CAN’T CLEAN UP OIL? CLEAN UP TIRES IN­STEAD!

Diver hopes Husky Oil will take in­ter­est in his mis­sion be­cause of his­toric oil spill

The Central Voice - - Front Page - BY KYLE GREEN­HAM kyle.green­[email protected]­cen­tralvoice.ca

In light of the SeaRose oil spill last month, a Twillingate-born diver is hop­ing to bring his con­ser­va­tion mis­sion to Husky En­ergy.

This year Shawn Bath de­voted him­self to the Clean Har­bours Ini­tia­tive, his one-man div­ing op­er­a­tion to re­move hun­dreds of tires, plas­tics and ghosts nets from the At­lantic wa­ters of New­found­land and Labrador. Bath says he wants to keep the mo­men­tum go­ing through the win­ter, but he’s in need of a ma­jor fund­ing in­vest­ment to con­tinue his ef­forts dur­ing these colder months.

On Nov. 16, Husky En­ergy’s SeaRose plat­form leaked around 250,000 litres of crude oil into the ocean, the largest spill in the prov­ince’s his­tory. Since then, the com­pany has not given an up­date on if the spill can be cleaned. But, as re­ported in The Tele­gram on Nov. 21, fly­overs of the spill area ap­pear to show that the oil is ei­ther un­der­wa­ter or has dis­si­pated and clean-up ef­forts are highly un­likely.

With this news in mind, Bath reached out to Husky En­ergy with a prospect — if the com­pany can­not re­cover the oil that was lost, his Clean Har­bours Ini­tia­tive could clean-up the equiv­a­lent of that oil in rub­ber tires.

Bath sees it as an op­por­tu­nity to grow his en­vi­ron­men­tal mis­sion and help the com­pany’s pub­lic im­age dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time.

“If we got the right fund­ing we can put a five-man crew in the wa­ter ev­ery day,” he said. “With good weather, we could eas­ily take out a hun­dred tires a day. That wouldn’t be long adding up to the equiv­a­lent of what Husky Oil lost on the 16th of Novem­ber.”

Ac­cord­ing to Bath, it takes 26 litres of oil to make one stan­dard car tire, mak­ing 250,000 litres of oil equiv­a­lent to 9,615 stan­dard car tires.

To hire a crew and have the proper equip­ment to do these dives dur­ing the win­ter months, Bath says he would need $250,000 to clear this num­ber of tires out of the ocean. With a five-man crew, he ex­pects it would take around six months to re­move nearly 10,000 tires from the wa­ter.

“We wouldn’t be able to do it without Husky’s help,” he said. “It’d be good for them, show­ing they helped out a lo­cal guy who had a so­lu­tion.

“If we can get this kind of money be­hind us, 20 years from now there could hun­dreds of thou­sands of tires and ghost nets taken out of the ocean.”

Thus far, Bath has only had ini­tial cor­re­spon­dence with Husky En­ergy via email, with his re­quest for­warded to their en­vi­ron­men­tal depart­ment. He is hop­ing to have a meet­ing with them in the near fu­ture.

The Cen­tral Voice reached out to Husky En­ergy for com­ment but they did not re­spond by dead­line.

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