Betty Is Right, You Really Can’t Make This Shit Up

By now you have all heard that one of our Friends of Coal had a coal chemical containment facility breached in southwestern WV and seeped 48,000 gallons of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol into the water system serving 300,000 people. I found this detail too special to pass up:

The tank is located on chemical storage facility belonging to Freedom Industries and is located about a mile upriver from the West Virginia American Water plant, McIntyre said.

Carper said the company’s chemical tank farm was part of a former Pennzoil refinery and had been there since the 1930s or 1940s.

Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to drink. Oh, and you think the idiots who live in Wheeling might want to rethink this gem of a decision from April, or I guess I, too, will get a complimentary industry supplement of benzene in my tap water:

Opponents of a proposed natural gas frack water recycling plant in Warwood inundated City Council Chambers Tuesday in hopes of keeping the facility out of their neighborhood.

Last month, Houston, Texas-based GreenHunter Water announced plans to build a treatment facility for fracking wastewater at the former site of Seidler’s Oil Service on North 28th Street, located just over a mile upstream of Wheeling’s water treatment plant, where the company plans to be working by September.

Dave Cupp, who owns a business on North 28th Street, said he is in favor of job growth, but not at what he sees as the expense of the public’s well-being.

Seriously. How many environmental impact studies do you need to do to realize that putting chemical waste plants UPRIVER FROM YOUR WATER PLANTS IS STUPID.

I’ll tell you how many studies you need. NONE. It’s fucking blindingly obvious that this is eventually going to happen, because accidents fucking happen. That is why they call them accidents.

It’s fucking maddening watching this play out in slow motion and knowing I can’t do a god damned thing about it but sit back and buy lube and stock in bottled water companies. The only upside for me is that it looks like the HOOCOODANODE category on this website will have lots of use.

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98 replies
  1. 1
    jl says:

    Is the blog having a ‘Can’t make this shit up’ contest today?’

    OK, then.

    I see on the internet that word is out, Mornin’ Joe being an example, that Christie’s Bridgeocalypse Gate is a problem for Obama, because Christie handled it better than the innumerable Mega-Crises Obama has blundered into (Edit: or over wicked schemes it has been caught vilely trying to get away with…)

    Might be something in all of our waters that has driven us crazy.

  2. 2
    Anoniminous says:

    Think of it as an opportunity to establish a start-up home water delivery business.

    Free Markets! Bootstraps! Job Creator! (etc.)

  3. 3
    Violet says:

    The President of Freedom Industries, Gary Southern, just did a press conference. I posted this in the thread below (didn’t know who he was initially):

    The Freedom Industries spokesperson is speaking–not sure if it’s the CEO or what–and he’s got some sort of a British accent. Reminds me of BP and the oil spill in the Gulf. Oh great, he just drank some water out of a bottle of water. Talk about a poor PR move.

    And this:

    Someone handed him the bottle of water. He’s completely inexperienced in talking in front of microphones and cameras. He keeps walking over to the person who asks the question. They’ve had to remind him to stay in front of the microphones and literally explain to him, “Even if the question comes from over there, we need you to stay in front of the cameras.”

    He also said he was done and it was all he had time for, walked away, and the reporters started yelling after him and he came back and answered more questions. Just completely out of his element.

    He’s almost completely lost his voice. Eventually some of his “people” started pulling him away. I think they realized he wasn’t doing them any favors.

  4. 4
    sherifffruitfly says:

    while you all enjoy your #FreedomWater over there, think i’ll go get me a nice glass of seattle mooslim soshulist water that won’t kill me.

    it may not be FREEDUM, but i’m ok with it

  5. 5
    jl says:

    Also:

    “It’s [redacted for family blog purposes] maddening watching this play out in slow motion and knowing I can’t do a god damned thing about it”

    Goats, generators, and an array of solar water stills in the backyard. Cole should take his fate into his own hands. Freedom!

  6. 6
    Nick says:

    Just saw the Freedom Industries president give a press conference (26 hours after the do-not-use order) in which he 1) got handed a bottle of Aquafina from off-camera and nervously drank from it Rubio-style, and 2) cut things short over the loud complaints of the reporters there because “It’s been a long day for us at the plant.”

    No, Betty, you really can’t, can you?

  7. 7
    Gravenstone says:

    This brings to mind an old Robert Heinlein proposition, to address pollution just force industry to place their water intake downstream from their outlet. Unfortunately, industry instead seems to have misunderstood and thought he suggested they place their discharge upstream of your nearest municipal water plant instead.

