Letter: Even ‘small’ oil spill is having an impact on people’s health

Did you hear about the oil spill the other night? You probably heard that not much oil leaked from a hose, end of story. (ADN: “Oil, fluids spill when hose fails near Alaska well,” April 9). What you didn’t hear is that even 6,600 gallon of spilled oil is having impacts on people’s health in Nuiqsut. At 18 miles away, my community is constantly impacted by Respol’s mistakes, big and “small.”

Right now you can feel the difference in the air from the oil’s fumes that kids and elders are sick with breathing problems and irritated throats.   

The oil and gas development surrounds Nuiqsut, with the nearest rig just four miles away. While we are dealing with this emergency, our legislators are over 1,000 miles away making decisions about our future. In the next few days we expect a vote on HB 129, which would change the way the Department of Natural Resource permits oil and gas leases for millions of acres at a time.  Senators should vote no.

— Martha A. Itta