Oil Spill on the way to Our Beach!!

Discussion of Gulf Oil Spill regarding Navarre Beach, Florida; the good, bad and ugly reports; however most of the reports of oil on Navarre Beach are good!
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Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:05 am

It looks like we "might" be the recepient of some of the Oil Spill tragedy that occured off the coast of Louisiana. I'm praying not but it looks close.
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April 23 (Bloomberg) -- An oil spill near the site where Transocean Ltd.’s Deepwater Horizon rig caught fire April 20 and sank yesterday has spread over an area of 100 square miles in the Gulf of Mexico and is drifting northeast toward shore.

The spill measures 10 miles (16 kilometers) by 10 miles, about four times the area of Manhattan, and is comprised of a “light sheen with a few patches of thicker crude,” U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander Cheri Ben-Iesau said today
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Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:47 am

The last word that I heard is that the slick has been reduced to 1 mile by 5 miles. The well head is not leaking. The ships are out with the boom (oil collection device). They are gathering the oil and pumping it to waiting storage. Once they get the large amounts collected, they will deploy "bugs" to eat the remaining oils.
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Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:22 am

The latest word as of Monday April 26th.... It is time to pay attention.
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By CAIN BURDEAU, Associated Press Writer Cain Burdeau, Associated Press Writer – Sun Apr 25, 9:43 pm ET

NEW ORLEANS – It could take hours or it could take months to stop a 42,000-gallon-a-day oil leak polluting the Gulf of Mexico at the site of a wrecked drilling platform. Whether the environmental threat grows many times bigger depends on whether the oil company can turn the well completely off.

Crews are using robot submarines to activate valves at the well head in hopes of cutting off the leak, which threatens the Gulf Coast's fragile ecosystem of shrimp, fish, birds and coral. If the effort fails, they'll have to start drilling again.

The submarine work will take 24 to 36 hours, Doug Suttles, chief operating officer for BP Exploration and Production, said Sunday afternoon.

"I should emphasize this is a highly complex operation being performed at 5,000 feet below the surface and it may not be successful," he said.

Oil continued to leak nearly a mile underwater Sunday at the site where the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on Tuesday. Eleven workers are missing and presumed dead.

For the second consecutive day, high waves prevented boats and equipment from going out to clean the spill. Airplanes sprayed chemicals to break up the oil.

The spill initially appeared to be easily manageable after the oil rig sank Thursday about 50 miles off the Louisiana coast, but it has turned into a more serious environmental problem. Officials on Saturday discovered the leak, which is spewing as much as 1,000 barrels — or 42,000 gallons — of oil each day.
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Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:39 am

This map is from NOAA as of today...and shows the current location of the Oil adrift in the gulf.
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Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:03 am

I think we all better start praying ...... wind is from the north today and that is good.

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Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:10 pm

Officials say there will be no shoreline impact from an oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico for at least three days.

Crews were ramping up today to protect the coastline after an oil rig exploded off the Louisiana coast nearly a week ago. A remote sub is trying to shut off an underwater oil well that's gushing 42,000 gallons (158,98 liters) a day from the site of the wrecked drilling platform.

Crews are also preparing to drill another well to redirect the oil, which could take weeks.

The oil is escaping from two leaks in a drilling pipe about 5,000 feet (1,520 meters) below the surface. The leaks threaten hundreds of miles of coastline in four states.

Whales have been spotted near the spill but officials say they didn't appear to be in stress.
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Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:26 pm

Dead birds found along Walton and Okaloosa County beaches

Recent events wreaks havoc for migratory birds
Whether recent bird deaths directly related to oil rig disaster is not yet determined

There have been several reports of numerous dead birds found along the beaches of the Florida Panhandle.

Don Ware, bird count coordinator of the Choctawhatchee Audubon Society and Stephanie Torr of Old Florida Village took a walk along South Walton’s Seacrest Beach on April 24 to assess the incident of dead birds washing up on shore.

Don and Stephanie spotted several migratory species in South Walton, and Don continued to west to Santa Rosa Sound in Okaloosa County and observed several more dead birds along the shoreline.

Many different species were found dead including scarlet tanagers, Audubon’s shearwaters, rose-breasted grosbeaks, least storm petrels, indigo buntings, eastern kingbirds and American redstarts to name a few.

Don’s consensus was that the birds became weary traveling from as far south as the Yucatan Peninsula during peak migratory season. Getting caught in the bad storm front that came through on April 22 and 23 made it even more difficult for the migrants success.