  8. 8
    GregB says:

    Hopefully we’ll be able to look forward and not play the blame game with this unfortunate accident that no one could have foreseen.

  9. 9

    The invisible hand slaps WV.

  10. 10
    Violet says:

    @Nick: It really was something, wasn’t it? He was completely out of his element. Has he never had any media training?

  11. 11
    Narcissus says:

    Hopefully we’ll be able to look forward and not play the blame game with this unfortunate accident that no one could have foreseen.

    Depending on any fortuitous mutations caused by 4-methylcyclohexane methanol we might be able to look forward and backward at the same time.

  12. 12
    sensesfail says:

    From the CNN article:

    FEMA said Friday that 75 trucks — each carrying about 4,900 gallons of water — were expected to begin arriving in Charleston by early evening.

    “trucks”, or “black helicopters”?
    “water”, or “concentration camps”?

  13. 13

    Water insecurity will change some minds right quick. It’s “3 days to being an animal” if you can’t get yr hands on some water.

  14. 14

    They come from the land of ice and snow and one of them has already overtaken Casa Cole.

  15. 15
    The Dangerman says:

    Teen boys across WV are wondering if 4-methylcyclohexane methanol will help you light your farts.

  16. 16
    The Dangerman says:

    Teen boys across WV are wondering if 4-methylcyclohexane methanol will help you light your farts.

  17. 17
    Mike G says:

    The tank is located on chemical storage facility belonging to Freedom Industries and is located about a mile upriver from the West Virginia American Water plant
    “Nobody could have anticipated” should be the motto of right-wing maladministration.

    “Nobody could have anticipated” that putting a filthy chemical storage facility upriver from a water plant would ever cause any problems.

  18. 18
    Anoniminous says:

    4-methylcyclohexanemethanol:

    Classified as an alcohol, it exists as two isomers with similar properties. It is a colourless oil with a faint mint-like odor.

    So don’t believe those Libruhl lies. It’s just like Creme de Menthe! AND it’s been patented as an air freshener! The people can get a free drunk AND have fresher smelling breath. All due to the generosity of Freedom Industries.

    (You heard it here so now you don’t have to listen to Rush Limbaugh.)

  19. 19
    Baud says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Not just teens.

  20. 20
    Baud says:

    Dave Cupp, who owns a business on North 28th Street, said he is in favor of job growth, but not at what he sees as the expense of the public’s well-being.

    Socialist.

  21. 21
    Hungry Joe says:

    Problem is, once you start putting in environmental regulations you start affecting the bottom line. So that’s that.

    Somebody in Reagan’s administration responded to concern over the (then) growing hole in the ozone layer, and calls for regulation on pollutants causing it, with the suggestion that from now on everyone wear hats. Unmakeupable shit is nothing new.

  22. 22
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to drink.

    Awesome.

  23. 23
    Mike G says:

    The President of Freedom Industries, Gary Southern

    That sentence is just too perfect an amalgam of cheap-labor, high-pollution corporatist authoritarian ideology.

    Because Gary Confederate Jesus Duckdynasty Gunrights would be too obvious.

  24. 24
    JPL says:

    How do they blame this one on Obama? How long before they will have water to bathe in?

  25. 25
    Kyle says:

    @The Dangerman:

    It’s classified as an alcohol, so teen boys across WV are wondering if they can get drunk on it.

  26. 26
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @JPL:

    How do they blame this one on Obama?

    The water is now black, therefore Obama.

  27. 27
    Trollhattan says:

    At this very moment, Rick Perry is jealous of West Virginia and wondering how to steal the 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol bidnez away for Texas.

  28. 28
    Violet says:

    @JPL: It’s Obama’s fault because he’s anti-coal and Freedom Loving Businesses like Freedom Industries have had a hard time. Also, near.

  29. 29
    Roger Moore says:

    Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to drink.

    I see a new rotating tag line.

  30. 30
    Mnemosyne says:

    Well, to be fair, fracking chemicals are, like, totally different than coal processing chemicals, so how could there ever be a similar spill just because things are being stored in a similar way? Look, a squirrel!

  31. 31
    Kyle says:

    @Anoniminous:

    Think of it as an opportunity to establish a start-up home water delivery business.

