ENENews: Experts: Fukushima ‘ice wall’ could destroy reactor units, turn site into swamp — Risk of fractures, ground movement, building subsidence — Must be frozen for 200 years — Officials: High cliffs just behind plant may become unstable — Gov’t: “Observable heaving” and deformations possible



Experts: Fukushima ‘ice wall’ could destroy reactor units, turn site into swamp — Risk of fractures, ground movement, building subsidence — Must be frozen for 200 years — Officials: High cliffs just behind plant may become unstable — Gov’t: “Observable heaving” and deformations possible (VIDEO)
Published: May 2nd, 2016 at 9:18 pm ET
By ENENews
http://enenews.com/experts-fukushima-ice-wall-could-destroy-reactor-
buildings-turn-site-swamp-concern-fractures-ground-movement-subsidence-
around-structures-will-stay-frozen-200-year-period-govt-observable-heav?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy
+News%29


AP, Apr 29, 2016 (emphasis added): Fukushima No. 1 plant’s ice wall won’t be watertight, says chief architect… Even if the frozen barrier… works as envisioned, it will not completely block all water… because of gaps in the wall… said Yuichi Okamura, a chief architect… Tepco resorted to [this] after it became clear it had to do something drastic… [Okamura said,] “We have come up against many unexpected problems.” The water woes are just part of the many obstacles… No one has even seen the nuclear debris…


Huffington Post, Apr 1, 2016: ‘Ice Wall’ Is Japan’s Last-Ditch Effort To Contain Fukushima Radiation… [It’s] a desperate attempt to stop radiation that’s been leaking from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant for five years…

Kyodo, Mar 30, 2016: The NRA warned earlier that if the groundwater levels within the [ice] walls is reduced excessively by blocking the flow from outside, highly contaminated water within the buildings could seep out as a result.

Proposal for controlling ground water and radioactive leakage in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (by World Water and Climate Foundation): [TEPCO] has a plan to freeze soil around the plant… this idea may not be sustainable… over the 200-year period that will be required for the reactors to be decommissioned.… The problem with freezing… is that solutes may be expelled from the ice… This can result in extremely concentrated saline solutions that do not freeze even at low temperatures. It is likely that under these conditions radioactive materials could become highly concentrated in dense brines that could then flow as density currents… Also, heating and cooling during the four annual seasons in Japan may make the ground of the station site softer and wetter like a swamp, and it could create another risk to the reactors, such as building destruction… The authors would like to express sincere thanks to Dr. W.F. Vincent, Dr. I. Ostrovsky, Dr. S. Kudoh and Dr. L. Legendre for their valuable comments and suggestions for strengthening this proposal.

Los Alamos National Laboratory: Integrated model of groundwater flow and radionuclide migration at Fukushima Daiichi… we will be able to answers critical questions such as… Will the cryogenic barrier lead to salt water intrusion at the site thereby mobilizing contaminants such as Cs and Sr that are mobile under high salinity conditions?

U.S. Department of Energy, 2015: Independent Technical Support for the Frozen Soil Barrier… several references discuss soil heave in the context of artificial ground freezing… It is possible that some observable heaving will occur directly above and directly adjacent to the frozen soil barrier… Monitoring of temperatures, heave pressures, and deformations… would provide information to assist in managing impacts from soil heave…


Geological Survey of Japan, 2015: [T]he sustainability of the ice wall remains doubtful… Furthermore, the ice lenses will grow irregularly as per the distribution of chiller pipes, and the sediment desaturation might lead to the aquitards’ compaction and subsidence around the buildings. In effect, a decrease in pore water pressure could increase the effective stress of the ground and result in movements and the formation of fractures in the superficial units.

IAEA, 2016: The IAEA group of experts reviewed the status of groundwater inflow, countermeasures and modelling… During the visit to Daiichi NPS on 18 February 2016, groundwater seepage on the slopes [i.e. cliffs over 100 feet high directly behind plant] that have been covered with facing was observed by the IAEA experts… seepage through the facing could create geotechnical instability on the slope if horizontal drains are not installed…

Watch TEPCO’s video on the ‘ice wall’ here

Published: May 2nd, 2016 at 9:18 pm ET
By ENENews
Email Article Email Article
249 comments

Like ENENews on Facebook
Follow ENENews on Twitter
Subscribe to the ENENews RSS Feed
Sign up for daily email updates

Related Posts

Officials: Buildings sinking next to Fukushima reactors — Experts: We know structures decaying, getting more unstable — ‘Plant deterioration investigation’ underway — Molten fuel thought to be eating away structural materials (VIDEO) July 29, 2015
Nuclear Expert in Fukushima: People’s feet turned black for years because radiation so high — Every time I turned around I saw someone who had radiation damage — Hair falling out, caughing up blood, bodies covered with boils… Officials keeping doctors from telling truth… Public being brainwashed (VIDEO) April 11, 2016
Nuclear Expert: This is just 1st radioactive wave hitting U.S. and Canada; Fukushima pouring into ocean, unstoppable for years and years — Marine Expert: No sign it will stop anytime soon; Plant unstable, potentially worse than Chernobyl (AUDIO) January 21, 2014
Radiation levels have surged at Fukushima plant — 100,000% of previous record high — TV: “Officials say they don’t know the cause… Typhoon may be to blame” (VIDEO) October 26, 2014
TV: “Barrier is not holding” at Fukushima plant — All efforts have failed to stop very high levels of radioactive materials flowing into ocean — Officials: More water’s coming in than we were pumping out — Workers now trying to prevent overflow (VIDEO) November 19, 2014

May 2nd, 2016 | Category: Audio/Video Clips, Fukushima Daiichi, Japan (Fukushima)

We have new details on Goldman Sachs’ $5 billion legal settlement


We have new details on Goldman Sachs’ $5 billion legal settlement

Evan Vucci/APGoldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

Jamie Dimon Lloyd Blankfein

Wells Fargo just agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle ‘shoddy’ mortgage practices

We now know more about the $5 billion settlement Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay related to residential mortgage-backed securities it sold between 2005 and 2007.

