An aerial photo released Saturday by the California Department of Water Resources shows the damaged spillway with eroded hillside in Oroville, Calif. William Croyle/California Department of Water Resources via AP
During the first part of this month, there have been environmental concerns over fish that are trapped in pools which then alerted two federal agencies, namely, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), which sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requesting that the repair on the Oroville Dam be scaled back in order to protect threatened fish.
Yes, it’s the same old song being sung by enviro politicos who now place even fish above the safety of the people who live below the tallest dam in America. After 100,000 plus people were already evacuated last month and are now living in harms way since returning to their homes, fish are still a greater concern than repairing a damaged dam in a timely manner over the safety and welfare of the people? What next, will flora and fauna be added to the fish list? More
“The Pentagon and its military-industrial complex of weapons suppliers are acknowledged to be the worst and most plentiful polluters on the face of the earth, with hundreds of military bases and weapons production sites that qualify for the designation of SuperFund sites. Those sites contain the most toxic by-products of war-making and the environmental pollution is so bad that the government and the taxpayers are on the hook for doing the impossible clean-up!”
Definition of Anthropogenic: “an adjective used to describe the environmental pollution and pollutants that originate from human or corporate activity.”
Conscientious whistleblowers in the honor-the-earth, protect-the-water and assorted other environmental movements regularly point out the glaring reality that it is actually the amoral, conscienceless multinational corporations that are the main cause of local, regional and planetary environmental pollution.
But if an investigative journalist accidentally allows those assertions to be published or voiced, the media’s propaganda machine predictably goes into defensive mode or attack mode, first casting doubt on the whistle-blower’s assertions or else it issues an ad hominem attack upon the whistle-blower.
The corporation’s stable of lawyers and public relations department – with the assistance of assorted media mouthpieces – start mis-directing the public’s perceptions by repeatedly using the “time-honored” phrase of “human activity” or “man-made activity” for causing the problem (even though all the credible truly scientific evidence implicates “corporate activity” for the damage). More
“Northern Minnesotans, Native American Water Protectors ( like the heroes at Standing Rock), sportsmen, environmentalists, downstream businesses, wild rice harvesters, fish, game, birds and just plain working folks whose babies and other vulnerable beings with developing brains need non-toxic water to thrive or simply survive must understand that such relatively common catastrophes could destroy the aquifers in the BWCAW, Birch Lake, the Partridge River, the Embarrass River, the St. Louis River, the city of Duluth and ultimately, Lake Superior.”
Demonstrators from across the country have joined with American Indians in North Dakota to protest a private oil firm that plans to run an oil pipeline underneath the Missouri river, the only source of clean drinking water for thousands of people in the area. The pipeline is planned to transport about 470,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
By Ronald Ray
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of the Dakota and Lakota Nations of American Indians has been seeking peacefully to block further construction of the 1,172-mile-long Dakota Access oil pipeline, which threatens the tribe’s water supply and sacred spaces. The tribe, recognized by the U.S. as a sovereign nation by treaty, thus has earned the wrath of Big Oil plutocrats and, consequently, law enforcement authorities.
In a separate article in this issue we recount the jury acquittal of seven defenders of private property rights, who earlier this year occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, including sons of rancher Cliven Bundy. But unlike that peaceful protest, as well as the famous defense of the Bundy ranch in Nevada two years ago, the Indians have chosen to remain unarmed, despite sometimes facing vicious brutality by police and private security firms, which has included siccing biting attack dogs on protestors, arrests of reporters, and strip searches of arrestees.
The effort to protect the Missouri River—the Standing Rock Sioux’s primary water source—and sacred burial grounds now includes the participation of more than 300 native tribes and thousands of “water protectors” occupying federal land near the pipeline’s route south of Bismarck, N.D.
“Those protected by power have been excluded from the process that is now being exacted against their underlings facing indictments.”
The game of chess is a complicated game employing zero sum, competitive Machiavellian strategies to protect key political or military principals. The object of the game is to checkmate the opponent’s king, and to protect the queen, the most powerful piece in the game, as long as possible. One fallen knight on the political chessboard of the Flint, Michigan water crisis is Susan Hedman, the EPA Regional 5 Administrator whose callous disregard for the health and safety of Flint citizens triggered her forced resignation although she has escaped any criminal liabilities.
