Monday, August 22, 2016

Schoarie to Endicott: a disgusting tale of Horse abuse, & dumping a Banned Chemical into the Susquehanna in Endicott

This is one of those times I really wish I wasn't a blogger and a researcher. This story leaves me sad, disgusted and feeling powerless.

I sometimes wish I could be ignorant and happy and zone out in front of the TV like "normal people" and let someone else do this work.

I am sick and disgusted when I realize that if someone tortured horses because they were a psychopath, or if they dumped poisons into a public water supply because they were a terrorist,  they would likely spend the rest of their life in prison.

But if someone does the SAME THING in order to make money, then they are celebrated as being captains of industry and a "success" in our system. They enjoy top salaries and big houses.

We live in a world where DEPRAVITY is normalized and institutionalized so most of us won't even see it, especially if you are sedated by Television Dramas, Sports, and Beer.

And if you think if you listen to WSKG Public TV & Radio, you are getting "All things considered", you are in for a BIG SHOCK-- You are getting Low-Content, No-Context, Industry-Friendly Filtered News designed to help the Investor Class sleep easy at night. (As their recent attempt to cover an aspect of this story reveals).

So, here's my story so far.

Warning: this is a disgusting tale of animal abuse, a lack of transparency and regulatory oversight at the hands of the DEC AT BEST, and at worst, complicity with the toxic contamination of the Susquehanna River.

This begins at a remote chemical lab near Schoharie NY called Dr. Reddy's Labs in Middleburgh.

Ever heard of a banned gasoline additive called MTBE? And do you know any women taking estrogen supplements?

I am still looking for certain additional info which I've mentioned to a few of you off-list. Thanks.

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Got TCE? Just add Leachate, Horse Pee, and MBTE


The problems for poor Endicott, already a TCE contaminated Superfund Site, keep getting worse.
Yes you've been hearing about Landfill leachate.
Then we learned it was 10x SUPER CONCENTRATED

You won't believe the latest toxic crap we've discovered is being trucked in from over 2 hours away....
Warning...  this is extremely revolting....
Grab your Barf Bag before you read this one, friends.

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Endicott NY: Got TCE? Just add Leachate, Horse Pee & MTBE

Link to this:

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Please attend the DEC Public hearing at UE High School on Wed. Sept 14th at 5pm. MORE INFO:

Q: What do you do for a broken Village, a Superfund site which is already contaminated with TCE and other chemicals, to improve morale and real-estate values? 

A: Truck in Reverse Osmosis Leachate Concentrate, and Horse Pee (contaminated by MTBE), by the Truckload!

We have uncovered NEW INFORMATION about Dr. Reddy's lab in Middleburgh, which is sending "about 1 truckload per week" (4,000 to 5,000 gallons) of pharmaceutical waste to Endicott.

What's Dr. Reddy doing w/Horse Pee & MTBE?
And why is he sending to to Endicott by the TRUCKLOAD?
Who is Dr. Reddy, and what's he doing with Horse Pee?

According to site workers at the i3 Electronics Waste Treatment Plant, the waste is essentially Pregnant Mares Urine (PMU) which is used in the extraction of estrogen for use as a hormone supplement for women who have had hysterectomies.

However this waste is also contaminated by a host of nasty industrial chemicals.

Premarin is Estrogen extracted from Pregnant Mare's Urine

(cf. "Premarin" )

PMU causes Torture, Abuse, and Slaughter of Horses

PMU ranching is a very nasty business. There are many Horse Rescue operations dedicated to saving these gentle creatures from a lifetime of abuse and ultimate slaughter. Google "PMU Horse Resuce" for more info. Here are some links: WARNING some of these sites have very graphic images of animal abuse:


This waste is likely contaminated by Toluene, Methylene Chloride, and MTBE, a very toxic chemical formerly used as a gasoline additive.

Wait, did you say MTBE?!

Yep. Remember the 60 Minutes report on MTBE from 2000?

MTBE is part of the patented extraction process of estrogen from mare's urine:

Dr. Reddy's Middleburgh Lab is a Contaminated Site:

Dr. Reddy's Labs took over the Middleburgh NY site in 2011 from APR/Applied Pharmaceutical Research, which was performing the same process at the site since 2004.

Dr. Reddy's Labs is a site contaminated by high levels of Toluene, Methylene Chloride, and MTBE, which are chemicals used in extracting Estrogen from Pregnant Mare's Urine
(and why is he sending this crap to Endicott!?)

