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Texas serves YOU poison cocktails and cancer-because it’s good for business?

2010 September 16
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As we learned last week, there may be poison in your water.  So just to be safe, we’re suggesting that all Austinites play it safe and try not to come in contact with tap water until we get word from the EPA.  Or if you MUST, let’s take after the gentleman in the video and wear appropriate protective gear:


But suppose that you’ve been diagnosed with cancer.  Suppose that loads of your neighbors and friends were being diagnosed with cancer among other respiratory diseases.  Suppose many of your young friends around were dying.  Who would you blame?  God?  Karma?  Apollo, the sun god?

The people of Bokoshe, Oklahoma, as well as countless unsuspecting Americans, are suffering with tragedies such as these.  Why?  What if I told you that MAYBE, POSSIBLY, the toxic ash that the neighboring coal plant was dumping and burning had something to do these cancer cases.  But maybe it was Apollo, who knows.

Photograph by Carlan Tapp in the 2008 Kingston, TN Fly Ash "Spill"

The thing is, it’s not just one isolated incident we’re talking about here.  This is HUGE.  Fly Ash is being dumped in a water source near you.  It’s in the air as well; don’t think that wind can’t carry these toxins over to neighboring areas. Quite possibly near your friends and family.  This stuff is really great; it has arsenic, and lead, and mercury, and selenium, and chromium… and you may be drinking it, breathing it, and eating it!  Well that’s just the yummiest cocktail I’ve ever heard of.  Watch out Margarita, you’ve got some competition baby.  OH, it’s also used to make concrete, dry wall, cement, compost, fertilizer, metal and plastic products.

So last week I went to Dallas to try to figure out exactly why the EPA hasn’t already recognized coal ash as hazardous and dangerous.  To break it down, the main opposing arguments were as follows:

1. Not ALL fly ash is toxic.

2. Coal-Fire Plants already regulate their waste disposal-and doing a fantastic job of it too.

3. (This one was my favorite) To label fly ash as toxic and hazardous would give fly ash products a bad stigma and consumers would be afraid to purchase any product with fly ash.  More regulation is bad for business.

REEEEALLLLLY!?!?!  You don’t say!?  You mean to tell me that if people are told that a product is toxic, they’re less inclined to use it!?!?!  NOOOOOOOOOO!  Well that right there a good enough for me ya’ll.  I take back everything I said.  Heavens forbid we lose money over a couple of cancer cases.  They’re just people.  It’s just our environment.  No biggie.

In all seriousness, this is idiotic.  This should have been taken care of long ago.  Please take a moment to tell Lisa Jackson of the EPA that you want to clean up this mess.  Eva Hernandez of the Sierra Club offers some tips on what we need the EPA to change.  See how you can take action with the Sierra Club.

Finally, the following is short 8 minute film about the people of Bokoshe, OK.


What should we do with coal ash?

Should businesses be exempt because it might hurt the economy?

What’s the sexiest way to wear protective gear?

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  1. September 16, 2010

    Twitter Comment

    ROA Texas serves YOU poison cocktails and cancer–because it’s good for business?:

    As we learned … [link to post] via @ATX4U

    - Posted using Chat Catcher

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