Hedman was sacrificed to protect the EPA Queen, Gina McCarthy who could have used her congressionally authorized emergency powers under to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) to seize control of Flint’s environmentally dangerous designs created by the governor and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Congress has given the EPA Administrator under SDWA Section 1431 this authority:
“…upon receipt of information that a contaminant that is present in or likely to enter a public water system or an underground source of drinking water, or there is a threatened or potential terrorist attack or other intentional act, that may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to the health of persons, the EPA Administrator may take any action she deems necessary to protect human health.” [emphasis added]
“Gina McCarthy who could have used her congressionally authorized emergency powers to seize control of Flint’s environmentally dangerous designs.”
Well water, in the photo, remains plentiful at Venetucci Farm, Colorado, but water law requires purchase of an almost equal amount of “allocated” water before they can pump. Sources for allocated water are becoming harder to find.
Since 1992, a systematic attack on agriculture and food production in the United States has been developing, however the West has bore the brunt of this highly purposeful agenda which began with President Clinton in 1993 and is currently being promoted in California by the courts and Governor Brown. Consequently, ranchers have had their long-existing grazing and water rights methodically stripped away on Federal land and now private lands as well. Agricultural interests have been relentlessly sued by environmental groups and then over-regulated by the government.
Here is an example: The California State Water Board, recently invoked an emergency water allotment regulation without due process. Since January 2015 major changes have been made in the State of California with regard to private wells and ground water. There is now a new move by Governor Brown who recently signed a bill that changed water laws in the fall of 2014, which undermines the people’s property rights where private wells all over the state, will begin to be metered wirelessly by satellite. It is foreseen that the next step will eventually be mandated flow meters on pipelines coming from lakes, canals, creeks and rivers.
Already, state water agencies and/or community water districts have begun to implement allotment controls which allows the monitoring of well water meters and includes the use of fines and enforcement. I am familiar with someone in Northern California that was recently forced by P.G.& E. to put in a smart meter on his new well, and yes, it was mandated.
If local government takes this a step further and mandates flow meters on irrigation pipelines coming from a variety of water sources, there will very well be a limit to the amount of water that may be taken. What is now transpiring more and more is a rogue and unconstitutional government that is on a mission to monitor and control water locally and this fact is already happening in other states. Presently, broad government overreach, in matters of personal needs, such as food, water, shelter, & electricity, is off the charts. And let’s not forget about the other issues such as saving the frogs and toads by eradicating thousands of trout in the Sierras. There are thousands of other “endangered” species that are all part of a massive, decades old agenda that includes a tidal wave of lost rights and jobs.
As “we the people” entered into the year 2016 and beyond, were they aware of the plague that was consuming our country? It came at first as a black cloud creeping along the city streets and then entered through the crevices of our windows and doors and finally made its way into the very rooms of our houses. It began to sedate the masses into a near slumber but then retreated and continued following a path to higher ground. I followed the cloud as it rose above the hills and then began to touch the waters, the lakes and the rivers. It continued then to the higher elevations and to the utmost parts of the wilderness areas. There, the cloud stayed for a very long time over the vast Sierra Nevada Mountains until a mighty wind began to take it eastward.
Now, I was on a quest to find out a lot more about this strange phenomenon. Besides the cloud, there were other factors responsible for another findings that began to surface in my investigation. A trail of total devastation had found its way to the deepest parts of the sea to where 1/3 of all living things had died. While this fact had been covered up by government and the mainstream news, another gigantic black cloud spread out for hundreds of miles and continued to engulf hundreds of cities, thousands of factories and countless places of business which were all then forced to close. As the plague reached the Central Valley, the massive network of waterways from the Sacramento Delta down to Bakersfield, began to trickle away and then thousands of orchard trees began to die. The devastation was overwhelming but then I made another observation.
In spite of the seven year drought and future weather patterns that are not necessarily predictable, one would think that storing water for domestic use or agricultural needs such as growing food and raising livestock would be a priority for government. Not in California. Yet, fast track environmentalism in the last 20 years that caused the removal of 971 dams after Bill Clinton’s term as President, but at a later date, President George W. Bush, during his Presidency, opposed breaching dams in the Pacific Northwest.