    Throw in a taxi driver and you just wrote Thomas Friedman’s next column for him.

  32. 32
    Trollhattan says:

    @Violet:

    Perhaps this is Coal’s War on Coal (brought to you by FrackAmerica, Inc.)

  33. 33
    beltane says:

    Why do you people hate us for our Freedoms?

  34. 34
    MikeJ says:

    @JPL:

    How do they blame this one on Obama?

    Liberals care about the “environment” and all that other tree hugging crap. Obama is president and he still didn’t stop it from happening. This means 1) you can’t really have any sort of regulations about pollution because they won’t work any way and 2) liberals don’t really care about about protecting people, they just want to punish anybody who makes money.

    It doesn’t have to make any sense. Chuck Todd would eat that shit up with a spoon.

  35. 35
    Barney says:

    OK, a quick quiz: what 2 emblems do you think Freedom Industries has in its corporate logo? Just guess – no peeking!

  36. 36
    beltane says:

    @Barney: A dead eagle and a live libertarian?

  37. 37
    Chaoticgnome says:

    You wouldn’t believe the MSDS on this compound. A lot of “not available” details on possible chronic health effects. https://www.spectrumchemical.com/MSDS/TCI-M1412.pdf

    This is the chemist equivalent of a giant shrug.

  38. 38
    Baud says:

    @Trollhattan:

    Pfft. If it doesn’t go BOOM, Rick Perry isn’t impressed.

  39. 39
    Roger Moore says:

    @Barney:
    I guessed an eagle and an American flag, and I was right.

  40. 40
    JPL says:

    Brian Williams is reporting on the story now. Freedom Industries did not report the leak to the water company but Freedom Industries say their first concern is the people. wtf

  41. 41
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @JPL:

    Freedom Industries say their first concern is the people.

    Remember, corporations are people.

  42. 42
    MikeJ says:

    @Barney:

    OK, a quick quiz: what 2 emblems do you think Freedom Industries has in its corporate logo?

    Fasces and faeces,

  43. 43
    beltane says:

    There was an interesting documentary on PBS earlier this week about the origins of the modern science of toxicology and how companies like Standard Oil managed to suppress studies showing how dangerous their products were to the general public. In the Land of the Free, freedom hinges on the right to poison people for profit.

  44. 44
    greenergood says:

    This is why people here in the UK are trying very, very hard to keep fracking out. We’re usually behind at least a few years from any trend from the US, and this time, we’re trying to keep the UK from ever adopting this craziness. Got plenty of rich, connected folks/companies, not just from the UK, but from those two climate change denying countries the US and Australia (yeah, you thought Oz was all koalas and surfing; in fact it’s all mining, mining, and more mining) trying to get us into the fracking game, but the opposition has learned a lot from what happened in the US.

  45. 45
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @greenergood:

    (yeah, you thought Oz was all koalas and surfing; in fact it’s all mining, mining, and more mining)

    I’ve listened to enough Midnight Oil to know that.

  46. 46
    beltane says:

    At least Freedom Industries didn’t pull a Stalinist move and fluoridate West Virginia’s water supply. That would have been a scandal and an outrage.

  47. 47
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Roger Moore: It is a really ugly logo. The “F” isn’t obvious, so you end up with REEDOM INDUSTRIES and WTF is “REEDOM”?

  48. 48
    Roger Moore says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    WTF is “REEDOM”?

    Reedom’s just another word for nothing left to “F”.

  49. 49
    Kyle says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    A public river with water clean enough to drink is communist. It represents a soshulist loss of Free Market economic potential if no-one is taking advantage of a free watercourse to dispose of Murkan money-making pollution. The solution is to privatize rivers, then corporations can charge firms for dumping waste, to the maximum capacity the river can handle and more. Freedom Industries is bringing Freedum to WV.

  50. 50
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    WTF is “REEDOM”?

    Google says it’s an elementary school in Vegas.

  51. 51
    jl says:

    @Anoniminous:

    ” Think of it as an opportunity to establish a start-up home water delivery business. ”

    Damn straight. And Cole should check if that stinky stuff Steve emits might fix it up.

    If Cole can come up with a used or Steve-i-fied water purification process, he should contact Thomas Friedman, might get a mention in an upcoming column as an enterprising American hero who will save our economy.

  52. 52
    Dan says:

    In a global sense, your outflows are always upstream of someone’s intake.

