(Permanent Musical Accompaniment To The Last Post Of The Week From The Blog’s Favourite Living Canadian.)
So, the basic truth about pipelines—all pipelines—is that they break and leak and occasionally go boom, and that the people who own and operate them would rather chug tar sands than admit the basic truth about pipelines. From The Denver Post:
Fire investigators found a 1-inch diameter black plastic pipeline running from an Anadarko Petroleum well near the house that had been cut when a tank battery was moved before the Oak Meadows subdivision was built, Poszywak said. That pipeline leaked the gas from a point 6 feet from the southeast corner of the house at 6312 Twilight Ave. in Firestone. Investigators said they found the gas valve at the Anadarko well in the “on” position. Poszywak said leaking gas “saturated the soil and migrated into the French drains of the home.”
Soon after the firefighters released their report Tuesday, Gov. John Hickenlooper ordered oil and gas companies statewide to inspect and pressure-test oil and gas flowlines within 1,000 feet of occupied buildings. Hickenlooper said companies must make sure flowlines not in use are properly marked and capped, and that any abandoned flowline cut off underground is sealed.
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Subdivisions in orbit, next on SyFy.
Also, infrastructure, how does it work, anyway?
Speaking of which, remember Flint, where the water was making people sick and it was a big thing on the news for a while? Well, the Invisible Hand isn’t remotely ready to stop slapping the good people of Flint around. From the NYT:
Following a water crisis that saw sky-high levels of lead contamination in Flint, Mich., many homes in the city still do not have access to safe tap water. But that doesn’t mean they’re not being charged for it. And if they can’t pay in time, they may lose their homes. The city has mailed 8,002 letters to residents in an effort to collect about $5.8 million in unpaid bills for water and sewer services. If homeowners do not pay by May 19, property liens are transferred to tax bills, which begins a process that can end with residents losing their homes unless they pay their outstanding bills before March 2018. Flint generally sends these letters annually to property owners whose payments are at least six months late. But because Flint skipped this process in 2016, this year’s letters cover two years of past-due balances.
These people are losing their homes because they’ve fallen behind in their poison payments.
The state also offered credits to help Flint residents pay their water bills until February, shortly after the state announced that lead in the city’s drinking water had been reduced enough to comply with federal regulations. But the city acknowledged last week that “up to 20,000 Flint residences still have lead and galvanized service lines that need to be replaced,” adding that it hoped to replace service lines for 6,000 homes this year. Because of the continuing issues with aging pipes, thousands of Flint residents are still at risk from high lead levels. Mayor Karen Weaver of Flint said in a statement on Wednesday that the city’s requests for payment on overdue water and sewage bills are in accordance with local laws. But, she added, “I understand the concerns that have been raised, and I am working to see if any changes or something can be done to help those affected by this, especially given the extraordinary circumstances we have endured due to the water crisis.”
The underlying issue here is that the Flint water crisis is still going on. People still can’t drink the water in their homes, or bathe in it safely. So the solution, obviously, is to save them by throwing them out of their homes. The Invisible Hand, I believe, is making a wanking motion in the sky.
And, while we’re on the subject of water, Pennsylvania has a problem with the creepy-crawlies. From NPR:
The NRDC analysis found that 167 Pennsylvania systems serving 691,000 people violated health standards set by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act when data were gathered in 2015. The Pennsylvania systems that are recorded as having health-based violations had pollutants such as disinfectants, coliforms and nitrates at levels that could damage human health, the report said. Chlorine is a widely used disinfectant in water treatment systems, but when combined with some naturally occurring organic matter, it can create dangerous by-products that can lead to miscarriages and birth defects. For example, 35 Pennsylvania systems serving more than 445,000 people broke the SDWA health limits on the presence of combined disinfectants and disinfectant by-products, the report said.
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By all means, let’s hand all environmental regulations back to the states, because they are the laboratories of democracy, and the laboratories of a lot of other things, too.
Notes from a convalescent: I hate to say it, because it’s a damn Exxon ad, but I like that Drive-By Truckers-ish instrumental version of “Farmer in the Dell” in that algae commercial.