DAPL – Profits over (Poor) People Exposed

Mark Paul, a postdoctoral associate at the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University, has written an economic analysis of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) that deserves to be widely circulated and read. here are some excerpts:

“While the pipeline was originally scheduled to cross the Missouri River closer to Bismarck, authorities decided there was too much risk associated with locating the pipeline near the capital’s drinking water. They decided instead to follow the same rationale used by Lawrence Summers, then the chief economist of the World Bank, elucidated in an infamous memo stating “the economic logic of dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest-wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that.” That same logic holds for the low wage counties and towns in the United States. The link between environmental quality and economic inequality is clear—corporations pollute on the poor, the weak, and the vulnerable …”


“As the Federal Water and Pollution Control Act makes clear, water quality should “protect the public health.” Period. Clean water and clean air should not be something Americans need to purchase, rather they should be rights guaranteed to all.”

Read the whole article at: http://triplecrisis.com/dapl-doesnt-make-economic-sense/

How Many Flints?

At least 3000, according to one report that is referenced in Farron Cousins’ summary of America’s water crisis. That is, there are at least 3000 places in America, cities or neighborhoods in larger cities, where the measured levels of lead in drinking water is at least double the levels measured in Flint.

Flint was indeed the event that brought public attention to lead poisoning, but the issue is much, much more widespread. This particular information comes from an extensive and well-illustrated article published by Reuters.

As bad as that is, it’s just part of the bad news. America has about 1.2 million miles of lead water service lines. They have a service life of about 75 years, and most are at or approaching that age. The estimate to replace – around $1 trillion, or close to $3000 for every man, woman and child in the country.

But wait, there’s more. Continue reading “How Many Flints?”

Social Justice and the Environment

There’s a longish article in The Atlantic with interesting insights into social justice and the environmental movement. I’m not sure yet what I think about it. There are certainly some elements that I agree with. At any rate, it’s entirely worth reading. Once I have some time to think it over, I’ll probably put my reaction in the comments section. I hope others do as well.

Radioactive Lessons Learned

by Art Myatt, SEMG Chair and Alliance to Halt Fermi 3 board member.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently published their proposed drinking water “Protective Action Guide (PAG) for Radiological Incidents.”
The purpose, according to them. is “to guide planning and decision-making efforts by local and state officials” in response to “a large-scale emergency.” They further say this would apply for “any radiation incident, such as spills of radioactive material, the detonation of a radiological dispersion device (RDD) or “dirty bomb,” or an accident at a nuclear power plant.”

Continue reading “Radioactive Lessons Learned”

Fracking’s Radioactive Garbage

Truthout (http://www.truth-out.org/) recently published a long article about radioactive waste produced by fracking contaminating the soil and the water in North Dakota. The article (http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/38022-where-has-the-waste-gone-fracking-results-in-illegal-dumping-of-radioactive-toxins) is very much worth reading. Below are a few excerpts:

Larry Novak’s family has lived in western North Dakota since his great grandfather Anton Novak homesteaded in the region over one hundred years ago. . . .

In January of 2016, Novak found out that the “special” waste landfill — which is what the state of North Dakota calls landfills that are permitted to accept oil field waste — just six miles north of his ranch applied to receive a permit from the state to accept oil field waste that had higher levels of radioactivity. That landfill, known as the IHD waste disposal plant, sits in the middle of a miles-wide oxbow of the meandering Missouri River. A pile of dirt, 10 stories high, overlooks the wide-open spaces of the prairie, and underneath is waste from the oil fields.

“The landfill operator and the health agency tell us that this is as safe as having banana peels in the landfill. That it is just as safe as having granite counter tops in your house,” Novak said. “That insulted my intelligence.” . . .

However, Robert Moran, Ph.D., a hydrologist and geochemist who has examined the new North Dakota TENORM regulations for the Dakota Resources Council takes issue with this assessment. . . .


“People who live near the IHD landfill in western North Dakota gather in Bismarck to ask the North Dakota Health Council not to increase radiation limits for oil field waste in landfills. (Photo: Dakota Resource Council)”

When Truthout asked Moran what he thought of the radioactive oil waste being compared to banana peels and granite counter tops by the health department, he laughed.

“They are completely disregarding the form of radioactivity,” he said. “What kind of radioactivity are we talking about and what pathways are we talking about? How is it transmitted to humans? It is a simple-minded way of diverting the public.”

Continue reading “Fracking’s Radioactive Garbage”