Two waste streams are being trucked in to Endicott from over 2 hours away. This is just what we know about now. Neither NYS DEC nor i3 Electronics have demonstrated trust or openness, since some of these wastes were started in 2011 in a SECRET PILOT PROGRAM, with no public notification, no public process, and as far as we can tell, NO ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).

When the property was being sold, it was discovered the groundwater at this site was contaminated with methlylene chloride, toluene and high levels of MTBE, almost 1,500x the safe limit. 

"The town of Middleburgh will get $50,000 to use toward flood recovery following a spill at a pharmaceutical laboratory, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. APR LLC and its former vice-president, John Lomans, also were required to establish a $500,000 escrow account in order to clean up a leach field at 1974 Route 145, located just south of the village near Huntersland Hill Road.

According to the DEC, Lomans had authority at the company during a time when several chemicals were dumped into a sink, contaminating the groundwater. The Sept. 27 consent order marks the third instance Lomans was cited for violations of environmental conservation law. The most recent instance was discovered this summer after another company, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd,, purchased the property and buildings.

The new company commissioned an environmental review that revealed the groundwater there is contaminated with methlylene chloride, MTBE, toluene and other chemicals, according to the consent order."
(click "print" if you can't see the article)

The Albany Times-Union reported:
"Levels of MTBE were found up to 14,900 parts per billion, well beyond the state safety standard of 10 ppb. (THREE ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE!!-- BH) MTBE was added to gasoline beginning in the late 1970s. Evidence grew in the 1990s that the additive was moving swiftly from leaking underground gas tanks and contaminating thousands of water supply wells across the country."
MTBE is BANNED in NY as a Gasoline Additive... but...

In 2000, Gov. Pataki signed a law banning MTBE from being used as a fuel additive in NY starting in 2004, but it is still legal for other industrial uses:

Art 16 NY Ag & Markets law § 192-g

Raising Horses for PMU is apparently LEGAL in NY

FYI, I have found NO LAW making raising horses for PMU (Pregnant Mare's Urine) in NY illegal. This really amounts to torture, and as Susan Kayne says in the video about, it amounts to a "long road to the slaughterhouse".

Also-- Murdering horses in New York is LEGAL. as long as it's "your property" and someone is making money. ....Unless it is a police horse:

WTF kind of stupid law is this. Maybe we should recruit all horses destined for slaughterhouses for police work, just to make their lives "matter".

The NYS DEC is running cover for Industrial Polluters 

 The NYS DEC apparently knows about the risk of MTBE in Dr. Reddy's effluent, since they specifically mention it on page 18 of their draft permit: Here's all we know right now about Dr. Reddy's operation as of now, as reported by NYS DEC (which is not known for their transparency).
Notice of completed application:

The following changes to the permit are proposed: Whole Effluent Toxicity testing action levels have been added; Total Cyanide sample type has been changed from 24-hr composite to grab; Monitoring and limits for specific parameters have been added; Twelve month load limits for Total Nitrogen and Total Phosphorus have been added; Sampling frequency for Toluene, Xylene and Trichlorotrifluoroethane (Freon 113) have been increased from quarterly to monthly; A Schedule of Compliance has been added to require the submittal of a Nutrient Removal Study for the reduction of Total Nitrogen in the effluent; A Schedule of Submittals has been added for a short term high intensity monitoring report for Total Coliforms, and an influent scan of Dr. Reddy's
Laboratory wastewater; Limits for Methylene Chloride, 1.1.1-Trichloroethane, and Toluene have been reduced;
Available chronic and acute dilutions have been reduced. The permit format has been updated and incorporates the latest general conditions. Details of changes are specified in the draft permit and fact sheet.

Draft Permit, page 18:

Parameter(s) affected
Required Action
Due Date
001 Conventional Volatile Acid Base/Neutral Ethyl Alcohol Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether Influent Sampling of Dr. Reddy's Laboratory Wastewater: The permittee shall scan the influent wastewater from Dr. Reddy's Laboratory for conventional, volatile, acid, base/neutral parameters, Ethyl Alcohol, and Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether. The permittee shall submit the results to the addresses listed above. (NOTE: MTBE! -- BH) EDP + 6 Months

Revised Fact Sheet:

Wastewater Type
Transport Method
Code of Federal Regulations
Rinse water from resin columns, lab quality rinse waters and boiler blowdown. Dr. Reddy's Laboratories in Middleburgh, NY Trucked in Equalization, pH Adjustment, Activated Sludge, Clarification, Sand Filtration, Chemical Precipitation with Lime, Coagulation, Flocculation, Neutralization, Carbon Adsorption 40 CFR 437 Subpart C

All of these documents can be found at the Concerned Citizens of Endicott Master Document Collection:

All of these waste streams (Landfill leachate, Reverse Osmosis Concentrate, Dr. Reddy's labs, etc) combine together at the waste treatment facility to make 400,000 gallons per day of effluent into the Susquehanna River, just 1.5 miles upstream from Endicott's primary water well.

