Sunday, February 21, 2016

A sewer runs through it: the chemical toilet re-revisited

Brookings is not just home to South Dakota's porcine prevaricator it's where the Big Sioux River becomes very, very poisonous.

Remember when Bill Janklow gutted environmental protection in the chemical toilet?
“We found Shiga toxin genes in levels that are equivalent to what you would see in Third World countries, where people are dying in massive outbreaks,” School of Mines graduate student Kelsey Murray said Thursday. The results prompted board members of the Brookings-based water district to commit another $25,000 to continue precision genetic testing, dependent on the city of Sioux Falls committing $100,000 in state revolving fund money to match it.
Read more about the horrors here.

When South Dakota's senior US Senator is calling 'silly' an end to lead contamination in the watersheds that support all life in the state you know things are upside-down.
As crazy as that sounds, if the liberal wing of the president’s party and EPA bureaucrats had their way, they’d even regulate the tackle South Dakotans use to reel in walleyes from the Missouri River and ban the lead ammunition they use to bag ringnecks in the prairie. Thankfully, last year Congress passed and the president signed legislation that included my provision to permanently block the EPA from an outright ban on lead ammunition used in the field. [op-ed, some idiot on John Thune's staff]
Lead is a potent neurotoxin.
The most significant hazard to wildlife is through direct ingestion of spent lead shot and bullets, lost fishing sinkers, lead tackle and related fragments, or through consumption of wounded or dead prey containing lead shot, bullets or fragments. Although lead from spent ammunition and lost fishing tackle is not readily released into aquatic and terrestrial systems, under some environmental conditions it can slowly dissolve and enter groundwater, making it potentially hazardous for plants, animals and perhaps even people if it enters water bodies or is taken up in plant roots. [US Geological Survey]
The Victoria Lake area above Rapid City is lead Superfund site in the making.

Lead is released by coal-fired power plants, too.

In Flint, Michigan a Republican governor could go to prison for telling residents that lead in the water is no big deal.

So-called 'Americans for Prosperity' a Koch-funded group with a lobbyist based in Sioux Falls signaled to legislators that they will lose campaign funding from the Kochs unless they act to reverse the progress the US Environmental Protection Agency has made in South Dakota.

Unfortunately, in South Dakota, the Department of Ecocide and Natural Ruination (DENR) is governed by those same offenders and therefore effectively neutered.

When Republican domination is literally deadly to wildlife and humans alike maybe it's time for a little hope and change.

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