“Getting caught in the storm just made it worse,” Don said as he spoke on how the birds travel so far without a resting spot or food source.

Denise Rowell, public affairs officer with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Panama City, Fla. agreed with Don’s consensus. She said this is not all that uncommon during migratory season.

“We do not believe this is a contaminant issue,” Denise said.

Dr. John G. Himes, Northwest Regional Biologist for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is not sure of the cause of so many deaths, and has sent a bird that Don Ware collected to their Gainsville, Fla. lab for a necropsy.

Dr. Himes would like the public to help FWC determine the source of these unnatural events. If you find a dead bird on the beach, you can help the FWC by filling out a report form on their bird mortality database at: http://MyFWC.com/bird.

If you find a bird that has been deceased for less than 24 hours, you can send it to FWC Gainesville by contacting:

Daniel Wolf
Avian Influenza Coordinator
FWC-Gainesville
1105 SW Williston Road
Gainesville, FL. 32601
352-955-2081 x118

Source:
http://www.waltonoutdoors.com/dead-bird ... y-beaches/
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Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:46 pm

Apr 26, 8:33 PM EDT

Oil leak from sunken rig off La. could foul coast

By CAIN BURDEAU
Associated Press Writer


NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Crews raced to protect the Gulf of Mexico coastline Monday as a remote sub tried to shut off an underwater oil well that's gushing 42,000 gallons a day from the site of a wrecked drilling platform.

If crews cannot stop the leak quickly, they might need to drill another well to redirect the oil, a laborious process that could take about two months while oil washes up along a broad stretch of shore, from the white-sand beaches of Florida's Panhandle to the swamps of Louisiana.

The oil, which could reach shore in as little as three days, is escaping from two leaks in a drilling pipe about 5,000 feet below the surface. The spill has grown to more than 1,800 square miles, or an area larger than Rhode Island.

Winds and currents can change rapidly and drastically, so officials were hesitant to give any longer forecasts for where the spill will head. Hundreds of miles of coastline in four states are threatened, with waters that are home to dolphins and sea birds. The areas also hold prime fishing grounds and are popular with tourists.

The oil began spewing out of the sea floor after the rig Deepwater Horizon exploded April 20 and sank two days later about 40 miles off the Mississippi River delta. Eleven of the 126 workers aboard at the time are missing and presumed dead; the rest escaped. The cause of the explosion has not been determined.

As of Monday afternoon, an area 48 miles long and 39 miles wide was covered by oil that leaked from the site of the rig, which was owned by Transocean Ltd. and operated by BP PLC.

Crews used robot submarines to activate valves in hopes of stopping the leaks, but they may not know until Tuesday if that strategy will work. BP also mobilized two rigs to drill a relief well if needed. Such a well could help redirect the oil, though it could also take weeks to complete, especially at that depth.

BP plans to collect leaking oil on the ocean bottom by lowering a large dome to capture the oil and then pumping it through pipes and hoses into a vessel on the surface, said Doug Suttles, chief operating officer of BP Exploration and Production.

It could take up to a month to get the equipment in place.

"That system has been deployed in shallower water, but it has never been deployed at 5,000 feet of water, so we have to be careful," he said.

The spill, moving slowly north and spreading east and west, was about 30 miles from the Chandeleur Islands off the Louisiana coast Monday. The Coast Guard said kinks in the pipe were helping stem the flow of oil.

From the air Monday afternoon, the oil spill reached as far as the eye could see. There was little evidence of a major cleanup, with only a handful of vessels near the site of the leak.

The oil sheen was of a shiny light blue color, translucent and blending with the water, but a distinct edge between the oil slick and the sea could be seen stretching for miles.

George Crozier, oceanographer and executive director at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama, said he was studying wind and ocean currents driving the oil.

He said Pensacola, Fla., is probably the eastern edge of the threatened area, though no one really knows what the effects will be.

"We've never seen anything like this magnitude," he said. "The problems are going to be on the beaches themselves. That's where it will be really visible."

Aaron Viles, director for the New Orleans-based environmental group Gulf Restoration Network, said he flew over the spill Sunday and saw what was likely a sperm whale swimming near the oil sheen.

"There are going to be significant marine impacts," he said.

Concern Monday focused on the Chandeleur and Breton barrier islands in Louisiana, where thousands of birds are nesting.

"It's already a fragile system. It would be devastating to see anything happen to that system," said Mark Kulp, a University of New Orleans geologist.

Oil makes it difficult for birds to fly or float on the water's surface. Plant life can also suffer serious harm.

