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NFC: Re: Worst environmental disasters?

Exxon Valdez comes to mind.

When I worked for a major petroleum company up in Paulsboro, NJ you used to
see the tankers come up the Delaware River pumping their stores into the
refinery.  Hundreds of gallons of crude would slosh into the river.  This
was within safe margins legally so they did this with impunity, and felt no
need to be more careful in containing their cargo.

They also had oil storage tanks above ground, with no oil-tight barrier on
the bottom.  Just hard packed dirt.  When it would rain hard, you could see
oil (manifested as rainbows) in the grass.  The whole town stinks badly
because of the refinery.  This is not the worst disaster, but it is ongoing,
and one of the few I've seen first hand.

When doing the Appalachian Trail stretch through New England and some more
mountain climbing & hiking in parts of Canada I noticed most of the pine
trees were in bad shape.  The locals said it wasn't always like this, and is
widely accepted as being the fault of acid rain.  I can only imagine what
this environment looked like before this.

Here in North Carolina we have some of the worst sorts.  The hog farmers.
They intensively stock a small feedlot with thousands and thousands of hogs.
They used to be able to pump the poop right out into the Neuse River.  There
are some controls in place now, but not nearly enough.  As most of you may
be aware, hogs carry diseases transmittable to humans.  Now maybe I've been
hitting the crack pipe too hard, but it seems to me that anyone who can't
farm hogs safely and sustainably should go to the extra expense of
processing swine sewage at the same standards that we hold for human sewage.
The voters here just don't seem energized on the subject, and the
politicians are glad for it.  We've got some excellent state run
universities here so education is often the focus of their campaigns.  You'd
think with all these PhD's we're cranking out, enough of them would speak
out on what is happening to our rivers to force the politicians to do
something.  I am a mere high school graduate and in our caste system (we do
have one, dispite what you may have learned in civics class) I am looked
down upon as unknowing in all things.

Florida continues to allow boaters to use propelle-equipped motorboats
dispite what this has done to the manatee population.  Outboard motor
technology has progressed to the point where it is no longer necessary to
have this deadly weapon, and its high time to start legislating the end of
life for  that propulsion technology.

My pickup truck is maintained at very high standards for automotive
emissions.  But the armadas of 18 wheelers cruising down the highway
continue belching out blue/black smoke into our air (to say nothing of the
cast-off retreads they indiscriminantly leave everywhere).  The industrial
process that goes into building my truck will do more harm to the
environment than a lifetime of driving the thing.  Legislators need to turn
down the bribes and look upstream to block the real harmful practices.

Reverend Christian J Hedemark II
Hillsborough, NC
"Those who are willing to sacrifice essential liberties for a little order,
will lose both and deserve neither." - Benjamin Franklin