06 September 2005

- Toxic Sludge -

More from the BBC:

Environmental experts warn that human sewage and chemical pollution from the flooded city could create a second disaster if they are pumped out untreated into Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi.

Want to bet that it is pumped untreated into Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississipi creating a second disaster? After all that one won't be nearly so spectacular, it will cost a staggering amount of money to properly treat it, the pumping won't happen in earnest until after the press has lost interest in the story, and its full effects are not likely to show up until the current administration is long gone.

And this from the NY Times

Dr. McDaniel agreed that the hazards were unknown, but said there were no alternatives. "We have to get the water out of the city or the nightmare only gets worse," he said. He added later, "We can't even get in to save people's lives. How can you put any filtration in place?"

See, it's already starting. There's more:

On the environment impact, Dr. McDaniel also said today that he believed the lake would eventually recover. "The bacterial contaminants will not last a long time in the lake," he said. "They actually die off pretty fast. The organic material will degrade with natural processes."

I hope he's right, but no one else seems to think so.

Elsewhere in the story:

Louisiana officials, commenting on the environmental aspects ofthe hurricane's aftermath, said that 140,000 to 160,000 homes had been submerged or destroyed; 60 to 90 million tons of solid waste must be cleaned up; and 530 sewage treatment plants were inoperable. They warned that it would take years to fully restore clean drinking water.

And who's going to pay for this?

I'm sure that everyone will agree that we really need to eliminate the estate tax much more than we need clean drinking water in New Orleans.