    Try to convince a glibertarian of that fact and why it’s bad and you too will know how whacking yourself in the head with a claw hammer feels.

  53. 53
    beltane says:

    @Kyle: A clean river redistributes water from the makers to the takers. If you can’t afford to launder your underwear in San Pellegrino you’re nothing but a parasite in need of extermination.

  54. 54
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @greenergood:

    Over the last year or so, I have become a huge supporter of bat rescue organizations, most of which are in the USA and Australia. The callousness of Oz’s elected officials and corporate interests, along with the willful ignorance of much of the population, is just infuriating and heartbreaking. Seems to go hand-in-glove with deforestation, mining/fracking, development, and general contempt for the environment we all share.

  55. 55
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Roger Moore:
    LOL. Excellent.

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Dear Christ.

  56. 56
    Violet says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Did you see this about the bats in Australia, posted in an earlier thread?

    The heat wave in Queensland, Australia caused 100,000 bats to fall from the sky to their deaths. The RSPCA reported seeing thousands of bats in 25 separate colonies, which were found dead on the ground in southern Queensland including Boonah, Gatton, Laidley, Mt. Ommaney, Palmwoods and Redbank.

    The scorching temperature in the past few weeks across inland Australia has a significant impact to bat population, according to RSPCA spokesman Mark Beatty. He remarked that the heat wave has been a catastrophic event for bat colonies.

  57. 57
    Roger Moore says:

    @Dan:

    In a global sense, your outflows are always upstream of someone’s intake.

    Except for those of us who dump directly into the ocean, in which case it’s right next to the same beach where we want to be able to swim.

  58. 58
    Mike G says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Australia has a lot of people with redneck attitudes; someone once called it “Arkansas with a Beach”. It’s become worse in recent years as the export economy has become oriented toward resource extraction rather than the big cities with their more cosmopolitan outlook.

    When you have a mining-based economy you tend to end up with an authoritarian plunder-oriented political culture like Texas.

  59. 59
    burnspbesq says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    They come from the land of ice and snow

    From the midnight sun to the hot springs’ flow?

  60. 60
    Dan says:

    @Roger Moore: Well, no, not really. Fish, shellfish, desalination plants, etc. all live in or take in seawater and get into our food chain. So, it’s still someone’s intake, directly or indirectly (speaking solely of homo sapiens anyway).

  61. 61
    scav says:

    @Violet: Scandinavia being unusually warm, waking bears up early because of sometimes heat and sometimes flooding. Daffodils in December? Nothing out of the Ordinary reported herein, move along, move along.

  62. 62

    @Dan: Precisely.

    There is no ‘away’, that’s why you can’t truly throw anything there.

  63. 63
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mike G:

    When you have a mining-based economy you tend to end up with an authoritarian plunder-oriented political culture like Texas.

    Or an every man for himself, government just gets in the way plunder-oriented political culture if the population density is low like Wyoming and Alaska.

  64. 64
    Judge Crater says:

    It’s like George Carlin so prophetically said, “They don’t give a shit. They just don’t give a shit. They own you.”

    They don’t care about you. The “they” being the plutocrats who run corporations and most of the government. Each recession gets worse than the next as far as job losses and the splintering of the middle class, yet corporate profits soar and the economic stratification of America gets worse.

    They don’t care about crap in the drinking water. It’s collateral damage for the “free market” way of life.

  65. 65
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @greenergood: There’s no shortage of knuckle-draggers on the Brighton Hove Albion footie fan board who are perfectly cool with fracking the shit out of the South Downs because money! and angry what-we’d-call-liberals-here. And that’s good enough reason to do it. Also

  66. 66
    RoonieRoo says:

    @Trollhattan: Honest to Pete, I think that could actually be true.

  67. 67
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    OT but this caught my eye, thinking of the comment you made last night about how no one is going to blame the bridge closure on a mayor anyhow so what was the point, etc.

    Today, this:

    In a letter to a Port Authority executive on Sept. 12, Fort Lee, N.J. Mayor Mark Sokolich complained that the agency’s police officers were telling commuters that the George Washington Bridge lane closings were his fault.

    “[M]any members of the public have indicated to me that the Port Authority Police Officers are advising commuters in response to their complaints that this recent traffic debacle is the result of a decision that I, as the Mayor, recently made,” Sokolich wrote to Bill Baroni, who was the deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey until he resigned last month.

    The letter was among the thousands of pages of documents released Friday…

    The plot creepens.

