Tar sands in Newark
The Delaware City Refinery has begun to refine Canadian tar sands, and has recently expanded the train offloading capabilities to accept tar sands by train at the refinery. Tar sands are considered to be the dirtiest petroleum on earth, and emit 3x the greenhouse gases of conventional oil.
With the ability to unload only 100 rail cars at a time, there is a backup waiting to enter the refinery. Norfolk Southern railroad has begun storing insulated and heated rail cars at the former Chrysler Assembly Plant in Newark, right next to a residential neighborhood and the UD campus.
Up close look at the heated and insulated rail cars that carry tar sands from Alberta, Canada.
Oil cars lined up as far as the eye can see.
The rail yard is right next to a residential neighborhood.
The tar sands are an environmental and social catastrophe through the entire life-cycle.
· Strip-mining destroys large expanses of the boreal forest (the largest intact ecosystem on earth).
· Two tons of tar sands are required to produce a single barrel of bitumen. Large lakes of toxic waste are left behind.
· Hazardous air emissions sicken communities in areas where tar sands are extracted through to refining.
· Tar sands extraction and refining are extremely water intensive processes that produce highly toxic wastewater.
· Tar sands bitumen is highly corrosive and abrasive.
· Toxic chemicals are added to dilute the bitumen, which increases the chance of explosions if it comes in contact with heat, sparks, static electricity or lightning.
· In an oil spill, oil normally floats to the surface, but tar sands sink, making it very difficult to clean up after a spill.
· Tar sands takes a tremendous amount of energy to extract and refine. The Energy Return on Energy Investment (EROI) is extremely low (3:1 to 1:1).
· Tar sands emits 3 times the greenhouse gases of regular crude oil. Exploiting the Canadian tar sands is disastrous for climate change.
Are these train cars safe?
Are toxic vapors being emitted from these tanks?
Will pollution get worse in hot summer weather?
What impact will these rail cars have on air quality in residential neighborhoods in Newark?
Are we safe if there is an accident or spill?