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  1. #21
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    Again, Rex, I agree with most of what you said but I do not believe states are better equipped on all pollution issues especially when the scale of the clean ups are so extensive.

    I believe we're deluding ourselves if we think by transferring cleans ups to the state level even when given the tools and funding by the federal gov't somehow politics will not be involved.

    OK, that's enough with the taboo politics talk here on WB. That's as far as I will go.

  2. #22

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    I wonder if the people around Charleston WV are satisfied in not knowing if the local water system has been fully flushed of the chemical spill into the Elk River back in january of 2014. That was the result of State laws not bothering to regulate storage tanks next to water source rivers. There is no perfect system in pollution prevention/control efforts, much as there will always be commercial enterprises that work against environmental interests, the balance is in the middle.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Clifton View Post
    I was not being sarcastic, I'm as serious as a heart attack. You can't administer these things through a bloated, politicized bureaucracy in Washington. The EPA should be abolished and the States administer these sites. Washington can set maximum pollution limits and the States can take it from there. For current sites, the Feds can provide funding.



    The EPA is a joke. Now they are in the process of eliminating coal as a fuel source, assuming natural gas, or maybe wind power or pixie dust, will pick up the 35% of our electric base load now generated by coal. This is going to be another boondoggle, since this it will either mean more fracking or the price of natgas will go through the roof. How would you like your electric bill to triple? If you think I’m wrong, roughly eight years ago, before the fracking boom, gas was selling at $13.00 per MCF, now it’s $3.00. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of coal, but you have to have a viable alternative before pulling the plug.



    Regarding comments made previously about mine operators, this travesty was created well before there were any environmental laws. Industrial waste was disposed of in the cheapest was possible, which usually meant dumping into the nearest water source. Today, any company operating a mine, or any other industrial facility for that matter, needs to post financial assurance that any potential spill can be remediated. The States do a pretty good job of this without any help from the EPA.
    Be careful that the big bad government doesn't come after you in case Fox News files DMCA complaints for use of their talking points without proper attribution. Nothing worse than a boring, hackneyed tirade...
    Last edited by Offshore; 08-09-2015 at 16:41.

  4. #24
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    For a very long period of time, mining interests were able to operate in a manner that did not account for the real externalities caused by their operations and the legacy of this is apparent in many places around the country. Mining activities that cause runoff into watersheds is one of the classic textbook cases of a marketplace externality that requires a certain amount of regulation to address. Whether the states or the federal government handle the issue is a good question and normally I would prefer to see matters like this addressed at the most local level possible for the sake of accountability. However in some cases it is not practical for states and localities to handle the task, especially if the issue has to do with federal land. I have little confidence in government entities in general and the federal government in particular but there is an important role to be played by government in handling this type of situation and, going forward, putting in place systems that discourage abusive extraction that can result in environmental damage to entire watersheds.

  5. #25
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    I think to be intellectually honest if you're going to be down on the mining companies (for good reason) you have to equally be down on the EPA for causing this accident. Had the EPA not been there, this wouldn't have happened. Had the mining company not left it there this wouldn't have happened. It should have been handled better by both entities. Politics aside, how about not letting either entity off on this one!

  6. #26

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    The EPA is going to end up paying big. The city of Durango has declared a disaster, and the Navajo nation has already said they are going to sue. I would be surprised if the mine owner pays a single penny.

  7. #27
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    image.jpg
    Orange juice? Politics aside, don't drink the water this year. Ron ��

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by bearcreek View Post
    The EPA is going to end up paying big. The city of Durango has declared a disaster, and the Navajo nation has already said they are going to sue. I would be surprised if the mine owner pays a single penny.
    I don't know that there will be big payouts. Anyone wanting to sue is going to need to come up with their actual damages. Right now, it looks like a lot of alternative drinking water supply efforts until the leak is stopped and the material moves downstream. States can sue for natural resource damages, but the question is how to measure damages (and the ubiquitous question of politics).

