Category Archives: Down the drain

Control

“Pollution control” has long been problematic because, as time passed, it became obvious that pollution, the flow of mostly man-made toxins into the environment, was not even lessened, never mind eliminated by what boiled down to little more than keeping records. So, it looked like the word “control” was deployed as a palliative to assuage the concerns of people who don’t know any better than to object to the “necessary” discomforts of modern existence. That is, if the air is to be “conditioned” in summer and winter, some people (asthmatics) are going to find breathing harder.
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Not all intentions are good.

trailer-park

Some are downright malign, especially those that come wrapped in honeyed words of flattery and faux praise. That seems particularly true whenever the latest well-funded group of environmentalists to arrive on the Georgia Coast, the “Hundred Miles” folk, step into the limelight to offer some moderate and easy to “correct” critique of the commercial project of the hour. Eventually, it’s hard to mistake the pattern. What worked with the original 12 Star Ranch proposal did nothing to help the Sea Island Beach Club promote its agenda to keep littering the sand dunes — like some trashy trailer park where people can’t afford a garage for the chairs and the kids’ toys.
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Is it a spill when it goes on for ten years?

Off the coast of Louisiana oil is leaking.

As to the question why companies get to drill in deeper waters when they don’t know how to prevent leaks in the shallows, the answer is largely because the EPA is still wedded to the preconceived notion that “the solution to pollution is dilution.” So, the logic goes, if there’s more water in which the pollutants are dispersed, the toxic effect is going to be less. Not to mention that crude oil is a natural product and nature is supposed to be able to handle it. It’s a rational argument when time is taken out of consideration.

But, as this case shows, time is of the essence and the damage is cumulative.

Poverty is not a happenstance; it is engineered.

A story from the Seattle Times explains how it’s done all over this nation, under the umbrella of one of our icons of probity. ‘Tis a timely story because, like the ACA, Dodd-Frank is under attack on Capitol Hill. Seems that, for once, our Representatives in Congress’ financial ignorance got some good legislation past them. Actually, for twice. Because the real core of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is also financial in that it targets the profit margins of insurance companies. Money has the advantage that it is easy to follow, if there is an interest in doing so.
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Soil erosion and sediment control

Soil erosion and sediment control are the objectives of storm/flood water regulations in the state of Georgia. The focus is on suspended solids and preventing the loss of land. Which is a little akin to the distress one might suffer when precious bodily fluids are “lost.” Suspended solids are to be intercepted, whether they be organic or inorganic. That toxins exist on a molecular level seems not to have registered. It’s what people can see that counts. So, while it is true that when soil particles are prevented from being washed away by the rain, whatever chemical molecules are attached will also be prevented from migrating into water bodies, the chemical residue on roadways that gets washed away doesn’t count. Which means that, from the perspective of erosion and sediment control, a paved road is preferable to dirt or sand. Never mind that the latter are pervious and facilitate some percolation.

Long story short, Georgia law is inadequate to prevent pollution. Which, of course, explains why our aquatic relatives are turning up sick.

Another bad penny: SIA PROPCO II, LLC

Or maybe it’s just another name. Who know’s who’s hiding behind those LLCs, doing things illicitly?

Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources is supposed to protect the shore. How parking beach toys and vehicles in the dunes protects cannot be explained. That a variance isn’t supposed to cover self-inflicted hardships shouldn’t have to be explained. It’s a basic principle in land use law. Maybe the problem is that there are no lawyers at the DNR and ignorance is their excuse.

To be continued tomorrow.
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