I must admit, I did not know which forum to post this to…Katrina Aftermath or Fragile Earth? As I have been working on the Katrina Research Project,
I considered placing it there (and may still, if the Mods feel appropriate), but after reading the following article, I feel it almost requires its
own thread….perhaps its own research project…What I do know is that I am truly scared that we have yet to fully appreciate the full scale of
Extraordinary Problems, Difficult Solutions: Massive
Floods, Pollution Make for 'Worst Case'
…there may be nothing normal about New Orleans, because the floodwater, spiked with tons of contaminants ranging from heavy metals and hydrocarbons
to industrial waste, human feces and the decayed remains of humans and animals, will linger nearby in the Gulf of Mexico for a decade.
"This is the worst case," Hugh B. Kaufman, a senior policy analyst at the Environmental Protection Agency, said of the toxic stew that contaminates
New Orleans. "There is not enough money in the gross national product of the United States to dispose of the amount of hazardous material in the
Today, it was reported that the pumps in New Orleans have begun the task of emptying nearly 80% of the city from 20 ft. of water.
Pumps begin to drain New Orleans: Work expected to take months, Army Corps of Engineers
Katrina stands as one of the largest natural disasters to have ever hit the United States. That is clear. There have been very few precedents for an
event such as this. Perhaps, in the end, that will be the primary conclusion drawn by the Katrina Research Project on this board. With relief and
rescue efforts still underway, everyone is focused on saving lives. And, of course, that makes sense.
But I’m worried now about a new problem…..Are we being too short sighted here? If we are pumping all that waste into the Gulf of Mexico, what near
and long term impact will that have???
As is true with everything concerning Hurricane Katrina, it seems our biggest challenge has been getting our minds wrapped around the size of the
Since the 1970s, the Gulf of Mexico has been a body of water in crisis.
houses one of the largest Dead Zones
on the planet, comprising roughly 20,000 square
And guess where???
The Dead Zone has alarmed scientists because of its size and location in the northern Gulf, the most productive fishing and shrimping zone in the
Gulf's 580,000 square miles.
Just how dirty is the water being pumped out of New Orleans? Take a moment and think about all of the chemicals flowing from each and every car in NO.
Think about your own homes and how many chemicals you have tucked away in cabinets or garages or sheds…Then think about all the commercial retail
places that house these things…Think about the industrial complexes that house these things….The list goes on….
And then you need to consider this:
Nearly 25 years after Congress created the Superfund program to clean up toxic waste dumps that industries left behind, scores of tainted sites still
exist today within a few miles of the Gulf of Mexico, threatening water quality and ruining people's health.
62 in coastal counties rimming the Gulf of Mexico
Congress created Superfund in 1980 and charged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with making sure environmental and health risks were wiped out
quickly at the most hazardous waste sites. To pay for it, the government placed a tax on the industries responsible for toxic releases, namely oil and
By the 1990s, the program was averaging 86 cleanups a year. Then, in 1995, Congress decided not to renew the tax — a decision environmentalists have
fought to reverse.
Over the next seven years, the trust fund fell from an all-time high of about $3.7 billion to $400 million. As a result, the number of cleanups were
cut in half to fewer than 50 in 2002.
Along Louisiana's U.S. 61, a few miles north of Baton Rouge, is a grass-covered plateau that would be nondescript except for a few rows of green
sheds and a barbed-wire fence that surround the 17 acres. About a mile to the west down a two-lane road is the same scene, only the property is more
than three times larger.
Buried under the mounds of earth are two of the most toxic sites in the country. And both are within walking distance of the Mississippi River, which
empties into the Gulf.
How many of these sites exist that were NOT designated as Superfund sites? Has anyone looked???
This is scary stuff, and with only a few minutes of looking on the net, I have found far too much that is alarming enough for me to now hold the
position that we should STOP the pumping of NO now! ARE WE PUSHING THE GULF OVER THE EDGE?
Do we really fully understand the potential consequences? Do you believe any of this has been considered at all???? We already have ample evidence of
our poor planning and response in the face of Hurricane Katrina? Are we about to make one of the largest historical mistakes of our lives?????
For now, the Gulf is a cash cow.
It generates money for thousands of businesses and tens of thousands of jobs worth more than $20 billion annually for the five states that surround
the Gulf — Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas — according to the Gulf of Mexico Foundation, a nonprofit group of business and
There is much to explore here… At a minimum, we need to ask if those who are making decisions in response to Katrina have really considered these
While politics may or may not have played a roll in the initial response to the storm, it is clear that it is now playing a much BIGGER role. That,
more than anything, worries me!
It would be helpful if members with expertise in any of these areas could help determine how big this really is? What is the science behind the Gulf
and the Gulf Stream? Would consequences be delivered elsewhere along the coast? What’s the impact to our Caribbean Neighbors? What industries would
be impacted? How much toxic material is there likely to be?
The questions are many, but I feel they need to be asked now, or we will hear from our government again that “no one really understood and thought
it wasn't foreseeable”!
I hope I am wrong.
[edit on 6-9-2005 by loam]
[edit on 20-9-2005 by John bull 1]