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GEOLOGY DEBATE INFO - Implications Chemical and pollutant...

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Implications: - Chemical and pollutant contamination are making that arctic our planets chemical sink. - animals are at risk for toxic levels of contamination. Immune, hormone, and reproductive systems if their current levels increase. - arctic peoples are at risk because they rely heavily on the marine wiles life (diet) History: - interest in the early 1900s when oil seeps rose to surface ease of point barrow. - In 1923 23-million acre Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 4 was established in northwestern Alaska = secure a supply for future national security needs. Now called: Nation Petroleum Reserve- Alaska (NPR-A) - Extensive exploration in 1940’s and 1950’s - WWII north slope of Alaska 48.8 million acres was withdrawn from public land law and used for gov, use only - - 1950’s post was construction and accelerating resource development= raised questions for regions special natural values being at risk for loss - 1952-53 gov. conducted survey “the last great wilderness resulted in the northeast corner of Alaska being the best opp. For protection 2 main consequences: 1. in 1957 revoked previous military withdrawal on 20 mill acres of the north slope to make it available for commercial oil and gas leasing in addition to the 23 mill acre naval petroleum reserve. 2. 1960 designated 8.9 mill acres of coastal plain and mountains of the north east as Arctic National Wildlife Range to protect “unique wildlife. Wilderness, and recreation values” - 1968 largest oil field in North America = Prudhoe Bay was discovered and is transported along an 800 mile pipeline to Vladez where it is transferred to oil tankers. - House of reps designated entire original range including the coastline as wilderness. But, senate required studies of wildline and pretoleum resources and the potential impacts of oil and gas development in that part of the range. Which postponed the ok for oil and gas and for wilderness designation - 1980 Alaska National Interest lands Conservation Act doubled the size of the range and renamed it the National Wildlife Refuge and most of the original range became wilderness. Stated that no oil production or building that could lead to oil production from the refuge was allowed unless congress was to authorize it. - Legislative Environmental Impact Statement (LEIS) that described the potential impacts of oil and gas development. This LEIS included the Secretary's final report and recommendation, and was submitted to Congress in 1987. The report concluded that oil development and production in the 1002 Area would have major effects on the Porcupine Caribou herd and muskoxen. Major effects were defined as "widespread, long-term change in habitat availability or quality which would likely modify natural abundance or distribution of species." Moderate effects were expected for wolves, wolverine, polar bears, snow geese, seabirds and shorebirds, arctic grayling and coastal fish. Major restrictions on subsistence
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activities by Kaktovik residents would also be expected. In the report, the Secretary of Interior recommended that Congress authorize an oil and gas leasing program that would avoid unnecessary adverse effects on the environment.
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