Regulators announced details of the settlement on Monday.

Goldman initially announced the settlement in January. That nearly wiped out fourth-quarter earnings for the firm.

“Today’s settlement is yet another acknowledgment by one of our leading financial institutions that it did not live up to the representations it made to investors about the products it was selling,” said one regulator, US Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner of the Eastern District of California, in a statement.

“We are pleased to put these legacy matters behind us,” Goldman Sachs said in a statement. “Since the financial crisis, we have taken significant steps to strengthen our culture, reinforce our commitment to our clients, and ensure our governance processes are robust.”

Morgan Stanley announced a similar settlement in February. It agreed to pay $3.2 billion over charges that it misled investors on the quality of mortgage loans it sold.

And on Friday, the US Justice Department announced that Wells Fargo had agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle “shoddy” mortgage-lending practices.

Here’s what we learned about the Goldman settlement on Monday:

  • $2.385 billion in a civil-monetary penalty
  • $875 million to settle claims by various federal and state entities, including:
    • $575 million to settle claims by the National Credit Union Administration
    • $37.5 million to settle claims by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines as successor to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle
    • $37.5 million to settle claims by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago
    • $190 million to settle claims by the state of New York
    • $25 million to settle claims by the state of Illinois
    • $10 million to settle claims by the state of California
  • $1.8 billion in the form of relief to aid consumers who were allegedly harmed

Here’s a press release from the Department of Justice:

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department, along with federal and state partners, announced today a $5.06 billion settlement with Goldman Sachs related to Goldman’s conduct in the packaging, securitization, marketing, sale and issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) between 2005 and 2007. The resolution announced today requires Goldman to pay $2.385 billion in a civil penalty under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) and also requires the bank to provide $1.8 billion in other relief, including relief to underwater homeowners, distressed borrowers and affected communities, in the form of loan forgiveness and financing for affordable housing. Goldman will also pay $875 million to resolve claims by other federal entities and state claims. Investors, including federally-insured financial institutions, suffered billions of dollars in losses from investing in RMBS issued and underwritten by Goldman between 2005 and 2007.

“This resolution holds Goldman Sachs accountable for its serious misconduct in falsely assuring investors that securities it sold were backed by sound mortgages, when it knew that they were full of mortgages that were likely to fail,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Stuart F. Delery. “This $5 billion settlement includes a $1.8 billion commitment to help repair the damage to homeowners and communities that Goldman acknowledges resulted from its conduct, and it makes clear that no institution may inflict this type of harm on investors and the American public without serious consequences.”

“Today’s settlement is another example of the department’s resolve to hold accountable those whose illegal conduct resulted in the financial crisis of 2008,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “Viewed in conjunction with the previous multibillion-dollar recoveries that the department has obtained for similar conduct, this settlement demonstrates the pervasiveness of the banking industry’s fraudulent practices in selling RMBS, and the power of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act as a tool for combatting this type of wrongdoing.”

“Today’s settlement is yet another acknowledgment by one of our leading financial institutions that it did not live up to the representations it made to investors about the products it was selling,” said U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner of the Eastern District of California. “Goldman’s conduct in exploiting the RMBS market contributed to an international financial crisis that people across the country, including many in the Eastern District of California, continue to struggle to recover from. I am gratified that this office has developed investigations, first against JPMorgan Chase and now against Goldman Sachs, that have led to significant civil settlements that hold bad actors in this market accountable. The results obtained by this office and other members of the RMBS Working Group continue to send a message to Wall Street that we remain committed to pursuing those responsible for the financial crisis.”

The $2.385 billion civil monetary penalty resolves claims under FIRREA, which authorizes the federal government to impose civil penalties against financial institutions that violate various predicate offenses, including wire and mail fraud. The settlement expressly preserves the government’s ability to bring criminal charges against Goldman, and does not release any individuals from potential criminal or civil liability. In addition, as part of the settlement, Goldman agreed to fully cooperate with any ongoing investigations related to the conduct covered by the agreement.

Of the $875 million Goldman has agreed to pay to settle claims by various other federal and state entities: Goldman will pay $575 million to settle claims by the National Credit Union Administration, $37.5 million to settle claims by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines as successor to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle, $37.5 million to settle claims by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, $190 million to settle claims by the state of New York, $25 million to settle claims by the state of Illinois and $10 million to settle claims by the state of California.

Goldman will pay out the remaining $1.8 billion in the form of relief to aid consumers harmed by its unlawful conduct. $1.52 billion of that relief will be paid out pursuant to an agreement with the United States that Goldman will provide loan modifications, including loan forgiveness and forbearance, to distressed and underwater homeowners throughout the country, as well as financing for affordable rental and for-sale housing throughout the country. This agreement represents the largest commitment in any RMBS agreement to provide financing for affordable housing—a crucial need following the turmoil of the financial crisis. $280 million will be paid out by Goldman pursuant to an agreement separately negotiated with the state of New York.

