Saturday, September 02, 2017

'Toontime: Harvey Unleashes Toxic Wave

More: Two explosions shocked a flooded chemical plant twenty miles north of ravaged Houston, TX. The corporate owner of the plant said more explosions could occur since the chemicals it produces, liquid organic peroxides used in plastics and resins, are stabilized using refrigeration. The plant is without power and will be for five to seven days; it is currently submerged under six feet of water. No fatalities have been reported most likely due to the plant's location in a rural area. The explosions have released more toxic chemicals into the already heavily contaminated flood. Hurricane Harvey has been downgraded to a tropical depression but heavy rains are expected from Southeast Texas to Kentucky. Harvey is estimated to be largest and costliest natural disaster in US history.

{02.01.17} Because Houston is the petrochemical capital of 'Merica, many refineries and industry-related chemical plants are located in the vicinity.Hurricane Harvey has flooded many of these industrial plants.  The flood waters have unleashed a wave of toxicity ranging from heavy metals to raw sewage. Included in the damage are thirteen superfunds sites created by decades of unregulated dumping, discharges and industrial waste. EPA examined aerial surveys and found them inundated with many feet of flood water.  One site of special concern is the San Jacinto Waste Pits. Once located on the banks of the San Jacinto River, they now lie below it and are contained by concrete bunkers.  Residents are worried that the raging river may erode the concrete caps and release tons of cancer-causing toxins from a defunct paper mill. EPA has promised to inspect the pits as soon as the flood waters recede enough for personnel to gain access. AP reporters have already visited the sites on foot and in boats to bring news of the potential dangers to readers.  Trump’s proposed 2018 budget seeks to cut money for the Superfund program by 30 percent.

Damaged refineries and other oil facilities have already released more than two million pounds of hazardous substances into the air this week, including nitrogen oxide as well as carcinogenic benzene and other volatile organic compounds, according to a tally by the Environmental Defense Fund of company filings to Texas state environmental regulators.
even the rubber ducks are bigger in Texas

Besides the dangers of chemical pollutants, raw sewage from overflowing drains has entered the flood waters.  Microbe counts are off the charts, and residents are advised to avoid immersion in the witches brewing surrounding them and their homes. [photo]. So far the city's drinking water system seems to be intact, but many residents in the outlying areas rely on private wells for their water supplies.  These are especially susceptible to contamination as toxic flood water seeps into the ground.  Epidemics caused by severe flooding are rare in the United States.  However, contaminated water is a source of typhoid and cholera, diseases usually confined to developing countries without adequate infrastructure.

But don't worry Houstonians, you can buy $40 campaign golf-hats from the President's shops and feel a lot better about your predicament while you wear his USA! headgear.  Making America Great Again one golf-hat at a time, you betcha!

credit: Adam Zyglis
BC Idonwanna sez:  Big time crazy chief!+
+ Journalist Matt Taibibi labels Trump the "insane clown president" in his new book about the presidential campaign.  He does not spare invective: "Trump is the perfect modern American. He's a human consumption machine with no attention span, no self-control, no beliefs and no hobbies outside of sex, spending, eating and talking about himself. Nixon at least played the piano and read classics. He was an intellectual with a pig's heart. Trump is just the pig part." He is, in short, the "mass man" predicted by Marx and described by Hannah Arendt in her classic work, "Origins of Totalitarianism".