Whales have been spotted near the oil spill, though they did not seem to be in any distress. The spill also threatened oyster beds in Breton Sound on the eastern side of the Mississippi River. Harvesters could only watch and wait.

"That's our main oyster-producing area," said John Tesvich, a fourth-generation oyster farmer with Port Sulphur Fisheries Co. His company has about 4,000 acres of oyster grounds that could be affected if the spill worsens.

"Trying to move crops would be totally speculative," Tesvich said. "You wouldn't know where to move a crop. You might be moving a crop to a place that's even worse."

If the oyster grounds are affected, thousands of fishermen, packers, processors might have to curtail operations.

Worse, he said, it's spawning season, and contamination could affect young oysters. But even if the spill is mostly contained, he said oil residue could get sucked in by the oysters.

"You will have off-flavors that would be a concern," Tesvich said.

If the oil continues oozing north, the white-sand beaches in Mississippi, Alabama and west Florida could be fouled, too.

In Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal asked the Coast Guard to use containment booms, which float like a string of fat sausage links to hold back oil until it can be skimmed off the surface. Crews were trying to keep oil out of the Pass A Loutre wildlife area, a 115,000-acre preserve that is home to alligators, birds and fish near the mouth of the Mississippi River.

In Mississippi, Gov. Haley Barbour said he has spoken with the Coast Guard mission commander, Rear Adm. Mary Landry, but was uncertain what to do to protect the state's beaches.

"It's a real difficulty in trying to determine what defenses will be effective," he said.

A fleet of boats and containment equipment was working to skim oil from the surface of the Gulf late last week. But crews had to suspend their efforts because of a weather system that spawned deadly tornadoes in Louisiana and Mississippi and stirred up heavy seas over the weekend.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Connie Terrell said 32 vessels are waiting for conditions to improve to resume the cleanup. She could not say when they will be back at work, but she said 23,000 feet of containment boom had been deployed, 70,000 more were ready to go when the effort resumes, and another 50,000 feet were on order.

ImageIn this aerial photo taken over the Gulf of Mexico, a boat and crew work in oil which leaked from a pipeline at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig off the coast of Louisiana, Monday, April 26, 2010. Officials say there will be no shoreline impact from an oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico for at least another three days. Crews were ramping up Monday to protect the coastline after the oil rig exploded off the Louisiana coast nearly a week ago. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
---
Associated Press writers Kevin McGill in New Orleans, Emily Wagster Pettus in Yazoo City, Miss., and Melinda Deslatte in Baton Rouge contributed to this story.

Your Help at Navarre Beach is needed!

If you see any dead birds, dead marine life or signs of oil pollution at Navarre Beach, please let me know immediately by posting a message on this Forum or by sending an e-mail to me at Kenny@NavarreBeachLife.com. I have the personal cell phone number of Dr. John Himes, the Chief Biologist of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Any information that I receive about coastal oil pollution, I will promptly report this to Dr. Himes. Keep your eyes open and let's pray that the oil platform leak in the Gulf is blocked today.
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Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:39 am

Here is the latest NOAA trajectory for the oil slick as of April 27th.
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Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:12 am

Looks like the North winds have been helpful and given at least another 24 hours to help in the clean up. Lets pray that the robots are successful in shutting down the leak.

There was a smell of burnt oil in the air on the beach the other night. With the south winds at that time it probably came from the explosion and burn of the platform.
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Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:40 pm

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Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:14 pm

Apr 27, 2:06 PM EDT

More drilling planned at site of oil leak in Gulf

By ALAN SAYRE
Associated Press Writer


NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Crews will begin drilling by Thursday as part of a $100 million effort to take the pressure off of a blown-out well that is spewing 42,000 gallons of crude oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast, BP said Tuesday.

BP was leasing the Deepwater Horizon, the offshore oil rig that exploded last week, triggering the spill. Company spokesman Robert Wine said it will take up to three months to drill a relief well from another rig recently brought to the site where the Deepwater Horizon sank after the blast. Most of the 126 workers on board escaped; 11 are missing and presumed dead. No cause has been determined.

The oil is coming from a pipe rising from the seabed nearly a mile underwater. So far crews using robotic subs have been unable to activate a shutoff device at the head of the well. A kink in the pipe is keeping oil from flowing even more heavily.

If the well cannot be closed, almost 100,000 barrels of oil could spill into the Gulf before the relief well is operating. That's 4.2 million gallons. The worst oil spill in U.S. history was when the Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons in Alaska's Prince William Sound in 1989.