  68. 68
    scav says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: It’s getting smokier . . .

  69. 69
    JPL says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Does this mean Christie has to apologize again. Oh my!

  70. 70
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Violet:

    Oh, yes, I’ve been following it obsessively. It is just … sickening, heartbreaking. Some of the rescue sites I follow on FB have been putting up reports and pictures. The mother bats are the ones that mostly die from the extreme heat and dehydration; volunteers capture and rescue the babies and take them to facilities where they can be rehydrated and nourished, and then trained to be bats (as they have no mothers on whom to model bat behavior). I am in awe of the people who essentially turn over their houses to the bat pups.

    They are incredibly cute, adorable really; but way beyond that, they are essential pollinators and insectivores. One campaign in Oz shows a little bat with the caption “No me, no tree” and then a little koala with the caption “No tree, no me.” but there are still lots of people and agencies who view them as a nuisance at best, and a deadly threat at worst, and who are going out of their way to destroy colonies. This is totally apart from what Mother Nature is doing with the extreme heat.

  71. 71
    Mnemosyne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    but there are still lots of people and agencies who view them as a nuisance at best, and a deadly threat at worst, and who are going out of their way to destroy colonies.

    I guess I get that bats are “creepy” to some people (rats with wings!) but, seriously, folks, is it really “better” to be swarmed by voracious mosquitos? Because that’s what you’re going to get if you insist on getting rid of the bats who eat the mosquitos and other insect pests.

  72. 72
    LanceThruster says:

    I fear the “corporations are people” people will charge for the chemicals by claiming value was added (these chemicals aren’t *free* takers!).

  73. 73
    PaulW says:

    I’d do Heinlein one better: require all company CEOs to drink unfiltered water from the streams their companies are built next to. Have them build their mansions fifty meters away from any “storage grounds” for their after-products.

    To the 300,000 of West Virginia, and dear God anyone else downriver in the neighboring states, break out the damn lawyers first, and start voting in pro-environment elected officials at the federal, state and local levels pronto. Anybody on a mining or energy company’s payroll you vote OUT OF OFFICE right here right now…

  74. 74
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yeah, no kidding.

    Also (this has nothing to do with their utility, but about 95% to do with anthropomorphism) they are just unbelievably cute.

  75. 75
    Joe M says:

    OMG … CHECK OUT WIKI !!!!

    Just look at the OTHER major use for 4-Methylcyclohexanemethanol !!!!!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4.....ite_note-3

    Joe

  76. 76
    LeftCoastTom says:

    Setting aside the public crisis…who the hell names their company “Freedom Industries”? Was it their goal to have people laugh at them solely from the name?

  77. 77
    mellowjohn says:

    reminds me of William Holden’s line in the John Ford movie “The Horse Soldiers”:

    “As usual, I’m just presenting the grim facts. Colonel Secord doesn’t seem to understand that the coffee tastes better when the latrines are dug downstream instead of upstream. How do you like your coffee, Colonel?”

  78. 78
    Gravenstone says:

    @LeftCoastTom: While Googling the name, I find a gun dealer in Green Bay, WI who uses the name. That seems more in keeping with the “Freedom” ethos – at least as embraced by the wingnuttia.

  79. 79
    srv says:

    Forget it Jake, it’s West Virginia.

  80. 80
    LeftCoastTom says:

    @Gravenstone: True, and approximately most of the gun manufacturers in the US are a single hedge fund named Cerberus, I mean Freedom Group. And we should laugh at them. So…someone wants to distribute noxious chemicals for mining coal…and they pick the same theme? Were they planning to shoot the coal?

  81. 81
    TAPX486 says:

    We obviously can not ruin a 21st century economy without these various chemicals and toxic products. That being said when are we going to learn that you can not trust corporate America to do even the most minimal of ‘right’ things. Without the hammer of the federal government they would continue to use the public waterways and air as their own private waste dumps. We may have to live with things like fracking but we should be darn sure it is done to the highest level of safety. Of course that will happen sometime about the same time as the pink unicorn is found

  82. 82
  83. 83
    Chet says:

    @PaulW: Good luck with that, what with the “DFH treehuggers want to put us out of work!” meme that’s been so relentlessly inculcated in the populace of places like WVa.

  84. 84
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m all for them eating all the mosquitoes they fancy. I just wish they could find a new place to sleep and poop than my attic.

