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ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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14 Apr 2015, 2:02 pm

Tar Creek Superfund Site is considered the most toxic place in America.


Tar Creek is an area in far northeastern Oklahoma that hosted a tri state mining operation for decades during the 1900s, harvesting lead and zinc from layers of earth. The Super Fund is named for a highly toxic waterway called Tar Creek that is too polluted with sulfuric acid for any organism to call home so it's pretty much a dead zone and this creek feeds the bigger Noesha river which in turn feeds Grand Lake in northeaster Oklahoma. The area is filled with Chat hills and Tailings, left behind from the orr smelting processes. These places, which look like giant mounds of light colored sand or fine ash, are loaded with heavy metals, including high levels of lead.
Seems this superfund site, Tar Creek, was not regulated for quite a while and they laid waste to the land and now look at the mess they created. Just be glad they aren't everywhere. Water's full of sulfuric acid, underground mines are threatening to swallow up the surface at any random time, giant chat mountains comprised of large amounts of lead and other heavy metals left behind after smelting ore.

At one time, there was a plan to plug the mines with the surface chat but it was rejected, claiming it was beyond repair. The amount of waste is staggering. Government pretty much wanted to pay men to bulldoze the top layers of soil off individual housing lots, replacing it with nasty clay soil, and that area is not naturally rich in clay, so the yards and houses ended up flooding and it cost the government an average of $70,000 each lot to do this. They just wanted that money to go into the hands of contractors paid to do completely inane and pointless work instead of just buying these people out and closing this area down. It would have been the cheapest thing to do.

http://www.cultureunplugged.com/documen ... /Tar-Creek



RhodyStruggle
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14 Apr 2015, 2:45 pm

No environmental regulations, maybe.

What about the regulations providing for railroad construction through the region, resulting in increased mining production? Or the regulations depriving the vast majority of the native peoples of the Tri-State mining district even royalties for the resources extracted from their land, let alone a right-of-refusal over the destruction thereof?

I don't see this as a result of not enough regulation. I see it as a result of the regulations being rigged to benefit rent-seeking industrialists and their settler workforce at the expense of native peoples and their land.


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ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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14 Apr 2015, 4:34 pm

RhodyStruggle wrote:
No environmental regulations, maybe.

What about the regulations providing for railroad construction through the region, resulting in increased mining production? Or the regulations depriving the vast majority of the native peoples of the Tri-State mining district even royalties for the resources extracted from their land, let alone a right-of-refusal over the destruction thereof?

I don't see this as a result of not enough regulation. I see it as a result of the regulations being rigged to benefit rent-seeking industrialists and their settler workforce at the expense of native peoples and their land.

No regulation on industry which is what The Right wants to happen. I invite everyone to learn the story of Tar Creek Superfund Site because it can happen to any of us. It's what happens when we are blinded by profit, to the point nothing else matters. We see Tar Creek as the only way to have money when that's not true. We do not have to create sites like Tar Creek just to have money. That is the point of this thread.

These super funds are huge amounts of money it's just bizarre. The money is attached to these toxic zones and yet many of them are still just as toxic as they were when abandoned.



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14 Apr 2015, 5:18 pm

ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo wrote:
No regulation on industry which is what The Right wants to happen.


Me, I'm about twenty light-years to the left of Marx. But note that it was Richard Nixon, a Republican, who signed the EPA into law. The Right isn't as monolithic as you'd like to portray / believe.

ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo wrote:
It's what happens when we are blinded by profit, to the point nothing else matters.


Which ignores the fact that the profiteers in question were already blind to the plight of the land and the people living upon it before they raped a profit out of it. That ignorance is important; it prevents cognitive dissonance in the descendants of a settler society who seek to criticize the outcomes of their progenitors' colonialist policies while simultaneously maintaining settler privilege.


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ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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14 Apr 2015, 5:27 pm

It's the EPA that's making all these bad decisions about Tar Creek, like paying out huge amounts of money to contractors to put anywhere from 1/2 a foot to three feet of clay and top soil around a house that has a chat mountain less than ten feet away from it. The EPA, and I will call to your attention Republican Senator Jim Inhofe, senior member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW), oversees the EPA and this Senator has a brother that worked for the insurance company owned by Tri State Mining, has done very little to help the Tar Creek Super Fund site even though they have spent millions of dollars on it and you see a clear conflict of interest. Senator Inhofe had no business at all with Tar Creek because of this conflict of interest.



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15 Apr 2015, 11:29 am

You do realize that the EPA's bad decisions were carried out to the regulations, don't you?

Regulations are not an incorruptible magical panacea, and not everyone who opposes them does so because they're a profiteering bastard.


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15 Apr 2015, 11:36 am

rather than too few regulations, this is the real problem

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulatory_capture



ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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15 Apr 2015, 3:12 pm

RhodyStruggle wrote:
You do realize that the EPA's bad decisions were carried out to the regulations, don't you?

Regulations are not an incorruptible magical panacea, and not everyone who opposes them does so because they're a profiteering bastard.

No. It was mostly because of Senator Inhofe's bad decisions. He wasted something like $138 million paying Super Fund Money to contractors so they could scrape the top layer of dirt off yards inside the area affected by the mining which was utter and complete waste and a pointless, useless thing for them to do. In other words, they should have never even considered it. They just funneled that money into the contractors and not even for any meaningful work.

People gloat over the Democrats wasting money but if you saw what's in and around Tar Creek, you would reach the conclusion it doesn't get much more wasteful than spending $138 million on something like that.


The town could have easily been bought out for a little more than that difference is, $138 million never would have made it from the federal government to the pockets of the private contractors.



Last edited by ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo on 15 Apr 2015, 3:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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15 Apr 2015, 3:15 pm

:wtg:

Jacoby wrote:
rather than too few regulations, this is the real problem

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulatory_capture



But in the face of a corruption free system,the right regulations can help, too.



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15 Apr 2015, 4:08 pm

One of the problems with this particular mine system is it was created in the midst of the regional Boone Aquifer. Where I live, aquifers are plentiful. They say this land was considered useless by the US government but with it's aquifers, it is actually really good land and can sustain life reasonably well, if we protect it and care for it. If we turn it into one big Tar Creek, of course, it won't be able to sustain hardly anything and it will truly be a wasteland. All you really need to survive is an area that has plenty of fresh water, temps that are reasonable most the year, which describes the climate here. Humans can and do take survival for granted but we need to think long term, not just what's going to happen to us.

Since these geniuses had the foresight to create an extensive underground mine in the midst of an aquifer, the passageways and holes continuously fill with water and it just comes from the aquifer. Took the government years to figure out the water came from the walls, nothing brought it there. So they thought if they could keep water from going in it would solve the problem. Water seeps into the walls, there's no stopping it. There's a place nearby where they aquifer rises to the surface, in the midst of a shopping center. They quickly discovered while building this complex, they can't do anything with the area that has the aquifer so guess what? They didn't stupidly put something there only to have it flood every spring. They did the wise thing and turned the patch of land into a drainage basin and didn't even try to put anything on it.


So now this challenge exists. The small Boone Aquifer continually flood the mines, depriving the minerals inside of oxygen, turning the remaining liquid ooze to sulfuric acid that bubbles over, floods out, and leaks into nearby Tar Creek like an old battery, causing not only contamination to the creek, but to the aquifer as well.

Latest news is there's an attempt to transform the area into a wetlands but it needs to be cleaned up first, and the huge chat hills are at risk for collapsing deep into the earth since much of the area is under mined and if they do, better get out fast because the dust cloud will be extensive.