The settlement includes a statement of facts to which Goldman has agreed. That statement of facts describes how Goldman made false and misleading representations to prospective investors about the characteristics of the loans it securitized and the ways in which Goldman would protect investors in its RMBS from harm (the quotes in the following paragraphs are from that agreed-upon statement of facts, unless otherwise noted):

  • Goldman told investors in offering documents that “[l]oans in the securitized pools were originated generally in accordance with the loan originator’s underwriting guidelines,” other than possible situations where “when the originator identified ‘compensating factors’ at the time of origination.” But Goldman has today acknowledged that, “Goldman received information indicating that, for certain loan pools, significant percentages of the loans reviewed did not conform to the representations made to investors about the pools of loans to be securitized.”
  • Specifically, Goldman has now acknowledged that, even when the results of its due diligence on samples of loans from those pools “indicated that the unsampled portions of the pools likely contained additional loans with credit exceptions, Goldman typically did not . . . identify and eliminate any additional loans with credit exceptions.” Goldman has acknowledged that it “failed to do this even when the samples included significant numbers of loans with credit exceptions.”
  • Goldman’s Mortgage Capital Committee, which included senior mortgage department personnel and employees from Goldman’s credit and legal departments, was required to approve every RMBS issued by Goldman. Goldman has now acknowledged that “[t]he Mortgage Capital Committee typically received . . . summaries of Goldman’s due diligence results for certain of the loan pools backing the securitization,” but that “[d]espite the high numbers of loans that Goldman had dropped from the loan pools, the Mortgage Capital Committee approved every RMBS that was presented to it between December 2005 and 2007.” As one example, in early 2007, Goldman approved and issued a subprime RMBS backed by loans originated by New Century Mortgage Corporation, after Goldman’s due diligence process found that one of the loan pools to be securitized included loans originated with “[e]xtremely aggressive underwriting,” and where Goldman dropped 25 percent of the loans from the due diligence sample on that pool without reviewing the unsampled 70 percent of the pool to determine whether those loans had similar problems.
  • Goldman has acknowledged that, for one August 2006 RMBS, the due diligence results for some of the loan pools resulted in an “unusually high” percentage of loans with credit and compliance defects. The Mortgage Capital Committee was presented with a summary of these results and asked “How do we know that we caught everything?” One transaction manager responded “we don’t.” Another transaction manager responded, “Depends on what you mean by everything? Because of the limited sampling . . . we don’t catch everything . . .” Goldman has now acknowledged that the Mortgage Capital Committee approved this RMBS for securitization without requiring any further due diligence.
  • Goldman made detailed representations to investors about its “counterparty qualification process” for vetting loan originators, and told investors and one rating agency that Goldman would engage in ongoing monitoring of loan sellers. Goldman has now acknowledged, however, that it “received certain negative information regarding the originators’ business practices” and that much of this information was not disclosed to investors.
  • For example, Goldman has now acknowledged that in late 2006 it conducted an internal analysis of the underwriting guidelines of Fremont Investment & Loan (an originator), which found many of Fremont’s guidelines to be “off market” or “at the aggressive end of market standards.” Instead of disclosing its view of Fremont’s underwriting, Goldman has acknowledged that it “[u]ndertook a significant marketing effort” to tell investors about what Goldman called Fremont’s “commitment to loan quality over volume” and “significant enhancements to Fremont underwriting guidelines.”  Fremont was shut down by federal regulators within several months of these statements.
  • In another example, Goldman was aware in early-mid 2006 of certain issues with Countrywide Financial Corporation’s origination process, including a pattern of non-responsiveness and inability to provide sufficient staff to handle the numerous loan pools Countrywide was selling. In April 2006, while Goldman was preparing an RMBS backed by Countrywide loans for securitization, a Goldman mortgage department manager circulated a “very bullish” equity research report that recommended the purchase of Countrywide stock. Goldman’s head of due diligence, who had just overseen the due diligence on six Countrywide pools, responded “If they only knew . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .”
  • Meanwhile, as Goldman has acknowledged in this statement of facts, “[Around the end of 2006], Goldman employees observed signs of uncertainty in the residential mortgage market [and] by March 2007, Goldman had largely halted new purchases of subprime loan pools.”

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Colleen Kennedy and Kelli Taylor of the Eastern District of California investigated Goldman’s conduct in connection with RMBS, with the support of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of the Inspector General (FHFA-OIG) and the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP).

“Goldman Sachs had a fiduciary responsibility to investors, which they blatantly side stepped,” said Deputy Inspector General for Investigation Rene Febles of FHFA-OIG. “They knowingly put investors at risk and in so doing contributed significantly to the financial crisis. The losses caused by this irresponsible behavior deeply affected not only financial institutions but also taxpayers and one can only hope that Goldman Sachs has learned the difference between risk and deceit. Two Federal Home Loan Banks suffered significant losses so we are pleased to see both entities receive a portion of this settlement. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to hold those accountable who have engaged in misconduct.”

