves. Instead of one man rule the country twelve. Of course, the president at a time of transition Rosa Otunbayeva tried to do something to resolve the situation, but what to take with women? She would think about a more sublime …
Another thing the pillars of the new government deputy Otunbayeva Tekebayev, Acting Defense Minister interim government of Kyrgyzstan Ismail Isakov, and well-known Beknazarov, among which also goes unspoken struggle for leadership. Well, they do not want to be led, and the more a woman. Eastern mentality does not tolerate this.
For example, Isakov, appointed special representative of the Provisional Government in the southern region, should be responsible for the delay and indecision. “Accept what is now the police are afraid to go to work, wear a form to indicate the discipline in our law enforcement agencies.

It is also unclear, and why, despite the fact that officially released the order to shoot the ringleaders of disorder on the defeat, one that does not comply with the order.Outrageous continues! Helicopters fly to type and drive cars with flashing lights and for the species, but no active operations by law enforcement agencies do not. It is also necessary to establish the true reasons why the led in Osh Isakov soldiers poured into the crowd, were shot of Uzbek nationality. Either Isakov unable to manage an army or military carried out its direct command.
How is that for a few days before the tragic events for some reason law enforcement officers were dissolved to their homes, which in itself raises suspicions about the intentions Beknazarov in charge of the power unit.

People will remember these bloody events. Even after a century of our children, reading books on history, will shudder at the genocide of Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan. And it would be a shame for our nation, which has caught the nationalist delusions.
I am ashamed for what their ancestors had ridiculed the Uzbeks, raped women, destroyed, refused to recognize in them, treated them like slaves who must endure their bitter fate and be silent. And nothing can heal the wounds and grievances.

Asra Momokonov
asranbuild@mail.ru

How Unleashing the Mississippi Could Protect the Louisiana Coast

How Unleashing the Mississippi Could Protect the Louisiana Coast

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is considering a plan, proposed by scientists, to use dams to divert more water toward the mouth of the Mississippi River, which could keep the BP oil slick from penetrating the vulnerable coastal wetlands.

the old river control structure along the mississippi

The Old River Control Structure keeps 70 percent of the water flowing through the Mississippi River and the diverts the rest to the Atchafalaya River. (Photo by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Vi

Preventing spilled oil from invading the fragile Louisiana wetlands—where it would be virtually impossible to remove without severely damaging the ecosystem—is an urgent priority of relief workers in the Gulf of Mexico. A variety of defense measures have been suggested, including the use of rocks and barges to block the oil from entering the bays, and the construction of huge sand piles that would stand 6 feet taller than the Gulf’s average high-water mark and, hopefully, shield the coastline.

Last week, G. Paul Kemp, a former professor of marine science at Louisiana State University and current vice president of the National Audubon Society’s Louisiana Coastal Initiative, sent a memo to the Environmental Protection Agency proposing an additional strategy, which calls for using upstream dams to increase the flow of the Mississippi River into the Gulf. Kemp says the river is “the biggest tool in the toolbox” when it comes to keeping oil out Louisiana’s swamps and marshes, which make up nearly 40 percent of the nation’s wetlands.

For the most part, the winds have kept the oil plume from moving toward the Louisiana coast, Kemp says, instead pushing it toward Florida and Alabama. Last month, the winds shifted to the northwest. Even then, when the oil seemed as though it should have been blowing towards the mouth of the river, it didn’t, says Denise Reed, a proponent of Kemp’s plan and professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of New Orleans. “That seems to be because there’s been enough water coming out of the mouth of the river to have a little bit of a push out into the Gulf of Mexico,” Reed says.

Since then, however, the water level in the Mississippi has dropped off drastically, due to seasonal changes in climate. “Time is of the essence. Every day we are losing another 40,000 to 50,000 cubic feet per second out of the river. I’m very concerned that all we need is a shift in the winds offshore, and when the oil comes in this time there won’t be enough to keep it from coming into the interior of the marshes,” Kemp says.

The water level can be raised using large concrete dams, called the Old River Control Structure, which sit 315 miles upstream from the river’s mouth. These dams, which are maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, control flow between the Mississippi and a smaller tributary to the west called the Atchafalaya River. Usually, they direct about 70 percent of the water down the Mississippi, with the remaining 30 percent diverted to the Atchafalaya. Kemp’s plan calls for a gradual daily increase in the amount directed to the Mississippi, so that over the course of 10 days the river’s proportion would increase to about 81 percent—maintaining the approximate level of the river in May. He is also looking into manipulating additional dams even further upstream.

An additional benefit of the plan, according to Kemp and Reed, is that a higher river could help clean off the oil that has already collected on the fringes of the marshes.  This effect, called gentle flushing, is one of the few methods that can remove oil from the wetlands while minimizing ecosystem damage. “These are very soft soils and very easily disrupted, so we have to kind of be careful about too much intervention,” Reed says. “If we can flow water through the marsh, we can take the oil that is attached to the stems of the plants and get it into the open water,” where it is significantly easier to remove.

Amanda Jones, a spokesperson for the Army Corps of Engineers, would not speculate as to the potential benefits or drawbacks of the proposal.  “It’s something we are looking into to see if it would work, and if it’s feasible, but we don’t have that answer yet. It’s something that we’re still reviewing.”

No one has come forward with any major opposition to the proposal, according to Kemp, although he did say there might be concern regarding whether one of the two dams could handle the increased flow. But that would be something that could be monitored, he says. “All these things are reversible. It shouldn’t be a stopper; it should just be something that we watch carefully.”