BP said it will drill the relief well even if it is able to shut off the flow of oil.

Improving weather jump-started efforts Tuesday to contain the spill, which threatens to coat marine mammals and birds with oily slime and taint hundreds of miles of white-sand beaches and rich seafood grounds.

Louisiana-based BP spokesman Neil Chapman said 49 vessels - oil skimmers, tugboats, barges and special recovery boats that separate oil from water - are working to round up oil as the spill area continues to expand.

As of Tuesday morning, oil that leaked from the rig site was spread over an area about 48 miles long and 80 miles wide at its widest. The borders of the spill were uneven, making it difficult to calculate how many square miles are covered.

Though oil was not expected to reach the coast until late in the week, if at all, concern was growing about what will happen if it does.

In Gulfport, Miss., where white sand beaches are a tourist playground and dolphins, whales and even manatees are frequent visitors to Mississippi Sound, residents braced for the worst.

Louis Skremette, 54, operates the Ship Island Excursions company his grandfather started in 1926. He takes tourists to the barrier islands about 10 miles south of Gulfport in the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Its powder-white beaches and clear green water create an idyllic setting for sunning and observing marine birds and sea life.

He sees the advancing spill as a threat to everything important in his life.

"This is the worst possible thing that could happen to the Mississippi Gulf Coast," he said. "It will wipe out the oyster industry. Shrimping wouldn't recover for years. It would kill family tourism, that's our livelihood."
---
Associated Press writers Kevin McGill in New Orleans and Holbrook Mohr in Gulfport, Miss., contributed to this report.

Oil Spill Grows in Gulf of Mexico
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Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:32 pm

Gov. Charlie Crist surveys Gulf oil slick

Pensacola News Journal
TRAVIS GRIGGS • TGRIGGS@PNJ.COM • APRIL 27, 2010


Gov. Charlie Crist got a firsthand view of the large oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico.

Crist left Mobile Regional Airport shortly after 3 p.m. today for a 90-minute trip to the scene of last week's oil rig explosion that resulted in thousands of gallons of oil covering hundreds of square miles in the Gulf off the coast of Louisiana.

Crist flew from Tallahassee to Mobile in anticipation of the oil slick possibly making its way to Florida's coast.

He boarded a Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft that is used for marine patrol.

In other news, the Escambia County Commissioners will have an emergency special meeting at 3 p.m. Wednesday in the board chambers on the first floor of the county governmental complex, 221 Palafox Place, Pensacola.

The meeting will be to discuss the Deep Horizon oil plume and possible emergency response for Escambia County.

The meeting will be televised on digital Channel 98 and available over the web. To view the meeting over the web, please follow the attached link.
http://www.myescambia.com/CountyCommiss ... tings.html

According to officials with the Coast Guard, the oil spill is not expected to impact Santa Rosa County in the next 72 hours, if at all, county spokeswoman Joy Tsubooka said in a news release.

Santa Rosa County Division of Emergency Management continues to monitor the situation and will continue to gain the latest information through participation in conference calls with the U.S. Coast Guard and Florida Department of Emergency Management.

"County staff are ready to support any needed response including supplying local resources if called upon by the lead responding agency, the U.S. Coast Guard," the release said.

A unified, coordinated response continues among federal, state, local and private sector partners to stop the flow of oil and minimize its environmental impact. The Department of Homeland Security states1,000 total personnel are currently deployed and have used nearly 15,000 gallons of oil dispersant so far.

Nearly 50,000 gallons of oily water have been collected. Eleven offshore response vessels, eight skimming boats and multiple aircraft are conducting containment and cleanup operations in the area. BP, the responsible party, is required to fund the cost of the response and cleanup operations. The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, established after the Exxon Valdez incident, is also available to fund cleanups, if needed.

A Web site has been established by the unified command where photos, press releases and fact sheets are available at www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com. A toll free number has been established to report oiled or injured wildlife. To report affected wildlife, call (866) 557-1401. Individuals are urged not to attempt to help injured or oiled animals, but to report any sightings to the toll free number.

At the same time, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., wrote Monday to the leaders of two committees asking for a joint hearing about the safety of oil drilling. The April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig was a sobering reminder about the dangers that raised concerns about the environmental risks to fisheries and tourism, Nelson wrote.

“This may be the worst disaster in recent years, but it’s certainly not an isolated incident,” Nelson wrote. “Before the explosion Tuesday, the Minerals Management Service reported 509 fires resulting in at least two fatalities and 12 serious injuries on rigs in the Gulf of Mexico since 2006.”