Visualize 400,000 gallons:
400,000 gallons is like 50x large tanker trucks (8,000 gallons) dumping into the river every day, or like 17x railroad tanker cars (26,000 gallons). We don't see this because it travels through the storm sewers.

Last Factoid:

What is the Total Fee which i3 Electronics pays to the Village of Endicott for dumping this much waste into the Village Storm Sewer System every day? = $0.00

(I made a FOIL request for this info, and it came back, "No records found").

I will have more about this horrorshow coming soon...

PS: Don't Drink the Water....

Endicott's Drinking Water.
Photo credit: Renee Allen-Roma

Link to this:

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Please attend the DEC Public hearing at UE High School on Wed. Sept 14th at 5pm. MORE INFO:

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Village of Endicott Website, minutes, open meetings law

Hello Endicott Village Trustees,

At the last meeting, I registered a complaint about the website, to wit,
that there are no meeting minutes published since April, and there are no agendas posted except for one from June.

The Mayor responded that this "was not my top priority", and in my opinion, seemed flippant, and dismissive of my concerns.

I would like to remind you that there is a legal requirement under NY Open Meetings Law to make meeting minutes available to the public within 2 weeks after the meeting.

NY Public Officers Law, Article 7 §106(3): Minutes of meetings of all public bodies shall be available to the public in accordance with the provisions of the freedom of information law within two weeks from the date of such meeting except that minutes taken pursuant to subdivision two hereof shall be available to the public within one week from the date of the executive session.

Furthermore, websites are mentioned several places throughout the law with regards to open records:

NY Public Officers Law, Article 7 §106(2)(e) ... If the agency in which a public body functions maintains a regularly and routinely updated website and utilizes a high speed internet connection, such records shall be posted on the website to the extent practicable as determined by the agency or the department....

(f) Open meetings of an agency shall be, to the extent practicable and within available funds, broadcast to the public and maintained as records of the agency. If the agency maintains a website and utilizes a high speed internet connection, such open meeting shall be, to the extent practicable and within available funds, streamed on such website in real-time, and posted on such website within and for a reasonable time after the meeting....

Here are some examples of websites from other public bodies in the region:

Compare to--

  • Village of Endicott -- Meeting minutes just updated (thank you! As I reported, only minutes up to April were posted, FOUR MONTHS out of date).

    THERE ARE STILL PROBLEMS: I cannot find any agendas, nor meeting announcements, agendas, or supporting documents the the planning board, the water water board, work sessions, or any other standing committees.

Feel free to check other public bodies, such as the local school boards, etc.

While there is no legal requirement that you must put these documents on your website, a quick survey of other public bodies reveals that nearly ALL of them place detailed records on the website as a way to meet the legal requirements for transparency as required by NY State Open Meetings Law.

This also goes a long way towards showing the general public that you care about maintaining an air of transparency.

I would appreciate it if you would give this matter some attention, strive to IMPROVE the website, and fill in those document gaps over the next months.

Thanks and best regards,
William Huston

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Endicott's problems keep getting worse. Susquehanna Dumping Update 8/8/2016

In this issue:

1: Public Hearing Announced - comment period extended
2: New Documents Released
3: Endicott Village Board Meeting TONIGHT Tue 6:30 pm
4. Where's Donna?

1: Public Hearing Announced!

Hooray! The DEC is showing signs of listening to our demands, and has granted us a public hearing.

WHAT -- DEC Public Hearing on the i3 Electronics
SPDES permit NY#0003808-- Renewal & Modification
to allow dumping toxic waste into the Susquehanna River

WHEN: -- Wed., Sept 14. DEC answers questions at 5pm, Public Hearing at 6pm. 

WHERE -- Union-Endicott High School, 1200 E Main St, Endicott, NY 13760

DEC Announcement:


Written comments about the permit modification and renewal must be RECEIVED BY September 30, 2016 to be considered and should be sent to:

Teresa Diehsner
NYSDEC Headquarters
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233

Need ideas for comments?
Check out the Concerned Citizens of Endicott's 16 Demands:

2: New Documents Released

FIRST: Last week DEC released a large trove of documents relating to the environment review of the original Pilot Program started in 2011.

