Did you know Kentucky is suing EPA to relax regulations on Mountaintop Removal? Another great example of how a state really “looks out” for its people…Filed under energy, environment, geological hazards, global warming, health, Uncategorized, water pollution | Tags: coal, energy, environment, mountaintop removal, pollution, water pollution | Comment (1)
Guest blog by Scott Rosenbrook and Jake Wilkerson
Charleston County proposes building an I-526 extension through Johns Island. There have been considerable outcry from the residents of Johns Island, about the destruction which will be caused with it’s development, such as damage to local wildlife, wetlands which help absorbs pollutants in the water and acts as a nursery for much of the regions aquatic wildlife, local agriculture including forests and farming would also be damaged be the construction and subsequent increase in travelers. Other problems for the area would be increased air, noise, and light pollution from the cars driving through and the large amounts of lighting for night use, also the massive projected cost $420 million that is expected to as much as double due to raises construction price. Cheaper alternative plans include developing existing roads running parallel to each other to spread out traffic, this idea being projected at less than half that of the extension.Filed under environment, sustainability, transportation, water pollution | Tags: biodiversity, economics, environment, habitat, sustainability, transportation, water pollution | Comment (0)
Guest Blog by Luke Wilson, Jasmine Woods, and Jaqueline Stogner
The recent drought and influx of people in SC has caused the state-owned utility company, Santee Cooper, to propose the construction of two 660-megawatt coal-fired power plants in Florence County in order to keep up with SC’s growing electricity demand. Coal burning plants emit carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas and contributor to global warming, nitrogen oxide, a component in smog, sulfur dioxides, a contributor to acid rain, and mercury, a highly toxic metal when converted to methyl mercury. These proposed plants would annually produce over 8 million tons of CO2 and discharge 300 pounds of mercury into the Great Pee Dee River as a byproduct of burning coal. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control has already issued a high mercury level advisory for the consumption of many fatty fish caught in the Great Pee Dee, and adding another coal plant would only exacerbate the problem.Filed under energy, environment, geology, water pollution | Tags: climate change, coal, contamination, drought, energy, environment, environmental management, geology, health, pollution, resources, sustainability, water pollution | Comment (1)
Guest blog by Brian Smart and Katharine Callaway
The 330,000 plus residents of Charleston County use approximately 114 million gallons of water per day (Mgal/d) only about 12 percent of which is from ground water sources. The other 101 million gallons come from surface water sources, mainly the Edisto River and Bushy Park Reservoir. This raw water is subject to runoff from rainwater, agriculture, industry and air pollution, which deposit chemicals, bacteria and organic contaminants in the streams and rivers feeding the lakes and reservoirs. Intensive treatment is necessary before the surface water is suitable for human consumption. The water treatment plant in Hanahan has the responsibility of making our water safe to use. After being screened to remove large objects such as tree branches, dead animals and garbage, a combination of chlorine and ammonia is added to the water to kill bacteria and viruses, and lime is added to adjust the pH levels. Next, aluminum sulfate is mixed into the water, acting as a coagulating element to bond with the previously added chemicals, now dead bacteria, viruses and other microscopic material and cause them to drop out of the water stream as sediments. These sediments are disposed of by spraying them on a forested area near the water treatment facility. Finally, the water is passed though a series of fine mineral filters and then treated with more chlorine, ammonia and lime, as well as fluoride to keep your teeth healthy and orthophosphate to prevent heavy metals from leaching out of your plumbing. If anything can live through this process, it must be a very tough organism indeed.
Here’s some “surprising” news. Your tap water could be unsafe to drink if you live close to a powerful industry that pollutes… and US EPA may not intervene on your behalf! Here are some interesting articles that appeared in NY Times about toxic drinking water. Link. Be sure to watch the videos on those pages – very disturbing. Also, there was an interesting documentary on PBS’ Frontline called “Poisoned Waters,” which is very interesting. You can watch that show on their website.
Interestingly, SC DHEC was quoted as saying that protecting business interests was very important for their mission! As an example, here’s a link to articles about the nexus between business interests and DHEC at the expense of public health. Link.Filed under chemicals, environment, geology, sustainability, water pollution | Tags: chemicals, coal, contamination, environment, environmental management, groundwater, India, pollution, sustainability, water pollution, water resources | Comment (0)