The explosion and resulting oil spill also dampened enthusiasm for President Barack Obama’s proposal to allow drilling in long-banned areas of the Outer Continental Shelf in the Atlantic Ocean from Delaware to Florida, and in a portion of the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

Nelson wrote his letter with New Jersey Democratic Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez to the leaders of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Lautenberg and Menendez have each voiced concerns about Obama’s drilling proposal.

Also, Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., chairman of the energy committee, said today that staffers are discussing possible hearings about Louisiana without any decisions yet.

"We have talked about it," Bingaman said. "We haven't set any particular details."
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Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:25 am

NAS Pensacola assisting with clean-up
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Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:39 am

Fears grow over oil spill off Gulf coast

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AFP) – US officials may attempt a controlled burn of a spreading oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday to protect coastlines, as the coast guard warned the deadly disaster could become one of the worst spills in US history.

Southern states along the Gulf Coast were bracing for the possibility that beaches and fisheries, crucial to the region's economy, could be gunked up as early as this weekend by oily ooze from a huge slick with a 600-mile (965-kilometer) circumference that has moved within 21 miles of the ecologically fragile Louisiana coast.

Efforts by BP, which leases the Deepwater Horizon platform that sank into the ocean last week, failed Tuesday to cap two leaks in a riser pipe that had connected the rig to the wellhead, despite the operation of four robotic submarines some 1,500 meters (5,000 feet) down on the seabed.

As a back-up, engineers are frantically constructing a giant dome -- the first of its kind -- that could be placed over the leaks to try and stop the oil from spreading as some 1,000 barrels of oil per day pours from the ruptured pipe.

Officials said they were considering a controlled burn of oil captured in inflatable containment booms to protect shorelines -- although such a burn-off and the accompanying air pollution would present its own environmental problems.

"I am going to say right up front: the BP efforts to secure the blowout preventer have not yet been successful," Rear Admiral Mary Landry told a press conference Tuesday, referring to a 450-tonne machine that could seal the well.

Asked to compare the accident to the notorious 1989 Exxon Valdez oil tanker disaster, Landry declined but said: "If we don't secure the well, yes, this will be one of the most significant oil spills in US history."

The US government promised a "comprehensive and thorough investigation" into the explosion that sank the platform and pledged "every resource" to help stave off an environmental disaster.

The rig, which BP leases from Houston-based contractor Transocean, went down last Thursday 130 miles southeast of New Orleans, still burning off crude two days after a blast that killed 11 workers.

The widow of one of the dead has filed a lawsuit accusing the companies that operated the rig -- BP, Transocean and US oil services behemoth Halliburton -- of negligence.

The slick could now reach Louisiana's wetlands -- which are a paradise for rare waterfowl and other wildlife -- within days if the winds change.

"It is the closest it's been to shore through this response," said Landry.

BP has sent a flotilla of 49 skimmers, tugs, barges, and recovery boats to mop up the spill, but their efforts were hampered at the weekend by strong winds and high seas.

Northwest winds blowing the oil away from Louisiana were predicted to keep the slick from reaching shore through Thursday at least.

A rig is on stand-by to start drilling two relief wells that could divert the oil flow to new pipes and storage vessels.

But BP officials say the relief wells will take up to three months to drill, and with oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico at the rate of 42,000 gallons a day, the dome is seen as a better interim bet.

US Coast Guard spokesman Prentice Danner told AFP the dome will take two to four weeks to build.

"This is the first time this has ever been done. This idea didn't exist until now. It has never been fabricated before," he said.

The exact dimensions and design of the dome were still being worked out, but officials said it would be similar to welded steel containment structures called cofferdams that are already used in oil rig construction.

"If you could picture a half dome on top of the leak and the oil collects inside of this dome and is pumped out from there, that is the idea behind it," explained Danner.

BP chief executive Tony Hayward expressed confidence an environmental disaster would be averted as he acknowledged that strong first-quarter results Tuesday had been overshadowed by the "tragic accident."

Landry noted that the deadly rig accident has not disrupted offshore gulf oil production -- which accounts for one third of the US energy supply.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, meanwhile, ordered all flags over state buildings to fly at half-staff as a token of respect for the 11 workers who are missing and presumed dead.

If you pray privately or participate in a prayer chain now would be a good time to pray and continue to pray for protection from the Gulf oil spill that could be catastrophic for Navarre Beach and the entire Gulf Coast.
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