Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What our environment might be like in a couple years...

Scott Pruitt is said to be Trumps's nominee for the head of the EPA. Environmental Protection Agency.

Here is Trump's earlier this year quote on the EPA:

"DETROIT — Republican front-runner Donald Trump would eliminate the Department of Education and Environmental Protection Agency as part of his plan to balance the budget, despite Fox News moderators pointing out to him it won't be enough.
During Thursday's debate, Trump reiterated his claim that he would eliminate the Education Department and "the Department of Environment Protection," his term for the EPA.
"We're going to have little tidbits left but we're going to get most of it out," Trump said."

(My type reverts to whatever quote I've done, this is me again)
On Monday, according to the Montana Standard, the local rag, "...thousands of snow geese landed on the Berkeley Pit." 

The pit, at an elevation of around 5400 ft, goes down another near 2,000 feet. Fairly deep. 

It's contaminated with the byproduct and waste from a hundred years of mining, the first decades were open pit, open smelter refining. The waste, the heavy metals and poisons going into the water that filled the pit. The water the geese landed upon.

Oh, what geese you ask? 

Floating on the Berkeley Pit’s dangerous water for days, hundreds of snow geese are still alive.
Environmental Protection Agency project manager for the Berkeley Pit Nikia Greene said Wednesday that, so far, he has seen no bird mortalities. 
Over a thousand of the migratory birds landed on the pit’s water Monday night, said Montana Resources manager of environmental affairs Mark Thompson.
But no one knows how long the birds can stay out there before they start to die off.
Contaminated with heavy metals and high in sulfuric acid, the pit’s water proved lethal to 342 snow geese 21 years ago – almost to the day.
Thompson said it’s been 30 plus hours, and birds are still able to fly off. A “pile of birds” took flight at first light Wednesday, Thompson said. Greene confirmed that.
More birds left the pit later Wednesday morning in response to MR shooting rifles from both the north and southern sides of the pit. MR has been working since Monday night using various noise tactics to try to get the birds to leave.
But in the 21 years since MR and ARCO implemented a bird program to keep flocks off the pit’s water – in response to the 342 deaths in 1995 - no one has seen birds stay on the water this long, Thompson said.
Usually birds that land are gone within 12 hours, said Thompson.
Greene said he believes that about half of the birds have left since they first landed sometime Monday night. Thompson believes there are currently, “about 10 percent of what we first had.”
Noted Deer Lodge ornithologist Gary Swant said heavy metals accumulate in animal tissue. That means drinking metal-contaminated water is not likely to kill the birds right away.
“It would be a chemical that would affect them immediately,” Swant said.
The high acidity of the Berkeley Pit’s water is likely the cause of the 342 dead birds found in the pit in 1995. Necropsies of those birds revealed acid had burned their throats.
Helena-based Audubon Society executive director Steve Hoffman said the birds likely landed on the Berkeley Pit for a rest. A major migration of snow geese were seen as far north as Helena and as far south as Dillon Monday night, according to a number of agency officials and bird experts. If the snow geese floating on the Berkeley Pit are thirsty, they will drink the water, Hoffman said.
(Me again)
So the new head of the EPA would essentially eliminate it.  Therefore, the company responsible for the clean up of the pit, would bear no further fines if it stopped it's clean up, part of it's contract. No agency to enforce it, no reason to continue. 
The several hundred geese are just the very start.


  1. Mike, the world is breaking my heart right now.

  2. Early days, Mike. We'll see and suffer more of this. If civil courts remain intact, EPA will eventually be rebuilt --as it began. Alt --ultra--right will doubtless do a lot of damage before feeding on itself. There are, I hope, Unions and ethical professional associations enough to fight this destructive trend from square one but it will take time and cost healthy lives. We've seen it before and hate seeing it repeated but, oh my, hold your nose, here we go again.

  3. Sad, a frightening portent, evidence our specie demonstrates an inability to think longitudinally. The damnable thing about it-a few are doing so much damage to the rest of us and our co inhabitants of this blue planet.
    Damn them!

  4. Rampant capitalism unleashed on the rest of us. Unending abuse on a finite planet accelerated by the new emperor.

  5. I hate reading this, but I know this is important.

  6. I'm shaking my head... I hope and pray the EPA remains. We live in uncertain times

  7. It's depressing.Hope the country comes to its senses and reverses the cycle when the votes come around again.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. I know it's really happening, but it is so hard for me to believe that so many people can be that stupid. Unfortunately, it is pretty clear that they are...