Today, dam removal in the United States is now stronger than ever while the Western United States presently needs even more water than ever, but farmers in the Central Valley are fully cut off from their normal allotments. If we remember, years ago, the Auburn dam proposal was shelved because of the “potential” of earthquakes. Really, or was there something else going on under the radar?
PolyMet and the Rest of the Copper/Nickel Mining Industry are Lying to Us About the Safety of its Proposed Operations in NE Minnesota
Attention: Governor Dayton (and your staff):
Knowing your innate sense of fairness and your sincere desire to do the right thing for the people of Minnesota, please take a few minutes (disregarding all the corporate lobbyists that are bugging you 24/7) and read the following items. Be sure to view a couple of the short videos.
It has been slightly over a year since North America’s worst mining waste disaster occurred at Mount Polley, British Columbia.
It was on August 4, 2014 that the Imperial Metals mine had its massive tailings dam burst, polluting aquifers, many streams and lakes and ultimately the migratory Sockeye salmon-bearing Fraser River, the longest river in British Columbia. The Fraser flows for 854 miles emptying into the Georgia Strait and the Pacific Ocean at the city of Vancouver.
Typical for such catastrophic mining industry failures, the Harper government of Canada tried to cover up the disaster and most of us on either side of the border were made unaware of the event. Thus, this disaster was censored out of both Canadian and American consciousness by a co-opted media that utterly failed to adequately report on it.
Immediately below are the links to two dramatic videos that were readily available to news agencies, but which were essentially not reported on, published or shown on the evening news of either local or mainstream media outlets (including Duluth’s own WDIO-TV, which has regular promotional blurbs for the mining industry on its evening newscasts).
Imperial Metals of Vancouver admitted that they had been dumping the following toxic metals into the Mount Polley slurry (aka “slime”) pond in the years leading up to the failure of the earthen dam. The list of toxic substances immediately below is taken from Environment Canada’s website
The list of metallic contaminants that were dumped in the tailings pond includes: Lead, Arsenic, Nickel, Zinc, Cadmium, Vanadium, Antimony, Manganese, and Mercury.
These 9 heavy metal contaminants in the slurry at Mount Polley are highly toxic and have no safe levels in drinking water or in the human or animal body. They are also lethal to plant life.
Imperial Metals also admitted to dumping the somewhat less toxic minerals into the tailings pond. That group included Zinc, Cobalt, Copper, Phosphorus and Selenium, minerals can be beneficial to living organisms, but only in nano- or micro- concentrations. All five are toxic in large concentrations.
Governor Dayton says he will make the final decision on whether to grant PolyMet a permit, and that it will be the most momentous and difficult decision he’ll make as Governor. We agree. That’s why it’s so important that you call and tell him how you feel about PolyMet’s sulfide mine proposal.
Call him right now at 800-657-3717 FREE. You can leave a message 24 hours a day.
Be sure to tell Governor Dayton that you’re concerned about the PolyMet sulfide mine proposal and tell him why you care. The most important thing is for you to pick up the phone and tell the Governor what you think – it doesn’t need to be perfect. Not sure what to say? Here’s a sample of a brief message:
My name is ____________ and I live in (city). I’m calling because I’m concerned about the impact that PolyMet’s proposed sulfide mine would have on Minnesota’s water. I think PolyMet would do more harm than good. Pollution from PolyMet threatens our clean water quality legacy and would pollute water for hundreds of years after the mine has closed. I think that’s a bad deal for Minnesotans. Thank you Governor Dayton for taking responsibility for making this decision – please put Minnesota’s water first when deciding on PolyMet.
The phone number is 800-657-3717 FREE. When you’re done, would you share this with your friends and family on social media? Use the share buttons below to get the momentum going.
By speaking up, we’ll protect Minnesota’s clean water from PolyMet’s pollution. Thanks again for taking action!
On Monday morning, the brave collective of Nebraska farmers and ranchers who refuse to sign over their land for TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline will be in court to face down the foreign corporation’s threats of eminent domain — and we will be there to stand with them.
If you can’t make it to stand with us at the hearing, please consider a donation to help cover legal expenses for the farmers and ranchers who are fighting TransCanada and eminent domain to protect our land and water.