“Goldman took $10 billion in TARP bailout funds knowing that it had fraudulently misrepresented to investors the quality of residential mortgages bundled into mortgage backed securities,” said Special Inspector General Christy Goldsmith Romero for TARP. “Many of these toxic securities were traded in a taxpayer funded bailout program that was designed to unlock frozen credit markets during the crisis. While crisis investigations take time, SIGTARP is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to protect taxpayers and bring accountability and justice.”

The settlement is part of the ongoing efforts of President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force’s RMBS Working Group, which has recovered tens of billions of dollars on behalf of American consumers and investors for claims against large financial institutions arising from misconduct related to the financial crisis. The RMBS Working Group brings together attorneys, investigators, analysts and staff from multiple state and federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, the FBI, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), HUD’s Office of Inspector General, the FHFA-OIG, SIGTARP, the Federal Reserve Board’s OIG, the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and multiple state Attorneys General offices around the country. The RMBS Working Group is led by Director Joshua Wilkenfeld and five co-chairs: Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Mizer, Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Director Andrew Ceresney of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, U.S. Attorney John Walsh of the District of Colorado and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. This settlement is the fifth multibillion-dollar RMBS settlement announced by the working group.

Here’s a press release from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman:

NEW YORK — Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today joined members of the state and federal working group he co-chairs to announce a $5 billion settlement with Goldman Sachs over the bank’s deceptive practices leading up to the financial crisis. The settlement includes $670 million—$480 million worth of creditable consumer relief and $190 million in cash—that will be allocated to New York State. The resolution requires Goldman Sachs to provide significant community-level relief to New Yorkers, including resources that will facilitate a significant expansion of the New York State Mortgage Assistance Program enabling distressed homeowners to restructure their debt, as well as first-lien principal forgiveness, and funds to spur the construction of more affordable housing. Additional resources will be dedicated to helping communities transform their code enforcement systems, and invest in land banks and land trusts.

The settlement was negotiated through the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group, a joint state and federal working group formed in 2012 to share resources and continue investigating wrongdoing in the mortgage-backed securities market prior to the financial crisis.

New York has now received $5.33 billion in cash and consumer relief from the National Mortgage Settlement (NMS) and all five Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group settlements (RMBS). The combined $3.2 billion in cash and consumer relief from RMBS settlements is more than any other state.

“Since 2012, my number one priority has been getting New Yorkers the resources they need to rebuild,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “These dollars will immediately go to work funding proven programs and services to help New Yorkers keep their homes and rebuild their communities. We’ve witnessed the incredible impact these programs and services can have in helping communities recover from the financial crisis. This settlement, like those before it, ensures that these critical programs—such as mortgage assistance, principal forgiveness, and code enforcement—will continue to get funded well into the future, and will be paid for by the institutions responsible for the financial crisis.”

The settlement includes an agreed-upon statement of facts that describes how Goldman Sachs made multiple representations to RMBS investors about the quality of the mortgage loans it securitized and sold to investors, its process for screening out questionable loans, and its process for qualifying loan originators. Contrary to those representations, Goldman Sachs securitized and sold RMBS backed by large numbers of loans from originators whose mortgage loans contained material defects.

In the statement of facts, Goldman Sachs acknowledges that it securitized thousands of Alt-A, and subprime mortgage loans and sold the resulting residential mortgage-backed securities (“RMBS”) to investors for tens of billions of dollars. During the course of its due diligence process, Goldman Sachs received pertinent information indicating that significant percentages of the loans reviewed did not conform to the representations it made to investors. Goldman also received and failed to disclose negative information that it obtained regarding the originators’ business practices. Indeed, Goldman’s due diligence vendors provided Goldman with reports reflecting that the vendors had graded significant numbers and percentages of sampled loans as EV3s, i.e., not in compliance with originator underwriting guidelines. In certain circumstances, Goldman reevaluated loan grades and directed that such loans be waived into the pools to be purchased or securitized.

Even when the percentage of problematic loans in pools sampled by it vendors indicated that the unsampled portions of the pools likely contained additional such loans, Goldman typically did not increase the size of the sample or review the unsampled portions of the pools to identify and eliminate any additional such loans. In many cases, 80 percent or more of the loans in the loan pools Goldman purchased and securitized were not sampled for credit and compliance due diligence. Nevertheless, Goldman approved various offerings for securitization without requiring further due diligence to determine whether the remaining loans in the deal contained defects. A Goldman employee overseeing due diligence for a particular loan pool noted that the pool included loans originated with “[e]xtremely aggressive underwriting” and “large program exceptions made without compensating factors.” Despite this observation, Goldman did not review the remaining portion of the pool, and subsequently securitized thousands of loans from the pool.

Goldman made statements to investors in offering documents and in certain other marketing materials regarding its process for reviewing and approving originators, yet it failed to disclose to investors negative information it obtained about mortgage loan originators and its practice of securitizing loans from suspended originators.

Beginning in mid-2006, Goldman recognized that Fremont, a “key originator, was experiencing an increasing level of early payment defaults (“EPDs”) (i.e., loans for which the borrowers had failed to make one or more of their first payments). Goldman was aware that EPDs were a sign of originators’ bad credit decisions and could be indicators of potential borrower fraud. However, Goldman did not put Fremont on its “no bid” list and continued to purchase loan pools from Fremont during the period Fremont’s EPD claims remained unpaid. Moreover, Goldman “[u]ndertook a significant marketing effort” to tell investors about what Goldman called Fremont’s “commitment to loan quality over volume” and “significant enhancements to Fremont underwriting guidelines.” Likewise, Goldman identified issues with Countrywide’s origination practices. Goldman’s head of due diligence, when presented with a “very bullish” equity report on Countrywide, another large originator, exclaimed “[i]f they only knew  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .”