    This is going to be interesting and will involve a lot of lawyers. The work being done on the site may not have been done by EPA personnel. With the exception of emergency removal operations, very little of EPA's remediation field work is done by EPA employees. EPA has an oversight and management roll but the field work is usually done by private sector commercial contractors, who are well-insured. The original responsible parties are probably long gone - at least that's what the site being in the CERCLA (Superfund) program would imply. Site works starts while efforts to locate PRPs (potentially responsible parties) are made. If they can be found, then negotiations start, if not, then the costs are borne by the CERCLA trust fund ("Superfund").
    Last edited by Offshore; 08-10-2015 at 07:39.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpolk84 View Post
    I think to be intellectually honest if you're going to be down on the mining companies (for good reason) you have to equally be down on the EPA for causing this accident. Had the EPA not been there, this wouldn't have happened. Had the mining company not left it there this wouldn't have happened. It should have been handled better by both entities. Politics aside, how about not letting either entity off on this one!
    Some good points, but the only reason that EPA would have been involved was that this site presented a hazard according to the standard evaluation system used to rank relative risks of sites. Its not like once the mining company walked away, this was an innocuous site that would have presented no hazard if left on its own. This was an accident and EPA already apologized, took full responsibility, and is starting the cleanup. That's a lot more than the mine operator did - so I really think lumping EPA in with the mine operator as far as liability is a false equivalency.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by bearcreek View Post
    The EPA is going to end up paying big. The city of Durango has declared a disaster, and the Navajo nation has already said they are going to sue. I would be surprised if the mine owner pays a single penny.
    Will an enterprising newspaper reporter use this as an opportunity? This screams for the headline "Navajo to Sioux"

  11. #31

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    As of the community meeting in Durango last night, the EPA now has revised their figure of the amount spilled to 3 million gallons.

    As far as damages go, there are some things that are fairly easy to calculate. A rafting company that has been typically serving 200 people daily can simply multiply that times the number of days down. Ditto for fishing guides. Hotels are keeping records of cancellations. What is impossible to quantify is the long term effect this will have on fish, insects, and other wildlife. It appears that the fish in the vicinity of Durango may survive, but I am sure they will not be suitable as food for many years, if ever. Unknown to most people is the fact that fish didn't exist in most of the river between Silverton and Durango prior to the spill due to ongoing unmitigated releases of mine water.

    Efforts to clean things up have been discussed for years, but the residents of Silverton have fought long and hard against the EPA to avoid a Superfund designation which they consider bad for tourism. Going a step further, many of the residents are still hoping for another mining boom which would reopen the mines in question. Hopefully they will now realize that disasters such as this one are also very bad for tourism and begin to support the Superfund designation and resources. I think downstream interests are going to begin applying a lot of pressure as a result of this disaster. There are hundreds of mines honeycombed up there with tunnels and faults everywhere. Plugging one just forces the water to a different portal. A huge unified project is needed to close them all. As far as local governments mitigating this - that is just not going to happen. This spill is already affecting three states so it is a national issue. San Juan County, where this spill occured has a population of about 720 people. They certainly don't have the resources to fix this mess.

    One of the clearest explanations of all this that I have seen was just published in High Country News. Here is a link to that article:

    https://www.hcn.org/articles/when-ou...as-river-spill
    Last edited by bearcreek; 08-10-2015 at 11:52.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Clifton View Post
    I was not being sarcastic, I'm as serious as a heart attack. You can't administer these things through a bloated, politicized bureaucracy in Washington. The EPA should be abolished and the States administer these sites. Washington can set maximum pollution limits and the States can take it from there. For current sites, the Feds can provide funding.



    The EPA is a joke. Now they are in the process of eliminating coal as a fuel source, assuming natural gas, or maybe wind power or pixie dust, will pick up the 35% of our electric base load now generated by coal. This is going to be another boondoggle, since this it will either mean more fracking or the price of natgas will go through the roof. How would you like your electric bill to triple? If you think I’m wrong, roughly eight years ago, before the fracking boom, gas was selling at $13.00 per MCF, now it’s $3.00. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of coal, but you have to have a viable alternative before pulling the plug.



