Andrew Revkin at The New York Times writes:
|Twenty-five years after the federal government declared a long stretch of the Hudson River to be a contaminated Superfund site, the cleanup of its chief remaining source of pollution began here Friday with a single scoop of mud extracted by a computer-guided dredge. ...
An estimated 1.3 million pounds of PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, flowed into the upper Hudson from two General Electric factories for three decades before they were banned, in 1977, as a health threat to people and wildlife. In high doses, they have been shown to cause cancer in animals and are listed by federal agencies as a probable human carcinogen.
"Today, the healing of the Hudson begins," George Pavlou, the Environmental Protection Agency’s acting regional administrator, said under bright skies in a riverbank ceremony here as federal, state and local officials, G.E. representatives and environmental campaigners looked on. ...
The dredging operation is the first phase of an operation that, if it continues as projected through 2015, could largely eliminate the Hudson’s last significant toxic legacy from an era of unfettered industrial activity and dumping.
Revkin noted later in his Dot Earth blog:
|After making a 200-mile (Prius) "commute" at dawn on Friday to Fort Edward, N.Y., I joined a throng of 100 or so people who gathered to watch as a clamshell dredge scooped the first five cubic yards of PCB-tainted mud from the bed of the Hudson River. ... While there is no clear evidence that they cause cancer in humans, their various harmful effects in lab animals were enough to prompt the Environmental Protection Agency to designate some 200 miles of the Hudson as a Superfund toxic site 25 years ago. ...
General Electric in 2002 dropped its decades-long resistance to efforts by environmental agencies and campaigners to force the dredging of PCB hot spots from the Hudson River. On Friday, as the first clamshell load was pulled from the riverbed, I repeatedly heard environmentalists and officials say, "I never thought this day would come."
While G.E. has signed agreements to dredge, company officials said they still differ with federal officials on the usefulness of that remedy.
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The rescue begins below and continues in the jump.
Congressional hopeful JohnGaramendiCA declared that California is up for sale now that it has been Seduced by Big Oil: "Big Oil has essentially offered to California $100 million dollars to seduce the state into granting the first new oil drilling lease in California since the Santa Barbara oil spill 41 years ago, a spill that covered hundreds of miles of ocean and over 30 miles of sandy beaches with more than three million gallons of crude oil. Learning from history means not blindly repeating the mistakes of the past."
Cassiodorus reexamined the concept of Carrying Capacity: "Human beings are of course different from the rest of the animal kingdom, and the word "intelligent" does not really capture the ecological aspect of this difference. Human beings are versatile -- and thus capable of surviving in a wide variety of different niches. Human beings are also capable of technology, and can thus create their own niches -- this, of course, is how it is so that most of us live "indoors" in one sense or another. Yet we can nevertheless imagine a human version of ‘carrying capacity,’ given that nature can only take so much of a beating before it becomes wasteland, and thus unable to support people in the sense in which it once could support them. There are meaningful historical examples of societies which have ruined the land, and thus could no longer survive on their terms: I refer the reader to Jared Diamond's book Collapse for a short list of them. One can also, from 20th century American history, look at the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, the dissipation of farmland caused in part by inadequate crop rotation practices."
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The Overnight News Digest is posted and includes the story, Rumsfeld's renegade unit blamed for Afghan deaths.
A Siegel let us in on some education he got at Energy COOL: Some Clean Energy VIBE,: "Today, courtesy of the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, I encountered an Energy COOL way of looking at, researching, organizing, and learning from information on energy systems, developments. Currently in Beta Form, the Virtual Information Bridge to Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (or, VIBE) is a new portal that gets users to a wealth of energy efficiency and renewable energy (EERE) information, data, and analysis tools."
Bob Giloth offered a Perspective on the Green Jobs Promised by the Recovery Act: "What Biden is saying is that the pace of ARRA money hitting the streets will pick up speed in no time. We all hope so. The question, of course, is how do we spend the money quick and smart.
For example, state weatherization plans were due to the feds on May 12 about how states and their partners will spend the $5B-plus to make homes more energy efficient. ‘...[W]hy would we want to weaken the experience of the current weatherization program?’
Alternatively, ‘Some states don't have any idea how they are going to do this. It hasn't been well thought out.’"
In her weekly installment of the long-running series, sarahnity informed Frugal Fridays: Grow Your Own: "In spring, a frugal one's fancy turns to ... gardening! If you'd like to have an abundance of cheap healthy foods, now's the time to get your garden started. There is nothing quite as tasty as a homegrown tomato or berry. Fresh herbs add a zest to your cooking that can't be matched by those dried versions and the satisfaction of knowing that you grew the food yourself adds a special flavor to your meal (or so they tell me)."
AHaynes wondered about what is Behind climate inactivism - is Bechtel involved?: "Who, at this point, would still be funding & orchestrating efforts to obstruct action on climate? Clearly someone still is - see the NY Times (with exceptions) in the last several years (expressed in this comment), or try to wade through the "robotic cockroach" comments on a blog like Revkin's Dot Earth. But who? I don't have proof, but it seems to me that Bechtel has motive, inclination and opportunity, and there's circumstantial evidence that - again, to me - seems to be pointing their way."
Celebrate Migratory Birds! was vassmer’s advice: "[C]ompared to what migratory birds go through, human travel is easy. True, birds don't need passports or visas. There are no walls, airline screenings or guards for birds. The cliche, ‘they are as free as bird’ is apt here. However, sometimes their flight is disrupted by storms and are killed by the thousands. Other times migratory birds are thwarted by habitat loss decimating whole populations. Window collisions are deadly for the flapping travelers. The list of deadly obstacles includes global climate change, pollution, telephone and guy wires, hunting, and so on. With all the danger and long distances these birds travel, it amazes how most survive the trek."
wv voice of reason wasn’t very happy about the EPA clearing 42 of 48 mountain top removal permits for approval: "According to the Charleston Gazette's Coal Tattoo blog, the EPA has cleared all but 6 mountain top removal mining permits that it had been reviewing. ...The EPA has responded to Congressman Nick Rahall: ‘EPA decided not to provide additional comments on the remaining 42 permits after consideration of the nature and extent of project impacts. 28 of the projects have two or fewer valley fills. Eleven have no valley fills at all. None have more than six. EPA’s understanding is that none of the projects would permanently impact high value streams that flow year round. By contrast, EPA has opposed six permits because they all would result in significant adverse impacts to high value streams, involve large numbers of valley fills, and impact watersheds with extensive previous mining impacts.’"