Attorney General Schneiderman was elected in 2010 and took office in 2011, when the five largest mortgage servicing banks, 49 state attorneys general, and the federal government were on the verge of agreeing to a settlement that would have released the banks—including Bank of America—from liability for virtually all misconduct related to the financial crisis. Attorney General Schneiderman refused to agree to such sweeping immunity for the banks. As a result, Attorney General Schneiderman secured a settlement that preserved a wide range of claims for further investigation and prosecution. In his 2012 State of the Union address, President Obama announced the formation of the RMBS Working Group. The collaboration brought together the Department of Justice (DOJ), other federal entities, and several state law enforcement officials—co-chaired by Attorney General Schneiderman—to investigate those responsible for misconduct contributing to the financial crisis through the pooling and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities.

Under today’s settlement, Goldman Sachs will be required to provide a minimum of $480 million in creditable consumer relief directly to struggling families and communities across the state. The settlement includes a menu of options for consumer relief to be provided, and different categories of relief are credited at different rates toward the bank’s $480 million obligation, including at least:

  • $220 million for debt restructuring
  • $30 million for land banks and land trusts
  • $30 million for code enforcement
  • $150 million for first-lien principal reduction
  • $50 million for the creation and preservation of affordable rental housing

In addition to the settlement with Goldman Sachs, the RMBS working group has reached settlements with four other major financial institutions since 2012:

  • J.P. Morgan Chase: $13 Billion
  • Bank of America: $16.6 Billion
  • Citibank: $7 Billion
  • Morgan Stanley: $3.2 Billion

The National Mortgage Settlement (NMS), reached with the five largest national mortgage servicers, has provided $51 billion in consumer relief and cash nationwide. The combined amount of cash and consumer relief that has been returned to New York as a result of all the RMBS and NMS deals is $1.481 billion in cash and $3.857 in consumer relief, for a total of $5.338 billion. This matter was led by Senior Enforcement Counsel for Economic Justice Steven Glassman and Assistant Attorneys General Desiree Cummings and Kenneth Haim, both of the Investor Protection Bureau.

 

ENENews: “100% death rate of baby seals on California coast — ‘None have survived'”


100% death rate of baby seals on California coast — “None have survived” — “Many are starving, suffering from shortage of food in Pacific Ocean” — “Extremely thin… all sorts of illnesses, infections” — “Milkless moms immediately abandoning pups” — TV: “The problem is getting worse” (VIDEOS)

A little More truth comes out… ENENews: “Everyone on earth has been exposed… an increase in cancer will be the result”



Nuclear Expert: Fukushima “like the worst nightmare becoming reality” — Released as much as 1,000 atomic bombs worth of radioactive material — “Everyone on earth has been exposed… an increase in cancer will be the result”
Published: March 11th, 2016 at 10:06 am ET
By ENENews
http://enenews.com/japan-nuclear-expert-fukushima-like-worse-nightmare-becoming-reality-released-1000-nuclear-bombs-worth-radioactive-material-everyone-earth-exposed-increase-cancer-will-be-result?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29
http://apjjf.org//2016/06/Hirano.html
Interview with nuclear engineer Hiroaki Koide (translation by Prof. Robert Stolz, transcription by Akiko Anson), published Mar 8, 2016 (emphasis added):
As for the scale of the [Fukushima] accident… we simply don’t know… all the measuring equipment was destroyed at the time of the accident…
The Japanese government has reported estimates [of] 1.5×10^16 Becquerels of Cs-137, which would make it a release of 168 times more radioactive material than the Hiroshima bombing. And this is only material released into the atmosphere…
But I myself think the government’s numbers are an underestimate. Various experts and institutes from around the world have offered several of their own estimates… some two or three times higher than the government’s numbers. According to these other estimates I think that the release of Cs-137 into the atmosphere could be around 500 times the Hiroshima bombing.
What has been washed into the sea… is likely not much different from the levels released into the atmosphere. Even today we are unable to prevent this release. And so if we combine the amount of Cs-137 released in the air and the ocean together, we get an estimate several hundred times the Hiroshima levels. And some estimates suggest the Fukushima accident could be as much as one-thousand Hiroshimas…
The amount released into the atmosphere from the explosion during the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear plant was 800 to 1000 times the Hiroshima levels. Put simply, these estimates place Fukushima on par with Chernobyl…
[T]he radioactive material released from Fukushima has been dispersed across the globe… everyone on earth has been exposed to additional radiation… An increase in cancer will be the result…
Not a single nuclear expert or policy maker ever seriously considered the possibility of an accident like this… I had been commenting on the possibility, referring to some results of simulations. But still I would have thought the kind of disaster that happened at Fukushima was some kind of impossible nightmare―yet it actually happened. It was like the worse nightmare becoming a reality… all those pronuclear people surely never gave it a moment’s thought. And so when it actually happened, no one had thought about, let alone built a system to deal with it.
http://apjjf.org//2016/06/Stolz.html#sthash.Klc3TZS5.dpuf
Asia-Pacific Journal, Mar 2016: As we learn in this wide-ranging and important interview [with Hiroaki Koide], the accident often referred to as 3/11 was enormous and in many ways unprecedented. The full scope of the disaster is still unknown, but is clearly on the scale of Chernobyl, placing the amount of radioactive material released… up to 1,000 times the Hiroshima bombing of 1945.
See also: Japan Professor: I believe airborne release of cesium-137 from Fukushima equals 400 to 500 Hiroshima nuclear bombs — Another 400 to 500 bombs worth has already flowed into Pacific Ocean (VIDEO):
http://enenews.com/professor-fukushima-release-equivalent-1000-atomic-bombs-video

