The devastating man-made North Carolina toxic flood was preventable
The catastrophic damages from the North Carolina Florence floods threatens public health for decades. While the slow-moving hurricane with massive amounts of rain lasted a few days, the toxic contamination of rivers and land from flooded coal-ash ponds and manure lagoons will remain for years. The sources of toxic chemicals were in plain sight. Pat McCrory, North Carolina Republican governor 2013-2017, a 28-year Duke Energy employee, ignored the Environmental Protection Agency’s order to remove the ponds. That is the real tragedy. Nature takes a long time to recover.
Coal ash ponds
Coal-fired power plants use millions of gallons of fresh water, and dump polluted hot water into the rivers. Waste, in the form of coal ash, is stored in ponds on site. Breathing coal ash is deadly. Lead, arsenic, hexavalent chromium, and the radioactivity of coal ash cause great harm and death.
Removing mountaintops with strip mining machines and running coal trains around the clock is a crime against nature. The greenhouse emissions from burning coal are killing life on earth. Solar and wind power generation with grid power storage can provide all the energy we need. Keep coal in the ground.
Words can’t describe the inhumane conditions at chicken prisons, holding around 30,000 chicks inside 30,000 square feet compounds, for seven weeks. Please watch the 2018 YouTube video “Industrial chicken houses are making people sick.” Ecologists know everything has to go somewhere. Trucks full of chicken waste are seen leaving CAFO’s, but not where they go.
Arkansas legislation favors coal-fired power plants and CAFOs. The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality with Gov. Asa Hutchinson has allowed C&H pig factory operations on the Buffalo National River. As reported last week by Becky Gillette, “Federal agencies deny karst evidence at the Buffalo National River” the battle to protect the Buffalo River and public health will not stop. The Florence North Carolina disaster provides a new reason to solve the C&H problem.
Toxic waste mitigation measures
Stop coal-fired power plants. The EPA wants to replace the Clean Power Plan with the Affordable Clean Energy Program (ACE rule). CPP was intended to stop burning coal. The ACE rule promotes investments pretending to “make coal plans cleaner and more efficient.” Please send comments opposing the ACE rule by October 30. Details at www.Regulations.gov under EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0355.
Store coal ash away in a safe location to reduce the risk of toxic floods.
Reduce the toxic waste from CAFOs by half, by reducing the number of chickens and pigs in animal prisons.
Install solar panels on chicken house roofs. Floods create power outages killing CAFO animals in hours. Solar power is a resilient solution, ideal for large roofs. The Rural Energy for America Program provides financial assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses in America to purchase, install, and construct renewable energy systems, make energy efficiency improvements to non-residential buildings and facilities, use renewable technologies that reduce energy consumption, and participate in energy audits and renewable energy development assistance.
Renewable energy projects for the Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Guaranteed Loan and Grant Program include wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal, and hydrogen derived from biomass or water using wind, solar, or geothermal energy sources.
Rise up for the climate emergency
“Trump administration predicts a 7-degree global temperature rise. Its policies assume planet’s fate is sealed.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in August made this alarming and preposterous statement to justify higher CO2 emissions. Why would anyone go along with a death sentence?
Let’s stop burning fossil fuels. On Saturday, October 20, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., several residences and business in Eureka Springs and all across Arkansas, will host an open house as part of the National Solar Tour. Please use this link for details: bit.ly/solaropenhouse-555/.
Join the Trial of the Century, Juliana v United States, starting on Monday, Oct. 29, 2018. Please meet at the Eureka Springs Courthouse in solidarity with our awesome Climate Warriors: www.youthvgov.org/.
Dr. Luis Contreras