WE NEED HELP indexing these documents! If you have time, please scan one or two of these documents and send me a short summary of what the file is:

Here's my quick observations about one document I looked at.
  • The study was done like someone's Eight-Grade science project, by modeling the EIT plant using buckets.

  • Mayor Betroni told us 2 years ago that the effluent from i3 "meets safe drinking water standards". Well it turns out this is not exactly true. Their model assumes that their 80,000 gallons of total toxic discharge per day is diluted by 700M gallons of total river flow. There are NO CUMULATIVE IMPACTS analized of any other permitted discharges upstream.

  • More info:

NEXT: Yesterday morning (Mon 8/8) Teresa Diehsner, of NYS DEC released a new "Fact Sheet" which contains information in the draft permit not highlighted previously. It's available in our Master Document Collection, or via Direct Link below.

New waste streams have been identified, but not volumes:

In addition to on-site waste streams (from i3, Geodis, BAE Systems, and Binghamton University Center for Advanced Microelectronics Manufacturing), i3 is also taking leachate from Broome County Landfill, Reverse Osmosis Concentrate from Seneca Meadows, Aircraft De-icer (antifreeze) from Broome Co. Airport, and waste chemicals from "Dr. Reddy's Labs", a pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Middleburgh NY. This last one is particularly troublesome since the prior owner of this site, another pharmaceutical company, was fined over $100,000 in 2011 by NYS DEC for MBTE contamination, which may have come from "plumbing, used to rinse laboratory equipment" . You may have seen the 60 minutes segment on MBTE a few years ago.

Direct Link

3: Endicott Village Board Meeting TONIGHT Tue 6:30 pm

Endicott Village Board Meeting tonight, 6:30. Come learn more about the i3 Electronics, Inc chemical dumping into the Susquehanna River just above Endicott's primary drinking water well. Endicott Municipal Building, 1009 E Main St, Endicott, NY 13760  We plan on asking the Village Board what they are doing to protect our water supply from the dangerous toxic dumping.

4: Where's Donna?

Donna Lupardo has promised to meet with Concerned Citizens of Endicott to hear our concerns. The original comment period has already expired. What's she doing to help protect Endicott's water supply (and downstream)? When will she meet with us? Feel free to contact Donna and let her know you want answers!

Master collection of documents:

Stay in Touch!

Please share this with other friends concerned with Endicott's drinking water, and the health of the Susquehanna River.

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Potential Impact Radius of gas pipelines -- GET THE FACTS

I am going to just say this once, and then I will drop it.

It has come to my attention that someone (whom I will not name) has been using my intellectual property, the result of years of my own original research on calibrating the "Potential Impact Radius" formula which has been incorporated into federal regulations @ 49 CFR § 192.903, uncredited, and with their own organizational logo on it, as if it was their own work.

I have found that other information presented along with my original research (uncredited) is of a dubious nature. Be sure to check out your "experts".

I have worked countless hours on videos, research, and blogs on fracknig and pipelines over the last 6 years, on my own dime, and without pay. 

Frankly I am THRILLED when people find my work valuable and want to share it! But please give me credit.

I want my work to be seen and used. Unless otherwise specified, I publish all of my work with a Creative Commons license, specifically, CC-BY-NC. This is a very liberal license, which allows you to share and republish my work, as long as it is for a non-commercial purpose, and I am credited. All other rights are reserved and revert to ordinary copyright.

I am not doing this work for ego or name recognition. I am doing this in the public service, and for the forests and the birds and fish and other creatures who have no advocate.

A person doing public service work (like Dr.Tony Ingraffea, for example) develops a certain "brand identity" which identifies the material as credible and well-researched.

I do not have a Phd, so my brand identity is a more difficult sell, and is only established after many years of producing high-quality work. So unfortunately, I do have to protect my intellectual property and my name.

Bottom line here is IF you want someone who is knowledgeable about the Potential Impact Radius, I would say find someone who has the facts. I do not know of anyone else who has undertaken the effort to try to calibrate the PIR formula against actual real-world data, other than me. I am happy to give presentations on this material and to help groups, and I have helped many groups. 

If you come across anyone else who is talking about this material, esp. if they are representing this as their own work, please ask them for their sources.

Best Regards,
Bill Huston
Binghamton NY

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

public hearing announced! Fwd: I3 Electronics Inc. SPDES NY0003808 - Notice of Public Availability Session & Notice of Public Statement Hearing

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Diehsner, Teresa (DEC) <>
Date: Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Subject: I3 Electronics Inc. SPDES NY0003808 - Notice of Public Availability Session & Notice of Public Statement Hearing

You have expressed an interest in the above referenced SPDES permit.  A Notice of Public Availability Session and Notice of Public Statement Hearing has been published in today's 8/3/2016 Environmental Notice Bulletin and is copied below.