$150 billion in bank fines and penalties


7 years on from crisis, $150 billion in bank fines and penalties
http://www.cnbc.com/2015/04/30/7-years-on-from-crisis-150-billion-in-bank-fines-and-penalties.html
John W. Schoen | @johnwschoen
Thursday, 30 Apr 2015 | 2:32 PM ET

(Scott Mlyn | CNBC )

Bank of America
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

More than seven years after the global financial collapse, regulators and investors are still working through an epic pile of lawsuits and other civil actions, collecting settlements, fines and other penalties for a long list of wrongdoing.

The latest settlement involved Bank of America, which agreed this week to pay $180 million to settle a lawsuit that claimed the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank and others manipulate foreign-exchange rates, according to The Wall Street Journal. JPMorgan Chase has already settled with the same investor group, while others, including Citigroup, are expected to settle soon, the The Journal notes.

The 2013 lawsuit claimed bank traders shared customer information to profit at their clients’ expense, according to the report.

The settlement follows a seven-year effort by federal and state regulators that included dozens of actions related to a broad range of misconduct and fraud, including bilking mortgage investors, laundering money and evading taxes. So far, banks and other institutions have paid more than $150 billion in fines, settlements and other penalties, according to a tally by the Financial Times.

That compares with roughly $700 billion in profits generated by U.S. banks between 2007 and 2014, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data.

Financial penalties
Banks and other financial firms have paid more than $150 billion in fines, settlements and restitution to homeowners and investors since the finanical crisis. Click on a bubble for details, then hover over bars for payment descriptions. (SOURCE: Financial Times.)

Bank of America: $57.8 Billion
JPMorgan Chase: $31.3 Billion
Citigroup $12.8 Billion
Wells Fargo $ 9.7 Billion
PNB Paribas $ 8.9 Billion
HSBC $ 3.5 Billion
UBS $ 3.5 Billion
Sun Trust $ 2.9 Billion
Also listed are Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, but for which no amount of money is shown:

Bank of America
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

More than seven years after the global financial collapse, regulators and investors are still working through an epic pile of lawsuits and other civil actions, collecting settlements, fines and other penalties for a long list of wrongdoing.

The latest settlement involved Bank of America, which agreed this week to pay $180 million to settle a lawsuit that claimed the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank and others manipulate foreign-exchange rates, according to The Wall Street Journal. JPMorgan Chase has already settled with the same investor group, while others, including Citigroup, are expected to settle soon, the The Journal notes.

The 2013 lawsuit claimed bank traders shared customer information to profit at their clients’ expense, according to the report.

The settlement follows a seven-year effort by federal and state regulators that included dozens of actions related to a broad range of misconduct and fraud, including bilking mortgage investors, laundering money and evading taxes. So far, banks and other institutions have paid more than $150 billion in fines, settlements and other penalties, according to a tally by the Financial Times.

That compares with roughly $700 billion in profits generated by U.S. banks between 2007 and 2014, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data.

Some of those involved charges against individual bankers. About 70 CEOs, CFOs and other senior corporate officers had been charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission as of October, the latest data available. The SEC says it collected $3.6 billion in penalties and other payments related to the charges.

Bank of America
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

More than seven years after the global financial collapse, regulators and investors are still working through an epic pile of lawsuits and other civil actions, collecting settlements, fines and other penalties for a long list of wrongdoing.

The latest settlement involved Bank of America, which agreed this week to pay $180 million to settle a lawsuit that claimed the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank and others manipulate foreign-exchange rates, according to The Wall Street Journal. JPMorgan Chase has already settled with the same investor group, while others, including Citigroup, are expected to settle soon, the The Journal notes.

The 2013 lawsuit claimed bank traders shared customer information to profit at their clients’ expense, according to the report.

The settlement follows a seven-year effort by federal and state regulators that included dozens of actions related to a broad range of misconduct and fraud, including bilking mortgage investors, laundering money and evading taxes. So far, banks and other institutions have paid more than $150 billion in fines, settlements and other penalties, according to a tally by the Financial Times.

That compares with roughly $700 billion in profits generated by U.S. banks between 2007 and 2014, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data.

Some of those involved charges against individual bankers. About 70 CEOs, CFOs and other senior corporate officers had been charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission as of October, the latest data available. The SEC says it collected $3.6 billion in penalties and other payments related to the charges.

The biggest payments have gone to the Justice Department, which has collected some $50 billion, according to the FT tally.

Among the banks paying the biggest amounts, Bank of America tops the list—with nearly $58 billion, followed by JPMorgan Chase ($31.3 billion), Citigroup ($12.8 billion) and Wells Fargo ($9.7 billion).

http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000375715

Methane + Sunlight results in Formaldehyde, Acidosis is a condition in which your body starts to digest itself.