    Regarding comments made previously about mine operators, this travesty was created well before there were any environmental laws. Industrial waste was disposed of in the cheapest was possible, which usually meant dumping into the nearest water source. Today, any company operating a mine, or any other industrial facility for that matter, needs to post financial assurance that any potential spill can be remediated. The States do a pretty good job of this without any help from the EPA.
    You must love Donald Trump!!!


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  13. #33

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    I guess all them contaminants are not really that much of a contaminant. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1vwhC2IjGQ

  14. #34

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    Uh... You sure about that? Just because it didn't kill the fish doesn't mean they are safe to eat. I expect that our river will be delegated to catch and release status for quite some time. That may be no big deal to you, but it is to a lot of us who like to fish for food.

  15. #35
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    I'm amazed by some of the cavalier attitudes and the level of intelligence involved when folks assume because they don't see pollution and it's consequences it isn't there or there is no impact having a it all just moved down river mindset.

    Dad was a petroleum engineer knowing many in the industry even those assigned to oil clean up disasters in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. I know recreational and commercial fisherman and wildlife authorities who fish/fished, shrimped, clammed, etc and worked in the areas of both the Prince William Sound area, the site of the Valdez oil spill 25 yrs ago, and more recent disasters in the Gulf of Mexico. These areas still have not fully recovered ecologically and economically. To this day oil slicks and sludge is being found along the shoreline of PWS and GoM even though visibly on the surface without investigation things SEEM OK.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedaling Fool View Post
    I guess all them contaminants are not really that much of a contaminant. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1vwhC2IjGQ
    Dang it, I made the mistake of reading the comments section on that youtube video.

    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by bearcreek View Post
    Uh... You sure about that? Just because it didn't kill the fish doesn't mean they are safe to eat. I expect that our river will be delegated to catch and release status for quite some time. That may be no big deal to you, but it is to a lot of us who like to fish for food.
    Exactly - one of the greatest potential hazards is the bioaccumulation of heavy metals from the water and sediment into the food chain, including species of fish used as food sources. Not as dramatic as a fish kill or mustard colored water, but probably poses a greater risk for humans (except for the idiots shown kayaking in the plume in the photo in the NY Times the other day...)

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by bearcreek View Post
    Uh... You sure about that? Just because it didn't kill the fish doesn't mean they are safe to eat. I expect that our river will be delegated to catch and release status for quite some time. That may be no big deal to you, but it is to a lot of us who like to fish for food.
    sarcasm.

    I'm open on this issue of the level of impact, my sarcasm stems from the quickness that many officials have claimed that the water purity level has returned to pre-incident levels. This is far from over.

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    I'm amazed by some of the cavalier attitudes and the level of intelligence involved when folks assume because they don't see pollution and it's consequences it isn't there or there is no impact having a it all just moved down river mindset.

    Dad was a petroleum engineer knowing many in the industry even those assigned to oil clean up disasters in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. I know recreational and commercial fisherman and wildlife authorities who fish/fished, shrimped, clammed, etc and worked in the areas of both the Prince William Sound area, the site of the Valdez oil spill 25 yrs ago, and more recent disasters in the Gulf of Mexico. These areas still have not fully recovered ecologically and economically. To this day oil slicks and sludge is being found along the shoreline of PWS and GoM even though visibly on the surface without investigation things SEEM OK.
    Thank the war on science that's transpired for the last couple of decades for the widespread scientific illiteracy.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by saltysack View Post
    You must love Donald Trump!!!
    Have you noticed The Don has difficulty holding a thought staying focused when attempting to speak extemporaneously at times? He's all over the place speaking in fragments cutting himself off. I was listening to him attempt to address a question on illegal immigration when in four fragments later he was talking about a beautiful building he rehabbed me not following him at all how he got from the immigration issue to him describing the marble and granite flooring. Maybe, I missed something. Maybe, he hired immigrants to do the rehabbing but forgot to inform us all of the connection he was making in his mind?

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