Illegal, but they’ll do it anyway
According to the Vancouver Sun, Planktos is planning to continue its scheme to dump iron into the oceans off the Galapagos, even though the EPA has ruled it illegal. The EPA ruled in May that it needs a permit. Planktos CEO Russ George has a simple solution: hire a foreign vessel and fly a flag of convenience.
Ken Caldeira and Chris Field of the Carnegie Institute say that it is impossible to verify whether carbon is sequestrated, and that if it is, the added carbon will contribute to ocean acidification. Via ECT it turns out that as of June 19 Planktos still claims on its website to be using nano-particles of iron rather than regular iron dust. (It is pretty far down, so I suggest you use your browser’s page search function.) Planktos has said publicly that they are not using nano-particles. Maybe they are just leaving the term on their website because it sounds cool — which would not speak well for their integrity. Or maybe after taking major-league public hits they still have not gotten around to correcting their website — which would not speak well for their competence. Or maybe they actually are planning to dump nano-particles of iron into the ocean, which would not speak well for their sanity.
At any rate, Jim Thomas of ETC has suggested to me that when they select their flag of convenience, they consider flying the skull and crossbones.
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