Experts: Formaldehyde is spewing from massive LA gas leak — “Very dangerous for public”… methane turning into embalming fluid — Can make your body “start digesting itself” — Company knows this is happening and should warn us… Obviously they don’t want you to know about it (VIDEO)

http://enenews.com/experts-formaldehyde-spewing-massive-la-gas-blowout-body-start-digesting-very-dangerous-methane-basically-turning-embalming-fluid-officials-be-warning-theyre-dont-about-video

Published: February 8th, 2016 at 10:21 am ET
By ENENews


Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Jan 22, 2016 (emphasis added): “One thing I happen to know about — and I can’t make any claim about it now — but I know this. Methane, when it’s exposed to sunlight, can produce as a by-product formaldehyde… Southern California gas knows that too… it transforms — when it’s subjected to sunlight — to formaldehyde. SoCalGas knows that, and they ought to be straight about it. They ought to be telling us… but they’re not.”

Gas Well Blowout May Endanger Your Pet


Report by the law firms of Morgan & Morgan, Panish Shea & Boyle, Kennedy & Madonna, and R. Rex Parris, Dec 16, 2015: Experts have stated that the gas emitted in the blowout contains mostly methane [which] can oxidize in the atmosphere [and] turn into formaldehyde. Formaldehyde can cause hypothermia, asphyxiation, and acidosis… Acidosis is a condition in which your body starts to digest itself.


http://www.kcet.org/news/redefine/rewire/natural-gas/video-shows-frightening-scale-of-socal-gas-leak.html
Joseph Pfeifer*, Dec 30, 2015: “When all that methane is exposed to California sunshine it gets converted to formaldehyde. The nosebleeds, headaches etc. aren’t from the “odorant”… they are signs of formaldehyde exposure… These same symptoms are seen in people living near gas compressor stations due to leaking methane being converted… Obviously, this is something SoCal doesn’t want to talk about or you to know about.”

* The user comment above was almost certainly written by Dr. Joseph L. Pfeifer, M.D. (director of trauma and surgical critical care at Berkshire Medical Center), who recently authored a column mentioning formaldehyde, methane, and gas compressor stations.

https://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2014/10/30/cancerous-air-toxins-detected-at-frack-sites/
NPR, Oct 30, 2014: A peer reviewed study… reveals dangerous levels of air toxins near fracking operations… The research was led by David Carpenter, a physician… he’s most concerned about the high levels of benzene and formaldehyde… He says the formaldehyde is formed… as a byproduct of methane leaks, when exposed to the sun.

Environmental Health (Journal), Oct 2014: Formaldehyde is also formed from methane in the presence of sunlight… It can affect nearly every tissue in the human body, leading to acute (dermal allergies, asthma) and chronic (neuro-, reproductive, hematopoietic, genetic and pulmonary toxicity and cellular damage) health effects:

Environ Health. 2014 Oct 30;13:82. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-13-82.
Air concentrations of volatile compounds near oil and gas production: a community-based exploratory study.
Macey GP, Breech R, Chernaik M, Cox C, Larson D, Thomas D, Carpenter DO1.
Author information
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25355625
1Institute for Health and the Environment, University at Albany, Rensselaer, New York, USA. dcarpenter@albany.edu.
Abstract
BACKGROUND:
Horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing, and other drilling and well stimulation technologies are now used widely in the United States and increasingly in other countries. They enable increases in oil and gas production, but there has been inadequate attention to human health impacts. Air quality near oil and gas operations is an underexplored human health concern for five reasons: (1) prior focus on threats to water quality; (2) an evolving understanding of contributions of certain oil and gas production processes to air quality; (3) limited state air quality monitoring networks; (4) significant variability in air emissions and concentrations; and (5) air quality research that misses impacts important to residents. Preliminary research suggests that volatile compounds, including hazardous air pollutants, are of potential concern. This study differs from prior research in its use of a community-based process to identify sampling locations. Through this approach, we determine concentrations of volatile compounds in air near operations that reflect community concerns and point to the need for more fine-grained and frequent monitoring at points along the production life cycle.
METHODS:
Grab and passive air samples were collected by trained volunteers at locations identified through systematic observation of industrial operations and air impacts over the course of resident daily routines. A total of 75 volatile organics were measured using EPA Method TO-15 or TO-3 by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Formaldehyde levels were determined using UMEx 100 Passive Samplers.
RESULTS:

Levels of eight volatile chemicals exceeded federal guidelines under several operational circumstances. Benzene, formaldehyde, and hydrogen sulfide were the most common compounds to exceed acute and other health-based risk levels.
CONCLUSIONS:
Air concentrations of potentially dangerous compounds and chemical mixtures are frequently present near oil and gas production sites. Community-based research can provide an important supplement to state air quality monitoring programs.

PMID: 25355625 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] PMCID: PMC4216869 Free PMC Article

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/201155-report-fracking-danger-cancer/
Dr. David Carpenter, physician & director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at Univ. at Albany, Oct 31, 2014: “We focused a lot in our report on… benzene and formaldehyde… these are very dangerous for public health… Cancer isn’t going to occur tomorrow, it is going to occur 10-20-30 years from now in people that are exposed… What we are seeing right now are respiratory infections and nose bleeds. Think about formaldehyde, that’s basically an embalming fluid, if you breathe it in 24 hours a day… you are going to pickle epithelium in your nose. Many of the people living around these sites have nose bleeds.”
American Journal of Analytical Chemistry, 2013: Formaldehyde is a very dangerous chemical in human health; It gives negative effect to respiration channel, liver and kidney function…

http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/drywall/docs/WhatYouShouldKnowaboutFormaldehyde.pdf
CDC (pdf): What happens when someone breathes too much formaldehyde?… People can have symptoms such as: sore throat, cough, scratchy eyes, nosebleeds… [T]he longer the exposure, the greater the chance of getting cancer. Exposure to formaldehyde might increase the chance of getting cancer even at levels too low to cause symptoms.