I3 Electronics Inc.

August 3, 2016




Project Location: I3 ELECTRONICS, INC.

DEC Permit ID Number(s):

- ECL Article 17 Titles 7 & 8 Industrial SPDES - Surface Discharge


Project Description: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is proposing a Department Initiated Modification (DIM) to the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (SPDES) Permit (NY#0003808), pursuant to 6 NYCRR Part 750-1.18, and 750-1.19, the Priority Ranking System known as New York State's Environmental Benefit of Permit Strategy (EBPS). This modification will also serve to renew the SPDES permit, the term of which was extended under the State Administrative Procedures Act (SAPA). A Notice of Complete Application was previously published in the Environmental Notice Bulletin on June 29, 2016.Notice of the extension of the public comment period was previously published in the Environmental Notice Bulletin on July 27, 2016 at:

Public Statement Hearing: Pursuant to 6 NYCRR Subpart 621.8, the NYSDEC will conduct a public statement hearing on September 14, 2016 at the:

Union-Endicott High School
1200 E Main St,
Endicott, NY 13760

The public statement hearing will begin at 6:00 pm. The public statement hearing is to receive unsworn comments on the proposed project. Written comments may also be submitted. DEC will evaluate the application and the comments received on it to determine whether to hold an adjudicatory hearing. Comments and requests for an adjudicatory hearing should be in writing and addressed to the Department representative listed below. A copy of the Department's permit hearing procedures is available upon request or on the Department web site at:

Public Availability Session: The NYSDEC will conduct an availability session on September 14, 2016 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at:

Union-Endicott High School
1200 E Main St,
Endicott, NY 13760

The purpose of this session will be for NYS DEC staff to answer questions that the public may have on the technical, environmental, and procedural aspects of the Department initiated modification.


Translator services shall be made available, at no charge, upon written request to the ALJ. All requests must be made to the NYSDEC Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, ALJ Molly T. McBride, 625 Broadway, First Floor, Albany, New York, 12233-1550, phone (518) 402-9003. The request must be received no later than 4:00 p.m. on September 7, 2016. Interpreter services shall be made available to deaf persons, at no charge, upon written request to the ALJ at the address listed above by September 7, 2016.

Document Availability:

- The permit and related documents, may be reviewed at the following locations during normal business hours:

- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Region 7 Office, 615 Erie Blvd. West, Syracuse, NY 13204

- Broome County Office Building, County Clerk, Edwin L. Crawford County Office Building, 3rd Floor, 60 Hawley Street, Binghamton, NY 13902

- Village of Endicott, 1009 E Main St, Endicott, NY 13760

- George F. Johnson Memorial Library, 1001 Park St, Endicott, NY 13760

How to Provide Your Comments: Any interested person may submit comments in writing, or verbally at the public comment session. All comments will be considered in making the final decision about issuance of the permit. Written comments about the permit modification and renewal must be RECEIVED BY September 30, 2016 to be considered and should be sent to:

Teresa Diehsner
NYSDEC Headquarters
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233


May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Latest findings in DEC document dump


DEC has apparently answered my latest FOIL (but didn't inform my by email). I requested all documents related to the SEQR review of the original Pilot program which began in 2011.

Anyway, the documents are here:

Right now there is no index to these documents. I am working on this now, and will make an update later tonight. Could really use some help, more eyes on this. Just take a few docs, look them over, and give me a few sentences describing what they are.

Here is one thing discovered, in a document called

"Broome County Municipal Landfill Leachate Treatability Evaluation"., Huron Real Estate Associates, LLC,. Endicott Interconnect Technologies, Inc. Endicott NY 13760, (SPDES: NY-0003808), Theresa Cassling, Hoi Yin Ho Yang, and Jerome Wagner, Environmental and Chemical Services, December 14, 2005

First thing to note is that the analysis was done in buckets, using a scientific model, not using the actual EIT (now I3) facility.

Next thing to note is that the sample was Broome County Landfill leachate, and not "Reverse Osmosis Concentrate" from Seneca Meadows, which is chemically very different, and more concentrated.

