Home > News, Photography > Students seek to alleviate oil pollution in Ecuador

Students seek to alleviate oil pollution in Ecuador

Nov. 18, 2009-Worcester Polytechnic Institute juniors Chad Caisse, Ben Johnson, Seanna Reilly, Dora Fiske, Chris Baker, and Carlos Donado, (from left) prepare their final presentation, to be delivered Dec. 17th on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. The students comprise the Worcester Polytechnic Institute's oil remediation and oil prevention (best practices) teams, which are working closely with Rep. McGovern to clean up oil contamination in Ecuador. 30,000 indigenous people have sued Chevron, the owner of Texaco, for pollutants seeping into soil and groundwater from Ecuadorian oil pits Texaco built in 1964. The court case has been ongoing for 13 years. The WPI students hope juniors next year will continue their project.

Juniors at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts combine brainpower to clean up oil pollution in Ecuador. In 1965, Texaco, now Chevron, tapped oil reserves in Ecuador. The company built oil pits, long since abandoned, which have been leaking pollutants into the groundwater for the past half century or so. 30,000 indigenous Ecuadorians have sued Chevron over the pollution but the case has continued unresolved for 13 years. Jessica Leving wrote the story and I shot the photos, in today’s Worcester Telegram and Gazette.

Nov. 18, 2009-Chad Caisse, junior at Worcester Polytechnic Institute majoring in mechanical engineering demonstrates the flow of pollutants into groundwater from old Texaco oils pits in Ecuador, to his colleagues Chris Baker (left) WPI junior majoring in civil engineering and Ben Johnson (right), a junior majoring in mechanical engineering. The three comprise the Worcester Polytechnic Institute's oil remediation team, which is working to clean up oil contamination in Ecuador. 30,000 indigenous people have sued Chevron, the owner of Texaco, for oil pollution in Ecaudor. The case has been ongoing for 13 years.

Nov. 18, 2009-Worcester Polytechnic Institute juniors Chad Caisse, Seanna Reilly, Ben Johnson, Dora Fiske, Chris Baker, and Carlos Donado, (from left) prepare their final presentation, to be delivered Dec. 17th on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. The students comprise the Worcester Polytechnic Institute's oil remediation and oil prevention (best practices) teams, which are working closely with Rep. McGovern to clean up oil contamination in Ecuador. 30,000 indigenous people have sued Chevron, the owner of Texaco, for pollutants seeping into soil and groundwater from Ecuadorian oil pits Texaco built in 1964. The court case has been ongoing for 13 years. The WPI students hope juniors next year will continue their project.

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