See also: Very unusual infections seen around LA gas leak… Dog’s stomach “flipped on itself” — “If you’re able to leave do it now, it’s really critical” — Official: Plume spreading far away

Watch RFK’s speech here:

ENENews: “They may have ‘lost control entirely of entire field’ involved in LA gas disaster”



(Brian Seligman holds a sign to protest a gas leak in the Porter Ranch area of Los Angeles before a meeting of the California air quality management district in Granada Hills on Saturday. Photograph: Danny Moloshok/Reuters)

Breaking: They may have “lost control entirely of entire field” involved in LA gas disaster, and it’s coming up everywhere… We learned there’s many other leaks -Attorney — Officials: Loud sound of gas escaping heard half mile away; A “mini-Chernobyl” — AP: Leak “out of control”… amount released “seriously underestimated” (VIDEO)

Published: January 28th, 2016 at 11:36 am ET
By ENENews
http://enenews.com/breaking-company-entirely-lost-control-entire-gas-field-involved-la-methane-disaster-leaking-everywhere-learned-many-other-wells-leaking-attorney-official-mini-chernobyl-ap-leak-control-tv-a?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29


Porter Ranch Town Hall Meeting, Jan 22, 2016 (emphasis added) — Patricia Oliver, attorney (at 11:30 in): “Now it’s kind of simple — if you have a well blow-out, you quit injecting [more gas] underground… No order had been issued [to stop this] though… We sent a letter [to the Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (DOGGR)] saying, “Stop all of the injections, until you can stop the leak”… So we sent a letter on Dec. 1 asking them to stop all injections… Nine days later, they said, “Stop injecting gas”… You’d think that at least temporarily settled it — because if [SoCalGas] didn’t like that, SoCalGas could have temporarily appealed… I have no record of appeal… AQMD [Air Quality Management District] inspected the facility on Nov. 10… and they found all these wells that weren’t accessible — 16 approximately… We don’t know yet why they were inaccessible. We also learned that 15 wells were leaking. We also don’t know why that happened. I spoke at the AQMD hearing this last week and said, “I’m concerned that the fact that now you guys are looking at these injection wells — you don’t know what that means.” You see, DOGGR knows what that means — and that’s a sign that SoCalGas lost control entirely of the entire field and it’s leaking everywhere… So we were like, “We want proof. Now if it’s just coincidental, and you show us why that’s not what’s happening, that’s fine, but provide the evidence”… Families have a right to know what’s going on in that oil field.” (Audience applauds)


Rep. Brad Sherman, U.S. House of Representatives, Jan 21, 2016 (at 17:45): “This the largest natural gas leak in history. We were up there yesterday… what we heard was a loud sound of natural gas escaping that you could hear quite loudly from over half a mile away.”

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jan/11/california-gas-company-socalgas-promises-action-to-capture-some-of-leaking-methane
The Guardian, Jan 11, 2016: Residents attack slow response to what official called ‘a mini-Chernobyl’… “This is a mini-Chernobyl,” Mike Antonovich, the LA county supervisor, told a public hearing at the weekend… [It] is the largest leak of… methane known to experts.

Regulators Investigate New Health Concerns Caused By Natural Gas Leak In Porter Ranch; Fears Of Blowout Reported
CBS/AP, Jan 15, 2016: A new report shows the level of toxins released… has been seriously underestimated, state regulators said… The findings were released in response to [SoCalGas’ admission that they] underestimated the number of times the cancer-causing chemical benzene has spiked.

http://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/scalefit_630_noupscale/56a259221f000050002167d8.jpeg?cache=dgeyqbion4
( Mark Boster via Getty Images Porter Ranch residents and activists protesting the gas leak in Aliso Canyon hold their signs during a meeting of the South Coast AQMD January 20, 2016.)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/gas-leak-pollution-monitoring-took-months-to-put-in-place_us_56a25594e4b0d8cc1099ca2a?ir=Healthy+Living&section=us_healthy-living&utm_hp_ref=healthy-living
AP, Jan 22, 2016: AP, Jan 22, 2016: Officials Waited Months To Monitor California’s Massive Gas Leak — A massive natural gas leak… had been out of control for more than a month when the county’s acting health director said in November that long-term impacts of the cancer-causing chemical benzene should be measured. It took many more weeks to implement the testing… “We can always look back and say, ‘Why didn’t we start with an expanded monitoring program?’” said Angelo Bellomo, deputy county director for health protection… Rob Jackson, an environmental scientist at Stanford University, said… it had undermined the ability to measure health impacts.

See also: Wildlife “disappearing” around LA gas disaster — Residents: “It’s completely quiet”… birds, butterflies, rabbits, coyotes are missing… all fish in pond dead — “All of this is gone… Makes me wonder how bad it really is” (VIDEO)
http://enenews.com/wildlife-disappearing-around-massive-la-gas-disaster-residents-completely-quiet-birds-rabbits-coyotes-butterflies-missing-all-fish-pond-dead-all-gone-quiet-makes-bad-really-animals-worst-b