Lastly, is this statement, on page 15:

Water Quality:

"For water quality impact evaluations, flow of the Susquehanna River was assumed to be 700,000,000 gallons per day. This is the minimum 7-day average flow at the Vestal, New York gage station, located near the Huron Campus outfall, based on USGS daily average flow measurement data available for the period 1937 through 1967. Baseline or ambient Susquehanna River water quality data was taken from Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) data, for monitoring station SUSQ 6 (Broome County, NY; Binghamton West) on September 25, 2002. Projected effluent concentrations after mixing in the receiving water body are compared to minimum Class A Water Quality Standards where available, and where not available, the comparison was made to Department of Health water supply standards."

We were told by the Village Mayor John Bertoni that the effluent discharged met "EPA drinking water standards". We can now see this is not exactly truth.

It's STILL toxic, poison. But it becomes safe after it mixes with 700M gallons of river water.

But what happens when the river water flow is extremely low? Like now? Do they stop dumping?

No. Mark Bacon tells me he has not seen any slowdown of the trucks, even in these last few weeks of extremely low river flow.

The Village of Endicott is still under a conserve water emergency.


May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Tar Sands Lexicon

Link to this: 

I see things like this all the time:
  • "....1,700-mile pipeline that would ship tar sands crude..."
  • "...Pipeline Leak Detection System Failed in Massive Alberta Tar Sands Spill..."
  • "...reservoir of crude bitumen..." 
  • "Alberta's oil sands has the third largest oil reserves in the world."
All of these statements are pulled from major news outlets and environmental NGOs. All of these statements are false, inaccurate, or misleading.

None of these things exist!

Here are some quick facts: 
  • Tar Sands Crude": There is no such thing!
  • "Tar Sands Spill": Never has been one.
  • "Reservoir of Crude Bitumen": Nope. You use an OIL WELL to tap a reservoir, -- NOT A SHOVEL.
  • "Alberta Crude Oil Reserves": Not much, if any. 
  • "Bitumen, a form of heavy crude": No it isn't. 
  • "Tar Sands Pipeline" : Impossibility. Don't say this!
  • "Diluted Bitumen, a kind of heavy crude oil": No that's not right.

So many media outlets, NGOs, and activists get the Tar Sands lingo incorrect. So, here is a Tar Sands lexicon, authored by me (Bill Huston). Hope this is helpful.

Tar Sands Lexicon
Refinery Process Diagram, shows Bitumen
as a "Residual" (waste) refinery OUTPUT.
So why are we now using it as a refinery INPUT?!

  • Oil = a very overloaded term. Generally, "a slippery liquid". Could mean crude oil, fuel oil, lubricating oil, or even edible products, such as corn oil, cottonseed oil, olive oil, salad oil.

  • Crude Oil = Natural Product. Broad-spectrum mixture of hydrocarbons

    • from the lightest NGLs (Natural Gas Liquids, a/k/a "condensate")
      from C3/Propane to C10/Decane "Natural Gasoline"

    • middle weight hydrocarbons from Kerosene to Diesel (C10-C20)

    • heavy oils, lubricating oil, fuel oil, greases, wax (C20-C50)

    • extra heavy tars (C50+) Bitumen (Asphalt, Pitch) Semi-solid

    Conventional Crude oil occurs in "Reservoirs" and is extracted by drilling an Oil Well and pumped out of the ground.

  • Tar Sands = Geological formation. Largest is in Alberta, Canada. Also may refer to a raw material (bitumen+sand) found in the Tar Sands formation. "Tar Sands" is NOT A SHIPPABLE PRODUCT. Requires cleaning and processing before being further refined.

    A Pipeline might carry a "tar sands PRODUCT" (e.g., Dilbit, Syncrude, SynBit, etc), but it is not correct to say that a pipeline was carrying "tar sands".

  • Oil Sands = a very misleading term. "Tar Sands" is more accurate. The Tar Sands formation in Alberta contains very little of what what might be called "crude oil".

  • Bitumen = a low-grade, extra heavy hydrocarbon. While Bitumen is technically a highly viscous liquid, it appears to be a SEMI-SOLID, and smashes like glass if you strike it with a hammer.

    cf. "Pitch Drop Experiment"

    Bitumen deposits are mined with a shovel. Bitumen is not a "slippery liquid", thus the terms "oil" or "crude oil" often used for bitumen are inappropriate.  Bitumen can be a natural product, or a residual product of crude oil refining.

    Bitumen is a component of crude oil.  BITUMEN ITSELF IS NOT "CRUDE OIL". Bitumen is the raw material of interest in "tar sands".  Bitumen is not a product which can be easily shipped, except in a rail hopper car like coal. Prior to modern times, Bitumen has been considered a refinery WASTE PRODUCT. Old refinery diagrams called it "residuum" or "bottoms product". It was used principally to seal roads, and roofs as a beneficial use. 