  85. 85
    jonas says:

    @Violet: In a state where normally no-one dares question the Gods of Coal, no. Being asked questions in front of cameras was *not* something he was used to, and it showed.

  86. 86

    @Lurking Canadian:

    Perhaps you should consider building them a nice bat house of their own.

    That same website seems to have some good advice for your attic problem, too — basically, you have to caulk up ALL the holes they’re getting in through, or they’ll keep coming in, because right now you’re basically offering them a bat mansion.

  87. 87
    jonas says:

    “Freedom” Industries? Gawd — that just tells you they’re a bunch of rightwing glibertarian muthafuquers right there.

  88. 88
    SatanicPanic says:

    I know I shouldn’t be laughing, but I giggled at this post. You are right on Cole, this is obvious shit to reality-based humans.

  89. 89
    jonas says:

    With all due respect to JC and the others in places like W Va, Texas, Louisiana, Kentucky and elsewhere who fight on the side of the angels against hurricane-force headwinds of evil energy corporations, this is what people in those places *vote for*. They *demand* lax regulations, poor oversight, and shoe-string environmental budgets because otherwise SOSHULISM!. So now you have a Freedom-infused water supply. Embrace the suck, as they say.

  90. 90
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): I actually paid large sums to a company who does exactly that. Little buggers came back one year after the warranty expired. I think they knew.

  91. 91
    jonas says:

    @PaulW: The Romans famously made their military engineers stand under the bridges they constructed as the troops and equipment marched across as a way of ensuring they didn’t cut corners. May be something to learn there…

  92. 92
    J R in WV says:

    I think that Freedum Industries fearless leader may be from Down Under OZ way. From his voice, mostly. Surely not from WVa, no, no, no.

    And I hear the nasty government has forced Freedum Industries to relocate all their nasty chemicals away from directly upstream from that specific water plant intake site. What ever will they do now?

    OF course as so many have remarked, even if the new facility for nasty substances is now below the W V American Water plant intake, it is still upstream of water intakes for many other cities. Like New Orleans, at the foot end of the Great Middle American sewer – AKA the big muddy, Mississippi River.

    I did drink bottled fluids when I visited New Orleans!

  93. 93
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @J R in WV:

    I did drink bottled fluids when I visited New Orleans!

    Me too. Beer, whiskey, etc….

  94. 94
    WaterGirl says:

    @jonas: I read somewhere that the folks who manufactured the parachutes during the war had to do the jumps as they tested 10% of the parachutes. If true, that’s some serious quality control there!

  95. 95
    Daniel's Bob says:

    What’s wrong with us? Why do we keep bending over and taking this crap? Why aren’t 300,000 West Virginians building gallows and hanging these criminal enemies of society?

    The Fox

    I knew this guy forty-two years ago. He taught me how to steer a canoe on the Fox River in January, shared his fantastic homemade soup on the river bank, and late one very dark night led me on a recon mission to an aluminum foundry that was dumping crap.

    At 19, I was too worried about my “future” to do what he was doing. Considering how the future turned out, maybe that wasn’t the best choice I ever made. Maybe it’s not too late.

  96. 96
    Joe Max says:

    While you folks on the right coast set your FREEDOM! water on fire, I’ll be quaffing some fine Soshulist Berkeley East Bay Municipal Water District eau de Hetch Hetchy, rated as one of the best tap waters in the world.

    Salute’!

  97. 97
    brantl says:

    Seriously. How many environmental impact studies do you need to do to realize that putting chemical waste plants UPRIVER FROM YOUR WATER PLANTS IS STUPID.

    So, do you plan on having all of them on the ocean beach? It’s the only way they aren’t upriver of SOMEBODY.

  98. 98
    mainmata says:

    I do environmental impact assessments but mainly in developing countries. These countries have nearly all based their assessment methodologies and rules on NEPA because we were the first. But decades of right-wing, determined undermining of these regs, mainly at the state level and especially the Sergeant Schultz “I see nothing…nothiiinnngg” style of regulation has been industry’s best friend. Southern zoning, i.e. no zoning, also allows for chronic situations like known water pollution hazards being located upstream of water treatment plants, lax standards on containment systems as well as basic building standards for hazardous facilities. But I guess the (majority) voters in those areas don’t care if they live or die or are content to remain uninformed. I listened to WVA NPR reports and a number of the interviews were of the type that people were surprised their water could be poisoned. Sigh.

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