Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Will it ever get cleaned up?

Sadly, it is not hard to believe that the clean-up of the Hudson River due to PCB pollution is still choked by delays. Here’s how these big pollution events seem to go. A corporation for one reason or another pollutes a body of water. Maybe it was an accident, maybe it was OK to pollute years ago, whatever, there’s always an excuse. Then, there has to be a sufficient cry of outrage to get our waters cleaned up, or it just doesn’t get to the court’s radar. Then, it goes to court and really smart people in law (but not very bright on our environment) wrangle over the merits of the case.

And, maybe once in a great while the people win and the waters have to be cleaned up. But, sometimes the company has gone bankrupt. Then, there are delays. There are delays because no one is ever satisfied that the courts have made them clean up their mess. Then, once is a very great while the case will go through all the appeals, all the nigglings at the law, everything—but there still will be delays.

The poisons sit because removing the poisons is complicated, expensive, and disruptive to people's lives. In a way this all sounds sensible as this is the way corporations and our laws work—you just have to wait for the wheel of the law to turn wherever they are going to turn. Trouble is Nature and the laws of physics are not so democratic. If you put a lot of poisons in the water, stuff happens.

Check this out: Barrier drops to PCB dredge -- Page 1 -- Times Union - Albany NY ALBANY — Saratoga County officials have dropped part of a lawsuit seeking to halt the Hudson River PCB dredging project in a dispute with the federal government over a safe supply of outside drinking water from Troy. (May 9, 09) Albany NY News - Times Union - Serving Albany, Saratoga, Schenectady, Troy

No comments: