By Ed Ruttledge, Tierra Del Mar
Facebook representative, Stephen Uy, admitted November 13th that a second cable has severed offshore from its drilling site in Tierra Del Mar. (See statement from Stephen Uy below, sent to Tierra Del Mar residents.) A Facebook crew had been doing an electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) survey as part of its post-accident analysis of an earlier cable break at its drilling site.
In an email message sent out on November 13 at 6:06 p.m. Mr. Uy acknowledged “…While conducting the work, the sensor cable severed and a segment of the cable fell to the ocean floor.” Facebook reports it was able to retrieve the severed cable in this latest incident. However, it abandoned another severed cable and drill head last April and that material remains under the ocean floor.
Facebook has delayed further work on the survey. Mr. Uy stated, “… the remaining offshore survey work will need to be delayed to allow sufficient time for the weather system passing through the area. The survey crew hopes to resume the work the week of November 16 …”
Facebook had obtained a permit from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) to occupy the public beach with its equipment and vehicles to conduct this survey. OPRD has the responsibility of oversight on the public beach. Facebook was granted five days to complete the survey. Owing to this latest cable failure, it is unclear if Facebook will request an extension to the permit.
From Stephen Uy, Facebook (Nov. 13, 2020) to Tierra Del Mar
Dear Community Member,
Our electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) survey work continued yesterday, November 12, 2020. In an effort to keep you fully apprised, we wanted to give you details about the progress and some of the challenges due to weather conditions.
Yesterday (November 12th) morning, as part of the offshore survey work, a survey boat left its port and began survey work offshore. The team dropped a 245-meter sensor cable from the boat to conduct the ERT survey of the ocean floor. While conducting the work, the sensor cable severed and a segment of the cable fell to the ocean floor at a depth of about four meters. The entire sensor cable was recovered using a grapple hook and was pulled back onto the boat deck within 35 minutes of it having parted from the boat. The sensor cable is a low-current, passive listening device. It does not contain any fluids or liquids. The sensor cable will be returned to the manufacturer for warranty repair. The offshore survey crew has a spare sensor cable to complete the ERT survey.
So, the remaining offshore survey work will need to be delayed to allow sufficient time for the weather system passing through the area. The survey crew hopes to resume the work the week of November 16, based on current weather predictions.
Edge notified state agencies and Tillamook County about this incident today (November 13th). Edge does not believe there has been any violation of any applicable permits associated with this event but wanted to inform you of this incident and the shift in the timeline. Edge has reminded its subcontractor to exercise appropriate care when unexpected weather conditions impact the survey operations.
There were also some poles and stakes stacked in the dunes below Lot 3200 overnight yesterday. The survey team removed them today. Edge has reminded its subcontractor not to leave any materials or survey equipment on Tax Lot 3200 (or anywhere on the public beach) and all survey materials and equipment will be removed after work is complete each day. We apologize that the survey crew didn’t adhere to our guidelines.