    Bitumen cannot be shipped in a pipeline without being diluted with a solvent, generally, NGLs.  Raw bitumen destined for refineries (vis. bitumen used for roads) is typically diluted whether it is shipped by pipeline or by rail.

    Synonyms: Asphalt, Pitch, Tar  

  • Upgraded Bitumen = Prior to modern times (~1990s), bitumen had very little use as a refinery input, since it contains very little of the most valuable light and middle-weight hydrocarbons used for fuel, lubricants, and as inputs to the petro-chemical industry. Bitumen has only recently become used as a refinery input because most of the easy-to-get crude oil on planet earth is depleted. It is only through extreme-technology that bitumen can be used as a source of refined products (such as gasoline), as it must be "upgraded".

    The Suncor Upgrader in Ft. McMurray, Alberta. This is perhaps the worlds largest machine.

    Upgrading bitumen is an extremely expensive process, both in terms of capital -- the Suncor Upgrader in Ft. McMurray Alberta cost ~$12B --, it is also expensive in terms of energy inputs.

    Upgrading bitumen requires massive amounts of other fuel (such as natural gas or propane), as a heat source, at extreme energy levels (somtimes 850 °C or higher) to smash the long hydrocarbon molecules into smaller components. Tar Sands products also require importing large amounts of NGLs (largely from the Wet Gas regions of the Marcellus Shale) for use as diluents.

    This consumption of massive amounts of fuel for the refining process of the raw tar-sands product, transportation, refining is the reason why Tar Sands products are such a generator of Greenhouse Gasses, and thus have such a concern for Climate Change. 

  • Dilbit is a High-Tech "Franken Fuel". It might
    resemble natural crude oil, but like Frankenstein's
     Monster, it is a man-made thing which is assembled
     from component parts.
    Diluted Bitumen a/k/a, DilBit =  a SYNTHETIC PRODUCT, raw bitumen diluted by NGLs. Diluted Bitumen can be thought of as a low-grade synthetic crude oil, however it has a "hole in the middle". It is made of light hydrocarbon diluents, and extra-heavy bitumen. But very little of the middle-weight hydrocarbons found in natural crude oil.

    Diluted Bitumen IS NOT "CRUDE OIL"!!!  They are taxed/regulated differently, refined differently, they are chemically different, and spill response is different.

  • SynCrude = Synthetic Crude. SynCrude is a trademarked product, a higher grade form of synthetic crude than Diluted Bitumen. SynCrude is made by blending Diluted Bitumen with middle-weight hydrocarbons created by Upgrading Bitumen.  There are various other blends such as "SynBit".
  • EROEI or EROI = Energy Returned on (net) Energy Invested. this is a term used to measure a fuel source's efficiency. In the old days, the EROEI of a crude oil well in W. Texas might be 100:1. For 1 unit of energy input, you get 100 back. And EROEI of 100:1 means there is going to be a big party somewhere. 

    Whereas with modern fuels, from Deep Ocean drilling, Unconventional Shale Gas/Oil, Arctic Drilling, and Tar Sands-based fuels, the EROEI is approaching 5:1 or less. Once you hit 1:1, this is a net=ZERO. You spent 1 to get 1, so why bother with it?

    Some fuels like Corn Ethanol are such a bad idea because they are actually an energy SINK, and not a source. The EROEI of Corn Ethanol is more like 1:1.5. This means you have to spend 1.5 units to get 1 back. Corn Ethanol is really a bad idea.

I feel it is CRITICAL we use correct, descriptive, and accurate language.
There is SO MUCH confusion about these terms.

The Oil and Gas industry WANT US to believe Alberta has "the third largest reservoirs of crude oil", and continuously refer to bitumen as "crude oil" or tar sands as "oil sands".

We should strive to use correct language.

TRUTH: Bitumen is the DREGS of hydrocarbons,
a low grade source which can only be converted into refined products using EXTREME TECHNOLOGY.

It takes $BILLIONS of capital investment to create "Upgraders" , and to add cokers to refineries.

Here's a Chevron video (very nice production!) which shows the delivery
of new Coke Drums needed for refining extra heavy tar-sands products,
like Dilbit (diluted bitumen)

Upgraders must be used to remove sulfur (cf. "Great Sulfur Pyramids of Alberta"). [2] [3]
Great Sulfur Pyramids of Alberta is actually larger than the Great Pyramid of Giza,
and can be seen from space.

