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    Denny Larson


    The ESG is very happy to announce that at very short notice Mr. Denny Larson has agreed to extend his travel plans and visit Gibraltar next week. With the generous support of the law firm Hassans and the Caleta Hotel, the ESG has been able to invite this internationally renowned campaigner to come and explain the Bucket Brigade idea to all who wish to fight the Bay’s pollution with real action. A future programme will receive both technical and practical assistance from the GONHS and their overseas colleagues.


    The Bucket Brigade was founded by Ed Masry and the now famous Erin Brockovich, ( the film in which Julia Roberts plays the single mother who takes on and wins the case against the industries polluting the local environment ). This bucket sampling method was devised as a cheap way of obtaining acceptable and approved measures of air quality for communities who are tired of hearing that there is ‘ no data to support the argument that toxic levels are being exceeded ‘ .


    After the Contra Costa County case in California, (the first famous victory against industries that denied any ill effects to the health of local residents), Mr Denny Larson worked closely with the lawyers to promote the use of this simple but effective sampling method in many other similarly affected communities, supporting grass root groups to launch ‘ bucket brigades ‘. The reliability of the method was also subjected to a year-long assessment by the US Environmental Protection Agency which funded a quality assurance evaluation of bucket air sampling before issuing its approval.


    The ESG considers this visit is vital to all those who seek a real option for self-help in fighting local pollution and can see a turning point in the long-standing battle against the suffering and degradation caused by the Cepsa Refinery and Petrochemical Plant.


    All those interested to hear how we can ‘collapse the house of cards’ that big industry and the authorities can create to maintain the profits at the expense of our health and happiness MUST come to the…..


    John Mackintosh Hall on Thursday 9th of October at 9.00 p.m.




    The BucketThe “bucket” is a low cost version ($75) of the $2000 Suma canister used by government and industry and is simple to use. Suspect air is drawn into a Tedlar bag inside the bucket. “Tedlar” bags are used for simple “grab” air sampling, as industry has done for years, only through a much cheaper and community friendly method using a simple 5 gallon bucket to create a vacuum pressure and hence draw air into the bag inside through a stainless steel valve.


    The bag is then sealed and sent to a laboratory for analysis. The lab analysis is the expensive part of the operation (about $500 per sample). The contents of the bag are run through a GCMS (Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer), which compares the “fingerprints” of the sample with the fingerprints of about 100 toxic gases in the computer library. The bag is non-reusable and costs about $15. In practice much of this cost has been borne by charitable and government grants. The sampling method carries a Quality Control/Quality Assurance Document by the EPA after a year-long process which established accuracy and reliability.


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    However, air pollution cannot be tackled simply by throwing a bucket at the problem. The Bucket Brigade is a method of community organising and empowerment through the use of hands on training and gathering of information that verifies the experience of polluted communities. The Bucket Brigadiers have found that evidence alone does not carry the day. Support and active voice and action of the most heavily impacted people is as important.


    Denny Larson tours extensively training communities and has assisted the start- up of programmes in various regions of the USA, South Africa, the United Kingdom and now we hope, here in Gibraltar.