June 21, 2002
6:23 AM   Subscribe

Toxic sludge is good for fish! Who says so? The EPA. It makes them flee the polluted area and escape fishermen. That is the basis for the permit issued to the Army Corps of Engineers to dump 200,000 tonnes of sludge in the Potomac. Link from WSJ's Best of the Web.
posted by Geo (9 comments total)

 
It is obvious the EPA is Republican controlled now.
posted by LinemanBear at 6:32 AM on June 21, 2002


Now, now, Lineman. Republicans don't have a monopoly on stupid and environmentally unfriendly politics. And it's a Repbulican who, I think, best sums up just how stupid this EPA decision is. From the article:

"To suggest that toxic sludge is good for fish because it prevents them from being caught by man is like suggesting that we club baby seals to death to prevent them from being eaten by sharks. It's ludicrous," said Rep. George P. Radanovich, California Republican and chairman of the subcommittee on national parks, recreation and public lands.
posted by UnReality at 6:43 AM on June 21, 2002


The illogic of that proposal is mind boggling.

Isn't it good for humans if the fish aren't filled with poison, so that people can eat them? Even if its 'good for the fish' its certainly bad for other organisms in the area.

I guess environmentalism is not necessarily connected to animal rights, like in this case?

I also have a big problem with the Washington times article, where they keep calling this stuff "toxic sludge." The Planet Ark article avoids sensationalism and actually bother to explain that this "sludge" is sediment, and poses a potential threat to fish eggs. Anyway, I guess the government doesn't need to obey its own laws.
posted by insomnyuk at 6:46 AM on June 21, 2002


UnReality, I guess I jumped the gun a little but I don't I was entirely out of line. :)
posted by LinemanBear at 7:41 AM on June 21, 2002


Ok, who put Monty Burns in charge of the EPA? Who did it?

(Those whacky Senators...they'll do anything for a lark, won't they?)
posted by dejah420 at 7:49 AM on June 21, 2002


According to the article, this has been allowed since 1989. Sounds like bipartisan stupidity to me.
posted by fluxcreative at 7:53 AM on June 21, 2002


if by 'flee' you mean 'no more living in the area'...

key word: living
posted by LuxFX at 10:03 AM on June 21, 2002


I also have a big problem with the Washington times article, where they keep calling this stuff "toxic sludge." The Planet Ark article avoids sensationalism and actually bother to explain that this "sludge" is sediment

I agree. Shameful Hyperbole. After all the sludge was sediment that was produced by filtering river water in the first place. It seems to me that they could probably safely dump it if they do it responsibly - say a gradual controlled dump so that the sediment levels in the water never get so high that they kill everything off.
posted by srboisvert at 11:29 AM on June 21, 2002


As to whether the sludge is toxic or not ... here's some of what it contains ... "chloramine, a compound highly toxic to fish, as well as an annual 20 million tons of alum."

From this story.

Chloramine is a disinfectant and isn't to be used in fish tanks (which I would guess means it's bad for fish). Alum kills algae, and I always thought that algae in a natural water environment was a good thing.

Pardon the awful midi on the last link.
posted by Orb at 12:56 PM on June 21, 2002


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