NASA once sent a robot in - and nobody ever saw the machine again or collected any scientific data from it... [more inside]
Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal, long nicknamed the "Lavender Lake" for its copious oil slicks, has gained a new title : Superfund Site. New Yorkers respond with really cool photography. While some developers bow out in light of the recent news, other area developers, hoping for a speedy cleanup of the industrial waste and, uh ... other things ... vow to continue their plans to revitalize the formerly-industrial corridor.
Today was a troubling day for environmentalists. First, the Obama administration announced its decision to nominate a Superfund polluter lawyer to run the DOJ Environment Division, sparking serious concern among environmentalists, and then its was announced that the EPA has confirmed 42 of 48 permits for mountaintop removal in the coal country of Appalachia, sparking criticism from environmental groups.
Picher, Oklahoma was part of a major lead mining area in the central US until the middle of the last century, when the mines closed down. It is now the epicenter of the Tar Creek Superfund site. Residents live among mountains of mine tailings known as chat. Heavy metal poisoning is endemic in the area. With fits and starts, things do begin to get done about it, but only very slowly. To add insult to injury, Picher was struck by an EF-4 tornado on May 10th, 2008. The residents are finally suing over the long in coming buyout plan. Shockingly, the buyout plan was put into place with urgency not because of the lead, zinc, and cadmium poisoning, but because the mines are in danger of caving in. There is still word on when the mountains of debris will be removed, or the acid mine drainage stopped. Despite attempts to prevent further contamination in the 1980s and 90s, the waste is still poisoning local creeks and wildlife.