This is the lawsuit that stopped Keystone XL in its tracks in Nebraska, and also has the potential to stop the status quo of eminent domain for private gain in our state for the future.
Can’t be with us in court on Monday? Stand with us in solidarity.
This clip is from a March 24, 2015 Nebraska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission hearing on an out-of-state company’s application to export its toxic fracking wastewater into Nebraska, moving 80 truckloads carrying 10,000 barrels per day of pollution destined to be dumped into a disposal well in Sioux County — transferring all the risk onto Nebraska farmers and ranchers.
James Osborn, who commented below, is my new hero. – Debbie
SIGN the PETITION to the Nebraska Oil & Gas Commission “DON’T FRACK OUR WATER” HERE.
Before we get to our featured article below, it is important to note that the BLM continues to remove wild horses and burros because of “drought,” or because there’s “not enough” forage and water. We know there is a “man-made” drought because of the huge amount of water used by mining and other extractive industries. Advocates need to be aware of all of the issues surrounding big users of water from our aquifers. I’ve listed a few sources regarding California’s dire drought below, but there are similarities in other states and areas.
Kolhatkar states: “The truth is that California’s Central Valley, which is where the vast majority of the state’s farming businesses are located, is a desert. That desert is irrigated with enough precious water to artificially sustain the growing of one-third of the nation’s fruits and vegetables, a $40 billion industry. Think about it. A third of all produce in the United States is grown in a desert in a state that has almost no water left.”
Kolhatkar also states “When water allocations from the federal government were cut, Central Valley farmers began drilling deep into the ground to pump water out of the state’s precious, ancient aquifer. Now, the pumping has gotten so out of control that water is being tapped faster than it can be replenished by rain or snowfall, leading to some parts of the land literally sinking. What’s worse, California’s farmers are irrigating their lands with water from a 20,000-year-old reserve, depleting and probably permanently damaging a reservoir that formed in the Pleistocene epoch.
Shockingly, until recently, California did not even regulate groundwater use, unlike states like Texas. Anyone could drill a well on their property and simply take as much water as they needed for their own use—a practice that dated back to the Gold Rush.”
The New York Times also recently ran a big article on the drought. You can read it HERE.
Hopefully the links to articles above and the article below will give you some information on a few (of the many) issues with water and what is happening with our aquifers. The wild horses and burros are “the canary in the coal mine.” – Debbie Coffey
Nestle Continues Stealing World’s Water During Drought
How could the BLM be “unaware” that a company is using a pipeline? (Another reason to wonder how closely the BLM actually monitors the range.) According to True Oil (True Companies), “Belle Fourche Pipeline is a liquids pipeline operator that gathers and transports crude oil in the Williston Basin of western North Dakota and the Powder River Basin of Wyoming.” To see a map of this pipeline in Wyoming, click HERE. According to an article in the Casper Star Tribune, True Companies have had many pipeline spills.
True Companies also owns 7True Ranches (ADA Ranch, Double Four Ranch, LAK Ranch, Rock River Ranch, Chalk Bluffs Ranch, HU Ranch, VR Ranch), 2 feedlots (LAK Feedlot, Wheatland Feedlot) and 2 Farms (LAK Farm, Wheatland Farm) in Wyoming. – Debbie
Almost a decade after Belle Fourche Pipeline Co., a True Oil company, told the Bureau of Land Management it was no longer using a pipeline 44 miles southeast of Buffalo, the pipeline leaked 25,200 gallons of crude oil onto public lands.
The company terminated its right of way permit in writing in 2006. At some point, without the knowledge of the federal agency, the company illegally resumed use of the pipeline, said Christian Venhuizen, BLM public affairs specialist.
Why and when the company continued to use the pipeline remains unanswered. Bob Dundas, environmental coordinator for Belle Fourche and Bridger pipelines, said he would forward the Buffalo Bulletin’s request for information and comment to someone who could answer questions related to permitting.
On May 20, 2014, Belle Fourche reported the oil spill to the BLM, after workers noticed oil seeping up from the ground, Dundas said. The BLM determined that Belle Fourche was in trespass, Venhuizen said, and fined Bridger Pipeline, a sister company, also owned by True Oil.