Upgraders also consume MASSIVE amounts of heat from natural gas or propane to smash the long bitumen molecules into bits at temperatures approaching a ceramics kiln. 
If people understood the true nature of bitumen mining in Alberta, they might ask the question:

WHY ARE WE GOING THROUGH SO MUCH EFFORT to take what was until recently considered a low grade refinery waste product, and using it as a refinery input!?
Then they might understand the truth: Most of the crude oil reserves on planet earth are GONE FOREVER, depleted.

I hope this is helpful, 

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Friday, July 22, 2016

Press Release: DEC Grants Comment Extension for Endicott Pollution License


DEC Grants Comment Extension for Endicott Pollution License
Friday July 22, 2016

ENDICOTT, NY -- Yesterday, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation issued the following statement:
Due to the enhanced public interest in regards to the i3 draft Permit, NYSDEC will hold a Public Information Session and Legislative Hearing along with extending the public comment period.  The Department is working on scheduling a date and location but anticipates the Public Information Session and Hearing will be held in mid-September and the public comment period will be extended until the end part of September.  Please share this news with others who may not be on this distribution.  Once the details are finalized, a formal announcement will be made.

Timothy DiGiulio, P.E., Regional Water Engineer
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Region 7
P: (315) 426-7500 |

While Concerned Citizens of Endicott (CCoE) are pleased in this small delay in the rubber-stamping of this permit, we see (and smell) the trucks of toxic landfill leachate are still coming.

"I'll be happy when the trucks stop bringing poisons to a village which is already a TCE contaminated Superfund site", said Mark Bacon, of CCoE.

Bill Huston, also of CCoE adds, "These trucks have been dumping 80,000 gallons of poison per day in Endicott since 2011. This waste was never allowed under i3 Electronics original SPDES permit, but allowed by NYS DEC under a secret pilot program, with no public notice, no hearings, no public participation, and worst of all,  NO ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW under SEQRA(*)". 

(* As far as we can tell. DEC has not yet answered all of our requests for records on this matter.)

This operator is the continuous progeny of IBM, which has left a toxic legacy here, dumping of massive amounts of dangerous chemicals in the ground and groundwater, due to neglect, incompetence, operator error, mechanical failure, and intentional illegal dumping.


Since April, 2011, i3 Electronics in Endicott has been processing 80,000 gallons per day of highly toxic landfill leachate at their treatment facility, and dumping the effluent into the Susquehanna River. This activity was not permitted as part of their original SPDES permit, but was allowed under a secret "Pilot Program". Some of the leachate is highly concentrate "Reverse Osmosis Concentrate" trucked in from 2 hours away from Seneca Meadows, the largest landfill in NY, which takes municipal and industrial waste from 5 states, including NYC.

Concerned Citizens of Endicott / NY Friends of Clean Air and Water have serious concerns about this activity and its impact to the river and Endicott's drinking water. This operator (the progeny of IBM) has a LONG HISTORY of toxic chemical spills due to neglect, equipment failure, and intentional dumping. EIT defaulted on their promise to retain jobs in return for $30M in tax breaks, and over 10 years laid off most of their workforce. They defaulted on their creditors and declared bankruptcy in 2014. There was a spill of at least 17,000 gallons of raw leachate into the storm sewers in Feb 2014 when a valve on a rusty tank broke.

Won't the DEC protect us?

DEC tells us they do not have the staff to investigate every permitted SPDES site. They do not do plant inspections of the physical integrity of the tanks and plumbing. They almost never fine operators for violations. DEC never does independent testing of the effluent; they almost always approve permits (as long as they are filled out right). All chemical analyses is "Self-Reporting"—the Honor System!

What is happening now?

On June 29th, DEC published the availability of a draft SPDES permit renewal with a modification to make the treatment and dumping of the highly toxic leachate "official" and permitted. The original comment period of 30 days has now been extended until late September.


What can I do?

Please look at the materials we have collected here: . This includes the permit application, the SEQRA docs released so far, and the draft permit.

We will be holding upcoming educational events, and comment writing workshops. Please keep in touch in one of these ways:

How to make a comment to the DEC:
  • CONTACT: Teresa Diehsner: (518)402-9167
    REFER: SPDES NY#0003808 / i3 Endicott
    "Stop the Stink Trucks! No commercial waste dumping in the Village of Endicott!"

  • Please use the CCoE's list of 16 Demands to guide your comments:
More info:

Contact CCoE:

William Huston:
Mark Bacon: Mark's Cafe, 1412 North St., Endicott NY, 13760. 607-785-7565

Concerned Citizens of Endicott, in partnership with:

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)