We All Live Downstream: At Risk From the Dakota Access Pipeline
We All Live Downstream: At Risk From the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Spill that crude in water, and the damage can become far more widespread.
The simple reason: all pipelines leak.
There are a lot of people downstream of the DAPL’s many river crossings.
And that’s not counting the many smaller communities, some of them far from affluent, along the Missouri and Mississippi in 11 states.
As geographer Jennifer Veilleux notes, some of those more rural downstream communities include Native nations.
There’s the direct harm to human health done by short-term exposure to petroleum products, which can include poisoning, respiratory damage and apparent nervous system damage.
Secondly, there are the long-term effects from consistent exposure to smaller amounts of petroleum and its components.
While the levels of contaminants in the Mississippi River at New Orleans may not be significantly affected by a large accident near Bismarck, each accident does add to the overall burden of pollution endured by communities downstream.
Persistent organic pollutants from an oil spill — or more likely, a series of spills — may end up in your food, beverages, and toothpaste even if you live hundreds of miles outside of the Missouri-Mississippi watershed.